“Only Begotten:” Taxonomy & the Genetics of the Messiah

Monotheists, who do not believe in the Trinity, staunchly reject the tenet that Yeshua / Jesus is the “Son of God.” To such monotheists, the very notion that God would procreate is absurd.

What is this? God has a son?

On the other hand, trinitarian monotheists see biblical data, which support their belief that Yeshua / Jesus not only is the “Son of God” by personal verbal claim but also by unique birth.

A great focal point of these Trinitarians (of which I am included) is John 1:18, translated by the ‘old timey’ translations as:

18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

(KJV, underscore mine for emphasis)

Other modern translations yield this passage of Greek language as follows:

  • “One and Only Son” – NIV, HCSB, Berean Study Bible
  • “Unique One” – NLT
  • “the Only God” – ESV
  • “the only begotten God” – NASB

As one can witness, the passage presents a deal of difference for translators, not because the Greek language is ambiguous but because theological implications arise, depending on one’s approach to translation. ESV and NASB translators consider it necessary—due to the theological implications of the phrase—to help the text communicate its meaning by adding “God.” Others like HCSB, NIV and NLT stick more closely to the original, reflecting ‘Son.’ But, in an effort to honor the older translations (i.e. KJV), NASB maintains the translation “only begotten,” which it places in tandem with ‘God.’

So, is it proper to translate the passage as “only begotten?” And if so, why? To what end? In his article, Μονογενής = ‘only begotten’? Dr. Daniel B. Wallace recently visited the subject and analyzed the pertinent data in response to Charles Lee Iron’s assertion that translators should return to “only begotten.” The article leads a reader to lean away from “only begotten” in favor of other alternatives.

I largely agree with Dr. Wallace, but I also see room for Iron’s view. “One of a kind,” when the compound mono/GENES is used, deals with the taxonomy of Yeshua (Jesus), His classification upon incarnation (i.e. domain–>kingdom–>phylum–>class–>order–>family–>genus–>species).

Creation scientists use the word baramin to refer to created kinds (Hebrew: bara = created, min = kind). Because none of the original ancestors survive today, creationists have been trying to figure out what descendants belong to each baramin in their varied forms. Baramin is commonly believed to be at the level of family and possibly order for some plants/animals (according to the common classification scheme of kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species). On rare occasions, a kind may be equivalent to the genus or species levels.

(Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/creation-science/baraminology/what-are-kinds-in-genesis/  retrieved Nov. 24, 2016)

In writing monogenés, the Apostle John is telling us that, due to virgin conception by the Holy Spirit, Yeshua Nazaret is a completely different and unique kind of human creature, the only generation of His kind. This interpretation sustained by textual data (context as well as lexical value & and usages), both inside the holy Writ and in contemporaneous ‘secular’ texts. It also satisfies both Iron’s and Wallace’s findings and allows for (but limits) the logical ramifications of both sets of findings.

What are the theological ramifications of the interpretation? First and foremost, monogenés deals with Christology as it elucidates Yeshua / Jesus’ genome. He is within the human genus due to Mary’s egg & virgin womb, but He is of an entirely unique genetic platform, due to the Holy Spirit’s fertilization. He is the only direct God / Human hybrid, completely similar to yet unique from the rest of fallen humanity.

Trinitarian Creationists would assert that whereas God breathed life directly into the genus of mankind in the beginning, and whereas humanity fell from that state (corrupting our race, even to our genetic code); in contrast, Yeshua’s human genome and human nature are directly and biologically “of God” or “from/of the Father,” …meaning He is  necessarily the same as God, the Father, in His incarnate state. Jesus is—in nature—the same as the Father. No human alive other than Jesus can claim these features. In other words, the Second Person of the Eternal Trinity (i.e. the Word) was made to become flesh and fully dwell among us (John 1:14), as Humanity 2.0—Yeshua Nazaret. He is indeed begotten by means of Holy Spirit conception, but that fact does not diminish His pre-existence from all eternity. As the Apostle John writes:

John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 

(John 1:15 NASB)

It is therefore not incorrect to translate monogenés as “only begotten.” By doing so, one refers to Yeshua / Jesus’ miraculous conception. He was indeed and undeniably biologically produced. But, it is also correct to translate monogenés as “Unique One” or “One and Only Son [of God],” as it specially alludes to the fact that Yeshua is the only one of his genomic kind, which according to Isaiah, can be propagated and recognized by the Father:

…He will see His offspring… (Isaiah 53:10 NASB)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)

Secondly and lastly, the interpretation holds tremendous theological ramifications that pertain to soteriology. In verses 12 and 13 of John 1, the text reads:

