Dual Covenant Theology

Heresy: n 1: any opinions or doctrines at variance with the official or orthodox position [syn: unorthodoxy, heterodoxy] [ant: orthodoxy] 2: a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion

Because of their enthusiastic support for the Jews' biblical right to the Land of Israel some Christian organizations are willing to compromise the New Testament teachings that salvation is obtained through Jesus Christ alone. In order to show the Jewish people that they harbor no hidden agenda through this support, they state that not only will they not proselytize Jews to the Christian faith but that Jews do not have to accept Jesus as their Messiah in order to be saved. Such a teaching is not only contrary to the clear teachings of Jesus and His apostles but it is the most heretical doctrine in Christianity because it strikes at the reason God sent His Son to earth in the first place. This teaching is known as the Two or Dual Covenant doctrine. The Dual Covenant theological position states that the Jews have a covenantal relationship with God through the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants and therefore do not need to accept the New Covenant or Testament made through Jesus Christ.

The Abrahamic Covenant

A covenant is an agreement or contract between two parties. In the Old Testament God made several agreements between humans and Himself and also between the Jews and Himself. The first major covenant that God made with the Jews is called the Abrahamic Covenant because He made it with Abraham on behalf of his Jewish descendants. The Scriptural basis for this covenant is found in the Book of Genesis.

This covenant had several aspects to it. One is that the land of Israel would belong to the Jews forever. Another is that God would make the seed or descendants of Abraham multiply exceedingly and that kings would arise out of his lineage. The most important aspect of this covenant was that all the nations of the world would be blessed through Abraham. God states that this covenant is to be an everlasting covenant. Therefore, are the Jews still under this covenant and not required to accept the New Covenant made through Jesus Christ? The answer is found within the covenant itself. All nations of the earth were to be blessed through Abraham and his descendants. This is a clear prophetic reference to the Messiah. Thus, from a New Testament perspective, when the Jews rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah they also rejected the salvation part (i.e. "I will be their God" as in a saving relationship) of this covenant and are no longer under its covering.

The Mosaic Covenant

The Mosaic Covenant is an agreement that God made with the nation of Israel at Mt. Sinai through His servant Moses. The foundation of this covenant is found in the Book of Exodus.

The next several chapters of Exodus go into detail as to the nature of this covenant. Note that God said "if you obey my voice and keep my covenant" then the Jews would have a special relationship with God. The problem is that the Jews didn't obey God's commandments and so were never able to fulfill their end of this agreement. However, at least one expositor on the Mosaic Covenant maintains that this agreement was based upon God's grace and not works or strict justice alone: John Piper - God's Covenant Through Moses. Accordingly, even though the Jews had broken this covenant they were still under God's saving grace. This is contrary to the teachings of the New Testament as the apostle Paul makes adamantly clear in his letter to the Christians in Galatia.

Paul is emphatic that justification before God comes not through faith in the Law that God gave to Moses but through faith in Jesus Christ alone. The concluding statement in this passage is unequivocal in its meaning: "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." To say that God's grace allows for righteousness through the Law is to say that Jesus Christ's death meant absolutely nothing. Thus, the New Testament declares that the Mosaic Covenant no longer has any efficacy as far as the Jews or anyone else is concerned in the salvation of humanity.

Dual Covenant Theology

According to Dual Covenant theology, these two covenants are still in effect as far as the Jews are concerned. Therefore, they have no need to accept the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ as atonement for their sins and the resulting salvation from God's judgment of sin. Jews maintain a saving relationship with God through these covenants and Gentiles maintain a saving relationship with God through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. The primary scriptural basis for this doctrine is found in the Book of Romans.

If God has not cast off the Jews then they must still be under the Old Testament covenants that He made with them. The problem with using these verses to justify the Dual Covenant position is that they are taken out of context. In the entire passage of Romans 11:1-32 the apostle Paul makes clear that the Jews have been removed from God's covenant blessing concerning salvation for the time being but that one day He will restore the Jews to His saving grace when they are no longer in unbelief concerning the Messiahship of Jesus Christ.

Paul states clearly that the Jews were the original branch of the Tree of Salvation but that they were broken off because they did not accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah that God sent to them. As a result of this unbelief, God allowed the Gentiles to be grafted in to the Tree of Salvation. However, Paul makes it clear in the entire passage in Romans 11 that this unbelieving national blindness will last "until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" and then "all Israel shall be saved".

The New Testament could not be more clear in its rejection of the tenets of Dual Covenant Theology. The only way to be saved is through Jesus Christ and Him alone.

The passages are too numerous to list that express the same truth as these verses state: There is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ and no other. Jesus Himself and the apostle Peter stated these truths yet proponents of Dual Covenant theology contradict them with their own statements. Also note that in the third passage Jesus refers to the Jews as the lost sheep of the house of Israel. If they were saved under the Old Testament covenants then Jesus would not have referred to them as lost. The heresy of the Dual Covenant doctrine is evidenced by the fact that some Jews may go to hell because some Christians mislead them into thinking they are secure in their salvation without accepting the atoning sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

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