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Author Topic: Israel Has not Received the Promises Yet  (Read 321 times)

Emily

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Israel Has not Received the Promises Yet
« on: August 17, 2019, 05:17:03 PM »

What do you say to the many Christians who say that Israel has yet to receive the fulfillment of the covenant that was promised to them? Try as I may to explain it, they always say this promise is to be fulfilled in the future. Any suggestions?

William B

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Re: Israel Has not Received the Promises Yet
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2019, 08:42:17 PM »
You might tell them to read this article Emily:

The Abrahamic Covenant
by Louis F. DeBoer

The Covenant:
As the Noahic Covenant, this covenant is explicitly identified for us in scripture. And as the Noahic Covenant we have to look in more than one place in the scriptures to find all of it. The key passages are found in Genesis chapters 15 and 17. In many ways the situation is similar to the times in which God made his covenant with Noah. Noah represented a small island of godliness awash in a sea of iniquity. Abraham represented a small island of faithfulness to the true God awash in a sea of idolatry and polytheism*. God preserved Noah and destroyed the generation of the flood. God spiritually preserved Abraham but did not destroy his generation. The difference was the Noahic Covenant, whereby God restrained his wrath as he continued to work in history to fulfil the purposes of the Trinitarian Covenant. The similarity is that in both cases he preserved a remnant of the seed of the woman to fulfil his purposes in history. The similarity is that he made covenants with both men.

The basis of the Covenant of Works was that man had to be perfect before God. God is a holy God and this requirement has never changed. All men are under this Covenant and its requirements. Therefore this also forms the requirement of the Abrahamic Covenant. God addresses Abraham as he institutes this covenant and commands him saying, "…I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee" (Genesis 17:1-2). Walking perfectly before God is the condition for coming into covenant with him. How can this be? Abraham is a son of the first Adam and has inherited his sinful nature and was conceived in sin and born in iniquity. How can Abraham walk perfectly before God? The answer is given in the covenant itself.

 

"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. 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. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness" (Genesis 15:4-6).

The answer is justification by faith. Abraham's faith in God's promises was "counted it to him for righteousness". And like the Edenic Covenant that was sealed with the blood sacrifice of the animals that provided a covering for Adam and Eve; and like the Noahic Covenant that was God's response to Noah's blood sacrifice of clean animals after the flood; so was the Covenant between God and Abraham sealed with a sacrifice.

"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. And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? 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. 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…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. 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" (Genesis 15:7-10,17-18).

The covenant and its promises, particularly the promise of the land of Canaan to Abraham and his seed forever, were sealed by this sacrifice. The token of the covenant itself would be the ritual of circumcision. Therefore it is called "…the covenant of circumcision" (Acts 7:8) by Stephen in his oration before the Sanhedrin. And therefore Christ himself would say of circumcision that it is not "of Moses, but of the fathers" (John 7:22). For God commanded Abraham,

"…Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you" (Genesis 17:9-11).

This bloody ritual on the male organ of generation expressing both the symbolism of shed blood, the promised seed of the woman, and the cutting away of the body of original sin transmitted from generation to generation, would reflect the very heart of the covenant until the coming of Christ who would fulfil all.

The Parties:
The parties to this covenant seem simple. As the scriptures state it, "And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee" (Genesis 17:7). There are only three parties to this covenant. They are God, Abraham, and Abraham's seed. The first two parties are clear but there have been centuries of contention about the third. Just who are the seed of Abraham? It seems simple; they are the physical progeny of Abraham. But historically it has never been that simple. Even Abraham seems to have been confused on the subject. When God states his promise of the coming miraculous birth of Isaac by his legitimate wife Sarai, Abraham's response is, "…O that Ishmael might live before thee!" (Genesis 17:18). And in the next generation there is similar confusion. Even though Isaac had been told, "…the elder shall serve the younger" (Genesis 25:23), he insists on attempting to give the birthright to Esau. If the seed of Abraham means his physical descendents it clearly does not include all of them. As Paul explains it,

"Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (Romans 9:6-13).

