Resurrected to Witness

The Purpose of the Restoration Covenant

“The restoration period is the last era of Israel’s history as the people of God and the climactic period of old covenant. The kingdom of God has grown beyond Israel and spread to the nations, who are the God-appointed protectors of His priestly people. Israel’s loss of independence and submission to Gentile powers was not a backward movement in the kingdom program of God. Abraham had been chosen by God so that through him all the nations of the world could be blessed (Gen. 12:3). In the restoration era, this was fulfilled more than at any other time in Israel’s history. Through the dispersion Jews had spread all over the world and they brought with them the knowledge of the true God.

Though Daniel spent most of his life serving the king of Babylon during the time of captivity, he is still a good picture of what the restoration era is about, for he served “Darius the Mede” also. Daniel’s job was that of an advisor, the supreme advisor, to the king of Babylon and then head over the satraps and presidents in the kingdom of Persia (Dan. 6:1-3). Essentially the king intended to designate Daniel as the actual ruler in Persia, as Joseph had been in Egypt: “the king planned to appoint him over the whole kingdom” (Dan. 6:3). This was not a “secular” calling. To advise the king and aid him and the daily affairs of rule was one of the functions of a prophet, as, for example, the prophet Nathan did for David (cf. 2 Sam. 7).

In other words, during the restoration era, Israel as a nation would no longer have civil power, but she was appointed by God to serve as a prophetic witness to the world. It was Israel’s prophetic task to give godly counsel to the leaders of the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman empires who protected her and, through her position in the empire, spread the knowledge of the true God. The final era of Israel’s history, thus, was a prophetic era in which the word of God went forth more broadly than at any time in Israel’ history.

Her new temple in Jerusalem lacked the glory of the temple of Solomon (cf. Hag. 2:3), but, as was appropriate for a prophetic people in an international age, her real new temple was the “heavenly” temple that was revealed to Ezekiel (40-48). Jews in this era were given a glorious vision of Israel’s worship and its global significance that made explicit the purpose of the tabernacle and temple. Through the worship of the true God, the priestly nation was to bring blessing to all men.”


from Introduction to the Bible by Ralph Smith.

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