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  • « The Active Obedience of Christ - No Hope Without It! | Main | A Brief Meditation on the Christ-Centeredness of Everything »

    Land, Seed, and Blessing in the Abrahamic Covenant

    Note: This is actually an article I wrote some time ago. But it has never been published on ReformationTheology, and since it is foundational to much of what I have to say about the Old Testament in particular, I thought it may be warranted to post it here.

    The character of the promises first made to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3, and later reiterated and expanded in 12:7; 13:15-17; 15:1,4-21; 17:1-9,19; 21:12; and 22:16-18 has long been recognized, in some sense, as foundational to all of redemptive history subsequent to this epochal event. How we understand the precise nature of these promises, therefore, will largely shape our understanding of all of redemptive history from the call of Abraham to the eternal state. An understanding of these promises that concentrates predominantly on their physical aspect, and therefore sees an ongoing necessity for Middle Eastern geography to be reserved for the ethnic offspring of Abraham has several problems: first, it little accords with the understanding that the patriarch himself had of the covenant promises; second, it is in violation of clear fulfillment formulas found later in the Old Testament; and finally, it fails in its intent to understand literally the promise of eternal possession of the physical land by the physical offspring of Abraham. The discussion of the first of these points will be reserved for the main body of this article; but it will not be out of place here to touch briefly on the other two. As regards the former of these, we find stated in Joshua 21:43-45, in very specific terms, that God had fulfilled all that he swore to the fathers. Later, in I Kings 4:20,21 and II Chronicles 9:26, we see the precise geographical boundaries promised to Abraham in the actual possession of Solomon, at the height of Israel’s political history. Immediately subsequent to this complete fulfillment of the land promise in its physical aspect, its typical purpose then having been realized, Israel as a nation began to lose possession of the extreme portions of its geography, never again to recover them. Can this historical reality be consistent with the promise made to Abraham that “all the land which you see I will give to you, and to your seed forever”(Gen. 13:15)? Those who understand the permanence of the promise to mandate a renewed future possession of these boundaries by the nation of Israel have the same fundamental problem that they criticize in the interpretation which considers the physical aspect of the promise to be done away with upon its fulfillment under Solomon: namely, that this geographical possession will one day end; the one interpretation is no more consistent with an eternal fulfillment than the other. The old earth will one day melt with a fervent heat to make way for the new (II Pet. 3:10); and as soon as this dissolution of the old earth takes place, (including the geographical regions promised to Abraham), a literal fulfillment of the land promise becomes impossible. The nature of the promise made to Abraham is such that, any fulfillment which is not eternal does not do it justice. God’s promise to Abraham must extend to him and his seed for all eternity, including that portion of eternity in which the land of Palestine no longer exists. There must be a time, therefore, when the physical land promise is done away with, and only that aspect of the promise which was eternal remains. Whether this transition is placed immediately subsequent to the height of Israel’s glory or immediately prior to the dissolution of the earth has no bearing on the reality that what was promised to be for Abraham’s seed forever is actually not forever. The Abrahamic promise, then, could never be eternal unless something other than the physical land of Palestine is fundamentally intended by the promise. And if something other than the physical land is intended by the promise, then it would be vastly beneficial for us to ascertain the nature of this original intention, together with the ramifications that it has for our understanding of God’s unfolding plan of redemption. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that the fundamental intention of the land, seed, and blessing aspects of the Abrahamic covenant was, respectively, (1) An eternal place of restored fellowship with God; (2) An eternal people enjoying a restored fellowship with God; and (3) A universalization of the promised blessings of this fellowship which is, at the same time, a specific localization of those blessings within Abraham. This understanding will be demonstrated, first, by an examination of the promises in connection with Abraham’s history; and second, by an examination of the promises from a New Testament perspective.

