Jeremiah 31:31-34; Amos 9:11-15; Luke 1:67-75
Dr. S. Lewis Johnson expounds the Scripture passages that succeed Moses' writings which point specifically to the Redeemer seed of the woman.
Found in Colorado, I think, I thought at first maybe it was Texas because obviously Adam and Eve’s skeletons are going to be where a lot of fallen people are and Texas appeared to me to be a nice place where you might find the skeletons of Adam and Eve with other fallen people, but it’s in Colorado. And really in one sense I’m not surprised because Colorado is a state that doesn’t really go in for religion near as much as Texas does, so perhaps that’s fitting. One of the articles they had disclosed that UFO’s landed on the earth twenty five hundred years ago, that Jesus will be reborn in nineteen ninety-four, and the world will end in the year eleven thousand nine hundred ninety one, I don’t think I’ll reach that. So if you want to know what God’s voice sounds like, God’s voice, well if you want to imagine what it is, imagine the paper said a hundred baritones and a symphony orchestra rolled into one.
Now, if you want to know what he looks like God is very tall and has a white beard. And then more recently the Weekly World News reported that God “has fiery green eyes, flowing brown hair, and stands nine feet tall.” How do you get to heaven? You knew somebody was going to come up with this, through the Bermuda Triangle. [Laughter] That’s the way you get to heaven. I’m not trying to take over Johnny Carson’s place, incidentally. That’s not my routine before the evening message, but it is 7:30 so let’s open our class with a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Father we are thankful, indeed, for the word of God and for the certainty of the truths that are found in divine revelation. We acknowledge, Lord, there are many of them that puzzle us, many that we have not yet comprehended and we ask Lord that thou wilt continue to give us motivation to study the Scriptures and give us further enlightenment as we read and ponder this magnificent book. We thank Thee for him of whom it speaks Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We acknowledge our trust and hope is only in him. We thank Thee for the blood which was shed for sinners for such we are.
We thank Thee that by thy grace Thou has worked in our hearts and caused us to see that we are sinners caused us to see our deep need and thou has caused us to flee to Him for forgiveness of sins, We praise Thy name, Lord, we pray that if there should by chance someone in this auditorium who does not have the assurance of the forgiveness of sins that through the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the word of God they may come to that happy state where they know that they have eternal life. Guide our study this evening, Lord.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
[Message] Now, the subject for tonight is the same subject we have been studying, “The Divine Purpose in History and Prophecy.” This is the fifth installment. I have mentioned to you that I have been asked to give a series of studies in Canada in September. I have months ago, before I even knew I would be speaking on Wednesday evenings, told them I would like to speak on this topic. And so what I’m doing is working to the completion of that ministry up there and in the light of the fact that the elders asked me to fill in for a while on Wednesday evenings that’s why we are doing this topic. So I’m, in a sense, practicing on you. I hope to give that series later on from out from Toronto and Guelph, Ontario.
But this is the fifth of our series of studies, and now I want to begin with just a word of introduction after we read Jeremiah chapter 31, verse 31, verse 34. Jeremiah, chapter 31, verse 31 through verse 34, you’ll recognize as you read it with me, follow along in your Bibles, that this is the New Covenant that God gave to Israel and Judah. We read in verse 31 Jeremiah writing.
“’Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers and the day I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. [That, of course, was the covenant of the law that we recently studied.] My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,’ says the Lord. ‘But this is the covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days,’ says the Lord. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it in their hearts and I will be their God and they shall be my people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor and every man his brother knows the Lord for they all shall know me from the least of them to the greatest of them,’ says the Lord, ‘for I will forgive their iniquity and their sin I will remember no more.’”
Now, you know from our studies and from your reading of the Bible that Genesis chapter 3 in verse 15 is the first picture that we have in the word of God of the conquering seed of the woman, the Messiah. The text that reminds you of it is “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel.” Other Old Testament texts complete the portrait of the seed of the woman. I’ll try to just briefly mention these so you’ll get some idea of the fact that in the Bible we have a continuous story that leads up to our Lord Jesus Christ and what he accomplishes in his atoning work. Just say these lines so you’ll see the connection what God through the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit’s ministry is seeking to teach us.
