June 21, 2012

Acts 1:6-7 and the Restoration of Israel

by Matt Waymeyer

Does the Bible teach that the nation of Israel has a distinct role in the future plan of God?

Many Christians deny that it does. According to Bruce K. Waltke, “no clear passage [of Scripture] teaches the restoration of national Israel” because “the Jewish nation no longer has a place as the special people of God.” In the words of Herman Ridderbos, “The church . . . as the people of the New Covenant has taken the place of Israel, and national Israel is nothing other than the empty shell from which the pearl has been removed and which has lost its function in the history of redemption.” The words of Waltke and Ridderbos represent well the belief of many—no future for Israel.

One of the many passages which present a problem for this view is Acts 1:6-7. In this passage, just before Jesus ascended into heaven, the eleven disciples asked Him: “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6) This question is profound, and its meaning unmistakable. In fact, even covenant theologian O. Palmer Robertson—who denies a future restoration of Israel—summarizes it well:  

What can be said about the nature of this kingdom as understood by the disciples? The fact that they spoke of its being “restored to Israel” indicates that they were thinking of it as a national entity with its center located in Jerusalem and its domain encompassing the land of their fathers. They were expressing the Jewish hope that God would establish his rule, so that Israel would be freed from its enemies and reconstituted as the great nation that it once was.

The significance here is obvious: At the time of Christ’s ascension, the disciples were still expecting a future restoration of the kingdom to the ethnic nation of Israel. How, then, is it reasonable to deny a future for Israel?

One response is to say that the disciples were significantly misguided in their thinking. According to John Calvin, “[T]heir blindness is remarkable, that when they had been so fully and carefully instructed over a period of three years, they betrayed no less ignorance than if they had never heard a word. There are as many errors in this question as words.” Similarly, according to Robertson, “these disciples’ understanding of the nature of Christ’s kingdom was little better than had been displayed by the Jews in the days of the Maccabees or by the Zealots in Jesus’ own day.” In other words, even though the disciples fully expected the kingdom to be restored to the nation, this expectation was in vain, and it betrayed an astonishing ignorance of both the nature and the recipients of the kingdom.

Although the disciples were certainly misguided and in need of correction on several occasions throughout the ministry of Christ, it is difficult to believe that this was one of them. Instead, Acts 1:6-7 clearly indicates that there is indeed a future for the nation of Israel in the redemptive plan of God. I say this for two reasons: the context of the question and the answer to the question.

The Context of the Question

The disciples’ question did not arise in a vacuum. It came at the end of the 40-day period between the resurrection and ascension of Christ in which He appeared to the disciples and continued to teach them. It is reasonable to assume that Jesus taught them many things during this time, but Acts 1:3 mentions only one: “the things concerning the kingdom of God.”

As Jews, the disciples were certainly aware of the OT prophecies concerning the kingdom that would be restored to Israel, and during the earthly ministry of Christ, they continued to expect this very restoration. And although they did not initially understand that the death of Christ was necessary for its establishment, they listened to the resurrected Jesus teach about the kingdom over a 40-day period, and at its conclusion, one thing remained clear in all of their minds: the kingdom would be restored to Israel.

The content of Jesus’ teaching must have included an explanation of the nature and recipients of the kingdom. That much seems undeniable. In addition, the hours of instruction would have provided ample opportunity for dialogue, including questions from the disciples and clarifications from Jesus. For this reason, those who insist that the disciples were misguided in Acts 1:6 must believe that even though Jesus taught them clearly about these things, somehow they were not able to understand even the basics of what He said. This seems implausible, particularly in light of Luke 24:45.

According to Luke 24:45, Jesus not only taught His disciples during this time period, but He also “opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” The Greek verb translated “opened” is the word used in Acts 16:14 of how the Lord “opened” Lydia’s heart to respond to the gospel. In Luke 24:45 it speaks of a supernatural opening of the disciples’ minds which enabled them to understand the things spoken about Jesus throughout the Old Testament.

In light of this, how can one insist that the disciples were deceived in thinking that God was planning to restore the kingdom to the nation of Israel? Jesus Himself instructed them clearly, and He even enlightened their minds to understand the things He taught, so how could they be so radically misinformed about features of the kingdom as basic as its nature and recipients? As Robert L. Saucy writes:

There is no question but that the disciples had difficulty with some of the spiritual teaching about the kingdom. This is evident in their failure to understand the teaching of Jesus at some points, especially with regard to the salvation of the kingdom through his death. But to charge them with a total misunderstanding of the kingdom hope of Israel based on an alleged reinterpretation of this hope is difficult to substantiate in Scripture.