Paul is saying not all of the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) are, covenantally speaking, the "seed of Abraham". Only those who are the "children of the promise" are deemed such. Who are these children of the promise? Paul names Isaac and Jacob. These are physical descendants of Abraham but they are more also. They were God's elect. God chose Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau. God does the choosing. He chose Abraham and made a covenant with him. And he chooses who Abraham's seed are and who are included in the covenant. As Paul states it just two verses later, "For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion" (Romans 9:15). But it is important to note that according to his covenant God chose them from among the physical seed of Abraham.

And so it was from Abraham to Christ. As Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well, "…salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22). When a Phoenician woman implored him for the covenant blessings Christ answered, "It is not meet to take the children's bread, and cast it to dogs" (Matthew 15:26). The covenant and its blessings were restricted to those who were restricted to Abraham's descendants and those who joined themselves to them. To those who like Rahab in Jericho, and Ruth in Moab can say, "…thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God" (Ruth 1:16). As Christ brought the Messianic blessings to Israel he always related them to the Abrahamic Covenant. When he healed the woman in the synagogue on the Sabbath day and was rebuked by the ruler of the synagogue Christ responded,

"The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?" (Luke 13:15-16).

And when Christ sought out Zacchaeus, ministered to him, and received his repentance, and the multitude questioned his dealings with such a sinner, Christ answered,

"…This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham" (Luke 19:9).

It is by entering into the Abrahamic Covenant and its blessings that men receive the salvation of God. And so it was all through the time of the Old Covenant. But how are things now. Has all this changed? What happened at the time of Christ? What happened when the call of the gospel went out to the Gentiles? Did all this change? The answer is no. But what has happened is that this issue has become more confused than ever.

The Phoenician woman prevailed in her pleadings with Christ.

"And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour" (Matthew 15:22-28).

How could this be? Jesus had just said that it was not proper to give the covenant blessings to strangers and that salvation is of the Jews. Jesus' own answer to this apparent contradiction is that it is because of her great faith. The Abrahamic Covenant was based on justification by faith and those who exercise the faith required by the covenant are the children of the covenant. As Paul taught the Galatians as they wavered between the importance of faith and works,

"Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham" (Gal 3:6-9).

But if anyone regardless of their descent from Abraham can receive the blessings of the covenant based on faith, is the covenant now made void? Is the issue no longer who are the seed of Abraham? Is the only issue now who has the faith of Abraham? No, that is not what Paul is teaching. He explains this mystery another way. He says,

"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" (Galatians 3:16).

Paul notes that when the covenant was made with Abraham and his seed the word seed was in the singular. From this he argues that this referred to one special son of Abraham, Jesus Christ. From that he goes on to teach that if we are Christ's, that if we are united by faith to Jesus Christ, then we have become Abraham's seed.

"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal 3:26-29).

Now it is at this point that the confusion generally enters. We are now told that physical descent from Abraham means nothing. We are told that being part of Israel according to the flesh, means nothing. We are told that the only thing that matters is faith. But that is not what the Apostle was teaching. And then to compound this we are told that there are two Israels. We are told that there is a physical Israel and a spiritual Israel. We are told that the former means nothing and that the latter is means everything. And then we are told that the latter is the church, the assembly of those that believe. And this then sets up a false dichotomy between the two Israels, between national Israel and the church. This dichotomy is prevalent among both dispensationalists and the reformed. The former say that national Israel is temporarily set aside until the church age is over. The latter say that national Israel is permanently set aside. But Paul makes it clear that national Israel is not set aside. He echoes Jeremiah, who said,

"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: 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. 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" (Jeremiah 31:35-37).

Stated in the context of the prophecy of the New Covenant this seems to be a pretty decisive statement. The New Covenant does not mean that national Israel is cast away. And this exactly what Paul restates in the time of the New Covenant.

"I 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. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew" (Romans 11:1-2).

He explains what is happening to Israel according to the flesh and to the Gentiles under the figure of an olive tree.