That text tells us the Redeemer is coming from mankind, the seed of the woman. In chapter 9, verse 26, in Noah’s prophecy we learn that the redeemer is to come from the Semitic division of mankind. So there is a narrowing process that has begun. In the Abrahamic covenant we are told that the redeemer shall come from the Abrahamic peoples for the seed of Abraham is the Messiah to come. Then in chapter 49 in verse 10 in the Book of Genesis, we read that the Redeemer shall come from Judah’s tribe in Israel. In Isaiah chapter 7 or rather in 1 Chronicles chapter 17 inverse 11, we learn a further narrowing the Redeemer shall come from David’s family, 1 Chronicles chapter 17, verse 1. Matthew chapter 1, verse 1, of course, reiterates that fact.
Then we read that the redeemer is to be born of a virgin, Isaiah chapter 7 in verse 14. And, finally, the Redeemer is to be born in Bethlehem, Micah chapter 5, verse 2 and Matthew chapter 2 affirms that as well. So you can see the way in which the prophecies of the word of God have gone. First of all the broadest of the source mankind, the Semitic division, the Abrahamic peoples, tribe of Judah, David’s family, and then from a virgin born daughter of David, and, finally, the specific place in Bethlehem is given to us. And the readers of the Bible, of course, knew that and even the scribes in Israel knew that too. When they were asked about it they were told those that asked them were told the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem.
Now, there are other things we have in the Old Testament, I just selected these seven things, but Daniel tells us in chapter 9, the time when Our Lord will carry on his ministry in the great prophecy of verse 24 through verse 27 of that 9th chapter of Daniel.
Now the ministry of the Messiah is developed simply. Obviously, if we were going to deal with the ministry of the Messiah, we would begin with Genesis and expound the books of the Bible, the sixty-six books, but I don’t think you would stay with me. To sum it up and to touch the highlights, the ministry of the Messiah is developed in three unconditional covenants. Now, when we say unconditional covenants we mean unilateral covenants. That is, they are covenants in which God promises that he will do certain things, and the conditions are not are responsibility, ultimately. Now, of course, no one experiences the blessings of the Lord without faith, but faith is part of the divine promise. It is the gift of God.
These three unilateral covenants, promises, in fact, the covenant is called a promise in Galatians three in one of the passages we read. We read that particular passage in which Abrams covenant was called a promise. So it’s a promise that God has made and the three covenants are of course the Abrahamic covenant which has to do with the seed that is to come from Abraham’s line, and the land which is God’s gift to the seed and his peoples. The Davidic covenant is the second one of the unconditional covenants and in that covenant God promises that Israel shall have a king and a kingdom. Now, of course, that wouldn’t be sufficient to say king and kingdom, we have to remind you and we’ll read some of these in a moment, we have to remind you that those promises promised an eternal king and kingdom; so not just a king and a kingdom but an eternal king and an eternal kingdom. Now, the New Covenant is a covenant in which God lays the foundation of redemption in sovereign redemptive grace, his promise that he is going to forgive sins through Jesus Christ.
Now, it’s important, I think, to note those three covenants. In fact, I don’t think you could understand Christian theology very well if you do not understand that standing at the foundation of Christian theology are these three unconditional covenants. Sometimes Christians speak of the first coming of our Lord or the second coming often as being the keystone of the whole of the Christian theology. But underneath those appearances of our Lord are the three covenants. Those are the covenants that have the promises that have to do with the coming of our Lord. And so this is the keystone of our whole system of biblical teaching and particularly the teaching concerning eschatology.
Now, we want to trace the highlights of God’s purpose through the ages, and so we are going to be tracing these covenants. Now, what I’d like to do tonight primarily is to read the Bible with you, make some comments here and there, but I want you to read these passages with your own little two eyes.
The Amillennialists are those who believe that there is never going to be a kingdom of God upon the earth. Amillennialism means no millennial kingdom on the earth. Premillennialists believe that our Lord will come and establish a kingdom of God upon the earth for a period of time; almost all premillennialists believe the thousand years of Revelation chapter 20, let us know the time. Incidentally, Jewish people also believe that so we know that from some of the Jewish literature, not all, but some. Postmillennialists believe that by the preaching of the gospel, such as we do in Believers Chapel, we will so effectively touch the hearts of men that we will bring a kingdom of God to pass on the earth through the preaching of the gospel and having brought in the kingdom, the Lord will come after that kingdom, that’s why it’s post-millennium, after the millennium the Lord will come. The amillennial claim is that there are no national promises specifically for ethnic Israel. The term seed of Abraham for them has to do with the covenantal community apart from race. In other words, Jew and Gentile are the seed of Abraham and special promises for ethnic part of the human race, Israel, are not found. Pre-millennium’s claim that God gave promises to Abraham and his seed, his ethnic Jewish seed and his Gentile seed.