The Answer to the Question

If the disciples were so radically misinformed about the nature and recipients of the promised kingdom, one might expect Jesus to set the record straight, to provide the needed correction at this crucial moment in redemptive history. After all, He was commissioning His disciples to be His witnesses to the nations, and this was their final question before His departure. Jesus’ consistent track record was that of correcting those who were in error (e.g., Matt 5:32; 18:21-22; 19:9; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 18-19), but here in Acts 1 He provides no correction whatsoever. Instead, He simply says: “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority” (Acts 1:7).

Picture a little girl asking her father: “Daddy, is today the day that you’re giving me the pony?” To which her father responds: “Sweetie, it is not for you to know when.” What would this so obviously imply about whether or not her father was planning to give his daughter a pony, especially if he had previously promised her one? Rather than explaining that there was a misunderstanding and that he had never intended to give her a pony, the father has confirmed his daughter’s hope by simply saying that the timing is not for her to know. In Acts 1:6-7, Jesus does the same thing with the kingdom promised to Israel.

Some have responded by insisting that Jesus redefines the promised kingdom in His very next statement: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). According to this view, the kingdom promised by Jesus is different from the nationalistic expectations of the disciples. Instead, the kingdom would be established as the Holy Spirit worked through the disciples as they proclaimed the gospel throughout the earth.

The problem with this view is that it still does not account for Jesus’ failure to correct the disciples. In the collective mind of the eleven, the question was not if, but when, and rather than setting the record straight, Jesus confirmed their understanding by saying that the timing was not for them to know. It seems more than a little naïve to think that Jesus’ simple statement in Acts 1:8 would have succeeded in redefining the kingdom in the disciples’ minds when 40 days of instruction and enlightenment had failed to do just that.

The words of Jesus in Acts 1:8 are perfectly compatible with the disciples’ view that the kingdom would be restored to Israel, and those words give no indication that a correction or redefinition was being offered. The disciples asked Jesus if now was the time (v. 6), and He responded by saying it was not for them to know the time (v. 7). However, their immediate objective involved something they could know, namely that the Holy Spirit would come shortly and empower them to be His witnesses to the nations (v. 8 ). As Saucy writes, “This was to be their immediate concern before the final fulfillment of their hope for their people Israel.”

According to Jesus, God the Father not only knows the timing of Israel’s restoration, but He Himself has fixed the day (Acts 1:7). This is reminiscent of Mark 13:32 where Jesus said that only the Father knows the timing of the Second Coming. The connection here is interesting, especially in light of the biblical teaching elsewhere that the restoration of Israel will coincide with the return of Christ, the Deliverer who will take away their sins (Romans 11:25-27). At this time, the nation will look upon the One they have pierced and embrace the Messiah, receiving the covenant blessings of a God who is faithful to keep His promises.

It’s not a matter of if, but when.

Matt Waymeyer

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Matt teaches hermeneutics and Greek at The Expositor's Bible Seminary in Jupiter, FL.
  • Dave Johnson

    Matt, thanks!  That was clear and simple!  Now for the passion piece of this … would it be safe to say … that not knowing the “when” (v. 6) but the “what” (v.8) provided the Apostles (and us by extension) the “motivation” to serve Him until He comes and consummates all His wonderful promises?  That motivation is “defined” by the fact that they know (for certainty) He is going to give them that “pony” but until then … they (we) have work to do … His way and for His glory!

  • Kip’ Chelashaw

    Eeerm, where is the restoration of Israel precisely linked with the return of Christ?

    I don’t think Mark 13:32 and certainly not Romans 11.

    K

    • Jon Rinker

       Acts 3:19-21

      • Katy

        Read Acts 3 in KJV. Don’t see Israel and return linked.

        • MarkO

          Katy,
          So is this passage which speaks of “the times of restitution of all things” referring to Israel’s future restoration? How does “all things” get replaced by Israel?

          • sd

             If I may jump in, here…Israel and the return of Messiah is in Zechariah 12:10.  It’s, also, provided in the model involving King David.  Remember that he waited to be restored to reign over the Kingdom only until his own tribe (Judah) welcomed him back.  Same picture of Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11 (where we see that when the Jewish people recognize His Messiah-ship, it will be life from the dead).

