Dispensational Time-Identity

The purpose of the Dispensation for Restoration which is to fulfil the
Purpose of the Creation, will be fulfilled through the Messiah. 
Fallen man's responsibility is therefore to prepare the foundation
necessary for the coming of the Messiah, that is, the Foundation for
the Messiah.  This responsibility consists of meeting the indemnity
conditions necessary to restore the Foundation of Faith and the
Foundation of Substance.

What happens if the central person of the Dispensation fails to
fulfill his responsibility to meet the indemnity conditions?  The goal
of the Dispensation for Restoration was conceived in the mind of God,
who is absolute, and therefore the goal of the Dispensation is also
absolute and must be fulfilled (Is 48:11).  Therefore, should a
central person fail, God chooses another person to carry out His Will,
even though this prolongs the dispensational history.  At the time God
chooses the new central person, the circumstances, events, and people
surrounding the new central person will be similar to those under
which God chose his predecessor.  Even if there is a two thousand or
four thousand year hiatus in the history of restoration, similar
circumstances, events, and person will appear.  This reappearance of
past circumstances, events, and people is called Dispensational Time-
Identity.  This phenomenon of Dispensational Time-Identity appears in
accordance with God's Dispensation for Restoration through indemnity.

What factors create time-identity in dispensation history?  The answer
to this lies in the efforts by God and man to restore the Foundation
for The Messiah through the indemnity process.  In other words, the
contents of a time-identity period consist of a central person, the
time period, the required offering, the actions by which the central
person establishes the Foundation of Faith, and the course through
which the central person meets the Indemnity Condition to Remove the
Fallen Nature and establishes the Foundation of Substance.

The levels and contents of the Foundation for the Messiah have
expanded from those of the family level to those of the national and
world-wide levels.  Although the Dispensation for Restoration may be
prolonged due to man's failure in carrying out his responsibility, God
restores all that is lost by expanding his level of activity.  For
example, when the chosen people who were responsible for the national
Foundation for the Messiah failed, God did not choose another nation
for another national dispensation.  If the world-wide dispensation is
successfully completed, through it the national dispensation will be
simultaneously recovered.


                       A.  Division of the Ages

Abraham's family established the family Foundation for the Messiah. 
For the first time in human history a victorious foundation on which
God could work was established on earth. Thus, with Abraham's family,


God could begin the Dispensation for Restoration.  Then, what is the
meaning of the history prior to the time of Abraham?

Since Abraham failed in his first sacrificial offering, history up to
Abraham's later foundation of victory was taken by Satan.  Therefore,
that period of history became only the foundation for the Dispensation
for Restoration, with Abraham's descendants becoming the people chosen
to carry out God's Will.  Viewed in retrospect, the period from Adam
to Abraham is the period in which God established the foundation for
the Dispensation for Restoration, and thus it can be called the
Dispensational Age of the Foundation for Restoration through
Indemnity.  Seen from the viewpoint of Dispensation Time-Identity it
was the Age of Symbolic Time-Identity.  In that age, God intended to
establish the family Foundation for the Messiah.

The time from Abraham's family to Jesus was the age of God's
dispensation to restore through indemnity the lost Dispensational Age
of the Foundation for Restoration.  This period is called the
Dispensational Age of Restoration.  From the view- point of
Dispensational Time-Identity, it was the Age of Image Time-Identity. 
In this age, God's dispensation was to establish the national
Foundation for the Messiah.

Jesus came to complete the Dispensation for Restoration.  If the
secular and religious Israelite leaders of Jesus' day had followed
him, God's Dispensation for Restoration would have been completely
accomplished at that time.  Sinful history would have ended, and a new
history, centered on God, would have begun, fulfilling the Ideal for
the Creation.  The new heaven and earth that the Bible speaks of would
have been established at that time.  However, because of the chosen
people's faithlessness toward Jesus, he was crucified and God's
Dispensation could not be concluded.  Jesus could do nothing other
than promise that he would come again, and Christians have had to wait
in hope for the time of the Second Coming.

Consequently, the time from Jesus' crucifixion to the Second Coming
has been the age of God's dispensation to restore the uncompleted
Dispensational Age of Restoration by means of its prolongation.  Thus,
this age is called the Dispensational Age of Prolongation of
Restoration.  From the viewpoint of Dispensational Time-Identity, it
is the Age of Substantial Time-Identity.  In this age, God intended to
establish the world-wide Foundation for the Messiah.

