ABRAHAM'S SALVATION DEFINED

I) THE ORIGIN OF ABRAHAM'S SALVATION BEGAN WITH ADAM AND EVE AND GOD'S PLAN OF SALVATION FOR ALL MANKIND

A) [GEN 3:14-15]:

*** EXCERPT FROM GENESIS CHAPTER 3 ***

[Gen 3:14 NKJV]:

(v. 3:14 NKJV) "So the LORD God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.' "

FOR DECEIVING EVE AND CAUSING HER AND ADAM TO SIN, THE LORD GOD CURSED THE SERPENT WHO WAS POSSESSED BY SATAN, GOD'S ADVERSARY, MORE THAN ANY OTHER CREATURE, RELEGATING SERPENTS NOW TO CRAWL ON THEIR BELLIES, EATING DUST AS A SIGN OF JUDGMENT UPON SATAN'S REBELLION

(v. 3:14 NKJV) "So the LORD God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.' " =

God spoke to the particular serpent in the garden of Eden in a manner consistent with one who had demonstrated highly intelligent, subtle and evil qualities but wholly inconsistent with such an earthly creature as God had created it. For of all the earthly creatures, only man was created to have a soul which reflected the image of God thereby providing such high intelligence and capacity to exercise rulership over all the other created beings on the earth. Hence we may conclude that the serpent in view in Genesis 3 was possessed / influenced by another highly superior created being other than the two humans God had created; which leaves an angelic being. So for deceiving Eve and causing her and Adam to sin, (Gen 3:1-7), the LORD GOD cursed the serpent who was possessed by a rebellious angelic creature named in other passages as Satan, God's adversary. God cursed the serpent more than any other creature, relegating serpents now to crawl on their bellies, eating dust as a sign of judgment upon Satan's rebellion. Previous text in Genesis does not describe such an intelligent and evil being, but other passages in Scripture corroborate and provide more details on this. In view of the significance of this confusion, we will divert from Genesis chapter 3 in order to corroborate this.

[Compare Gen 1:26 NIV]:

"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.' "

Notice that God created man last of all of the earthly beings. And He created only man in His image to rule over the earth. Hence whomever God was addressing when He spoke to the serpent in the Garden of Eden, was not one of the only two humans at that time, and it was a being that displayed greater than the high intelligence of man and even had the image of God, and the capacity for rulership of the other creatures, including man! And lastly, it displayed evil behavior which is not characteristic of the creatures that God had created on the earth.

[Compare Gen 1:25, 31 NIV]:

(v. 1:25 NIV) "God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

(v. 1:31 NIV) God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning - the sixth day."

Notice that no non-human earthly creature was equipped by God when He created living beings to behave in an evil manner. God said that what He had created was good - very good, not evil.

Hence the serpent had to have been possessed by a superior created being who had chosen to do evil and usurp the authority of God as demonstrated in Gen 3:1-6. The only highly intelligent creature in the image of God left besides two humans, Adam and Eve, who might be suspect of such behavior, was the most powerful angelic creature, Lucifer the fallen angel, renamed Satan, literally meaning Adversary [of God]:

[Compare Ez 28:1-19]:

(v. 1) '''''The word of the LORD came to me:

(v. 2) ''''Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, '''This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "In the pride of your heart you say, 'I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.' But you are a man and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god.

(v. 3) Are you wiser than Daniel? Is no secret hidden from you?

(v. 4) By your wisdom and understanding you have gained wealth for yourself and amassed gold and silver in your treasuries.

(v. 5) By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, and because of your wealth your heart has grown proud." '''

[The Bible Knowledge Commentary, OT, Walvoord & Zuck, Eds, Victor Books, USA, 1988, p. 1282]:

"28:1-5. Ezekiel's third message against Tyre was directed specifically to the ruler of Tyre. 'Ruler'... Ezekiel had prophesied against the whole city; he was now singling out the city's leader for a special word from God. This ruler was Ehtbaal III, who ruled from 591-590 B.C. TO 573-772 B.C.

The underlying sin of Tyre's king was his pride, which prompted him to view himself as a god... Evidently in Ezekiel's day the kings of Tyre believed they were divine.

The king's claims to deity were false. God said, You are a man and not a god. Ethbaal III was only a mortal. Evidently he felt he had wisdom that only a god could possess. In a statement dripping with irony Ezekiel asked the king, Are you wiser than Daniel? Is no secret hidden from you? The 'Daniel' in view was probably the Prophet Daniel... He had already achieved a reputation for his wisdom in the courts of Nebuchadnezzar... The irony was that Ethbaal III felt his wisdom exceeded that of even Daniel who served the country that would ultimately defeat Tyre. Daniel who attributed all his wisdom to God, (cf. Dan 2:27-28), was much wiser than Ethbaal III, who claimed to be a god.

Ethbaal III had been able to use his wisdom and skill to acquire material possessions. His lucrative trade had produced great wealth, including gold and silver, but it also increased his pride (his heart had grown proud)."]

(v. 6) '''Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "Because you think you are wise, as wise as a god,

(v. 7) I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most ruthless of nations; they will draw their swords against your beauty and wisdom and pierce your shining splendor.

(v. 8) They will bring you down to the pit, and you will die a violent death in the heart of the seas.

(v. 9) Will you then say, 'I am a god,' in the presence of those who kill you? You will be but a man, not a god, in the hands of those who slay you.

(v. 10) You will die the death of the uncircumcised at the hands of foreigners. I have spoken," declares the Sovereign LORD." '''

[BKC, op. cit., pp. 1282-3]:

"28:6-10. God would not let the pride (vv. 2, 5) of Tyre's ruler go unchallenged. The foreigners whom God would bring against Tyre had already been identified as the Babylonians (26:7-11). Babylon was ruthless... in her treatment of others... Unimpressed with Ethbaal's beauty and wisdom, Babylon would destroy him in a violent way in the heat of the seas (cf. 27:26). When slaim by his enemies, it would be evident that he was no god. Ethbaal III was removed from his throne by Nebuchadnezzar in 573-572 B.C. and Baal II was put in his place. Ethbaal III paid a high price for rebelling against Nebuchadnezzar. In fact Ethbaal would die the death of the uncircumcised at the hands of foreigners. While the Phoenicians practiced circumcision, Ezekiel's words conveyed a meaning that went beyond this cultural practice. To 'die the death of the uncircumcised' meant to die in shame (cf. 32:30)... This king who claimed to be a god would suffer an ignoble death as a man."

Notice that verses 1-10 refer to the actual king of Tyre of history which predicts what actually happened in history: his defeat under military attack and violent death "in the heart of the seas... at the hands of his foreigners"]

(v. 11) '''''The word of the LORD came to me:

(v. 12) ''''Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: '''This is what the Sovereign Lord says: "You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

(v. 13) You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared.

[Note that the setting of vv. 11-19 is not the earthly one of the time of the king of Tyre. The king of Tyre never took residence in the garden of Eden, nor was he adorned with every precious stone prepared at the moment of his creation, nor was he a guardian cherub angel. Furthermore, it cannot be figurative, for the details are not consistent with the person of the king of Tyre himself. It is however consistent with an actual angelic being - one of great power who beyond the capacity of the human king of Tyre, was the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty who dwelt in Eden, the garden of God, was adorned with every precious stone set in gold, which was created on the day he was created. Note that the human king of Tyre would be referred to as being born not created in a mature state. This perfect being is the one who was behind the evil actions of the human King of Tyre ]

(v. 14) You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones.

[Note that a cherub angel was one of supreme authority and power, fully capable of doing what the Serpent did in the garden of Eden, (Gen 3:1-15) Furthermore, it is stipulated that this cherub angel was ordained by God to such a position and was on the holy mount of God among what is described as "the fiery stones". None of this corresponds with a viable description of the human king of Tyre, symbolic or otherwise]

(v. 15) You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.

[Notice that Lucifer, the name of the angelic creature in view, (cf. Isa 14:12-14), was blameless and perfect in his ways from the day that he was created, until wickedness was found in him. Also note that the King of Tyre was not blameless from the day he was created, but born in sin]

(v. 16) Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones.

(v. 17) Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings."

[Notice that this angelic being was expelled from the mount of God in heaven to the earth with no restriction of his behavior so he still could choose to express his evil anywhere on the earth, including the Garden of Eden which he evidently did, (cf. Gen 3:1-15)]

(v. 18) By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching.

(v. 19) All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.'''''

[BKC, op. cit., p. 1283]:

"28:11-19.... Ezekiel was not describing an ideal man or a false god in verses 11-26. But his switch from 'ruler' to 'king' and his allusions to the Garden of Eden do imply that the individual being described was more than human. The best explanation is that Ezekiel was describing Satan who was the true 'king' of Tyre, the one motivating the human 'ruler' of Tyre. Satan was in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:1-7), and his chief sin was pride (1 Tim 3:6). He also had access to God's pressence (cf. Job 1:6-12). Speaking of God's judging the human 'ruler' of Tyre for his pride (Ezek 28:1-10), the prophet lamented the satanic 'king' of Tyre who was also judged for his pride (vv. 11-19). Tyre was motivated by the same sin as Satan, and would suffer the same fate.

Ezekiel described the beauty and perfection of Satan as God originally created him (vv. 12-15a). He was the model of perfection, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. God did not create Satan as some prime minister of evil. As with all God's Creation, Satan was a perfectly created being - one of the crowing achievements in God's angelic realm.

Satan was given an exalted place; he was in Eden, the garden of God. Eden was the epitome of God's beautiful Creation on earth (cf. Gen 2:8-14). Satan's beauty matched that of Eden: every precious stone adorned him. Ezekiel listed nine gemstones in describing Satan's beauty... The precious stones probably symbolized Satan's beauty and high position.

God had anointed Satan as a guardian cherub (Ezek 28:14). The cherubim... were the 'inner circle' of angels who had the closest access to God and guarded His holiness (cf. 10:1-14). Satan also had free access to God's holy mount (28:14), heaven, and he walked among the fiery stones (cf. v. 16)... God's fiery wall of protection (cf. Zech 2:5)... Ezekiel was stating that Satan had access to God's presence.

As originally created by God, Satan was blameless... til wickeness was found in him (Ezek 28:15) and he sinned (v. 16). The sin that corrupted Satan was self-generated. Created blameless, his sin was pride, (1 Tim 3:6), because of his beauty. Satan spoiled his wisdom because of his splendor... Satan's pride led to his fall and judgment.

Though Ezekiel presented the fall of Satan as a single act, it actually occurred in stages. Satan's initial judgment was his expulsion from the position of God's anointed cherub before His throne. God expelled him from the mount of God (heaven, v. 16; cf. v. 14). Satan was cast from God's government in heaven (cf. Luke 10:18) but was still allowed access to God (cf. Job 1:6-12; Zech 3:1-2)...

One of the elements of Satan's sin was his widespread dishonest trade. The word for trade comes from the verb 'rAkal' which means 'to go about from one to another.' Ezekiel had used that noun in speaking of Tyre's commercial activities (Ezek 28:5)... Ezekiel was comparing the human 'prince' of Tyre and his satanic 'king.'

So Ezekiel used a word that could convey a broad meaning. Satan's position in heaven involved broad contact with many elements of God's creation much as the prince of Tyre's position enabled him to contact many nations.

Though Ezekiel was describing the 'ultimate' ruler of Tyre, Satan, the purpose of the lament was to speak of the city's destruction. So he began to blend the characteristics of the satanic king with the human ruler. Satan would be cast to the earth (v. 17), and the king of Tyre would also be cast down before other kings, his enemies. Satan's ultimate destiny will be the lake of fire (cf. Rev 21:10), and the defeat and death of the human ruler of Tyre was pictured as being consumed by fire (Ezek 28:18). Both Satan's and Tyre's defeats would shock those nations who had followed them. They would be appalled because of Satan's and Tyre's horrible end (cf. 27:35-36)."

[Compare Isa 14:12-15]:

(v. 14:12 YLT) "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! "

At this point in chapter 14 the subject switches from the king of Babylon who is portrayed as fallen in physical death to Sheol, in the depths of the earth, to the same fate as other rulers, to a rebellious angelic being as if the latter were somehow responsible for the former's cruel rulership on earth.

The Hebrew word "heylel" rendered "Lucifer" in the KJV literally means light bearer, or morning star which the latter most readily fits the context since such a light bearer is portayed as coming from heaven above and is referred to in verse 12 as "son of the dawn" which implies a light bearer above the earth at dawn, i.e., a morning star. The planet Venus is often referred to as the morning star.

The term Lucifer in fourth century Latin was a name for Venus, the morning star. The Latin word Lucifer is composed of two words: lux, or in the genitive form used lucis, (meaning "light") and ferre, which means "to bear" or "to bring." So, the word Lucifer means bearer of light as does "heylel" in the Hebrew. Hence the name Lucifer has been adopted over into English to mean "light bearer" and in specific contexts such as Isa 14:12, refers to the fallen angel, later named Satan, as rendered in a number of key versions, (KJV, NKJV, etc.).

On the other hand, since the beginning of verse 14:12 describes a morning star having fallen from heaven; and since stars don't occupy the heaven where God's throne resides; and since a star would destroy the earth if it fell to it; then we can conclude that verse 12 is figurative, with a literal meaning behind it. "Heylel" is further described as having fallen from heaven to the ground, i.e., to the earth resulting in weakening the "gowy" literally people or nations, i.e., mankind, corroborating that "Heylel" refers to an angelic being. Hence we can conclude that verse 12 portrays an angelic being who has fallen from his residence in heaven, evidently having committed some kind of offense toward God, i.e., sin; was cast down to earth where his actions caused mankind to weaken, i.e., become sinful]

(v. 13 NIV) You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.

(v. 14) I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'

[The reason why an angelic being was thrown out of heaven is made clear in verses 13 and 14: Lucifer aspired to ascend to heaven to raise his throne above the stars of God which most likely refers to angelic beings because the position of inanimate stars in the heavens is hardly something for an angelic being who already has access to heaven and the throne room of God to aspire to]

[Compare Job 1:6 NIV]:

(Job 1:6 NIV) "One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.