          • Kyle wassell

            Sd,

            John says that Zechariah 12:10 is fulfilled in his day. Is it fulfilled again when Christ comes back?

          •  Kyle, John seems to think that there’s a future aspect to the fulfillment of Zech 12:10 when he writes in Rev 1:7: “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.”

            Since everything else in Zechariah 12 hasn’t actually come to pass, and since John himself regards the mourning over the pierced One as yet future in some respect, perhaps it’s a better exegetical conclusion to understand John 19:37 as speaking merely about the piercing of the One who is pierced, and not the mourning over him along with the restoration of Jerusalem. In other words, John 19:37 is saying, “Zech 12:10 tells us they will look on Him whom they’ve pierced and mourn for Him as an only son. Here is where they pierced Him.” This view also finds support in the fact that there’s no pleroo formula for John 19:37; rather it simply says, “And again another Scripture says…”

          • Kywassell

            Sorry Mikey this is wrong place but I cannot reply to your post. But anyways…

            Thanks for pointing out Rev.1:7 but I don’t think that that is anymore a fulfillment of Zech 12:10 than John 19:37 is. First there is no pleroo formula there so according to that ideal fulfillment formula Rev is empty like you said John is. However we do not need that fulfillment formula for prophecy fulfillment. For many prophecies in the NT fulfill the OT reference without pleroo.

            But also John 19:37 is in connection with v.36 which specifically states the Zech reference is fulfilled. So I think that is why John is so strong of a case. When there is a mention Zech, either in Rev or in Matt 24:30(?) the one that does have the pleroo formula is the account in John.

            As for the split fulfillment (pierce then mourn), that distinction is just not made in the text. Can you help me understand that split better?

            Thanks buddy

          • Sorry Mikey this is wrong place but I cannot reply to your post.

            The embedded thread feature is trying to appeal to our greater sensibilities to wrap up the conversation. 🙂 I want to give it one last shot, particularly I think there’s some misunderstanding about what I was saying.

            Thanks for pointing out Rev.1:7 but I don’t think that that is anymore a fulfillment of Zech 12:10 than John 19:37 is.

            But, I thought you said John 19:37 was a fulfillment of Zech 12:10.

            Anyway, I’m not saying that unless we see pleroo that there’s no instance of fulfillment. I would leave that up to context rather than particular lexical occurrences. But I was just saying that in this case, it’s interesting that pleroo is linked with the first Scripture about Jesus’ bones not being broken, but not quite equivalently with Zech 12:10 and His being pierced. So, that’s all I meant by that.

            But if we grant that pleroo isn’t necessary for prophetic fulfillment, I’m not sure how you get around Rev 1:7. Are you denying that Rev 1:7 shows that John believed at least some aspect of Zech 12:10 remained yet-future from his perspective as he wrote Revelation in ca. AD 95? Again, I’m not sure how that would be feasible at all.

            As for the split fulfillment (pierce then mourn), that distinction is just not made in the text. Can you help me understand that split better?

            Well first, I wouldn’t call it a “split fulfillment.” I would just press you to state what you actually think is being fulfilled in John 19. Zech 12 speaks about the destruction of all nations that battle against Jerusalem (summed up in Zech 12:9). Certainly that’s not happening in John 19.

            Further, Zech 12:10 itself speaks about Israel looking upon Yahweh whom they have pierced, and mourning for Him as an only son, and weeping bitterly over Him. We don’t see any looking on, mourning over, or bitter weeping for Jesus in John 19. The only aspect of verse 10 (to say nothing of the rest of the context of Zech 12) that’s actually happening — i.e., actually being fulfilled — in John 19 is the piercing.

            And contextually, that’s precisely what John is focusing on: the details of Jesus’ death. Verses 31-33 speak about the fact that Jesus’ legs weren’t broken, and verse 34 speaks about the fact that they pierced His side. To substantiate both of those, verse 36 says, “For these things [unbroken legs and piercing] came to pass to fulfill the Scripture.” So, John quotes these Scriptures to verify that the events of Jesus’ crucifixion cohere perfectly with Messianic prophecy.

