THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

GOD'S COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM IS INEVITABLE AND UNCHANGEABLE = UNCONDITIONAL

ON THE OTHER HAND IT IS UNCONDITIONAL AND CONDITIONAL AT THE SAME TIME:

It is unconditional from the perspective of God's omnipotence yet conditional from the perspective of finite man. God's omnipotence is so immeasurable that God can include man's finite, free will in an inevitable and unchangeable covenant with Abraham. This is so because God predestined it. He decreed that the Covenant would inevitably include man's faith in Him and obedience to His commands. If man was to see to it that he fulfilled certain conditions in order to receive the blessings of a covenant then it would inevitably fail. But since it is God Who will see to it that man chooses of his own free will to meet certain conditions of faith and obedience, then the Covenant will inevitably and unchangeably succeed.

Although the Abrahamic Covenant - God's unilateral promises to Abraham, to his descendants and to all the families of the earth - are unconditional on the part of to whom the promises are made, i.e., all mankind; nevertheless when certain conditions are met which are due to voluntary actions by man that are prompted by them being inspired by the grace of God because of His promise(s) to them, the blessings God promised inevitably come - unconditionally. This is especially remarkable when an individual is inspired by the grace of God because of His promise of eternal life through His Son - the Seed of Abraham, whereupon that individual expresses a moment of faith alone in the Seed of Abraham alone, Who is Christ, unto salvation unto eternal life whereupon the promised blessing occurs unconditionally - by God's unilateral promise to Adam and Eve through Abraham and through his descendants which leads to the Descendant, the Seed of Abraham Who is Christ. Hence there actually is no contradiction when a blessing is received which is both conditional and unconditional.

[The Millennial Kingdom, by John Walvoord, Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1971, p. 154]:

"Obedience related to foreordination. It is of course anticipated in the sovereignty and foreknowledge of God that, to the extent that obedience entered into the fulfillment of the covenant, such obedience was predestined and determined. The agency and circumstances of the fulfillment of the covenant are not the important point. God was promising that the covenant would be fulfilled ... exactly as promised"

And His promise was unilaterly confirmed by God alone. Man would willingly participate precisely as God had promised; his participation was predestined and determined to be in precisely in accordance with the predetermined will of God and the volition and actions of the human participants.

For example, consider God's plan of salvation of Gentiles which is an integral part of the Abrahamic Covenant as it is illustrated in the book of Ephesians:

[Eph 2:12-13 NIV]:

(v. 12) "Remember that at that time you [Gentiles, (v. 11)] were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

(v. 13) But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ."

So the Covenant evidently includes a provision for salvation for Gentiles as well as for Jews.

And then consider the decrees of God - His predestination, His inevitable and unchangeable will in this matter:

[Eph 1:3-14]:

(v. 3) "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

(v. 4) For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love

(v. 5) He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will -

(v. 6) to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.

(v. 7) In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace

(v. 8) that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

(v. 9) And He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ,

(v. 10) to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment - to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

(v. 11) In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him Who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will,

(v. 12) in order that we, who were the first hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory.

[So God has "predestined" certain individuals, Gentiles and Jews, according to His will to become children of God, bestowing eternal life and innumerable blessings on them through the Seed of Abraham and relative to His Covenant.

And at the same time that God decreed and predestined an individual to be saved, that bestowal of eternal life is as a result of - on the condition that - the individual believe in the gospel of salvation of his own free will]:

(v. 13) And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, (v. 14) Who is a deposit guranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession - to the praise of His glory."

[Compare Ro 8:28-30]:

(v. 28) "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

(v. 29) For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;

(v. 30) and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."

[(A) THE PARTIES OF THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT]

God established the Abrahamic Covenant exclusively with the PHYSICAL DESCENDANTS of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the people of Israel:

[Compare Gen 15:18]:

"On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, 'To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates..."

[And compare Gen 17:7]:

(7) "And I will establish My Covenant between Me and you [Abraham, (v. 1),] and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you."

This is made even clearer in the following passage:

[Gen 17:19, 21]:

(v. 19) But God said [to Abraham, (v. 18)], 'No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My Covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for descendants after him. (v. 21) But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year."

And then God reconfirmed His Covenant with Isaac:

[Gen 26:2-5]:

(v. 2) "The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, 'Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live.

(v. 3) Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham.

(v. 4) I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,

(v. 5) because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My requirements, My commands, My decrees and My laws.' "]

And then God reconfirmed His Covenant with Abraham's physical grandson, Jacob, attesting to the fact that God's intention was to confine the Covenant to a unilateral promise to Abraham's physical descendants:

[Gen 28:13-15]:

(v. 13) "And behold, the LORD stood above it and said [to Jacob, (v. 10)], 'I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants.

(v. 14) Your descendants shall also be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south...

[And in addition to this, individuals of all nations will be affected - blessed - in ways that are not specified here, but which are explained elsewhere in Scripture, (ref. Gal 3:6-9; Eph 2:11-14)]:

...and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

["in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed" = a statement made by Moses under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit which indicates that it is through Abraham and his physical descendants, (Israel), that the blessings come to all of the families of the earth. Israel therefore cannot be supplanted by another entity such as the Church and still have this statement be true]

(v. 15) And behold, I am with you, and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." (Compare Gen 35:9-12; 48:3-4).

