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"Insights" from the New Testament Greek
By Bob Jones, Northside Bible Church, Jacksonville Florida
God's Unconditional and Everlasting Covenants with Israel
There are eight Biblical Covenants stated in Scripture: The Edenic, in Gen 1:28; the Adamic, in Gen 3:15; the Noahic, in Gen 9:1; the Mosaic, in Ex 19:25; the Abrahamic, in Gen 12:1-4; the Palestinian, in Deut 30:3; the Davidic, in 2 Sam 7:12-16; and the New Covenant, in Jer 31:31-40 & Heb 8:8.
There are two types of Biblical Covenants in Scripture, "conditional" and "unconditional". A Biblical covenant is basically a promise between God and certain of His people. J. Dwight Pentecost, in his book "Things to Come", gives these definitions for Biblical Covenants:
UNCONDITIONAL COVENANT: A sovereign disposition of God, whereby he establishes an unconditional or declarative compact with man, obligating himself, in grace, by the untrammeled formula, "I WILL", to bring to pass of himself definite blessings for the covenanted ones.
CONDITIONAL COVENANT: A proposal of God, wherein he promises a conditional or mutual compact with man, by the contingent formula "IF YE WILL", to grant special blessings to man provided he fulfills perfectly certain conditions, and to execute definite punishment in case of failure.
The four Covenants having to do with the future of Israel; the Abrahamic, Palestinian, Davidic, and the New Covenant, are UNCONDITIONAL, containing the statement "I WILL" repeatedly in each context.
The most important thing to know concerning Israel and the Millennium is that the Church does not replace Israel in the unconditional covenants.
----- The natural descendants of Abraham are still distinct from the gentiles in the New Testament in Acts 3:12,4:8,21:28, and Rom 10:1. They cannot be one and the same.
----- The natural descendants of Abraham are still distinct from the Church in the New Testament in Rom 11:1-25, and 1 Cor 10:32. These cannot be one and the same either.
----- In Rom 9:4, Paul writes to the Church, during the Church Age, concerning the children of Israel, his brethren, his kinsmen in the flesh, and states that the Covenants still have to do with Israel, the natural descendants of Abraham.
THE FOUR UNCONDITIONAL COVENANTS CONCERNING ISRAEL AND THE MILLENNIUM:
1. The Abrahamic Covenant. First stated in Gen 12:1-3 & 6-7. Length of the Covenant, FOREVER in Gen 13:14-17, and EVERLASTING in 17:1-14. Restated in Gen 15:18-21, and 22:15-18. And said to be IMMUTABLE in Heb 6:13-18. This promise concerns Abraham and his descendants and the land of Israel forever .
2. The Palestinian Covenant. Stated in Deut 30:1-10, it reaffirms the Abrahamic Covenant and gives Abraham and the children of Israel title deed to the land promised Abraham. The context of Deut. chapter 30 is extremely important . Deut 28:63-68 and 30:1-3 state that:
a. Israel will be removed from the land and scattered among all peoples from one end of the earth to the other because of unfaithfulness, Deut 28:63-68.
b. Then there will be a repentance of the scattered children of Israel, Deut 30:1-3.
c. The Messiah will return, Deut 30:3.
d. The children of Israel will be restored to the land promised Abraham, Deut 30:5.
e. They will not only be converted as a people, but as a NATION, Deut 30:3-6.(as in the New Testament, in Rom 11:26-27). (The Millennium begins with the whole Nation of Israel converted to Christ).
f. The enemies of Israel will be judged, Deut 30:7.
g. Millennial blessings are promised to the restored and converted land of Israel, Deut 30:8-9.
h. This context describes in a nutshell what all the passages in Scripture teach about the Second Advent, regathering of Israel and 1000 year Millennial Reign of Christ!
An Important note about the "Palestinian" covenant:
The Arab prophet Mohammed re-wrote major portions of the Old Testament and called it the "Koran". Where God says that the land of Palestine belongs to the descendents of "Isaac" (the Jews) in the Old Testament, Mohammed replaced "Isaac" with "Ishmael", the son of Abraham and the bond woman. Ishmael is the father of the Arabs. This is why we have the great trouble and standoff in the middle east today, both the Arabs and the Jews are told by their holy writings that God has promised them the land that Abraham walked. I believe that this is all according to God's plan, and that the Scriptures will all be fulfilled.
3. The Davidic Covenant. Stated as unconditional in 2 Sam 7:12-16, and confirmed many times in Scripture. Three illustrations:
a. 2 Sam 23:1-4. David states here that he knows he will not see fulfillment of his covenant in his physical lifetime.
b. Psa 89. David anticipates the future fulfillment of Godís promise to him and blesses the Lord in verses 46-52. But, he also foretells the overthrow of his present kingdom in verses 38-45! He knows that the fulfillment of what God has promised him in verses 20-29 is not in his present lifetime! What faith! David and Abraham both faced physical death still blessing the Lord in anticipation of realizing their promises after their resurrection.
c. Psa 72. David states that his covenant is future and the context is millennial.Note that the fulfillment of Davidís future covenant with the Lord mentions the sun, moon, and sea, when there is clearly no sun, moon, or sea on the new earth, in the eternal state, in Rev 21:1 &23 and chap 22:5! This states emphatically, to me, that the fulfillment must be after Davidís resurrection, and on this present earth!
4. The New Covenant. An unconditional Covenant between God and the Nation of Israel. Stated in Jer 31:31-35, Jer 32:37-40, Eze 11:17-21, Eze 16:60-63, Eze 37:26, and Rom 11:26-29.
a. A Covenant between God and "The House of Israel", Jer 31:31-33.
b. God's law written in their hearts, from the least to the greatest, Jer 31:33. (The first day of the Millennial Reign of Christ begins to fulfill this promise, as every human being on the earth will be a born again child of God at that point and the children of Israel are gathered from the far corners of the earth to inhabit the land of Israel.)
c. Will begin for the House of Israel on this present earth, Jer 31:35 mentions sun, moon, and sea, which will not exist on the new earth, according to Rev 21:1 & 23 and Rev 22:5.
d. Notice that the New Covenant was promised to and pertains to the NATION of ISRAEL, Jer 31:31-33. The Church does not replace Israel in Godís plan. The Church was a mystery hid in Christ that just pops in and pops back out, and are temporary beneficiaries of the New Covenant to Israel, and are capable of partaking in a form of Millennial blessings, (Heb ch 4), but at the Rapture, the Mystery Age that popped in is GONE, and Godís plan for Israel RESUMES. The Church only has access to the New Covenant given to Israel because Jesus is a natural descendant of Abraham, and the Church is "espoused" in marriage to Him, which is legally binding according to Jewish custom, and are therefore, we are "in Him". Neat! The gentiles have access to the New Covenant by marriage, just like Moses, a type of Christ and his "gentile bride", and the gentile "Shulamite woman" of Song of Solomon.
The Millennial Reign of Christ begins the fulfillment of all that God has promised to resurrected Abraham, to his descendants, to David personally, and to the Nation of Israel. After the Millennium, the New Heavens and New Earth are formed to continue to fulfill these four unconditional and eternal covenants concerning the descendants of Abraham. I believe that the Church will co-rule and reign with Christ for eternity, over all that God owns, with the New Jerusalem as their home, and that the descendants of Abraham are promised this earth and the New Earth, and they will rule over the nations of people that are saved at the end of the Tribulation, and again at the end of the Millennium. (Rev 21:24-26 and 22:2)