    The “Land” Promise Intended an Eternal Place of Restored Fellowship with God

    From the time of his first being called out by God and commanded to go to a land which Jehovah would show him, Abraham demonstrated an understanding of the nature of that land which transcended mere physical possession. Hence, the first thing we see of Abraham’s sojourn in the land of Canaan is an occurrence which eventually becomes a pattern: Abraham experiences a divinely-initiated encounter in which he enjoys personal fellowship with God. He immediately builds an altar at that place of fellowship; and, at later periods of his wandering, he returns to that specific place to call upon the name of the Lord. (Genesis 12:7,8; 13:3,4). Eventually, we find Jehovah revealing himself and Abraham building altars and calling upon his name throughout the land of Canaan, which Jehovah had promised to him. We read that Abraham built altars or called upon the name of the Lord at Shechem, Bethel, Hebron, Beersheba, and Moriah, all places within the boundaries promised to him by Jehovah. And, although he traveled outside of those boundaries, for instance journeying twice to Egypt, we never read of him building altars or calling upon the name of the Lord except in the land which God had promised to him. From the beginning, then, we find a pattern linking the promised land to places of theophanies and personal encounters with Jehovah, and places where Abraham was led to respond to those theophanic experiences in worship and personal fellowship.

    Furthermore, Abraham never truly possessed the land which Jehovah had promised to him. And, although he was rich and powerful, he never sought to take possession of the land by wealth or force, excepting the single incident of his buying a burial plot for his wife. In fact, at times when he might have gained some of the land or its wealth, as when he defeated the coalition of kings and was offered compensation for it, he adamantly refused, fearing that his possessions might then be construed as coming from human hands (Gen 14:22-24). In rejecting this portion from the king of Sodom, Abraham demonstrated an understanding of the nature of his promised blessings as transcending the mere physical. He had ample opportunities to seize the city of earthly foundations; but he already possessed the conviction that the land which was promised to him was a city of spiritual foundations, a city in which the redeemed might enjoy everlasting fellowship with God. In the circumstance of God’s bountifully providing personal encounters of fellowship with Abraham in the land of promise, while at the same time denying him the physical possession of that land, we perceive a divine safeguard against a crassly physical hope which longed for a city of bricks and stones as the pinnacle of the land promise made to Abraham. Abraham demonstrated a lively faith which steadfastly embraced the eternal hope which glowed alluringly beyond the hills and valleys of Canaan and found satisfaction only in an inheritance of unending personal fellowship with Jehovah at the place where he would choose to set his name. Tragically, many of his descendants, lacking his spiritual perception, failed to look beyond a physical land in which God’s presence was nowhere to be found except as mediated through a cumbersomely wrought cult of ritual approach.

    The “Seed” Promise Intended an Eternal People Enjoying a Restored Fellowship with God

    One of the most striking statements Abraham had of the true nature of the blessings promised to him comes, appropriately, at the occurrence of the official inauguration of the covenant, in which God swears by himself that he will give Abraham a seed and a land (Gen. 15). Although God had promised Abraham several specific things falling into the general categories of land, seed, and blessing, when he sums up all those blessings at once, he declares, “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield and your exceeding great reward” (Gen. 15:1). At the heart of the covenant, then, God himself is the intended fulfillment of the promise. Therefore, every true understanding of the promised blessings must be able to be subsumed under that head. The land promised to Abraham was only included in the promise because it was integral, in some way, to the reality of having God as his portion. This point is vital for understanding the nature of the promises as they relate to Abraham and his seed. Yes, the Lord made Abraham the father of many nations: Israelites, Edomites, and twelve Arab nations all sprang from his loins. But the ultimate fulfillment of his being made a father to a great people, or to many nations, could only come by his being a father to those whose exceeding great reward was Jehovah. Hence, when we find the original promise made to Abraham in Genesis 12 repeated and developed in Genesis 17, we find the very essence of the covenant promise made manifestly clear. In verse 4-8 of the latter chapter we read,

    As for Me, behold! My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham. For I have made you a father of many nations. And I will make you exceedingly fruitful, greatly so, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you and to your seed after you. And I will give the land to you in which you are a stranger, and to your seed after you, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession. And I will be their God.

    At the heart of this reiterated covenant promise is the reality that Abraham’s true seed would be those whose God would be Jehovah. This promise, “I will be their God,” is given twice, once in connection with the seed that Abraham would father, and once in connection with the land that God would give to them. It is readily apparent from these verses that the Immanuel principle -- the principle of God being the God of a certain people and dwelling with them alone of all the nations of the earth -- is a vital principle for understanding the promise made to Abraham. At the heart of the seed and land promises, and in fact what constitutes the very essence of those promises, is the reality that Jehovah will be their God. This “Immanuel principle” is the substance of all later redemptive history, and the precise content of the Abrahamic covenant.