Now, I’m not going to try and deal with the details of that because we need a special course on that, but you will understand from what I say to you that I think the Bible very plainly teaches pre-millennialism. So we want to read the text of Scripture and if a person has doubts about that these are the texts of Scripture that should be read. So let’s read first the passage that has to do with the Abrahamic covenant, Genesis chapter 12, verse l through verse 3, a very familiar passage that all of us, at least I’m sure, if you’ve been in Believers Chapel a long time you’ve had it read to you many times or you’ve read it many times yourself.
Now, the Lord had said to Abram, “Get out of your country from your family and from your fathers house to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation.” Now, you can see the unconditional unilateral nature of the covenant right there. “I will make you a great nation, I will bless you, and make your name great and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those that bless you and I will curse him who curses you and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” You’ll notice the land, you will notice also the great nation and then you will notice all the families of the earth, a very broad covenant.
Turn to chapter 13, we read verse 14 through verse 17 because this is an expansion, “And the Lord said to Abram after Lot had separated from him, ‘Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are northward, southward, eastward and westward, from all the land which you see I give to you and your descendents forever, your seed. And I will make your seed as the dust of the earth, so that if a man could number the dust of the earth then your descendents also could be numbered. Arise walk in the land through its length and its width for I give it to you.’” So you can see Abram is given personal promises, he’s going to be great. He’s given national promises and ethnic believing seed, ethnic believing seed; they are going to be given the land and then also all the families of the earth shall be blessed in the seed. The seed, ultimately, of course, is Jesus Christ. And so not only will believing ethnic Israel will but Gentiles also will be blessed through them.
Now turn to 2 Samuel chapter 7, verse 12 through verse 17. This is a passage that I spent a good bit of time on when I was preaching on Sunday morning. And when we got the Davidic Covenant I spent five messages on the Davidic Covenant, but there may be someone here who doesn’t remember everything that I said, and so I will read the verses again, verse 12 of 2 Samuel 7.
“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.”
You’ll notice that our Lord as Messiah must come from David’s body. That’s why he’s called son of Abraham, son of David, as Matthew begins his genealogy.
“He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish a throne for his kingdom forever. I will be his father and he shall be my son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men, but my mercy shall not depart from him as I took it from Saul whom I removed from before you; and your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever according to all these words and according to all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.”
Now this is a most interesting prophecy and particularly a statement that David’s seed would have a kingdom, a house, and it would be an eternal kingdom and an eternal throne. In fact, three times that is stated in that particular prophesy an eternal realm in his seed. It’s obviously an expansion of the Abrahamic covenant giving us more details.
Now the striking thing about it, of course, is that, after he is given that promise right there, he immediately talks about some in the line who may sin. So we know that what we have is not a prophecy with reference to one man but with reference to a line, a posterity, that’s what seed means. Because we read in verse 14, “I will be his father he shall be my son if he commits iniquity,” that could not be a reference to our Lord. “I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men,” but now notice sin will not destroy the covenant. The covenant is an unconditional covenant. It must be fulfilled but, “My mercy shall not depart from him as I took it from Saul whom I removed from before you” when Saul said the kingdom was taken away from him and that was the end of it.
But what we are told here is that there is an unconditional covenant made with David and his seed. The first son, of course, was Solomon. He was the first candidate, so to speak, to be the seed, but you know what happened in Solomon’s realm. There was sin, David’s son must suffer as a result of it, and so began the long pattern of those who were descendents of David, sons of David, heirs to the throne, but who lost their right to the throne by virtue of the sin that they committed. So it was necessary for God to keep disciplining and disciplining and chastising until finally the seed, the Lord Jesus Christ, came.
