Chafer comes to us from the pure Dispensationalist school, com pleats with and age for everything in God’s working over time.
Here he states:
Their [national Israel’s] destiny is traceable on into the millennium and the new earth which follows. However, in the present age, bounded as it is by the two advents of Christ, all progress in the national and earthly program for Israel is in abeyance and individual Jews are given the same privilege as individual gentiles of the exercise of personal faith in Christ as Savior and out of those thus redeemed, both Jews and Gentiles, the heavenly people are being called. It is clearly indicated throughout the prophetic scriptures that when the present purpose is accomplished God will, in all faithfulness, return to the full completion of His earthly promises in Israel (Acts 15:14-18; Rom. 11:24-27).
Chafer bases his argument on only seeing Heavenly promises to the Church and only seeing earthly promises to Israel. If this were to be the case then Israel should be found to have no heavenly promise, and the church no earthly promise. And neither of them should possess promises together. So what do we actually find?
Before we tackle this question however, I want us to consider what Chafer states about the current age. Let’s consider again what he says:
However, in the present age, bounded as it is by the two advents of Christ, all progress in the national and earthly program for Israel is in abeyance and individual Jews are given the same privilege as individual gentiles of the exercise of personal faith in Christ as Savior”…
What does Christ have to say about this age when He is asked by Jews about marriage in the Age to come? If Chafer is right; then this message from Jesus to Jews should be an earthly message. For these Jews to whom Jesus speaks are still living in what is Old Testament times. This is understood even in Chafer’s description of Israel’s time — Listen to Jesus’ answer to Jews, who are still in Israel:
Luke 20:33 “In the resurrection therefore, which one’s wife will she be? For all seven had married her.” 34 Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; (NASB1995)
Notice that Jesus speaks of this age being not Israel’s age but the age of marriage and giving in marriage; and He speaks of the age following resurrection not as being for them earthly, but as you read this account further He goes on to say that they will be as angels without marriage. In fact, you may look for the term church age in scripture, but you will find no “church age” mentioned in all of scripture.
If we study Isa 49, we find that because of Israel’s barrenness she is shown to consider herself without children, yet:
Isaiah 49:20 “The children of whom you were bereaved will yet say in your ears, ‘The place is too cramped for me; Make room for me that I may live [here.]’ 21 “Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who has begotten these for me, Since I have been bereaved of my children And am barren, an exile and a wanderer? And who has reared these? Behold, I was left alone; From where did these come?'” (NASB1995)
This is but one of the promises that Dispensationalists forget, which God has made to Israel. In other places God tells why it is that she will be barren. In Isa 54 she is seen to be widowed following the death of her redeemer, which we see occurring in Isa 53, the previous Chapter. Here in Isa 54, we have a wife who is widowed. Surely in this state she can have no more legitimate children from her dead husband, but Jesus is not dead, and He has chosen to produce for her from the Gentiles, ingrafted children during this time of her dispersion and bereavement. And as we look deeper in Isa. chapter 54 she is promised to again be remarried to her redeemer. He is the very one who died for her sins which were committed against Him. The greatest of which was when she took part in His death.
So back to chapter 49 we see her asking who has born me these when I was barren? In fact as we study we see that these who are born to her are so many that the boundaries must be expanded in the land promised to her in order to accommodate them all. We read in this chapter of the Gentiles coming to the light. A foretelling of what has happened through Christ. Then we read from Paul the great scholar of the Old Testament scriptures these words:
Ephesians 3:3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. 4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; 6 [to be specific,] that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, (NASB1995)
It is these very Gentiles who are the offspring of Israel while she is dispersed and then considering herself barren. And this all happens following her future awakening to the gospel and to her messiah.
This prophetic conversation is being had with Her Messianic Husband in a time still future.
Paul also speaks of us Gentiles as being outside of the promises and covenants which were given to this body of which we are now a part. Before the gospel placed us in Christ (Israel’s Messiah), our condition was bleak. Those covenants and promises were all Old Testament prophecies but Paul now understands that they even made provision for us Gentiles (in Christ), as we see in Isa 49, and this is confirmed here in Ephesians. Elsewhere we are told that we will reign with Him (Christ) Israel’s Redeemer; her Husband and her King as part of this one body. And her promises relating to this coming reign are all earthly during the millennial kingdom. And we are part of that one body, that one bride, who reigns on earth over the earth thus fulfilling these promises.
So is Chafer right in his division of what Paul calls the one new man? And the Olive tree? Think about it.
Because beyond the millennium: I (we) shall all “dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. Yes Israel and her offspring born to her while she was barren and bereaved will bear both an earthly and a heavenly future as one people of God.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are A CHOSEN PEOPLE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR [G][OD’S] OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.
Scripture is God’s truth. It tells a story consistently from book to book, it will not contradict itself, unlike man’s own understanding of these things.