“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!
God’s Conditions for the Everlasting Possession:
After the children of Israel came out of Egypt, they had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years, after many of them lost faith in God and rebelled against Him. See Hebrews 3:5-19, and see the book of Numbers, starting with Numbers 14:20-35, and onward throughout the end of the book. Then they came into the Promised Land. See the book of Joshua for this. But they lost a lot of their promised possession after the days of David and Solomon, when the Israelite kingdom was at its peak, power and size.They were not able to get or continue to keep all of their inheritance after they came into the Promised Land, because of lack of faith, fear, and slackness at times to do what God had commanded them to do, in conquering the land that was given to them, and repeated infidelity to God. After Solomon died, because of Solomon’s sins and the sins of his wives sacrificing to the pagan gods, Israel was split into two different kingdoms, with * 9 ½ tribes going to Israel and 2 ½ tribes going to Judah. See 1 Kings 11:29-39; 2:1-17. Then later these tribes left God, never to return again as a whole back to Him, and many of them lost their national and religious identity as Israelites, and served other gods and idols! In the Old Testament, these 9 or 10 lost tribes are generally referred to as ‘Ephraim.’ But Ephraim was actually a tribe itself, the largest tribe of Israel, who defected from God as a tribe, along with the 8 other tribes. And since then, the remaining tribes of the children of Israel have lost even more of their inheritance, until we get to our day.Throughout their history as God’s chosen people, there was almost a constant round of backsliding by them, then God would raise up someone to help save them and help them to return to Him, then later they would backslide again. But this constant round of backsliding also describes much of the history of Christianity as well. This is human nature at its best, when they don’t continue to put their trust in God all-the-way. That is why Isaiah later declared that ‘all we like sheep have gone astray,’ because humanity is prone to wander from God. Isaiah 53:6 KJV.
* We say 9 ½ tribes instead of 10, because part or all of the tribe of Benjamin returned back to God we believe. See 2 Chronicles 15:1-7, where God uses the phrase king ‘Asa, all Judah and Benjamin.’ And there is other evidence as well. Note that Paul himself was of the tribe of Benjamin. Philippians 3:5. And though the Levites were scattered throughout Israel, many of them were in Judah and its surrounds because of their service to the temple, for the sacrifices for sin, and we also believe that some of them left the areas where the 9 ½ tribes were, to return back to Israel. See also 2 Chronicles 15:8-9 too. In that text part of the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon returned as well.
So we see that the ‘everlasting possession,’ promised to Abraham, is held on the condition of obedience to God. This concept that God’s best blessings are given only to the faithful, can be illustrated by the fifth commandment: “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” Exodus 20:12 KJV. This commandment can also be worded as: ‘Obey and love and cherish your father and your mother, that you may live long on the land which the Lord your God gives you.’What does this have to do with the everlasting possession? We think that when the children of Israel were departing from God, that they were rebelling against the teachings of their parents. We think that a lot, if not all of the ills in this world can be linked to people not obeying their parents, ‘in the Lord’. Obviously if the parents are teaching something wrong, their children should not heed these teachings, but they should still respect them and heed what they were taught that was right. This commandment declares that those who want to live forever must love and obey and respect their parents.Thus obedience is linked to eternal life.So obedience is linked to ‘the everlasting possession’ that God had promised Abraham.
Not convinced yet that obedience to God is linked to ‘the everlasting possession’ that God promised Abraham? Note what Moses told the children of Israel, in his final message to them before he died: * “Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God: Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.The LORD shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways. The LORD will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you.The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways.So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will be afraid of you.” Deuteronomy 28:1-10 NASB.
Now when could this promise that Moses gave to them from God have been fully fulfilled in the Israelite kingdom? If you study their history, you will never see all of them being faithful to God or for very long, just like Christians for a very long time have had a problem with their faithfulness to God too, with round after round of backsliding in many of the ages past. And there is so much infidelity and backsliding in our day as well! So the children of Israel did not have all of these blessings, or for very long.So you will never find a place in time where this promise, which was given to the Israelites by God through Moses, has fully taken place or fully happened yet, or for very long!Why haven’t these promised blessings by Moses fully taken place yet?See Deuteronomy 28:15-68. This is a very long list of curses for disobeying God, and we don’t wish to list them all here, but if you read it you will see. To summarize it, God’s best continued full blessings are given on the condition of continual obedience to Him. All of the above blessings in Deuteronomy 28:1-10 were removed when they disobeyed God and didn’t repent and return to Him fully. This is what happened, unfortunately.So we think that it is clear that God’s promise to Abraham and to His children has not been totally fulfilled yet at any point, since ‘the everlasting possession’ must be everlasting, and because only those faithful to God can have it forever.We see here that the promised blessings of God, including the ‘everlasting possession’ that was promised to faithful Abraham, can only be had and kept by obedience to God. For these blessings to be everlasting, there must be and everlasting obedience to God.
Now to explore this concept more fully, especially note what Moses declared in our above passage of Deuteronomy 28:1-10: “and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you.The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways.” Take this with the beginning of this passage: ““Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God.” Also especially note: When Moses gave this last message to the Israelites, it was just before they went into the Promised Land to receive their inheritance, that God had promised Abraham!Do you see here that their ability of living in the land of their ‘everlasting possession’ was granted, if they wanted to obey Him?Can there be any doubt here? Also note here that God’s word was that His people, if they obeyed Him would be a holy people for Himself.When has this ever fully happened? And it says quite clearly here, that the only way that God’s people can be holy, is if they obey Him! Those who don’t want to obey God should not expect to have an ‘everlasting possession’, which is eternal life in Heaven and on the earth made new.We believe that this promise of God’s people becoming holy would start to be fulfilled when John the Baptist, Jesus and His disciples began to preach the word, with great power, but this will not be complete until Heaven.
