ChristadelphianBooksOnline
Rick O'Connor
The Things Of The Kingdom And The Things Of The Name
Exceeding Great And Precious Promises

THE HOPE OF ISRAEL

Promises to Abraham

As those seeking God we look unto Abraham, the friend of God (Isaiah 41:8). He is a pattern of one who pleased God and was therefore blessed by God.

Abraham is styled in the Scriptures “the Father of the Faithful” (Galatians 3:7; Romans 4:16).

Look at Galatians 3:8-9:

“And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify (declare as righteous) the heathen (or nations) through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham

The gospel, the means of being blessed by God, was preached to Abraham (Genesis 17:4-6). So vital then is it that we examine the promises God made to Abraham.

Abraham was the father of the Jewish nation and several other Arab nations. He was called to leave the pagan and idolatrous city of Ur where he lived and to journey, in faith (Hebrews 11:8), to the promised land.

The first promise God made to Abraham is given in Genesis 12:1-3.
Note the following points:

  1. it concerned a land that God would show him (v1) - Israel (Genesis 17:8)
  2. it spoke of him fathering a great nation - the Jews (v2)
  3. Abraham personally to be blessed by God (v2)
  4. God would deal with others, as they had dealt with Abraham and his seed (v3)
  5. Abraham would be the means of blessing finally coming upon all nations (v3)

The promise is expanded in Genesis 12:7:

“Unto thy seed will I give this land”.

And further in Genesis 13:14-17:

All the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever... arise, walk through the land... for I will give it unto thee”.

Emphasis in these promises is on:


The promises definitely relate to the land of Israel and the Jews, and are an important aspect of Bible teaching (see also Deuteronomy 30:20 and 2 Chronicles 20:7). They also clearly have a wider application.

Genesis 13:14-17:

And Yahweh said unto Abraham:


What are the meanings and implications of a promise such as this of eternal possession of the hub of the globe by ABRAHAM AND AN INNUMERABLE POSTERITY?

Interpretation

Look from the place where thou art northward...
13:14
Walk through the land in the length... breadth...
13:17
All the land which thou seest... I will give...
13:15


Hebrews 11:9
By faith he sojourned in the land of promise
Acts 7:4-5
This land wherein ye now dwell... He promised that He would give it to him
Romans 4:13
The promise that he would be the heir the world...
Proverbs 11:31
The righteous shall be recompensed in the earth
Matthew 5:5
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth
Revelation 5:10
We shall reign on the earth
Psalm 37:22
Those blessed of him shall inherit the earth...
Psalm 37:29
and dwell therein for ever


The Abrahamic Promise not yet Fulfilled

Israel’s partial and temporary occupation of the Land of Canaan did not fulfil the promise of eternal possession of it given to Abraham -

JOSHUA led in the 12 tribes of Israel and established them and testified:

21:43
Yahweh gave unto Israel all the land which He sware to give to their fathers; and they possessed it and dwelt therein
21:45
There failed not ought of any good thing which Yahweh had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass
23:14
Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which Yahweh your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass to you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.


These statements of Joshua’s are sometimes cited as evidence that the ABRAHAMIC LAND PROMISE has already been fulfilled - IS THAT what they say?

The Abrahamic land promise was not, and could not be, fulfilled by Israel’s partial and temporary occupation of the Land of Canaan in the past - because:


But this has not yet been fulfilled to Abraham - Acts 7:5; Hebrews 11:8,13 - Nor to his seed, since the work of Joshua failed to give Israel that eternal rest promised - Hebrews 4:8-9



Israel’s Regathering – Sure Sign of Christ’s Imminent Return




Ezekiel 38: A Prophetic Miracle

V 1-7
Rise of Russia to dominance over Europe and North Africa
V8-12
14-17
Russian invasion of Israel, at time of Israel’s regathering from long dispersion
V13
Opposition to Russian invasion, from Britain America, British Commonwealth and Arabs
V18-23
Intervention of Christ to overthrow Russia and rescue Israel


Luke 21: Prophecy Certain of Fulfillment – 21:33

V22-24
Divine vengeance on rebellious Israel - dispersion and captivity
V24
Jews regain Jerusalem, when times of gentiles end
V25-28
World-wide distress at end of gentile times – followed by Christ’s return and our redemption
V29-32
Israel and many gentile powers regain national independence then, God’s kingdom is near
V34-37
So, take heed not to be caught unprepared for Christ at that time