    In safeguarding against a literalistic/physical misunderstanding of the “seed” aspect of the promise, God found it expedient to go to considerable lengths. Hence, he closed Sarah’s womb, making her barren for the entire fruitful period of her life; then, he awaited the fulfillment of the promised seed until Abraham himself was beyond the age of reproductive virility; and additionally, beyond the age of Sarah’s natural fertility even if she had been capable of bearing children in her youth. Finally, he brought about a seed to Abraham through purely physical means (i.e. Ishmael) simply to declare that this physical seed was not the fulfillment of the seed promise(Genesis 16). In these circumstances we see that a purely physical seed could never meet the criteria for being the seed of which Abraham was promised an innumerable multitude. Instead, a seed to whom Jehovah sovereignly gave life out of death was to be the nation which fulfilled the promise given. It would have benefitted the later descendants of Abraham who presumed upon the favor of God by virtue of their genealogy to have considered well this point.

    The “Blessing” Promise Intended a Universalization of the Blessings of Fellowship Which Is, at the Same Time, a Specific Localization of Those Blessings Within Abraham

    In the phrase we have recorded for us in Genesis 12:3, “In you shall all the families of the earth be blessed,” we ascertain the striking circumstance of Abraham’s blessing being at once universalized, so that all the families of the earth come to share in its riches; and at the same time localized, so that the fountain of this world-encompassing blessing is in some sense within Abraham. That Abraham is seen as the source or location from which the blessings comes, and not merely a dispenser or mediator through whom it would be disseminated, is the natural reading of the inseparable beth preposition in the original. This relationship of Abraham’s blessing to himself and to the world, so that he would be, on the one hand, blessed himself, and on the other hand, the location from which the blessing would spring, is vital for understanding the promises made to him. The precise manner in which the blessing was said to be both for Abraham and in Abraham must have been initially somewhat obscure: but by the end of his life, Abraham would have understood that the promised blessing was to come through a person, the one seed to whom the promises were ultimately referring. When God favored Abraham through encounters of personal fellowship, he connected those events with reiterated promises that he would give the land in which fellowship with God was made possible to his seed (Genesis12:7; 13:15; 17:8). Hence, Abraham would have learned to connect in some organic sense the place of fellowship with God to the advent of the seed promised to him. This connection would have led to an intensification of his desire for the promised seed to come. And as he remained frustrated in his continued expectation, and utterly failed in his own attempt to produce it through other means, he must have come to understand in a fuller sense how vastly significance this promise was, that it could only be accomplished by the all-powerful God performing that which is impossible. The first instance in which we are forced to recognize, to a large degree, this mature understanding in Abraham is when the Lord appeared to him and gave the promise, “He that shall come forth out of your own bowels shall be your heir” (Genesis 15:4). It is in this context that the statement is made that Abraham believed in the Lord, and he counted it for righteousness. What was it that Abraham believed that was sufficient to stand as the grounds of his justification? It could not have been simply that God would give Abraham a child of his own. This indeed happened when Abraham fathered Ishmael, and yet it was not the fulfillment of the promise that God had made. The only fulfillment consonant with what Abraham had come to expect was a seed who would bless the nations, a seed who would provide fellowship with God, a seed who would possess the land where God dwells with man, and a seed who could only be brought about through the accomplishment of the impossible. In other words, what Abraham believed was that God would supernaturally send a seed who would be the ground of blessing and fellowship with God. All of this becomes more manifest when Sarah commands Ishmael to be cast out, having rejected the thought that the son of the bondwoman should inherit with her own son. In God’s response to Abraham’s initial displeasure at this idea, we find that Sarah was essentially right. When God came to reinforce to Abraham the decision that Sarah had made, he reiterated the principle that it was through a specific seed in the future that the blessing would come. Sarah’s desire was indeed appropriate because, “In Isaac shall a Seed be called to you.” In adducing this promise, God was indicating that Ishmael by all rights should be cast out because he had no part in bringing in the promised blessing; instead, the Seed who would bring Abraham the blessing was in Isaac. It is significant that Isaac is not said to be that seed, but rather that the Seed who would be called to Abraham, the Seed who would be the grounds for every blessing given to him, was in Isaac -- again, the natural reading of the beth preposition.