(Job 1:7 NIV) The LORD said to Satan, 'Where have you come from?' Satan answered the LORD, 'From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.

(Job 1:8 NIV) Then the LORD said to Satan, 'Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.'

(Job 1:9 NIV) 'Does Job fear God for nothing?' Satan replied.

(Job 1:10 NIV) 'Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.

(Job 1:11 NIV) But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.'

(Job 1:12 NIV) The LORD said to Satan, 'Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.' Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD."

[So the evil angel Satan = literally, "Adversary" of God], roamed the earth "going back and forth in it" looking for faults in humans in order to show them to God. He especially opposed God when God blessed, protected and enabled Job to walk blameless before Him. In Job 1:11, Satan indicated that he wanted to provoke an individual to curse God to His face by causing him great harm, (Job 1:11). Such an angel demonstrated a capability, willingness and availability on earth to possess the serpent in the garden of Eden and deceive Eve into sinning, (cf. Gen 3:1-15).

[Gen 3:15]:

(v. 3:15 NKJV) "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel."

TWO SPIRITUAL (NOT BIOLOGICAL) SEEDS ARE IN VIEW:

1) THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO FOLLOW SATAN IN SPIRITUAL REBELLION ARE DECLARED SEED OF SATAN - ANGELS AND HUMANS ALIKE. THEY ARE FURTHER DECLARED BY GOD TO BE AT ENMITY WITH THE WOMAN, EVE, AND HER SEED:

2) A SEED, WHICH BIOLOGICALLY COMES FROM THE MALE, IN ORDER TO BE THE SEED OF THE WOMAN, HAD TO BE PRODUCED INTO A FEMALE PHYSICAL DESCENDANT OF THE WOMAN SUPERNATURALLY AND SPIRITUALLY BY GOD TO RESULT IN AN INDIVIDUAL MALE DESCENDANT TO REPRESENT THE HUMAN RACE - A MESSIAH-SAVIOR - IN THE BATTLE WITH SATAN AND HIS SEED TO PROVIDE ETERNAL RECONCILIATION FOR HUMANITY WITH GOD AND REGAIN SOVEREIGNTY OF THE HUMAN RACE OVER THE WORLD

(v. 3:15 NKJV) "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." =

The Hebrew words "zar’akhA" and "zar’Ahh' " rendered "your seed" and "her Seed" respectively in 3:15 in the NKJV usually has a biological connotation; but in Genesis 3:15, the Hebrew words "zar’akhA" and "zar’Ahh' " refer to:

1) Those individuals - angelic and human - who deliberately follow, i.e., are given 'birth' as seed of the Agent (Satan) who possessed the serpent and caused Eve to sin. Note that that Agent is a spiritual being, not a physical one, hence seed has a spiritual connotation, not a physical one. Furthermore, all of the seed of Satan were declared by God to be at enmity with the woman and her Seed.

2) The second word rendered seed in Genesis 3:15 which is rendered with a capital "S" in the NKJV, is portrayed as resulting in a male physical descendant of the woman, Eve, in 3:15c: "He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." The word seed when it is used to portray a physical descendant, normally refers to a seed which biologically comes from the male; but in the case of Gen 3:15, the phrase "the seed of the woman" is stipulated as opposed to the normal phrase 'the seed of the man.' Hence the word "Seed" in this case refers to a Seed which must be produced supernaturally and spiritually by God into a female physical descendant of the woman, Eve, in order to result in an individual male descendant of that woman. The Seed of the woman, Eve, is futher portrayed as representing the whole human race - a Messiah-Savior, hence the capital "Seed" - in doing battle with Satan and his seed to regain the lost sovereignty of the human race, usurped by Satan; and to provide an opportunity for every individual human being to be eternally reconciled with God relative to sin.

THE SEED OF THE WOMAN PORTRAYS AN INDIVIDUAL OF SUPERNATURAL BIRTH VIA A SPIRITUALLY PROVIDED SEED WHO WILL REPRESENT ALL OF HUMANITY IN BATTLE WITH SATAN AND HIS SEED TO REGAIN THE LOST SOVEREIGNTY OF THE HUMAN RACE OVER THE WORLD AND PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR EVERY INDIVIDUAL HUMAN BEING TO BE ETERNALLY RECONCILED WITH GOD RELATIVE TO SIN. THIS MESSIAH-SAVIOR WILL BRUISE SATAN'S HEAD = DELIVER A MORTAL BLOW TO DESTROY HIM, AND SATAN WILL BRUISE HIS HEEL - A NON-MORTAL BLOW

(v. 3:15 NKJV) "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." =

The word "yeshûphekhA," [Str. # 7779], rendered "he will crush [lit. bruise]" contains the word "shûph" which occurs twice in 3:15 and connotes a striking blow which is purposed to cause destruction.

The LORD GOD spoke to Satan who possessed the serpent in the garden and caused Adam and Eve to sin, usurping their position of authority over the world. He said, "And I [the LORD GOD] will put enmity, [i.e., decree mutual hostility] between you [Satan] and the woman [Eve, who is the mother of all humanity, (cf. 3:20)].

Notice from Gen 3:1 on, it was not Satan's intent to have hostility, but to gain sovereignty over Eve, humanity and the world. He successfully deceived and hence manipulated her and Adam so as to usurp their position and God's authority given to them by God over the earth.

... and [enmity] between your seed and her Seed =

[And there was also decreed by God to be enmity between the seed of Satan, i.e., those who chose to rebel against the LORD GOD, to be spiritually like Satan: unbelieving and rebellious angelic and human beings. They are 'birthed' by Satan in the sense of choosing to rebel against God after Satan's example. Satan evidently makes a constant effort to tempt others to follow him in rebellion against God]

and her Seed =

[= a single individual is portrayed in 3:15b considering the next phrase in 3:15c, ("He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel"), which has a single individual in view. This Individual is stipulated as the Seed of the woman, Eve, portraying a supernatural birth via a spiritually provided Seed to impregnate a female descendant of Eve to give birth to a male descendant Who will represent all of humanity in battle with Satan and his seed to regain the lost sovereignty of the human race over the world and provide an opportunity for every individual human being to be eternally reconciled with God relative to sin.

The LORD GOD then said, 'He [the single individual Messiah Savior] shall bruise [strike] your head, [ i.e., deliver a mortal blow via an act which destroys Satan and the evil he did and restores humanity to its original sinless state]

and you [Satan] will bruise [strike] his heel, [i.e., deliver a non-mortal blow, i.e., cause him injury but not mortal to His existence and purpose, giving Him the victory over sin for all humanity over Satan and his evil work which caused Adam and Eve to sin, destroy their relationship with God and lose control of their rulership over the world to Satan]

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM GEN 3 ******

B) GOD PROVIDED ANIMAL SKINS TO REPLACE THE INEFFECTIVE FIG LEAVES WHICH ADAM AND EVE CHOSE TO WEAR IN ORDER TO COVER UP THEIR NAKEDNESS - EVIDENCE OF THEIR FALLEN / SINFUL NATURES

THE ANIMAL SKINS - EVIDENTLY A RESULT OF ANIMAL SACRIFICE - WERE A SIGN TO ADAM AND EVE OF GOD'S COVERING / FORGIVENESS OF THEIR SIN GIVEN TO THEM WITHOUT THEIR HAVING TO PAY FOR IT, I.E., GIVEN BY GOD'S GRACE; NEITHER WIELDING HIS TEMPORAL NOR HIS ETERNAL WRATH UPON THEM DESPITE THEIR SIN.

THIS WAS DONE BY GOD IN ANTICIPATION OF A FUTURE, SUBSTITUTIONARY AND ACTUAL ATONING SACRIFICE BY THE SEED OF THE WOMAN - A DESCENDANT OF EVE, FOR THEIR SIN AND ALL THE SINS OF ALL MANKIND IN ORDER TO MAKE PROVISION FOR AND JUSTIFY GOD'S COVERING / FORGIVENESS OF TEMPORAL SINS BY GOD'S GRACE TO THOSE WHO TRUSTED IN HIM VIA THE PROPER EXECUTION OF THOSE ANIMAL SACRIFICES WHICH INCLUDED AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF ONES SINFUL NATURE TO GOD - PROVISION BOTH IN THE TEMPORAL LIFE AND FOR ETERNAL LIFE FOR THOSE WHO TRUSTED IN THE LORD FOR THAT, AS ADAM AND EVE EVIDENTLY HAD DONE

1) [Gen 3:21]:

(Gen 3:21 NKJV) "Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them."

God provided animal skins to replace the ineffective fig leaves which Adam and Eve chose to wear in order to cover up their nakedness - evidence of their fallen / sinful natures, (Gen 3:7). The animal skins - evidently a result of animal sacrifice - were a sign of God's covering / forgiveness of their sin, given to them without their having to pay for it, i.e., given by God's grace; neither wielding His temporal nor His eternal wrath upon them despite their sin. This was done by God in anticipation of a future, substitutionary atoning sacrifice by the Seed of the woman - a descendant of Eve, for their sin and all the sins of all mankind in order to make provision for and justify God's covering / forgiveness of temporal sins by God's grace to those who trusted in Him via the proper execution of those animal sacrifices which included an acknowledgement of ones sinful nature to God - provision both in the temporal life and for eternal life for those who trust in the LORD for that, as Adam and Eve evidently had done, (cf. Gen 3:13-15 .)

C) THE SACRIFICE OF AN ANIMAL WITHOUT BLEMISH WAS TO BE MADE AS A BURNT OFFERING BY AN INDIVIDUAL ACCOMPANIED BY AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF HIS SINFUL NATURE SO AS TO RECEIVE GOD'S BLESSING AND NOT BE UNDER HIS TEMPORAL WRATH. IMPLIED IS GOD'S COVERING / FORGIVENESS OF THAT INDIVIDUAL'S SIN BY GOD'S GRACE IN ANTICIPATION OF A FUTURE, SUBSTITUTIONARY AND ACTUAL ATONING SACRIFICE BY THE SEED OF THE WOMAN, A DESCENDANT OF EVE, FOR THE SINS OF THE WORLD IN ORDER TO MAKE PROVISION FOR AND JUSTIFY GOD'S COVERING / FORGIVENESS OF TEMPORAL SINS BY GOD'S GRACE TO THOSE WHO TRUSTED IN HIM VIA THE PROPER EXECUTION OF THOSE ANIMAL SACRIFICES WHICH INCLUDED AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF ONES SINFUL NATURE TO GOD - PROVISION BOTH IN THE TEMPORAL LIFE AND FOR ETERNAL LIFE FOR THOSE WHO TRUSTED IN THE LORD FOR THAT AS ADAM AND EVE EVIDENTLY HAD DONE

The sacrifice of an animal without blemish was to be made as a burnt offering by an individual accompanied by an acknowledgment of his sinful nature so as to receive God's blessing and not be under His wrath. Implied is God's covering of that individual's sin by God's grace in anticipation of a future, substitutionary and actual atoning sacrifice by the Seed of the woman, a descendant of Eve, for the sins of the world in order to make provision for and justify God's covering / forgiveness of temporal sins by God's grace to those who trusted in Him via the proper execution of those animal sacrifices which included an acknowledgement of ones sinful nature to God - provision both in the temporal life and for eternal life for those who trusted in the LORD for that, as Adam and Eve evidently had done, .

Compare re: Noah, (Gen 8:20); Moses, (Ex 10:25); commanded by the LORD of Israel, (Ex 20:24); the first Passover (Ex chapter 12 ; as a sin offering, (Ex 29:18; Lev 1:3-14, and many other verses in Leviticus.

The doctrine of forgiveness of temporal sins unto fellowship and blessing and unto eternal life with God through a burnt offering accompanied by an acknowledgement of ones sinful nature is corroborated by Abel's sacrifice:

1) [Gen 4:2-7]:

(Gen 4:2 NKJV) "Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

(Gen 4:3 NKJV) And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of fruit of the ground to the LORD.

(Gen 4:4 NKJV) Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering,

(Gen 4:5 NKJV) but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

(Gen 4:6 NKJV) So the LORD said to Cain, 'Why are you so angry? And why has your countenance fallen?

(Gen 4:7 NKJV) If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.' "

In the case of Gen 4:2-7, the kind of offering the LORD regularly required was the burnt offering of a firstborn sacrificed animal, evidently without blemish if it was to be offered to the LORD. And without practicing these offerings properly which included practicing them regularly and with the proper mental attitude of acknowledgement of ones sinful nature, there would be an expression of sin which would overtake the individual in his temporal life. It is implied that such a sacrificial offering of an animal without blemish resulted in God providing a sin covering / forgiveness for temporal sins by the grace of God. The animal was sacrificed as a symbolic substitute for the individual with a view to the Seed of the woman Eve, her Descendant's future substitutionary and actual atoning sacrifice for the sins of all mankind to make provision for and justify God's covering / forgiveness of temporal sins by God's grace to those who trusted in Him via the proper execution of those animal sacrifices which included an acknowledgement of ones sinful nature to God - provision both in the temporal life and for eternal life for those who trusted in the LORD for that, as Adam and Eve evidently had done, . Since not doing well relative to performing these burnt offerings properly had the effect of sin lying at the door and ruling over one, (Gen 4:7), then implied is that the proper execution of a burnt offering to the LORD, implying the acknowledgment of ones sinful nature to God, had the effect of lessening the amount of sin that one was involved in, in ones temporal life - in the sense that sin would not be the rule of an individual's life, but that the individual would rule over it.

Yet there is always sin present in the individual's life; hence the need to frequently acknowledge ones sinful nature before God via the burnt offering accompanied by personal confession to God of ones sinful nature and acts of sin. This evidently served to restore ones relationship with the LORD to fellowship and blessing, and averted His temporal wrath. And His eternal wrath would be turned aside at the first moment one acknowledged ones sin and trusted in the LORD for His provision of atonement for ones sins.

2) [Compare Lev 1:1-17]:

(Lev 1:1 NKJV) '''Now the Lord called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying,

(Lev 1:2 NKJV) "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of the livestock - of the herd and of the flock.