Psalm 102

A prophecy of David, for a far future day, to encourage the generation of the time of Christ’s return with the great sign of his coming: Israel’s latter day revival

V12
Yahweh lives for ever, so Israel’s future is secure in His hands
V13
God has determined A SET TIME to favour “Zion” and regather Israel there. Then, manifested in Christ, He arises to help them
V16
When Israel returns to Zion, then is the set time for Christ to return
V18
This is written for a far future age, and for gentiles


The Kingdom of God

Reading: 2 Samuel 7

2 Timothy 4:1-2,7-8 outlines the hope that sustained the Apostle Paul in the face of death. N.B. the judging of the living and dead will occur when Christ reappears to establish his Kingdom. When he comes he gives out the rewards of a king to those who have served him.

The Bible centres around the promise to Abraham and the promise to David as a hope. Genesis 13:14-17 cp. Psalm 37:11 “the meek shall inherit the earth”.

Matthew 5:5 - the whole world will be their inheritance.

2 Samuel 7:8-9 Although David was considered to be a nobody, God elevated him to kingship. v10 a prophecy of things yet to come - a destiny and security for Israel for ever. V11 the house was to be the family of David and can incorporate us. V12 an actual blood descendant (cp. vv28-29) established by God.

V13 an eternal kingdom, cp. the interpretation God gives. Luke 1:30-33 it is doubled so that there can be no mistake.

2 Samuel 7:14 tells us who the one to be was - SON OF GOD therefore through a female descendant of David (Luke 1:32 “the Son of the Highest”, v35 “the Son of God”). V13 speaks of the “throne of David”, cp. Psalm 132:11-12 excluding all other of David’s children other than the Lord Jesus Christ. David’s posterity did not fulfil the requirement of Psalm 132:12 until Christ (v13 the city of Jerusalem was David’s throne they go together v14, v17. The power of David will be made to grow anew in Jerusalem). Matthew 3:1-2 cp. 4:17 - Jesus makes the same comment. Jesus commands “repentance” because the kingdom was near. Why could it be said that it was near? Because the future king was in their midst. When he went away the kingdom would be distant, since his coming brought it near.
2 Timothy 4:1 establishes this beyond doubt (cp. Hebrews 9:28), Matthew 6:9-13 (N.B. it is not yet done in earth because the kingdom has not yet come). When the kingdom of God comes its power is irresistible, Daniel 2:44 (cp. vv34-35) and without competitor.


The Kingdom of God, Past, Present and Future

Reading: Revelation 11:15-19

The Christadelphians are unique in their understanding of this doctrine. Revelation 11:15 summarises the doctrine - (1) It is “the kingdoms of this world” that become the “kingdom of Christ” (not a kingdom in the heart of individuals); (2) that he shall reign for the thousand years and beyond. Its sequel in vvl6-17 - they are thankful that God is in control, when the kingdom is established by God’s great power (certainly the kingdom could NOT have been established at Pentecost AD 33 as 60 years later these prophetic words are uttered). V18 is a comprehensive catalogue of what will happen at the same time as the kingdom is established.

Daniel 7:9-10 is a pictorial representation of the words of Revelation 11. Vv11-12 - the destruction of the 4th beast is of significance in this epoch. Vvl3-14 glory comes when he is acknowledged in the earth and obeying his commands. V18 “take the kingdom” - but dispossessing those now in control of “the kingdoms of this world”. V22 the high courts of the world depopulated. They don’t now “possess it” - but the saints soon will. Vv26-27 they possess it when they exercise power in the earth (not in heaven) - there will be no competing kingdom; words like “given” all express a sudden change (cp. Revelation 16:17-18 here styled “a great earthquake” - as well as this symbolic earthquake there will be a literal earthquake at this time, Zechariah 14:1-4).

Isaiah 60:1-3 Israel will then be honoured and glorified in the world. V11 the wealth of the nations will be brought to Israel. V12 Israel will be honoured as a nation. We must be humble now to be exalted when the Kingdom comes. 1 Peter 5:1-4 - until the Chief Shepherd comes there is no glory, vv5-6.