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (KJV)

From these two verses, one gathers that anyone who receives Jesus as the uniquely begotten Son of God, believing on His Name (i.e. referent to his title as Yeshua ha’Mashiach / Jesus the Messiah), will in turn be granted authority (adoptive right) to be titled ‘sons of God’ …after the genus of Jesus, and leaving off the genus of the fallen Adamic race. Yet, more than that, the Apostle writes these are also themselves born “of God,” if in that state of belief. The conferred birth reveals a changed nature (Jesus’) which comes upon those who are, according to Jesus Himself, ‘born again’ of the Spirit (John 3:3-8). Is it safe to say that God rescues and redeems believers down to the DNA level? Absolutely! Those who believe will receive the genetics of the Messiah,

23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed (lit. sperma), but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1 Peter 1:23 KJV)

So then, one may conclude that one who receives Yeshua / Jesus of Nazareth by believing he is the uniquely begotten Son of God receives both an exchange of nature (essence) and an exchange of genus (physicality), both of which can only be fully realized hereafter,

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. (1 John 3:2 NASB)

He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself. (Philippians 3:21 HCSB)

“Just so, come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)

5 Concerns About the Messianic (Ekklesia) Body, Hebrew Roots Movement

I am Messianic…. That is, I believe Yeshua (Jesus) from Nazareth (~B.C. 4 — 31 A.D.~) as described in the Greek New Testament, is the pre-existent, serpent crushing, eternal Son of YHWH—a.k.a. Fully God & Fully Man—as first promised in Genesis 3:15 to Eve & Adam and the human race. Yeshua is a Hebrew, and He was born under the Law of Moses. He did not destroy the Mosaic Law, rather He fulfilled it. [See also Old v. New Covenant: Defining our Relationship with God]

There are many Messianic congregations across the globe. These are my brothers & sisters according to Abraham’s faith (Romans 9); and I love them in Messiah Yeshua dearly. My fellowship with them is more than enjoyable, and I have learned a great deal from their teachings from the Hebrew perspective—a thing greatly needed! Messianics are part of a movement called Hebrew Roots.

To be sure, those who identify as Messianic do not assert the same errors as the Judaizers, who attacked and troubled Yeshua’s Apostles. They do hold that one is eternally reconciled to YHWH by the grace of Yeshua / Jesus, through faith in Him alone [apart from the deeds of the Law] for obtaining righteousness with YHWH. When the biblical culture found in the Tanakh is observed by Messianics, it is done out of reverential love for Yeshua—to honor the culture that YHWH inscribed & gave to humanity, as found in the Tanakh (Old Testament). When the ordinances / observances are broken, or when the Moral Law is transgressed, Yeshua the Righteous is their only sacrifice for sin & Advocate with the Father (2 John 2:1-3).

The Messianic believers I have met are not Judaizers, and they were extremely careful to show grace and peace when debatable matters of lifestyle arose. I love and appreciate their zeal to expose the infiltration of cultural paganism and blatant apostasy within ‘Christendom’… especially the whoredoms of the Roman Catholic Church.

On the other hand, Messianic teachings and expectations often can come dangerously close to (unintentionally) mimicking or sounding like Judaisation. The following concerns serve as friendly alerts to Messianic believers, so that they can make sure their ‘good shall not be evil spoken of.’

1. Don’t Discredit the Greek New Testament. 

While many translations are sub-par and have agendas behind their publication, the abundant Greek manuscripts of the Apostles’ writings are copies of “God- breathed” Scripture. Whether you believe Yeshua quoted the Septuagint translation of the Tanakh, it stands that the Apostles (whom Yeshua Himself commissioned and blessed) wrote to the Gentile churches in Koiné Greek. These texts collectively agree in over 99%+ of their content, and the other percent or less does not change any doctrine. There are also many good, reliable translations of these manuscripts in nearly every language.

BUT, one thing is for sure. If you reject the Greek manuscripts, then you are left with no Good News of Yeshua & 0% of the 99%+ of Apostles’ doctrine. You are bereft of the only texts, which alone are able to inform Hebrew and Gentile non-believers toward faith in Yeshua… ever since the Apostles, who were taught the Tanakh by Yeshua Himself… quite an improvement on merely having the Tanakh; and an infinite measure above the best rabbinical traditions from before or after Yeshua’s first earthly walk.

2. Gentile believers have been grafted into the Remnant of Israel, BUT we are also 1 New Humanity.

The olive tree of Romans 11 is not the fig tree of Matthew 21:18-19; 20-22 and Mark 11:12-14; 20-25. Whereas apostate Israel was always represented as a fig tree, remnant Israel was always the olive tree. Gentile believers have been grafted into that.