(Lev 1:3 NKJV) If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it [lit., for His - the LORD's acceptance] at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord.

(Lev 1:4 NKJV) Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.

[The LORD called to Moses from the tabernacle of meeting - a temporary tent of worship set up during the time at Sinai, (cf. Ex 33:7-10, 38:8), before the more permanent Tabernacle was set up on the first day of the first month of the second year after Israel left Egypt (Ex 40:2). The Lord gave Moses instructions to give to the children of Israel. These instructions, which are a handbook on sacrifice for both the people and the priests, (chapters 1-7), follow the chapters in Exodus on the construction of the Tabernacle, (Ex 25-40), and precede the next historical narrative of the ordination of the priesthood (Lev 8-10). The instructions begin as follows:

"'When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of the livestock - of the herd and of the flock." The word rendered "offering" is a general term covering all sacrifice. The fact that the offering must be from the herd or the flock, i.e., cattle or sheep / goats implied that the offering must be a valuable asset to the individual, hence a true sacrifice from his own property - a male without observable defect to symbolize sinless perfection, and not something he does not value as much, such as a stray animal that is not his own, or wild game, nor anything that might be considered imperfect. Note that the animals of the offering are listed in descending order of value from the herds to the flocks to birds - to be offered in accordance with the means of the offerer, (Lev 1:1-2).

Furthermore, the LORD told Moses to relay to Israel relative to the burnt offering:

"If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it [lit., for His - the LORD's acceptance] at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord."

The phrase rendered "burnt offering," in the NKJV from the Hebrew word "Olâh," 'that which goes up,' as in smoke to God was a distinct offering in that it was to be totally consumed on the altar (vv. 9, 13, 17) except for the hide which was for the priest (7:8) or the crop of a bird (1:16).

The burnt offering was the most frequent form of Israel's sacrifice. It was often preceded by a sin or guilt offering, (Ex 29:38-42; Num 28:3, 6; 2 Chr 2:4). It was prescribed for the nation on a daily (Ex 29:38-42; Nu 28:28:3-8), weekly basis, (Nu 28:9-10), and at the beginning of each month, (Nu 28:11-15), and on each Sabbath day (Nu 28:9-10), Passover, Feast of Weeks, and as a part of the sacrifices offered on numerous annual festival occasions (cf. Lev 23; Nu 28-29), and for the purification and consecration of priests, or other ceremonies (e.g., Lev 14:12-20; 15:14-15, 29-30; Nu 6:9-12).

And then there were the personal burnt offerings because of being defiled - childbearing, leprosy, abnormal discharge, contact with a dead body, etc. It also could be and was brought voluntarily by an individual either as a separate offering of dedication (including an offering in fulfillment of a vow or a freewill offering, Lev 22:17-20) or as an offering in a series after a sin offering (14:19-20; 15:14-15).

As regulated in Leviticus chapter 1, it was primarily a voluntary personal offering by a male who evidently represented himself and his family, (cf Job 1:5).

Like all Levitical sacrifices, the underlying purpose of the burnt offering was to secure atonement for sin (1:4; cf Nu 15:24-25), and they were to express the offerer's dedication to the LORD in the process.

A burnt offering of the herd or the flock, like all Levitical sacrifices, significantly involved the worshiper / the offerer in the sacrificial procedure. The offerer performed the acts of presenting the animal, the laying on of hands, slaughter, skinning, dissecting, and washing. On the other hand, all ritual procedures involving contact with the altar were reserved for the priest who was evidently appointed by the LORD to see to it that His instructions were precisely and consistently followed hence solidifying through consistent repetition the lessons which defined the meaning of all the sacrifices - especially those lessons which were relevant to temporal and eternal forgiveness of sin through a substitutionary sacrifice of One to come which would propitiate the LORD relative to the guilt of mankind and permit Him to forgive sins as a free gift through faith in Him. This included the manipulation of blood, the arrangement of the wood, and the appropriate parts of the sacrifice for incineration at the altar. The total ritual was performed by the priest in the case of a bird, or if the sacrifice was for himself or the nation.

The phrase in Lev 1:3 rendered "male without blemish" in the NKJV means that the animal must be a male and be carefully examined so that it is determined to be one without observable defect - in the sense that it is to represent being without sin; and therefore to represent One Male of mankind Who is without sin, Who will come to be an actual substitutionary atonement sacrifice for all the sins of mankind. God considered and declared the offerer's sins forgiven via the proper execution of the burnt offering of an animal as He instructed Moses and Aaron - as recorded in Scripture - which included an acknowledgement to the LORD that the offerer was a sinner and that forgiveness would come through the LORD alone. But since no animal is able to atone for the sin nature and the accompanying sins of any man, neither being conscious of God, nor conscious of sin, nor an example of sinless perfection, nor a perfect representative of mankind Who would choose of His own free will to be sacrificed in order to perform a satisfactory atonement for the sins of all mankind before God - given His capacity to do so; then it is evident that the animal offered as a burnt offering for atonement was symbolic of that One Male Human Being that the LORD promised would come to make that Atonement for all the sins of all mankind - which promise was declared by the LORD to Adam and Eve, Abraham, Isaac and all mankind and as implied within the LORD's institution of sacrificial offerings.

So when the offerer presented his animal, the priest would examine the animal to be certain that it met the following individual characteristics: (1) It had to be perfect, without spot, blemish, disease or deformity (1:3, 10); (2) The burnt offering, like most other offerings, had to be a male, (1:3); (3) Though a sacrificial animal might vary in age from one week (22:26-27) to probably three years, many of the sacrificial rituals specify a yearling. As to general characteristics, all Levitical offerings were (a) ceremonially clean (cf. chap. 11), (b) utilitarian and usable for common food, (c) domesticated (wild game could be eaten but not sacrificed, Dt 14:4-5), and (d) costly, in relation to the domestic wealth of the Israelite. In short, God required the highest quality possible in line with the means of the worshiper.

Furthermore, one is to make his offering to the LORD lit., for His - the LORD's acceptance - at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, i.e., the holy place set aside for worshipping the LORD - "before the LORD" in the sense of the offerer acknowledging the presence of the LORD which was made more manifest in the holy place of the tabernacle of meeting. The burnt offering must be given in a manner that would be acceptable to the LORD, i.e., with the understanding of its purpose of making a substitutionary atonement for the offerer's sins with a view to the One to come to actually make the atonement / payment for the sins of all mankind, (Lev 1:3).

Finally, the offerer was to put his hand on the head of the sacrificial animal with the understanding that he was offering a burnt offering without blemish to the LORD "on his behalf," i.e., in place of himself, in order to make atonement for himself, i.e., to have payment made for his sin nature and for all of his acts of sin which accompanied that nature. So the sins were symbollically transferred to the animal; and then when that animal was slaughtered, it signified that the animal has taken upon itself God's judgment of the offerer for his sins resulting in the restoration of fellowship, and blessings for that offerer - and the promise of eternal life in the Eternal Kingdom of God. The Hebrew phrase in Lev 1:4, transliterated as "lekappEr" and rendered in the NKJV "to make atonement" in this context means to cover [sins] with a price in the sense of removing them / wiping them clean, with the result that one was reconciled to fellowship with the LORD with His blessings, having turned away His wrath and having been promised eternal life in the Eternal Kingdom of God - that price to be paid in the future via the death of another Human Man for the offerer and all mankind as represented symbollically by the animal sacrifice. So the atonement included the propitiation of God = the satisfaction of the LORD for the payment for ones sins by a substitutionary sacrifice resulting in the one who trusts in that atonement to be made for him as a free gift by the LORD Himself. The result is reconciliation with the LORD, both temporal and eternal. The sacrifice was required because the personal relationship between God and man had been disrupted by sin. It was all based upon God's promise of a provision of a satisfactory, substitutionary sacrifice by a perfectly sinless Male Human being to come as symbolized by the animal sacrifice.

God considered and declared the offerer's sins forgiven via the proper execution of the burnt offering of an animal as He instructed Moses and Aaron - as recorded in Scripture - which included an acknowledgement to the LORD that the offerer was a sinner and that forgiveness would come through the LORD alone. But since no animal is able to atone for the sin nature and the accompanying sins of any man, neither being conscious of God, nor conscious of sin, nor an example of sinless perfection, nor a perfect representative of mankind Who would choose of His own free will to be sacrificed in order to perform a satisfactory atonement for the sins of all mankind before God - given His capacity to do so; then it is evident that the animal offered as a burnt offering for atonement was symbolic of that One Male Human Being that the LORD promised would come to make that Atonement for all the sins of all mankind - which promise was declared by the LORD to Adam and Eve, Abraham, Isaac and all mankind and as implied within the LORD's institution of sacrificial offerings, (Lev 1:4).

(Lev 1:5 NKJV) He [the offerer] shall kill the bull before the Lord; and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting.

(Lev 1:6 NKJV) And he [the offerer] shall skin the burnt offering and cut it into its pieces.

(Lev 1:7 NKJV) The sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar, and lay the wood in order on the fire.

(Lev 1:8 NKJV) Then the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat in order on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar;

(Lev 1:9 NKJV) but he [the offerer] shall wash its entrails and its legs with water. And the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.

[When the offerer put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, it was to signify his identification with the animal representing him in his atonement before the LORD with a view to the One Man to come Who would perform the actual atonement for the sins of all mankind. Although the animal has lost its life, albeit unwittingly, there was no actual sacrifice done for the sins of anyone, especially the offerer. Hence the sacrifice could only be symbolic, yet the LORD declared that sins would be covered /forgiven - in a sense of one being credited with forgiveness until the actual atonement would make the LORD's declaration justified - paid in full. For no animal was able to atone for the sins of any man, neither being conscious of God, nor conscious of sin, nor an example of sinless perfection, nor a perfect representative of mankind Who could, of His own free will volunteer to be sacrificed in order to perform a satisfactory atonement for the sins of all mankind before God. Whereupon the offerer was to "kill the bull before the Lord" - in the sense of that the Hebrew word "wesAhat" rendered "shall kill" means 'shall sacrifice' in this context. This was the most significant part of the sacrificial ritual because the life was poured out in death as the blood poured out of the animal as it died for the offerer's benefit. Whereupon the priests, Aaron's sons, would bring the blood which was caught in a bowl as the animal was slain and sprinkle / splash the blood at two opposite corners of the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting so that the blood splashed on all sides of the altar. The blood represented the sacrificed animal's life being an atonement for the life of the offerer / sinner. When the blood was to be sprinkled on the altar (v. 5) to emphasize the fact of substitution by death (for the blood is the life, (v. 17:14). And he [meaning the offerer] shall skin the burnt offering and cut it into its pieces. The sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar, and lay the wood in order on the fire. Then the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat in order on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar,

[Note that the fire on the altar was continual due to the many sacrifices being done from evening to morning]:

but he [the offerer] shall wash its entrails and its legs with water [because they would be defiled by excrement, and dung is not permitted in this presence of the LORD]. And the priest shall burn all [of the parts of the sacrificial animal] on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord."

The burnt offering was a unique offering in the sense that the animal was burned in its entirety except for the skin. The phrase rendered "an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord" in the NKJV, is an anthropomorphic expression indicating the LORD's approval and acceptance of the completed sacrifice signifying that the offerer was atoned for, because he had acknowledged his sinfulness to the LORD with an acceptance of His free gift of forgiveness through the future substitutionary atonement of the One to come. So his sins would be forgiven, blessings would come, God's temporal wrath upon him would be forestalled, and his eternal destiny would be secured to eternal life. By the offerer performing these tasks, it is a testimony to and an expression of his faith in the purpose of the burnt offering being fulfilled in his life - both temporal blessings and eternal life through the atonement provided by the LORD alone as a gift to him. This would be done through the actual and future atonement of the One Human without sin to come as represented in the burnt offering by the sacrificial animal without blemish. On the other hand it is the priest who burns all of the burnt sacrifice on the altar as "an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD," in the sense that it pleases the LORD when the burnt offering was properly done in accordance with the instructions the LORD provided for the priests to direct the people of Israel to follow. This included the essential element of a moment of faith alone in the LORD alone by the offerer for temporal and eternal salvation]

(Lev 1:10 NKJV) If his offering is of the flocks - of the sheep or of the goats - as a burnt sacrifice, he shall bring a male without blemish.

(Lev 1:11 NKJV) "He shall kill it on the north side of the altar before the Lord; and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle its blood all around on the altar.

(Lev 1:12 NKJV) And he [the offerer] shall cut it into its pieces, with its head and its fat; and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar;

(Lev 1:13 NKJV) but he shall wash the entrails and the legs with water. Then the priest shall bring it all and burn it on the altar; it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.

[And if his offering is of the flocks - of the sheep or of the goats the procedure is in large part the same - the same individual characteristics for example: a male without defect, (v. 10; cf. v. 3); and the same ritual procedure, (cf. vv. 3-9). The location of slaughtering is specified as the north side of the altar, which is the only open area in the Tabernacle court adjacent to the altar: "If his offering is of the flocks - of the sheep or of the goats - as a burnt sacrifice, he shall bring a male without blemish. He shall kill it on the north side of the altar before the Lord; and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle its blood all around on the altar [- the shedding of blood being of great significance, pointing to the shedding of blood, the sacrifice of the life of the One to come] And he [the offerer] shall cut it into its pieces, with its head and its fat; and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar; but he shall wash the entrails and the legs with water. Then the priest shall bring it all and burn it on the altar; it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord."]

(Lev 1:14 NKJV) And if the burnt sacrifice of his offering to the Lord is of birds, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves or young pigeons.

(Lev 1:15 NKJV) The priest shall bring it to the altar, wring off its head, and burn it on the altar; its blood shall be drained out at the side of the altar.

(Lev 1:16 NKJV) And he shall remove its crop with its feathers and cast it beside the altar on the east side, into the place for ashes.