"For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 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 fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins" (Romans 11:16-27).

Now the olive tree represents Israel, the covenant nation. It represents the covenant people of God. It represents the seed of Abraham. Paul does not say that it has been cut down or cast away. Neither does Paul say that there are two olive trees, that there are two Israels. Paul will have of these dichotomies that are so popular when dealing with this subject. Paul says that the olive tree stands and has not been cast away his ancient people Israel. What God has done is merely to prune out the unbelieving branches. Even as he pruned out Esau that "profane person"; even as he pruned out the generation in the wilderness that "could not enter in because of unbelief"; so he is pruning out those of Paul's generation that will not believe in Jesus Christ, the Messiah. God has not cast away national Israel but from every generation he reserves to himself a remnant of them according to his electing decrees.

"God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But 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. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace" (Romans 11:2-5).

And what of all the Gentile believers? And what of the New Testament Church? Paul does not say that they constitute something separate from Israel. He says they have become part of Israel. He says that they have been grafted into the olive tree. Nothing has changed in principle. As always, as in every generation, Gods has pruned the unbelievers out of his covenant people. Faith is the essential requirement of the covenant. And as in every generation God is grafting in those like Ruth, and Rahab, and Naaman, who profess true faith in the God of Israel. What has dramatically changed is the scope of these operations. There has been massive pruning as the nation of Israel rejected their Messiah. And there has been extensive grafting in as the gospel has gone forth from Jerusalem to the nations of the Mediterranean Sea. But what is common to all is that they are part of the olive tree. They are part of the one true Israel of God. They all partake of the root and fatness of the olive tree. They all partake of the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant as his seed.

Consistently the New Testament teaches that we all need to become the seed of Abraham to be saved. Salvation by faith in Jesus Christ is a blessing of the Abrahamic Covenant. We all need to enter into that covenant. God will save his people but he will only save them as the "seed of Abraham". When Israel grievously sinned in the wilderness God was prepared to wipe them out. But he would raise up a new seed of Abraham through Moses.

"And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation" (Exodus 32:9-10).

When Christ's generation was so grossly unprepared for the coming of the Messiah they came under the rebuke of Christ's forerunner, John the Baptist. He warned them severely.

"But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire" (Matthew 3:7-10).

Unfruitful individuals may be cast out but there will always be a seed of Abraham. And if all of national Israel should prove unworthy God would if necessary raise up seed to Abraham from the very stones that his covenant might to kept and his purposes fulfilled. And to the degree that national Israel was unfaithful God has grafted in the Gentiles that the olive tree might flourish and that according to his covenant, the seed of Abraham might be as the stars of the heavens and as sand on the seashore for multitude.

The covenant was made with Abraham and his seed. And what a blessing it is that we can by faith be joined to Jesus Christ and become the seed of Abraham and enter into those precious promises and inherit that kingdom that shall have no end.

The Promises and Blessings of the Covenant:
The Abrahamic Covenant is rich in promises. The basic promise is that for Abraham and for his seed, God would be their God and they would be his people. The seed of Abraham will be the people of God. For God promised Abraham,

"And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee" (Genesis 17:7).

But how can this be? God is a holy God and we are sinners. There is of course a sense in which God is the God of all men. God is over all men as their Creator and since the fall into sin as their Judge. But to have God be our God in the sense of the covenant, in the sense of being a Father to us and we his children seems impossible. But that is made possible by a second promise of the covenant. God promises that he will justify us in his sight and declare us righteous before the bar of his justice if we have faith in him, in his promises, and especially in his (coming) Messiah.

These two promises are the essence of the whole covenant. They promise that God will be our God and will fellowship with us, as he once did with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before the fall. They promise that God will give us a righteousness not our own, that we will be fit to fellowship with him and be the children of a thrice holy God.

As noted above this covenant is rich in promises and we will note at least three more here that form another part of this covenant. The first is the promise that his seed would be as numerous as the sand on the seashore or the stars in the heavens. God repeatedly renewed this covenant promise to Abraham.