Matthew 6:9-10 (the kingdom has not yet come) when it comes the result is “God’s will is to be done in earth” (ideas from Daniel 7). Now is a time totally incompatible with the kingdom of God. 2 Timothy 2:8-12 now is the time of suffering - different from the time of reigning. The Kingdom cannot be the church as the foregoing shows. In addition consider 1 Corinthians 4:19-20 and his ironic words of vv8-9. Our relationship to the kingdom now is that we are its heirs, James 2:5; Romans 8:16-17 (even Christ is now an heir). Revelation 3:20-21 now he sits on his Father’s throne but soon he will assume his own throne (cp. Matthew 19:28).


Israel – God’s Key to World History

Reading: Ezekiel 37

Acts 28:19-20 - The issue as they saw it was that he preached Christ - as he saw it, it was that Christ was the hope of Israel. Acts 26:6-7, in the preaching of Christ was the substance of what God had promised. In Christ alone is there forgiveness of sins. There must then be hope for Israel. Romans 15:8 “a servant of Israel” for the truth of God; v9 also for the benefit of Gentiles, if they associated with the promises that God had made.

Romans 11 points out that the Gentiles depend on the Jews for their salvation and that the Jews depend on the Gentiles for their salvation - and both depend on God.

V1
since God will scatter them, is He finished with them? Certainly not.
V2
what God did in the scattering was a temporary affair.
V4
God’s reply to Elijah was that He was not finished with Israel.
V5
Even now there are Jews being saved by God.
V7
There are a few Jews saved and the great numbers that weren’t as the words of vv8-9 prophesied.
V11
Is what has happened to them intended to be their final end? No, He did that to provide a means for salvation to Gentiles, and by this means to bring back Jews by reconsidering their position because of envy (Galatians 2:15). Because the Gentile sinners did what the Jews would not - turned to God.
V12
How much more would their fulness be a richness for the world.
V16
an example from agriculture - the fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - there will be a harvest of Jews.
V17
the root holds up any and all of the branches. God’s salvation does not depend on any of us. All that is necessary to save Jew or Gentile has already been done. If the wild branches don’t produce fruit they have less right to be there than the native branches.
V22
Severity came on those that fell because they didn’t stay with God’s goodness.
V26
The time will come when all the Jews left alive will be saved when they have all hope taken away - then they will cry to God. They will be saved by the hope of Israel.
V31
The Jewish unbelief provided a precedent for saving Gentiles to allow him to extend the same mercy to Jews.
V32
He chose this method, so
Vv33-36
God is praised for His wisdom.

1 Corinthians 1:24 - power and wisdom. Paul now comments on this, vv25-31.

Jeremiah 33:19-26 - He hasn’t cast off His people. He says powerfully “I will save Israel”.

The Kingdom will see one world saved by the Hope of Israel.


Who are God’s Chosen People – The Arabs or Israel

Enmity between Races

Between Arab and Israeli has now grown up an inveterate hatred as also existed in the past - Nehemiah 2:19; 4:7.

The contention is over who has the right to possess “Palestine”, now renamed “Israel”.

God’s Solution

God will resolve this according to His promises that Abraham and Israel his seed will possess that land forever - Genesis 13:14-17.

He will punish the Arabs for their hatred of Israel (Psalm 83) and will glorify Israel over the Arabs and all other Gentiles when Christ comes - Isaiah 60:1-12.

The Reason

Not because Israel is better (Deuteronomy 7:7-8; 10:14-15) for they are not Ezekiel 36:17-24.

But because God chose to do so as Possessor of the Universe and Sovereign over it Genesis 14:19,22; Jeremiah 27:5.

God’s Right of Choice

He has exercised this same unfettered right of choice in rejecting Israel for the present in favour of both Jew and Gentile who believe the Gospel - Romans 9:1-29.

Each of these actions of God’s choice has been working to a generous and glorious end - to use the defection of Israel as justification for choosing Gentiles to hear the Gospel and to use the calling of the Gentiles out of sin as justification for a new redemption of Israel out of sin - Romans 11:17-36.

Christ’s Future Work

So when Christ comes he will redeem Israel (Romans 11:25-27) and regenerate the Arabs Genesis 17:20; Isaiah 21:13-15.

It’s Personal Significance

Even now He will join Jew and Gentile together in one “Hope of Israel” by faith in Christ - Ephesians 2:11-22.

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