Reformed Theology


Reply to The Momentous Event
A Dispensational Reply to The Momentous Event
Russell Earl Kelly, Ph.D.
December 10, 2011

The Momentous Event, by W J Grier, a former pre-millennialist (p35), is a Reformed Covenant Theology attack on Dispensational last-day-events written in 1945. It was first published by Evangelical Press, Belfast, and has since been republished at least eight times. The current publisher is Banner of Truth Trust.  128 pages

Prophecy and the Church (a theological classic), also written in 1945, by Oswald T Allis, is published by The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company. Both books cover the same material and use the same non-Preterist explanations.  339 pages

Kelly: I was asked to critique this book. I stopped at page 51 because, I believe, I have already presented enough biblical material to expose the arguments of Reformed theology against Dispensational theology. Dispensationalism and Reformed begin with two opposite principles of interpretation which both apply to almost every text in the Bible. Dispensationalists believe that scores of unconditional promises made to Abraham, David, and Israel through its prophets must be interpreted literally unless it is obviously not intended in its immediate context. While there are spiritual similarities for the Church, those similarities will never replace God’s literal unconditional promises made to the literal believers of literal Israel.

(9-10) “The New Testament teaches that the Lord will come in person. … It is clearly taught in the New Testament that the Lord will return visibly. His first coming was literal and visible and we may be sure that his second coming … will be literal and visible too (Mt 24:30-31).”

Kelly: This is no longer taught by many Reformed Presbyterians today who have changed to advocate Preterism which teaches that Christ’s second coming was spiritual in A.D. 70.

(11) “Between his ascension and his coming no event intervenes equal in importance to these: therefore the two are joined together. Naturally, then, the apostles … set before them the Day of Christ as very near.”

Kelly: Dispensationalists use this logic to teach that the coming of Christ for his church is imminent — it is very near; it can occur at any time. There are no intervening prophecies do be fulfilled first (contrary to Reformed).

(12) “It is characteristic of the saints of the Old Testament that they looked for the consolation of Israel.” Kelly: This is very true – of Israel, national Israel – not the Church. And the last question asked of Jesus before his ascension concerning when the kingdom would be set up (Acts 1:6).

(15) “[Dispensationalism] supposes that Jesus made a national offer of an earthly kingdom to the Jews, whereas he made no such offer.”

Kelly: Almost every Old Testament prophet spoke of God unconditionally setting up a Messianic kingdom on earth in God’s own timing.

(15) [Dispensationalism] also fails to explain how glorified and people still in the flesh can associate together during the thousand years.”

Kelly: We don’t need to explain how it will work. God’s Word clearly teaches it in Revelation 20:4-9 after the Second Coming in chapter 19.

(15) [mocking D.]… for though righteousness is supposed to prevail in the millennium, yet at its close Satan is to lead a host…”

Kelly: Nowhere does the Bible imply that there would only be sinless perfection during the Messianic kingdom on earth. In fact, God’s rule will be with a “rod of iron” which means exactly the opposite. See Revelation 2:9, 27;  12:5; and 19:15.

(15) … the dispensational view [of the millennium] erroneously seeks its main support in Revelation 20:1-6 which represents a scene in heaven …”

Kelly: Incredible. I ask anybody to read Revelation 20:1-9 and conclude the events take place in heaven instead of earth.

(33) A prophet was an authoritative and infallible teacher of God’s will.

Kelly: True, but his is greatly watered down by teaching that they spoke literally of Christ’s first coming and spiritually of his second coming.

(34) Premillenarians are usually strongly literalists in their Old Testament view of prophecy. 

Kelly: Grier follows this with a long paragraph summarizing Dispensational last-day events only for Israel. He only refers to Isaiah 60:1-22; 65:20-21; Ezekiel 44:9, 23; 45:17; and 46:2. Grier ignores the hundreds of unconditional literal promises made in Genesis, Second Samuel, Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel and Zechariah. While the timing was conditional, the promise was unconditional and literal. See  

(34-35) Old Testament prophecy bears within itself warnings against such literalism. [Genesis 3:15 is given as a prime example.]

Kelly:  Genesis 3:14-15 is a literal prophecy that the seed of a woman (the virgin birth) would be bruised by the seed of serpent and that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the seed of the serpent. The only “figure” in the text is the word “serpent.” The literalness of the text is infinitely more important than one figurative word.

(34) When Ezekiel speaks of the people being restored to their own land, he gives us clear hints that we are not to take him literally.

Kelly: If Ezekiel’s audience (Judah in Babylonian exile) was not to take him literally, then Ezekiel was only babbling nonsense and his message had no meaning to his literal audience.

(35) David my servant will be king over them. If we take this literally, then David must be raised from the dead … It will not do for the literalists to say that David here is the divine Christ. They must be consistently literal.