"And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered" (Genesis 13:16).

"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" (Genesis 15:5).

"As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee" (Genesis 17:4-6).

"That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies" (Genesis 22:17).

The next promise is the promise of possession of the land of Canaan by Abraham and his seed in perpetuity. This promise is also frequently repeated and renewed throughout scripture.

"And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever…Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee" (Genesis 13:14-15,17).

"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" (Genesis 15:18).

"And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God" (Genesis 17:8).

And the third promise in this trilogy of promises is the promise that some day out of Abraham's seed will come the Messianic King. This is the promise that one of his descendants will be the promised Messiah. The definition of the promised seed keeps narrowing through the history of redemption. First we have the promise of the Edenic Covenant concerning the seed of the woman that will crush the serpent's head. Then Abraham is told that the genealogy of this promised Messiah will run through him, the Messiah will be of the seed of Abraham. And the line keeps narrowing. Abraham is told that it will run through Isaac and not through Ishmael. In the next generation again Isaac and Rebecca are told that it will run through the younger (Jacob-Israel) and not through the elder (Esau). Jacob at the end of his life prophesies that it will run through Judah and finally God promises David that it will run through his line. A greater son of David will be the Messianic King that will sit on David's throne forevermore.

"And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee" (Genesis 17:6).

"And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice" (Genesis 22:18).

This may not seem as clear to us from these Old Testament promises as those concerning the land etc. but they were abundantly clear in the minds of many inspired writers. The fulfillment of this promise is noted by several New Testament authors. Matthew notes it starting his gospel by stating,

"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Matthew 1:1).

Matthew starts his gospel by identifying Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ (i.e. the Anointed One, the Messiah). He then immediately identifies him as the promised seed of Abraham and the promised seed of David. Any believing Old Testament Jew would have immediately understood what Matthew was saying. He would have understood that Jesus was being set forth as the fulfillment of these promises of the Abrahamic and the Davidic covenants.

In the Magnificat, as Mary rejoices over the impending birth of Jesus the Messiah, she relates it to the Abrahamic Covenant saying,

"He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever" (Luke 1:54-55).

Similarly, it was so connected by Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist.

"And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham" (Luke 1:67-73)

Peter, preaching in the temple after the healing of the lame man, also connects the coming of Christ with the fulfillment of this promise in the Abrahamic Covenant.

"Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities" (Acts 3:24-26).

And finally the Apostle Paul mentions this in the book of Hebrews saying of Christ,

"For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham" (Hebrews 2:16).

To all these inspired men it was clear that the coming of Christ was the fulfillment of God's covenant promise to Abraham, that out of his seed would come the Messiah.

And as will be noted subsequently on the section on the purposes of the covenant this trilogy of promises is one related whole. Together they provide the land, the people, and the king for the promised kingdom.

The Requirements of the Covenant:
The fundamental promise of the covenant is that God will be our God and we will be his people. And the fundamental requirement of the covenant is that we have to be perfect and sinless before God. As God told Abraham when he announced the covenant to him, "walk before me, and be thou perfect" (Genesis 17:1). Of course we are not perfect and never can be in our own right. As Isaiah says, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). But God is gracious and the covenant itself will provide our righteousness. And that leads us directly up to the next requirement of the covenant.

The second requirement of the covenant is that we exercise faith. We have to have faith in God, in his covenant promises, and in his Messiah. If we do that God will grant us the righteousness that we need to be his people. When Abraham was in his old age, seemingly sterile, and his wife barren, Moses said of him,

"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. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness" (Genesis 15:5-6).

And so taught all the New Testament writers.

"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness…Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also" (Romans 4:3,8-11).

"Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham" (Galatians 3:6).

"And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God" (James 2:23).

Faith is an essential requirement of the covenant. As Paul later stated it,

"Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him" (Hebrews 10:38).

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).

Finally, there are two more requirements of the covenant but as we shall see they are both related to the faith requirement. The first of these is circumcision. God told Abraham,

"And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you…And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant" (Genesis 17:9-11,14).