(Lev 1:17 NKJV) Then he shall split it at its wings, but shall not divide it completely; and the priest shall burn it on the altar, on the wood that is on the fire. It is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord." '''

[The text of Lev 1:14 which states, "And if the burnt sacrifice of his offering to the LORD is of birds," if for those who are too poor to provide a bull, cow, sheep or goat, (cf. 5:7); "then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves or young pigeons." In ancient Israel, doves and pigeons were clean birds used for food. The particulars of the bird sacrifice are different due to a different kind and size animal, but the purpose is the same, hence the result is the same: "and the priest shall burn it on the altar, on the wood that is on the fire. It is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord," the worshiper's / offerer's atonement for his sins through the substitutionary atonement of the sacrificed animal which the latter is a symbol of the once for all and actual atonement by the One Male Human to come to make atonement for the sins of all mankind, so that the justice of God toward man is propitiated and all who trusted in this provision would have eternal life - especially those who were in Paradise before the time that the Anointed One, the Christ had come.
Burnt offerings were to be made for all Israelites every day, in the morning and in the evening at the altar of the tabernacle, (Ex 29:38-42; Num 28:3, 6; 2 Chr 2:4); and each Sabbath day (Nu 28:9-10); and at the beginning of each month, and at Passover, Feast of Weeks and many other holy days; and for the purification and consecration of priests, etc.

Then there were the personal burnt offerings because of being defiled - childbearing, leprosy, abnormal discharge, contact with a dead body, etc.

The burnt offering was to be of the whole animal - a male without blemish - which was often consumed by the offerer and the priests, with the rest of it burned up. The offerer was to put his hand on the head of the animal to make atonement for him - a substitutionary atonement by the grace of God, (Lev 1:1-17; 7:8).

II) THE LORD PROMISED TO BRING ABRAM TO THE PROMISED LAND AND THERE MAKE HIM A GREAT NATION - A PROMISE OF RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN ORDER TO BE THAT GREAT NATION - A PROMISE TO BE ENABLED THROUGH ABRAHAM'S SEED - HIS DESCENDANT

A) [Gen 11:27-12:3]:

(v. 11:27 NAS) "Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. And Haran begat Lot.

(v. 11:28 NAS) And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

(v. 11:29 NAS) And Abram and Nahor took them wives: The name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.

(v. 11:30 NAS) And Sarai was barren; She had no child

(v. 11:31 NAS) And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abrahm's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.

(v. 11:32 NAS) And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.

(v. 12:1 NKJV) Now the LORD had said [imperfect - "had been saying] to Abram: 'Get out of [lit. go from] your country, from your family [lit. relatives], and from your father's house, To a land that I will show you.

(v. 12:2 NAS) "[The LORD said to Abram] 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. 12:3 NAS) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.' "

****** EXCERPT FROM GENESIS CHAPTER 12 ******

[Gen 11:27-12:1]:

(v. 11:27 NAS) "Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. And Haran begat Lot.

(v. 11:28 NAS) And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

(v. 11:29 NAS) And Abram and Nahor took them wives: The name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.

(v. 11:30 NAS) And Sarai was barren; She had no child

(v. 11:31 NAS) And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abrahm's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.

(v. 11:32 NAS) And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.

(v. 12:1 NKJV) Now the LORD had said [imperfect - "had been saying] to Abram: 'Get out of [lit. go from] your country, from your family [lit. relatives], and from your father's house, To a land that I will show you.

(Gen 11:27-12:1) THE LORD GOD REPEATEDLY APPEARED AND SPOKE TO ABRAM FROM THE TIME HE WAS IN UR THROUGH WHEN HE WAS IN HARAN. HE GRACIOUSLY KEPT ON SAYING TO ABRAM TO GO FROM UR, HIS RELATIVES AND HIS FATHER'S HOUSEHOLD TO A LAND THE LORD WILL SHOW HIM IMPLYING PROSPERITY AND OWNERSHIP OF THAT LAND

(v. 11:27 NAS) "Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. And Haran begat Lot. (v. 11:28 NAS) And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. (v. 11:29 NAS) And Abram and Nahor took them wives: The name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah. (v. 11:30 NAS) And Sarai was barren; She had no child (v. 11:31 NAS) And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. (v. 11:32 NAS) And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran. (v. 12:1 NKJV) Now the LORD had said [imperfect - "had been saying] to Abram: 'Get out of [lit. go from] your country, from your family [lit. relatives], and from your father's house, To a land that I will show you." =

Gen 11:27-32 indicate that when Abraham resided in Ur of the Chaldees, capital of Sumer, in Mesopotamia; "Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abrahm's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan" - the LORD's promised land. Hence it is evident at this point, that the LORD had already communicated with Abram while he was in Ur to leave his country, etc. But first the group went hundreds of miles northeast to Haran, of the land of Aram - the home of his father, instead of eastward to the land of Canaan. Notice that Abram did not heed the LORD saying to him to leave his country, (Ur, not Haran); his family and his father's household to go to Canaan when he was in Ur. Instead, Abram went first in the wrong direction to Haran, his father's home town and stayed with his father until he died. Whereupon the text beginning at Genesis chapter 12:1 changed its focus to Abram at the time when the LORD began appearing and speaking to him - which was from the time he dwelt in Ur of the Chaldees in Mesopotamia, to the time when he departed from Haran and went directly to Canaan at the Terebinth Tree of Moreh.

For the Hebrew verb "wayyO'mer" rendered "had said" in "Now the LORD had said [imperfect - literally, "had been saying] to Abram: 'Get out of [lit. go from] your country, [Ur] from your family [lit. relatives], and from your father's house, To a land that I will show you,' " (Gen 12:1), is in the imperfect tense. The imperfect tense here indicates a sequence in time in the sense that the LORD had kept on saying to Abram from the time he was in his country of Ur in Mesopotamia to go from his land, his family and his father's household, to a land that He would show Abram. Hence there were persistent calls (and evidently appearances) made by the LORD to Abram to separate himself from his country, family, and father's household as opposed to a one time command.

Since Abram's society was pagan, it is implied in Gen 12:1 that the LORD appeared to Abram in a manner which demonstrated His glory and His power so that Abram could verify Who the LORD was and heed His words; much like the time when the LORD appeared to Abram when he arrived at Shechem, at the Terebinth Tree at Moreh in the promised land, (Gen 12:6-7).

[Compare Gen 12:6-7]:

(Gen 12:6 NKJV) "Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land."

(Gen 12:7 NKJV) Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, 'To your descendants I will give this land.' And there he built an altar to the LORD, Who had appeared to him."

[Compare Acts 7:2]:

(Acts 7:2 NKJV) "And he said, 'Brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran."

So it took some time for Abram to comply to the LORD's request, evidently because Abram was so attached to his father, family and pagan way of life. And when he did set out directly for Canaan, he still took his nephew Lot and a number of household servants.

[Compare Gen 12:5]:

(v. 12:5 NKJV) "Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan."

Since Abram and his family were prosperous in Ur and Haran, having acquired considerable possessions and servants; then to leave all of this to go to an unknown land speaks of knowing of and trusting in the LORD's power and promise of prosperity and ownership. Hence the fact that the LORD told Abraham to go to a land the LORD will show him implied that the LORD would enable Abram to prosper in and own that land, once he settled there.

Note that the promise of ownership of the land is corroborated in Gen 15:7. Furthermore, Ur - Abram's country of origin, (not Haran), is indicated in this verse as the land from which the LORD was saying to Abram to leave:

[Compare Gen 15:7]:

(Gen 15:7 NKJV) "He also said to him, 'I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.' "

Hence the time of the LORD saying to go forth began when Abram was in Ur.

[Gen 12:2-3]:

(v. 12:2 NAS) "[The LORD said to Abram] 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. 12:3 NAS) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.' "

THE LORD PROMISED:

(1) TO MAKE ABRAM A GREAT NATION IN THE PROMISED LAND WHICH IMPLIES MANY DESCENDANTS AND RULERSHIP FOREVER VIA A MESSIAH-SAVIOR, THE SEED OF ABRAM;

(2) TO BLESS ABRAM IN THE PROMISED LAND WHICH IMPLIES TEMPORAL AND SPIRITUAL PROSPERITY AND LONGEVITY UNTO ETERNAL LIFE;

(3) TO MAKE ABRAM'S NAME GREAT IN THE PROMISED LAND, WHICH IMPLIES ENABLING ABRAM TO BE FAITHFUL IN DOING GREAT AND GODLY THINGS AS PART OF GOD'S PLAN FOR MAN'S ETERNAL RECONCILIATION WITH HIM AND RESTORATION OF MANKIND'S SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE EARTH THROUGH A DESCENDANT OF ABRAM

(4) WHEREBY THE LORD DECLARED THAT IN ABRAM ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH - OF ALL TIME - WOULD BE BLESSED IMPLYING THE TEMPORAL AND THE ETERNAL AS PART OF GOD'S PLAN FOR MAN'S ETERNAL RECONCILIATION WITH HIM AND RESTORATION OF MANKIND'S SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE EARTH THROUGH A DESCENDANT OF ABRAM

(v. 11:30 NAS) "And Sarai was barren; She had no child (v. 12:1 NKJV) Now the LORD had said [imperfect - "had been saying] to Abram: 'Get out of [lit. go from] your country, from your family [lit. relatives], and from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. (v. 12:2 NAS) 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. 12:3 NAS) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. ' " =

(v. 12:2 Hebrew) "Wee'esekhA ............leghôy .gâdhôl wa'avarekhekhA

............................."and I will make you nation ..great ..and I will bless you

wa'âghaddelAh ..........shemekhA wehyEh ...........berAkAh"

and I will make great your name so shall you be.blessing"

THE LORD WILL MAKE ABRAM A GREAT NATION IN THE PROMISED LAND, WHICH IMPLIES RULERSHIP AND MANY DESCENDANTS FOREVER VIA A MESSIAH-SAVIOR, THE SEED OF ABRAM

(v. 3:14 NKJV) "So the LORD God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.' (v. 3:15 NKJV) And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel... (v. 12:1 NKJV) Now the LORD had said [imperfect - "had been saying] to Abram: 'Get out of [lit. go from] your country, from your family [lit. relatives], and from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. (v. 12:2 NAS) 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. 12:3 NAS) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. ' " =

By virtue of the imperfect tense Hebrew verb "wayyO'mer" rendered "had said [imperfect - "had been saying]" (NKJV) which tense portrays repeated action in the past, verse 12:1 stipulated that the LORD had repeatedly said from the time when Abram was in Ur that Abram was to go from his native land Ur, (cf. Gen 15:7), to a land He will show Abram; whereupon, beginning in verse 12:2, the LORD promised Abram to make him a great nation. Notice that the phrase is not 'I will make you ruler of a great nation.' but "I [the LORD] will make you a great nation," i.e., Abram himself will become a great nation. Since a nation is an entity of a great number of individuals, and since Abram will become a great nation, then Abram, in spite of being childless for decades, is to have and live to see a great number of physical descendants over whom he will rule. Verse 12:2 goes on to say, "And I [the LORD] will bless you [Abram] and make your name great; And so you will be a blessing." So Abram is to effect a great number of the people of the earth in some great manner, affording to them great blessing over a great length of time, for it takes time for one to live to have a nation of descendants and by that become a great name throughout all the earth for all history.

Verse 12:3 continues the LORD’s declarations of Abram’s future by stating a number of astounding predictions which indicate that the LORD specifically selected Abram out of the sea of humanity in human history for His special and eternal purpose: "And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." Unlike the word ‘world’ which might be limited in time and geography if it were present in the context of Gen 12:3, the Hebrew word rendered "earth" in the NKJV in the context of Gen 12:3 encompasses the entire globe of the earth for all time. So the phrase "all the families of the earth" encompasses all mankind throughout history from all points of the earth.

A picture is presented of the LORD sovereignly selecting Abram from Ur of the Chaldees out of the sea of humanity to go to the promised land to be His vessel, (cf. 12:1). The LORD will then supernaturally enable Abram, whose wife has been barren and childless for decades, (cf. Gen 11:30) - both of whom are very old and unable to have children to have such a great name, i.e., have such a worldwide reputation of doing great and godly things and be such a great nation of many physical descendants that in Abram will all the families of the earth throughout history and eternity be blessed through the seed of Abram. This is evidently a fulfillment of the promise of God to provide for the eternal reconciliation of man to God relative to sin and the restoration of mankind's sovereignty over the earth through the miraculous Seed of the woman - a Messiah-Savior, evidently through the seed of Abram, (cf. Gen 3:14-15). That fact alone - that the Messiah-Savior of the world will be a descendant of Abram, will make Abram a great nation and a great name, for in him through that Messiah-Savior will be an opportunity for eternal life and blessing for all the families of the earth throughout history.

Hence an eternal time frame is in view. All of this is with an emphasis on the LORD's sovereign enablement in moving Abram to a faithful position in the land He will show Abram so as to fulfill His promises unilaterally and supernaturally. This was to begin with Abram getting out of his country, going from his family and his father's house to a land He will show Abram, (v. 12:1).

THE LORD WILL BLESS ABRAM IN THE PROMISED LAND WHICH IMPLIES TEMPORAL AND SPIRITUAL PROSPERITY AND LONGEVITY UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(v. 12:1 NKJV) "Now the LORD had said [imperfect - "had been saying] to Abram: 'Get out of [lit. go from] your country, from your family [lit. relatives], and from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. (v. 12:2 NAS) "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. 12:3 NAS) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. ' " =

The Hebrew word "we'e'esekhA" rendered "and I will bless you" in verse 12:2 in the NAS refers to the LORD's empowerment for success, prosperity, fecundity, longevity, etc., i.e., temporal benefits as well as spiritual and eternal ones. In view of the context which includes God's plan for man's reconciliation to Himself and the restoration of mankind's sovereignty over the earth, (cp. Gen 3:14-15), evidently through Abram becoming a great nation wherein all the families of the earth will be blessed, the blessings will evidently be eternal as well.

