The purpose and intent of this site is twofold:

1. Share the Word of God as found in the Bible.

2. Comment on current events as they relate to Bible prophecy

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Abrahamic Covenant: Who Is Chosen?


The Abrahamic Covenant (or the covenant that God made to Abram) (Abraham)) is a series of promises that God made to Abraham.  After the confusion of languages at the construction of the tower of Babel God, appointed 70 Divine Council members (angels) as the authoritative administrator for the 70 nations that were inadvertently created by the common language of the group.  For more information on the Divine Council see:  Angels & the Divine Council: Part 1       Angels & the Divine Council: Part 2

When the Most High divided the nations, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God.   (Deuteronomy 32:8 Brenton)

God gave the people over to the lesser “gods” (the angelic beings) to which they were desiring to worship and serve as in the pre-flood period under Nimrod.  According to His prophecy to Noah,God took for Himself a people from the linage of Shem which began with Abraham.

And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; …..   (Genesis 9:26 KJV)

A Comment by A.W. Pink Concerning the Covenant with Shem:  These were to be the specific portion of Shem—in sharp contrast from the curse pronounced upon Ham; not of Shem simply as an individual, but as the head of a distinct section of the human race. It was with that section God was to stand in the nearest relation: it was a spiritual distinction which they were to enjoy: a covenant relation, a priestly nearness. A special interest in the divine favor is what was denoted in this primitive prediction concerning Shem. His descendants were to be the line through which the divine blessing was to flow: it was among them that Jehovah was to be known, and where His kingdom was to be set up and established.

The Sledgehammer Scripture Verse
God selects Abraham as the progenitor of His nation.  This nation initially called Israel is referred to as “God’s chosen people”.  Many church members have the opinion that God’s chosen people are special and that God blesses them regardless of their thoughts and actions.  The so-called Judahites of today employ this notion as a gun to the back of the heads of the world’s population.

The Lord appeared to Abram, told him to leave his country of southern Babylon and travel to another land.  Then God promises Abram that he will be a great nation.  This promise was fulfilled by the kingdom of David and Solomon.  Abram was promised to be blessed – which he was; his name would be made great – which it is; and he would be a blessing – which was fulfilled by the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  So far – so good.

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:   (Genesis 12:1-2 KJV)

Then we come to the third verse, “I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you”.  Is this referring to the current nation of Israel?  Many modern evangelical types believe it does refer to Israel and they use it as a sledgehammer to smack any person or nation on the head who dares offend, belittle, or fail to protect the nation of Israel regardless of their wars, banking systems, Hollywood movies, denigration of Jesus Christ, or spiting Christians or the Christian church.  If the USG offends Israel then God sends hurricane Katrina:  which was a popular mantra for a while.

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.  (Genesis 12:3 KJV)

Paul gets it correct in Romans 2:28-29.  [NOTE:  the word “Jew” should be written as “a resident of Judah or Judea”]  The nation of Israel was established by God as a linage conduit through Shem to Judah to David to Jesus Christ.  Abraham was the founding member of this people of God.  The ultimate goal of the nation of the Hebrews (or Israel) was to provide a linage for the birth of Jesus Christ.  The desire of God was to have a nation that would acknowledge and follow the commandments of the Lord God as a model to the world, rather than the dictates of a heathen idol (which actually was controlled by a lesser angelic “god”.  This nation only rarely followed the leadership of God which resulted in the northern 10 tribes of Israel conquered by Assyria with the majority (not all) of the people taken to northeast Assyria as captives and other people brought in as replacements.  The southern kingdom, containing the tribe of Judah, remained a few centuries longer until being conquered, destroyed, and the majority (not all) taken to Babylon.  70 years later a few returned with most remaining in Babylon.

For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something that is outward in the flesh, but someone is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart by the Spirit and not by the written code. This person's praise is not from people but from God. (Romans 2:28-29 NET)

Regardless of the massive idol worship and failure to trust God as protector and judge throughout the history of the 12 tribes, the Lord returned enough Israelites (particularly Judah) to establishment the land, rebuild the temple (although it is said the Shekinah Glory of God never returned); and prepare for the birth of the Messiah.

Other Promises to Abraham

(Genesis 13:15-16 NET)
I will give all the land that you see to you and your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone is able to count the dust of the earth, then your descendants also can be counted.

The kingdom of David and Solomon supposedly included the majority of the land as promised, but the Israelites certainly did not live in the land forever.  I believe this prophecy will not be completely fulfilled until the Millennium and beyond.  Abraham’s descendants like the dust of the earth is not fulfilled by the Israelites or Jews but may be considered fulfilled by the Church (at one time) and certainly will be fulfilled in the Millennium and beyond.

