Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life for week ending 04/14/02.
The Doctrine of the Abrahamic Covenant.
In GEN 17:5 we read, "No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I will make you the father of a multitude of nations."
He is no longer Abram which meant "the father of high places," this is the name that his father had given to him and it meant a worshipper of the moon god who was called Allah as we have noted. Abram also means father of high and windy places, which in effect means father of nothing. But that's all changed; Abram shall become Abraham. The father of nothing is going to become the father of something; a new race.
The name change signifies Abram's advance to ultra supergrace, and prepares the way for Abraham's ultra supergrace blessings.
GEN 17:6 "And I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you."
Not only the new race called the Jew and the new nation, Israel, but also this is a reference to the Arabic nations descended from Abram through Hagar and Keturah. He will have seven bastard sons who will become some of the greatest of the Arab nations.
Verse 6 refers to sexual prosperity that as a specific part of Abram's blessing. Abraham had everything but the one thing he truly desired, sexual prosperity.
There is a basic concept to keep in mind regarding GEN 17:5-6, only God can turn cursing into blessing and that means the justice of God must be free to act before cursing can be turned into blessing.
Turning cursing into blessing is a divine monopoly, man does not have the ability to solve his problems; only God can do that. Abram goes from the father of nothing to the father of many through God's grace which is only administered under the non-meritorious principle of adjustment to the justice of God.
Apart from the adjustment to the justice of God, there is no possibility of justice fulfilling justice in grace blessing, there is no possibility of cursing being turned to blessing. Man can only turn cursing into cursing, and only God can turn cursing into blessing. Man does not have the talent, ability, wisdom, power, authority or anything in his makeup to turn cursing into blessing, this belongs only to God.
As long as man tries to solve his problems cursing is added to cursing, hopelessness is intensified. God's grace function and man's work function are mutually exclusive.
As long as Abram tried to solve his own problem, the whirlwind merely intensified, and during those thirteen silent years, he stopped trying and God took over.
In verse 7, we see the Abrahamic covenant, "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you."
We see the covenant again in GEN 12:1-3, Now the Lord said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
GEN 12:7 And the Lord appeared to Abram and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him.
We see it again in GEN 15:13-18.
Over and over again the Lord has repeated this covenant, because repetition is the only way Abraham or for that matter any one of can learn.
Therefore we have begun a review of The Doctrine of the Abrahamic Covenant.
Point One in the doctrine is a definition of the Abrahamic covenant; an unconditional covenant (agreement, disposition) between God as party of the first part in favor of Abraham and his progeny as the party of the second part.
This is a justice covenant from the justice of God and because it is unconditional there are no strings attached. This covenant is a deposition made by God in favor of Abraham and like all covenants, it is a part of the divine decrees. The source of this blessing to Abraham and his descendants is not because of any merit in Abraham, but because of Abraham's adjustment to the justice of God and the fact that God is pleased. Therefore, the justice of God is free to fulfill this covenant to Abraham at the point of his adjustment to the justice of God through the attainment of his spiritual maturity.
Point Two: The Original Declaration of the Covenant, GEN 12:1-3.
Verse one emphasizes Abraham's necessary isolation and separation from Ur for the fulfillment of the covenant, for the development of the new race, and for the development of his spiritual advance, plus separation from his family to avoid personal distraction.
The corrected translation of GEN 12:1-3 Now JHWH [Jesus Christ] had spoken to Abram, "Go with reference to yourself from your land, and from your relatives, and from the place of your birth, to a land which I will cause you to see; And I will manufacture from you a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will cause your person to become great; therefore, you will become a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you, but the one who despises you, I will curse, and all the races shall be blessed through you."
Verse 3 has three clauses:
1. Blessing by association.
2. A curse on anti-Semitism.
3. Messianic blessing clause.
Point Three: The Land Promise in the Abrahamic Covenant, GEN 13:14-16. The Palestine Covenant.
GEN 13:14-16 And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, "Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give to you and to your progeny forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if anyone can count the dust of the earth, then your descendants also can be counted."
In GEN 15:18-21 the dimensions are given, On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenite[they lived in Saudi Arabia] and the Kenizzite [the lived in Jordan] and the Kadmonite [they lived Syria]. and the Hittite [Northern Syria] and the Perizzite [Judah] and the Rephaim [Jordan] and the Amorite [Iraq and Lebanon]and the Canaanite [western Syria and Palestine] and the Girgashite [West of Jordan] and the Jebusite [Jerusalem]."
During the Millennium, the land of Israel will extend from Turkey to Syria in the north, west to the Mediterranean Sea, south to East Africa, to include all of Saudi Arabia, and east to the Euphrates River. God will give Israel more than they could ever conquer or hold in Old Testament times. This covenant guarantees the entire Middle East as a land grant to Israel forever. We can begin to see why most of this region are anti-Semitic and why Satan promotes these nations to hate Israel.
The Jews do not have any right to this land until Jesus Christ returns at the Second Advent.
Point Four: The covenant was confirmed to Isaac, GEN 26:3-4.
This had to be done to prove the covenant would not be fulfilled through the line of Ishmael, this is the doctrine of blessing by association.
GEN 26:1-5 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the Lord appeared to him and said, "Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham. And I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws."
Point Five: The covenant was confirmed to Abraham's grandson Jacob, GEN 35:12.
This is why the title of Jesus Christ is so important as "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
GEN 35:12 "And the land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, And I will give the land to your descendants after you."
Point Six: The covenant was confirmed at the time of the Exodus, EXO 6:2-8.
This was the time for the formation of the Jewish nation.
EXO 6:1-4 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for under compulsion he shall let them go, and under compulsion he shall drive them out of his land. God spoke further to Moses and said to him, "I am the Lord; and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, Lord, I did not make Myself known to them" and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, And I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they sojourned. And furthermore I have heard the groaning of the sons of Israel, because the Egyptians are holding them in bondage; and I have remembered My covenant. Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the Lord."
