"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32



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Monday, October 22, 2012

ISRAELOLOGY – Why Israel Matters To the Biblical Christian - Part Two

~ ~ By James Fire

The Promises and Covenants with Israel Have Been Broken? 

There are those that believe that since Israel has rejected their Messiah, the LORD Jesus Christ that the promises of God to build them an everlasting kingdom where Jesus, the Son of David, would rule from His father’s (David) throne have been done away with. Jesus was crucified, being rejected by Israel’s ruling authorities, and so these people believe that the promises once given to Israel have been given now to the church.

This is called Replacement Theology and is unbiblical (we will see why this is so in the following second half of this two-part article)! To help us address this issue (and some others) we now want to listen to an interview (approx. 34 mins.) with Paul Wilkinson from SAID ministry (Saints Abounding In Discernment) by Michael-Anthony Rene Chavez; Michael-Anthony is in ministry with SAID along with Sergio Martinez. Also on this same page, be sure to read Sergio’s article about John Piper and his views on Israel; biblical or not? You can read more information about all this from Paul Wilkinson as well as Jacob Prasch’s own insights in a SAID radio interview, all found on this page above! Here is another presentation by Paul Winkinson at The BEREAN CALL Conference regarding these issues: Christian Palestinianism (1 hr. 06 mins.) 

God’s Promise Delayed, NOT Deleted!

After the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He meets with His disciples in the first chapter of Acts where they ask the LORD about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel:

ACTS 1: 6 – 7
6When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

By now the LORD Jesus had already established His church (which He spoke about previously in MATT 16:18
) and yet here we have the disciples asking about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel.

Note what the LORD Jesus did NOT say
“Do you not yet understand that since Israel has rejected her King, that God no longer will give them the kingdom?”

He simply said that the time for that event is in the Father’s keeping, to be revealed later on, but not now – now is the time to wait in Jerusalem for the power of the Holy Spirit so that the disciples will have success in preaching the Gospel and being witnesses all around the world and those that believe would become disciples of Christ themselves and members of the church!

The time of Israel’s kingdom and greatest glory in the LORD was delayed but not at all deleted: God will ALWAYS keep His promises!

Now let’s turn to another chapter in ACTS 15

The Council of Jerusalem

There were some disagreements among Jewish members of the church regarding the Gentile believers; many Jews, especially Pharisees that became disciples of Jesus Christ, believed it was proper for Gentile followers of Christ should be circumcised and to follow the Law of Moses (ACTS 15:1,5).

It was determined that it was not at all necessary for the Gentiles to be circumcised or to follow the Law of Moses, for this did not provide salvation nor was it a burden that even the Jews could bear, but Jews now can get saved just the same way as the Gentiles (ACTS 15:7-11) – but then if such things were unnecessary, then what would be the need for Israel to remain as a nation?

Was there yet a future for Israel now that the church had been established?

Toward the end of the Counsel, the elder of Jerusalem, James (the half brother of Jesus the Christ) stood up and made a statement:

ACTS 15:13– 7
13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: 14 Simeon (Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

James quoted from the book of Amos which says the following:

AMOS 9:11–12,14-15
11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.

14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.

Elder James understood that “the tabernacle of David” would be raised back up and built “as in the days of old” but that this would occur once God visited the Gentiles “to take out of them a people for His Name” – which is the church!

Once the church is completed then, the LORD God will turn His attention once again to Israel and rebuild that nation and restore the kingdom as in the days of David.

In Paul’s epistle to the Romans he takes three chapters (9, 10 & 11) to explain why God is not yet finished with Israel. In chapter 11 he says the following:

ROMANS 11:1-5
1I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
2God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Do ye not know what the scripture saith of Elijah? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying,
3Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
4But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
5Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Here Paul the apostle presents the biblical concept of a remnant; that is, of all of a particular body of people (whether of Israel or the church) there is a remnant that has not fallen from the faith or apostatized.

Just as God informed Elijah of the fact that while the prophet thought he was alone, there were in fact, seven thousand others that “have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal”.