(Genesis 17:2-8 NET)
Then I will confirm my covenant between me and you, and I will give you a multitude of descendants." Abram bowed down with his face to the ground, and God said to him, "As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer will your name be Abram. Instead, your name will be Abraham because I will make you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you extremely fruitful. I will make nations of you, and kings will descend from you. I will confirm my covenant as a perpetual covenant between me and you. It will extend to your descendants after you throughout their generations. I will be your God and the God of your descendants after you. I will give the whole land of Canaan — the land where you are now residing — to you and your descendants after you as a permanent possession. I will be their God."

The next iteration of the covenant to Abraham contains the same issues as the one given in Genesis 13:15-16 before:  the multitude of descendants as the dust of the earth; the land of Canaan as a permanent everlasting possession.  However, an additional element is added to the promises:  “you will be the father of a multitude of nations”.  Israel, from Joshua to the present, has never ruled over a multitude of nations.  As a matter of fact, no nations other than Israel for brief periods of time.  However, it can be said that Christians or people of the Church of Jesus Christ have been and are in many nations.  There have even been some kings and rulers.

Some online exegetes count the descendants of Ishmael and his second wife Keturah as the fulfillment of the “multitude of nations” promise.

Abraham had taken another wife, named Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan became the father of Sheba and Dedan. The descendants of Dedan were the Asshurites, Letushites, and Leummites. The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah.   (Genesis 25:1-4 NET)

Promises to Abraham’s Linage
God’s covenant with Abraham didn’t end there but parts were reiterated to his linage.  The Lord appeared to Isaac and repeated the essence of the covenant.  Numerous descendants and the kingdom land are given but with a somewhat different blessing section.

I will multiply your descendants so they will be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and I will give them all these lands. All the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another using the name of your descendants.
(Genesis 26:4 NET)

In the second sentence of Genesis 26:4 the KJV is translated as:  “shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” and Bob Utley states the phrase “should properly be translated as "shall bless themselves"”.

Quote From the Bob Utley Commentary
The obvious, tremendous blessing is that through Abraham and his children God was seeking to bless the entire world. God chose one man to choose a nation to choose a world. We must keep in mind that the Jews (Israelites) were chosen, not for a special blessing, but as an instrument for the redemptive blessing to come to all men.

Mr. Utley’s last sentence is important, “the Jews (Israelites) were chosen, not for a special blessing, but as an instrument for the redemptive blessing to come to all men.

I agree with Mr. Utley that Israelites as a group of people were not chosen to be a special blessing but to be a model of both redemption and failure by their adherents to the commandments of God.  They were an instrument of redemptive blessing through the birth of Jesus Christ.  Their on-again off-again seasons of idolatry followed by allowing God to be their protection and then back and forth is documented in the Bible as an object lesson to all.  A small number of the tribe of Judah were allowed to return and stay in Judea for the advent of the Messiah and the birth of the church until the return of Jesus Christ.  To claim the Israel of today is the chosen people of God is mistaken on many counts.  They can only be redeemed by faith in Jesus Christ, an anointing of the Holy Spirit, and a lifestyle in the Kingdom of God.  To think, as John Hagee, they are God’s chosen people with no need of Jesus Christ is just wrong.

The 7th chapter of Deuteronomy contains a host of possible blessings that would be bestowed upon the Israelites if:  “You obey these ordinances (commandments) and keep them, and do them.”

Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers:   (Deuteronomy 7:12 KJV)

If you obey these ordinances and are careful to do them, the LORD your God will faithfully keep covenant with you as he promised your ancestors.
(Deuteronomy 7:12 NET)

However, that outcome was not to be.  The commandments were not kept; the idolatry was not avoided; the trust in God was abandoned.  It was a long episode of idolatry and apostasy; invasion, conquering, and exile; modern apartheid and genocide.  In my opinion God’s chosen people are the “saved by faith” Christians.

I have written extensively concerning the 70th week of Daniel and mystery, Babylon.  See:  Mystery Babylon: Part 1     Mystery Babylon: Part 2    Mystery Babylon: Part 3   Revelation Commentary Complete
The things written may be wrong although the scriptures were closely followed.  However, it appears to be quite clear that the majority of last-days Judeans will execute the ultimate idolatry and apostasy:  They will worship the beast (i.e. antichrist) as their long-awaited Messiah.

Many exegetes believe the Abrahamic covenant is unconditional and I agree.  It was unconditional to Abraham and possibly to Isaac and Jacob but it is not unconditional to Netanyahu.  The covenant will be totally fulfilled during the Millennium.

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