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Recap From Our Previous Commentary:
“Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.’” Genesis 22:1-2 NASB.
The story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his only son on a mountain in the land of Moriah is such an amazing story! Abraham had been promised by God that through his seed, all nations of the earth would be blessed, which was a prophecy about Jesus. Genesis 12:1-3; 17:1-8; 18:18. Jesus, the Messiah could only be born through his son Isaac, according to God’s promise to Abraham, so if Abraham sacrificed his son Isaac who was childless, how could Jesus be born through Abraham? And only through Jesus’ death on the cross can anyone ever have forgiveness of sin. And only through Jesus death and resurrection can anyone ever be resurrected after they die, because Jesus is the resurrection and the life! John 11:25. And if Jesus wasn’t born as a babe, who is the Resurrection and the Life, how could Abraham be resurrected? And if Abraham wasn’t resurrected, how could he ever get his inheritance? (Because he never got his inheritance while he was alive, as we will see.) Do you see the problem that Abraham had? (He most likely didn’t have a full understanding at this time, of the plan of salvation like we have now, because God was starting to unfold it; he only had the testimony of the patriarchs who came before him.)
From a human standpoint, Abraham was asked to sacrifice his own eternal life! Or ‘to put a knife to his own throat, and to cut off the hope of his own salvation,’ as Waggoner put it! From a human standpoint, he was also asked to sacrifice the eternal life of everyone in the world! Wow! We learned from the previous articles listed above that he would receive his promised inheritance through the resurrection. So how could he receive the promise if he had to take his son’s life as a sacrifice to God? Would he continue to believe God’s promise, that he would personally have an ‘everlasting possession’ (Genesis 17:8) in the land of Canaan, which could only come to him through the * Resurrection, and that from one born to him would all the nations of the earth be blessed? Or would he lose his faith in God’s promise? This was the test! Wow! What a test!
God’s Promise of the Everlasting Possession:
We want to show you from the Bible what God had promised Abraham, and why this promise to Abraham could only come to him personally through the Resurrection, and why the children of Israel could only fully get this promised inheritance through the Resurrection as well.
* Many years before God had asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, note what God said to him: “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. 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 13:14-16 KJV. And later God said to Abraham: “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 [Abraham] said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?” Genesis 15:7-8 KJV. God had him make a sacrifice of a 3 year old heifer, a 3 year old ram, a turtle dove and a pigeon, then Abraham fell into a deep sleep and God answered him, saying that his descendants would be strangers in a land that was not theirs, and enslaved and oppressed for 400 years, and then they would come out with much possessions. Genesis 15:13. It is clear that Abraham’s descendants, during their 400 years in their captivity as slaves, never received their possession that God had promised Abraham and his descendants. But God had promised all of the land that Abraham could see northward, southward, eastward and westward to him and his descendants forever, not just to his descendants after they left Egypt.
Note again what God promised Abraham regarding the land the He showed him: ‘to thee will I give it’ and ‘to thy seed forever.’ God promised this land to Abraham personally and to Abraham’s children forever! It was to be their possession forever! Do not miss this! If either Abraham or Abraham’s children (those faithful to God) did not receive this possession forever, then this promise has not yet been fulfilled. Note what Abraham said: ‘How will I know that I shall inherit it?” This makes it clear that Abraham expected to receive the inheritance for himself, not just for his posterity. For those who think that the children of Israel, delivered from their bondage in Egypt, coming into the Promised Land of Canaan was the complete fulfillment of this promise, think again, because it was not forever. In the dream that Abraham had, God answered Abraham and said that his posterity would come out of the land of Egypt with ‘many possessions.’ We believe that this was a partial fulfillment of the promise, when they got their inheritance in the land of Canaan. This was the beginning of the fulfillment of this promise.
