Restoration and Replacement

All attentive readers of the Bible can hardly fail to become aware that restoration (along with, for example, recapitulation, Gen. 5:1-3, repetition, cf. Heb.10:1-4, etc., reproduction, Gen. 19:31; Heb. 7:23, and death, Jos.23:14; 1 K. 2:2 and corruption, Ps. 102:25-27; 103:14-18) is one of the fundamental features of the OT. A glance at “restore” in a concordance will confirm this impression even though there is an easily explained overlap of the concept in the NT. The difference between the two prompts the question as to why this is so. The answer really requires a book or books explaining among other things biblical covenant theology. I have argued for many years that all traditional covenant theologies known to me are false to the Bible. In summary, I contend that while there is definitely no covenant with the material creation, there are three dispensational covenants (Noah, Moses, Christ) and two basic promises (Abraham and David). The covenants with Noah and Moses are by nature temporal and provisional and relate to this world or the present age; only that with Christ is permanent or eternal and relates to the age to come. The covenants with the race are epitomized or summed up in the mature individual, that is, in Jesus, the second Adam (see espec. Gal. 4:4f.; Eph. 1:10).

My purpose here is to provide basic notes (which are obviously open to elaboration and supplementation) indicating that while restoration, repetition and reproduction are of the essence of the Old Testament, removal and replacement are in contrast prime features of the New. In other words, the difference between earth and heaven and flesh and spirit is fundamental, and the progress from the one to the other is implied throughout the Bible (1 Cor. 15:46; Heb. 11:10,16; 13:14, etc.).

Old Testament – New Testament

1. The temporal corruptible creation, God’s footstool, is replaced by heaven, God’s eternal throne
(Gen. 1:1; Isa. 57:15; 66:1; Rom. 8:18-25; Heb. 1:10-12; 12:27).

2. The temporary earthly Eden, the womb of the race where God is present and active (cf. Job 31:15), is replaced by the permanent heavenly Eden, the ‘bosom’ of the Father
(Gen. 2-3; John 1:18; Rev. 21-22).

3. Earthly seed in creation/procreation is replaced by spiritual seed in the NT
(Gen. 2:7f.; 1 Pet. 1:23; 1 John 3:9).

4. The Noachian covenant, though guaranteeing constant earthly restoration, is “everlasting” only in a this-worldly sense, that is, until God’s purpose is fulfilled when it will be replaced by the permanence of heaven, the throne of God
(Gen. 8:21f.; 9:16; Isa. 40:6-8; 51:6; 54:9f.; Jer. 31:35-37; 33:20-22; Heb. 1:10-12).

5. The temporal earth, though “good” in that it serves God’s purpose (cf. Gen. 2:9; 3:6), is eventually destroyed and replaced
(Gen. 1:31; 1 Tim. 4:3f.; Heb. 6:7f. ; 2 Pet. 3:7.10-13).

6. The present (evil, Gal. 1:4) age is replaced by the age to come which already exists
(Luke 20:34-36; Eph. 1:21; Heb. 6:5; 12:27).

7. The land (or city), though capable of temporary restoration (e.g. after exile), lacks permanence and is replaced by heavenly land and the abiding city
(2 Chron. 7:14; Ezek. 36:33-36; Heb. 11:10,16; 13:14).

8. The temporal Promised Land cannot provide a permanent rest and is replaced by heavenly rest
(Heb. 3 and 4; Rev. 14:13).

9. The fleshly first Adam being earthy lacks permanence and is replaced by the second Adam, the man of heaven
(1 Cor. 15:45-49).

10. The fleshly body, though capable of temporary healing and restoration, is like the earth destroyed and replaced by a spiritual body
(Gen. 2:7; 1 K. 13:6; 1 Cor. 15:35-56; 2 Cor. 5:1f.).

11. Since flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, fleshly generation must of necessity lead to spiritual regeneration
(John 1:12f.; 3:1-8; 1 Cor. 15:50).

12. Life in the flesh is absence from the Lord; life in the spiritual body is home with the Lord
(2 Cor. 5:1-8, cf. John 14:2f.).