Now, the striking thing about our Lord which we must remember is while Solomon is the first who is the candidate to be the seed of David, we learn of course Solomon turns out not to be the one, the substance of the promise is not fully exhausted in him; and if you’ll remember this that only one of David’s successors can sit on the throne at a time, you can see that this posterity that is promised, and they learned this as the years unfold that it’s a posterity it’s not just one the next person David’s first son or son that might qualify for the throne, they learned that there is a long line and they began to look for the one who ultimately will be the seed.
But characteristic of the seed and the fundamental fact about him is that the promise that God gave being an unconditional covenant must finally run out in an eternal person. If you are going to have an eternal throne, an eternal kingdom, you have to have an eternal person. And so in that prophecy, not all of the details are given immediately, in that prophecy, however, was contained the kernel that was fulfilled when the Lord Jesus Christ, the son of David came, the son of God the eternal son who will sit upon the eternal throne of David and rule in David’s eternal kingdom. There is no doubt about that taking place. It’s unconditionally promised by the Lord God. Down through the years those that failed in the line were disciplined. They suffered chastisement but the promise still holds. We’ll see that very closely. But I want to repeat, the posterity of David could only last forever by running out in a person who lives forever and of whose kingdom there is no end. And as we look at David’s posterity now so far as the ruling posterity is concerned it began with Solomon and it has come to an end with the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the son of David. He is the king. Now, of course, the time of his rule we learn from other things in the word of God.
Now lets turn and read, well we read the New Covenant, I’ll save a little time and not read that, but simply make the point that when Jeremiah was given this wonderful covenant, Judah was in the midnight hour of experiences politically and spiritually that meant that they needed a word of comfort from the Lord God, particularly the prophets who needed help. In fact, these chapters, chapter 30 through verse 34 are called in a number of the studies on the Book of Jeremiah by evangelical scholars the Book of Consolation. What it does is expand and reiterate the basic Abraham and Davidic Covenants adding one essential thing that the other have overlooked to this point.
You may have noted if you read the covenant that God gave to Abraham and then if you read the covenant the God gave to David, what is the thing that is missing? Well, the thing that is missing is the redemptive foundation for those blessings because unconditional promises cannot be given to sinners, unholy sinners, apart from provision for their sins. And so the New Covenant is the covenant that lays the foundation for the redemption and the possession of the covenants. There is one essential knowledge that it refers to; the knowledge of God. And one satisfying experience from him; that assurance that the law of God is in our minds and in our hearts, and that he is our God and we are his people, and that the knowledge of God is to be universal among Jews and Gentiles over the face of this earth. So this marvelous New Covenant is given again sovereignly by God.
Now I want you to notice the emphasis that the Lord places on the unilateral nature. Seven times he says “I will.” I’ll just read them for you. “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel with the house of Judah.” He mentions it’s not according to the Mosaic commandment. Verse 33, “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, said the Lord.” “I will put my law in their minds I will write it on their hearts, I will be their God they shall be my people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor and every man his brother, saying know the Lord for they all shall know me from the least of them to the greatest of them says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity and their sin I will remember no more.”
Now I think it would be nice for us to turn over to Matthew chapter 26, and read the ratification of the New Covenant in our Lord’s statement that he makes before his crucifixion. It is Matthew chapter 26 in verse 26 through 29, the Lord’s Supper is instituted in the upper room we read in verse 26.
“And as they were eating Jesus took bread blessed and broke it and give it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat this is my body.’ Then he took the cup and gave thanks and gave it to them saying, ‘Drink from it all of you; for this is my blood of the New Covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’”
In other words, this is the announcement by our Lord of the redemptive basis for the promises to Abraham, to David, and the promises of the forgiveness of sins in the New Covenant. This is my blood of the New Covenant.
Now, you’ll notice that he says it is shed for many. I don’t have time to discuss all the details to this. But I just merely want to say this; that when he says it is shed for many, and as we look at the other passages in which the same covenant is detailed, it becomes clear that that “for” in this case the Greek preposition peri, in other cases huper, it is a preposition of substitution. So what he is announcing is substitusionary atonement. Now, if you’ll think about it for a moment, if the atonement that our Lord has accomplished is a substitutionary atonement, then it is either universal or it is particular. And you know, of course, what I believe that it is and I’m not going to try and argue the point except to say it’s either, if it is a true substitution, it’s either universal or its definite or particular for the people of God. And we’ll leave it at that.