* Note: For all who believe that the 10 Commandments in the Old Testament are only for the Israelites or the Jews:They should not be able to argue here that the Israelites or the Jews were not to keep and obey all of God’s commandments.Moses clearly told them that the blessings of their possessions and life in the land of Canaan were dependent on their obedience to God. Thus for the children of Israel to hang on to their ‘everlasting possession,’ that God had promised Abraham, they had to obey God.But it is a grave mistake for anyone to believe that God doesn’t want Christians to obey Him too! Or for anyone to believe that they can be saved, who knowingly or willingly disobey God. Or for anyone to think that they can be saved without confession and repentance.But there is forgiveness and mercy and help for all who want it, so there is no reason for anyone to be disobedient to God or to be lost. Because God has made a provision for everyone, through the forgiveness of sins and through the power of the Holy Spirit – through the power of a changed life that He will give to all who really want it.
God’s Mercy and Plan to Save the offspring of Abraham
Thus we see that the ability of Abraham and his offspring to have or to hang on to their ‘everlasting possession,’ must mean something more than just God’s people having a temporal possession, and losing it at death or because of infidelity to God.Because God’s best continued blessings are given to the faithful - to those who are obedient to His word. Abraham and some of his offspring were obedient to God, but not all of them were, and they were prone to wander from God.
Is there no hope for the children of Israel’s wandering from God? Is there to be no hope for ‘the lost tribes of Israel,’ like the tribe of Ephraim?Was there no plan to rescue the ‘lost tribes of Israel’ and give them their inheritance that God had promised Abraham?God always keeps His promises, and will yet save as many as possible from these ‘lost tribes of Israel,’ who defected from God as a tribe and were exiled by the Assyrians, where they were transported lock-stock-and-barrel to other countries far from their home, never to return again to their inheritance that God gave to their forefathers, that He had promised Abraham. See 2 Kings 17:21-28 for the story how the Assyrians moved the lost tribes of Israel away from their inheritance in Israel, to far away countries, and why God let it happen.Does God have a plan to save the Jews of the other tribes of Israel too? Many of them are in need of spiritual reviving as well. Yes!God has a plan to save as many as possible of Israel, from all twelve of the tribes, to fulfill His promise to Abraham: to give to as many of them as possible their land for an eternal possession!God always keeps His promises!
The wonder of God and His love is that He deals as gently as possible with His people; He gives them space and time to repent; He gives them time to seek after Him.Oh how He loves everyone so much!How can He give up His people whom He loves?Note what Hosea prophesied concerning Ephriam, which most likely includes the other 8 of the lost tribes as well: “So My people are bent on turning from Me. Though they call them to the One on high, None at all exalts Him.How can I give you up, O Ephraim?How can I surrender you, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart is turned over within Me, All My compassions are kindled.I will not execute My fierce anger; I will not destroy Ephraim again. For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath. They will walk after the LORD, He will roar like a lion; Indeed He will roar, and His sons will come trembling from the west.They will come trembling like birds from Egypt, and like doves from the land of Assyria; and I will settle them in their houses, declares the LORD.” Hosea 11:7-11 NASB. So God has indeed promised that some of them will return to Him ‘trembling from the west’, ‘trembling like birds from Egypt’, and ‘like doves from the land of Assyria,’ and will come again to their everlasting possession that God had given them, because of His promise to Abraham. So God has a plan to recover the lost tribes of Israel, including the tribe of Ephraim! And God also has a plan to revive as many as possible of all of the 12 tribes of Israel.
When God says something, you can believe it will happen, because God always keeps His promises! God declared through the prophet Isaiah: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 KJV. When God says something, His word will be accomplished, no if, and’s or buts!His word is power, and will cause what He has declared to happen, to happen.There can be no doubt that since God declared that the tribe of Ephraim would return to their ‘everlasting possession,’ that when He ‘roars,’ like it says in our passage from Hosea, that it will happen!It cannot fail! But it will be a remnant, all those who would return to God. There will be a remnant who will return to Him, ‘trembling’ as it says in our Hosea passage above.And God has a plan for all of the other tribes of Israel as well, for those who return fully to Him, so that they can receive their everlasting possession that God had promised Abraham.God always keeps His promises! “Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” Isaiah 51:11 KJV. Amen!
God Helps His People Receive Their Everlasting Possession:
What is the main point in what we are making here?
The children of Israel, after they came into the Promised Land of Canaan, after many of them lost their inheritance due to unfaithfulness to God, or all of them to death, cannot be the complete fulfillment of the promise that God made to Abraham, because it was to be an ‘everlasting possession!’Therefore this implies that there must be a great change that would come over God’s people, which would enable them to live holy lives for Him, and not lose their everlasting possession due to death or sin. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 KJV. But how would this great change come about?Now that is the gospel message! This is righteousness by faith! This is a topic for further articles!
But we will give you a hint here:
1) God needed to provide for the forgiveness of His people: Jesus was to be born as a babe through Isaac, Abraham’s seed, so that all nations of the earth could be blessed. Then He worked for the revival of His people and trained His disciples to be evangelists of the Gospel, and then died on the cross for the sins of everyone in the world, including Abraham’s seed. This was how He would be a blessing to all nations of the earth and to Abraham’s seed.In order for anyone to be resurrected to receive their ‘everlasting possession’ they must be forgiven by God. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NASB. This is necessary ‘for there is no man that sinneth not’ 1 Kings 8:46 KJV. And in order for God to be able to do the second step below, His people must be forgiven of their sins.
2) God needed to circumcise the hearts of His people and give them the Holy Spirit: Moses prophesied: “And 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 KJV. This concept is echoed in other parts of the Old Testament. Jeremiah prophesied: “"Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."” Jeremiah 31:31-34 NASB. This is nothing other than the New Covenant! This is the first recorded instance of the New Covenant in the Bible! There is also something similar prophesied by the prophet Ezekiel, one of Jeremiah’s contemporaries, where God said, “And I will give them [His people] one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 11:19-20 KJV.