            B.  The Parallels among the Dispensational Ages

As explained at the beginning of this chapter, the three
dispensational ages are all directed toward the purpose of
establishing the Foundation for the Messiah.  As a result, similar
conditions, events, and persons recur in the course of human history,
and the three dispensational ages show direct parallels or time-
identity among each other.

The parallels between the Ages of Image Time-Identity (Abraham to
Jesus) and Substantial Time-Identity (Jesus to the Second Coming) will
be dealt with here, while their parallels with the Age of Symbol Time-
Identity (Adam to Abraham) will be explained in the more advanced
Outline of the Principle, Level V


In the Dispensational Age of Restoration, the central nation
responsible for God's dispensation was the Chosen nation of Israel. 
The central history, of course, was the history of the nation of
Israel, centered on Judaism.  The detailed record of that history is
found in the Old Testament.

In the Dispensational Age of the Prolongation of Restoration, the
central people in charge of God's dispensation was not the nation of
Israel, but rather those who believed in and followed Jesus, the
Christians.  Since the Christians inherited the mission of Israel,
they became the Second Israel.  As a result, the history of
Christianity provides the central historical data for the
Dispensational Age of the Prolongation of Restoration.

The Dispensational Age of Restoration is divided into six sub-periods,
titled:  Slavery in Egypt; Judges; United Kingdom; Divided Kingdoms of
North and South; Jewish Captivity and Return; and Preparation for the

The Dispensational Age of the Prolongation of Restoration is also
divided in a similar manner, producing six sub-periods, titled: 
Persecution in the Roman Empire; Christian Churches under the
Patriarchal system; Christian Kingdom; Divided Kingdoms of East and
West; Papal Captivity and Return; and Preparation for the Second
Coming of the Messiah.

The difference of almost two thousand years is not the only difference
between the histories of the Dispensation Age of Restoration and the
Dispensational Age of the Prolongation of Restoration -- differences
in national, environmental, and cultural background are also involved. 
Nevertheless, each of the six sub-periods in the Age of Restoration is
a period of time-identity with its corresponding sub-period in the Age
of the Prolongation of Restoration.  Each time-identity is described
below.  The remarkable similarities show that human history has been
moving in accordance with the living God's consistent Dispensation for

          I.  The Period of Slavery in Egypt and the Period 
                  of Persecution in the Roman Empire

The Period of Slavery in Egypt began as a result of Abraham's failure
in the offering.  It is the period in which Jacob's twelve sons and
seventy kinsmen entered Egypt, which represented the satanic world,
and in which their descendants were miserably persecuted by the
Egyptians.  The Period of Persecution in the Roman Empire began as a
result of the Israelites' failure to believe in Jesus.  This is the
period in which Jesus' twelve apostles, seventy disciples, and the
early Christians underwent miserable persecution in the Roman Empire,
which represented the satanic world.

During the four-hundred-year period of oppression in Egypt, the chosen
people of Israel maintained their position as God's faithful amidst
their suffering by performing the rite of circumcision, offering
sacrifices, and keeping the Sabbath.  Similarly, for approximately
four hundred years during the period of persecution in the Roman
Empire, the Christians maintained their position as God's faithful by
keeping the Sabbath, living a life of sacrifice, and performing the
sacraments of holy communion and baptism.


After the four-hundred-year Period of Slavery in Egypt, God chose
Moses to subjugate Pharaoh and lead the Israelites to a new
environment, the land of Canaan.  Likewise, Christianity, which had
been persecuted, gained legal recognition 313 A.D. and was declared
the state religion of the Roman Empire in 392 A.D.  In this way,
Christians came to be restored out of the satanic world into a
spiritual Canaan.

After the Period of Slavery in Egypt, Moses received the Ten
Commandments on Mount Sinai, setting up the core of the Old Testament. 
By revering the tablets of stone, the tabernacle, and the ark of the
covenant, the chosen people of the First Israel prepared themselves to
receive the Messiah.  Likewise, toward the end of the Period of
Persecution in the Roman Empire, the chosen people of the Second
Israel collected Jesus' words and the writings of the apostles and
established the New Testament and churches centered on the Word, thus
laying a foundation necessary for the Second Coming.

          2.  The Period of the Judges and the Period of the 
            Christian Churches under the Patriarchal System

During the four-hundred-year period after Joshua and Caleb led the
Israelites into Canaan, the nation of Israel was led by judges.  These
judges each carried out the multiple functions of prophet, chief
priest, and king.  During the Period of the Christian Churches under
the Patriarchal System, the Christians were led by the patriarchs,
whose duties, from the standpoint of the Dispensation for Restoration,
corresponded to those of the judges.

