In continuing my posts on the fact of whether or not modern Israel is still favored by God today, I would like to look at another point. I believe there are many justifications on the belief that modern Israel is in no way a biblical Israel and a good quick study on this issue would be my previous post about the Veil. (You can find it here.) However, let’s look at another aspect that many false teachers use to make it seem that the Jews are still protected and that modern Israel is still a chosen and favored people of God: The Promises made to Abram/Abraham.
The Three Promises
God made three promises to Abram in Genesis. To keep track of all three promises I will color code them. The Land Promise will be in green, the Great Nation Promise will be in blue, and the Seed Promise will be red. So let’s look at the first two promises in the text:
14 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; 15 for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. 16 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.
God makes the first two promises to Abram, first, the Land Promise to give his descendants the land which he sees, and second, the Great Nation Promise that he will multiply his descendants as the dust of the earth or as the number of the stars (in the next chapter Gen 15:5)
Now there are many false teachers that will get the audience hung up on the word “forever.” And that this land will ALWAYS be the Jews’ right to own and inherit for all eternity. These false teachers always love to quote the blessings Israel will receive from God, but usually fail to ever quote from the curses and warnings to Israel if they are to turn away from God. Take for instance Deuteronomy chapter 28, there are 14 verses of blessings that these false teachers love to quote, yet they neglect the next 53 verses of curses and warnings. In fact throughout most of the Old Testament, there are exponentially more curses warned than blessing promised to Israel. It is true that God will never back down on his end of the deal, but if you read through the Old Testament in its entirety, you will come to know that it is man that fails on his end of the bargain repeatedly, and not God. Now as far as the Promises go, there are several repetitions of these promises to Abram/Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. To see the full list of these passages, check out the chart at the bottom of this post. However, now that we have covered two of the three promises, I want to fast forward a little ways and cover the last promise made from God to Abram, The Seed Promise.
The first glimpse of this is in Genesis 18:18
18 since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
Now all three promises are referenced when the Angel of the Lord comes to Abraham in Genesis 22:17-18 and says:
17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
Now it’s very clear that God has promised Abraham that he will multiply his descendants, give him the Promised Land, and bless all nations of the world by his Seed. (Notice the word “seed” is singular, not plural as in “seeds.” This is very important later on…)
Have they Been Fulfilled?
So let’s fast forward through the scriptures. Have all of the promises been fulfilled? Or are the “End Times Prophetic Preachers” correct in that they have not been fulfilled and still need to be? If the fact is that the promises have not been fulfilled, then the Jews are very much correct in idea that they are still a chosen and protected people of God. So let’s check out these promises one by one and see what scripture has to say…..
The Great Nation Promise
Let’s first look at the Great Nation Promise. If we continue to follow this promise through the scriptures we will eventually come to Deuteronomy 10:20-22 but first, let’s get some CONTEXT in the story. (Context is extremely important to keep in mind. For more on this check out my blog post on context here.) Now up to this point in scripture, the Hebrews went into Egypt with Joseph, were led out of Egypt by Moses, came to Mount Sinai, received the first tablets of the ten commandments, however, Moses broke them and had to deal with the Israelites committing idolatry with the Golden Calf. Moses goes back up the mountain, receives the second set of tablets and is now speaking to Israel about the law that they are going to be required to keep in order to REMAIN God’s chosen people. So with all that understood, let’s look at the verse:
20 You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. 21 He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen. 22 Your fathers went down to Egypt with seventy persons, and now the Lord your God has made you as the stars of heaven in multitude.
Notice the word “now.” They had not previously been “as the stars of heaven in multitude” until this point. It is also interesting to note that the great nation promise is always referred to as a future event up to this point in scripture. After this passage, it is always referenced as it has already happened in the past.
The Land Promise
If we follow the Promise God made to Abraham about the Promised Land, then we will be lead all the way from Genesis to the End of Joshua. To get some context from our earlier reading to this point: The Israelites have wandered the wilderness for 40 years, and right before Moses dies, Joshua is chosen to lead the people into the Promised Land. Moses says himself in Deuteronomy 31:7 that Joshua WILL cause Israel to inherit the Promised Land. If this promise has not yet been fulfilled to this day, then how will the modern-day Jews ever have Joshua to divide it for them as scripture says how it must happen? So Moses dies on Mount Nebo and Joshua leads them into the Promised Land. The entire book of Joshua is pretty much a war story of how this was accomplished, and when you get to the end of Joshua, there is an interesting verse in chapter 21 verse 43:
43 So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. 44 The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. 45 Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.
I think it’s safe to say that Israel very much received the promise God mad to them concerning the land.
The Seed Promise
But what about the Seed Promise? Well, there is a great deal of reading from Genesis through the scriptures before you get to the fulfillment of that one. As a matter of fact, its fulfillment is not in the Old Testament. You won’t find it until after you’ve read 46 books after Genesis, in Paul’s epistle to the Galatians. But first…context, context, CONTEXT! Okay, there’s a lot to cover here so here we go:
- Israel inherits Promised Land
- Israel goes through the Judges Period
- Israel goes through the United Kingdom Period
- Israel splits and Goes through the Divided Kingdom (Israel in the North, Judah in the South)
- Israel enters captivity
- Judah enters captivity (Daniel foretells that the temple and the wall will be rebuilt)
- Judah Returns and Enters Restoration Period (temple and wall is rebuilt in Ezra and Nehemiah)
- Jesus is born
- Jesus crucified
- Jesus Resurrected
- Jesus Ascends to Heaven
- Holy Spirit Falls on Apostles on Pentecost
Ok so now that we’ve covered almost 1000 years of Israel’s history in a couple bullet points, I hope you see where we are at now. In this letter Paul is calling out the Judaizers who were Christians that thought the Old Law still had to be observed in order to receive salvation. The act of circumcision is directly called out, but it can easily be understood that all aspects of the Old Law to include tithing, burnt offerings, incense, etc. are to be included in this idea of the Old Law not applying to Christians. One of the greatest arguments Paul makes to these Judaizers is all the promises made to Abraham were in fact fulfilled, to include the Seed Promise. He shows this in Galatians 3:16:
16 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.
Just in case there is any confusion to this idea, Paul confirms this idea a second time just a few verses later in verses 27-29:
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
The Seed Promise was fulfilled by Jesus himself. If you check out my post on the Veil, this adds tons of content to this idea. (You can find it here.)
Well there you have it. It is clear that all three promises made to Abraham in scripture have been fulfilled in scripture. There is no need to keep looking for the fulfillment of these promises today, tomorrow, or any further in the future. Jesus really did die once for all (this would include Jews). Jesus really is the ONLY way, and no one will come to the Father except though him. (Not through obeying the Old Law and living in the Old Land) This study should show that it is even more important to reach out to Jews as they think they have security in the Old Law but will in fact perish if they do not come to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. The book of Galatians is also a good text to realize that once one is baptized, there is no longer a label such as Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female. I would go as far as to argue that the only label one is to have placed on himself would be a Christian. Not a Jewish Christian, or a Messianic Jew, or any of the like. Simply a Christian is what we are called to be. I hope you have found this study as fascinating as I have, and I hope it will help mistaken Christians on this issue find the courage to reach out to our Jewish neighbors, and silence the false teachers that use these promises to lead people in thinking the Jews are still God’s chosen people.
Complete chart of Promises:
|Fulfilled||Deut 10:22||Josh 21:43||Gal 3:16, 29|