But one other point I want you to notice in the statement of verse 29, “But I say to you I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it here with you in my Father’s kingdom.” That supplies a very significant point. You may have missed it, I confess for a long time I missed it in connection with what we are talking about, because if the Lord Jesus is the seed, Abram’s seed, David’s seed, the one who makes the New Covenant in his death, why don’t we have an immediate kingdom? Why don’t we have an immediate kingdom? Well did you notice that statement, he lets us know? There is going to be an interval between the accomplishment of the covenant ratified in the blood of the cross and the completion of the program. Now if you read Matthew chapter 13, about those parables you would know that that’s been intimated before, the parable that had to do with the preaching of the word, the sowing of the seed. He talks there about sowing of seed, he talks about the end of the age and things like that so you would have an inkling but here he plainly says there is to be an interval before the fulfillment of the covenantal program.
Now, at this point to save time I think it would be nice if I were able to stop now for a maybe eight, ten, or two hundred weeks and talk about the passages of the Old Testament that would further expand, further add details on this God’s plan of the ages. We don’t have time to do that but I do want to take a short selective review of the glorious horizon that the Old Testament prophets suggest. Someone said a long time ago that “The prophets when they wrote dipped their pens in a rainbow.” And you certainly get that impression if you read what they say and ponder it. Those promises are glorious and magnificent which the prophets write about. We’ll select a few of them. Turn with me to Isaiah chapter 11, and we’ll look at Isaiah, chapter 11, verse 1 through verse 16. This is a very important chapter. As you know it looms large in the Book of Isaiah and has its significance for the New Testament as well. What it tells us that the king is coming, he’s going to have a specific anointing, he’s going to have a rule which is given to him and a realm and it will be a rule and a realm over the Gentiles and also the nation Israel. So we read, verse 1.
“There shall come forth a rod from the stem of Jesse,” Davidic descendent, “and a branch shall grow out of his roots, the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Sprit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. His delight is in the fear of the Lord and he shall not judge by the sight of his eyes or decide by the hearing of his ears, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor and decide with equity for the meek of the earth. He shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth.”
You know, of course, some of these statements are picked up by the New Testament authors and inserted into epistles as well as the Gospels of the New Testament showing that they understood these things to pertain to the future.
“With the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.”
Actually this is used with reference to the death of anti-Christ in the last days of this age.
“Righteousness shall be the belt of his loins and faithfulness the belt of his waist. The wolf shall also dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together and a little child shall lead them.”
That does not happen now unless there’s a lot of nervousness on the part of the lamb and the little goat.
“The cow and the bear shall graze their young shall lie down together and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole and the weaned child shall put his hand in the vipers den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
That reminds you of Jeremiah 31, doesn’t it?
“And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse who shall stand as a banner to the people for the Gentiles shall seek him and his resting place shall be glorious. It shall come to pass on that day, [Now he talks primarily about the nation here.] that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of is people who are left from Assyria and Egypt, from Pathros and Kush, from Elam and Shinar, from Amath and the island of the sea.”
It is very important to notice this one fact the second time, the first time is Exodus. Now one might say second time perhaps that’s the recovery from Babylon? No, not from Babylon, because the children of Israel were not in these places at that time. In other words, this is a return from nothing that up to this point the Old Testament has talked about. In other words, it’s a new second time Exodus for the children of Israel.
“He will set up a banner for the nations and will assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Also the envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off. Ephraim shall not envy Judah and Judah shall not harass Ephraim. And they shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines to the west together, they shall plunder the people of the east, they shall lay their hands on Edom and Moab, and the people of Amman shall obey them. The Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the sea of Egypt with his mighty wind he will shake his fist over the river and strike it in the seven streams and make men cross over dry shod. There will be a highway for the remnant of his people who will be left from Assyria as it was for Israel in the day he came up from the land of Egypt.”
A second Exodus lying in the distant future or, at least, from our standpoint, the distant future.
Turn on over a few pages to the Book of Micah. Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, that’s a little help to give you to find it. Some of you have difficulty remembering the order of the books. I’m glad you didn’t ask me about them beforehand. Micah, chapter 7, verse 14 through verse 18, Micah writes.
“Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your heritage who dwells solitary in a woodland in the midst of Carmel, let them feed in Bashan and Gilead and as in the days of old. As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt, I will show them wonders. The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might, they shall put their hand over the mouth, their ears shall be deaf, they shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall crawl from their holes like snakes of the earth, they shall be afraid of the Lord our God and shall fear because of you who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity, passing over the transgressions of the remnant of his heritage. He does not retain his anger forever because he delights in mercy. [You can almost see now the people responding to this.] He will again have compassion on us, will subdue our iniquities, you will cast all [Now the text at this point probably should be rendered their sins, that is, the people’s sins. My text has our sins but the meaning is the same.] You will cast out our sins, you cast all of our sins into the depth of the sea, you will give truth to Jacob and mercy to Abraham which you have sworn to our fathers from days of old.”
In other words, a request for a repeat performance again of the mighty redemptive deliverance from the land of Egypt. Incidentally, in the Yom Kippur service these verses are read. That statement down here, “You will cast all our sins into the bottom of the sea” is very striking because in the sum of the services of the Orthodox that is particularly noticed. On the first day of Rosh Hashanah or on the second day if the first day falls on the Sabbath, it’s customary for Orthodox Jews after reciting the afternoon service to visit a river or seashore, some other place where water is found, to recite verses from Scripture concerning repentance and the forgiveness of sins. These verses include “He will again have compassion upon us,” verse 19, “he will again have compassion upon us, he will subdue our iniquities.”
Isn’t that a marvelous statement of efficacious grace? “He will fight and fight and finally win the battle subduing our iniquities.” Magnificent to realize that when God puts his word to saving his saints, who are sinners; he will do it and he will overcome the natural animosity, resistance, rebellion that characterizes the heart of every one of you sinners in this audience. That’s what he’s done, of course, for those who are saved, he has subdued our iniquities till this point.
This custom originated in the late middle ages possibly on the basis of the non-Jewish custom of superstition, but it symbolizes the casting of sins into the sea. And some Jews even when the come to a body of water put their hands in the pockets pull out their pockets and let the crumbs or whatever they may have in the pocket, I’m sure not their money, but throw the crumbs out and let them fall into the water. What’s striking is later Rabbinic authorities interpreted the shalach, that’s the Hebrew “cast,” the Hebrew form, shalach means “he will cast” is said to be done on the basis of a reminder to God of the merits of Abraham and Isaac. Isn’t that interesting, because we read right here, “You will give truth to Jacob and mercy to Abraham.” Amazing how you can turn around the word of God and make something that you obtain by virtue of your merit when scripture itself says “You will give truth to Jacob and mercy to Abraham which you have sworn to our fathers.”
Now one final passage, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Amos, chapter 9, verse 11 through verse 15 of Amos. This is the passage that is so important that at the council of Jerusalem this is the passage that was cited by James. You’ll remember, when he stood up to comfort that crowd who had been fighting over the question of whether Gentiles needed to be circumcised in order to be saved. And after they had a brief respite, James in order to encourage the Jewish Christians there who may have felt a little bad about the fact that Peter and the others had said circumcision is not necessary for justification, James reminds them the time coming when Israel, ethnic Israel, is going to enter into its blessings. So we read in verse 11 of Amos 9.
“On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David which has fallen down.”
In other words we have an indication here that the Davidic throne will suffer and suffer ruin in the future, but the time is coming when it will be raised up by God and repair its damages.
“I will raise its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old that they may possess the remnant of Edom” Edom was the term for the Gentile world, “and all the Gentiles who are called by my name say the Lord who does this thing. Behold the days are coming says the Lord when the plowman shall overtake the reaper and the treader who greets him who sow seed, the mountain shall drip with sweet wine and all the hills shall flow with it. I will bring back the captives of my people Israel.” Notice again, “I will bring back the captives of my people Israel, they shall build away cities and inhabit them, they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them, they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them, I will plant them in their land and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them says the Lord your God.”
So do we have a hope that Israel will possess the land? Of course we do. God’s word has proclaimed that. They will have their land.
You know Amos is a prophet who asks the question, “What does God think about pretense?” All through this prophecy he has told us what God thinks about it. In fact, he think so little of pretense that he says, in effect, when you carry on your religious services it upsets me. I don’t even want to be here.