            So in order to substantiate the the Messiah would be pierced, John refers to Zech 12:10. Zech 12:10 is not prophesying the Messiah’s piercing. It’s prophesying that the pierced Messiah would be looked upon, mourned over, and wept for. In other words, Zech 12:10 assumes that a piercing has already taken place, and that at a time after that piercing, Israel would repent and mourn over Him. All John is saying in 19:37 is, “This is the time when this Messiah who will eventually be mourned over is getting pierced.” None of the other events in Zech 12 — not even the other events of Zech 12:10 — are happening in John 19, which is why John only quotes part of Zech 12:10, i.e., the piercing, the only part that is actually taking place.

            All that to say, to suggest that because John makes reference to the piercing of Zech 12:10 means that every single other event prophesied in Zech 12 needs to be reinterpreted and shoved into the crucifixion narrative of Jesus, is just forced and not dealing with each passage on its own terms. It fits much better to take the Zech 12:10 reference in John 19 to refer to the piercing, and to see that since the rest of those events weren’t happening — and because John makes another reference to those events as being yet future (Rev 1:7) — we should expect their fulfillment as future.

            Thanks for thinking through this with me.

    • Paul Lamey

      The context of Deut 30:4; Isa 27:13; and Zech 9:14 is the restoration of Israel. in Matt 24:31, Jesus ties these passages to His return. I hope this helps.

  • Great post, Matt!  Thanks for continuing to emphasize the importance of this clear teaching in the word of God.

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  • Michael Delahunt

    Thanks Matt! 

  • Jeff Somerville

    I enjoyed this post.  Hey I was wondering today about if Israel becoming a nation again is a supersign of last days and fulfillment of Ezekial 36 and 37 etc.   The beginning of things to yet come.  Wouldn’t it have to be?  Dont they go from scattered to back together and then  most of them saved.  Seems like a progression.  How could this not be fullfilled prophesy.  They would have to be scattered again and again gathered and that would break the progression.  Guess where I want to be is in a place where I can rejoice and say yes this is fullfilled prophesy absolutely right before our eyes. 

  • Thanks for this Matt.  I was (more or less) with you up till the last two sentences in the second to last paragraph including the concluding quote from Saucy in that paragraph.  Isn’t Israel mentioned in Jesus’ reply – so that he is still answering the disciples’ question in verse 8 as well as verse 7 (as you rightly note, Jesus only deals with the issue of the exact timing of God’s program)?  After all, when someone mentions Jerusalem (the religious capital of Israel), Judea and Samaria (southern and northern Israel), it is hard to think of anywhere else but Israel!

  • Carl Cunningham

    I still have “Why Every Calvinist Should Be a Premillennialist” ringing in my ears, John MacArthur’s 6-part sermon series that I listened to recently. I’ve never heard a more compelling case built from the whole counsel of the Word about Israel’s future and what implications it has on the church.

    This text is one of the game-breakers to the amillennial/postmillennial views, and more importantly, on our evangelism to Jews. Thank you for opening up such a vivid explanation of this powerful passage!

    • David Anderson

      Carl, I am familiar with J-Mac’s sermon at the SC, but not the 6 part sermon series.  I would very much like to listen.  Can you provide a link?
      @Matt, Great post!

    • MarkO

       Carl, I also listened to that sermon series and I keeping hearing the words “replacement theology” ringing in my hears. What is replacement theology? It is the belief that a future Israel replaces the Church.

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  • R C

    Works for me Matt, thanks for the post.

  • kyle wassell

    This is a text I am always wondering as to why it is such a solid proof text for a future of national Israel.

    Christ neither affirms nor denies the question the disciples ask. Just how then this is turned into a clear answer for the national repentance of Israel?  We already know that the track record of the disciples concerning the mysteries of God is not good. Jesus had taught not only about the kingdom in 40 days after his resurrection but during the three years of his earthly ministry. How did the disciples understand it then? They had the same outlook as the earthly minded Pharisees. They did not believe in a crucified Messiah and they wanted to destroy the Samaritans – hardly tight grip on the kingdom.

    Thus is there a legitimate possibility that their question is misguided? Absolutely. It certianly coincides with the response of Christ. He tells them to look to Pentecost. If this was THE time in which Christ wished to straighten out their eschatology why did he point them a 2000-plus year parenthetical period of the Church?  However if the Pentecost is the inauguration of the reign of Christ his answer to the disciples wrong question is consistent with the inaugurated kingdom found in the rest of Acts

    • MarkO

      Kyle, as you can see the kingdom when spoken of and preached throughout Acts is all futuristic:
      Acts 8:12Acts 14:22
      Acts 19:8
      Acts 20:25
      Acts 28:23Acts 28:31 just kidding.

