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Transcript of Episode 16: The Five Elements And Epochs Of The Kingdom Of God

This is episode SIXTEEN.
We’re discussing The Kingdom of God. I’m Gregory Baus here with Kerry Baldwin, and we’ll be talking about the 5 elements and 5 epochs of God’s Kingdom. As always, we link to resources in the shownotes.
Aside from a couple bonus minisodes in the meantime, it’s been about a year since episode 15. Now’s a great time to listen again and refresh your memory of that content, and be sure to share the podcast website with friends.
Kerry, before we specify and explain what the 5 elements and epochs of the Kingdom of God are, how do we briefly define the Kingdom of God, so it’s clear from the start what we’re talking about?

What we’ll be talking about in terms of the 5 elements and epochs help summarize what we mean by the Kingdom of God (and of course, we’re barely scratching the surface in this episode), but even more concisely, the Kingdom of God is “the new creation.” The New Creation is simply another way to refer to what the Bible means when it’s talking about the Kingdom of God. And one interesting thing is, the whole Bible is, generally, always talking about the Kingdom of God, even when the specific term isn’t present.

Exactly. The central theme and focus of the entire Scriptures (Old and New Testaments) is of course the person and work of Jesus Christ. But exactly because the Bible is all about Jesus, it’s all about His Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, the new creation. And really, in that way, the Kingdom of God is not only the central reality and meaning of Scripture, but Scripture reveals the Kingdom of God to be the central focus and meaning of all created reality and human existence itself.
That’s why this topic is important, and we hope it helps our listeners grasp the unified big-picture of the Bible, life, the universe, and everything (including politics).

And by “new creation,” we ultimately mean what Jesus and Paul refer to as “the world or age to come,” or what Isaiah, Peter, and John call “the new heavens and earth”; that is, the consummated eschatological (or final) reality immediately following Christ’s return. At the moment Christ returns there will be the general resurrection. All those who ever died will be raised in their own bodies –believers raised in glorification and everlasting life; unbelievers raised in corruption and everlasting condemnation– and the Final Judgment will take place.
Separated from the realm of everlasting condemnation, the new creation will be that glorified existence in which God directly and manifestly lives with His redeemed people in ultimate blessing forever. That will be the full realization of God’s Kingdom.
So, with fear and trembling then, introducing some ways to understand this most profound topic, Gregory, what are the 5 “elements” of the Kingdom of God?

While other writers have also pointed to these, we take the 5 elements of the Kingdom of God from Steve Baugh, emeritus professor of New Testament at Westminster Seminary California, currently serving as pastor of Orthodox Presbyterian congregations in Corvallis and Eugene, Oregon. We link to his book The Majesty On High, and many other resources from Baugh in the shownotes.
The 5 elements of the Kingdom of God are:
1. The Ruler of God’s Kingdom, the King, namely God in Jesus Christ
2. The Realm of God’s Kingdom, namely all of creation, particularly the church and the new creation
3. The Reign of God’s Kingdom, the kingship or ruling authority of God in Christ
4. The Ruled of God’s Kingdom, or the recognized subjects who enjoy its benefits, namely those redeemed and regenerated in Christ
5. The Rules or Regulation of God’s Kingdom, its constitution or means of administration, namely Covenant; and since the fall into sin, the Covenant of Saving Grace.

To keep with the alliteration, we could call these the 5 “Royal” elements: there is the Ruler, the Realm, the Reign, those Ruled, and the Regulation of the Kingdom of God. We could say, then, that the Kingdom of God is:
the Ruler-King, God in Christ, in His realm (presently, in this age, “in the midst of His enemies,” but ultimately, in the age to come, in a purified and glorified world), reigning or ruling over His people, the church, His recognized, redeemed subjects, and over all things for their sake, regulated by, or administered through, the Covenant –since the fall, the Covenant of Grace.

And it will become clearer how all this can be summarized as “The New Creation.”
Perhaps the least obvious, or least well-known, of these elements is the fifth element of covenant, as the regulation of the Kingdom of God, which relates directly to the 5 epochs.
Kerry, we’ve mentioned covenant and Reformed Covenant Theology before, but how do we understand the biblical meaning of covenant?

