Monday, June 9, 2014

The Promised Land...Literal or Spiritual?

"And I will give to you and to your posterity after you the land in which you are a stranger [going from place to place], all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
9 And God said to Abraham, As for you, you shall therefore keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations".Genesis 
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
"And if you are Christ's, then are you Abraham's descendants, and heirs according to the promise."
Gal 4:28 "And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise"
2 Peter 3:10 "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."
Revelation 21
21 Then I saw a new [a]sky (heaven) and a new earth, for the former [b]sky and the former earth had passed away (vanished), and there no longer existed any sea.
2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, all arrayed like a bride beautified and adorned for her husband;
3 Then I heard a mighty voice from the throne and I perceived its distinct words, saying, See! The abode of God is with men, and He will live (encamp, tent) among them; and they shall be His people, and God shall personally be with them and be their God.
4 God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.
5 And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new.
New Jerusalem 
If God's promise to Abraham and descendants is to be taken literally, then it must be EVERLASTING! 8 "Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
Yet we see that..."But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." All shall be burned up!!! No more!

How then must we interpret The Land of Canaan? And if Christians are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, and are descendants of Abraham, where is our promise? Jesus is the Son of David and heir to the land and David's Throne. So we are co-heirs to both! Earthly and Spiritual. Of course we know it is the spiritual promise given in Luke 24: 44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise[h] from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem[i] until you are endued with power from on high.”

So we see all promise fulfilled in New Jerusalem, our heavenly abode, everlasting promised land! 

22 "Then he showed me the river whose waters give life, sparkling like crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb
Through the middle of the broadway of the city; also, on either side of the river was the tree of life with its twelve varieties of fruit, yielding each month its fresh crop; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing and the restoration of the nations.
There shall no longer exist there anything that is accursed (detestable, foul, offensive, impure, hateful, or horrible). But the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall worship Him [pay divine honors to Him and do Him holy service].
They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
And there shall be no more night; they have no need for lamplight or sunlight, for the Lord God will illuminate them and be their light, and they shall reign [as kings] forever and ever (through the eternities of the eternities).So how literal can we take prophesy scriptures that speak to Israel and Jerusalem? 

Zechariah 12:1-3
12 The burden or oracle (the thing to be lifted up) of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus says the Lord, Who stretches out the heavens and lays the foundation of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him:
2 Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup or bowl of reeling to all the peoples round about, and in the siege against Jerusalem will there also be a siege against and upon Judah.
3 And in that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all peoples; all who lift it or burden themselves with it shall be sorely wounded. And all the nations of the earth shall come and gather together against it.

This is an obvious reference to the second coming of Christ to the battle of Armageddon " "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is at hand.Jesus- Matt 24

The Church is both Body and Bride. Jerusalem is in Judah. Just as the Bride is in The Body. Can we see that Jerusalem is really the Church who all the nations of the earth are gathered against?  If New Jerusalem is the Bride adorned made new....then the former must be the church...certainly not the dirt,brick and mortar that is burned up!...for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.
5 And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new. Question: Is the Promise of Abraham...(The Abrahamic Covenant), transferred into New Jerusalem? We understand the Davidic Covenant indeed does continue forever. However, the Adamic Covenant ends when satan is cast into the lake of fire. The Noahic Covenant is made null and void when the new heaven and Earth is ushered in...Gen 8:21 And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. So...did the Abrahamic Covenant morph into the Mosaic? The Mosaic Covenant: This covenant follows the format of a suzerain-vassal treaty and represents the constitution for the nation of Israel that grew out of Abraham’s descendants, a development envisioned by the Abrahamic Covenant. In this covenant, God offered
cursing for disobedience and blessing for obedience. God’s basic demand was that Israel would love Him exclusively (Deut 6:4-5). Remember, Abraham's seed were not Jewish until Israel was given the Mosaic Law! But the promise to Abraham included Ishmael's seed also.  The Mosaic Covenant, for instance, was an agreement made between God and the Jewish people through Moses; it required obedience to the 613 commandments in order for Israel to be blessed (Exodus 15:26). In other words, the Mosaic Covenant was conditional to Israel's obedience to the Law. Another way to look at it is that when God makes a conditional covenant with a party, in essence He is saying: "If you will....I will!" But when the Covenant was unconditional, God simply stated: "I will!" So we see one is unconditional and another is conditional.  

Gen 17:21 "But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.” 22 Then He finished talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.
23 So Abraham took Ishmael his son, all who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very same day, as God had said to him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 That very same day Abraham was circumcised, and his son Ishmael; 27 and all the men of his house, born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him." Even though God made the Covenant to the Son of Promise..Isaac, Ishmael was circumcised (sealed) into that Covenant also. 

Gen 26: 9
"And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing. 10 Therefore she said to Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.” 11 And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham’s sight because of his son.
12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. 13 Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.” So we see in Isaac will come the "called" of the Lord, whereas in Ishmael a nation shall be made but Isaac we see as a type of Christ to come.

Two Covenants

Galatians 4: 21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, 24 which things are symbolic (an allegory). For these are the[d] two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written:
“Rejoice, O barren,
You who do not bear!
Break forth and shout,
You who are not in labor!
For the desolate has many more children
Than she who has a husband.”[e]
28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say?“Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”[f] 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

Paul emphatically states here  (inspired of God) our promise, is that which is above eternally and has nothing to do with earthly land grants or such like!

So once again the question..." how literal can we take prophesy scriptures that speak to Israel and Jerusalem?"
Keep in mind...I it? If it is....then our Eschatology has us seeing through a "glass darkly" with a much different vantage point then we think!  

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