Kelly: David will literally rule over Israel during the Messianic Age – along with Jesus, the Apostles, and other saints according to Revelation 20:3-10. Yes, the righteous dead of Israel are resurrected before the Millennium. There is no need for spiritual interpretation.

(35-36) Anybody who takes the trouble to follow the measurements given by Ezekiel of the restored temple and city and the divisions of territory among the tribes will find that these do not fit into the literal Palestine at all, and that they involve … the anomaly of water flowing uphill.

Kelly: And anybody who takes the trouble to follow all of what God says will occur in the future will discover (1) that the land of Israel is much larger than most think ;it includes all land west of the Euphrates River to the river of Egypt (Gen 15:18-21). And (2) God has promised to lower the mountains and make most of the promised land a fruitful plain with a river flowing out of the temple to reach the Mediterranean on the West and the Red Sea in the south beyond the Salt Lake (Zechariah 14:10; Ezekiel 46:10;46 all). It is better to believe God literally than to accuse him of dishonesty.

(36) [If] Ezekiel in chapters 38 and 39 [were literal] it would involve 360 million corpses.

Kelly: China already has at least that many soldiers and Revelation 9:16 mentions an army of 200 million crossing the Euphrates to invade Israel.

(37) Literalists often make much of the so-called unconditional promises of the land to Israel forever. … And of the throne to David’s line.

Kelly: Yes, we most certainly do and there are scores of them. To ignore them is to call God a liar and say that God deceived his chosen nation.  Exactly what did God promise to David and was it unconditional? 
2 Sam 7:12 “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.7:13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.7:14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
7:15 BUT my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.” 

This is why the genealogy of Jesus is both Matthew and Luke merges in David. The legitimacy of a literal ruler over a literal Israel has been preserved by God.
 And how often can covenant theology ignore?

Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
31:35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:
31:36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.
31:37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.

(37-38) Literalist View – Self Contradiction. … Ezekiel says four times over that in the day Israel is restored the office of the priesthood will be reserved for the sons of Zadok only (40:46; 43:19; 44:15; 48:11). Jeremiah declares that then all the Levites will be priests (33:18); while Isaiah affirms that God will take priests and Levites from all nations (Isa 66:20-21. How can the literalist explain this?

Kelly: This presents just as great a problem to non-literalists as it does literalists. How can the non-literalist explain it in context? He doesn’t. How does he even spiritualize it? He ignores the context. Problem: Did God err by telling three different prophets to prophesy three different things? Or is the time element different for each?  Is it possible that the Messianic temple will have a high priesthood of the sons of Zadok while, at the same time, honoring the lower echelon priesthood of every believer? Is it possible that the offerings of the Messianic temple are memorials? Let us not be so quick to impugn the Word of God.

(38) Not only does the literalist view make one Old Testament prophet contradict another, it makes the Old Testament contradict the New.

Kelly: The non-literal view makes all Old Testament prophets liars and their prophecies irrelevant to their contemporary hearers, or audiences. The problem is not with the literal interpretation. Rather, the problem is with the non-literalist making no attempt whatsoever to reconcile what they admit is the inerrant inspired Word of God.

(39) If you are still puzzled because the prophecies of the rebuilding of the temple and the restoration of the land seem, on the face of them, to be literal …

Kelly: Yes, they do “on the face of them” “seem to be literal.” That is exactly what normal readers conclude. God is not the author of confusion.

(39) Put the question to yourself — If the prophets had spoken of the New Testament Church, not under the figures of Israel of old, but in terms of New Testament grace and truth, would they have been understood?

Kelly: Put these questions to yourself  — Did God deliberately deceive the Old Testament prophets? Did God give His chosen nation of Israel false hope when He knew all along that He would replace it with the Church? Why did not God simply tell Israel the “reformed” truth through the prophets? – (1) that they would reject him and his Messiah; (2) that He would reject them permanently, and (3) that He would replace them with the Church. Was God afraid to tell the truth? Blasphemy, I say.

(39) They could not have borne such excess of light.

Kelly: It would not have consoled them. At least it would have been the “truth” as replacement theology teaches it.

(39) Only by things known such as the land, the temple, and the sacrifices could the prophets picture the unknown.

Kelly: Daniel did not have any problem describing the parade of nations which would persecute Israel – he named them in order. The non-literalist portrays the Old Testament character of God as afraid to tell the truth.

(39) Was not the Old Testament a typical dispensation? Kelly: There is no such dispensation called “the Old Testament.” You confuse “the Old Covenant Law” with “the Old Testament.” The prophets were not part of the Old Covenant Law no more than Job, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, and other Old Testament books.

(39) It should be noted in passing that, even in the New Testament traditional Jewish language about the kingdom is not avoided.