In general, by a covenant, we mean a sworn, or oath-bound commitment, made unilaterally from one party to another, or mutually between parties, in which an oath to or from the Divine is made or implied. A covenant is an obligating arrangement, or formal disposition, that can exist, for example, between humans (such as between a man and a woman in marriage), or between God and humans or other creatures. The particular covenants in Scripture that we’ll be highlighting here, are those established by God with His people that constitute His Kingdom and by which God regulates or administers His Kingdom.

Yes, and like the kingdom itself, a covenant can have several elements. In our basic definition of covenant, two elements are highlighted. First, there are the stipulations of a covenant, or what is being committed-to, and second, there are the sanctions of a covenant, given in an oath. This is often a so-called “self-maledictory” oath, calling on God to bring some curse or penalty if the commitment being sworn-to is not fulfilled.
In Luke 22 Jesus says “I appoint [or assign] to you, as my Father has appointed [or assigned] to me, a kingdom.” This word for appoint or assign is a form of the word testament or covenant. So Jesus is saying that God’s Kingdom comes thru Him by way of covenant.

To gain a more concrete idea of the regulation, or covenantal administration of the Kingdom of God, understanding the 5 epochs of God’s Kingdom is crucial.
(Just to be clear these are epochs [EH-puhks] as in E-P-O-C-H, a distinct period of time, an age or era, not epic [EH-pihk] E-P-I-C, as in a grand adventure story. Although the epochs are also epic, of course.)
For an overview of Reformed Covenant Theology we highly recommend the Spring 2024 season of Santa Clarita United Reformed Church’s Friday Night Academy. In a series of 12 lectures with times of Q&A, pastor Charles Lee Irons covers systematic, biblical, and practical perspectives on our covenant theology.
We take the 5 epochs of the Kingdom of God from Irons’ The Upper-Register podcast and video presentation of what has been called “The Grid,” a helpful graphic that illustrates the 5 epochs. And we link all these, and a few related books, in the shownotes. What we explain in this episode is only a very general summary, and these resources offer a fuller explanation.
Gregory, before we elaborate a little on each, what are the 5 epochs of the Kingdom of God in summary?

The 5 epochs of the Kingdom of God are:
1. The First Epoch, from the creation of humanity in Eden to the fall into sin:
the Kingdom Probation, in which the new creation was offered (or to keep an alliteration with the letter ‘P’) proffered through the Covenant of Works.
From the fall into sin onward the particular covenants through which the Kingdom of God would be regulated are all administrations of the one Covenant of Grace.
2. The Second Epoch, from the fall to Moses:
the Kingdom Promised, in which the new creation promise was initially revealed to our first parents and made more specific with the Abrahamic covenant.
3. The Third Epoch, from Moses at Sinai to Christ’s first coming:
the Kingdom Prefigured, in which the new creation was uniquely foreshadowed typologically, or symbolically, in the old (Mosaic) covenant.
4. The Fourth Epoch, from Christ’s first coming to His second coming:
the Kingdom Present-Inauguration, in which the new creation is spiritually begun in the everlasting new covenant.
5. The Fifth Epoch, from Christ’s second coming thru all eternity, never-ending:
the Kingdom Parousia-Consummation, in which the new creation is fully realized, perpetually-fulfilling that everlasting new covenant, administering its consummate benefits to those redeemed in Christ.

So we have the Kingdom
Probation, or proffered; then after the fall –Promised, Prefigured, Presently-Inaugurated, and (the ultimate) Parousia-Consummated.
The Parousia, of course, is that biblical Greek word meaning presence, appearance, or arrival, by which we often refer to Christ’s return or second coming in Final Judgment.
During the current Fourth Epoch, the Kingdom Presently Inaugurated, while Christ is reigning in the midst of His enemies, and He will certainly succeed in building His church by applying salvation to all His chosen people for whom He accomplished it, from every ethnic group… Although the gospel has inevitable implications for the whole of human life, God has not promised that this will necessarily result in any predominantly “Christianized” societies or cultures before His Parousia, contrary to the erroneous views of so-called “postmillennialists.”
Also, at His return, Christ will not be setting-up a 1,000-year earthly-political kingdom, contrary to the erroneous views of so-called “premillennialists,” rather He will consummate His Kingdom in the final and Fifth Epoch, the glorified, everlasting New Heavens and Earth.

