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The Abrahamic Covenant And Prophetic History

Part 5

The Fulfillment Of The Abrahamic Covenant

 

With Paul's thoughts in mind, let's look at the 13 promises I've listed earlier to see if they have been fulfilled or not. We'll start with the personal promises made to Abraham. 

 

The Personal Promises To Abraham 

 

Promise 1 stated that Abraham would have a son through Sarah. (Genesis 15:4 8, 17:19 22, 18:10 and 14)   There's no debate here.  This has been fulfilled.    

 

Promised 2 stated that it would be through Isaac that Abraham's offspring would be reckoned.  The word reckon means "to call out".  Therefore the offspring who we've learned is Jesus as stated in Galatians 3:16 will be called out of the lineage of Isaac, which Jesus was, thus fulfilling this promise.   

 

Promise 3 stated that Abraham would be a great and powerful nation. (Genesis 12:2 3, 18:18)  Logically speaking, one man can't be a great nation, but Abraham symbolizes all those who would become his descendents.  I think we can safely say that Israel hasn't become this great and powerful nation yet.  When Jesus returns and rules from Jerusalem Israel will be great.     

 

Some say this promise of greatness was fulfilled when David was king and therefore doesn't need to be fulfilled again. Israel was pretty great then, but not as great as this promise seems to suggest.  She hasn't been great since David's day.  This promise is yet to be fulfilled.     

 

Promise 4 stated that Abraham would be the father of many nations, not just one. (Genesis 17:3 - 8)  Abraham became the father of many nations when Gentile believers in Jesus became part of his descendents.  Yet, in the truest sense of the word, this is yet to happen.  The text specifically says that Abraham would be the father of  many nations.  It doesn't say that many nations would become part of him. The many nations remain distinct and separate from Israel.  Therefore, the final fulfillment will take place when Jesus rules all nations from Jerusalem.  Zechariah 14:16 says that all nations will come to Israel to worship.  I also believe this will carry over to the new earth after the thousand year rule of Jesus is over.  Revelation 21:24 says, "the nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it."  Abraham will be the father of many nations throughout eternity.   

 

Promise 5 stated that God's promises to Abraham would be forever, and that He'd be Israel's God forever. (Genesis 17:3 8, 13:14 15,  17:19 - 22)  If forever means forever, then God didn't withdraw any promise he made to Abraham concerning Israel.  It's that simple.  Let's not complicate things.      

 

Promise 6 stated that Abraham would die in peace as an old man.  (Genesis 15:15)   That's been fulfilled.   

 

The Promises Made To Abraham's Descendents Israel

 

Promise 7 stated that Abraham's descendents would number as many as the stars in the sky and the sand by the sea. (Genesis 22:17 18)   That just means Abraham would have an awful lot of descendents.  I don't think the final number is in yet.  Romans 11:26 says that more Jews will  be added to Israel's numbers after the last Gentile is saved.  This promise is yet to be fulfilled.   

 

Promise 8 stated in Genesis 15:18 said that Abraham's descendents would inherit all the land from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates River.  That's way beyond Israel's present borders.  The Euphrates River flows through Iraq.  Israel has never had all this land, and when she had parts of it, she was never in complete control of it, and still isn't today.    

 

Some say the reason why Israel has never got the land is because God never intended for us to think of it in terms of literal land.  They say it's  spiritual land, as in the Kingdom of God.  That's not logical.  God specified the exact borders of this land.  With such exactness, we should understand the land to be literal land.  When Jesus sets His feet on the Mount of Olives and recovers this land for Himself, Israel will settle in to the land as God promised.  At that point Israel will possess the land  right to the Euphrates River, which includes both old and modern day Babylon.  How ironic.  Israel ends up with Babylon under her control.      

 

Promise 9 stated that Abraham's descendents would be free from 400 years of slavery. (Genesis 15:13 14)  There's no debate here.  Moses led Israel out of slavery in Egypt which fulfilled this promise.

 

Promise 10 stated that Abraham's descendents would possess the cities of their enemies. (Genesis 21:17 - 18) Israel had a few successes in this area, but nothing close to what this promise suggests.  Centuries later God spoke through Isaiah.  (Isaiah 54:3)  He said that Israel would "dispossess nations and settle in their cities".  From Abraham to Isaiah, to today, this has never happened.  This promise is yet to be fulfilled.   

 

The Promises Made To Abraham's Offspring Jesus

 

Galatians 3:16 says that Jesus is Abraham's offspring, so the following promises are promised to Jesus.  I don't think many Christians understand that Jesus actually gets some of these promises too.

 

Promise 11 stated that Abraham's offspring Jesus  would get a certain piece of land, and that He'd get to keep it forever. (Genesis 12:7, 13:14 - 15)  We've seen that Abraham's descendents get land.  Now we see Jesus getting land too.  Although the borders of Jesus' land isn't specified as it was with Israel, I believe it's only logical that it's the same land.  It's obvious that Jesus hasn't got this land yet, but He will when He returns to reclaim it for Himself.  (Zechariah 14) 

 

In Luke 23:42 43 the thief on the cross asked Jesus to remember him when He enters His kingdom.  Jesus answered by saying that He'd see the thief that very day, not in His kingdom, but in paradise.  Jesus went directly to paradise, the place where God is.  He won't enter His physical kingdom until He returns to it on earth.       

 

Promise 12 stated that the number of Abraham's offspring will number as many as the sand of the sea. (Genesis 15:4 8)  As was with the descendents of Abraham, so Jesus will have a great number of descendents. These are  those who trust their lives with Him.  Obviously the final count isn't in yet. 

 

Promise 13 stated that the nations of the earth will be blessed through Abraham's offspring Jesus.  Here's another promise that's made to both Israel and Jesus.   

All nations have had the opportunity to be blessed by Jesus because of the cross, but not all nations have  chosen to receive this blessing.  I think this promised blessing is linked to the same blessing God promised Israel.  Zechariah 14 says that all nations will be blessed by Jesus when He returns to earth as King of the Jews to rule all these nations.  This will carry over to the new earth as seen in the book of Revelation.  This promise is yet to be fulfilled.    

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