It reminds me of some of our services today in the Christian family, professing Christian family. Some of them are not Christian at all. And I can imagine the same attitude expressed by Amos is still from the heart of God when we turn aside from the things he has given us with which are to worship him and serve him, the word of God, the Holy Spirit, and the call to be his disciple in our day.
They do not trust in a date because he tells them, I love this statement, because you’d think Israel would think we were the people of the Exodus, weren’t we? Notice the 7th verse, “Are you not like the people of Ethiopia to me, O children of Israel, says the Lord. Did thy not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt?” Oh yes, they would say, but I also brought up the Philistines from the Caphtor and I brought up the Syrians from Kir and he says. “Behold the eyes of the Lord God are on the sinful kingdom and I will destroy it from the face of the earth.” And I think wait, what about the unconditional covenant, “Yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob.” So what we read here is the dynasty restored, Israel re-gathered, the Messiah, the second Adam, and the second David reigning in a restored Eden their land with the curse gone the golden age has come.
Now, we have eleven minutes, and I want to turn to a few passages in the New Testament to show you that this is not simply an Old Testament story. The partial, literal fulfillment of the coming of the seed, Our Lord Jesus Christ, should convince us that all of the promises associated with the blessings the seed is to bring will be fulfilled too. He has come and so all the blessings that he is to bring shall come too.
Let’s turn to Luke chapter 1, and I will read a few verses beginning at verse 46, Mary’s Magnificat. One of the nice things you learn Mary, the virgin mother of our Lord, is the fact the she was the student of the Bible. We know that because if you study these, this Magnificat, you will see that she has derived this language from the Old Testament. It’s as if she has, by the Holy Spirit, been caught up and the word of God pours out of her mouth. Mary said.
“My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, He has regarded the lowly estate of His maid servant and behold, henceforth, all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name and His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, He has put down the mighty from their thrones, exalted the lowly, filled the hungry with good things, the rich He has sent away empty, He has helped his servant Israel in remembrance of His mercy, in remembrance of His mercy as he spoke to our fathers Abraham and to His seed forever.”
What joy the virgin mother of our Lord had in the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promises. Not yet complete, but the seed has come God is working.
Now, let’s also read Luke chapter 1, verse 67 through verse 75. Aren’t you enjoying reading the Bible? It’s so amazing the things that are found in the Bible.
“Now, his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied saying, ‘Bless is the Lord God of Israel for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up the horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as he spoke on the mount of his Holy Prophets who have been since the world began that we should be saved from our enemies and the hand of all who hate us to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant the oath which he swore to our father Abraham to grant us that we being delivered from the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our lives, and you child will be called the Prophet of Highest; for you go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways to give knowledge and salvation to His people by the remission of their sins through the tender mercy of our God with which the day spring from on high has visited us to give life to those who sin in darkness and in the shadow of death.”
Turn to Acts chapter 3, verse 21, and I want to read verse, well let’s see, to save a little time we will read, verse 19 through verse 26. Peter is preaching, this is his second sermon, he calls upon Israel verse 19 of Acts 3.
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. And that he may send Jesus Christ, who has preached to you before: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. [The restoration of the prophetic messages of the Old Testament.] Moses truly said unto the fathers, the Lord your God will raise up for your prophet, like me from you brethren; him you shall hear in all things whatsoever. He says to you. And it shall be that every soul, who will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Yes, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have also foretold of these days. You are the sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. To you first Israel, to you first, God having raised up his servant, Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning every one of you away from his iniquities.”
The apostles ask our Lord a question, you’ll remember, in the first chapter of the Book of Acts, “Therefore when they came together after the resurrection they asked him saying, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom of Israel?” It is often said he said, “There is not going to be any kingdom of Israel.” But that isn’t what he said at all. He said, “It’s not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in his own authority.” The question is, “Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” Well it just so happens that the answer to the question is found right here in Acts chapter 3, notice verse 21, “Whom heaven must receive until the times of the restoration of all things.” And that word “restore” in one case a verb, the other case a noun, same root in Greek indicates this is the answer to the question. “Will he at that time restore the kingdom of Israel?” No, it will be restored at the Second Advent that’s when it will be restored. But it’s sure to be restored.