Kelly: That is because the promised literal Messianic kingdom was always uppermost in Jewish minds. Again, the prime example is Acts 1:6-7 “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” And Jesus did NOT answer: “You err. There will be no literal Messianic kingdom on earth.

(41) To interpret the Old Testament prophecies with a uniform literalism is to turn into a stone what the Lord meant for bread.

Kelly: The non-literalist is guilty of his on accusation. Fully expecting the prophet to be telling the literal truth, the Old Testament hearer would bite into stone which had no relevance to him whatsoever – much less consolation. He had been handed a deception.

(43) Let us here insist that there was a Church in Old Testament times.

Kelly: Major disagreement. There was an assembly of believers, but there was not a “mystery” “organism” equivalent to the Body of Christ. OT believers were not permanently indwelt by the Spirit. OT Gentiles were not evangelized. The Church began on Pentecost in Acts.

(43) The same olive tree. (Romans 11).

Kelly: Romans 11 does not call the tree the Church. It is probably the Abrahamic covenant of salvation by grace through faith.

(49) The New Testament has nothing to say about a return of the Jews to their own land with Christ reigning on a throne at Jerusalem over a kingdom in which the Jews will have national pre-eminence.

1.  As long as the Old Testament prophets taught it as unconditional scores of times, it should not require repeating. Psalm 2:7 is alluded to 3 times in Revelation; it definitely implies Messiah’s rule over unbelievers. “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron ; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Messiah will rule the nations with a “rod of iron.” How does the non-literalist interpret this and when? The following 38 sets of New Testament texts reflect that the kingdom was always in the forefront of the mind of Israelites. 

2. When Jesus began parables in Matthew by saying “the kingdom of heaven is like,” He was definitely not describing life in heaven; he was describing how life would be during the Messianic kingdom on earth with sin still around but with righteousness judgment prevailing.

3.  Matt 19:28 ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones , judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Also Luke 22:30; Rev 20:) If this refers to heaven, the non-literalist admits that Israel has a separate existence in eternity. If it does not describe heaven, it must describe the Millennial Messianic kingdom on earth.

4. Matt 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.Matt 23:39 “For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Notice the “till.” In the future Israel will finally accept its Messiah.

5. Luke 1:54 He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;Luke 1:55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. Like all Israelites, Mary expected the literal fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant to Israel.

6. Luke 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel ; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
Luke 1:69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
Luke 1:70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
Luke 1:71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
Luke 1:72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
Luke 1:73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
Luke 1:74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
Luke 1:75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

The holy covenant was God’s promises to Abraham concerning a nation in Genesis 12, 13, 15.

7. Luke 2:34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel ; and for a sign which shall be spoken against.

8. Luke 22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
Luke 22:30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel .

9. Luke 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

The expectation of a national redemption was always forefront in their minds.

10. John 1:49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

11. John 12:13 [Much people] Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. Israel was expecting its promised Messianic kingdom.

12. Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Acts 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. Even after the resurrection, this was still uppermost in the minds of Jesus’ disciples and he did not deny it.

13. Acts 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.

14. Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

15. Rom 9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. In context this is not a reference to Gentile believers. It is a reference to true spiritual Israelites within the whole natioin.

16. Rom 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. The non-literalist ignores “God forbid.”

17. Rom 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. … True spiritual Israel within Israel. 

18. Rom 11:4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
Rom 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. A remnant of believing Israelites who constitute Israel in God’s eyes.

19. Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. God’s foreknowledge of Israel as His chosen nation was never determined by any good works they may have performed. The argument is: “Since good works did not make Israel God’s elect, then failure to do good works cannot cause them to cease being God’s chosen nation.”

It is the argument used for eternal security.

20. Rom 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded 

Like Isaac being chosen over Ishmael and Jacob over Esau, the children of the promise constitute true Israel. Unbelieving Israelites do not qualify as true Israel (11:8-10).

21. Rom 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. The direct question is: “Have they stumbled that they should fall?”

Most of the Christian world answers “Yes, and they have been replaced by spiritual Israel, the Church. Yet God’s answer is “No. God forbid.” Paul does not say that Israel’s “fall” was “permanent.” Rather, he said that it was “to provoke them to jealousy” – that they might be restored!

22. Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel , until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. If, as most teach, Israel had permanently fallen as a nation before God, there would be no “mystery.” The “mystery” here is that Israel was only “blinded” (not permanently fallen).

23. Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

All true Israel will be saved. Many will be saved by becoming Christians and partaking of the “fullness of the Gentiles.” Others will be saved during the Great Tribulation as in Revelation 7 and 14.

24. Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

God foreknew true believers within national Israel to be saved and constitute true Israel. He cannot and will not go against His eternal decree to establish Israel before Him forever. Those who use Reformed Calvinistic hermeneutics should apply the same principles to Israel which they apply to individuals in order to be consistent.

25. Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

This text does not teach that all Roman slaves were freed or that all free-men become slaves when they are saved. Neither does it teach that believers lose their sexual orientation when they are saved. Yet many quote it to argue that Jews and Gentiles lose their national identify when they are saved. 

26. Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Even though we do not lose our national identity, as part of the Body of Christ, we are all equal before God.

27. Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

Since God’s unconditional covenant promises were made to Abram before he was circumcised, the status of Israel is not changed by this text.

28. Gal 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

There were two groups within the church of Galatia and most other churches. This closing is addressed first to everybody and secondly to Hebrew Christians who were especially affected by his letter.

29. Eph 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

Before Calvary, Israel was God’s only chosen people and Gentiles were excluded.

30. Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Near to Christ; not near to the commonwealth of Israel.  Redeemed Gentiles do not become part of the commonwealth of Israel. Redeemed Israelites are part of the Church, the body of Christ, but they are also spiritual Israelites.

31. Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;Eph 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;Eph 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

This was written before Israel’s destruction in AD 70. God joined believing Hebrews and Gentiles into the one body of Christ. Paul was not prophesying the end of Israel in AD 70. Rather he was bringing true Israelites beyond the law to the Abrahamic covenant. 

32. Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Both Hebrews and Gentiles have been brought into the Body of Christ. The nation Israel still existed when this was written. The letter of Hebrews was written to believing Jews inside Israel.

33. Heb 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: [Mt 10:6; 15:24]…..
Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

The New Covenant was directed first to the “house of Israel” and the “house of Judah.” These were the literal ruling houses of a literal nation. Jesus commanded His disciples to go first to the cities of Israel. After His resurrection Jesus commanded that the gospel should be brought first to Jerusalem (Acts 1:8). And Paul wrote that the gospel must first go to Israel (Rom 1:16). These texts clearly demonstrate that God still gave priority to Israel and Jerusalem even after Calvary. 

34. Rev 2:27 “And he shall rule them with a rod of iron ; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.”

During the Millennium the saints will rule with Christ with a “rod of iron.” This cannot refer to heaven.

35. Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel .
Rev 7:5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.
Rev 7:6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthali were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.
Rev 7:7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.
Rev 7:8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.Rev
7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.

Most scholars believe that Revelation was written near AD 100. Preterists argue for a date just prior to AD 70. If, as some contend, Israel ceased to be God’s chosen nation when Jesus died, God would not have included Israel in the descriptions of Revelation. 

36. Rev 12:5  And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron : and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

Again, during the Millennium the saints will rule with Christ with a “rod of iron.” This cannot refer to heaven. This makes no sense if it refers to heaven.

37. Rev 19:15-16 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron : and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. This refers to the Second Coming in glory.

For a third time in Revelation, during the Millennium the saints will rule with Christ with a “rod of iron.” This cannot refer to heaven. 38. Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. This must be when the “rod of iron” rule will occur on Earth.  Summary, after Christ returns to Earth in Revelation 19, (1) he will rule with a rod of iron (19:15-16), (2) 144,000 of the twelve tribes of Israel are prominent (chapter 7 and 14), (3) the Temple on Earth is prominent (chapter 11), (4) Israel is prominent in chapter 12, and (5) and earthly kingdom is prominent in chapter 20.

(49) Paul affirmed that the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile was broken and gave no hint that it would ever be restored. Kelly: The “middle wall” was the Law – not the Abrahamic covenant (Eph 2:14-15). The Abrahamic covenant preceded the law and was not annulled by it (Gal 3:17).

(50) The literalism which insists on the Old Testament prophecies referring to Israel after the flesh is inconsistent with the universal New Testament of the promises to the spiritual seed.

Kelly: This distorts what the overwhelming majority of Dispensationalists teach. As pointed out in Romans 9:6-8, the prophecies only apply to righteous believing Israelites within Israel – the spiritual seed.

(50) The literalism which still waits for Christ to take his seat on David’s throne in Jerusalem is inconsistent with Peter’s announcement that Chris has already taken his seat on David’s throne at his resurrection.

Kelly: Notice the lack of a proof text. God’s throne over the universe is not the same as David’s throne over national Israel.

(51) Remember that it was an excess of literalism which led to the rejection of Jesus of Nazareth and which has ever since confirmed the Jews in their unbelief.

Kelly: This is a new reason why Israel rejected its Messiah – they interpreted the Bible literally! Whatever happened to the biblical reasons that their hearts were not right with God, they corrupted the Law into a method of works-righteousness, and that they had replaced the Abrahamic covenant with the Old Covenant of Law?