    This consideration of Abraham’s history compels us to credit him with a much greater understanding of the Messianic hope than some interpreters have given him. It is not some raw, blind faith without content (or with a content of which the full extent is the birth of a child essentially the same as any other child) that justifies a man. It is only faith in the promised Christ and his victorious work of redemption that justifies. This was the content of the belief that Abraham had, and for which he was counted righteous. The essential correctness of this assertion is borne out later by the nature of the test to which God put Abraham’s faith. When God put Abraham’s faith to the ultimate test, he did not ask for some task that was entirely unconnected to the content of his faith. Instead, he gave a command to Abraham that was so constructed that his response to the command would indicate precisely what it was he believed about the promises of God. God had already revealed that the Seed who would come to bless all the families of the world was in Isaac. When God commanded Abraham to put Isaac to death, and Abraham obeyed without hesitation, he demonstrated that he believed in a coming Seed who could be put to death and yet be brought to life through the power of God. Abraham’s faith had grown so that even the death of the one in whom the promised Seed still resided could not overcome his belief in the triumphant life of that Seed. Abraham had grown to trust in the resurrection power of God by which he would make the promised Seed victorious even over death. By the end of Abraham’s life, therefore, we must conclude that he understood that the blessing which would come to all the families of the earth was in him before it came to be in Isaac, by virtue of the fact that he was in the genealogical line of the Messiah that was prophesied from the time of Adam. In this respect, the blessings which Abraham hoped for, blessings of a people of God enjoying a place of fellowship with God were to be universalized so that they touched the whole earth; and at the same time localized so that they were in Abraham.

    Further Support Adduced from the New Testament

    In examining the teaching of the New Testament as it touches the topic at hand, we find our conclusions largely corroborated and made explicit. We concluded that the land promise made to Abraham could be ultimately fulfilled only by a place in which fellowship with God is possible. In light of this conclusion, it is striking that the place of rest with God for saints who have fallen asleep in the time of Jesus is a place which Christ refers to as “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22). More interesting yet is the observation made of Abraham’s life, concerning which he was said to have possessed that faith by which one draws close to God, that, “He looked for a city which has foundations, of which the Builder and Maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10). Abraham’s faith did not consist in looking to the ownership of Middle Eastern geography; he looked instead to the land which Canaan could only symbolize, a city which God alone would build. That this city intended a place of fellowship with God is made clear throughout the New Testament. In Galatians 4, Paul declares that believers in Christ are inhabitants of the Jerusalem which is from above, which he sets in opposition to the physical city of Jerusalem. In Hebrews 13, the author declares that we who worship have come to the spiritual Zion. The apostle John looks to a New Jerusalem, one whose chief characteristic would be the presence of God and his dwelling with men (Rev. 21:2,3). In all of these instances we find certain confirmation both of our conclusion that physical Palestine served as the type of a place of restored fellowship with God; and of our conclusion that this was precisely what Abraham understood and believed and awaited.

    The second assertion we made, that the seed promise intended a people enjoying restored fellowship with God, is also corroborated by New Testament teaching. In the fourth chapter of Romans Paul makes evident that Abraham was justified through faith in the one who justifies the ungodly. In virtue of this reality, Paul goes on to assert that Abraham, by virtue of his faith, became the father of all those who believe, whether uncircumcised and believing (as Abraham himself was when he believed) or circumcised and believing. The ultimate fulfillment of the promise that he would be the father of many nations came when people from every tribe, tongue kindred, and nation believed, and so demonstrated that believing Abraham was their father. And this teaching is not isolated to Romans alone. In the third chapter of Galatians, Paul explains that, “Those who are of faith, these are the children of Abraham” (verse 7); and again, “the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations through faith, preached the gospel before to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all nations be blessed." So then those of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham” (verses 8,9). How was it the nations were blessed in Abraham? By virtue of the fact they were in Abraham, who fathered them all as the patriarch of the family of faith; and, being in Abraham who believed unto justification, they received likewise the blessings of justification through faith. As Paul sums up later in the chapter, “If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise” (verse 29).

    The final conclusion we made was that the blessing promise intended a universalization of the blessings of fellowship which is, at the same time, a specific localization of those blessings within Abraham. In demonstrating this, we observed that the promised blessing was to come to Abraham and all those who believe, through his promised Seed; this promised Seed is the long-awaited Christ; and therefore, it is only in Christ, the true Seed of Abraham, that we are blessed together with him. This conclusion is borne out by the New Testament teaching that those who believe are in Christ. Faith brings justification, but only because faith establishes one in a relationship in which he is said to be “in Christ”. Hence we are blessed because we are in Abraham, the spiritual father of us all, as we observed in Galatians 3:7-9; but more specifically, we are in Abraham because we are in Abraham’s seed, Christ. Later in the chapter, Paul clarifies just how it is that those of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the that the blessing of Abraham might be to the nations in Christ Jesus“ (verses 13,14). The blessing of Abraham comes to the nations because they are in Christ; Christ is the seed of Abraham; therefore, if we are in Christ, we too are the seed of Abraham by virtue of our relationship in Christ. We, not ethnic Jews or Arabs, are Abraham’s true children and heirs.