What did circumcision mean? Well like any sacrament is was a physical symbol of a spiritual reality. And like every sacrament it represented God's covenant mercies and blessings. Among other things it represented that great truth of the Abrahamic Covenant, justification by faith. As Paul stated it of Abraham, "And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also" (Romans 4:11).

It also represented the cutting away of the body of sin, of that original sin that is transmitted from generation to generation. In short it represented regeneration. By our first birth we were born in sin and conceived in iniquity. Circumcision represented being born again as new creatures in Christ fit to fellowship with the Holy One of Israel. Because it represented regeneration it was performed on the male organ of generation. That it clearly had a deep spiritual meaning relating to the renewal of the heart by God's Spirit is apparent from such texts as

"The LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live" (Deuteronomy 30:6).

Now while the natural man receives not the word of God and the carnal heart is enmity towards God, this circumcised heart is renewed to love God. Similar references to the spiritual significance of circumcision can be found in Deuteronomy 10:6, Jeremiah 4:4, and Jeremiah 9:25-26. Christ arguing with the Jews about his healing on the Sabbath stated, "If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?" (John 7:23). To Christ circumcision represented being made whole, another apt description of regeneration.

Being a bloody sacrament (Exodus 4:25-26) circumcision also stood for salvation by blood sacrifice. A truth that was graphically portrayed to Abraham when he was on Mount Moriah and God provided a ram as a substitutionary blood sacrifice in place of the bound Isaac. And being on the male organ of generation it also spoke of the promised seed through whom that salvation would come. It represented hope in the promised seed of the woman who would crush the serpent's head and the promised seed of Abraham in whom all the families of the earth were to be blessed. The justifying faith of the Abrahamic Covenant was faith in the coming Messiah, the promised seed. And again by being a bloody sacrament it taught that by the shedding of the blood of the promised seed all the blessings of the covenant would be purchased. Those who truly understood the sacrament and received it in faith, had faith in the shed blood of a coming Messiah as the foundation of their hope for salvation.

Finally we see that like baptism, the sacrament of the New Covenant that replaced it, there was a faith requirement for circumcision. Those scriptures teach a faith requirement for circumcision that is clearly manifested in the history of Israel. Moses taught that circumcision was necessary before partaking of the Passover (Exodus 12:44,48). At the exodus they were all circumcised (Joshua 5:5) and partook of the first Passover. Then although the Passover was commanded as an annual ordinance there was no observance of the Passover for forty years. They could not observe it because they were uncircumcised (Joshua 5:5). They were not circumcised because of their unbelief (Hebrews 3:16-19, Joshua 5:6). The generation that apostatized at Kadesh Barnea shortly after the first Passover died in the wilderness in unbelief. The succeeding generation renewed the covenant in faith on the plains of Moab (Deuteronomy 29) and enter into the land of promise. And there, the faith requirement having been again met, they are circumcised under Joshua's leadership (Joshua 5:2-3) and then subsequently celebrate the second Passover in human history (Joshua 5:10). Please note that the children born in the wilderness could not be circumcised because their parents had fallen from grace and lacked the faith to enter the land of promise. Circumcision like baptism is tied to faith in Christ. Therefore the requirement of circumcision by the Abrahamic Covenant was indelibly connected with the faith requirement of the same covenant.

And last of all there is the requirement to practice blood sacrifice. There is no specific command but by example Abraham and all the patriarchs show that this was a requirement. But this again is obviously connected to the faith requirement of the covenant. The sacrifice has to be offered in faith. The sacrifice expresses faith. It shows the worshiper's faith in the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. It shows the worshiper's faith in the substitute that God will provide. It shows the worshiper's faith in the shed blood of the coming Messiah. Without faith this sacrament, like the sacrament of circumcision, would be a mockery, a hollow shell, an exercise in superstition.

