by Jerry Shugart
Israel's new Diatheke in Regard to Gentile Salvation
In his book The Case For Progressive Dispensationalism Robert Saucy says that "our discussion of the New Testament teaching concerning the inauguration of the new testament and its contemporary application to Jews and Gentiles alike in the church has already given clear evidence that the Old Testament prophecy of eschatology salvation for the Gentiles is being fulfilled in this present age" [emphasis added] (Saucy, The Case For Progressive Dispensationalism, p.135).
That cannot possibly be true because the OT prophecies reveal that when Israel's New Diatheke will be in force the Gentiles will be saved through the agency of the nation of Israel:
"Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you...Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor" (Isa.55:3,5; NIV).
When Israel's New Diatheke will be in force (referred to here as an "everlasting covenant") the Gentiles will be saved as a result to the agency of the nation of Israel. Certainly this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled because at the present time the nation of Israel has not been endowed with splendor by the Lord.
The following prophecy also reveals that when Israel's New Diatheke will be in force the Gentiles will be saved as a result of the agency of the Jews:
"And I will bring them (Israel), and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness...And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing...In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you" (Zech.8:8,13,23).
It is evident these prophecies are not now being fulfilled. Despite this Dr. Saucy asserts that "the Old Testament prophecy of eschatological salvation for the Gentiles is being fulfilled in this present age."
The Fall of Them
The Apostle Paul states in no uncertain terms that it is through Israel's fall that salvation has come to the Gentiles:
"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. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?" (Ro.11:11-12).
Saucy also understand this fact so later he backtracks, saying that "First--and with this advocates of the other position concur--the present salvific operation of God in not in strict accord with the Old Testament prophecies cited. The Old Testament passages quoted by Paul picture a Gentile salvation in the context of a redeemed Israel " [emphasis added] (Ibid., pp.136-137).
So Saucy says that "Old Testament prophecy of eschatology salvation for the Gentiles is being fulfilled in this present age" but then he turns around and admits that it is not in strict accord with the OT prophecies.