    That we alone are Abraham’s heirs, as his children through faith, is demonstrated by a grammatical feature of our text in Genesis that Paul brings to light in his letter to the Galatians. Ethnic Jews could never claim to be the heirs of Abraham, and therefore the rightful owners of Palestine, for the simple reason that the promise was never made to all of Abraham’s offspring. Paul recognizes this truth in Romans 9, where he observes that, “not because they are the seed of Abraham are they all children. But, "In Isaac shall your Seed be called" (Romans 9:7). In other words, mere ethnic descent was never sufficient to make one a true child of Abraham. The promises were never given to all Abraham’s offspring -- as Paul goes on to clarify later in the chapter that Isaac was chosen and not Ishmael, Jacob and not Esau, and so on. This basic point Paul reiterates in Galatians 3, when he observes that the promises were originally made not to Abraham and his children, but to Abraham and his seed, which is singular. This one seed of Abraham, to whom the promises must be fulfilled, was Christ alone (Galatians 3:16). If Christ is the only seed of Abraham to whom the promises must be fulfilled, then those who are in Christ, not those who are ethnically descended from Abraham, are the heirs of the promises. Hence, Paul tells us that we have all spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3); that all the promises of God find their “yea” and “amen” in Christ (II Cor. 1:20); and that the nations are fellow heirs and of the same body and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ (Ephesians 3:6). Only to Christ were the Abrahamic promises fulfilled; and therefore only by virtue of being in Christ are we Abraham’s children and heirs.


    The interpretation of the Abrahamic covenant which sees the promises necessitating the possession of physical Palestine by ethnic Jews fails to do justice to the spiritual understanding of the promises that Abraham himself had. As Christ told the Jews of his day, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and He saw and was glad” (John 8:56). Abraham looked beyond the merely physical and placed his hope in the coming Messiah, and in God who would raise him from the dead. This assessment is borne out by a careful study of Abraham’s life. And that this understanding that Abraham had of the promise is essentially correct is made clear by New Testament teaching on the topic. Any interpretation of the Abrahamic covenant that misunderstands the scriptural teaching of what the promises signified, to whom they were made, and who could claim them as Abraham’s true children and heirs is not only wrong, but positively harmful. An interpretation that insists on claiming physical benefits for Israel on the basis of their ethnicity obscures the vast spiritual riches of the Abrahamic promises as fulfilled to Christ and to us who are in Christ; it minimizes the place of Christ as the one true Seed of Abraham and the one in whom are all promised blessings; and it conditions us to be looking for a crassly physical, not to mention false, eschatological hope in the coming of an ethnically Jewish millennial kingdom, instead of understanding and awaiting that blessed hope of all redemptive history, the great proclamation, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God” (Rev. 21:3). This is the hope of Abraham and all his true children, and the goal of all redemptive history.

    Posted by Nathan on November 30, 2006 11:04 AM



    thank you for posting this propositional "Word"; truly foundational in deeply Spiritual ways yet very down to earth.

    As I read it many questions come to me about Scriptures I come back to again and again and again seeing I continually read the Word of God daily now over 30 years, reading a variety of Translations.

    Your paper here touches on some of them, things that linger within my spirit.

    I would like to touch on three thoughts that come to mind while I am now pondering what I just read of your foundational view of Life/Life.

    The first thing is this that comes to me continually about two verses I believe you established well as a necessity, foundationally, for any Believer to go on to a depth of Wisdom or Understanding in this ever increasing Knowledge of His Grace. Romans 4 was touched on in your paper. Here is the verse that I continually think about, Romans 4:21*

    Rom 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

    Here's what grabs me in the verse about Abraham, HE WAS FULLY PERSUADED.

    This to me implies that he, being God's choice to teach me TRUTH, is to be the "father" of my "faith", or rather God's FAITH given to me to fully persuade me too to go on to maturity. I too will have similar ups and downs as Abraham as I am led out of falsehoods, of deceits and lies about God and man sown into my head and heart by an enemy, as God actively persuades me to TRUTH! Would you agree with this and concur that that is the meaning of that verse, Romans 4:21?