That’s right. Before we go on to explain a little about each of the 5 epochs of God’s Kingdom, it’s worth mentioning that what’s known as Dispensationalism is, in part, a terrible distortion of these biblically-revealed, covenantally-administered epochs, and it seriously misinterprets the nature of the Kingdom of God, along with the rest of the history of biblical revelation. Under the guise of so-called Evangelicalism (which we reject as confessionally Reformed Christians) the heresy* [see note at bottom] of Dispensationalism has been used by some to justify the worst of the United States government’s murderous, warmongering foreign policy.
We may, in a future episode, address some political implications of the biblical, Reformed Covenant view of the Kingdom of God that we’re presenting now.
In any case, Kerry, how can we briefly explain the First Epoch of the Kingdom of God –The Kingdom Probation, or the Kingdom Proffered– that helps set the stage for the following four epochs?

Human beings were created by God in His image, and among other things, that involved a prospect of their advancement to a consummated, glorified existence, revealed in the Covenant of Works in Eden. This can be seen by the two special trees in the garden.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil symbolized Adam’s probationary testing as humanity’s covenant representative. He and Eve were forbidden from eating that tree’s fruit, and the threatened penalty of disobedience was (not temporary bodily death, but) everlasting condemnation, what we now call the “second” death, body and soul.
Also, the Tree of Eternal Life symbolized confirmation of reward after successfully passing the test. The fullness of that reward is what believers now expect in their resurrection or glorification. Just as Jesus received the reward in His own resurrection and glorified ascension, the Covenant of Works involved the possible merit of glorification in body and soul, in a glorified world.
And as a further sign of humanity’s reward upon prospective completion of their labor, God established the Sabbath, symbolizing their consummate and glorified eternal rest, entering into God’s own rest.

Surprisingly, sadly, some Reformed believers have never been taught about this! Or if they have, they erroneously object to it.
But the Covenant of Works and the epoch of the Kingdom Probation is absolutely crucial to the genuinely Reformed view of creation, fall, redemption, all else that is revealed in Scripture, all the major points of doctrine, our view of cultural activity after the fall, and the Kingdom of God.
One of the catchphrases to summarize part of this idea is: “eschatology precedes soteriology”. (Perhaps, another phrase for a t-shirt).
Soteriology, of course, is the study or doctrine of salvation. And eschatology is the study or doctrine of “last things.” What’s being emphasized by saying “eschatology precedes soteriology” is that even before the fall into sin, and the need for salvation from the wrath of God and eternal condemnation because of our sin, there was, from the beginning, a prelapsarian or pre-fall creational eschatology or built-in dynamic to history that involved a test and possible reward or punishment that had in view either an everlasting, glorified new heavens&earth in blessing or an everlasting condition of corruption and condemnation.

Before the fall, in Eden, in view of that creational eschatology, God gave humanity a mandate to be fruitful, to multiply, fill, and subdue the earth, to have dominion over it, to cultivate and guard it. As humans were created as Royal-Priests in God’s image, this involved both kingly and priestly elements together. In a unique theocratic arrangement, humans were to protect, extend, develop, populate, and consecrate the holy sanctuary throughout the world, and so obtain the eschatological fulfillment of God’s kingdom by God crowning humanity’s completed labor with glorification. After successfully passing the probation, this work was to occur in a condition of confirmed righteousness. In that confirmed condition, humanity would then be unable to sin, and would have perfectly fulfilled the pre-fall cultural mandate.
But, since Adam failed the test and broke the Covenant of Works, our first parents and their natural posterity became liable to eternal death; damnation in body and soul. However, instead of carrying out the threatened punishment immediately, God had mercy and in Gen 3:15 made the first promise of the gospel, establishing the Covenant of Grace. Christ, the Seed, was promised to defeat Satan as Adam failed to do. The eschatological judgment would be postponed, and there would be temporal common grace and a temporal common curse, frustrating our now modified cultural labors in pain and temporal death.

We discuss more about common grace and common curse in Episode 4, addressing how Christians should view our cultural activity after the fall, and how it differs from the original cultural mandate before the fall.
In any case, the First Epoch of the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom Probation, administered by the Covenant of Works, establishes the fundamental context for all the following covenantally-administered epochs of God’s Kingdom within the Covenant of Saving Grace.
Kerry, how can we briefly explain the Second Epoch of the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom Promised?