On the other hand, by dying for sins & rising again, Yeshua formed an entirely new ‘body’ of humanity.

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13)

In Yeshua there is one (1) new Ekklesia, one Body of Messiah borne after Abraham’s faith, not Abraham’s physical lineage or Moses’ Covenant (Romans 9). Yeshua took down the wall of separation between Jew & Gentile in genome, culture and commandment, making from the 2 one new humanity (Ephesians 2:15). This is equality!

Gentile believers are not grafted into the Judaism of the Mosaic Covenant; they are grafted into the seed and faith of Abraham, which preceded the Law and Jewish customs. They are fellow citizens with the saints (Ephesians 2:19), but they are not Jews. Paul explains this clearly when he tells those who were circumcised (the Jews) “not to seek to be uncircumcised” and those who were uncircumcised (the Gentiles) “not to become circumcised” (1 Corinthians 7:18). There is no need for either group to feel they must become what they are not. Instead, God has made Jews and Gentiles into “one new man” in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:15). This “new man” is referring to the Church, the body of Christ, which is made up of neither Jew nor Gentile (Galatians 3:27-29). It’s important for Jews and Gentiles to remain authentic in their own identity. In this way a clear picture of the unity of the body of Christ can be seen as Jews and Gentiles are united by one Lord, one faith, one baptism. If Gentiles are grafted into Israel, becoming Jews, the purpose and picture of both Jew and Gentile, coming together as one new man, is lost. God never intended Gentiles to become one in Israel, but one in Christ. (Got Questions; Hebrew Roots)

No one culture, race, gender or person is more important than another in Yeshua! [Roles and responsibility are different matters]

3. Don’t Diminish, Distort, Disregard or Disobey Romans 14; Galatians 1-3; Colossians 2; 1 Corinthians 13 & the Whole Message of Hebrews.

It is asserted by many Messianic believers that Yeshua did not create a new religion when He walked among us over 2,000 years ago. Messianic believers quote Yeshua’s saying, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law and the Prophets…” (Matthew 5:17-20). And, one thing is very clear, the Messiah did fulfill all of the Old Covenant laws & stipulations perfectly. He did not create a new religion, but He did create a New Covenant with stipulations that differ from the Old. The prophet Jeremiah called it a “New Covenant” not like the old one, but one which produces a new heart (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Yeshua Himself did not call it a “renewed covenant,” but He said, “This is the new covenant in my blood” (Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25).

When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.
Hebrews 8:13

The passages listed under this section are a good bulk of the Apostles’ inspired doctrine concerning the New Covenant. They apply to Messianic believers, especially as the parameters which constrain insistence on the conformity of other believers to the Mosaic Covenant. No one may judge another believer concerning clothing, the day of worship or diet or Moadim (Mosaic Feasts, YHWH’s appointed times) and still be in good fellowship with Ruach ha’Kodesh.

Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. Acts 15:19-20

Likewise, gentile believers are not to call foolish those who observe the above-mentioned ordinances. As seen above, Hebrews who understood the Old Covenant and were Messianic, informed the early church. Indeed, there is much wisdom in understanding and practicing each of the purposes behind these elements YHWH established… the first of which would be to “provoke Israel to jealousy” (Romans 11), and the second would be living in prophectic accordance. Another good purpose would be advantage in spiritual warfare.

Nowhere in the Bible do we find Gentile believers being instructed to follow Levitical laws or Jewish customs; in fact, the opposite is taught. Romans 7:6 says, “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” (Got Questions, Hebrew Roots)

Still, we see Sha’ul (Paul) writes that the mature balance to all of this is to “become all things to all men that by all means [we] might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). We should be ready to change custom, cultural habits, societal status, and dietary restrictions for the Good News’ sake, so long as these do not lead us to worship in pagan ways and thought, or join with them in their worship (2 Cor. 6:14).

4. Yeshua ha’Mashiach Commands Not Calling Anyone “Teacher” (Rabbi, Master, etc.) in Matthew 23:10.

If Messianics are to properly purify a corrupt and paganised Christianity, then they need to see their own disobedience in revering men with titles, when the gifts are distributed and empowered by Ruach (Romans 12; 1 Cor. 12-14; Ephesians 4). Yeshua not only forbids Rabonni; he also forbids “instructor” or ‘rabbi.’

5. Keep Warning Christendom About the Infiltration of Paganism!

We live in a day of great apostasy, when little-to-no discernment is sought or exercised in churches. You Messianics must keep holding the ropes and crying aloud, so that more may be awakened out of sleep.