God Almighty is El Shaddai, the many-breasted God, referring to His many grace provisions. This covenant was the basis on which God delivered the Jews, a race in slavery, and caused them to become a nation. Six hundred years after the death of Abraham there are still blessings to the Jews, all from blessing to one mature believer.
Point Seven: The Mechanics of the Abraham Covenant Demanded Ultra-supergrace Sexual Prosperity, GEN 17:1-7;ROM 4:13-18.
There is blessing in every generation to the Jews of that generation where the omnipotence and logistical grace support of God are emphasized.
Point Eight: Circumcision is the Ritual of Confirmation and Acknowledgment that this is an Unconditional Covenant,
GEN 17:9-14; ROM 4:13-18.
Circumcision in Israel is a reminder that God keeps His word.
Circumcision means that any Jew, who believes in Christ, will be the recipient of this covenant forever.
Circumcision illustrates the faith-rest drill and Abraham's dependence on the omnipotence and faithfulness of God.
Point Nine: Amplification of the Covenant is also after Abraham Passes Momentum Testing, GEN 22:17-24.
GEN 22:17-24, "Indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham lived at Beersheba. Now it came about after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, "Behold, Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor: Uz his first-born and Buz his brother and Kemuel the father of Aram and Chesed and Hazo and Pildash and Jidlaph and Bethuel."And Bethuel became the father of Rebekah: these eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham's brother. And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore Tebah and Gaham and Tahash and Maacah."
God is obligated to bless us because of the promises He made to Abraham and also why we should be thankful and grateful to Abraham.
HEB 2:14-16 Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.
It is important to note why Abraham is mentioned so many times and why God was so pleased with Him.
GEN 22:1 "Now it came about after these things,"
After all those things mentioned from Gen 11 to Gen 22.
In GEN 11:31, he was told to separate from his family and he did not. He was told to leave Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan and he only went as far as Haran and settled there.
In GEN 12:4, he finally departed from Haran and entered into the land of Canaan but only after God separated him from his father through death.
In GEN 12:5, he took Lot his nephew and came to the land of Canaan.
In GEN 12:8, he settled down learned a lot of doctrine and built an altar to the Lord.
In GEN 12:9, he went to the Negev, the place of neglecting doctrine.
In GEN 12:10, he went to Egypt, the place of total rejection of doctrine.
In GEN 12:13, he begged Sarah his wife, to say that she was his sister and he refused to stand
up for her.
In GEN 13:4, he recovered from his reversionism and got back in fellowship with the Lord.
In GEN 13:9, he finally separated from Lot as the Lord commanded him to do.
In GEN 14:14, he heard that Lot had been taken captive by some enemies and he led his trained
men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and went to rescue Lot.
In GEN 14:15, he not only rescued Lot but defeated one of the greatest in the world at that time, the armies of Chedorlaomer.
In GEN 14:18, he was blessed by Melchizedek, king of Salem who was a priest of God, for the tremendous victory that he had and he was given one tenth of all that Melchizedek had.
In GEN 14:21-23, the king of Sodom offered him millions and Abraham refused it because it was not from God.
In GEN 16:2, he made one of the biggest mistakes of his life as the verse says "Abram listened to the voice of Sarai", he went in and got Hagar pregnant.
In GEN 16:6, he turned Hagar over to his jealous wife so that she could torture Hagar when he should have been protecting both women from each other.
In GEN 17:23, he recovered from his reversionism and went forward with the plan of God trusting God so much that he circumcised the flesh of his foreskin.
In GEN 18:23, he tried to intercede for the righteous who were in Sodom and Gomorrah.
In GEN 19:29, God destroyed the cities but God remembered Abraham and sent Lot and the righteous ones out of the city before it's destruction.
In GEN 21:5, Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
In GEN 21:14, this time the Lord told Abraham to listen to the voice of his wife and send Hagar and Ishmael away because of the way Ishmael kept mocking Isaac.
A lifetime of facing every type of test, succeeding in some and failing in others but consistently taking in doctrine and not letting failures keep him down.
He is a man who went through all of this but, he came to a point where God could give him a final examination that was so important that the entire world will have it on record forever.
It is so fantastic that the exam was not necessarily given to test Abraham but to tell the world what happens when a believer finally has so much doctrine in his soul that he thoroughly and completely understands God.
To take the life of someone that Abraham loved more than his own life and more than anyone else in life and to receive such a command and never to bat an eye from the time he received the command.
God made a promise to him in the Abrahamic covenant, that because of Abraham and his faith, we would all be blessed, blessed because of association!
GEN 22:1, Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham,
Here the Hebrew verb is nissah which in the piel stem is an intense stem and obviously the test is intense situation. It means to test, to prove, to try.
We have not really seen this side of Abraham until now where we will see him as a believer who loved God so much that he received a title that was unique, he was called the friend of God.
2CH 20:5-7 Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord before the new court, and he said, "O Lord, the God of our fathers, art Thou not God in the heavens? And art Thou not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Thy hand so that no one can stand against Thee. Didst Thou not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Thy people Israel, and give it to the descendants of Abraham Thy friend forever?"
He was under pressure and what did he do?
He offered up Isaac;
The challenge was are the blessings more important than the One who gave them?
This is the test!
This is the challenge!
Who is more important, God, the Giver or the wonderful things He gives to the believer as the believer is blessed in the different stages of spiritual growth.
This is the test that every believer in super-grace or spiritual maturity will face.
Very few people in all of human history have been tested as Abraham was tested on this occasion. Abraham passed the test and God was pleased and as a result of the covenant between God and Abraham we too share in the blessings.