And then, Jacob's physical son, Joseph, reconfirmed the Covenant with the understanding that God made it with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their physical descendants:

[Gen 50:24]:

(v. 24) "And Joseph said to his brothers, 'I am about to die, but God will surely take care of you, and bring you up from this land to the land which He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.'

(v. 25) Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, 'God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones up from here.' "

And then hundreds of years later, the Apostle Paul states that God's Promises are still and forever applicable to Abraham and his physical descendants:

[Ro 11:1-2a; 26-29]:

(v. 1) "I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

[Notice that Paul refers to the physical descendants of Abraham here, even mentioning his own tribal affiliation. And then in the next verse he proceeds to reaffirm God's inevitable and unchangeable purpose of saving and blessing Israel as promised under the "COVENANT", (v. 26). And this is, just as it says in the next verse, as a result of God's foreknowledge]:

(v. 2a) God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew."

[Note the word "foreknew" in verse 2. God foreknew that Israel would not be rejected as a result of His predestination - His decree - to bless Israel with all the blessings of His covenant with Abraham, (Ref. Ro 8:29)]:

(v. 26) "And thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,

'THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION,

HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB. [Isa 59:20-21]

(v. 27) AND THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.' [Is 27:9; Heb 8:10, 12]

(v. 28) From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers;

(v. 29) for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable."

So when God promises blessings and gifts and when God calls, it is inevitable, unchangeable and irrevocable.

[(B) HISTORICAL ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT]

God stated to Abraham a number of promises which are part of His Covenant with Abraham in Gen 12:2-3 and 13:14-17. Then some time went by and Abraham became concerned when the promise of a son to be born to Sarah had not occurred yet: this son whose descendancy would lead to Messiah through Whom all the promises would eventually be fulfilled, (Ref. Jn 8:56). So Abraham expressed his concern to God and God then reassured Abraham by restating His Covenant promises to Abraham and then formally established them via the ceremony of a unilateral binding oath:

God, represented in Abraham's vision as a smoking oven and a flaming torch, crossed by Himself, without Abraham, between pieces of animals and birds which Abraham had cut in half in order to unilaterally confirm His Covenant:

[Gen 15:2-4, 7-11, 17-18]:

(v. 2) "But Abram said, 'O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?'

(v. 3) And Abram said, 'You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.'

(v. 4) Then the word of the LORD came to him: 'This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.'

[And then God brought Abram outside to give him a picture of the significance of His promise of an heir whose descendancy would lead to the Messiah/Savior through Whom all the promises would be fulfilled]:

(v. 5) He took him outside and said, 'Look up at the heavens and count the stars - if indeed you can count them.' Then He said to him, 'So shall your offspring be.'

(v. 6) Abram believed the LORD, and He credited it to him as righteousness.

(v. 7) And He said to him, 'I am the LORD Who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it.'

[And at that moment, Abram received the gift of eternal life by faith alone in God's plan alone]:

(v. 8) And he said, 'O Lord God, how may I know that I shall possess it?'

(v. 9) So He said to him, 'Bring Me a three year old heifer; and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.'

(v. 10) Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds.

(v. 11) And the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.

(v. 17) And it came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces.

(v. 18) On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, 'To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates."

The following passage makes it clear that this procedure of parties to an agreement passing between pieces of animals was a common way of establishing covenants in Old Testament times:

[Jer 34:18]:

" 'The men who have violated My covenant and have not fulfilled the terms of the covenant they made before Me, I will treat like the calf they cut in two and then walked between its pieces." And notice that it was only God Who passed between the halves of animals in the covenant with Abraham - making it a unilateral covenant where God alone is obligated.

[Heb 6:13-18]:

(Heb 6:13 NASB) "For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,

(Heb 6:14 NASB) saying, 'I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.'

(Heb 6:15 NASB) And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise.

(Heb 6:16 NASB) For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute.

(Heb 6:17 NASB) In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath,

(Heb 6:18 NASB) so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us."

[(C) THE PROMISES OF THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT]

[(1) Personal Promises To Abraham]

Abraham was to be a great nation, (Israel), through his offspring; and to be blessed personally and to have his name become a great one, and to be a blessing in turn to others, and to be protected by God:

[Gen 12:2-3]:

(v. 2) "And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing;

(v. 3) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed."

And furthermore, he was to have innumerable physical descendants:

[Gen 13:16]:

(v. 16) "And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered."

(Compare Gen 15:4-5; 17:6)

And then he was to be "the father of a multitude of nations":

[Gen 17:4-5]:

(v. 4) "As for Me, behold, My Covenant is with you, And you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.

(v. 5) No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I will make you the father of a multitude of nations.

(v. 6) And I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you."

And he was to be given the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession:

[Gen 17:8]:

(v. 8) "And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." (Compare 13:14-15, 17; 15:7)]

And last but most importantly, God promised eternal life to Abraham on the basis of faith alone:

[Gen 15:5-6]:

(v. 5) "He took him outside and said, 'Look up at the heavens and count the stars - if indeed you can count them.' Then He said to him, 'So shall your offspring be.'

(v. 6) Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness."