13 Resurrection of the body in this world always involves temporary restoration. For entrance into the next, it requires redemption and/or replacement
(2 K. 4:18ff.; John 11; 20:17; Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 15:42-57).

14. Just as physical birth requires spiritual rebirth, physical restoration, which is by nature impermanent, requires spiritual replacement
(1 K. 13:6; 2 Chr.24:13; John 3:1-8; 1 Cor. 15:45-49).

15. What is “hand-made” (e.g. the material creation, Isa. 45:12; 48:13, including man, Job 10:8; Ps. 119:73) is replaced by what is “not hand-made” (Heb. 9:11,24, etc.).

16. Physical circumcision (cheiropoietos) in the OT is replaced by spiritual circumcision (acheiropoietos) in the NT
(Gal. 5:2; Col. 2:11).

17. The old covenant can be renewed and even restored but in the fullness of time it is fulfilled by Jesus and replaced by the new covenant
(Ex. 19; Dt. 5; Jos. 1, 8,24; 2 Chron. 15:3; 17:9; Jer. 31:31-34: Mt. 5-7; 2 Cor. 3; Heb. 7-8).

18. The provisional law of Moses in the OT gives way to the Spirit of Christ in the NT
(John 1:17; Rom. 7-8, cf. Dt. 18:18; John 7:39).

19. The tabernacle or tent gives way to the material temple. When it was destroyed by the Babylonians it was rebuilt or restored (cf. 2 Chr. 24:13). However, after its destruction by the Romans, it was replaced by Christ himself
( John 2:19-21, cf. Mark 14:58; Rev. 21:22).

20. Redemption “by hand” (cheiropoietos) in the OT gives way to redemption which is “not by hand” (acheiropoietos) in the NT
(Dt. 4:34; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14).

21. The kingdom of the Jews is destroyed and replaced by the kingdom of Christ
(Ex. 19:5f.; Mt. 8:11f.; 21:43; 1 Pet. 2:9).

22. Like the earth itself, the old Jerusalem is destroyed and replaced by the heavenly Jerusalem
(Gal. 4:26; Heb. 12:22; Rev. 21:1f.).

23. Earthly citizenship is replaced by heavenly citizenship
(Phil. 3:20; Heb. 12:22).

24. David’s earthly throne gives way to his heavenly throne
(Luke 1:32f.; Acts 2:30-36).

25. Baptism by water signifying repentance is replaced by baptism of the Spirit
(Mark 1:8).

26. Distance and/or nearness in the OT give way to presence in the NT
(Eph. 2).

27. The image of God in which we are created is matched with likeness in Christ at the end
(Gen. 1:26f.; Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18).

28. Imperfection or immaturity in the OT gives way to perfection in the NT
(1 Cor. 13:10-13; Heb. 1:3f.).

29. The earthen pot which belongs to this world is destroyed, but its treasure is saved
(2 Cor. 4:7; Mt. 6:19f.; 1 Pet. 1:3f.).

30. Earthly suffering and bondage to corruption ultimately give way to the permanent glory of heaven
(John 16:21f.; Rom. 8:18-25; Rev. 21:4).

31. Death, corruption and sin in this age are replaced by life, holiness and incorruption in the age to come (John 11:25f.; 2 Tim. 1:10).

32. Temporary salvation in this world is replaced by eternal salvation in heaven in the presence of God (Judges; Rev. 21,22).

33. The temporal inheritance of land and all it implies in the OT becomes a heavenly eternal inheritance in the NT
(Rom. 8:32; Heb. 9:15; 11:8-16).

34. The temporary perennially repeated sacrifices of the OT are fulfilled in the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ
(Heb. 10:14, etc.).

35. The temporal covenants of the OT are replaced by the eternal covenant of Christ (Heb. (13:20).

Concluding comment

It scarcely needs to be added that if the material creation including the flesh (cf. Gal.6:8) lacks a permanent covenantal guarantee (or is a closed naturalistic system), it is inevitably futile
(Ecclesiastes; Rom. 8:18-25; 1 Cor. 15:12-19; 2 Tim. 1:10).