THE GOD OF THE COVENANT

“And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Gen 17:7

There are some today in Christendom who say God is done with Israel, and the church has replaced them and will receive all the blessings they forfeited. Those who say that, do not know the God of Israel very well nor have they studied the scriptures. As Jesus told the Sadducee’s Mat 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For those who are in this position, lets us go back and see why this is not the case, despite Israel’s history.

From the very beginning Israel failed. Prior to the receiving of the law they said; Ex 19:8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD. Again this was BEFORE they had actually received the law, in fact this was BEFORE Moses went up on the mountain to receive it! While he was up there, they immediately broke the first commandment by having Aaron make a golden calf to worship, which they did! AFTER THAT we have recorded what God told THEM: “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; Deut 7:9 He was referring to Israel, because of the promise he made to Abraham, which we have for our initial text. And please notice it is AN EVERLASTING covenant. With God EVERLASTING does not end!

So what is a covenant anyway?

It is a binding agreement between two parties, initiated by the greater to the lessor. In this Case God initiated the covenant with Abraham to include ALL his seed, meaning Isaac, and Jacob, (or Israel). The only one in this case that can actually break the covenant would be God, as he initiated it. And since we have an EVERLASTING covenant, that means it will remain between the two parties.

Isa 66:22 speaking of Isreal God says; For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. Does this sound like God has put Israel away from before him to be replaced? Want more proof? Jer 31:36 says, If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.

Jesus prophesied of the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, and in 70 AD it happened! The Roman army destroyed Jerusalem and all the people were dispersed out of their land and remained out for 2000 years, until 1948, when with the help of the United States and president Harry Truman, who gave them the money they needed, returned and became he nation Israel once again. For those who can’t handle this, consider; no nation has ever been removed from their land for 2000 years and retained their national identity. As of may 2018 Israel has celebrated 70 years in the land since 1948. So is God done with Israel? No! And prophetically speaking we will see there is a time coming where Israel will be the focus of the world. In fact Zech 12:3 says And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. This does not sound to me as if God has finished with Israel at all.

The prophet Daniel records the word of God to him concerning his people Israel saying; Dan 9:24 -27 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. and he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. So how long is that, and how long is a week?

The answer is found in Genesis Chap 29 where we read Jacob wanted to marry Rachel, so her father Laban told him to serve for her 7 years, so verse 18 says And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. Verse 20 says And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her. But when he discovered in the morning Laban had switched and given Jacob Leah her younger sister, by their custom this must be done, Jacob was mad. So Laban said OK I’ll give you Rachel also, BUT….. verse 27 says Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years. So we discover in scripture a week is 7 years.

So in Daniel 70 weeks, equals 490 years, which began in 445 BC as we read in Nehemiah 2 that Artaxerxes the king gave a commandment to go and restore and rebuild Jerusalem in the month Nisan 445 BC. The walls were finished 49 years later. From that point until Jesus rode into Jerusalem as their messiah exactly 434 years later in 32 AD. Fulfilling that portion of the prophesy in Daniel. The total of 483 years or 69 weeks. But there were 70 weeks determined upon Israel, what happened to the last 7 year period? That would be the seven year tribulation period where the world leader (Anti-Christ) would make a covenant with the people of Israel, as Daniel predicted, he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week, (7 years) but in the midst of the week, he causes the sacrifices to cease. Which means, since the temple which was destroyed in 70 it must be replaced with a new one, at least partly rebuilt. At this time in Jerusalem, all that is needed to build a new temple is a peace agreement between the Arabs and Jews to do so. Since the anti-Christ is a man of peace, it is thought he will initiate a peace accord to allow the temple to be rebuilt. Then according to Daniel, in the midst of the week (3.5 years) he sets up the abomination in the temple, which could be a statue of himself, or he himself as Paul writes to the Thessalonians in II Thess 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Paul was talking about a yet future event from his time.

Both Daniel and Jesus refer to this 7 year period. Dan 12:1 says “At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;And there shall be a time of trouble,Such as never was since there was a nation,Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered,
Every one who is found written in the book
. Jesus said Mat 24:21 “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. So there remains a seven year period where God will be dealing with Israel, that the church will miss, according to Jesus and Paul.

Yet we have those today who want to ascribe all the promises made to Abraham and the nation Israel to the church. Abraham was promised by God the land of Cannon as his inheritance, so does that mean it is now a promise for the church? Not according to Peter who said I Pet 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Peter is referring to Believers in the Lord Jesus. Our inheritance is NOT on earth, but IN HEAVEN. Paul told the Philippians; Phil 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Jesus told us we are in the world but not OF the world, the world is NOT OUR HOME!

Heb 11:9 speaking of Abraham says By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; Today they are back in that land, which is THEIRS, not the churches. What about wealth? Is the church promised material wealth? Some would have us think so, but not according to Paul who said to the Ephesians, Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: Nowhere in the New Testament will you find that the church has been promised material blessings, but we see that in the Old Testament to Israel through obedience to the Law of Moses, and since we are not under law but grace, that does not apply.

Now we must look at the prophetic picture to determine if God is done with Israel or not. Ezekiel 37 next time.

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