These are the requirements of the covenant. These are the requirements that every true son of Abraham is still under today. Today we observe the sacrament of baptism of baptism in the place of the sacrament of circumcision. This is because the symbolism has of necessity changed. The promised seed has come; the blood has been shed, so the symbolism of circumcision has given way to the symbolism of baptism. The bloody sacrifices of the Old Testament have given way to the observance of the Lord's Supper where in faith we celebrate the once and for all sacrifice of Jesus Christ. These are still the requirements and by the grace of the covenant, by God's grace, they can all be met by the true seed of Abraham.

The Purpose:
All of God's covenants together form one united whole. They do not represent isolated actions neither are they spontaneous outpourings of divine grace. They are all integral parts of his eternal plan appearing in time as God unfolds his great plan of salvation. Together they form the history of redemption as God works out the salvation of his elect. The Abrahamic Covenant is therefore closely connected to and a logical development of all that has gone before.

First of all, as all of God's actions in time, this covenant represents steps taken towards the fulfilling of the Trinitarian Covenant. And since all the covenants are established for that purpose and to that same end, the Abrahamic Covenant therefore logically builds on all that has gone before. It builds on the Edenic promise of the seed of the woman that will someday prevail over Satan and deliver mankind from the curse. It shows that God has not forgotten his word to our first parents. And in the Abrahamic Covenant God renews this commitment and shows us that this promised seed will come from Abraham. It is through Abraham's seed that all the families of the earth will be blessed. It is from Abraham's descendants that the promised Messiah will someday come. Secondly this covenant represents a logical development of the Noahic Covenant. That covenant by graciously restraining God's righteous wrath against and just judgments on sin purchased the time for the history of redemption to unfold. The Abrahamic Covenant now follows in time to further reveal and implement God's great plan of salvation. It this logically begins to fulfill the purpose of the covenant made with Noah.

But especially in many of its promises the Abrahamic Covenant reveals new aspects of God's purposes in the Trinitarian Covenant. That covenant had as its ultimate purpose the establishment of the eternal Kingdom of God under the Messianic King, Jesus Christ. Now a kingdom requires three things. First of all it requires a citizenry. There must be a people who form the kingdom, a people over whom the king will rule. Secondly there must be territory that forms the kingdom. There must be a land over which the king will rule. And thirdly there must be a king. Without a king there can be no kingdom. Now for the first time in history, in this covenant, God reveals all these three elements of his future glorious kingdom.

First of all reveals that there will be a people and he reveals who this people will be. God covenants that there will be a people of God and that they will be the seed of Abraham. To the seed of Abraham God says that he will be their God and they will be his people. Here we have, for the first time, identified the people of the kingdom. And God reveals that this will be a great, a numerous people. God covenants that the seed of Abraham will be an innumerable multitude similar to the stars of the heavens and to the sand of the seashore in number. And God also covenants that this will be a holy and a righteous people fit to inhabit that kingdom. For this is a covenant based on justification by faith. The seed of Abraham will be clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ and will be fully justified in the sight of a holy God. And the seed of Abraham will be sanctified and a holy people. This is set forth the token of the covenant, circumcision, which represents being born again. The people of the kingdom will be regenerated by the Spirit of God; they will be new creatures in Christ; they will be fit to dwell in the Kingdom of God and commune with him for all eternity. Here in the Abrahamic Covenant we have the first glimpse of what John was allowed to see in the visions of the Book of Revelation. He was allowed to see the fulfillment of God's purpose with the seed of Abraham. The vision as he recorded it states,

"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb" (Revelation 7:9-10).

John was enabled to glimpse into the future glory of the Kingdom of God and see the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant.

"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Revelation 21:2-4).

Here is the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham and to his seed that God will be their God and they will be his people.