Abraham did not have the Promised Land as an eternal possession for himself, since he died and was never in control of the land at any time in his life, that was to be given to him (and to his descendants). Yet God had promised it to him and to all of his descendants, which also includes those who came after him, before the children of Israel came out of Egypt, since it included all of his descendants. (But based on other places in the Bible its continued possession was dependent upon being faithful to God, or by God’s grace.) There is no place in Genesis that ever declared that Abraham was ever in possession of it. So there is simply no way that the promise was fulfilled in Abraham’s day, to the days of the children of Israel’s slavery in Egypt! After David and Solomon’s day it wasn’t totally fulfilled either, because the children of Israel lost a lot of it. But God had promised Abraham and his descendants that they would get it as an eternal possession forever, including Abraham himself! God always keeps His promises! Please do not think of this promise as merely a returning of the Jews to the land of Israel for a modern Israeli state, an ‘earthly kingdom,’ which some today think is the fulfillment of prophecy. This promise was for a spiritual kingdom that would last forever, not just for temporal blessings, as we shall see!
Some may think that we are making too big of a deal about ‘the everlasting possession’ that God promised Abraham in Genesis 17:8, as meaning that the possession must be everlasting. They may think that it is a figurative expression that God made to Abraham. The rationalistic humanistic mind is ever ready to try to turn everything into the mundane and ordinary, to match their ideas and non-belief in God or their non-belief in His miracles. Many people probably think that He didn't really mean that Abraham himself should personally, literally have the promised possession. Or that those who followed after Abraham, until the generation of those who came out of Egypt, would personally have it either. Meaning that the promise was fulfilled only when the children of Israel came out of Egypt to receive their inheritance in the Promised Land, and that was the complete fulfillment of the promise, end of story. And they probably think that the ‘everlasting possession’ means that the many generations of Abraham’s offspring living in the Promised Land was the fulfillment. This is the way human beings think a lot of the time. More than likely many people haven’t studied this out, and have no thoughts on it whatsoever. Some people may think that they have everlasting life vicariously through their children, and their grand-children and their great grand-children, etc. Another words eternal life only happens through having children and that we ourselves won’t get it; that our life is passed down to our posterity from generation to generation. This humanistic view of eternal life is incorrect, and is not eternal life by any means! It leaves out God and His supernatural power, and it leaves out the salvation that God wants to provide us and leaves out real eternal life. And it throws out the teachings of the Bible. It is not much different than someone thinking that they can save themselves by their own merit, skill or will or ability, or by their own hard work, etc. This is salvation by works. No miracles needed for the humanist, they die at death, and this is the end of the show for them. Their beliefs can be explained only in naturalistic terms and human philosophy. But where does this leave God? Where does this leave the Bible and its teaching of salvation? As we shall see, God has a better plan, much better! And you will see that God’s salvation is salvation indeed! It is miraculous and supernatural, completely beyond the ability of mankind!
To Be Continued…
By John Foll
, written between 8/11/2017 and 8/13/2017, 9/14/2018 and 9/25/2018.
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
See the related article by E. J. Waggoner’s The Everlasting Covenant: 09 The Test of Faith.
And you may also want to read our related commentary article: 09 The Test of Faith: Editor’s Notes (The Everlasting Covenant)
From the Editor: “The Everlasting Covenant” has had a very great impact on my life! These articles, with its stories from the Bible, led me to fall in love with God, there is no other way of putting it. The thing I was needing the most in my life was given to me after I learned how much He loved me in “The Everlasting Covenant” by E. J. Waggoner.
It is my prayer, dear reader, that God will richly bless you, as you learn more and more about His great love for you as presented by E. J. Waggoner in “The Everlasting Covenant”, as we continue to present more articles from it.
May the grace of God, and the priceless, precious fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you, as you go down this journey of falling totally in love with God! Riches beyond measure await you, if you will just get to know Him and His great love for you!
Listen to these articles at: https://www.WhiteRaimentEvangelism.org/recommended.
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.'” John 14:23 NASB.
White Raiment Evangelism Revelation 3:18:
In Revelation 3:18 Jesus said, "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, and white raiment, and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest be clothed, that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear, and that thou mayest see." (Paraphrase of the KJV.)
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