Understanding Theology in the Israel/Palestine

An Introduction
What does this mean?
Rob Dalrymple PhD
Goal was for God to dwell:
 Among all His people
 Throughout His entire creation
Two-fold goal (all persons, all places) is lost
with sin: man is expelled from the Garden
We have seen that God permitted temporary
structures (tabernacle and temple)
Jesus, as God among us, is the fulfillment of the
promise of a temple
Through the Spirit, the people of God are now
the Temple of God
The NJ provides the consummation: Garden
People of God
 God intended to dwell among all mankind
 Abraham: means by which God redeems the
 One race cannot have been the fulfillment of
God’s promises
 The people of God were to be a light to the
 Jesus, as the ‘light of the world’ is the
fulfillment of the promises of the people of God
 Through the Spirit, the NT people of God are
the ‘light of the world’
 The New Jerusalem consummation
 God intends to dwell throughout His creation
 God calls Abraham and gives him the land so
that through it He might bless the entire earth
 One land cannot be the fulfillment of God’s
 The land was to expand as the nations came to
 Jesus, as the ‘vine’ is the fulfillment of the
promise of land
 NT people of God go to the ends of the earth
 New Jerusalem fills the earth
Note pattern:
 Eden: God’s presence among all mankind
throughout the earth—expulsion
 Temporary provision--explusion
(Tabernacle/Temple) (Abraham) (Land)
 Jesus fulfillment (temple) (people of God)
 NT people of God through the Spirit
fulfillment (temple) (people of God)
 New Jerusalem consummation (temple)
(people of God) (Land/earth)
This is the significance of the Great
 Go to the ends of the Earth (land)
 Make Disciples of all nations (people)
 I am with you always (temple)
Land and Family
 In the NT we see Jesus telling them to sell
their land and He redefines family as those
who do the will of His father!
Land and Family
 Fulfills Isaiah:The land and family criterion
Isa 56:3-7: “Let not the foreigner who has joined
himself to the LORD say, "The LORD will surely
separate me from His people." Nor let the eunuch
say, "Behold, I am a dry tree." 4 For thus says the
LORD, "To the eunuchs who keep My sabbaths,
And choose what pleases Me, And hold fast My
covenant, 5 To them I will give in My house and
within My walls a memorial, And a name better
than that of sons and daughters; I will give them
an everlasting name which will not be cut off. 6
"Also the foreigners who join themselves to the
LORD, To minister to Him, and to love the name
of the LORD, To be His servants, every one who
keeps from profaning the sabbath And holds fast
My covenant; 7 Even those I will bring to My holy
mountain And make them joyful in My house of
prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will
be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”
Isa 56:3-7
 foreigner—who has no land
 eunuch—who could have no children
Both promised a stake in the new covenant
Isn’t this interpretation allegorizing the Bible?
 No. We have contended that the purpose of the
Temple, people, and land have found their true
intended fulfillment in the NT
 To say Jesus is the Temple of God is not to
allegorize or spiritualize the Bible: Jesus is the
physical and spiritual fulfillment of the
Temple; the New Jerusalem is both physical
and spiritual
Have we not ‘spiritualized’ the Bible?
 No, we have simply interpreted the Bible in
light of its intent; following the purpose and
mission of the Temple, people, and land has
led us to the understanding that it was
intended all along to find its fulfillment in Jesus
Aren’t the promises ‘forever’?;
 Yes, in Christ
 Yes, in the New Jerusalem
What about the promise that God will restored
1. Repentance must precede restoration (Deut 30:1-6;
Dan 9)
Deut 30:1-3 “So it shall be when all of these things
have come upon you, the blessing and the curse
which I have set before you, and you call them to
mind in all nations where the LORD your God has
banished you, and you return to the LORD your God
and obey Him with all your heart and soul according
to all that I command you today, you and your sons,
then the LORD your God will restore you from
captivity, and have compassion on you, and will
gather you again from all the peoples where the
LORD your God has scattered you.”
2. NT Understands the restoration of Israel was
through Jesus
 JTB preached baptism of repentance: ‘For the
Kingdom of God is at hand’ (Mark 1:1-4, 15;
Matt 3:1-3; Luke 3:3-8)
 Jesus came for the ‘Restoration of Israel’ (Luke
2:25, 38; 24:21-28)
 Triumphal entry was fulfilling the
restorationist hope of Zech 9:9
 Commissioning his disciples to be ‘Witnesses’
(Acts 1:1-8); fulfills the role for Israel in Isa
What about the promise of the regathering of
Israel (Rom 9-11)
1. We can differ here and it should not effect our
conclusions of the contemporary conflict in
2. If Jesus inaugurated the restoration of Israel in
His ministry then we might conclude that this
has been happening for the last 2,000 years
3. To say that a future restoration of ethnic Israel
must happen in fulfillment of the prophecies
of Scripture doesn’t recognize that the purpose
of Israel/people of God as the light of the
nations finds its fulfillment in Jesus, the NT
people of God, and the New Jerusalem
Isn’t the promise of land an everlasting
 Land promises are fulfilled in Jesus:
Jesus tells the rich youngman to sell his land (Matt
 NT people of God sell their land
 Neither Jesus nor the apostles ever taught that
ethnic Israel will return to the land
Isn’t the promise of land an everlasting
 Even if we differ here we must note that
neither Abraham nor David displaced people
Abraham never owned land—he bought the burial
site for Sarah
 David bought the threshing floor; they did not steal
it even though God had ‘given’ it to them
Ahaz stole land from Naboth (1 Kings 21): he
‘did evil in the sight of the Lord’ (1 Kings 21:20)
Isn’t the promise of land an everlasting
 Promises assumes covenant faithfulness
Lev and Deut make this clear (Deut 4:25-27; 28:1568; Lev 18:24-30; 20:22-26)
Promises assume covenant faithfulness:
Deut 4:25-27: ‘ When you become the father of
children and children's children and have
remained long in the land, and act corruptly, and
make an idol in the form of anything, and do that
which is evil in the sight of the LORD your God so
as to provoke Him to anger, I call heaven and earth
to witness against you today, that you will surely
perish quickly from the land where you are going
over the Jordan to possess it. You shall not 1live
long on it, but will be utterly destroyed. The LORD
will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be
left few in number among the nations where the
LORD drives you’
Promises assume covenant faithfulness:
Lev 18:5, 24-30, 26, 28 ‘so that the land may not
spew you out’ (again in 20:22)
Isn’t this replacement theology?
No. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promises and
call to Israel; not the replacement
Isn’t this anti-semitism?
No. We love the Jews, Muslims, and all others just
as Christ love us:
 We want peace for them and that they know Him
who is the prince of peace
If we love the Church we must act
If we love Israel we must act
If we love everyone we must act
‘They will know we are Christians by our love’

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