So God presents a visual image to Abraham along with His promise of an heir - an actual physical heir who was to come through the loins of Abraham, (Gen 15:4). This image was painted by God across the star studded night time heavens. Billions of stars were visible to Abraham; and God promised that just as the universe contained such an innumerable number of stars, so would be numbered the descendants of Abraham. This picture gave to Abraham the concept of him seeing countless numbers of descendants - a picture of his having eternal life in order for this to be possible. The number of stars in the day were in fact so numerous as to be virtually uncountable - representing to Abraham an infinite number. And so, Abraham was promised by God to have an infinite number of descendants obviously over an infinitely long lifetime, i.e., eternal life. In other words, God promised eternal life to Abraham. Abraham believed God's promise. And God then declared Abraham to have the position of being perfectly righteous as a result of Abraham's faith, thus qualifying him for spending the rest of eternity with God in His kingdom. This was not just an image of Abraham's countless descendants living long after he died and had gone into oblivion. What would be the purpose of that if Abraham would never see them - being condemned to the Lake of Fire? Why would God make such a promise to Abraham if Abraham had no chance of ever seeing them in person, i.e., having eternal life? So this indeed was a picture of God's promise to Abraham of eternal life - eternal life with countless descendants over an eternity of time. And when Abraham believed in this spectacular promise of God, then God accounted to Abraham the gift of absolutely perfect righteousness - that kind of righteousness that God requires that a man must possess in order to spend eternal life with Him, (Gen 15:6; Phil 3:9). So Abraham was now qualified to have eternal life by being credited by God with the absolutely perfect Righteousness of Jesus Christ as a result of his faith alone in God's plan alone of eternal life. And this eternal life would be through God's promise of providing a physical heir to Abraham whose descendancy would lead to the Messiah/Savior through Whom all the promises would be fulfilled:

[Compare Gen 13:14-15]:

(v. 14) "And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, 'Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward;

(v. 15) for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your Seed [Jesus Christ, (Gal 3:16)] forever."

[Compare Isa 9:6-7]:

(v. 6) "For to us a Child is born,

to us a Son is given,

and the government will be on His shoulders.

And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

(v. 7) Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.

He will reign on david's throne

and over His kingdom,

[Note: A throne and a kingdom of the physical seed of David who is a descendant of Abraham]

establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this."

The Apostle Paul comments on God's covenant with Abraham relative to it including the gospel of salvation unto eternal life for Abraham and all individuals who exercise faith in God's plan:

[Gal 3:6-8, 14, 16]:

(v. 6) "Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.

(v. 7) Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith that are sons of Abraham.

[i.e., the Covenant blessing of eternal life is one which is available by faith alone for all mankind: Jew and Gentile alike. Those who have trusted alone in Christ alone are sons of Abraham - not in a physical sense so as to receive Covenant blessings meant for physical descendants but in a spiritual sense so as to receive the blessing of eternal eternal life - whether Jew or Gentile]

(v. 8) And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, 'ALL THE NATIONS SHALL BE BLESSED IN YOU.' "

[Notice that Paul indicates that God's Covenant with Abraham is in essence the gospel of salvation unto eternal life for all mankind. And the central Figure of that plan of salvation is the Seed, singular, of Abraham: the Messiah Savior, Jesus Christ, Himself]:

(Gal 3:13) Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us - for it is written, 'CURSED IS EVERY ONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE' (Dt 21:23)

(v. 14) in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith...

["so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith".= so that Gentiles too might receive the "the promise of the Spirit", i.e., eternal life and the consequent indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, (Eph 1:13-14), "THROUGH FAITH".. So one of the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant is made available to all mankind, Jews and Gentiles alike: eternal life. And continuing in Galatians chapter 3]:

(Gal 3:16) "Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, 'AND TO SEEDS,' as referring to many, but rather to one, 'AND TO YOUR SEED,' that is, Christ."

[So the promise of eternal life which was granted to Abraham as a result of his faith in what God promised through the seed of Abraham would be demonstrated by innumerable descendants through the Seed of Abraham - Who is Christ the Savior Himself. Compare Jn 8:56 to verify that Abraham was indeed looking forward to Jesus Christ as the Author and Perfecter of God's plan of salvation for him]:

[Jn 8:56]:

"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad." [Cf. Heb 12:2]

[Everett F. Harrison states, (EXPOSITOR'S BIBLE COMMENTARY, Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Vol. 10, 1976, p. 48)]:

"The nature of Abraham's faith was essentially the same as that of the NT believer despite the difference in time. (Abraham looked forward to something God would do, whereas the Christian looks back to what God has provided, in Christ). Can we go further and say that the object of faith is the same, implicit in the promise to Abraham, explicit in the gospel? It does seem that we are warranted in concluding that Abraham trusted in a promise that pointed to Christ (John 8:56; Gal 3:16)..."

@@@abramsalv

[(2)National Promises To Israel]

Israel was to become a great nation:

[Gen 12:2]:

"And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing."

And the land was promised to Abraham's physical descendants forever, such that the boundaries of her territory were specifically defined in geographic terms: the land of Canaan from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates forever:

[Gen 15:18-19]:

(v. 18) On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, 'To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates."

(Compare Gen 13:14-15; 17:8)]

And the Covenant with Abraham was established forever with and for all of Abraham's physical descendants:

[Gen 17:7, 19]:

(v. 7) " 'And I will establish My Covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.' "

(v. 19) "But God said, 'No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him."]