Dr. Scofield comments:

Our Library Commentaries – Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)

1I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

“Cast” - That Israel has not been forever set aside is the theme of this chapter.

(1) The salvation of Paul proves that there is still a remnant (ROMANS 11:1)
(2) The doctrine of the remnant proves it (ROMANS 11:2-6).
(3) The present national unbelief was foreseen (ROMANS 11:7-10).
(4) Israel's unbelief is the Gentile opportunity (ROMANS 11:11-25).
(5) Israel is judicially broken off from the good olive tree, Christ (ROMANS 11:17-22).
(6) They are to be grafted in again (ROMANS 11:23-24).
(7) The promised Deliverer will come out of Zion and the nation will be saved (ROMANS 11:25-29).

That the Christian now inherits the distinctive Jewish promises is not taught in Scripture. The Christian is of the heavenly seed of Abraham: GEN 15:5-6; GAL 3:29 and partakes of the spiritual blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant; (See Scofield "Genesis 15:18") but Israel as a nation always has it own place, and is yet to have its greatest exaltation as the earthly people of God.

See "Israel" GEN 12:2; ROM 11:26.
"Kingdom"; GEN 1:26-28; ZECH 
11:5; 12:8

Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

“Remnant” Summary:

In the history of Israel, a "remnant" may be discerned, a spiritual Israel within the national Israel. In Elijah's time 7,000 had not bowed the knee to Baal (ISAIAH 1:9). In Isaiah's time it was the "very small remnant" for whose sake God still forbore to destroy the nation (
ISAIAH 1:9).

During the captivities the remnant appears in Jews like Ezekiel, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Esther, and Mordecai. At the end of the 70 years of Babylonian captivity it was the remnant which returned under Ezra and Nehemiah. At the advent of our Lord, John the Baptist, Simeon, Anna, and "them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem" (LUKE 2:38) were the remnant. During the church-age the remnant is composed of believing Jews (ROM 11:4-5).

But the chief interest in the remnant is prophetic. During the great tribulation a remnant out of all Israel will turn to Jesus as Messiah, and will become His witnesses after the removal of the church (REV 7:3-8). Some of these will undergo martyrdom (REV 6:9-11) some will be spared to enter the millennial kingdom (ZECH 12:6-13:9).

Many of the Psalms express, prophetically, the joys and sorrows of the tribulation remnant. Remnant. See ISAIAH 1:9 
(completion of commentary by Dr. Scofield).

Of course today in the nation of Israel there are very few of “spiritual Israel” (remnant) and these are Jews found in the church, but nevertheless, nationally speaking belong to that nation (just as any Christian might belong to the nation of Italy, Brazil, or China, etc).

Most Jews today are atheist, agnostic, or just secular; others partake of Eastern religions or New Age beliefs. Yet just as it was stated in Ezekiel’s “dry bones” prophecy (EZEK 37: 1-14) these would first be brought together bodily, having their “bones and sinews” and “skin” established, meaning the actual national Israel being brought back into the land, but without the Spirit of God.

Yet once assembled nationally, on the day appointed by God, His Spirit will come upon them, and bring them to spiritual life!

EZEKIEL 37: 11-14
11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

And again in 

ROMANS 11: 25-27
25 For I would not, brethren that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

National Israel right now cannot see by faith that Jesus is truly their Messiah; they are blind to this truth, but not forever, says Paul the apostle! The blindness will only last UNTIL the “fullness of the Gentiles” has arrived.

What is this ‘fullness of the Gentiles”? It’s what was spoken of earlier in the Book of Acts – That God will call out of all the Gentile nations “a people for His name”: this is the church of Jesus Christ, and once the church is completed (and only God knows when this will occur) then the church will be taken home by the rapture of the church.

Once this “fullness of the Gentiles” is completed, then and only then will the blindness of Israel will lift away and they will call upon the Name of the LORD and repent of their rejection of Jesus their Messiah and pray that He return to them, and so He will as indicated in the book of Hosea.

The REAL Return of the King!

HOSEA 5: 15
15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.