So God had a plan to save His people, Israel, and give them a new heart, which is the New Covenant promise!He had a plan to circumcise their heart, as Moses prophesied.This started to take place at Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus’ death on the cross, where the Jewish Christians were given the Holy Spirit, and a huge change took place in them instantly!God wrote His law in the hearts of His people at Pentecost with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.He gave them a heart to love Him and serve Him with all the way, with great joy! (It must be remembered that there were no Gentile Christians at this time, so the New Covenant was originally only for the Jews, until the Gospel message was preached to the Gentiles, which started about 3 ½ years after Jesus death on the cross.) But the New Covenant promise fulfillment can only be fully met in Heaven, where all of them from the least of them to the greatest of them will know Me,’ as God declared through His prophet in Jeremiah 31:34.This New Covenant promise in Jeremiah, which started at Pentecost, was the means that God used to help save His people to help them obey Him, so that they could eventually receive their ‘everlasting possession’ that He had promised Abraham! Because God always keeps His promises! God truly provides for the needs of His people. Whatever He has asked them to do, He has provided the way to do it, if they will prepare themselves to receive it.
Why did God provide the Holy Spirit for His people to circumcise their hearts? To help save them!This would help keep them from falling away, so that they could please Him and be happy in His love, and help them through their trials and tribulations to be true to Him with patience.This is how you become born again!Was it just to help them become born again and to have a better life? There can be no doubt that this was part of it, but there is more to it than that! God provided the Holy Spirit to His people to keep His promise to Abraham, that through His seed, all nations of the earth would be blessed!Think about it: Not only was Jesus born as an Israelite of the tribe of Judah, but His disciples were all Jewish too!Jesus commanded His disciples to go and preach the gospel to every nation, kindred and tongue. Matthew 28:18-20. Which was also a fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham, that through his seed, all nations of the earth would be blessed. The gospel message was first preached to the world through Jewish evangelists, starting with Jesus’ disciples, then the seven deacons, and then later Paul and Barnabas, and many others who were all Jews! This was how the gospel message exploded and went to all corners of the earth! So not only was Jesus death on the cross and resurrection the fulfillment of the promise that through Abraham’s seed would all the nations of the earth be blessed, but also the Jewish Christians preaching to the Gentiles was a fulfillment of this promise!And all those who love Jesus in our day will also do as He commanded them, and help Him to fill the marriage supper of the Lamb, by inviting others to come there too! Luke 14:21-24.
God jump-started Christianity with what took place at Pentecost and afterwards, through the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit.God's great power was shown by the rapid spread of Christianity throughout the world, converting Gentiles and Jewish people in various parts of the world, who would listen, where the Apostles and other evangelists went. God always keeps His promises! We are bringing out this point because some may argue:
Why did God not provide the Holy Spirit from day one to His people, especially after Abraham?
First: We believe that Adam and Eve had been given a measure of the Holy Spirit before they sinned.So it is not true that God didn’t provide the Holy Spirit from day one.But Adam and Eve lost Him after they lost faith in or doubted God, and sinned.Why?Because the book of Hebrews declares: “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NASB. They lost the Holy Spirit due to a lack of faith in God! Adam and Eve would not have fallen prey to sin, if they had not doubted God, but kept trusting in Him. See how important Righteousness by Faith is?
Second:We believe that Abraham, and many, if not all of the patriarchs, prophets and some leaders and kings had the Holy Spirit.So it is not true that God didn’t provide the Holy Spirit after Abraham.Various people in the Old Testament were given a measure of the Holy Spirit who wanted to obey God, for what He wanted them to do. In the days of the Old Testament many people had the relationship and power with God that they wanted to have, same as today. Unfortunately like many today, many in the past did not have much power from God, if any, and were satisfied with just getting by. Some wanted more power from God and got it because they loved Him, like David, a man after God’s own heart. 1 Samuel 13:14; 16:7, 11-13. (Yes, David sinned, but having the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean that one cannot sin, because God doesn’t take away our power of choice, and sometimes humanity loses their hold on God.) This question is too big to answer here. But suffice it to say all could have had this blessing of the Holy Spirit, in the days of the Old Testament, who wanted it and were willing to comply with God's conditions. See Joel 2.
Third: God had a plan to save the world:And the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, together with Jesus’ death on the cross was how He did it. The special outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is the reason why the Gospel message spread so rapidly through the earth after Pentecost. This was how God kept His promise to Abraham, that through his seed all nations of the earth would be blessed! And this is how He blessed all of the nations of the earth, through the Gospel! God's plan was always for the Salvation of the world, for God had made a promise to Adam and Eve, which was more than *2000 years before Abraham was born! (Adam and Eve were not Jews or Israelites, but all the races of mankind came from them and Noah and his sons.) God always keeps his promises! Ever since Adam and Eve sinned and fell from God (Genesis 3:1-13), God was executing His plan to save humanity and bring them all back to His home!So there is much more to the story then just Abraham and the Israelite nation! Genesis 3:14. This is about salvation of the whole world! Abraham and his posterity had the wonderful privilege of playing a part in the wonderful plan of Salvation!
Fourth: God had a plan to save the Israelites and the lost tribes who had wandered from Him.God knew ahead of time what would happen to the Israelites, the seed of Abraham, like we have previously discussed in this article. And He provided for their Salvation, through the power of the Gospel Message that would be preached to them, not only at Pentecost and in the days of the New Testament, but in our day as well, until we get to the end of the world. And through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that took place then, and through what will take place yet again (and in fact is even beginning to happen now), God will help others from the tribes of Israel to give themselves to Him and be saved, through His gift of the Holy Spirit - to those who want Him.