And then last but most importantly:

Salvation unto eternal life is received by all Israelites who trust in God's plan of eternal life through the Seed of Abraham Jesus Christ in the same way Abraham did.

For if Abraham, who is Israel's archetype, received the gift of God's righteousness and eternal life through faith alone in Christ alone through Whom all blessings of the Covenant will flow, then certainly the foremost blessing of righteousness and eternal life is made available to all of Israel in the same way: through faith in what God has promised which comes solely through the Seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ. This is confirmed by the New Covenant:

[Ez 36:24-27]:

(v. 24) "For I will take you [Israel, (v. 22)] from the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land.

(v. 25) Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

(v. 26) Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

(v. 27) And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

[Verses 25-27 describe the New Covenant: regeneration - becoming born again and then indwelt by God the Holy Spirit, (cp. Jn 3:1-18; Ez 11:19-20)]

[Compare Ro 11:26]:

"And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: [Isa 59:20, 21; 27:9]:

'The Deliverer will come from Zion; He will turn godlessness away from Jacob [i.e., Israel].

(v. 27) And this is My Covenant with them when I take away their sins.' "

So all Israel is to be saved as a part of the Covenant that God had with Abraham - saved by the "Deliverer... from Zion" Who will "take away their sins": Jesus Christ.

[(3)Universal Promises - To The World]

The world will also be blessed through what God promised to Abraham:

[Gen 12:3; 22:18; 28:14]:

(12:3) "And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed."

(22:18) "And in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

(28:14) "Your descendants shall also be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the nations of the earth be blessed."

And indeed, when nations and individuals which treated Israel such that she was blessed then those nations were blessed in turn with prosperity and peace and spiritual growth. And the opposite was also true, resulting in economic decline, conflict and spiritual blindedness.

And the ultimate blessing for all peoples which is part of the Abrahamic Covenant is everlasting life:

[Eph 2:11-13]:

(v. 11) "Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called 'uncircumcised' by those who call themselves 'the circumcision' (that done in the body by the hands of men) -

(v. 12) remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

(v. 13) But now in Christ Jesus [the Seed of Abraham, (Gal 3:16)] you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ."

[Compare Gal 3:14]:

"He redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.'"

[(D)THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT IS INEVITABLE AND UNCHANGEABLE = UNCONDITIONAL]

[(1) No Conditions Were Given In The Original Statement Of The Covenant When It Was Confirmed By An Oath]

[Compare Gen 15:5-7, 18]:

(v. 5) "And He took him outside and said, 'Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your descendants be.'

(v. 6) Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.

(v. 7) And He said to him [Abraham] 'I am the LORD Who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it....

(v. 18) On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram saying,

'To your descendants I have given this land,

From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates..."

And once a covenant has been established, changes or additions are not premissible, especially one which is unilaterally confirmed by God alone, (Ref. Gen 15:7-11; 17-18):

[Gal 3:15]:

"Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man's covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it."

Furthermore, God reconfirmed the Covenant with Jacob unconditionally:

[Gen 28:13-15]:

(v. 13) "And behold, the LORD stood above it and said [to Jacob, (v. 10)], 'I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants.

(v. 14) Your descendants shall also be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

(v. 15) And behold, I am with you, and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." (Compare Gen 35:9-12; 48:3-4).

[(2) God Confirmed Covenant Unilaterally]

Dr. Renald E. Showers states in his book, 'THERE REALLY IS A DIFFERENCE', published by The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc., Bellmawr, N.J., 1990, pp. 62-68:

"When the Covenant was formally established, only God passed between the halves of the animals. A deep sleep came upon Abraham so that he could not move between them, (Gen 15:9-18). This indicated that the fulfillment of the Covenant's promises was totally dependent upon God, not upon Abraham. The only time that both parties of a covenant would pass between the pieces of animals was when the fulfillment of the covenant was dependent upon both parties keeping commitments...."

[Compare Heb 6:13-18]:

(v. 13) "For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,

(v. 14) saying, 'I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU, AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU.'

(v. 15) And thus, having patiently waited, he [Abraham] received the promise.

(v. 16) For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute.

(v. 17) In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath,

(v. 18) in order that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have strong encouragement, we who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope set before us."

"The hope" = The sure hope of salvation, (I Thes 5:8), through the promise of a Savior through the seed of Abraham]

[Dr. Showers, cont.

..The [passage just quoted from the] Epistle to the Hebrews indicates that God doubly emphasized the fact that the Abrahamic Covenant was His unchangeable purpose and that, therefore, that Covenant was still to be a source of encouragement to Jews who were living when that epistle was written...[around 60 A.D.]..

..Two things should be noted concerning this statement [in Hebrews]. First, God wanted to impress Abraham and his descendants with the fact that He is absolutely determined to fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant. Second, the Abrahamic Covenant was still to be a source of encouragement to Jews who were living when Hebrews was written (during the 60s A.D.), in spite of the fact that Israel had rejected Christ several decades earlier."

[Compare Gen 22:15-16a]:

(v. 15) "Then the Angel of the LORD [Who is God Himself, (v. 16)] called to Abraham a second time from heaven,

(v. 16a) and said, 'By Myself I have sworn,' says the LORD..."