Secondly God reveals his will with respect to the territory that will form the kingdom. There is a specific land that is promised to Abraham and to his seed for an everlasting possession. The land of promise is identified as the land of Canaan. Abraham was called out of Ur of the Chaldees and had to leave his relatives in Haran because God wanted his presence in the land of promise. Isaac was forbidden to leave the land even to obtain a godly wife. When Jacob left it in a time of famine, and his descendants remained in Egypt after the famine was over, it resulted in centuries of slavery and nearly in the extermination of the Israelites. Joseph dying in Egypt, gave commands that his mummified body should be transported to the land of Canaan for burial when the Children of Israel returned there. And it was in that land that they were established in the Old Testament theocracy when God dwelled with them and ruled from the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. And the Jerusalem, the capital city of the theocracy, is called the City of the Lord. How all this relates to the "New Jerusalem" and to that "new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness" is not the subject of this book. But that it does so is clear from the text of the Abrahamic Covenant. For this covenant is an everlasting covenant and the promise of the land is one of everlasting possession.

And finally as we have already seen the covenant provides for a Messianic King to come forth someday from the seed of Abraham. As God told Abraham, "…kings shall come out of thee." (Genesis 17:6). And as Paul later explained it, "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" (Galatians 3:16). There is, as it were, a double meaning to the word seed in "the seed of Abraham". One is the obvious meaning. It means the elect of God; the people that have come into the covenant promises made to Abraham. It means a multitude as numerous as the stars in the heavens and the sand on the seashore. But there is another meaning also. Paul; argues that from the singularity of the noun it has an extra meaning, that it refers to a special seed of Abraham, to Jesus Christ. Thus the covenant clearly provides for the future Messianic King. The covenant therefore provides for all three essential ingredients of the covenanted kingdom. It provides for the people, the land, and the king. It is all here in this covenant as God begins to fulfil the purposes of the Trinitarian Covenant. Hallelujah!

The Grace:
What is there left to say? The grace of this covenant is so obvious, its magnitude and extent so overwhelming, that we can only feel humble and pour our thanks to God for his great salvation. The Noahic Covenant provided the grace that made history possible. The Abrahamic Covenant provided the grace that fulfills God's purposes in history. Through the benefits of this covenant, particularly through the promised seed, Jesus Christ, all the families of the earth are still being blessed. They are being blessed with the salvation of our God. They are being blessed with justification before God, with the sanctification and indwelling of his Holy Spirit, and with the gift of eternal life in that covenanted kingdom. And all this is by sheer grace. All these promises are strictly by grace on God's part. God was under no obligation to deal so with his sinful creatures. As Paul, teaching that it was strictly by grace and not by works, says,

"What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" (Romans 4:1-5).

Even the faith that the covenant requires is the gift of God.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).

It is all of grace. Surely this is a gracious covenant. Hallelujah!

Reformer

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Re: Israel Has not Received the Promises Yet
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2019, 01:06:13 AM »

What do you say to the many Christians who say that Israel has yet to receive the fulfillment of the covenant that was promised to them? Try as I may to explain it, they always say this promise is to be fulfilled in the future. Any suggestions?

 Ro 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
 4 But 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.
 5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
 7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
 
So then it's not that God hasn't kept his promise, it is that it was to the election only. The "chosen" of Israel have obtained it by grace, not by their heritage or by the works of their own hands, but by God's sovereign choosing. God kept his promise to those to whom it pertained, and the rest were blinded. That's what those verses say.

Tony Warren

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Re: Israel Has not Received the Promises Yet
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2019, 06:46:43 AM »
>>>
So then it's not that God hasn't kept his promise, it is that it was to the election only. The "chosen" of Israel have obtained it by grace, not by their heritage or by the works of their own hands, but by God's sovereign choosing. God kept his promise to those to whom it pertained, and the rest were blinded. That's what those verses say.
<<<

And all God's people said, Amen!

"nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"i acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

George

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Re: Israel Has not Received the Promises Yet
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2019, 12:37:08 PM »
Not true, all the promises were not fulfilled. This is future prophesy.

Erik Diamond

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Re: Israel Has not Received the Promises Yet
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2019, 01:10:28 PM »
Quote
Not true, all the promises were not fulfilled. This is future prophesy.

Where is your proof? Where is your Scripture? All I see is your denial of the confirmation of the prophesies.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

George

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Re: Israel Has not Received the Promises Yet
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2019, 10:43:33 AM »
Quote
Not true, all the promises were not fulfilled. This is future prophesy.