All four of these reasons are why God provided the great power of the Holy Spirit to His people, starting at Pentecost:To help save as many people as possible from this world and to keep His promise to Abraham. This was why Pentecost took place, and Jesus’ death on the cross! God provided this power to His people so the gospel message could quickly go to the ends of the earth, and win people from their misery and slavery to sin!With the power and speed the gospel spread with the full power of the Holy Spirit, it is as if God had said, ‘I have waited long enough to tell the people the good news of Salvation! Enough is enough! Let them tell others quickly about My love, so that they can get the help they need fast!’ This happened very quickly after Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection!It started 50 days after it, and * experts say that by the time that Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD, that the Gospel had spread to all of the then known, civilized world!Which was a period of about 36 years! (It went as far away as India and China!) So that the Gentiles could also share the everlasting possession with father Abraham.
* You can Google this to see that what we are saying is so. We don’t necessarily subscribe to the views that some of the people who are saying this believe, so we will not provide the links for them at this time, unless we can eventually find one that is unbiased or one that we can support all the way.
Our heart right now is so moved with the wonder and love of God and His plan to save humanity! It is so perfect wonderful and true! It is much bigger then we can fully take in and understand. And as we discovered in the previous parts of this article, many of the children of Israel, including the lost tribes, really need this gospel message preached to them now! - That Jesus and his disciples preached, to bring them back to God, so that they could share in the promise that God made to Abraham. God knew ahead of time, before Isaac was even born, what the history of Abraham’s offspring would be, and how many of His children would apostatize and leave the truth, forsaking their covenant with Him.No one can come up with any kind of sin, mistake or wrinkle that God hasn’t already thought of and planned for!Nothing surprises God.Everything that will ever happen, is like a book that has already been written that God has already read before it happened, to use a human analogy.God doesn't leave Humanity to its own sins and mistakes; He has wonderfully provided for our great need, before we needed it!Thus God will keep his promise to Abraham, and Adam as well, and will bring as many of their children, and great great great great grandchildren, etc. back to Him, so that He can keep his promises to them!Oh how our heart is overpowered with the sense of God's love and kindness, and the wonder of His plan to save us in spite of our sins and mistakes! Oh how we love Him!
Abraham’s Promised Possession Fulfilled:
We declare to you that ‘the everlasting possession’ made to Abraham, is an ‘everlasting possession,’ possessed only by those who live forever.Everything we have discussed and brought up thus far is to bring us now to this point:this is the great focal point of human history!Everything prophesied in the Bible eventually moves us to this point: God’s plan to save the world and restore it back to its former state in the Garden of Eden, that He promised to Abraham! Yes God promised to save the world through Abraham’s offspring, but Abraham did not have all of the details of this plan. Oh what a joy it is to serve God!Oh what a privilege!Abraham will indeed have a very rich reward in Heaven for all of the souls he helped to get there!God is so wonderful!
Now let’s examine the evidence for Abraham’s promised ‘everlasting possession’ from the book of Hebrews, and we will then proceed to what it means: “By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Hebrews 11:8-10 NASB. Or ‘whose builder and maker is God,’ as the KJV puts it. From this we learn that Abraham didn’t receive it in his lifetime since it says: “by going to a place he was to receive for an inheritance,” and because it says “he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land.” He was living in the land promised to him and his offspring by faith, believing that God would carry out His promise to him. Isaac and Jacob did not receive this promise in their days either, because they were ‘strangers’ too, and because they were also ‘fellow heirs of the same promise.’ This means that in all of Abraham’s days he himself did not have this land as an ‘everlasting possession,’ that was promised to him, because he was a foreigner in the land. And none of his posterity would get any of it for 400 years when they were slaves in Egypt either. So the only way God could keep His promise to Abraham, to give him his everlasting possession in the land of Canaan, was through the Resurrection, when Abraham would be raised from the dead, with all of his descendants who were true to God! Furthermore, our above passage in Hebrews declares that Abraham was looking for ‘the city whose architect and builder is God.’This is the New Jerusalem of Heaven!Because this is the inheritance of God’s people only after * the Resurrection, and it is built by God, not man.
* We will not go into the proof of this here: that the righteous saints go to Heaven after the Resurrection, not before. We have articles on this in our How To Please God Blog, but hope to add more articles on this too.
How do we know that the New Jerusalem was the city that the book of Hebrews declared that Abraham was looking for, and not the old Jerusalem built by man, or the modern day Jerusalem in the modern state of Israel, or some other city?Because it says in Revelation 21:1-4, that we will list below, that after God brings the New Jerusalem down to earth, then He will wipe away every tear from every eye, because He will *destroy death for all time!And because its architect and builder is God.This can ONLY happen after the Resurrection, and the New Jerusalem can only be fully the everlasting possession of Abraham and his offspring, after death is finally destroyed in the Lake of Fire!
The New Jerusalem is clearly built by God, not man – therefore it is the only possible city whose maker and builder is God, and it is the only city whose entrance depends on the Resurrection, or by translation to Heaven without seeing death by the righteous, who are alive at Jesus’ Second Coming. God’s promise to Abraham, which was for an ‘everlasting possession’, could only be had by someone who is righteous and lives forever. – The only place this can happen is in Heaven and on the Earth made new! This is the great focal point of human history - all of human history moves towards this point in time. Thus the New Jerusalem in Heaven, which is brought down to earth, is the only city which could be Abraham and his seed’s everlasting possession, including His ‘spiritual seed’ - Gentile Christians.
Yes, the New Jerusalem will come down out of Heaven, which was built by God, not man, then Abraham and his offspring will inherit it forever! In this land there will be no sin, suffering or death! Just life everlasting, joy without end, love without end, and hope without end!