During the Period of the Judges, a feudal system arose in Israel,
centered on the judges and based on the new land allotted to each
tribe.  Likewise, after Christianity's liberation from persecution in
the Roman Empire, the Gospel was spread to the Germanic tribes that
had moved to western Europe because of the fourth century invasion by
the Huns from Mongolia.  There, in the new land of western Europe, a
feudal system arose.

             3.  The Period of the United Kingdom and the 
                    Period of the Christian Kingdom

With the beginning of the United Kingdom of Israel, the period during
which the judges led the First Israel ended, and the mission of the
judges was divided among the prophets, the chief priest, and the king. 
Likewise, with the beginning of the Period of the Christian kingdom,
the period of patriarchal leadership over the Second Israel ended, and
the mission of the patriarchs was divided among the monks, the pope,
and the king.  As the United Kingdom of Israel had begun when the
prophet Samuel anointed Saul as the first king, in accordance with
God's command, what in God's dispensation was to have become a united
Christian empire began when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne emperor
of the Franks and Romans.

              4.  The Period of the Divided Kingdoms of 
                North and South and the Period of the 
                   Divided Kingdoms of East and West


The United Kingdom of Israel, which had begun with King Saul,
continued under King David and King Solomon; then it was divided into
the northern kingdom of Israel, consisting of ten tribes in the Cain
position, and the southern kingdom of Judah, consisting of two tribes,
in the Abel position.

The Christian Kingdom, which had begun with Charlemagne, was also
divided, but into three parts -- the East Frank kingdom (the kingdom
of Louis the German), the West Frank kingdom (the kingdom of Charles
the Bald), and the middle kingdom (the kingdom of Lothair) -- because
of quarrels among Charlemagne's three grandsons.  However, soon after
the Period of the Divided Kingdoms began under Henry I in 919, Italy
came under the control of the East Frank kingdom, and so the division
became one between the kingdoms of the East Franks, or the Holy Roman
Empire, and the West Franks, or the Kingdom of France, with the
eastern kingdom in the Abel position and the western kingdom in the
Cain position.

          5.  The Period of Jewish Captivity and Return and 
               the Period of Papal Captivity and Return

The northern kingdom of Israel began its faithless ways soon after the
United Kingdom was divided, and it perished as a result of its
disbelief (ca. 722 B.C.).  The southern kingdom of Judah also became
faithless.  Thus, these kingdoms failed to unite centered on God's
ideal of the temple, and therefore they failed to establish the
Foundation for the Messiah.  Therefore, God allowed them to be taken
captive and suffer at the hands of the Assyrians and the Babylonians,
respectively, that is, at the hands of the satanic world.  In the
south, Babylon gained control in 608 B.C., and beginning with Daniel
and a few members of the nobility (605 B.C.), began a series of
deportations of the Hebrews to Babylon, where they had to remain for
almost seventy years (Dan 1:1-6; Jer 25:11,12; 29:10; 39:1-10; II
Kings 24,25).  In 539 B.C., Persia conquered Babylon, and King Cyrus
issued a decree freeing the Jews, who returned to their native land in
three groups over a ninety-four-year period (culminating in 444 B.C.). 
However, until the reformation centered on Malachi, they did not
establish themselves as a nation based on the Law and did not
establish traditions acceptable to God.  From the dispensational
viewpoint, only when they actually reformed their practices according
to the Law could they be considered as having returned (to their
position as God's people).  The conclusion of the returning period
initiated the Period of Preparation for the Messiah.

From the end of the Period of the Christian Kingdom, which was to
prepare the world-wide foundation for the Second Coming, until the
time when the papacy fell into complete corruption, God sent many
signs -- such as the defeats in the Crusades -- to make the popes and
priests repent.  But they did not repent, and instead, with the
gradual expansion of royal power, conflict developed between popes and
kings.  Pope Boniface VIII came into conflict with the French King,
Philip IV, and was even imprisoned by him for a time.  In 1309,
Clement V, whose election as the first French pope was arranged by
Philip IV, moved the papacy from Rome to Avignon in southern France. 
There the succeeding popes lived for almost seventy years under the
influence of the French kings.  In 1377, Pope Gregory XI returned the
papacy to Rome, initiating the period of return from exile.  For the
next one hundred forty years there was much confusion, with even three


popes reigning simultaneously for a time.  By the end of this period
the pope in Rome had regained absolute control in the church.

