Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's "ESCHATOLOGY 1"
SECTION 2E - Exodus 19 - Acts 1
THE ISRAELITISH AGE and
THE DISPENSATION OF THE LAW
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BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
Edited by Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
- Exodus 19-Acts 1 THE ISRAELITISH AGE and THE DISPENSATION OF THE LAW
This age and dispensation are ushered in by the Mosaic Covenant.
- The key personage is Moses.
- The extent of the period is from the giving of the Law at Sinai to
Christ's death, fulfilling that Law, and laying the foundation for the
beginning of the Church,
- It did not exist from Adam to Moses Rom. 5:13-14
- It was given by Moses John 1:17
- It ruled only till Seed came Gal. 3:19
- The general Scripture portion is from Exodus 19:1 to Acts 1:26
- The characteristic or state of man during its course. To teach
- The awesome holiness of God Ex. 19:10-25
- The exceeding sinfulness of sin Rom. 7:13d; 1 Tim. 1:8-10
- The necessity of absolute obedience Jer. 7:23-24
- The inevitable judgment and curse upon disobedience Gal. 3:10; Dt.
- The special responsibility instituted by God was for Israel to do all
the Law. "He who offends in one point is guilty of all." James 2:10.
The test was "whether man limited to his own efforts, with detailed
regulations governing his conduct in relation to God and his fellowman,
covering his moral, social and religious activities, is able to lead a holy
NOTE: It would not be out of order to caution the student concerning
a statement on page 1115 of the Scofield Reference Bible on John 1:16, where
we read "The point of testing is no longer legal obedience as the
condition of salvation..." This wording is misleading and unfortunate.
Many who knew and admired Dr. Scofield are puzzled by it because it is well
known that he went out of his way to exalt the doctrine of salvation as the
free gift of God through grace. If by "legal obedience" he meant the outward
expression of a personal faith in God's grace, then the concept is correct.
That this evaluation of Dr. Scofield's position is a true one is easily
established. For instance, language coulA|p3t be plainer than in his
conclusion of the last paragraph on point 2 (The Lawful Use of the Law) in
the chapter on Law and Grace, on page 56 (of some editions) of Rightly
Dividing the Word of Truth, as well as the Scriptures quoted under both
points 2 and 3 on pages 55 and 57. The paragraph reads as follows:
"It is evident, then, that God's purpose in giving the law, after the
race had existed twenty-five hundred years without it (]ohn 1:17; Gal.
3:17), was to bring to guilty man the knowledge of his sin first, and then
of his utter helplessness in view of God's just requirements. It is purely
and only a ministration of condemnation and death."
Also, in the center column note on Mark 12:34, Scofield comments on the
phrase "Thou art not far from the kingdom of God" as follows:
"i.e., not far in knowledge. He knew the very law which utterly condemns the
best man - its true office. Rom. 3:19; 10:3-5; Gal. 3:10,22-24." It is
plain from these quotes and many others that could be cited that Scofield
certainly did not mean salvation was or possible by law-keeping. The law was
never a rival means of justification (Gal. 2:21; 3:21). The New Scofield
omits this misunderstood wording of the old note on John 1:16 and
substitutes an excellent emphasis on Scofield's well-known view of salvation
apart from works (John 1:17).
- The failure of man under the test.
Israel was a complete failure under this test. Rom. 10:1-3; Acts 15:10
- The resultant judgment.
- The ten tribes were carried into captivity by Assyria 2 Kings 17
- The two tribes were carried into captivity by Babylon 2 Kings 25
- Israel took the responsibility for Christ's death Mt. 27:25
- The nation was cast aside and dispersed into all the world Mt.
- The gracious intervention of God is seen in that:
- God provided sacrifices for her sins of ignorance
- Moses interceded repeatedly for them
- Joshua pleaded for them
- The judges were raised up to rescue them
- The kings were helped in battle by God
- The prophets warned again and again of impending judgment
- They were provided with protection (Esther)
- They are protected in their present dispersion
- There will be a future restoration of His People
- Future blessing will be theirs in the millennium and in eternity
The law did not change the provisions of, nor abrogate, the promise of God
as given in the Abrahamic Covenant. It was not given as a way to life
(i.e., a rival means of justification, Acts 15:10-11; Gal. 2:16, 21;
3:3-9,14,17, 21, 24, 25) but a way of life for a people already in the
Covenant of Abraham and sheltered by blood sacrifice, e.g., Passover lamb,
etc. Its purpose was to make clear the purity and holiness which should
characterize the life of a people with whom the law of the nation was at
the same time the law of God (Ex. 19:5 -6a), Hence, the law's function in
relation to Israel was one of disciplinary restriction and correction,
like that exercised over Greek and Roman children by the trusted
"household slave" (in Gal. 3:24, the word is incorrectly translated
"schoolmaster") to hold Israel in check and keep God's people from hurting
(1) until Christ should come (He is actually our Schoolmaster, for the
grace which saves us also teaches us, Gal. 3:24; Titus 2:11-12); and
(2) until the Father's appointed time that the heirs (children of promise)
should be removed from a condition of legal minority into the privileges
of heirs who have come of age (Gal. 4:1-3). This God did in sending His
Son, and believers are now in the position of "sons" in the Father's house
(Gal. 4:4-7; 3:26, margin). See New Scofield note on Law, Ex. 19:1.
Unfortunately, Israel misinterpreted the purpose of the law (1 Tim.
1:8-10), sought righteousness by good deeds and ceremonial ordinances
(Rom. 9:31-10:3; Acts 15:1), and rejected her own Messiah (John 1:10). The
history of Israel in the wilderness, in the land, and scattered among the
nations, has been one long record of the violation of the law.
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