* We have already written articles, and posted articles by another writer, on our How To Please God Blog on how God will destroy death for all time, and related truths, under different title names than this topic. We are still running part of this series.
The Revelation of John: The New Jerusalem:
“Then I [John] saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.’” Revelation 21:1-4 NASB.
On this day, Abraham and his offspring finally receive their promise that God made to him fully, through the Resurrection!Then they will walk on the streets of gold in the New Jerusalem, and have it for their eternal, everlasting possession!Then they will never die and never lose it!God always keeps His promises! Amen!
Since God declared that all nations of this earth would be blessed through Abraham’s seed (which is Jesus Christ), therefore it seems obvious that the blessings given to Abraham will also be extended to faithful Gentile Christians as well; they share in the blessings that God promised Abraham!So the promise of the New Jerusalem is also for faithful Christians as well!We will show the evidence below that the New Jerusalem will be for both Israelites and Gentile Christians.
Let us catch a glimpse of Heaven here, where Revelation reveals to us that the kingdom of Heaven will be made up of both Jews and Gentiles alike, when it talks about the twelve tribes and the twelve apostles.Read John’s description of the New Jerusalem:
“And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” Revelation 21:10-14 NASB.
So the New Jerusalem has 12 gates on its surrounding wall: one for each of the tribes of the sons of Israel, and it has 12 foundation stones, with the names of the 12 Apostles of Jesus written on them. This makes it clear that the saved in the New Jerusalem will be made up of the faithful children of Israel (the offspring of Abraham), and the 12 Apostles, with their spiritual children: faithful Gentile Christians.Together they all make up the nations of the saved!
The Earth is burned with fire: Every trace of sin on the Earth, man-made or not, will be destroyed by fire. Peter declares, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2 Peter 3:10 KJV. Peter makes it clear that: 1) ‘The heavens shall pass away with a great noise’, 2) ‘the elements shall melt with fervent heat’, 3) the earth shall be burned up, and 4) “The works therein shall be burned up.” – We think this covers all that is on the Earth, don’t you?What could be left? Even the elements are burned up!
The New Jerusalem comes down out of Heaven and settles where the current Jerusalem is, but it will be much bigger!Based on the name Revelation gives it, we think it is obvious God will put it where the old Jerusalem was.Then why is it called the New Jerusalem?Because God makes all things new! “And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’” Revelation 21:5 NASB. By making all things ‘new,’ this would also include Jerusalem as well, so the Jerusalem on the Earth made new must necessarily be the New Jerusalem, for it cannot be the old one, which was man-made, or contain any trace of sin in it! These words are faithful and true, as God said! “Then I [John] saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.” Revelation 21:1 NASB. So not only is it a new Earth that the saints will inherit, they will also inherit the New Jerusalem as well.
Sin, suffering and death will be destroyed, and God will wipe away every tear! Revelation 7:17; 21:4; 20:14-15; 21:8. The book of Hebrews refers to the city that Abraham was searching for, as the city ‘whose builder and maker is God,’ Hebrews 11:10 KJV, which we discovered is the same city. So this is the city which God built, but it is new to the Earth when He moves it there.God makes all things new, and replaces the old, man-made earthly Jerusalem with the New Jerusalem from Heaven, built by God! Ever since David made this city his royal city, the city of his royal residence, it has figured into the beliefs of Israel, and then later into Christianity, as being symbolic for God’s people. Nearby is the hill where Jesus was crucified. The Bible has much to say about Jerusalem and Zion, and with so much associated with this city of Jerusalem and mount Zion, it seems like the probable location of the New Jerusalem.So God moves the New Jerusalem from Heaven to earth, and He and Jesus will dwell with the redeemed of mankind forever!The New Jerusalem will be Their new temple or throne! For more on this, see the ‘For Further Study’ section, after the conclusion of this article.
Abrahams Everlasting Possession, the New Jerusalem, will be a massive city of 1500 miles wide by 1500 miles deep, or 2.25 million square miles! Wow! We think that it is safe to say there has never been a city this big on Earth of this size in any of its recorded history! “The city [the New Jerusalem] is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal.” Revelation 21:16 NASB. Did Abraham ever dream that his everlasting possession for himself and his offspring, both physical and spiritual, would be a massive city of 2.25 million square miles? We think not! To give you an idea how big the New Jerusalem will be, consider that the * circumference of this earth is 3,963 miles at the equator. So a city 1500 miles in width or depth would be 0.385 times the circumference of the equator! Wow!That’s a really big city!Quite big enough to house the nations of the saved!
“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.” Revelation 21:21-27 KJV.
This is wonderful news! This gives us a glimpse of the wonder of Heaven! God will dwell with His people!There will be no more night!No more tears!That city will have no need of the sun, for the glory of God will lighten it! And the Lamb of God will also lighten it as well!They love everyone so much! And they have finally brought their children home! Home forever to be with Them! No more sin! No more suffering! No more death!No more saying goodbye to loved ones!No more hungering and thirsting for God, all who are thirsty and hungry will on that day be satisfied with the fullness and goodness of God and His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit!Jesus shall look at the travail of His soul, for the death that He died for all who made it there, and be satisfied! Isaiah 53:10-12. His death paid the price for the sins of His people, and the Holy Spirit changed their hearts, so that they were able to love Him and the Father with all their heart, mind and soul, and to live a righteous life for Them!Now they will be with Him and the Father forever, to share in everlasting joy! And share in the eternal possession of Abraham!
This will be the most wonderful day in all of human history! Abraham will be there! His faithful offspring will be there! The nations of the saved will be there! People from every nation, kindred and tongue will be there! “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou [Jesus] art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;” Revelation 5:9 KJV. The Gentiles who accept the invitation from God to be saved, given by Jesus’ disciples, the offspring of Abraham, and by the Gentile preachers and evangelists who came after them, will also share in the promise that God made to Abraham, and will receive an ‘everlasting possession’ with them in Heaven too!There is room enough for all! The New Jerusalem is big enough for all who would accept God’s invitation to join faithful Abraham and his faithful descendants!