Who is speaking here in this verse? You have to trace back to chapter 4:1 before you learn clearly that the speaker here is “the LORD”. In chapter 5 it states that the LORD will return to His place – which would be heaven, right? Well, when did the LORD return to heaven? To return, that means He would have to have LEFT heaven – so when did He do that?

This is of course, speaking of the LORD, Jesus Christ – God the Son! He left heaven to become a babe in a manger in Bethlehem, He grew up to be a man and declared Himself to be the Messiah, He was crucified, buried and then raised from the dead and later He ascended and “returned to His place”.

For how long will He remain at His place in heaven? According to Hosea, it will be “UNTIL they (Israel) acknowledge their offense” (this is in the singular form, that is one specific offense) which I believe is their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah – once they repent of this sin and seek His face, THEN the KING will return to Earth, and to Israel. And as we just saw:

ROMANS 11: 26
26And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

First Abrahamic, then Davidic, Now a New Covenant!

JEREMIAH 31: 31 – 37
31Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:
36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. 
37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.

This new covenant is the spiritual fulfillment of the covenants that the LORD God made with Abraham and with David, that just as the LORD gave a land and a progeny to Abraham and a kingdom to David as well as a continuation of that progeny – the very family line of the Messiah Himself, He will now by promise (not by the covenant that He made with their fathers, which they broke, that is to say the Mosaic covenant and the Law) bring about this new covenant in which the LORD will inscribe His Law in the hearts of Israel’s people; note this is an inward work of the Spirit, not an outward work done by overt obedience to the Law. This inward work will instill an innate “knowledge of the LORD” which all Israel at that day shall possess! Please note how binding this promise towards Israel is!

The LORD has stated that if the ordinances of the sun for light by day and that of the moon and stars for light by night depart from before the LORD, then the seed of Israel shall cease from being a nation! He further states that if the heavens and the foundations of the earth can be “searched out” then He would cast off the seed of Israel.

Both of these propositions are impossible for human beings, not to mention Israel herself. It’s God’s way of declaring unilaterally that His promises will remain intact!

Also see:

EZEKIEL 36: 24 – 28:
24For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
25Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
26A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.
27And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
28And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. (JOHN 3:3-5; “born again” according to Jesus)

Here the LORD God states that He will not only place His Law and knowledge of Him within the hearts of His people, but also His very Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit within the heart of the believer is the condition of the church – we who are born again by Jesus Christ, through faith in Him. We are the “temple of the Holy Spirit” as stated in 
1 COR 6:19-20 (see also 2 COR 6:16; EPH 2: 20-22).

Yet on that blessed Day when Israel is saved, she also will enjoy the presence of the Living God indwelling them, whereas before the Old Testament saints would only have the Spirit of God come upon them, but not indwell them (which is why David could legitimately pray, “Take not Thy spirit from me” (PSALM 51:11) which happened to Saul, his predecessor.

Again, note God’s promise that the Jewish people would dwell in the land, which belongs to the LORD GOD alone, and only HE has the right to give it to whom He will, and through the Word of God, He has made His declaration!

JEREMIAH 32: 37-42
37Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:
38And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: 
39And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:
40And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear (reverence) in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
41Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.
42For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.

Observe the passion and the conviction with which God makes this declaration!

“I will plant them in this land assuredly WITH MY WHOLE HEART AND WITH MY WHOLE SOUL”!

One gets the impression that God is serious about establishing Israel in the land and that He says what he means and means what He has said in His WORD!

Other verses that speak on God’s faithful promise to bring Israel back to the land which belongs to God Himself, a territory He specifically marked out as His very own special land:

ISAIAH 11:11-12; JEREMIAH 16:15; 23:3-8; EZEKIEL 11:14-20; 36th and 37th chapters; JOEL 3:1-2;18-21; AMOS 9:11- 15; ZEPH 3:14-20; ZECH 10:10-12

So why does Israel matter to the biblical Christian?

For whatsoever things were written aforetime
(Old Testament) were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

As the church, we see how God dealt with Israel with mercy, kindness, grace, long suffering and patience even though they were a rebellious people prone to sin and idolatry, forsaking the LORD only to be drawn back by Him. We can take comfort by these OT lessons and understand that if the LORD God is that faithful to Israel, He will also be faithful to us, entirely trustworthy and a GOD of HIS WORD that can be completely depended upon by faith and be relied upon for all His promises to us, His children!

