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The Ultimate Hope:
The Kingdom to Come
Does the Bible teach that the ultimate hope of believers is everlasting life in Heaven where the throne of the Creator presently exists? If so, then we must be able to identify such a claim in the covenant Yahweh made with Abraham. Shocking to most, the covenant Father Yahweh made with the great patriarch Abraham did not include a claim to eternal life in Heaven for the “Household of the Faithful,” deemed to be spiritual descendants of Abraham. So, what are these claims and are they clearly set forth in Scripture? Let’s examine the terms of this Covenant found in several passages of the Book of Genesis as each passage builds on the previous one. You should learn that Father Yahweh has never been the source of this confusion of mankind regarding the ultimate hope of His people. It’s just up to each of us to decide who we will believe: The Word of Yahweh or “Replacement Theology.” (The idea that Father Yahweh has divorced Israel and married the Assembly has lead to the acceptance of a host of unbiblical doctrines of men. [Compare with Mark 7:6-13].) For, just as the great Prince and Author of our Salvation often said, “[I]t is written..,” Matthew 4:4; 7:10.
The first such passage of many that establishes what is known today as the Abrahamic Covenant, in the case of the children of Israel, the Covenant relationship was a Unilateral Covenant which Yahweh established by His own Word and which He therefore is allowed to change or to be modified according to His will. The only terms and conditions which the Almighty transformed or changed was that of the Priesthood. All other Torah terms and conditions remain intact. However, a fulfillment of one prophetic promise to be established under the New Covenant Relationship is to write His Torah on their hearts:
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith Yahweh; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them their Elohim, and they shall be to me a people, Heb 8:10.
Promised to Abraham
Now Yahweh had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. 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 who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed,” Genesis 12:1-3.
What is most relevant in this passage is the promise that Abraham would be shown a land. Nothing more than that is promised. Having arrived in the land that he was shown, Abraham learns that Yahweh discloses more.
Then Yahweh appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to Yahweh, who had appeared to him, Genesis 12:7.
The promise here is that the descendants of Abraham will eventually possess the land that he was shown. The fact that Abraham’s descendants will possess this land is reaffirmed in Genesis 13:14- 17; but then, in addition, there is a further promise made that Abraham himself will also possess this land.
And Yahweh 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; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; as that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you, Genesis 13:14-17.
So Abraham is now commanded to make what amounts to the first Holy Land tour of Israel, for all the land that he sees in its length and breadth will be his.
The exact boundaries, however, are not given until we come to Genesis 15:12-18:
Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. Then He [Yahweh] said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day Yahweh made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, form the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates.”
At the time of the sealing of the Abrahamic Covenant, Father Yahweh spelled out the future history of Abraham’s descendants prior to their initial entry into the land. Then Yahweh states what will be the northern and southern boundaries: from the Euphrates in the north to the river of Egypt in the south. The latter border refers to the most eastern branch of the Nile Delta, which now goes along the line of the modern day Suez Canal.
This covenant is later reconfirmed to Isaac in Genesis 26:2- 5, and then to Jacob in Genesis 28:13-15. In these passages, both Isaac and Jacob are promised that they themselves will possess the land—as will their descendants.
What is promised by Father Yahweh in the Abrahamic Covenant is expanded and expounded upon by Moses and the Prophets. In Leviticus 26:40-45, Moses points out that after a worldwide dispersion of disobedient Israel, they will eventually be re-gathered into the land after they pay for their sins. The basis of this reclamation of the land is the Abrahamic Covenant. Verse 42 says:
I will remember My covenant with Jacob and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.
Promise Still Valid
In the Prophets, the common element that is repeated over and over again is that the worldwide re gathering and possession of the land is based upon Yahweh’s promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Especially revealing is the statement found in Isaiah 27:12:
And it shall come to pass in that day that Yahweh will thresh, from the channel of the river to the brook of Egypt; and you will be gathered one by one, O you children of Israel.
Isaiah reaffirms not only a regathering and possession of the land, but he further affirms the very boundaries of the land that were promised to Abraham, its northern and southern boundaries.
So, then, according to the Scriptures, three promises are made with regard to the land: First, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were all promised the possession of the land; Second, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were promised the possession of the land; and Third, the boundaries of the Promised Land extended from the Euphrates River in the north to the river of Egypt in the south.
