New Testament Reaffirmation, not Replacement - Part 1
Updated: Jan 12
For the next few weeks, we will be sharing with you some excerpts from my new book, When Kingdoms Collide. I am doing this because I believe it's so vital that the Body of Yeshua hears this message. It will change how you view the days we are living in and the age to come. To order the book, please visit our bookstore.
In recent years, some replacement or fulfillment theologians have come to see that the New Testament does promise national revival to the Jewish people. A. Boyd Luter writes:
But something happened that scrambled the categories: a new “middle way” emerged. This new group, on the one hand, fairly consistently employs a natural/literal hermeneutic and sees a future for Israel as the Old Covenant people of God, notably in regard to Paul’s prophecy about “all Israel” being saved at the end of the age (Romans 11:25-26). On the other hand, they reject the idea that Israel’s future has anything to do with a “Promised Land.”
He quotes two prominent theologians. Notice the words in italics.
... [T]he most likely explanation of ‘all Israel’ is that it means the nation of Israel as a whole, though not necessarily including every individual member... It is also to be noted here that there is no trace of encouragement for any hopes entertained by Paul’s Jewish contemporaries for the re-establishment of a national state in independence and political power, nor—incidentally—anything which could feasibly be interpreted as a scriptural endorsement of the modern nation-state of Israel. — C.E.B. Cranfield
... [T]he Old Testament promises about the land are nowhere repeated in the New Testament, except possibly in Luke 21:24. The prophecy of Romans 11 is a prophecy that many Jews will turn to Christ, but the land is not mentioned, nor is Israel mentioned as a political entity. —John Stott
Both of these men made their comments in 1974 and 1983, respectively. What did they make of the fact that Israel had indeed not only become a political reality but appeared to enjoy divine protection in her War of Independence (outnumbered five nations to one, with no one willing to sell her weapons) and three subsequent wars—not the least of which was the Six-Day War, where, in less than two days was able to defeat and repulse the Jordanian forces across the West Bank and retake Eastern Jerusalem? As of this writing, Russia has been unable to take Kyiv in one month—despite being a world power with far superior weaponry than Israel had in 1967. How does one not see God’s hand in Jerusalem’s restoration—just as the Biblical prophets foretold?
This new idea, though better than the cold, hard character of replacement theology, that revival is promised, but “the Old Testament promises about the land are nowhere repeated in the New Testament,” is simply not accurate. Evaluate for yourself the 13 points below that claim that the New Testament does, in fact, affirm the land promises. But even if the New Testament was silent on land promises—is that akin to nullifying them?
Let’s suppose that I tell my daughters that I’m going to buy them ice cream. Then I tell all the kids in the neighborhood that I’m going to buy them French fries. My generosity to the kids in the neighborhood does not nullify my former promise to my daughters. I would have to formally state that, for whatever reason, I have now decided not to buy my daughters ice cream—which, admittedly, would be devastating to them, even though they are now in their late 20s and early 30s!
Thankfully, the New Testament has a lot to say about Israel. It prophetically states an expectation that Israel will fulfill her destiny, that the nation will be restored, that the prophets’ words concerning her will be fulfilled, and that she will experience national revival.
Next week, we will begin to go through the passages.
 A. Boyd Luter, “The Continuation of Israel’s Land Promise in the New Testament: A Fresh Approach,” The Journal of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, 1, no. 2 (Spring 2014), https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1009&context=jlbts.