Notes from Dr. Scofield’s Study Bible On ROMANS 11:26:

Summary: Israel (the nation), so named from the grandson of Abraham (a.k.a. Jacob), was chosen for a fourfold mission:

(1) To witness to the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry: 
DEUT 6:4; ISAIAH 43:10-12.
(2) To illustrate to the nations the blessedness of serving the true God: DEUT 33:26-29; 1 CHRON 17:20-21; PSALM 144:15.
(3) To receive, preserve, and transmit the Scripture: DEUT 4:5-8; ROMANS 3:1-2.
(4) To produce, as to His humanity, the Messiah: GEN 3:15; 12:3; 22:18; 28:10-14; 49:10; 2 SAM 7:12-16; ISAIAH 7:14; 9:6; MATT 1:1; ROM 1:3. According to the prophets, Israel, re-gathered from all nations, restored to her own land and converted, is yet to have her greatest earthly exaltation and glory.

For those of you who would like to watch a video presentation where much of this is expounded upon, click on the link. This teaching took place at what is now called The House of Truth fellowship.

May the LORD GOD bless always and forever the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with salvation, in the LORD Jesus Christ, Y'shua ha Meschiach-Nagid!

PSALM 125:1-2
1 They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.

2 As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. Read more!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

ISRAELOLOGY - Why Israel Matters To the Biblical Christian - Part One

~~ by James Fire

Bible scholars and theologians study with a methodology known as Systematic Theology. This is a study that organizes biblical subjects and topics into categories that makes it more accessible and easier to study and understand.

Some of the subjects in Systematic Theology are such as follows:

Soteriology - the study of salvation.

Pneumatology - the study of the Holy Spirit
Ecclesiology - the study of the church.
Christology - the study of the Person of Jesus Christ.
Eschatology - the study of prophetic last things and events.

And many others subjects...

One subject however is missing in any version of Systematic Theology you might look at:

Take your Bible and find Genesis chapter 12 and place your thumb there; now find Acts chapter 2 and place your finger there and pick up your Bible holding it in between these two chapters.
There are a lot of pages there between your two digits! What primary (among hundreds of secondary others) subject that this section deals with? ISRAEL!

Do you suppose that Israel is important to God?
You would sure think so, judging by how much Scripture He has given that deals with this nation (and there is a lot more said about Israel well past Acts chapter 2 as we shall soon see)!

So why is Israel important to you and I?

That's a question I'd like to consider today. In answer, first of all, because it's important to God!
Now let's look at some Scriptures:

The LORD God called Abram from his native land and gave him the promise of blessing in the creation of a nation through him:

GEN 12:1-8
1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. 
4 So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 
5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. 
6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 
7 And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him. 
8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord

Abram, a Gentile from the land of Ur was given a holy calling by God; the LORD would produce a great nation with Abram and would bless everyone that blessed him, and would also curse those that cursed him! This should be a warning to those who would speak against God's chosen people because Balaam found out in Numbers - he couldn't curse God's people either, but rather proclaimed blessing instead!

The LORD God promised Abram a son, and a multitude of descendents:

GEN 15:1-6
1 After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. 
2 And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? 
3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. 
4 And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 
5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 
6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness

Abram believed in the LORD and because of this, he was considered righteous before Him; this was the substantiation for Abram's justification by faith, the same as it is for all who come to the LORD by faith. The promises then that came upon Abram (later Abraham as his name was changed) would follow his heir, Isaac (GEN 21:11-13; 25:11), as well as Jacob (GEN 28:13-15; 35:9-15), and the patriarchs, the twelve sons (and later tribes) of Jacob or Israel (GEN 28:13; 35:12; see also NUM 23 and NUM 24).