    Another verse that seems to interpret this idea for me comes from Hebrews 6:3**

    Heb 6:3 And this will we do, if God permit.

    Again there seems to be a presumption of God's process of growth and maturity that awaits all of us that God gives His FAITH too, yes?

    Now for the second area I am thinking about.

    Just yesterday a verse jumped out at me that I want to explore with you now having read your paper; which I will say about it again, it is very good and hearty reading!

    It is found here in 1 Kings 19:16:

    1Ki 19:16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.

    Here we read a most interesting "spiritual concept" in my judgment. God tells Elijah to anoint his successor to THY ROOM.

    Your paper clearly opens up for me both sides or realms, these present created heavens and earth, the visible and invisible, the natural land of which you geographically speak about and the "NEW JERUSALEM" realm of which you spiritual speak to.

    There is a place in Acts where we read this:

    Act 16:5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.
    Act 16:6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
    Act 16:7 After they were come to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.

    What your paper does for this reader is give clarity as to what is being taught by the Holy Ghost both about spiritual stewardships passed onto the next generation: Elijah in anointing his student Elisha to "receive" THY ROOM, or the spiritual realm of God's authority to be carried out by His elected administrators. God gave Elisha to Elijah. God gives us to Christ.

    And here at Acts sixteen, we see both Jesus and the Holy Ghost actively directing the Apostle's ministry geographically so as not to interfere with another Apostle, Peter's assignments, appointed from Heaven too to work with Christ as He builds His CHURCH in regions of land, territories and nations! Their base of operation is clearly seen when you consider the debates at Antioch and Jerusalem, Acts 15.

    1 Peter 1:1***

    1Pe 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

    And finally, the blessings you speak about! IT'S THE INHERITANCE of both to God and man.

    It seems to me this is the major battleground, yes?

    Now I can understand my blessing seeing how wretched I am; I am happy about what I gain from this. But that God makes clear I am His aim, His blessing, His inheritance; that's what concerns me seeing condemnation is the order of the day when it comes to Satan and his poking his nose in God's affairs with you and me!

    Paul wrote about a geographical REIGN on the "EARTH" for all Believers, yes?:

    Rom 5:17 For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

    I have had the privilege of traveling to all the seven continents of the world over the last thirty plus years and speak words to hearers about Faith in Jesus Christ.

    What most amazes me even still as I think about it is what God was doing through me those times and which simply underscores how ACTIVE God is even today all over the world in every nation, as He through wretched men like us BUILDS THE HOLY DWELLING PLACES OF THE MOST HIGH. Ps. 46, [the "virgins" song].

    Christ is the one "human" of Abraham's race who fills the bill and rightfully has a LEGAL claim to that land surveyed by Abraham that God gave him, albeit, he and his own children were to drive out seven nations greater and mightier than they.

    Christ is the one "God/human" of Adam's race who fills the bill and rightfully has a LEGAL claim to all of our hearts and minds seeing God has made it His active purpose, His and the Holy Ghost's active purpose to help Adam's race understand Who Their choice is for PREEMINENCE in our lives:::>

    Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
    Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
    Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
    Col 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;
    Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

    Again, Nathan, my prayer for you today is:::> "thank you Lord for giving mankind such gifted men!"

    Be encouraged in what the Giver has given you! Continue to give it to those who will receive it, not casting your pearls before swine.

    Bless you


    Thanks for the comments! I think you have a good point with Romans 4:21 and Hebrews 6:3. The kind of faith that Abraham had is a faith which only God can give, and which leads us along the pathway (although with many temporary setbacks and difficulties) to an ever-increasing knoweldge of and delight in Jesus and his gospel-gift.

    Thanks for your input, and may God bless you as you seek his truth.

    Excellent assesment of the errors in disspensational theology and showing that all things were fulfilled in Christ.


    again I am sipping this very fine NEW WINE.

    Some of us around my region, North Western California, have been talking a lot about three things, new wine skins, new wine, and who will want to drink it? There has to be a death of the creature to make new skins. There has to be a crushing of newly harvested grapes to drink new wine from those new skins! The taste of death comes that New Life in the Lord Jesus Christ might come forth! To my comfortable natural man, this looms these three!