This epoch begins from the first promise of the gospel, that God will make some people Satan’s enemies (implying reconciliation with God), and that one descendant, a definitive Seed of the woman, would finally destroy Satan, tho being wounded. God’s own people as the institutional church, was then set apart and established as a distinct community.
As humans multiplied, God’s people would become a smaller and smaller minority, until only Noah and his household remained members of the church. Because of the Covenant of Grace, God saved them through the great judgment of the Flood. Afterwards God made common grace more explicit in a non-redemptive covenant. Briefly, common grace involves God’s promise that final judgment will be postponed, and that in the meantime He will continue to preserve the creation order, and human society and culture, as the common context in which He will continue to work to build and bring His own Kingdom.
Following this, God then makes the promise of His Kingdom even more explicit with Abraham.

At first, God promises to give Abraham a land and many descendants, and blessing, and to make him a blessing to people of all ethnic groups. God later confirms that promise by a covenant oath, and later adds the sign and seal of circumcision, promising to be the God of Abraham and his descendants forever. By grace, God promises Himself to be Abraham’s reward. And Scripture makes clear that this was not merely a covenant-promise of an earthly land, descendants, and blessing, but ultimately it was a promise of the Seed, Christ, with all those spiritual descendants in Christ, and the Land of the glorified new heavens and earth; a promise of the new creation Kingdom of God.
Of course God continues to administer this epoch of His Kingdom with Isaac, and Jacob (renamed Israel), and the people of Israel, and the promises continue through the time of Moses and the Exodus, on into their inaugural fulfillment with Christ’s first coming. But at the Exodus, God adds a covenant, distinct from His covenant with Abraham, and begins the Third Epoch, the Kingdom Prefigured.
Kerry, what can we say, briefly, about the Third Epoch of the Kingdom of God?

The Third Epoch, the Kingdom Prefigured, beginning at Sinai until Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension, was regulated and administered by what is often called the Mosaic covenant, otherwise known as the “Law,” or the old covenant.
One important and distinct feature of this epoch is that the normal operations of common grace were temporarily suspended. In connection with the nation, especially within the borders of old covenant Israel, God set up, for a limited time, a special arrangement we call a typological theocracy. The “typology” here means a kind of symbol that foreshadows something in the future. Ultimately it’s a symbol of Christ coming in Final Judgment, and the new creation; but for that reason, it also symbolizes what Christ did at His first coming — Himself suffering God’s righteous condemnation of evil for His people, and destroying sin, death, and Satan on His people’s behalf.
But if this was a typological theocracy, Gregory, how do we understand it’s having been a theocracy?

Somewhat similar to Eden, but in a post-fall context, we see that the kingly and priestly elements were connected in a special way in the Kingdom Prefigured under the old covenant. Outside the old covenant, after the fall, common civil governance (the administration of civil justice by responsive coercion) and the objectively holy sphere of the church are established as distinct from each other. But under the old Mosaic covenant, while the particular offices of elders, and judges, and later kings, are different from that of priests and Levites, the arrangement of God’s people in that covenant brought them together in a unified institution; a theocratic nation, a uniquely holy political community, unlike the church in the prior epoch of the Kingdom Promised, and unlike the church under the new covenant, in the Kingdom Presently Inaugurated.

Yes, jumping ahead a little: It’s important to emphasize that while the new covenant, and the gospel, have implications for all of human life in this world, including for society and culture and politics, the Kingdom Presently Inaugurated, the new covenant church, is NOT itself political.
(You might hear otherwise from some Christian libertarians, but, at best, they’re speaking in a vague or confused way.)
In any case, the Kingdom Prefigured, the old covenant theocracy involved, for example, special restricted (non-free market) land and debt arrangements in a cycle of Sabbatical years. Further, even some non-aggressive immorality (immorality that didn’t involve initiation of coercion against persons and property) such as idolatry, blasphemy, Sabbath-breaking, cursing one’s parents, adultery and other sexual sins, were to receive coercive penalties. And, the prior Canaanite inhabitants were to be devoted to destruction.
(Be sure to check out our episode 15 for more about the question of theocracy, and Gregory’s discussion with Jacob Winograd of the Biblical Anarchy podcast, ep.14 for more about the Conquest of Canaan.)