Of course not all that were of that nation received the promises because of unbelief. In fact, of all the original generation of Hebrews that left Egypt in the great exodus only TWO survived to inherit the Promised Land (her is the concept of a believing remnant which we will look at more, later on) and neither of these two were Moses! Not even Moses made it! Joshua and Caleb were the only ones of the original generation, along with the subsequent generation (the children) that inherited the land.

The LORD God promised Abram a land that he would inherit:

GEN 15:7-10
7 And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. 
8 And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? 
9 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. 
10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not

A strange custom to us, to be sure, but in the Middle East at the time of Abram it was a well known concept where animals were sacrificed, split in half and thus make a 'pathway' of sorts through which the parties would walk, reciting the terms of the agreement (See JER 34:18 for an example of this practice).

The LORD God made this promise and Unconditional Covenant

GEN 15:11-18
11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away. 
12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. 
13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 
14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 
15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 
16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. 
17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. 

18 In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates

Note: the presence of God in the form of a smoking furnace and a burning lamp passed through the sacrificed animals...but Abram did not!

What does this tell us?

That God did not obligate Abram to any terms of this agreement, that it was all on Him, the LORD God Himself; in other words, this is an unconditional promise by God, one that cannot be annulled or broken by Abram, or any of his descendents - this we will see more of, when we examine the promises of God to King David.

God actually promised Abram a LOT MORE LAND than what Israel ever actually possessed! Yet will God fulfill His promise to Abraham and his descendents? YES!

God isn't finished revealing to Abraham all that He is going to give him, and by him God will bless the entire world! Let's look at another chapter in Genesis 22:

Abraham is Commanded to Sacrifice his 'only son'

GEN 22:1-4
1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. 
3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off

Abraham Obeys God's Command but Receives His Son Back (vs. 11, 12) along with a Revelation!

GEN 25:5-8, 14
5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. 
6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country. 
7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years. 
8 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. 
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen

Here we see Isaac as a type f Christ, in that though he was as good as dead in the sight of Abraham (HEB 11:17-19), yet the LORD retracted His command to slay the young man, and provided a ram instead.

Abraham received Isaac in allegory, from the dead and also received a substitute in the form of that ram. And in making such a willing sacrifice, Abraham received the knowledge from the LORD of how He would provide HIMSELF-the Lamb of God: the LORD Jesus Christ - as "a lamb for a burnt offering"! Astounding!

The LORD Jesus verified this in John's Gospel that Abraham 'saw' - perhaps in a vision that God gave to him - His day where He would provide salvation - to Abraham's descendents that would have faith in the Messiah (the King of Israel), both Jew (Israel) and Jew and Gentile (in the church).

JOHN 8:56, Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

God's Promises All Tolled:
- So God promised Abraham a son.
- An entire nation as his descendents.
- And a huge land from the Nile to the Euphrates.
- And also the promise that God would provide HIMSELF as a Lamb for a sacrifice.

God not only made a covenant with Abraham (Abrahamic Covenant), but He also made a covenant with King David (Davidic Covenant); let's move forward in time and visit the land of Israel during the days of the kingdom under David.

One day King David was sitting on his throne in his luxurious palace, when it dawned on him, that while he lived in this very fancy house, God was dwelling in a tabernacle - that's a fancy name for a tent!

He expressed a desire to the LORD's prophet to build God a fabulous house, for His glory. Yet God, even though He was touched by David's intention, turned around and declared how He would bless the king with a 'House'!

Here is what God said:

The Davidic Covenant - God promises to build David a 'House'

2 SAM 7:10-16
10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,

11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the Lord telleth thee that he will make thee an house.
12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.

16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

The LORD declares that He would plant His people in their own land and that they would "move no more" nor would "the children of wickedness afflict them anymore". Yet Israel DID move out of the land in judgment, not once but twice (The Babylonian Captivity and the Diaspora in 70 AD when Rome attacked Jerusalem), and children of wickedness have afflicted them, and continue to do so today.

So this time when they will "move not" and "the wicked will not afflict them" must still be future, a future that is credible now that Israel has returned to the land after being dispersed for over nineteen centuries (an unprecedented event)! They will not be moved again out of their land, for God has regathered them "the second time" (Is. 11:11) and there is no mention of a third or fourth regathering in Scripture at all.