There are more pagan traditions riddling “the church” than anyone realizes. I agree that believers are not to take part in these pagan traditions, either by “Christianizing” them or by practicing them with an empty head for the traditions’ sake. We are not to mix pagan ways or implements with what is Holy in worshipping the Creator, the Triune God. 2 Corinthians 6:14-17

That being said, imagine standing in the street on these very days (ex. Christmas) and teaching people the true Way with no traditional baggage. Imagine also inviting people to come in and hear the same teaching. That is what my fellowship does when we hold special services on these days. For the Good News’ sake, Sha’ul (Paul) utilized pagan tradition as an inroad to preach Yeshua and Him crucified! Acts 17:22-31; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 This is different than following or Christianizing the pagan tradition / belief. It is looking for an avenue to preach Yeshua (Jesus) as Mashiach (Messiah)!

To all my Messianic friends, you CAN encourage people to understand the wisdom and purpose of the Moadim (YHWH’s Appointed Festival Days of the Old Covenant); you CAN also teach the pagan influence in modern holidays. You may even teach that Christians must not mix worship of YHWH with the means/times of pagan worship!

BUT… you may not say that a believer (or whole groups of believers) are in bad standing with YHWH for not observing the Moadim. Furthermore, you MAY NOT separate yourselves from other believers because they do not observe the Moadim or other Old Covenant ceremonial stipulations. To pass this judgment or to separate in this way is to make the error of Peter (Galatians 2:11). But, you CAN & SHOULD separate fellowship from those who mix paganism with worship of YHWH, or who pressure / force you to worship as they do (mixing paganism with Yeshua).

Reproving & Rebuking: The Neglected Duty of the Pastors

Reproving & Rebuking are the disowned aspects of the Pastor’s role within the Body of Christ. This comes as a result of hierarchical denominationalism lording over men of God, the rule of feel-good and trendy Christianity, the domination of fleshly and Bible-illiterate church-goers within the congregation, preachers for hire (instead of letting the gift lead), and a sign of the times that:

…people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (2 Timothy 4:4)

But, the charge God gives to pastors to reprove and rebuke could not be clearer.

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)


preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. (2 Timothy 4:2)


He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. (Titus 1:9)


He must gently reprove those who oppose him, in the hope that God may grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, who has taken them captive to his will. (2 Timothy 2:26)

While these passages are not a license for tyrannical and authoritarian abuse by pastors, they also should not be denied. As the LORD God stated to those who have gone before, let us hear Him saying also to us,

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:18)

…to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of anyone, for I will be with you to deliver you. This is the LORD’s declaration. (Jeremiah 1:7-8)

Rise up, O men of God, and do your duty!

Instead of Two-Faced, the Church Must be “TrueFaced” — The Cure

What if God isn’t Who you think he is & neither are you? What if taking God’s side against our sinfulness and placing trust in Jesus Christ to reconcile us to God is the Way to knowing God’s unconditional love? What if that reconciled relationship with God means you have a new identity in Jesus… that the old self is gone in God’s eyes and that you are a completely new creation? What if real joy comes from believing you already have perfect standing with God through Jesus? What if the Christian Life is not about trying to be perfect or manage your sin habits BUT learning to receive God’s love and learning to love others with that God-like love? What if true holiness is about having nothing hidden… and (due to trusting safe friends) not being afraid to tell how you really are. What if true holiness is not trying to sin less but partaking in the Nature of God? With Horizon Christian Fellowship Morgan County, you will find safe friends. You can be who you are right now, as we (together) partake in God’s Nature.



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Luke 21: Christ’s Most Comprehensive End-Times Prophecy Discourse

Luke 21

vv. 1-6 — About true giving and the destruction of the 2nd Hebrew Temple (fulfilled 70 A.D.)

vv. 7-9 — Jesus answers the Disciples’ request for the signs of the 2nd Temple’s destruction with a description of “things that must first take place,” and that, ‘the end does not follow immediately (after the “first things”). The ‘things that must first take place’ are the wars of the Jews, circa 70 A.D. and the destruction of the 2nd Temple. Jesus also states the Disciples should not be misled by false Christs and by claims that “the time” (of the Kingdom’s establishment) is near. [The Disciples erroneously looked for an immediate establishment of Christ’s Kingdom up until the time of his post-resurrection 40 days and Pentecost; BUT after the Spirit did come (Acts 1-2) and helped the Apostles understanding, they all looked toward an imminent “gathering together” (i.e. rapture). They no longer looked toward an imminent establishment of the Kingdom.] What Christ clearly teaches is THERE IS A TIME PERIOD BETWEEN THE DESTRUCTION OF THE 2ND TEMPLE AND THE END.