Now I want you to turn to Romans, chapter 9, this is our last passage we are drawing near the end, Romans 9. Romans 9, lets us know that Israel has been cast away, yet, Israel is the heir to the promise so the apostle makes plain, “They are to be restored to their former exalted place for after all the Olive tree, the representation of the Divine Program is their tree.” You notice this is long after our Lord has suffered, then resurrected is at the right hand of the Father, the Olive tree that which pictures the divine redemptive program is Israel’s. Notice, verse 23, verse 24, we don’t have time to read the whole thing. Did I say Romans 9, I’m sorry it should be Romans 11. Romans 11, I’m sorry that I have to say that I would think that everyone in this auditorium he’s talking about Romans 11 but, nevertheless, please turn and read verse 23 and verse 24. In the midst of this marvelous discourse the apostle says, “For is you were cut out of the Olive tree which is wild by nature and grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated Olive tree” in other words you Gentiles he’s talking to, you’ve been cut out of the wild Olive, grafted into Israel, adopted into the family of God, how much will these who are the natural branches, that is Israel be grafted into their own Olive tree. It’s their tree, the blessings are theirs to whom where the covenants given? They were given to Abraham, David, to Israel, to Judah. They have the covenants. Chapter 9, Paul says, “They have the covenants. We don’t have the covenants except in the covenants there is room for the adoption of Gentiles in thee shall all the families of the earth Abraham be blessed.” There is a place for Gentiles. What a magnificent program.
Now I don’t have time to show this but, you know, that last statement in verse 27, “For this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” With verse 26 preceding contains bits and pieces from the three unconditional covenants, the Davidic covenant, the Abrahamic covenant, and the New covenant all are there. It is as if he says all the covenants find their consummation in the salvation of Israel when the deliverer comes out of Zion.
Now I know there are two questions that deserve an answer but I don’t have time to answer but one of them. Frequently, my Christian friends, who don’t understand the prophetic word as I think I do, they will say to me what about the land promises in the New Testament? I have to say, “Well land promises are not emphasized in the New Testament.” And so triumphantly they say to me, “Ah then we don’t have any land promises anymore.” Nothing could be further from the truth; nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I think that if we had asked Paul, if we met him, and a New Testament was in his hands and ours and we said to him, “Paul what about the land promises?” He would have regarded that as singularly strange, if not perverse, that we would ask that question. You know why. Because when the apostles wrote, what was the Bible? What were the Scriptures? The Old Testament Scriptures? When the apostles went over the world preaching the word of God in the Book of Acts what did they have? They had what they knew of the Old Testament Scriptures. They are filled with promises of the word of God.
As a matter of fact, in case you have any problem with that since I’m reasoning logically based on history I’ll read you one passage 2 Peter chapter 3, verse 1, where Peter says, “Beloved I know write to you the 2 Epistle in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets and the commandments of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior.” Now the words Peter tells us that we are to pay attention to the Old Testament and to the things that the apostles have written.
You know, there is a false principle, unfortunately, it’s been allowed to spread. And the false principle is this; that nothing is really valid for us unless it’s repeated, that is from the Old Testament, unless it is repeated in the New Testament. In other words, it has to be repeated in the New Testament to be valid for us. Whereas, the true principle is something a good bit different from that. Let me try to put it simply like this that the Old Testament is totally valid for us except when the New Testament tells us that certain things do not pertain for us like the law of Moses, that is ceremonial law, I think we talked about in our last time. So the principle then is not that something must be repeated over and over again in the New Testament, I was trying to find the place here where I had it stated even better, but at least the point is clear, we don’t have to have things repeated over and over in the New Testament. The principle is we accept the things that are written in the Old Testament unless the New Testament tells us they have been done away with. Do we get the point? Do we get the point? It should be obvious to you. Those books that the apostles in our Lord’s day from which they had studied and from which they wrote and preached were the Old Testament scriptures.
So I wish I had time to ask a third question which should be asked but we don’t have time to do that maybe next time we will finish. But our time is up and we have to stop. In fact, I’ve gone three minutes over time, I apologize to you.
Let’s close with a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Father, we are grateful to Thee for Thy word, and we are thankful for the Scriptures that are given to us. And we pray that as we consider the divine purpose of the ages that our thoughts may be clarified and that we may be better equipped to truly worship Thee intelligently.
For Jesus’ sake. Amen.