Not only the people and the land, but also the government will be established by the LORD God (both the kingdom and the throne) and last forever! No termination date!

Observe verse 12 with me: The LORD states: "I will set up thy seed after thee".

One would typically suppose that the LORD here is speaking of David's offspring, and that He is, but in a very peculiar fashion. This single word carries with it a double meaning (the physical offspring of David such as Solomon and Nathan, etc (see vs. 14); but also the Messianic "son of David" which is Christ the LORD (see vs. 15)) with the more significant part exposited by the apostle Paul in Galatians chapter Three:

GAL 3:15-17
15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 

17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect

The seed spoken of to Abraham, as well as to King David in 2 Samuel is the same seed, that is, Christ. According to these passages the seed of David will have a kingdom established by the LORD God and He will establish the throne of His (Christ's) kingdom over Israel forever. This see, Christ, will build a house (in Israel)for the LORD's name's sake.

This throne and kingdom of Israel will be eternal just as the KING of kings Who will sit upon that throne and rule in that kingdom of Israel is eternal! Because it is established by Christ, the covenant made to Abraham and to David regarding Israel cannot be broken; the promise cannot be disannulled or be made void!

As Paul stated above, since this promise was made before the Law was given, it was not a covenant based upon Law and conditional, predicated on obedience to the Law (as was the Mosaic covenant; see DEUT ch. 28, beginning at vs. 1 and also vs. 15 for blessings and curses respectively).

It was, and is, a covenant based upon promise and unconditional, predicated on God's Word to Abraham and David! David is blown away by God's goodness and generosity!

Listen to what he says:

2 SAM 7:21-25
21 For thy word's sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them. 
22 Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 
23 And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? 
24 For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, Lord, art become their God. 

25 And now, O Lord God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said.

Then we have more of God's promise and covenant to David revealed in Psalm 89:

God Repeats Himself Regarding His Promises to David -

PSALM 89:3,4,20,21,27-29,34-37
3 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, 
4 Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah. 

20 I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: 
21 With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him. 

27 Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. 
28 My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. 
29 His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. 

34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. 
35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. 
36 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. 

37 It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah

In verse 29 God declares regarding David's "seed" He will make to endure forever and His throne as the days of heaven. Again this "see" is singular not plural-that is, this seed refers to a particular person: the "Son of David" Who is the Messiah, that is, Jesus Christ!

Notice how God emphasizes that He will NOT break His covenant with David in vs. 34; nor will He alter that which He has declared. This shows how God's Word is binding in regards to Israel (and to us, His church!).

We've looked at many verses in the Old Testament, now let's look at a few in the New Testament, starting in Luke's Gospel:

The Mother of the King of Israel -

LUKE 1:30-33
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. 
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Those that would suppose the promises made to Israel under Old Testament Law cannot explain away these verses that the angel Gabriel spoke to Mary. Here it's clearly stated by the messenger of God that the LORD will giver her Son, the throne of His father, David and He will reign over Israel and obtain an eternal kingdom there.

Jesus never ruled upon a throne in Israel, but that doesn't mean that He won't! Prophecies abound in nearly all the Old Testament prophets declaring that while judgment will fall on Israel, her consolation is that, afterwards she will receive the kingdom as promised by God.

For your own consideration, browse through the Old Testament prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel, Obadiah, Haggai, Zechariah and others and pay close attention to their final chapters and words and see whether or not they speak of a coming kingdom to Israel!

The Promises and Covenants with Israel Have Been Broken?

There are those that believe that since Israel has rejected their Messiah, the LORD Jesus Christ that the promises of God to build them an everlasting kingdom where Jesus, the Son of David, would rule from His father's (David) throne have been done away with.

Jesus was crucified, being rejected by Israel's ruling authorities, and so these people believe that the promises once given to Israel have been given now to the church.

This is called Replacement Theology and is unbiblical. We will see why this is so in part Two, along with many other pertinent passages of Scripture that supports Israel as a part of God's plan for the ages, in this article! Read more!
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