Notice that God said, "By Myself I have sworn" which indicates that God alone - no one else - is responsible for fulfilling the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant.

[(3) God Took Oath To Assure Abraham That He Would Keep His Promise]

[Showers, cont.]:

"God formally established the Abrahamic Covenant in response to Abraham's question, 'Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it [the land]?' (Gen 15:8). In the immediate context (v. 7) God had just reminded Abraham of the fact that He had brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans in order to give him the land of Canaan to possess it. In response to this reminder, Abraham asked God for confirming proof that He would fulfill His promise to give him the land. God consented to give such proof and formally established a solemn covenant with Abraham as that proof [which included walking by Himself through the animal halves. The point is that the purpose for the formal establishment of the Abrahamic Covenant was that of assuring Abraham that God would keep His word..."

[(4) Covenant Is Inevitable & Unchangeable Inspite Of The Failings Of The Patriarchs]

[Showers, cont.]:

"...The Abrahamic Covenant was still in effect even after the patriarchs of Israel had sinned... Although Abraham had sinned...(Gen 16:20) after the Covenant had been established, God later confirmed the Covenant with his son, Isaac (Gen 26:1-4). In spite of Isaac's sin after that confirmation (Gen 26:6-11), God later confirmed the Covenant with his son, Jacob (Gen 28:13-15; 35:9-12; 48:3-4). Even though Jacob and his sons were guilty of various sins (Gen 37:18-36; 38:12-26),

Joseph regarded the Covenant to be in effect at the end of his life and was convinced that it would continue to be so into the future (Gen 50:24-26). Several generations after Joseph, when the people of Israel were enslaved in Egypt, God made it clear to Moses that the Abrahamic Covenant was still in effect (Ex 2:24; 6:2-8)."

[(5) The Covenant Is Unchangeable & Inevitable Inspite Of The Failings Of Israel]

[Showers, cont.]:

"...Even after the nation of Israel had sinned in numerous ways over the course of several centuries, David regarded the Abrahamic Covenant to be in effect with Israel in his day..."

[I Chron 16:15-18]:

(v. 15) "[David said:] Remember His Covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations,

(v. 16) The Covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac.

(v. 17) He also confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant,

(v. 18) Saying, 'To you I will give the land of Canaan, as the portion of your inheritance.."

(Compare Ps 105:8-11)]

[Dr. Showers, cont.]:

"...Moses promised that even though Israel would become idolatrous and evil and would be scattered and suffer because of its sin, in the latter days [i.e., the end times] it would have opportunity to return to God and be obedient because God would not fail Israel, nor destroy it, nor forget the Abrahamic Covenant which He swore to their fathers (Dt 4:25-31).

[Dt. 4:31]:

"For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the Covenant with your fathers which He swore to them."

Several things should be noted concerning this promise.

First, it is the same people (literal Israel, the physical descendants of Abraham) who would depart from God and be scattered from the land of Canaan (v. 26) who would also have the opportunity [and be sovereignly moved by God] to return to Him and be obedient in the latter days and that God will have a program for that nation during that period of history.

Second, the Abrahamic Covenant would still be in effect with the literal nation of Israel in the latter days in spite of its idolatry, evil, and traumatic history of dispersion and suffering...

...Third, Moses made it clear (v. 31) that this promise in Deuteronomy 4 would continue to be in effect because of God's faithfulness. Even though Israel would fail Him, He would not fail it. He would be faithful to His Covenant commitment which He had sworn to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Even after Israel had compiled its sordid record of sin throughout all its centuries of Old Testament history, the Holy Spirit indicated that the Abrahamic Covenant was still in effect with that nation and that that Covenant had something to do with Israel's deliverance from its enemies... Shortly before Jesus' birth the Holy Spirit prophesied through the Jewish priest, Zacharias...."

[Lk 1:67-75]:

(v. 67) "And his [John the Baptist's] father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying;

(v. 68) 'Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,

(v. 69) And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of David His servant -

(v. 70) As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old -

(v. 71) Salvation FROM OUR ENEMIES,

AND FROM THE HAND OF ALL WHO HATE US;

(v. 72) To show mercy toward our fathers, And to remember His holy Covenant,

(v. 73) The oath which He swore to Abraham our father,

(v. 74) To grant us that we being delivered from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear,

(v. 75) In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days."]

"...Even though Israel committed its ultimate sin of rejecting the Son of God, Jesus, as its Messiah, the Apostle Peter still regarded the Jews (even the very Jews who had rejected Christ) as children of the Abrahamic Covenant..."

[Acts 3:12-15, 25-26]:

(v. 12) "But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, 'Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?

(v. 13) The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Servant Jesus, the one Whom you delivered up, and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him.

(v. 14) But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,

(v. 15) but put to death the Prince of life, the one Whom God raised from the dead, - a fact to which we are witnesses.

(v. 25) It is you who are the sons of the prophets, and of the Covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, 'AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.'

(v. 26) For you first, God raised up His Servant, and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.' "]

"...Peter's use of the present tense ('are the sons') indicates his conviction that these Jews were still sons of the Covenant and that the Covenant was still in effect with them."

