Dual Covenant Theology 101 and how it should lead to discipleship
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
Many Christians know that Israel and her people are important to God, but aren’t sure exactly why. They know that God will bless those who bless Israel (Gen. 12:3), so there’s good reason to support Israel. Others have deeper reasons for supporting Israel and have taken a strong stand, but what good is supporting the people of Israel if their beliefs will ultimately deny them the salvation (eternal life) that is the central message of the Scriptures (both Old and New Testaments)? Shouldn’t their eternal destiny be our greatest concern?
One of the greatest obstacles to bring true biblical salvation to the Jewish people is what is known as Dual Covenant Theology which simply teaches that there are two separate and distinctively different covenants (agreements) for Jews and Gentiles. According to this teaching, Gentiles are saved by grace through faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ. Jews, however, are saved by their special relationship with their ancestor, Abraham (and Moses). This belief has been around for a long time. In Jesus’ day, a common teaching was that since Abraham was their father, they were the direct recipients of certain blessings and rights that flowed from him to them. These included:
1. Their prayers would be both heard and accepted by God.
2. God would defend them against their enemies.
3. This relationship went a long way to appease any wrath caused by something they had done.
4. Their participation in God’s coming kingdom was assured.
5. This relationship provided compensation for their sins
They viewed this relationship (descendants from Abraham) as their ticket to all the promised blessings in the Scriptures (Old Testament). This is why they were shocked by the message of John the Baptist: personal repentance is necessary to get right with God. Many people were convinced by John’s preaching, but old beliefs die hard, and so the teaching continued on and still exists today. It has been refined into what is now called Dual Covenant Theology.
According to this belief, it is unnecessary for Jews to receive Jesus as their Messiah to be saved. This belief is widespread, despite the clear fact that Jesus came to Israel, fulfilled Jewish Messianic prophecies, and presented Himself to Israel as her King and Redeemer. He said that He was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mt. 15:24). He couldn’t have been clearer when He said that no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). Then there’s Acts 4:8-12:
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead-by this name this man stands here before you in good health. “He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
One of the most deadly results of Dual Covenant Theology is occurring at the hands of some Christian organizations whose primary purpose is their support of Israel. They strongly support Israel’s right to the land, but for whatever reason, they have dropped the requirement that Jewish people, like everyone else in the world, must believe and trust in Jesus Christ in order to be saved. Perhaps it is their belief that their support will be accepted only if there is an assurance that they not proselytize Jews to the Christian faith. Whatever the reason, in the end, they’re doing more harm than good and have become guilty of becoming false teachers. The heresy of the Dual Covenant doctrine is seen in the fact that some Jews may go to hell because these organizations mislead them into thinking they are secure in their salvation without accepting the atoning sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.
If you are not in a position to be witnessing to many or any Jewish people, you’re not off the hook. True disciples of Christ are expected to share the free gift of eternal life with anyone God places in our path. It’s our primary mission while we’re still here. So if Dual Covenant Theology isn’t of great interest to you, how about focusing on our primary responsibility as recipients of the New Covenant: making disciples (see Mt. 28:19).
Click here to read an article regarding John Hagee’s view of Dual Covenant Theology.
Click here to read article on Replacement Theology.
GOD DISPLAYS HIS GLORY