      • Kyle wassell

        It took me a minute but I got the humor. Lol. I don’t really know where the best text for proof for the national repentance of Israel but this seems but empty of it.

        I am glad Matt gave that Church/pearl and Israel/shell word picture! That was great!!

    • Jesus had taught not only about the kingdom in 40 days after his
      resurrection but during the three years of his earthly ministry. How did
      the disciples understand it then?

      Kyle, do you see any qualitative difference that would distinguish the disciples’ understanding of Christ’s teaching before His resurrection (in which all agree they were often hard-headed) from the teaching the disciples received between the resurrection and ascension — particularly in light of Matt’s point that in Luke 24:45 we’re told that Christ opened the disciples’ minds to understand the Scriptures?

      I think it would only be reasonable to grant such a difference. Given that qualitative difference, it’s hard to sustain the view that this is just another one of the disciples’ bone-headed, ill-informed questions.

      It certianly coincides with the response of Christ. He tells them to look to Pentecost.

      Forgive me if I’m missing your point, but isn’t this simply re-asserting the view that Matt already dealt with in the above post?

      Christ’s pointing the disciples to Pentecost wasn’t answering the disciples’ question about when the kingdom was coming. He just told them it wasn’t for them to know when it was coming. I think it’s too far of an interpretive stretch to suggest that Christ is saying, “It’s not for you to know when the kingdom will be restored to Israel. Actually, it’s going to happen a short time from now. Just wait for the Holy Spirit.” Instead, Jesus is simply saying, “You’re not permitted to know the timing of the restoration of the kingdom to Israel. But for now, you have a mission to accomplish before that kingdom comes. Be concerned with that.”

      So, He doesn’t “point them a 2000-plus year parenthetical period of the Church” in order to answer their question about the timing of the kingdom. He points them that way because that is the intervening mission that must be accomplished before the kingdom comes.

      I hope this is helpful.

      • kyle wassell

        Mikey,

        To your first question regarding the difference between the disciples understanding pre and post resurrection: No I do not see a difference. 

        And this is for at least two reasons off the top of my head. 1) Because the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out so any spiritual insight from his ministry has not yet come. 2) The reference in Luke 24 regarding Jesus giving the disciples insight in the Scriptures is limited on two accounts: first, the context of 24 shows he opened their mind to the Scriptures regarding his death and resurrection alone, and second, the disciples (for example Peter in Acts 10) still show a misunderstanding or lack of full knowledge to things even after the Spirits arrival. So the reference in 24 cannot mean all things since even after it the disciples show lack of knowledge.  So yes, I do not see a difference between the disciples knowledge of the kingdom pre and post resurrection; and thus another wrong question by the disciples. 

        Regarding your second question/quote: yes I did reassert the view Matt already dealt with, but I think did so inadequately.  (all due respect to our Prof).  Even Matt said “In the collective mind of the eleven, the question was not if, but when, and rather than setting the record straight, Jesus confirmed their understanding by saying that the timing was not for them to know”.  

        So if it was a matter of when then Jesus’ response to ‘look to Pentecost’ does answer the  when. When is Pentecost.  Which coincides quite well in the context of the passage.  In v.3 we know that Jesus appeared to them for over 40 days teaching about the kingdom, then in v.4 we know that Jesus says wait in Jerusalme because there they will be baptized with the Spirit (obviously Pentecost).  Then comes in the disciples with the question on the kingdom – and what does Jesus do? He redirects them again to Pentecost which he previously mentioned with the baptism.  So either Jesus is talking about the two different events: Kingdom v.3 and Pentecost v.4-5, and 8. Or Jesus is teaching about one event: kingdom inauguration in Pentecost (v.3, 4, 5, 8). Hopefully that makes sense.  I just find it odd that Jesus teaches on the kingdom and tell them to wait in Jerusalem for Pentecost. 

        The biggest problem for all of this is the fact that much of the arguments from both sides are from silence.  I just think if taken literally and in context Luke’s point is not kingdom restoration of national Israel but Pentecost – which the disciples are still learning about. 

        Thanks.