Where is your proof? Where is your Scripture? All I see is your denial of the confirmation of the prophesies.

I should be asking you that. Where is your proof? Where is your scripture? All I see is your denial of the promises and you asking for my proof. Where is your proof. So I'm waiting for your scripture, which I know isn't coming because all you do is condemn. You never offer any scripture proving the scripture I gave was wrong.

The land promised to Abraham and his descendants was described with clear geographical boundaries. It takes in all the land from the Mediterranean Sea as the western boundary to the Euphrates River as the eastern boundary. The prophet Ezekiel fixed the northern boundary at Hamath, one hundred miles north of Damascus (Ezek. 48:1), and the southern boundary at Kadesh, about one hundred miles south of Jerusalem (v. 28). If Israelis were currently occupying all the land that God gave to them, they would control all the holdings of present-day Israel, Lebanon, and the West Bank of Jordan, plus substantial portions of Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.

Dan

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Re: Israel Has not Received the Promises Yet
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2019, 10:46:30 PM »
Erik does that. Just comments but doesn't give any biblical backing. Thanks for your scriptural reference, those passages confirm we are right. Israel prevails.


Erik Diamond

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Re: Israel Has not Received the Promises Yet
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2019, 12:07:07 AM »
Come on, Dan and George!

Reformer and others has already provided Scripture references BEFORE me that support our position which George initially responsed to them WITHOUT Scripture support.  Which is why I step me and challenged him to provide Scripture to support HIS position in response to Reformer which he have not done yet.  But George and Dan instead decided to accuse me for not provide anything despite that Reformer and other already did before me.  This is lame.  It is not about me but George failure to defend his position with Scirpture after his initital response.   

Nice try but as I see it, you guys still have no Scirpture support to your claim against those who posted on this thread.

And Dan, you STILL got wrong Israel to begin with.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Joe Johnson

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Re: Israel Has not Received the Promises Yet
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2019, 01:02:13 AM »
Come on, Dan and George!

Play your games all you want Erik. The bottom line is that George listed several scriptures to show that what he said came from the Bible. In return, you posted none in response to his scriptures, choosing instead to resort to telling him to read other people's posts. Don't respond if you have no scriptures that address what George said. I looked at all the posts between George posting his scripture and this one, and you are the only one who responded.

So how could anyone have already answered his post?

You are making things up.  No one addressed his reference to Ezek. 48:1. No one addressed his reference to Ezek. 48:28. You didn't address George's scripture that said the land promised to Abraham and his descendants were described with clear geographical boundaries. How do you answer that? And don't give me that lie that line "someone already answered George," because they didn't. Show me where they did.

Erik Diamond

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Re: Israel Has not Received the Promises Yet
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2019, 01:18:06 AM »
Quote from: Joe Johnson
The bottom line is that George listed several scriptures to show that what he said came from the Bible.

After I asked him for proof in response to reformer and others who already posted Scripture support? Yes, I was just reminding him to bring up Scripture support instead making one liner like, "Not true, all the promises were not fulfilled. This is future prophesy." Then he was wrong to come after ME for proof which Reformer and other already did.  Beside I fail to see how George used Ezekiel 48 as justification to refute Reformer's position.

You guys see Ezekiel 48 about physical land for the ethnic Jews while we see this as spiritual land for Covenant Israel in Christ.  That is the difference!


Eze 48:29
(29)  This is the land which ye shall divide by lot unto the tribes of Israel for inheritance, and these are their portions, saith the Lord GOD.

This has nothing to do with physical ancestry of the Jews.


Rev 7:1-4
(1)  And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
(2)  And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
(3)  Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
(4)  And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

This is Covenant Israel making up of all Elect from Old and New Testament from four corners of the Earth. Not from within physical land of the Middle East. I know that your false doctrine says the 144,000 are the Jews from Israel, but no they are symbolic numbers that John HEARD that represents ALL ELECTS, the Great Mulitities that John SAW as a result!
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

 


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