Furthermore, hundreds of years later, the Apostle Paul made it clear that God would fulfill His promises to Israel:

[Ro 11:1-2a; 26-29]:

(v. 1) "I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

[Notice that Paul indicates here that the physical seed of Abraham has not been rejected relative to the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant]

(v. 2a) God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew...."

[And what God has foreknown He had called, i.e. predestined or decreed, (Ro 8:29), and thus it will inevitably and unchangeably come to pass, (v. 29)]

(v. 26) "And thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, 'THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.

(V. 27) AND THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM,

WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.'

(v. 28) From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; [to whom the promises of the Covenant were made]

(v. 29) for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable."

[(6) Salvation Unto Eternal Life Would Not Be Available Without The Inevitable And Unchangeable Fulfillment Of The Covenant]

[Showers, cont.]:

"The Abrahamic Covenant included a universal promise of blessing to all families of the earth through Abraham's seed. The fulfillment of this promise involved the coming of the Redeemer and the provision of salvation for all peoples of the world...

[If the Abrahamic Covenant were not inevitable and unchangeable then the coming of Christ, the Redeemer, through the seed of Abraham - as a literal physical descendant - and thus the provision of salvation through Him alone as prophesied could be thwarted by man or Satan through some turn of events. This would make God out to be less than omnipotent and even a liar because His prophecies concerning these matters would be proved false. Furthermore, this would leave mankind in the grips of eternal condemnation]

...It is a fact, however, that the Redeemer did come and salvation was provided in spite of the many centuries of disobedience by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the people of Israel"

Compare what the Apostle Paul wrote relative to the inevitable and unchangeable promises of eternal life and blessings through the Abrahamic Covenant:

[Compare Gal 3:15-21]:

(v. 15 NIV) "Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case.

["in this case" = In the case of the Abrahamic Covenant, (vv. 14, 16). Paul begins by stating that one cannot make changes to a covenant once it has already been established, especially the Abrahamic Covenant to which he is specifically referring]:

(v. 16 NAS) Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, 'AND TO SEEDS,' as referring to many, but rather to one, 'AND TO YOUR SEED,' that is, Christ.

[Paul here is focusing on the promise of eternal life as the key blessing under the Abrahamic Covenant with the view that it was unconditionally promised by God as a result of Abraham's faith alone in God's plan through the Messiah Savior Jesus Christ. That is to say that the promise of eternal life is to be delivered on the basis of faith apart from any human doing like the Law to which Paul is referring. Furthermore, the promise of eternal life is to be delivered through the Seed, (singular), of Abraham, Jesus Christ, without Whom none of the other promises of blessings and the occupation of the Promised Land would be finally and completely fulfilled. So the original and unilateral promises of God to Abraham to be fulfilled through the Messiah/Savior Jesus Christ cannot be changed, Paul is saying, through the Mosaic Law which came 430 years later, (v. 17), although people were maintaining that that was the case. As a matter of fact, people were maintaining, as many do today, that the Law, (or any code of behavior, (Gal 3:21), replaced, even supplanted the promise, often claiming that the promises were fulfilled before the Law was instituted. So Paul is narrowing in on the word "sp ermati" = "seed" and although he teaches that the promises were made to Abraham's physical descendants elsewhere in Scripture, (Ro 4:16-18; 9:6-8), he is emphasizing here that it is solely through the SEED singular, i.e., through faith alone in Christ alone, that the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant are to be completely fulfilled - especially eternal life to all peoples]:

(v. 17) What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise.

(v. 18) For if the inheritance is based on law, [law without the article 'the' = any law, i.e., any code of behavior] it is no longer based on a promise but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.

(v. 19) Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the Seed should come to whom the promise had been made.

(v. 20) Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one.

(v. 21) Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law."

"a law" = any code of behavior.

And God will see to it that His plan of salvation will go according to His Promise to Abraham:

[Eph 1:3-14]:

(v. 3) "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

(v. 4) For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love

(v. 5) He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will -

(v. 6) to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.

(v. 7) In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace

(v. 8) that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

(v. 9) And He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ,

(v. 10) to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment - to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

(v. 11) In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him Who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will,

(v. 12) in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory.

(v. 13) And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

(v. 14) Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession - the praise of His glory."

[(7) Prophecy States That The Abrahamic Covenant Will Be Fulfilled Exactly As God Promised]

[Showers, cont.]:

"...The Genesis 17:19 passage indicates that God intended the Covenant to continue on through Isaac, Abraham's literal son, and Isaac's descendants - thus, through Abraham's physical seed. The fact that God promised to give Abraham's physical descendants

the land of Canaan forever and the Covenant for an everlasting covenant demands that Israel never perish as a people. Should Israel ever perish as a nation, it could not possess the land forever, and its Abrahamic Covenant could not be everlasting..."

[(E)AND YET CONDITIONS FOR FULFILLMENT ARE REQUIRED]

[(1)Israel's Faithfulness Is Required]

Genesis chapter 12 indicates that Abraham was required to leave Ur in order for God to bestow promises which were formalized in the Abrahamic Covenant, (Ref. Gen 15:6):

[Gen 12:1-3]:

(v. 1) "Now the LORD said to Abram, 'Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you;

(v. 2) And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing;

(v. 3) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.' "

And in Genesis chapter 17, it is indicated that circumcision was a condition for receiving blessings promised by God in His Covenant with Abraham. And one who is not circumcised would be cut-off from the blessings:

[Gen 17:10-14]:

(v. 10) "This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised.