        • MarkO

          Kyle,
          You explanation makes sense to me. It makes sense because your interpretation is paying respect to the contextual integrity of the passage. To insert a huge gap between Jesus’ comments about Pentecost and His comments about a futuristic millennial kingdom divides Jesus’ thoughts into two separate boxes. That approach would not be in keeping with the flow of the passage as you suitably noted. 
          thanks – good points made.

          • kyle wassell

            MarkO,

            I really appreciate your honesty towards this passage.   I think everyone here is all about getting the meaning of Scripture right and there are hard passages but in this case we have made it tougher than should be. Thanks for your vote of confidence to something I recently found. 🙂  And yes regarding your post below, that does help. And on your post even further below, the kingdom theme in Acts in the last chapter is a hard sell to make it say its all future. 

    • MarkO

      Kyle, 
      Another thot: We want to read the Scripture with a literal humanutic so I found that going back and re-reading Acts 1:6 carefully one word at a time it literally comes off the page like this – ‘Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the millennial kingdom to Israel?’
      ***
      Does that help? 

  • Steve Swartz

    Matt—great succinct explanation.  Thanks!

  • MarkO

    “…the kingdom promised by Jesus is different from the nationalistic expectations of the disciples. Instead, the kingdom would be established as the Holy Spirit worked through the disciples as they proclaimed the gospel throughout the earth.”
    Amen! Well said.

    That must we why the Book of Acts ENDS by stating that Paul “proclaimed the KINGDOM of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!”

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  • sd

    I very much appreciate you being led to write this.  Of course, there are going to be people who pat you on the back that agree and those that shake their fists in disagreement. 

    As a Jewish Believer in Jesus, I’ve been getting more and more exposed to Covenant Theologians and have truly been grieved.  Though this doctrinal view is not as extreme as replacement theology, it isn’t too far away from it.  I’ve likened it to spiritual identity theft.  Worst of all, the fruit of this doctrine (i.e. the stealing of physical promises to a physical people) fails to fulfill what is one of the roles of the Gentile Church — to bring Jewish non-believers to jealousy (Deut 32:21, Hosea 2:23, Romans 11:11).

    I was recently  able to glean from a precious brother and sister’s field in them sharing with me that this kind of “fulfillment” theological position is missing the mark from  what we see in the Book of Ruth.  If you’ll recall, the interpretation of the main characters in this Book are as follows:  Naomi is national / ethnic Israel, Ruth is the Gentile Church, and Boaz is the Kinsman Redeemer.  Remember that Ruth only learns how to get close to Boaz through the teaching of Naomi and that Naomi does not interact with Boaz directly throughout the Book.  But it is because of Ruth that Naomi is restored to the Land while Ruth resides where ever Boaz does.  As his bride, she goes where ever he does.  But Naomi has her land restored to her.

    What I hadn’t realized, though, was the heart issue that differs between Ruth and those who ascribe to covenant theology… Ruth never tries to replace Naomi.  She boldly proclaims that Naomi’s G-d would be her G-d and Naomi’s people would be her people (Ruth 1:16).  Ruth is completely humble throughout the Book.  She never boasts over Naomi nor does she claim to “replace” Naomi.

    Perhaps a slow & careful reading of Romans 11:18-22 would be appropriate…

    • elainebitt

       sd, hi!

      Covenant Theology teaches replacement theology (although a lot of them would reject the term “replacement”. Some like to use “fulfillment” theology instead). I think the distinction you are making is between CT’s who don’t see any future for Jewish people and the ones that agree Jewish people will come to belief in Jesus Christ and a mass salvation will occur in the future. The latter are called “moderate supersessionism” (it’s the kind that I think it’s more common).

      If I could recommend a book to you to understand what they (CTs) believe, “Has the Church Replaced Israel”, by Michael Vlach.

      http://theologicalstudies.org/ecwid-1691387000#ecwid:category=0&mode=product&product=4868429

      • sd

        Thank you so much for pointing me to another reference ! 

        I definitely see an aspect of the grafted-in Church participating in the spiritual blessings that G-d has promised to Israel.  I have not, though, met any covenant theologians who see Israel today as being any fulfillment of literal promises in the Old Testament.  They use terms like “ethnic” Israel when speaking of the Nation today. 

        This position, at its core, takes away the very Heart of G-d in that He promised that He would not only disperse the children of Israel to the 4 corners of the world, but that He would also be the One to bring them back.

        I look forward to getting to look at the resource you’ve provided.  I truly do appreciate your comments.

        Be blessed…

        • elainebitt

           You are welcome sd! =)

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