There is room enough for all who accept God’s wonderful salvation in Heaven and on the Earth made new!No reason for anyone to not be there, it has been provided by God for all! Won’t you come and go with me to that bright and fair land? Amen.
“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. Yes, God has kept His promise to Abraham!All the land promised to him is finally his!And he is alive to see it and enjoy it, with his children, children’s children, and great, great, grand children, etc. forever!It’s no longer just a promise, it is now finally his! To the north, south, east and west! All his and for all his offspring forever!His offspring will be a numberless multitude, the nations of the saved! Way too many to count! The massive multitude of the saved of Israel and Gentiles! “After this I [John] 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 KJV.
“And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.And He saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And He saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” Revelation 19:5-9 KJV.
Yes! You can believe that God will keep His promise to Abraham! God always keeps His promises!God’s promise to Abraham for the ‘everlasting possession,’ was the promise of the Resurrection to him, eternal life in the New Jerusalem!And God’s promise to Abraham is also for all who are his spiritual offspring as well, faithful Israelites and Gentile Christians! Amen.
Oh Water of Life, Fill us with Your sweet Presence!
I love You!
Please help all who read this
Know the wonder of Your love,
And the wonder of Your ways.
How pure, righteous, kind and loving you are!
How perfect are Your plans,
How just are Your ways!
Oh how I love You! You always keep your promises!
Please fill us with the Water of Life,
And give us life everlasting!
And take us to our everlasting possession
That you promised Abraham,
And to all those faithful to You In the New Jerusalem, On the Earth made new, For the Bride of Christ.
May the grace of God, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all! Amen.
Song For Today:
Therefore the Redeemed (Isaiah 51:11):
Prophecies of the Earth made New, where God dwells with His people in the New Jerusalem:
Here is a prophecy for the end of time, showing that God will dwell at Jerusalem: “The LORD roars from Zion and utters His voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth tremble. But the LORD is a refuge for His people and a stronghold to the sons of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain.So Jerusalem will be holy, and strangers will pass through it no more.” Joel 3:16-17 NASB. Notice that God is dwelling in Zion here, His holy mountain.He utters His voice from Jerusalem.When this prophecy takes place, God will dwell in the city of Jerusalem! Jerusalem is the city which was built on the mountain of Zion. Jerusalem and Zion are used somewhat synonymously. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zion . How do we know that this is talking about the New Jerusalem at the end of time?Because the book of Joel is about the end of the world, and how God would pour out His Holy Spirit on His people, those who repent, and save and restore them: Judah and Jerusalem. Study the whole book and you will see. See especially Joel 1:1-3; 2:32; 3:1. And because its message: God will dwell in Zion, His holy mountain, is similar to Revelation 21:22-23, where the city of the New Jerusalem has God and the Lamb as its temple, and is illuminated by God and the Lamb’s glory.There are also other places in the Bible that prophesy something along these lines.Compare these prophecies with the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21. We think it is clear that the New Jerusalem will be located where the Old Jerusalem, the city of David was.
At the end of time God’s glory will be in Jerusalem: “For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not keep quiet, until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, and her salvation like a torch that is burning.The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; and you will be called by a new name which the mouth of the LORD will designate.You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. It will no longer be said to you, "Forsaken," nor to your land will it any longer be said, "Desolate"; but you will be called, "My delight is in her," and your land, "Married"; for the LORD delights in you, and to Him your land will be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so your sons will marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you. On your walls, O Jerusalem,I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night they will never keep silent.You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves; and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” Isaiah 62:1-7 NASB.
There is a clear reference here to the ‘bride of Christ’, i.e. the New Jerusalem here, when the Lord says here ‘married’, ‘and to Him your land will be married.’It prophesies here that God will establish and make ‘Jerusalem a praise in the earth.’‘God will establish Jerusalem’ is a reference to the New Jerusalem, whose maker and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10), because ‘establish’ can mean ‘build.’Therefore this text could be read: ‘God will build Jerusalem.’When this passage says, “her righteousness goes forth like brightness, and her salvation like a torch that is burning,” this is referring to the glory of God being in the midst of Jerusalem! Like when it says in Revelation 21: “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Revelation 21:22-23 NASB. These are clearly the same city, the New Jerusalem.It is clear that Isaiah 62 must be the New Jerusalem, and cannot be the earthly Jerusalem in the modern state of Israel, because God’s presence and glory would be there in full strength. Like when it says: ‘her righteousness goes forth like brightness, and her salvation like a torch that is burning.’ The current city of Jerusalem cannot be what Isaiah 62 is prophesying about, because God’s glory is not dwelling there now!It would be well known if He was dwelling there now, because His glory outshines the sun! And God’s glory is a consuming fire against sin. Exodus 24:17; Deuteronomy 4:24, 9:3. And when it says, “you will be called by a new name which the mouth of the LORD will designate,” this new name could very well be ‘the New Jerusalem’.At the end of this prophecy, God instructs His people to pray to Him, until He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.Another words they are to keep praying to God that He would establish the New Jerusalem, until it happens! Amen!
Zechariah 14:1-48 describes the final doom of the wicked, and the New Jerusalem:
“Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle.And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.” Zechariah 14:3-4 NASB.
“Then the LORD, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!And it will come about in that day that there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. For it will be a unique day which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light.And it will come about in that day that living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter. And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.” Zechariah 14:6-9 NASB.
These are not intended to be an exhaustive list of every prophecy in the Old Testament prophesying about the days when God would dwell with His people in the New Jerusalem or Zion.