    This morning I would confine myself to just two areas of thought, struggling to do so mind you, seeing there is so much that comes alive within me from the Holy Ghost I would love to raise with you hereon as I re-read your words!

    Here they are, one, the bosom of Abraham is clearly understood and that peculiar verse in Matthew 27* that follows.

    And this, two, from Deuteronomy 32** and Moses' song, a song, when you read what they were being taught to sing about themselves, might not inspire any to JOY OR GLADNESS of singing!

    God, I do believe proves here His sense of humor!!:::>

    Deu 32:6 Do you thus repay the LORD, you foolish and senseless people? Is not he your father, who created you, who made you and established you?
    Deu 32:7 Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.
    Deu 32:8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.
    Deu 32:9 But the LORD's portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.

    Now for that verse in Matthew.

    Mat 27:50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
    Mat 27:51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.
    Mat 27:52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised,
    Mat 27:53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.


    "The Holy City"?

    Yes it was Jesus who opened up during His earthly reign in the box/flesh/sarx from the Virgin to man this Holy City idea as the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms attest, when He said this:

    Luk 16:19 "There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
    Luk 16:20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
    Luk 16:21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.
    Luk 16:22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried,
    Luk 16:23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
    Luk 16:24 And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.'
    Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.
    Luk 16:26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.'
    Luk 16:27 And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house--
    Luk 16:28 for I have five brothers--so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.'
    Luk 16:29 But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.'
    Luk 16:30 And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'
    Luk 16:31 He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'"

    Jesus, this Jesus you write about in your paper, My Lord and Savior too, is showing us Abraham and the two consequences for sins, forgiven and not forgiven. There is a work we are all called too.

    If we will not be forgiven by God's Grace and Mercy so as to enter PEACE, NEW JERUSALEM, well, reader take HEED to Christ's own teaching, yes?!

    But to this first order from Deu. 32 and Moses' song!

    It is put hereon to simply point to the meaning of that portion of the song and what you might understand about it, 32:8*? That I am asking, to draw you out hereon?

    It does seem to me this is for us too when you weigh that with God's command and “call” to Adam to subdue and have dominion over creations while in "perfected" fellowship relationship with Our Heavenly Father and Christ and the Holy Ghost [who, of the Three, is here with us in this earthly realm]:::>

    Gen 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

    We too have the same command and call and it appears we, as they, are placed right in the eye of the storm against God and man and we do well to separate our self lives from any love of this world or the god of this world, yes? And this is with us by Christ being restored to that “perfected” fellowship relationship with us and Them so we too can live for others and for those needy souls not yet forgiven of their sins that they too might find their place appointed for “perfected” ministries? Hebrews 6:1**

    There is a battle cry in your paper that I hear, calling to us to rise up and reign in this temporal LIFE with His ETERNAL LIFE power and authority exercising Godliness over all creations, heavenly and earthly now and before we also make safe passage to the Anchor of our soul!

    Abraham’s bosom was a place for the Resurrected Christ to now reign through to us and because of His resurrection, to us a temporal realm is given to reign in Life through Jesus Christ our Lord, yes?

    I undoubtedly will read this paper again and most likely some more things will come to the surface to ask about.

    Blessings upon you and your Ministry Stewardship from the Lord,



    If the curses on Israel were fulfilled literally, and not spiritually, then why won't the blessings of physical land be fulfilled literally?

    Also, when you allegorize a passage of scripture, how do you know when to toggle that back to literal? Who is to decide what is allegorical and what is literal?


    The blessing of physical land was fulfilled literally. I quoted several scriptures in the article above that say as much. I also quoted scriptures that say that, from the beginning, Abraham understood the physical land as significant of more than just geography. It’s not either/or, it’s physical type and Christological fulfillment

    Also, the curses that were fulfilled were given as sanctions of the covenant cut on Sinai, which is a completely different topic than that which the article addresses.

    A literal hermeneutic is not the sort of hermeneutic which stops with physical/material realities. That is a simplistic hermeneutic, which ignores clear contextual indicators, and later revelatory explanations. Who's to say "what is allegorical?" I think the Author of all of scriptures, for one. When he uses his NT spokesmen to comment on the spiritual meanings underlying the shadows of the Old Covenant, then I'm not going to argue that he's at fault for doing that, because it messes with my idea of what a literal hermeneutic should be. If you want a few scriptural examples of how the NT deals with the OT shadows, you can read this article.

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