Exactly. One of the other important and distinct features of the old Mosaic covenant was that, while the Abrahamic promises of salvation by grace in Christ were not annulled or changed by it, the old covenant Law added a temporary typological principle of works, reflecting the pre-fall Covenant of Works with humanity, but on a national-level, that involved typological blessings and curses, related to retaining and external prosperity in the land (or, the actual result: destruction, desolation, and exile). Most importantly, it provided an explicit covenant context in which Christ would fulfill the Law, achieve all genuine righteousness, and also suffer and remove the eschatological curse for His people, and so in that way Christ would be the fulfillment of all that was ultimately promised by grace to God’s people in the Abrahamic covenant.
(See more, in the shownotes, about the relation between Abrahamic, Mosaic, and New covenants, and about the typological works principle in the Old Covenant.)
And this leads us, of course, into the current Fourth Epoch, the Kingdom Present-Inauguration. Kerry, how can we briefly explain the epoch of the Kingdom of God we live in now?

The current and Fourth Epoch of God’s Kingdom began at Christ’s first coming, His life, death, resurrection, ascension, and at the culmination of these in Christ’s pouring-out the Holy Spirit on His New Covenant people at that last Feast of Weeks, or First-Fruits Harvest, that was Pentecost.
This inaugurated the very Kingdom of God, the prospect of which was initially forfeited in humanity’s failed Probation in Adam, but then mercifully Promised in Christ to all God’s people through the ages in the Covenant of Grace, specified with Abraham, and temporarily Prefigured in the typological theocracy of the old covenant. And this current epoch of the Present Inaugurated Kingdom will continue until Christ’s return or Parousia in Final Judgment, bringing-in the consummation of the new creation.
Christ’s life of humbled active obedience to God (fulfilling all that the Law required), and passive obedience (voluntarily suffering the pains and death of the Law’s curse), all on behalf of His people from all ethnic groups in all epochs, definitively accomplished salvation in history, and earned for Him God’s Kingdom, the eschatological reward of glorification, and exaltation to total dominion over all things, that the first Adam failed to earn.

And Christ, the Lord and King, now gives and guarantees what He has earned by His work, this free salvation, the full forgiveness of sins and His own perfect righteousness, new spiritual birth, the foretaste and down payment of the Holy Spirit, new creation, resurrection to everlasting life, permanent entrance into, and final inheritance of, the Kingdom of God, by spiritual union with Him, to all those who put their trust in Him, resting in Him and His work alone, on their behalf, for this great salvation.
Praise God, that’s the gospel! That’s the good news of salvation, finally revealed and historically accomplished in the New Covenant.

Absolutely. That’s the good news!
And that entails that in this current epoch of the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom Presently Inaugurated that God’s people are the visible, institutional church, the temple and family of God, the organized body and bride of Christ. And through the Scriptures rightly preached, the Sacraments properly administered, and all the ordinances of the church with discipline, the means of grace, Christ Himself is building the Kingdom of God, gathering His elect and sanctifying them in God’s Kingdom.

Before we conclude with a little about the Fifth Epoch, the Kingdom’s ultimate epoch, yet-to-come, it’s important to highlight a distinction that will clarify an often-confused issue about cultural activity and the Kingdom of God.
There is a crucial distinction between “objective” and “subjective” and between what we’ve already touched-on, among the Five Elements of the Kingdom, namely, the realm of the Kingdom, and the reign or kingship of Christ over that Kingdom.
There is a subjective recognition of Christ’s reign that comes by faith (that is, trusting), in Christ and His work alone, on one’s behalf, for salvation. That subjective recognition of His reign is part of being one of those who are ruled by Him and enjoy the benefits of His reign. And part of the believer’s recognition of Christ’s reign is recognizing His reign in their whole lives and every part of it. Insofar as Christians discover and apply the implications that the gospel and Scriptural teachings have for all of life, including for one’s life in society, culture, and politics, this can be part of a Christian’s subjective recognition of Christ’s reign in their lives, and outwardly manifests God’s Kingdom.
At the same time (and this is where a lot of people fail to distinguish and get confused), the objective realm of God’s Kingdom is the consummate new heavens&earth. Christ presently reigns over all creation for the sake of His church, and in this current epoch, the objective realm of His objectively-holy Kingdom is manifest as the institutional church alone, and not as the common culture, politics, or other societal relations in which Christians participate.