See also Isaiah 62:1-7; 52:9; Micah 4:1-7; Hebrews 12:22-23.
Zion can be referred to as Jerusalem, ‘the City of David’or ‘My Holy Mountain.’ Zion is the Bride of Christ, or Jerusalem.But Zion is not only the city of Jerusalem, she also represents God’s people.There is a lot of symbolism throughout the Bible referring to God’s people as Zion, Jerusalem, ‘daughter’, ‘her’, ‘married’, ‘bride’, ‘fair’, ‘comely and delicate’, and ‘woman,’ etc.Which is synonymous with the Bride of Christ.In the New Testament Zion stands for God’s Church, and includes both faithful Jews and Christians.And finally, the New Jerusalem represents God’s people, pure and holy, because God dwells in her midst, and she is the city where they dwell, the Bride of Christ. Amen!
Jerusalem in the modern State of Israel versus the New Jerusalem:
The modern State of Israel is not the complete fulfillment of the prophecy made to Abraham by God!The modern Jerusalem in the modern State of Israel is not the New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven!The modern Jerusalem in the modern State of Israel is not the ‘everlasting possession’ for Abraham or his descendants!The modern Jerusalem is not the home of Abraham’s spiritual seed, Gentile Christians.
The modern Jerusalem was built by man, not God, and is an earthly kingdom, and its occupants are still sinners like we are.They are not all righteous, like the people are who are described in the New Jerusalem in Revelation, or from the prophets of the Old Testament like Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.Don’t miss this point!And many of them are secular, and thus cannot be the children of the promise, since they are not of faith like Abraham was. It is not enough to be born into the race of Israel, any more than it is not enough to be born into a Christian family, or to become a member of a Christian Church, or to convert to Judaism, etc. No one is automatically saved based on what race or religion they were born into, or because they joined a certain church denomination. “But it is not as though the word of God has failed.For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: ‘THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED.’” Romans 9:6-7 NASB. “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Romans 2:28-29 KJV. The saved are those who have chosen by faith to believe the promises of God, and are obedient to Him and love him, like Abraham did.
Those who try to take the prophecies about Heaven and apply them to the earthly kingdoms will be sadly disappointed, and may miss out on the real New Jerusalem. Humanistic thinking tries to put God's promise to Abraham as an earthly kingdom, in the modern State of Israel. The people who believe this, make mundane applications of the spiritual lessons of the Bible regarding the Israelites and Jews, as the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The real truth is that the New Jerusalem will come down out of Heaven, which was built by God, not man, that Abraham and his offspring will inherit forever! In this land there will be no sin, suffering or death! Just life everlasting, joy without end, love without end, and hope without end!Do you see how much better God's plan is than what many people believe it is?Abraham and his offspring will dwell together, with his spiritual seed, the Gentiles who became Christian through Jewish Christians preaching the Gospel to them - all in one big happy family forever!Going all the way back to Adam and Eve!God's way is perfect and without any flaws! It is so much better than what mankind has to offer, and what many have conceived, which offers no real hope and no real betterment of the human race. God's way is best.God's way is supreme!
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!
“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.)
The Kingdom of God consists not in words but in Power! Listen to what the apostle Paul says here: “But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant, but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power.” 1 Corinthians 4:19-20 NASB. Paul here was addressing a class of people among the Corinthian believers who were arrogant. 1 Corinthians 4:18. Evidently some people were causing problems in the Church, who were living without the power of God in their lives. Sound familiar? This problem and the solution addressed by Paul here is largely the same problem that we have today, and his solution is the same that is needed today. Yes, his counsel is for our day too, not just for the Corinthian church of his day. Do you want God’s power in your life to help you be good and His gifts to serve Him with? Do you want the assurance of your salvation? Then get His power in your life.
If you want to receive a blessing, why not come to our Fourth Angel’s Movement Camp Meeting? Are you ready to receive the rich blessings of the Latter Rain? If you long for a closer walk with God, and hunger for Christian fellowship with others who love Him too, come to this camp meeting! We will give some inspirational messages here on Justification by Faith or the Righteousness of Christ - which is the 3rd Angel’s Message in verity, to help you get the Latter Rain! There will be practical breakout sessions on the Medical Missionary work, Evangelism, Media Ministry, Country Living, Health Food Stores, and more!
How to Get Answers to Prayer?
“Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:14-16 NASB.
Do you believe it?
Why are we bringing up this text about healing the sick? We are using this text because it’s startling. We're bringing this up because we need to start right where people seem to have the problem: With faith. So why start with a most difficult promise? Because we want you to know with God the impossible is possible, that there is nothing too hard for God. Genesis 18:14.
Why do you need faith?
If it’s something you can do for yourself or mankind can provide, why do you need God for it? Faith is all about making your needs and petitions known to God that you cannot provide for yourself or for things you can do too! (We need God for everything!) When you have faith in God, then there is nothing that you need that He cannot provide if it’s for your best. So let’s start with discussing prayers that seem impossible as a place to start our talk on faith! That's why this Seminar is entitled the Prayer of Faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God! Hebrews 11:6. You need to believe the promises of God, as in James 5:14-16. You need to believe the Bible as it reads, because God says what He means, and means what he says and can be trusted because He loves you!
The title for tonight’s session is the Prayer of Faith Part 1 Conditions for answered prayer. We won’t be able to cover everything here. But the main thing is to understand [that there are conditions to answered prayer.] – How many people here want God [to] hear their prayers? How many people here want their prayers to be answered? (Audience: Yea.) There’s a science behind it – we don’t always know every prayer, but there’s some prayers that you can know that God is going to answer them. Did you know that? (Audience: Yes.) Did you know that there are some prayers that God isn’t going to hear? And some of it has to do with our attitudes. We’re not going to go into all that tonight. But there’s a protocol for dealing with God, and if we want answers to our prayers we need to understand. We are not going to go through all of them tonight. But the biggest one of them all is Faith! I mean I had known this for awhile – but it didn’t really sink in. You know I was thinking [about] other things. But when I did this study I realized that the prayer of faith is like the number one condition!
