Populating the Third Heaven Part 2 -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 108:431 (Jul 1951)
Article: Populating the Third Heaven Part 2
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer


Populating the Third Heaven
Part 2

Lewis Sperry Chafer

(Concluded from the April-June Number, 1951)

III. The Believer’s Responsibility

The present dispensation, which is bounded by the two advents of Christ, is easily confused with the age which has gone before—that of fifteen hundred years, when God was dealing specifically with the nation Israel—and also with the coming age, when God will be dealing again with His people Israel for a period of one thousand years. Utterly different divine economies are designed for these three distinct ages—that which is past, that which is present, and that which is future. One of Covenant theology’s most distracting errors is the attempt to run these ages or dispensations into one unchangeable, continued story.

As there is a divine economy for each of these periods, there is a corresponding requirement for human conduct in each age. Here, again, much theology has misguided Christians. Each age-responsibility, on the human side, reflects the existing relationship between God and His people.

During the past age God was governing Israel in the land, and on a basis of human merit. Though ample provisions were made for a complete restoration for those who failed at any time to comply with the law which was then required, the restoration was unto the blessings provided by the covenants which existed and this restoration was far removed from personal salvation.

During the coming age Israel, as to covenant relationship which governs their conduct, will be under a new covenant, one designed to supersede the Mosaic Law which

they failed to keep (Jer 31:31); yet it is revealed that the Mosaic Law will be in force with all its features including the Sabbath day requirements (cf. Deut 30:8; Isa 66:23), and thus they continue the legal merit system.

In the present age the manner of life or conduct expected of the believer is in harmony with his exalted standing in Christ, which standing has been set forth to some extent in the previous portion of this thesis. The details may be restated here since reference is to be made to them. It has been pointed out that there are three times in the experience of the believer when mighty changes are divinely wrought, and these are:

1. At the time of salvation or regeneration.

a. The saved one is forgiven all sin—past, present, and future, and to a completeness which is suitable to the sphere of heaven; that is, he is prepared for the presence ...

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