Yes, this is a key point, and distinguishes a consistently biblical Reformed view from other views.
A believer’s subjective recognition of Christ’s reign in their life can involve their subjective sanctification of all their cultural activity including their political life (which we discussed in episode 4). But this subjective sanctification in *no way* involves areas of life outside the institutional church being (or becoming) the objective realm or institutions of God’s Kingdom presently.
While some contemporary so-called “two-kingdoms” advocates, and some would-be neocalvinists are confused about this, this position on the distinction between subjective recognition of Christ’s reign and objective realm of His Kingdom is affirmed by Reformed biblical theologians Geerhardus Vos and Meredith Kline, and Reformed philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd.
Added to that, we emphasize that the institutional church and the Kingdom in this epoch are distinct from all politics or civil governance that inherently involves responsive coercion. The fact that the gospel has implications for politics does not make the gospel itself, or the Kingdom (in any of its elements) or the new covenant church “political”. When this is confused –as it is among many theonomists, theocrats, Christian nationalists, and conservatives, *and* among theological liberals, social-gospellers, even some professing Christians who affirm libertarianism– when people say the gospel, or the church, or kingdom is political, it’s not a proclamation of Jesus as Lord and King, but rather, it’s taking His Name in vain.
With those important distinctions and clarifications, we can conclude with a little about the Fifth Epoch. Gregory, how can we briefly explain this definitive epoch of the Kingdom of God, God’s Kingdom per se, the Kingdom Parousia-Consummation?

This final and never-ending epoch, consummating the ultimate benefits of the New Covenant for all those redeemed in Christ throughout the Covenant of Grace in all ages, comes at Christ’s return in Final Judgment.
1 Corinthians 15: 50 says emphatically “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.” This entails not only must one’s sins be forgiven (and that one be given perfect righteousness) by Christ’s work on one’s behalf, but also entails that one must be transformatively glorified as Christ was in His own resurrection (a resurrection that guarantees the glorification of all those in Him by trust alone); an eschatological advancement in one’s human nature, making one incorruptible, like the Kingdom itself.
Those outside of Christ, will be everlastingly condemned, forever outside of God’s Kingdom, and will receive that eschatological death in body and soul, first threatened in the Probation.
The consummated Kingdom of God is really a second stage of what is presently inaugurated by Christ’s first-coming, by virtue of the establishment of the New Covenant. If Christ’s accomplishment of salvation in history at His first coming inaugurated the fulfillment of all the earlier promises and prefigurations, then His second coming fulfills the fulfillment, consummates the accomplishment in the fullest realization. For His people, death will be not only defeated in principle, but will be that last enemy consummately destroyed with sin and Satan forever.

It is the Return of Christ, the Final Judgment, and His Consummation of the New Creation that we are ultimately asking God to bring when we pray in the Lord’s Prayer “thy Kingdom come.”
Revelation 21:1-4 puts it this way:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’”
And we’ll conclude this episode with that.
Come again, Lord Jesus.

Amen. Return soon, Lord.
In the meantime, Lord willing, we will be working to produce at least one episode a month, and we’re now working on an ebook, a free ebook (and probably an inexpensive print version) we hope to publish within the year. So, we ask you to pray with us, as we write the book.

Differing forms of Dispensationalism (heretical or not) have been used by some to justify the worst of the United States government’s murderous, warmongering foreign policy. One of Dispensationalism’s erroneous beliefs (in all its forms) is that after the first advent of Christ, God’s promise to give the physical territory of Canaan to the physical descendants of Israel remains in effect.
A doctrinal “heresy” can be understood as a teaching that denies some point of orthodox creedal teaching. The heretical teaching we had in mind (and should have specified) is the belief that prior to Christ’s first advent, or during the era of the Law (or Old Covenant), salvation was not by grace through faith in Christ, the promised Savior. Not all forms of Dispensationalism teach this, however.
For further discussion of Dispensationalism, see this lecture on The New Covenant:


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