An inspiring message on how to get answers to prayer and get closer to God and get all the happiness and love and joy you were meant to have! The title for tonight’s session is the Prayer of Faith Part 1 Conditions for answered prayer. We won’t be able to cover everything here but, the main thing is to understand – How many people here want to have God hear their prayers? How many people here want their prayers to be answered? There’s a science behind it – we don’t always know every prayer, but there’s some prayers that you can know that God is going to answer them. Did you know that? Did you know that there are some prayers that God isn’t going to hear? And some of it has to do with our attitudes. We’re not going to go into all that tonight. But there’s a protocol for dealing with God, and if we want to answers to our prayers we need to understand. And – we are not going to go through all of them tonight. But the biggest one of them all is Faith! I mean I had known this for awhile – but it didn’t really sink in. You know I was thinking of other things. But when I did this study I realized that the prayer of faith is like the number one condition!
What does it mean to be justified? Are good works bad? We think it will be clear once we break it down. Some people want to insist that works are bad because works are done by those who are trying to save themselves. But is it true that works are bad? That depends on whether someone is trying to do good works in their own strength to save themselves or not. Paul doesn't contradict himself here. There's another way that good works can be done – they can be done by the Spirit of God. All this text is saying is that people who try to keep the law and their own strength will not be justified. We believe that since all our righteousnesses are filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6 KJV), then the attempt to save oneself by their works is actually sin. This is because those who do this make themselves to be their own god, little “g”. It is God’s job to save us, not ourselves – we have no ability of saving ourselves. For someone to be justified - that's an act of grace by God alone, which is Paul's point. Those who are trying to save themselves cannot have the Holy Spirit, or enjoy what it means to really live – which is to be filled with wonderful peace, great love and joy inexpressible! Nor can they ever be truly righteous – it is a hollow shell. Paul’s point is not that we won't be doing good works, his point is that those who seek to try to work out their own salvation by themselves will not be justified. We think this is clear! Jesus said, “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luke 18:13-14 KJV. The danger for those who trust in themselves, the self-righteous, is that they do not see their need clearly and may fail to confess their sins and humble themselves before God before it’s too late, because they may think that they are good and do not need to repent. So those who try to keep the law in their own strength will not be justified, until they ask for mercy, this is what Jesus and Paul taught. If they feel that they are keeping the law, they may have failed to confess the sin of breaking it. Self-righteousness is a form of Spiritual blindness. Therefore Galatians 2:16 does not contradict our passage in Romans 2:13: 'For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.' They are both in perfect harmony with each other, but they're talking about two different things. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 KJV.
Are “good works” really bad? The belief that good works are bad is contradicted by Paul who declared that we were created in Christ Jesus for good works: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10 NASB. If God is working in you to will and to do His good pleasure, then these good works are acceptable to Him. Philippians 2:13. Notice that Paul said that ‘God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.’ What is he talking about here? God has prepared ahead of time that we should walk in good works. This really goes against what many people are teaching nowadays! How can it be that all good works are bad, if God prepared ahead of time that we should walk in them? This contradicts what many believe doesn’t it? God prepared beforehand a way that you and I can have good works! How did God prepare ahead of time? By Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins – to make atonement for them, and by providing the Holy Spirit to write His Law of love in our heart and help us obey Him. John 3:3,5,16-17; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Romans 5:8-11; 1 John 2:1-2; 4:10; Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 11:18-20; 36:25-30; Deuteronomy Acts 2; and Joel 2; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:37-39; John 7:37-39; Matthew 22:35-40.
Play Article Audio “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?’ He saith unto him, ‘Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.’ He saith unto him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ He saith to him again the second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonas, lovest […]
For not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the law will be justified.
The just man is the one who does the law.
To be just means to be righteous.
The just or righteous person does the law.
Therefore to justify someone is to make them a doer of the law.
To justify someone is to make them righteous.
The term justification by faith is used many places in the Bible, so we need to understand what it really means. It is important since it is used so many times. True faith takes the Bible as it reads and accepts it as the truth, because it is the word of God. Those with true faith believe and trust God and take Him at His word. Therefore the first step in order to get righteousness by faith is to believe the word of God, the Bible. Without the belief that the Bible is the word of God, no one can have the faith that is needed, which Abraham had, to be made righteous by God and be saved. The condition of salvation is to believe – to believe that Jesus and His Father can save you. John 3:16-17. You must also believe their word, the Bible. God doesn’t make mistakes, and you can trust His word, the Bible. This is what we are doing here, taking the Bible as it reads.
Jesus said, ‘unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.’ John 8:24 NASB. Do not suppose that Jesus was merely referring to the children of God on earth in His day here when He spoke this. Jesus said ‘unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.’ Yes, Jesus is speaking to the people in our day too and you! No one can save themselves, no matter how hard they try, no matter what they do - no matter what, regardless of how much truth they believe in, or how good they think they are. You simply cannot save yourself, dear reader. Unless you believe that Jesus was the Lamb of God, sent to take away the sins of the world - unless you believe that God sent Jesus to take away your sins, you will not have any life within you. Unless you believe that Jesus is the only one, you do not have any life within you. But if you believe Jesus is the one, you will have this life Jesus promised to all who would take it. When John-the-Baptist declared that Jesus was the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, that is what he said and that is what he meant. John 1:29, 36. For Jesus to be able to take away all of the sins of the world - He must take away your sins too. He came not only to clear your guilt from the record books in heaven, but He came to take away your sins as well, to help you stop sinning.