(v. 11) And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.

(v. 12) And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house of who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants.

(v. 13) A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.

(v. 14) But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.' "

Furthermore, Abraham was commanded by God to sacrifice Isaac - a test of his faithfulness - which was rewarded with blessing as promised by God in His Covenant with Abraham: [Gen 22:15-18]:

(v. 15) "Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven,

(v. 16) and said, 'By Myself I have sworn,' says the LORD, 'because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son [Isaac], your only son,

(v. 17) indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. (v. 18) And in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.' "

And God reconfirmed His Covenant with Isaac citing certain conditions that Isaac must meet:

[Gen 26:2-5]:

(v. 2) "The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, 'Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live.

(v. 3) Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham.

(v. 4) I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,

(v. 5) because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My requirements, My commands, My decrees and My laws.' "]

And God's Word indicates that numerous times the Israelites were disobedient and as a result finally scattered as a nation. And in the end times Israel will finally come back to God and be obedient and thus blessed under the Abrahamic Covenant promises. This indicates that only under certain conditions would God bless in accordance with His covenant, otherwise discipline and dispersion:

[Dt 4:25-31]:

(v. 25) "When you become the father of children and children's children and have remained long in the land, and act corruptly, and make an idol in the form of anything, and do that which is evil in the sight of the LORD your God so as to provoke Him to anger,

(v. 26) I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you shall surely perish quickly from the land where you are going over the Jordan to possess it. You shall not live long on it, but shall be utterly destroyed.

[Destroyed = defeated and captured by armies and dispersed, but not annihilated: Jews still exist today. So the blessings of the Covenant would not be fulfilled at this time because of Israel's disobedience, and furthermore they would be disciplined and dispersed by God Himself where they will worship other gods]:

(v. 27) And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you shall be left few in number among the nations, where the LORD shall drive you.

(v. 28) And there you will serve gods, the work of man's hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell.

[But when Israel returns to God in the last days, the blessings of the Covenant will return]:

(v. 29) But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.

(v. 30) When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice

(v. 31) For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them."

And notice that at the same time that it is implied that Israel is to return to the LORD, emphasis is also made on God's faithfulness in order for the blessings of the Covenant to be bestowed.

[(2)Israel's Survival Is Required]

In order for the Abrahamic Covenant to be fulfilled, Israel must survive. The following passages foretell this survival - a condition which is required for the Abrahamic Covenant, and is dependant upon world events and Israel's faithfulness. So God has predestined, i.e., decreed the survival of Israel and will sovereignly move to bring this about:

[Jer 30:11]:

" 'For I am with you,' declares the LORD, 'to save you; For I will destroy completely all the nations where I have scattered you, Only I will not destroy you completely, But I will chasten you justly, And will by no means leave you unpunished."

[Jer 46:27-28]:

(v. 27) "But as for you, O Jacob My servant, do not fear, nor be dismayed, O Israel! For, see, I am going to save you from afar, and your descendants from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return and be undisturbed and secure, with no one making him tremble.

(v. 28) O Jacob My servant, do not fear,' declares the LORD, 'For I am with you. For I shall make a full end of all the nations where I have driven you, yet I shall not make a full end of you; but I shall correct you properly and by no means leave you unpunished.' "

(Compare Amos 9:8)]

Genesis 17:19 indicates that the Covenant is to continue forever through Isaac, Abraham's physical son, and through Isaac's physical descendants: the Jews. Therefore, Israel must survive, otherwise it could not possess the promised land forever nor could God's Covenant with Abraham be everlasting as He promised:

[Genesis 17:19]:

"But God said, 'No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after Him."

[Showers, op. cit., p. 71]:

"In Romans 11 Paul taught that even in his day (after Israel's rejection of Christ and while they were enemies of the gospel) the people of Israel were still beloved of God in accordance with His sovereign choice of them to be His special people (vv. 1-2, 28) and for the sake of their ancestors to whom God swore the Abrahamic Covenant (v. 28). If God were to reject Israel or allow it to perish totally as a nation from the earth, He would thereby violate His own sovereign choice and betray Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In light of this, Paul declared that God's calling of Israel to be His special people is irrevocable (v. 29)."

[Compare Ro 11:1-2a, 28]:

(v. 1) "I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

(v. 2a) God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew...[Cp. Ro 8:29]

(v. 28) "From the standpoint of the gospel they [Israel] are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers;

(v. 29) for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable."

[(3)Israel Must Have Permanent Ownership Of The Land And Occupy It]

The following passages indicate that God will sovereignly move Israel to a point of choosing of her own free will to turn back to Him and live by His statutes and return to the Promised Land as happened long ago when they were in Egypt. So certain conditions must be met in order for God to release the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant:

[Ezek 20:5-44]:

(v. 5) "...'Thus says the Lord God, 'On the day when I chose Israel and swore to the descendants of the house of Jacob and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I swore to them, saying, I am the LORD your God,

(v. 6) on that day I swore to them, to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had selected for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands.

(v. 7) And I said to them, 'Cast away, each of you, the detestable things of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.'

(v. 8) But they rebelled against Me and were not willing to listen to Me; they did not cast away the detestable things of their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.