THE LORD WILL MAKE ABRAM'S NAME GREAT IN THE PROMISED LAND, WHICH IMPLIES ENABLING ABRAM TO BE FAITHFUL IN DOING GREAT AND GODLY THINGS AS PART OF GOD'S PLAN FOR MANKIND'S ETERNAL RECONCILIATION WITH HIM AND RESTORATION OF MANKIND'S SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE EARTH THROUGH A DESCENDANT OF ABRAM

(v. 3:14 NKJV) "So the LORD God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.' (v. 3:15 NKJV) And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel... (v. 12:1 NKJV) "Now the LORD had said [imperfect - "had been saying] to Abram: 'Get out of [lit. go from] your country, from your family [lit. relatives], and from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. (v. 12:2 NAS) "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. 12:3 NAS) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. ' " =

The LORD promised to make Abram a great nation and to make Abram's name great and in Abram will all the families of the earth be blessed. This implies that through the LORD working in Abram's life, Abram as a great nation will have a worldwide reputation of doing great and godly things wherein all the families of the earth will be blessed - implying for all time! All of this is a part of God's plan for mankind's eternal reconciliation with Him and for the restoration of mankind's sovereignty over the earth. Abram as a great nation and Abram's great name will be connected to the LORD in a manner which will be known throughout the world for all time as the individual, (Abram), and the nation through whom descended the Messiah-Savior of the world. Hence an eternal timeframe is in view. All of this is with an emphasis on the LORD's sovereign enablement in moving Abram to a faithful position in the land He will show Abram so as to fulfill His promises unilaterally and supernaturally. This was to begin with Abram getting out of his country, going from his family and his father's house then through making Abram a great nation, a great name and a blessing to all the people of the world by being the vessel through whom the LORD will provide eternal reconciliation of man to God and restoration of the sovereignty of humanity over the earth via a Messiah-Savior.

THE LORD DECLARED THAT IN ABRAM ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH - OF ALL TIME - WOULD BE BLESSED IMPLYING THE TEMPORAL AND THE ETERNAL, AS PART OF GOD'S PLAN FOR MAN'S ETERNAL RECONCILIATION WITH HIM AND RESTORATION OF MANKIND'S SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE EARTH THROUGH A DESCENDANT OF ABRAM

(v. 3:14 NKJV) "So the LORD God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.' (v. 3:15 NKJV) And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel... (v. 12:1 NKJV) Now the LORD had said [imperfect - "had been saying] to Abram: 'Get out of [lit. go from] your country, from your family [lit. relatives], and from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. (v. 12:2 NAS) 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. 12:3 NAS) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.' "'' =

In Gen 12:2c, the Hebrew verb "wehyEh," is in the imperative (command) tense and literally means "so you shall be" [a blessing] as it is rendered in the NAS. The use of the imperative (command) tense in 12:2c follows and is subordinate to the previous imperative tense in 12:1: [The LORD kept on saying to Abram] "Get out from your country, your family and your father's house..."

[Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar, 2nd Edition, E Kautzsch, Ed., Oxford Press, London, 1910, p. 325]:

"The imperative when depending ... upon another imperative. In this case the first imperative contains, as a rule, a condition, while the second declares the consequence which the fulfilment of the condition will involve. The imperative is used for this declaration, since the consequence is, as a matter of fact, intended or desired by the speaker."

Hence 12:2c conveys the result of Abram becoming a great nation and a great name: "In him all the families of the earth will be blessed" - when he leaves his land, relatives and house of his father and enters the promised land, following what the LORD said to do in 12:1. This implies that the LORD will enable Abram to enter the land and be a blessing to all the families of the earth of all time forever by becoming a great nation and a great name, because God's promises to Abram are sovereign, unilateral and eternal and evidently a part of God's plan for mankind's eternal reconciliation and restoration of sovereignty over the earth, (Gen 3:14-15).

[Compare Gen 12:3]:

(v. 12:3 NAS) "And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. ' " =

Notice that the LORD repeats His promise that if Abram moves into the promised land that all the families of the earth, (of all history), will be blessed "in Abram" implying God's enablement of such a universal blessing to all the families of the earth in time through what He promises to do through Abram.

In view of the fact that God, Whose frame of reference is sovereign and eternal, is making a declaration that He will make Abram a great nation, bless him and make his name great, and so shall Abram be a blessing to the world, a blessing to all the families of the earth, (Gen 12:2-3); we must conclude that this is the LORD's eternal plan revealed earlier in Genesis chapter 3 to provide eternal reconciliation of man to Himself and restore mankind's sovereignty over the earth through the Seed of the woman, Eve through enabling Abram to become a great nation and a great name.

In order to become a great nation and a great name in God's sight as He promised and in Abram will all the families of the earth be blessed, Abram had to be a blessing worldwide throughout the ages. A local, temporary benefit is not in view. Blessings through Abram in ancient times such as trade, peace and power would be limited to a local and temporal and come to an end. The promises of the LORD cannot be limited to temporal blessings for a limited time in one region of the world, i.e., only for individuals on one side of the ancient world during Abram's lifetime. That would hardly be a blessing of any consequence such that God would announce it to Abram as a promise to all the families of the earth. Hence humanity of all ages to be blessed in a spiritual and eternal sense as well as temporal must be in view. The LORD's promises to Abram lead to the eternal reconciliaton of all mankind of all ages to God and the restoration of the sovereignty of mankind over the earth for all times in history, i.e., forever.

[Gen 12:3]:

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

GOD PROMISES TO BLESS THOSE THAT BLESS ABRAM, CURSE THOSE THAT CURSE HIM AND IN ABRAM ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE WORLD WILL BE BLESSED. THE LORD'S PROMISE OF A SEED OF THE WOMAN EVE - A MESSIAH-SAVIOR REPRESENTING ALL OF HUMANITY TO DEFEAT SATAN AND HIS SEED RESULTING IN THE AVAILABILITY OF ETERNAL RECONCILIATION OF MAN WITH GOD AND THE RESTORATION OF THE SOVEREIGNTY OF HUMANITY OVER THE EARTH WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED BY THE LORD THROUGH ABRAM BECOMING A GREAT NATION AND A GREAT NAME AND IN ABRAM WILL ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE WORLD BE SO BLESSED

(v. 3:14 NKJV) "So the LORD God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.' (v. 3:15 NKJV) And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel... (v. 12:1 NKJV) Now the LORD had said [imperfect - "had been saying] to Abram: 'Get out of [lit. go from] your country, from your family [lit. relatives], and from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. (v. 12:2 NAS) "[The LORD said to Abram] 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. 12:3 NAS) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.' " =

God promises to bless those that bless Abram, curse those that curse him and in Abram all the families of the world will be blessed. The LORD's promise of a seed of the woman Eve - a Messiah-Savior representing all of humanity to defeat Satan and his seed resulting in the availability of eternal reconciliation of man with God and the restoration of the sovereignty of humanity over the earth. All of this will be accomplished by the LORD through Abram becoming a great nation and a great name and in Abram will all the families of the earth be so blessed.

With the promises given in vv. 3:14-15 and 12:2-3, to which are attached the LORD's persistent saying to Abram to go to the land He will show him, (v. 12:1); verse 12:3 goes on to a perspective of the world's response to Abram as the LORD fulfills His promises through him.

The Hebrew word "wa'avakhAh" is rendered "and I will bless" in verse 12:3 of the NAS. It refers to the LORD empowering one for success, prosperity, fecundity, longevity, etc., i.e., temporal and spiritual benefits to those who bless Abram - that being the nature of the LORD and His blessings. Evidently the LORD has promised to protect Abram as His servant and messenger to the world and so that what the LORD promised Abram would be enabled and protected. To those that bless Abram, i.e., provide him with empowerment for success, prosperity, fecundity, longevity, peace will themselves be so blessed by the LORD; and those who curse Abram in word or deed - the opposite, they will be so cursed by the LORD. Note that the LORD'S promises to Abram are tied directly to His sovereign and supernatural enablement of Abram to have the promises fulfilled in and through him.

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM GENESIS CHAPTER 12 ******

Note that the word rendered "seed" in view in Gen 12:7 in the NKJV is predeminately to be viewed as singular - a single individual with the authority and power of God, to own and rule the Eternal Kingdom forever; as well as plural - an innumerable number of descendants Abram as a great nation to whom the LORD would give the Promised Land. Note that the plural is predominately in view in Gen 13:14-16; 17:7-8.

**** COMPARE WITH EXCERPT FROM GENESIS CHAPTER 13 ****

[Gen 13:14-16]:

(Gen 13:14 NKJV) "And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: 'Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are - northward, southward, eastward, and westward;

(Gen 13:15 NKJV) for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.

(Gen 13:16 NKJV) And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered."

ABRAM SEPARATED FROM LOT FULFILLING THE LORD'S COMMAND TO SEPARATE HIMSELF FROM HIS RELATIVES. THE LORD THEN REITERATED HIS PROMISE TO ABRAM AND HIS SEED, AN INDIVIDUAL PHYSICAL DESCENDANT, TO POSSESS THE PROMISED LAND FOREVER IMPLYING JUSTIFICATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH THIS INDIVIDUAL 'SEED'. THEN HE COMMANDED ABRAM TO WALK AND VIEW THE LAND HE WILL POSSESS. ABRAM THEN BUILT ANOTHER ALTAR TO THE LORD IN HEBRON BY THE GREAT TREES OF MAMRE

(v. 13:14 NKJV) "And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: 'Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are - northward, southward, eastward, and westward: (v. 13:15 NKJV) for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendant [lit., seed] forever. (v. 13:16 NKJV) And I will make your descendants [lit., seed] as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. =

[Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, R. Laird Harris, Ed, Moody Press, Chicago, 1980, pp. 252-4]:

"zera'. Sowing, seed, offspring...

The most important theological usage [of this word rendered 'seed'] is found ... commencing with Gen 3:15, [where] the word 'seed' is regularly used as a collective noun in the singular (never plural). This technical term is an important aspect of the promise doctrine, for Hebrew never uses the plural of this root to refer to 'posterity' or 'offspring.'... Thus the word designates the whole line of descendants as a unit, yet it is deliberately flexible enough to denote either one person who epitomizes the whole group, (i.e., the man of promise and ultimately Christ), or the many persons in that whole line of natural and/or spiritual descendants."

As soon as Lot had separated from Abram, which was in accord with what the LORD had been saying to Abram to go from his relatives, (cf. 12:1), He told Abram to lift his eyes North, South, East and West which brought the promised land before the eyes of Abram, (cf. 13:14). He then reiterated His promise to Abram to give him and his seed, an individual of the future who would be a supernaturally provided physical descendant of Abram, the promised land forever. Recall that Abram and Sarai have not had any children, Sarai was barren, (cf. 11:30). This implies through this future individual Descendant of Abram a promise of justification to Abram unto eternal life, a righteousness that Abram must be declared to have in order to have the blessing of eternal life with the LORD and possess the land forever, i.e., an eternal kingdom supernaturally enabled by and of the LORD. Whereupon, in verse 13:16, the LORD provided an illustration to Abram that indicated further that His promises included eternal life: Abram's descendants would be as innumerable as the dust of the earth. This can only have significance for Abram if he is to live forever to possess the promised land forever and see his innumerable descendants. Evidently this future individual descendant of Abram Who is to be supernaturally provided by the LORD through Abram and Sarai, (considering her barrenness and his incapacity to procreate). This seed will possess the land forever and be instrumental in providing Abram with the righteousness of the LORD in order for Abram to have eternal life.

**** END OF EXCERPT FROM GENESIS CHAPTER 13 ****

II cont.) THE LORD PROMISED TO BRING ABRAM TO THE PROMISED LAND AND THERE MAKE HIM A GREAT NATION - A PROMISE OF RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN ORDER TO BE THAT GREAT NATION - A PROMISE TO BE ENABLED THROUGH ABRAHAM'S SEED - HIS DESCENDANT, cont.

A cont.) [Gen 11:27-12:3 cont.]:

(v. 11:27 NAS) "Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. And Haran begat Lot.

(v. 11:28 NAS) And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

(v. 11:29 NAS) And Abram and Nahor took them wives: The name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.

(v. 11:30 NAS) And Sarai was barren; She had no child

(v. 11:31 NAS) And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abrahm's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.

(v. 11:32 NAS) And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.

(v. 12:1 NKJV) Now the LORD had said [imperfect - "had been saying] to Abram: 'Get out of [lit. go from] your country, from your family [lit. relatives], and from your father's house, To a land that I will show you.

(v. 12:2 NAS) "[The LORD said to Abram] 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. 12:3 NAS) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.' "

So in view in Gen 12:7; 13:15 & 24:7 is God's Eternal Kingdom on earth established with the Promised Land as the key focus of His power, with a single Person predominately in view Who will have possession - an everlasting possession - of the Promised Land to rule over all peoples forever - a Person Who is Eternal - "Mighty God, Everlasting Father," and the promised Descendant of Abraham in Perfect Humanity:

1) [Compare Isa 9:6-7]:

(Isa 9:6 NKJV) "For unto us [Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all Israel] a Child is born,

Unto us a Son is given;

And the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

(Isa 9:7 NKJV) Of the increase of His government and peace

There will be no end,

Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,

To order it and establish it with judgment and justice

From that time forward, even forever.

The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."

2) [Compare Gal 3:16]:

(Gal 3:16 NKJV) "Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, 'And to seeds,' as of many, but as of one,' And to your Seed, Who is Christ."

Paul further defines the meaning of the phrase "To your Seed I will give this land," in Gen 12:7, 13:15 & 24:7 as Jesus Christ Himself.

3) [Compare John 8:56]:

[Jesus said]:"Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad."

Abraham could not be a blessing to the nations of the world unless God produced a Descendant of Abraham as promised to rule as "Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, (Isa 9:6)," and to make provision for sins through His atoning sacrifice, so that Abraham and his descendants - and all the peoples of the earth - all who trusted in God's provision of forgiveness of sins unto eternal life through this Descendant - could be resurrected unto eternal life in the Eternal Kingdom of God.