vv. 10-11 — Jesus describes the signs of “THE END” and prefaces it by saying, “Then…” (or, “at that time”).

vv. 12-19 — Jesus describes THE PERIOD BEFORE THE END. Our Lord regresses from digression in discourse by saying, “But before all these things [ref. signs of the end, vv. 10-11].” This is what the Disciples and the CHURCH AGE Saints can expect. Verse 19 reminds readers of Luke 9:24, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” This is Christ’s promise of reward for martyrs during the Church age. See also Matthew 10:39; 16:25.

vv. 20-24 — Jesus moves back to describing the (then) future course of the Hebrew nation. Jesus foretells THE DAYS OF VENGEANCE (v. 22), which is from the time of the Jewish Revolt (66 A.D.) to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple under the Roman Emperor, Titus (70 A.D.). Just as Jesus warned those who mournfully watched his death march on the day of His crucifixion (Luke 23:26-31) of “The Days of Vengeance,” he warns his Disciples… who later experienced the dispersion from Jerusalem,… of which Peter, Paul and Jude all write. The time period from the destruction of Jerusalem to the time of the end is called the TIMES OF THE GENTILES (see also Romans 11:25), which is simultaneous and synonymous with ’The Period Before the End.”

vv. 25-36 — Jesus describes the “SIGNS OF THE END OF ‘THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES’”… which is synonymous with “The End” (vv. 10-11). The “great signs in heaven” mentioned in v.11 are expounded here in v. 25; and there are more signs. The end of the Times of the Gentiles will be a process. It will be the same as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, (a.k.a. The Great Tribulation Period, The Apocalypse). At verse 27, Jesus says, “Then…” as a marker of discourse, revealing what will be the very end of the “End of the Times of the Gentiles.” When Christ appears in a cloud with power and great glory, the end of the End of the Times of the Gentiles will be marked. “But, when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near,” Christ adds. So, Jesus unequivocally states that the End of the Times of the Gentiles will have a beginning, a middle and an end. He gives us the signs of its beginning and of its end.

How can someone know that the Kingdom of God is near? Look for “these things” (vv. 25-26) to happen [after the other things have happened]. It is as dependable as knowing that summer is near when the fig trees start putting out leaves. In other words, it will be like clockwork…tick…tick…tick.

vv. 21:34-36

The context of Luke 21:36 is Jesus’ address to his Disciples about the (then) future course of Jerusalem and the Jewish people… about what the Jewish people (as an ethnicity and political nation) can expect near to the time of the Son of Man’s return to establish His (Hebrew) Kingdom. The reader may know Jesus addresses the Hebrew nation, since these verses follow his prediction of the Destruction of the Temple and Fall of Jerusalem (70 A.D.)—an event which has put Jerusalem into the hands of Gentile nations even until now, as it will be until the end of the Time of the Gentiles. Thus, Christ is prophetically describing the future path of the Hebrew people as an ethnically homogenous political entity among the other nations. [vv. 20-24]

In verses 25-36, Christ continues to speak to the Hebrew nation as a whole, which disbelieved Him as their Messiah. “This [perpetuated] generation” [of disbelieving Jews] will not pass away—giving way to believing Israel (Rom. 11)—until ALL the Tribulations of Jacob’s Trouble have taken place (v. 32). So, in verse 34, Jesus prophetically warns the ethnic Jews to ‘be on guard, so you don’t get drunk & depressed in the cares for life beyond hope’ [imp. for a true Messiah] when “That Day” (Day of the Lord) falls on the Jewish ethnic people like a trap… (allusion to the trick of the Anti-Christ prince). Instead, the ethnic Jews who find themselves in the worst (2nd half) of the 7 year span of Jacob’s Trouble should be alert and pray consistently that they might be “strengthened” (by hope of the true Son of Man’s return) to escape [lit. physically flee] all those things, which Jesus says must soon occur (during Jacob’s Trouble)…. At the end of which, all remaining Jews will physically stand before the Son of Man on earth. This is the contextually consistent interpretation, which complements Matthew 24:13, “but he that endures to the end shall be saved.” The Church often overlays itself onto prophecies meant for the Hebrew people.



What I observe in the Luke 21 passage does not negate the pre-trib rapture, nor does it uphold a post-trib view. I am pre-trib in my rapture view. I also try to interpret in context, so that I know what I can ascribe to the Church and what I must fairly ascribe to Hebrew people. My hermeneutic leads me to be dispensational that way.