(v. 9) But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made Myself known to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.

(v. 10) So I took them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness.

(v. 11) And I gave them My statutes and informed them of My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live.

(v. 12) And also I gave them My sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD Who sanctifies them.

(v. 13) But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness. They did not walk in My statutes, and they rejected My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live; and My sabbaths they greatly profaned. Then I resolved to pour out My

wrath on them in the wilderness, to annihilate them.

(v. 14) But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, before whose sight I had brought them out.

(v. 15) And also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands,

(v. 16) because they rejected My ordinances, and as for My statutes they did not walk in them; they even profaned My sabbaths, for their heart continually went after their idols.

(v. 17) Yet My eye spared them rather than destroying them, and I did not cause their annihilation in the wilderness.

(v. 18) And I said to their children in the wilderness, '''Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, or keep their ordinances, or defile yourselves with their idols.

(v. 19) I am the LORD your God; walk in My statutes, and keep My ordinances, and observe them.

(v. 20) And sanctify My sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.'

(v. 21) But the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, nor were they careful to observe My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live; they profaned My sabbaths. So I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the wilderness.

(v. 22) But I withdrew My hand and acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.

(v. 23) Also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them among the lands,

(v. 24) because they had not observed My ordinances, but had rejected My statutes, and had profaned My sabbaths, and their eyes were on the idols of their fathers.

(v. 25) And I also gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not live;

(v. 26) and I pronounced them unclean because of their gifts, in that they caused all their first-born to pass through the fire so that I might make them desolate, in order that they might know that I am the LORD.

(v. 27) Therefore, son of man, [Ezekiel] speak to the house of Israel, and say to them, 'Thus says the LORD God, 'Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed Me by acting treacherously against Me.

(v. 28) When I had brought them in to the land which I swore to give to them, then they saw every high hill and every leafy tree, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering. There also they made their soothing aroma, and there they poured out their libations.

(v. 29) Then I said to them, 'What is the high place to which you go?' So its name is called Bamah to this day.'

(v. 30) Therefore, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the LORD God, 'Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and play the harlot after their detestable things?

(v. 31) And when you offer your gifts, when you cause your sons to pass through the fire, you are defiling yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live,' declares the Lord God, 'I will not be inquired of by you.

(v. 32) And what comes into your mind will not come about, when you say: 'We will be like the nations, like the tribes of the lands, serving wood and stone.'

(v. 33) As I live,' declares the LORD God, 'surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be King over you.

(v. 34) And I shall bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out;

(v. 35) and I shall bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I shall enter into judgment with you face to face.

(v. 36) As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, ' declares the LORD God.

(v. 37) And I shall make you pass under the rod, and I shall bring you into the bond of the covenant;

[Notice that Israel will be brought into the bond of the Covenant by God]

(v. 38) and I shall purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I shall bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am the LORD.

(v. 39) As for you, O house of Israel,' thus says the LORD GOD, 'Go, serve every one his idols; but later, you will surely listen to Me, and My holy name you will profane no longer with your gifts and with your idols.

(v. 40) For on My holy mountain, on the high mountain of Israel,' declares the LORD GOD, 'there the whole house of Israel, all of them, and there I shall seek your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your holy things.

(v. 41) As a soothing aroma I shall accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered; and I shall prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations.

(v. 42) And you will know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the land which I swore to give to your forefathers.

[Notice: God reconfirms His unconditional unilateral oath]

(v. 43) And there you will remember your ways and all your deeds, with which you have defiled yourselves; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for all the evil things that you have done.

(v. 44) Then you will know that I am the LORD when I have dealt with you for My name's sake, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel,' declares the LORD GOD.'" [Cp. Ezek 28:25-26; 34:13, 27-29]

Notice that God's name: His "name sake", His word will be honored and His Covenant promises fulfilled.

[Compare Ezek 36:22-32]:

(v. 22) "Therefore, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord God, 'It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among nations where you went.

(v. 23) And I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD,' declares the Lord God, 'when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight.

(v. 24) For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land.

(v. 25) Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

(v. 26) Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

(v. 27) And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

(v. 28) And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.

(v. 29) Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you.

(v. 30) And I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, that you may not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations.

(v. 31) Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations.

(v. 32) I am not doing this for your sake,' declares the Lord God, 'let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel!'"

[Verses 25-27 describe the New Covenant: regeneration - becoming born again and then indwelt by God the Holy Spirit, (cp. Jn 3:1-18; Ez 11:19-20)]

[(4)Israel's Acceptance Of Jesus Christ As Her Messiah/Savior Is Required]

[Ro 11:26]:

"And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: [Isa 59:20, 21; 27:9]: 'The Deliverer will come from Zion; He will turn godlessness away from Jacob [i.e., Israel].

(v. 27) And this is My Covenant with them when I take away their sins.' "

So all Israel is to be saved as a part of the Covenant that God had with Abraham - saved by the "Deliverer... from Zion" Who will "take away their sins"

[Zech 12:10; 13:1]:

(v. 12:10) "And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me Whom they have pierced [Jesus Christ] and they will mourn for Him, [evidence of believing in Him] as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born...

(v. 13:1) In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity."

RETURN TO STUDY ON ROMANS CHAPTER 4