When Abram followed God's instructions as indicated in Gen 12:1: leaving his home, his business, his great wealth, the highly developed civilization in Ur, his family and his people and set out to an unknown, wilderness land, he demonstrated his faith in God's promises of future blessing for himself and the nations of the world. Thereafter, Abram would believe in God's promise of having innumerable descendants implying being resurrected from the dead unto eternal life. Abram would be justified with the righteousness of God upon his trusting in God's provision of this future Savior, (Ref. Gen 15:1-6).

At the time of Gen 15:1-6, Abram trusted in God's promises, which is tantamount to trusting in God's promise of the blessing of eternal salvation through a coming Descendant of Abraham - a Man, the Messiah of Isa 9:6-7, Whose name would be known from later Scripture as Jesus Christ. God then would credit Abraham with His divine righteousness unto eternal life. For God promised that Abraham would find that the number of his offspring would be beyond counting and only through Abraham's seeing the kingdom of God, i.e., having eternal life, could God fulfill this promise to bless Abram by seeing his countless offspring in the kingdom. Heretofore, God had promised to make Abram into a great nation, to bless him, make his name great, and be a blessing to all the peoples of the earth, and to his Seed and all of Abram's descendants who would be innumerable, He would give the Promised Land to own and rule and dwell in forever, (Gen 12:1-7; 13:14-16).

B) [Compare Gen 15:1-6]:

(Gen 15:1 NIV) "After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:

'Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, [making] your very great reward'

(Gen 15:2 NKJV) But Abram said, 'LORD GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?

(Gen 15:3 NKJV) Then Abram said, 'Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!' "

1) By The Grace Of The LORD, Abram had:

Won The Battle Against Chedalaomer And His Allies,

Rescued His Nephew Lot From Captivity,

Received The Blessing And Revelation Of King / Priest Melchizadek, An Incarnate Appearance Of The LORD,

Given A Tenth Of All He Had To Melchizadek And

Taken An Oath To The LORD To Refuse Any Spoils Of War From The King Of Sodom;

Whereupon The Word Of The LORD Came To Abram In A Vision Saying, 'Do Not fear, Abram, I Am A Shield To You Making Very Great Your Reward

(Gen 12:2 NAS) "[The LORD said to Abram] 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. (Gen 15:1 NIV) After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: 'Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, [making] your very great reward' (Gen 15:2 NKJV) But Abram said, 'LORD GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus? (Gen 15:3 NKJV) Then Abram said, 'Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!' " =

Note that the Hebrew word "harbEh" literally rendered "making great" is in the hiphil stem conveying causative action on the part of the subject, "Yahweh." So the LORD by being Protector to Abram would cause Abram to receive an exceedingly great reward.

By the grace of the LORD, Abram had:

won the battle against Chedalaomer and his allies,

rescued his nephew Lot from captivity,

received the blessing and revelation of the LORD's hand in it all by King / Priest Melchizadek an incarnate appearance of the LORD,

given a tenth of all he had to Melchizadek, and

taken an oath to the LORD to refuse any spoils of war from the king of Sodom ;

whereupon the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision saying, 'Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you making very great your reward."

The LORD emphasized that Abram should not fear what will happen to him by way of encouraging Abram that He is his Protector, a Shield to Abram; and out of the LORD's persistence, reliability and capacity to fulfill what He has promised, Abram will receive an exceedingly great reward - beginning with possession of the promised land, which the LORD had been promising Abram since he left Ur.

The continued references to the LORD from Gen 12:1 on, corroborate that the phrase "God Most High" spoken of by Melchizadek in Gen 14:19 refers to the LORD, the God of Abram and not to a Canaanite god as some maintain.

2) In Spite Of The LORD's Persistent Assurance, Supernatural Enablement And Protection, Abram Continued To Lack faith In The Promises Of The LORD

(Gen 15:1 NIV) "After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: 'Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward' (Gen 15:2 NKJV) But Abram said, 'LORD GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus? (Gen 15:3 NKJV) Then Abram said, 'Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!' " =

Heretofore the LORD had repeatedly communicated His promises to Abram accompanied with protection and supernatural intervention to secure those promises and thus assure Abram of fulfillment. In Gen 15:1, once again, the LORD referred to what He had promised and His capacity and intent to fulfull that promise unilaterally. This time the LORD conveyed his message to Abram in a vision. But in spite of repeated experiences with the LORD's supernatural enablement and protection, the altars Abram built at which he worshipped the LORD, Abram's oath of allegiance to the LORD, the tithe Abram paid to Melchizadek - Priest of God Most High, and now a vision of encouragement from the LORD; Abram continued to lack faith in the LORD. This time Abram posed an agitated question to the LORD, he asked, "LORD GOD, what will You give me seeing I go childless and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus." On the one hand, Abram began acknowledging the LORD GOD and displayed an understanding that the promises of the LORD were dependent upon having many descendants, (cf. Gen 13:15). Since Abram had no descendants at the time, Abram remarked that the closest thing to a descendant he had was not a son but a member of his household, a servant named Eliezer from Damascus. After this, Abram repeated himself with agitation bordering upon disrespect: "Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!" as if the LORD had not taken notice. The Hebrew words "hEn" and "wehinnEh" rendered "Look" and "indeed" respectively in the NKJV emphasize Abram's agitation.

3) The LORD Told Abram That Eliezer Would Not Become Abram's Heir, That A Physical Descendant Would Be The Heir That The LORD Promised Abram. And The LORD Told Abram That Just As The Night Sky Had Countless Number Of Stars So Would Be Abram's Physical Descendants. This Implied That Abram Would Have An Everlasting Life With The Lord, Implying That Abram Would Have Accounted To Himself The Righteousness Of God In Order To Be Given The Gift Of Eternal Life - And This The LORD Promised Would Come Through Abram's Seed (Singular)

(Gen 15:4 NKJV) "And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 'This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.' (Gen 15:5 NKJV) Then He brought him outside and said, 'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your descendants [lit. seed] be.' (Gen 15:6 NKJV) And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

[Note that the Hebrew word "zera' " rendered "seed" is masculine, singular. It is one of a peculiarly unique group of words which can refer to a single or multiple numbers, in this case, physical offspring, depending upon the context.

So the LORD repeated His promise to Abram of innumerable descendants tantamount to having eternal life, (cf. Gen 12:2 ; Gen 13:14-16 ), implying that one must be accounted with the Righteousness of God in order to have eternal life in the Kingdom of God. Such a granting must however be justifiable, since neither Abraham nor any man is capable of achieving God's Righteousness on his own auspices. Hence there must be someone who will be held accountable for these grants by God to believers of God's righteousness - a Descendant of Abraham , the Seed of the woman Eve, (ref. Gen 3:15 ).

The LORD's gracious response to Abram's agitated question, (v. 15:3 NKJV) "Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir," absolutely clarifies that Eliezer would not be Abram's heir - the heir through whom via physical descendancy, the Seed, the Heir of the promises of the LORD would be fulfilled. This is speaking of the one Heir to Whom the LORD promised to give the land - through Whom all of the promises would be enabled, (cf Gen 12:7, 13:15). Notice that an immediate single physical descendant is in view here, previously referred to as Abram's seed in Gen 12:7, with a foreshadowing of the future Heir of the Promise. Furthermore, the LORD established that the heir was to come from Abram's seed, i.e., his body - a physical descendant. Note that a singular heir is in view here which is evidently key to the fulfillment of the promises of the Lord, which points not only to an immediate physical heir but to one in the future to receive possession of the land and in some manner make it possible for Abram to receive a righteousness unto eternal life, God's Righteousness - evidently through an atoning sacrifice for the sins of all mankind.

So the LORD brought Abram outside into the night to view the countless number of stars to illustrate and expand upon this promise, and declared, 'So shall [the number] of your physical descendants be.' This clearly implies that Abram had been promised through his seed, singular, eternal life unto innumerable descendants. For having innumerable descendants as a reward to be enjoyed in his experience, it must be an eternal experience - otherwise it would not be much of a reward. This illustration in the sky by the LORD of innumerable descendants for Abram is an illustration of what the LORD had been promising to Abram since he was in Ur of the Chaldees: To make Abram a great name, a great nation with many nations coming from him, i.e., descendants as the countless stars wherein all the families of the world would be blessed through His Seed implying One through Whom would be provided eternal life. So connected with this promise of eternal life is the LORD's promise of a declaration of His righteousness to Abram through the provision of such through Abram's seed, singular - a particular individual Savior supernaturally provided for by the LORD considering Sarai's barrenness and Abram's impotence, in order for Abram to legitmately have eternal life as a free gift as the LORD has presented to Abram through His promises.

So God presented a picture to Abraham to affirm His promise of an actual physical heir who was to come through the loins of Abraham, (Gen 15:4). This picture was 'painted' by God across the star studded night time heavens. An uncountable number of stars were visible to Abraham. 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. And so, Abraham was promised by God to have an innumerable number of descendants evidently over an indefinitely long lifetime, i.e., eternal life.

4) Abram Began Believing, In The Time Frame Of Genesis 15:4-6, in God Promise Of Innumerable Descendants Through Abram's Seed Supernaturally Provided By God And Relative To The LORD's Promise Of Inheriting The Land At Which Time God Accounted It To Abram For Righteousness Unto Eternal Life And Confirmed His Entire Covenant With Abram Unilaterally

(Gen 15:4 NKJV) "And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 'This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.' (Gen 15:5 NKJV) Then He brought him outside and said, 'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your descendants [lit. seed] be.' (Gen 15:6 NKJV) And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. =

The Hebrew word "wehE'emin" rendered "and he [Abram] believed" in verse 15:6 in the NKJV is in the Hiphil stem in the perfect tense portraying a simple completed action - a moment of faith alone in the LORD's promise alone - by Abram as an immediate response to the LORD's words in the previous verse: "Then He [the LORD] brought him [Abram] outside and said, 'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.' And He [the LORD] said to him [Abram], 'So shall your descendants [lit. seed] be."

This cannot be misconstrued to mean that Abraham was expected to do anything in order to be perfectly righteous in his lifestyle in order to receive eternal life from God. There is no stipulation to that effect in the passage.

Although the perfect tense of the Hebrew verb "wehE'emin" can depict a past perfect action which points to a completed action begun in the 'past past' which would then portray action begun before the present action of Gen 15:6 so as to portray Abram believing beginning at the time when the LORD first began presenting His promises to Abram in Gen 12:2; the context of Gen 15:6 does not include any connected 'past past' activity. It is limited to the moment when God presented a view of countless stars and declaring "so shall your descendants be," whereupon Abram responded at that time by believing. Before the time frame of Gen 15:1-6, Abram was not depicted as having believed in the promise of the LORD to inherit the Promised Land and have innumerable physical descendants to the extent that he was then declared righteous by the LORD unto eternal life, i.e., the perfect righteousness of God.

So when Abram began believing in God's promise of innumerable descendants relative to the promises he had been making to Abram since Ur - it was in the time frame of Gen 15:4-6, whereupon God acounted it at that time to Abraham for righteousness unto eternal life, i.e., the perfect righteousness of God. Note that if Abram had believed in God's promise of eternal life beforehand then he would have been accounted for righteousness by God earlier than Gen 15:6, and it would have been so noted in Scripture. So Abraham was credited with God's perfect righteousness in conjunction with God's promise to Abraham and innumerable descendants of receiving the promised land forever which God's righteousness is evidently required in order to have eternal life in order to inherit the promised land forever. Note that it was received by a moment of faith alone in the LORD's promise alone. So it cannot be misconstrued that Abraham was expected to do anything in order to be perfectly righteous in his lifestyle in order to receive eternal life from God. There is no stipulation to that effect in the passage.

Gen 15:5-6 is not just a picture of Abram's countless descendants living long after he died with him having gone into the Lake of Fire. There would be no purpose if Abraham would never see them in person, i.e., have eternal life and instead be eternally confined and condemned to the Lake of Fire? This demonstration by the LORD was a picture of His promise to Abraham of eternal life - eternal life with countless descendants over an eternity of time through an individual seed - descendant supernaturally provided for in order to make all of this possible - for Abram was still childless, impotent and Sarai barren.

C) [Gen 22:1-18]:

(Gen 22:1 NKJV) "Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, 'Abraham!'

And he [Abraham] said, 'Here I am.'

[After a time had passed, i.e., after the events of the previous chapter 21 , God tested Abraham once more. Note that Abraham had been tested by God a number of times: the test to leave his homeland and his family, to live among the Canaanites, to face famine, to separate from Lot, to have the birth of Isaac come 25 years after he departed and arrived at Canaan, to give up Ishmael. This time God said, "Abraham," and Abraham responded, "Here I am," like one friend having a conversation with another]

(Gen 22:2 NKJV) Then He said, 'Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.'

[Then God told Abraham, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." Note that Moriah was the area around Jerusalem, (2 Chr 3:1) - about two days' journey from Beer-sheba. The mountain that Abraham was directed to was most likely the future Temple Mount in Jerusalem. God was direct and to the point. The life of Issac miraculously born of Abraham and Sarah was to be taken. The LORD addressed Abraham's love for his son Isaac and described him as "your only son Isaac," in the sense of Abraham's only son through Sarah, the son through whom all of what God promised to Abraham would be fulfilled, providing he survived to have descendants leading to the One Descendant through Whom would be provided provision for all mankind to have eternal life, evidently an atonement for sin. For the LORD had promised to fulfill His promises to Abraham through Isaac, (Gen 17:19; 21:12; 26:1-5). The prospect of Abraham killing his son and burning his body on an altar as a sacrifice to God was in view. This would be Abraham's greatest test of all! The test would strike right at Abraham's heart. It would reveal what God had accomplished in Abraham]

(Gen 22:3 NKJV) So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went toward the place which God had told him.

[Abraham's response was one of immediate and total obedience. The next morning, he rose early, saddled his donkey, took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood he would use to burn his son Isaac's dead body in the burnt offering to God, and arose and went to the place which God had told him to go to]

(Gen 22:4 NKJV) Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off.

(Gen 22:5 NKJV) And Abraham said to his young men, 'Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.'