          6.  The Period of Preparation for the Messiah and 
            the Period of Preparation for the Second Coming

After returning from captivity in Babylon, the Israelites rebuilt the
temple which had been destroyed, and at the urging of the prophet
Malachi repented of their past sins of having worshipped foreign gods. 
They centered on the Law, inspiring a reformation movement and the
beginning of the four-hundred-year Period of Preparation for the

After the pope returned to Rome, reformation movements inspired by God
began, and the Christian church established a world-wide base of faith
for the Second Coming.  Through the Reformation, the dark clouds of
the Middle Ages were penetrated, and, inspired by a new and passionate
faith, a movement to spread the Gospel throughout the world arose. 
The four-hundred-year period that began with the Reformation is called
the Period of Preparation for the Second Coming.

The Old Testament Age was the age in which faith in God was
demonstrated through the external response of offerings and compliance
with the Law.  Therefore, in order to indemnify the entire history
since Abraham in the Period of Preparation for the Messiah, the First
Israel had to suffer external tribulations under the rule of Persia,
Greece, Egypt, Syria, and Rome.

The New Testament Age is the age in which man was to demonstrate faith
in God through the internal response of prayer and faith based on
Jesus' words.  Therefore, in the Period of Preparation for the Second
Coming, the Second Israel had to endure internal tribulations.  With
the rise of humanism (the leading philosophy of the Renaissance),
Enlightenment philosophies, and superficially applied freedom of faith
after the Reformation, Christianity (the Second Israel) had to endure
great chaos and confusion.  Christians in that period had to indemnify
the entire course of history since Jesus' time by overcoming severe
internal trials in their religious lives.

During the Period of Preparation for the Messiah, God prepared the
First Israel to receive the Messiah by reforming and renewing Judaism
and by having the prophet Malachi prophesy concerning the Messiah's
coming.  However, although God focused his efforts to prepare for the
Messiah on the nation of Israel, he also prepared the rest of the
world for the Messiah's coming.  Among the Gentiles, God had Gautama
Buddha of India (565 - 485 B.C.) pioneer the base for Buddhism by
improving Hinduism, and he had Socrates (470 - 399 B.C.) pioneer the
period of the great philosophers in Greece.  In the Orient, God had
Confucius (552 - 479 B.C.) set up a standard of human ethics and
morality through Confucianism.  God thus had each establish the
culture and religion suitable for his particular place and people so
that they might make the necessary spiritual preparation to receive
the Messiah.  Jesus, coming on the foundation of this preparation,
intended to unify all of the regions and various religions and
cultures into one sphere of God-centered culture by absorbing Judaism,
Hellenism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and all the religions and cultures
that God had prepared.


God also prepared the world for the Messiah's coming by uniting the
Mediterranean world and developing the Roman Empire, with its ease of
communication in all directions and its vast cultural sphere based on
a common language (Greek).  With this external foundation already made
through God's dispensation, when the Messiah came, his ideology would
have been able to quickly expand from Israel to Rome, and from Rome to
the whole world.

Similarly, God worked in the Period of Preparation for the 
Second Coming to prepare the world in addition to Christianity.  Prior
to the Messiah's birth (two thousand years ago), God had to prepare
the different peoples to receive what the Messiah would teach.  That
preparation was made in Judaism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and the other
religions and ethical developments that God stimulated and developed. 
The ethical, spiritual, and Heart foundation for the Second Coming is
made through Christianity.  Therefore, God prepared the world for the
Second Coming by the spread of Christianity throughout the world.

In the Period of Preparation for the Second Coming, the external
circumstances were also greatly developed as a foundation for the
Messiah's second coming.  God has worked to develop the external
conditions to the point where the Messiah will be able to use them to
establish the Kingdom of Heaven.  The separation of cultures is being
overcome by modern developments in communication and transportation
that make possible the rapid and frequent interchange of languages,
traditions, and cultures.  One of the developments which will greatly
help the Messiah teach the ideals and ways of heaven is the
development of global communications systems.  Beginning with the
Industrial Revolution, the great developments in almost every area of
human concern have prepared nearly everything necessary to produce an
ideal environment (e.g., production of food, clothing, medicines,
environmental control, and electricity).

We have reviewed the histories of the First and Second Israel as they
occurred in different eras and different places and with the key roles
played by different people.  Yet, we can see an astonishing time-
identity when we look at these two histories from the dispensational
viewpoint.  This time-identity appears because both histories are
histories of the central dispensation to prepare for the Messiah and
thus both dispensations have been inspired and led by God.