[On the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you." Abraham went off by himself and spent time worshipping God. Notice that Abraham told the servants "we will come back to you," meaning both himself and his son Isaac - that somehow Isaac would survive / remain alive or be resurrected and come back with Abraham. For the LORD had promised to fulfill His promises to Abraham through Isaac, (Gen 17:19; 21:12; 26:1-5). So God's promises to Abraham were predicated upon the survival of his firstborn son through Sarah, i.e., Isaac]

(Gen 22:6 NKJV) So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.

[When Abraham came back from worshipping God, he took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac so that he could carry it. And Abraham took "the fire," evidently some kind of smoldering embers with which to start a fire, and a knife; and the two of them went off together]

(Gen 22:7 NKJV) But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, 'My father!'

And he [Abraham] said, 'Here I am, my son.'

Then he [Isaac] said, 'Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?'

[Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, 'My father!' And he [Abraham] said, 'Here I am, my son.' Notice the respectful tone father and son had for one another despite the circumstances. Then Isaac said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" Isaac was evidently familiar with burnt offerings - the sacrifice of a lamb without blemish accompanied by an acknowledgment of ones sinful nature to the LORD in order to receive forgiveness of sins and blessings with belief in a future, actual substitutionary atonement for sins by a Descendant in view through Abraham and Isaac. So Isaac noted that there was no lamb to offer]

(Gen 22:8 NKJV) And Abraham said, 'My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.' So the two of them went together.

[And Abraham said, 'My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.' Although God had commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac; and since the promises God made to Abraham depended upon Isaac being alive to have descendants of his own, leading to the One Descendant through whom Abraham and his descendants were promised that those believing in the LORD's provision as such would have eternal life; Abraham was evidently confident that God would either find a substitute 'lamb' for the offering, or raise his son from the dead - from his ashes - in order to fulfill His promises through Isaac, (cf. Heb 11:17-19). So the two of them went on together."]

(Gen 22:9 NKJV) Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.

[When Abraham and Isaac came to the place which God had told Abraham to go to, Abraham built an altar there, placed the wood on the altar in an orderly manner, bound his son Isaac - evidently without his resistence - and laid him down upon the wood on the altar. Isaac and Abraham were both in full expectation of Isaac being killed and burned on the altar. Hence the only way for the LORD to fulfill his promises seemed to be to resurrect Isaac from his ashes on the altar. For the LORD had promised to fulfill His promises to Abraham through Isaac, (Gen 17:19; 21:12; 26:1-5. Since Isaac was a young man, probably in his late teens or twenties who might easily have overpowered his father, who was around 120 years old; and in view of Isaac's understanding of the burnt offering, nevertheless, Isaac permitted his father to bind his arms and lay him down on the altar, knowing that his throat was going to be cut and his body burned up on the altar - an extra ordinary act of faith in the LORD's deliverance by both of them so that He could fulfill the promises through them]

(Gen 22:10 NKJV) And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

[Whereupon Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. There was no evidence of any struggle to resist the outcome by Isaac]

(Gen 22:11 NKJV) But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, 'Abraham, Abraham!'

So he [Abraham] said, 'Here I am.'

(Gen 22:12 NKJV) And He [the Angel of the LORD] said, 'Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.

[The Angel of the LORD intervened and stopped Abraham just before he slit Isaac's throat. Note that the phrase "Angel of the LORD" is defined as the LORD Himself, (cf. Ex 3:4; 16:9) - a Person Who was at once identified as God yet also sent by God and therefore distinct from the Father - evidently the preincarnate Jesus Christ . Notice that the word rendered "Me" at the end of Gen 22:12, which refers back to the word rendered "God," in the verse, confirms that the Angel of the LORD is God.

Objectors falsely maintain that Abraham was not saved until this moment in Gen 22:12. They conclude that Abraham demonstrated his faithfulness to God, hence received his salvation at this time by his obedience to God's command to go ahead and sacrifice Isaac.

However, this verse cannot be saying that God discovered by knowledge / experience in finite time that Abraham feared Him as a result of Abraham's faithful actions with Isaac. For that would make God less than sovereign and omniscient - a God Who has to wait upon man to do things so that He can discover whether man is faithful and fears Him or not. The Bible teaches that God decrees all things and has done so before the creation of the universe [] - so certainly He did not need to wait until Abraham was faithful in deeds in order to 'know' that Abraham feared Him.

Furthermore, Abraham had already demonstrated his faithfulness - his fear of God - a number of times before this, such as when the LORD directed him to leave his homeland and his family, and when Abraham was obligated to live among the Canaanites; and when he had to face famine; and when he was directed to separate from Lot; and when he waited for the birth of Isaac 25 years after he departed for Canaan; and when he was directed to give up Ishmael.

Furthermore, fearing God - which is demonstrating a reverential awe of God's sovereignty over one - is not the same thing as being justified unto eternal life, which occurred in Abraham's life in the time frame of Gen 15:1-6 when he was declared righteous, i.e., saved unto eternal life when he believed in God's promise of his eternal destiny to have innumerable descendants. The declaration of Abraham's justification, i.e., his salvation unto eternal life was received by Abraham at the moment he believed in God for it, apart from performing any faithful deeds .

So when the Angel of the LORD said to Abraham "For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me" it was said in the sense that the Angel of the LORD was commending Abraham for his reverance of the LORD as sovereign, for trusting in Him implicitly, and for obeying Him without question. The Angel of the Lord did not declare at this later time that Abraham was righteous unto eternal life. He had already declared that at the time of Gen 15:6 on the basis of Abraham's faith alone in God's plan of eternal life apart from performing any faithful deeds - long before Isaac was born]

(Gen 22:13 NKJV) "Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.

[When Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, evidently reacting to a movement and/or sound, he saw behind him a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son - a substitutionary offering with a view to the once for all Substitutionary Offering of the Chosen Desendant of Abraham and Isaac - One truly without blemish - for the sins of all mankind. Since burnt offerings were statements of ones acknowledgment of ones sinful nature and of ones faith in a future atonement for sin, to be made with a sheep or goat without blemish - a sign symbolic, not actual, of being without sin, since animals were not to be found totally without blemish; and since in the case of Abraham, God appointed Isaac, Abraham's son, to be the burnt offering; and since Isaac was not without sin; then Isaac's sacrifice was not designed to be an actual atoning sacrifice which required a perfect human - hence the LORD's last second provision of a ram goat to substitute for Isaac. The substitutionary sacrifice of the ram meant the preservation of Isaac's physical life and symbolized his atonement, since it was a burnt offering. For God had previously considered and declared that the offerer of a burnt offering was forgiven of his sin nature and the accompanying sins via the proper execution of that offering which included an acknowledgement to the LORD that the offerer was a sinner and that forgiveness would come through the LORD alone. On the other hand since no animal is able to atone for the sin nature and the accompanying sins of any man, neither being conscious of God, nor conscious of sin, nor an example of sinless perfection, nor a perfect representative of mankind Who would choose of His own free will to be sacrificed in order to perform a satisfactory atonement for the sins of all mankind before God - given His unique capacity to do so in the first place; then it is evident that the animal offered as a burnt offering for atonement was symbolic of that One Male Human Being that the LORD promised would come to make that Atonement for all the sins of all mankind]

(Gen 22:14 NKJV) And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide;' as it is said to this day, 'In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.'

[Abraham called the name of the place, Hebrew: "Yahweh Yireh," rendered "The-LORD-Will-Provide" in the NKJV. The verse goes on to say, "as it is said to this day, 'In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.'

By this statement, it is evident that Abraham understood that the LORD is the Provider of salvation unto eternal life for those who trust alone in Him alone for it through a substitutionary atonement for sins which the LORD Himself would provide - a Descendant of Abraham and Isaac]

(Gen 22:15 NKJV) Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven,

(Gen 22:16 NKJV) and said: 'By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son -

(Gen 22:17 NKJV) blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.

(Gen 22:18 NKJV) In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice,' "

[Then the Angel of the LORD - the LORD - called upon Abraham a second time out of heaven. The LORD began with "By Myself I have sworn," indicating emphatically the importance and veracity of what the LORD was about to tell Abraham. Whereupon, the LORD said, "Because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son"...

[in the sense of Abraham's only son through Sarah; the son through whom all of what God promised to Abraham would be fulfilled]

... blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore...

[the prospect of having innumerable descendants implies that one has everlasting life in order for that prospect to be a reality in Abraham's experience]

...and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies...

[in the sense of being victorious over them - possessing their cities, their territory, i.e., they would battle for and win possession of the Promised Land]

...In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed...

[in the sense that through one of Abraham's and Isaac's Descendants will make provision for salvation and blessing to all the nations of the earth]

...because you have obeyed My voice' " Note that this was a reiteration of the covenant the LORD made with Abraham and Isaac]

[Notice that it is further comfirmed that the Angel of the LORD is the LORD by comparing verse 15 with 16, where one refers to the other.

So the LORD told Abraham that because he had obeyed the voice of the LORD and not withheld his only son, the LORD would bless Abraham, multiply his descendants - through Isaac - to be innumerable, implying eternal life for Abraham, and whose descendants would rule the earth, and in Abraham's seed - the promised Seed - all the nations of the earth would be blessed: In total - the promises the LORD made to Abraham since Genesis chapter 12, unconditional promises because of the LORD's unilateral promise and ratification; yet it is conditional in the sense that the LORD because of His Absolute Sovereignty and Infinite power would inevitably enable and move Abraham to choose to obey His voice step by step - one key step being Abraham's son Isaac being born via God's supernatural intervention .

Although Abraham's salvation unto eternal life as well as all the other promises of God's covenant with Abraham were unilaterally ratified by the LORD alone upon Abraham's exercising of a moment of faith alone in the LORD alone for all of this ,

the LORD's promises would nevertheless be fulfilled as He enabled and moved chosen individuals: Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and many from Israel and from all mankind throughout the ages to choose to obey His voice and be part of that fulfillment - chosen before the foundation of the world to participate as the LORD decreed; and yet as each one chooses to do. The Abrahamic Covenant touches upon this subject relative to the conditions upon which that Covenant is dependant upon, conditions which will inevitably be fulfilled given the Absolute Sovereignty of the LORD over His universe

III) JESUS CHRIST, THE APOSTLES JOHN AND PAUL AND THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK OF HEBREWS CONFIRM THAT ABRAHAM WAS SAVED BY FAITH ALONE IN THE SEED OF ABRAHAM ALONE = JESUS CHRIST

A) [Jn 8:56]:

(Jn 8:56) [Jesus said to the Jews]" 'Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad.' "

[Our Lord is saying here that during Abraham's lifetime on earth he rejoiced at the thought of seeing the glory of the Messiah Jesus Christ's triumph over sin - demonstrating that he, Abraham, truly was born again]

[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)..."

B) [Ro 4:1-3]:

(Ro. 1) "What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter?

["this matter" = The matter of how to be justified unto eternal life, i.e., saved. Cp Ro 3:21-31]

(Ro. 2) If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about - but not before God.

(Ro. 3) What does the Scripture say?

[And here Paul quotes Gen 15:6]:

'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.'

[Dr John Danish states, (Audio Tape #77 Ro-38 side 2)]:

"...For the Jews, Abraham was the great dividing point of all human history......

Before Abraham there was this stream of humanity and it was all Gentiles. With Abraham, the stream of humanity of Gentiles continued, but God brought off a side stream which today we know as Jews......

Abraham was the turning point of all history....in terms of the fact that God said, 'Now I am going to set in motion a program which is going to bring My authority into operation on this earth. It's going to be recognized and....welcomed. And I'm going to do it through the Jewish people..........

The new stream of humanity known as the Jews [was brought by God] for the explicit purpose of bringing the authority of God on this earth to establish the Kingdom of God on the earth to replace the kingdom of man, in other words, to have human viewpoint replaced by divine viewpoint.

Now this plan of God for establishing His kingdom authority on the earth was presented as a promise to Abraham to become heir of the world. This promise, or this covenant, with Abraham included a Savior for eternal life. This was involved in the promise to Abraham that he would be a blessing to all nations. In Galatians chapter 3 verse 8, Paul explains that to us when he says, "And the Scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham saying, 'In thee shall all nations be blessed.' "

So here you have this phrase, " 'In thee shall all nations be blessed.' " specifically identified by Paul here in Galatians as being an expression relative to the gospel. While all nations were going to be blessed in Abraham, God meant, 'I'm going to send you a Savior that will resolve the sin problems so that people can have absolute righteousness in order to enter heaven.' So Abraham indeed was given the gospel. Abraham was told how to be born again. And he believed the promise that God gave him, he was born again.......

.....consequently Abraham was justified simply by faith apart from works.

C) [Heb 11:17-19]:

(Heb 11:17) '''By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,

(Heb 11:18) even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."

(Heb 11:19) Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.'''

[Danish, cont.]:

"Hebrews 11:19 indicates that Abraham understood and believed in resurrection after death; and he believed in the gospel of salvation, (Gen 15:6). Abraham believed that God would resurrect him so that he would see his posterity of millions, (Gen 12:1-3; 15:4-6; Heb 11:8-19). This is the justification that God "accounted" to Abraham as "righteousness" unto eternal life, (Gen 15:5).

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:

D) [Gal 3:6-8, 13-16]:

(Gal 3:6) "Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to Him as righteousness.

(Gal 3:7) 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]

(Gal 3:8) 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)

(Gal 3:14) 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.

1) [Compare Isa 9:6-7]:

(Isa 9:6) "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.

(Isa 9:7) 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.

E) [Compare Ro 4:3-8]:

(Ro 4:3) "For what does the Scripture say? 'And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to Him as righteousness.'

(Ro 4:4) Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor but as what is due.

(Ro 4:5) But to the one who does not work, [for salvation unto eternal life] but believes in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness."

"his wage is not reckoned as a favor" = The word "favor" = "charin" in Ro 4:4 is exactly the same word which is rendered "grace" in Eph 2:8-9 which clearly defines this "charin" as a gift which is not in any way related to what a man does:

1) [Eph 2:8-9]:

(Eph 2:8) "For by grace ["charin"] you have been saved through faith; and that [salvation is] not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

(Eph 2:9) not as a result of works, that no one can boast."

So salvation is solely on the basis of God's grace, His unmerited, i.e., His undeserved favor.

E cont.) [Ro 4:3-8 cont.]:

(Ro 4:3) "For what does the Scripture say? 'And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to Him as righteousness.'

(Ro 4:4) Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor but as what is due.

(Ro 4:5) But to the one who does not work, [for salvation unto eternal life] but believes in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness."

"Now to the one who works [for salvation], his wage is not reckoned as a favor but as what is due." = Now to the one who works to achieve his own salvation, what he receives is not accounted to him as a free gift but as a payment due for his efforts. For salvation is either all of God - all free grace - or it is all by human effort - all by works. Grace and works, therefore, are mutually exclusive.

Verse four establishes God's sovereign inviolable principle: that a benefit cannot be received both, (i.e., partially), as a gift and a wage. It must be received completely as a gift, otherwise completely as wages due.

2) [Compare Ro 11:6]:

"But if [salvation, (v. 5)] is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace."

Sad to say that whatever attempts are made toward earning or 'maintaining' one's salvation will be futile attempts because such efforts are inevitably motivated by one's contaminating sin nature which permeates the unbeliever's entire being. Since God cannot pay an individual anything for contaminated deeds, every attempt to please God relative to salvation will fail: Paul has already established this previously in his letter to the Romans:

3) [Ro 3:9-12]:

(v. 9) "What then? Are we [religious Jews, (3:1)] better than they? [the rest of the world, (v. 6)] Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; [i.e., totally depraved and unable to contribute anything toward salvation]

(v. 10) as it is written [in Old Testament Scripture: Ps 14:1-3; 53:1-4]: 'There is none righteous, not even one;

(v. 11) There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God;

(v. 12) all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.' "

So in view of this, if everything a man does to gain favor with God toward one's salvation is viewed by God as filthy rags, (Isa 64:6) - as sin, then instead of accepting eternal life as a free gift the individual must be paid his wages due for his efforts: eternal death in the Lake of Fire.

4) [Compare Ro 6:23]:

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

E cont.) [Ro 4:3-8 cont.]:

(v. 3) "For what does the Scripture say? 'And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to Him as righteousness.'

(v. 4) Now to the one who does not work, [for salvation] his wage is not reckoned as a favor but as what is due.

(v. 5) But to the one who does not work [for salvation] but believes in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness."

"But to the one who does not work" = 'But to the one who does not work for salvation' = The subject of this passage is how to receive salvation unto eternal life.

"But to the one who does not work [for salvation unto eternal life] but believes in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness." = Paul now moves from the one who sadly attempts to earn his way into heaven with failed results to the one who does nothing of that sort at all, but instead relies on God to do it all, i.e., exercises his faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life with the result of being declared righteous enough to go to heaven.

The word "ungodly" = "asebe" = the irreligious, impious. "Ungodly" is a key word which points out that God's salvation by grace through faith alone in Christ alone extends throughout all of humanity even to the worst element - the irreligious, impious, and ungodly individuals - those who continually perform willful acts of transgression against God.

E cont.) [Ro 4:3-8 cont.]:

(v. 6) "Just as David also speaks of the blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works:

(v. 7) 'Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered.

(v. 8) Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account."

In verse 6 it states, "Just as David also speaks of the blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works," where Paul continues on the same theme with David as he did with Abraham: justification unto eternal life by faith alone - apart from works. This is especially signified by the phrase "Just as" = kathaper" = 'In the same way.'

After Abraham comes David in the esteem of the Jewish people, (Mk 11:10). And recall that David was in the royal line of the Messiah Jesus Christ - the Savior of the world, (Mt 1:1; Jer 23:5-6; II Sam 7:12-16).

Furthermore, David was an individual who lived in Old Testament times under the universally respected Mosaic Law with its circumcision, rituals and numerous statutes governing the conduct of human behavior - a rule of life. And most Jews falsely believed that they could somehow properly observe the Law and thereby receive eternal life. Many even held to the belief that the only way to heaven was through observance of the Law's statutes, not the least of which was to be circumcised as a Jew. So Paul investigates in his letter to the Romans how such a man as King David was saved unto eternal life. Keep in mind that nearest to the heart of Paul is the salvation of his people, (Ro 10:1). But more than that, Paul is not only establishing the means by which a Jew is to be justified, he is at the same time establishing how Gentiles are also to be saved, (vv. 10-12).

So Paul, offers another example of a man being justified by the grace of God through faith apart from works - a man who lived under the Law of Moses with its circumcision and all the other statutes. He refers to the content of David's Psalm (#32) about how David, a believer, received forgiveness and cancellation of the death penalty for his transgressions = willful and deliberate sins of murder and adultery - acts for which the Law of Moses had no provision for except death by being stoned, (Lev 20:10; Num 35:12-31). And not only that, David expounds on the fact that all of his sins and even his very nature, his "sin", i.e., his sin nature which continues to produce acts of sin will not be taken into account. For this there is no provision in the Mosaic Law or any code of behavior either - without penalty. The only way such an accounting could occur is by faith in the once for all time sacrifice for sins of the Messiah/Savior Jesus Christ.

5) [Compare David's words from Ps 32:1-5]:

(v. 1) "How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,

Whose sin is covered!

(v. 2) How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity,

And in whose spirit there is no deceit!"

[David was including himself in the category of receiving such eternal and temporal blessings, (v. 5). He wrote this Psalm just after he had been forgiven by God of the sins of murder and adultery, (refs 2 Sam 11ff; 12:13), as the next few verses indicate]:

5 cont.) [Ps 32:1-5 cont.]:

(v. 3) "When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away

Through my groaning all day long.

(v. 4) For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me;

My vitality was drained away as with the fever-heat of summer.

(v. 5) I acknowledged my sin to Thee,

And my iniquity I did not hide;

I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the LORD' ''

And Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin." (Compare Ps 51).

E cont.) Ro 4:3-8 cont.]:

(v. 6) "Just as David also speaks of the blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works:

(v. 7) 'Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered.

(v. 8) Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account."

(Ro 4:7a) "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven.=

"lawless deeds" = "Anomiai" = deliberate and willful violations of a law, i.e., of a code of conduct; transgressions.

"forgiven" = "aphethesan" = lit., sent away, i.e., removed. This connotes the blessings received as a result of God's complete removal from His reckoning against an individual of ALL of his deliberate and willful acts which violate God's code of behavior. The picture here is of God not remembering such deliberately lawless deeds. This cannot be accomplished without a sacrifice being made - a penalty being paid. But there was no provision within the Mosaic Law or any code of behavior that provided forgiveness for such heinous acts as murder and adultery. Yet David has received forgiveness for such as stipulated from God through the prophet Nathan:

6) [2 Sam 12:13-14]:

(v. 13) "Then David said to Nathan, 'I have sinned against the LORD.' And Nathan said to David, 'The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not [physically] die [i.e., be executed - via two counts of capital punishment, (Lev 20:10; Num 35:12-31)]

There was only one way for David to receive forgiveness for these heinous transgressions: if Someone Else, (Jesus Christ), would provide a covering for them so that God would not forgive such transgressions without a penalty being paid and thus impugn His own integrity by winking at such sins - permitting them to go unpunished while sending others to the Lake of Fire who sinned even less. And in the rest of verse 7 this is indicated:

a) [Ro 4:7b]:

"and whose sins have been covered" =

"SINS" = plural, "HAMARTIAI" = a missing of the mark of God's standard of righteousness relative to an individual's thoughts, words and deeds. In the context of this passage in Romans chapter 4, it refers to all thoughts, words and deeds that fall short of God's absolute holiness and righteousness - willful and unintentional.

"covered" = "Epekaluphthesan" = lit., to be covered over; accounted for in the sense of being forgiven. In the Mosaic Law sacrificial system, there was a temporary - yearly - covering for sins, (Heb 10:1-4), but never a permanent one. And a permanent condition of forgiveness is what is indicated in Ro 4:6-8, resulting in eternal life. Only through faith in a once for all time sacrifice can lawless deeds be forgiven, sins completely covered and the sin nature never taken into account. And this condition of forgiveness of sins and eternal life is what God bestowed upon David and which David is speaking of in Psalm 32.

E cont.) Ro 4:3-8 cont.]:

(v. 6) "Just as David also speaks of the blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works:

(v. 7) 'Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered.

(v. 8) Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.

7) [Compare Heb 10:4, 10-13, 17-18]:

(v. 4) "For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

(v. 10) By this [i.e., the will of God to sacrifice His Son, v. 9)] will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

(v. 11) And every [Levitical] priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;

(v. 12) but He, [Jesus Christ] having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God.

(v. 13) For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

(v. 17) 'And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.'

(v. 18) Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin."

8) [Compare 1 Jn 2:2]:

"And He Himself [Jesus Christ, (v. 1)] is the propitiation [the mercy seat: the satisfaction - the satisfactory sacrifice] for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world."

9) [Compare Acts 10:43]:

"Of Him [Jesus Christ, (v. 36)] all the prophets [i.e., Old Testament Scriptures] bear witness that through His name every one who believes in Him has received forgiveness of sins."

E cont.) [Ro 4:3-8 cont.]:

(v. 6) "Just as David also speaks of the blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works:

(v. 7) 'Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered.

(v. 8) Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account."

(Ro 4:8) "Blessed is the man whose sin [Sin, singular = Sin nature] the LORD will not take into account" =

"sin" = singular = sin nature = Paul calls this inherant evil nature which permeates every part of an individual and produces acts of sin the "old self", (Ro 6:6; 7:14-25), or the old sin nature.

"will not take into account" =

"ou me logis etai" = Absolutely will not put to the account of. An accounting term which when used here is a picture of an offense not even being written down onto an accounting sheet.

"not" = "ou me" = The word "not" in the Greek Bible is the strong double negative which signifies an emphatic "absolutely not" = God will "absolutely not" take an individual's depraved nature, his old sin nature which produces nothing but sinfully motivated actions into account. Thus, any future wrongful acts coming out of that sin nature could not be taken into account either.

The critical point that Paul is emphasizing in verses 6-8 of Romans chapter 4 is that, as a result of an individual like David's faith in God's plan of eternal life apart from works - just like Abraham - there was a blessedness that was received:

that of the individual's lawless deeds being removed from God's memory,

that of all of his acts of sin, past, present and future being covered,

and that of his sin nature - his inherant capacity/nature to commit sins - being "absolutely not" taken into account. And the emphatic double negative indicates that David was covered, i.e., forgiven, to the extent that he was credited with the absolutely opposite condition: that of the absolute righteousness of God.

For if God declares that absolutely nothing wrong can be held against an individual, then the only other alternative is a declaration of the position of absolute righteousness. And this was arrived at Paul emphasizes "apart from works." - leaving the only other way: faith alone in God's plan alone. So in the case of Abraham, God's absolute righteousness unto eternal life was credited to him apart from works on the basis of faith. And in the case of David, since no good work was involved, but rather grievous sins instead; his transgressions, sins and sin nature were "absolutely not" held against him as a result of his faith in God's plan of salvation unto eternal life. This faith resulted in eternal life as indicated in Psalm 89 of God's eventually fulfilling His covenant with David of an everlasting throne:

10) [Ps 89:3-4]:

(v. 3) "You said, 'I have made a covenant with My chosen one,

I have sworn to David My servant,

(v. 4) I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.' "

Consider that God would never establish His ruling throne on earth "through all generations", i.e., eternity, through a man who was not saved but instead condemned to spend the rest of eternity in the Lake of Fire while his descendant Jesus Christ ruled an everlasting rule on earth on the throne of an unsaved man, (cp. Isa 9:6-7).

Furthermore, because of David's status of eternal life - of having all of his sins covered and accounted for, past, present and future by God's future sacrifice of His Son - the consequence of execution for his sins of adultery and murder, (2 Sam 11), could be and were canceled upon confession to God of those grievous offences, (2 Sam 12:13a). This also resulted in temporal, (daily), forgiveness of all of his unrighteousness up to that point and restoration of his fellowship with God, (2 Sam 12:13b; Pr 28:13; Ps 32:5). Recall, however, that there were grievous consequences of David's sins of adultery and murder from which David was NOT spared:

The sword never departed from David's house. He would always have war and bloodshed in his life, (2 Sam 12:10).

The baby born out of David's adultery was struck by God with a terminal illness and the child died, (2 Sam 12:14-20).

David's son, Amnon raped his sister Tamar, (2 Sam 13:1-22).

David's son, Absalom took revenge for raping his sister by murdering Amnon, (2 Sam 13:20-31).

Absalom organized a vicious revolt against his father David, attempting to usurp David's throne and kill David in the process. And he almost succeeded in both. He even fornicated with David's wives in public in order to shame his father. Absolom was killed in the end and David's grief became nearly unbearable, (2 Sam 12:11; 16:21-22; 15-18).

Just as with David, forgiveness, restoration of fellowship with God and possible cancellation of certain consequences of ones sins is available to believers of all ages:

Upon confession to God and God alone, a believer's sins will be forgiven relative to ones daily or temporal relationship with God. (The eternal relationship has already been settled for the believer: he is heavenbound).

Furthermore, temporal fellowship with God will be restored and certain consequences of ones sins may be canceled depending upon the sovereignty of God:

11) [Compare 1 Jn 1:9, 7]:

First of all comes the confession and temporal, (daily), forgiveness:

(v. 9) "If we [believers, v. 2:1] confess ["homolog omen" = acknowledge] our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us these sins [that we confessed] and [furthermore] to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." And then what follows is restored temporal, (daily), fellowship with Almighty God:

(v. 7) "But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light,

[i.e., if we let the light of God's absolute holiness shine on our lives and expose our sins - i.e., acknowledge, (confess) them] we [God and the confessing believer] have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." (Cp. Ps 32:5; Pr 28:13).

Note that before restoration of temporal, (daily), fellowship with God is possible, one must have already appropriated what our Lord did for him on the cross through faith in Him alone just as David and Abraham did. Then "the blood of Jesus" will indeed cleanse him from all sin.