In light of the above passages and promises by Yahweh, Who cannot lie, two other things should be noted: First, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ALL DIED, and the most they ever possessed of the Promised Land was one burial cave and several wells; and, second, the descendants of these Patriarchs, although they had possessed portions of the Promised Land, have never possessed ALL the land in keeping with the boundaries given in the Scriptures. At no period in Israel’s history have they ever possessed all of the land from the Euphrates in the north to the river of Egypt in the south. Since Yahweh cannot lie, these things must yet come to pass. Somehow, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob must possess all the land; and second, the descendants of Abraham must settle in all of the Promised Land.
So, how will Yahweh’s promises be fulfilled? During the period of the Second Temple, Judaism was divided into several segments, but the two primary ones were the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The two groups differed on several points of theology, one of which was the belief in a physical resurrection from the dead. The Pharisees affirmed it, while the Sadducees denied it. The Sadducees enjoyed asking tricky questions of the Pharisees in light of their belief in a resurrection to make the Pharisees look foolish. One such question had to do with the point of the Mosaic Law and how it could be placed in conformity with the concept of a physical resurrection from the dead. According to the Mosaic Law, if a man dies leaving a wife but no children, the brother of the deceased has the responsibility of marrying the widow and producing a male seed in the name of the deceased (Deuteronomy 25:5-6). The tricky question went something like this:
There were seven brothers, one of whom married a certain woman and then died, leaving no children. In accordance with the Mosaic Law, his brother then married the widow, but he, too, died childless. He was followed by a third brother and the same thing happened until all seven brothers were married to the one woman, all of them leaving the woman childless. Finally, she also died. So if there is a physical resurrection from the dead, whose wife would she be, since all had been married to her?
You should be able to see how the Sadducees enjoyed asking this question since the Pharisees were unable to explain how this particular Law would be put into effect in the world to come. But one day the Sadducees tried this question with Yahshua and got an answer they did not expect. It is recorded in Luke 20:34-40 (NIV):
Yahshua answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of Elohim, being sons of the resurrection. But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when He called Yahweh the [Elohim] of Abraham, the [Elohim] of Isaac, and the [Elohim] of Jacob. For He is not the Elohim of the dead but of the living, for all live to him.” Then some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” But after that they dared not question Him anymore.
Yahshua’s answer revealed that the Sadducees were guilty of lacking knowledge of the Scriptures and not understanding the power of Elohim or the nature of the resurrection body (as so many lack today). The Matthew 22:29- 30 parallel account expressly reveals this point. One purpose of the institution of marriage on earth is to sustain the human race, since humanity sustains itself by natural generation. But those who attain the first resurrection do not reproduce, so there is no need for marriage. The resurrected body is not merely a restoration of natural life—it is a transformation of the body itself, I Cor, 15:50-54. This transformed body cannot be reproduced sexually or otherwise. However, the likeness thereof will be “like Him [Yahshua], for we shall see Him as He is.” (I John 3:2 NIV)
But then Yahshua turned to the Scriptures for evidence of the resurrection by quoting Exodus 3:6, where Elohim said to Moses: “…I am the Elohim of your fathers—the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob…” That particular expression in the Old Testament Scriptures became a formula for the Abrahamic Covenant. That covenant as has been shown earlier, stated that the land (NOT HEAVEN) was not only to be possessed by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but also by their descendants.
The resurrection and enjoyment of the land in the Messianic Kingdom will not be automatic to every descendant of Abraham because he was born Abraham’s natural offspring. Father Yahweh forewarned His people through Moses and the Prophets:
• “Circumcise your hearts therefore, and do not be stiffnecked any longer.” (Deut. 10:16 NIV)
• “For the days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh—Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the desert in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart,” (Jeremiah 9:25-26 NIV)
• “Circumcise yourselves to Yahweh, circumcise your hearts you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done—burn with no one to quench it.” (Jeremiah 4:4 NIV)
The Apostle Shaul (Paul) expounded on this shadowy meaning of true circumcision. He said,
A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from Elohim. (Romans 2:28-29 NIV)
In Him you were also circumcised In the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Messiah, having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of Elohim, who raised Him from the dead, Colossians 2:11-12.
In Romans 4:16-24, the Apostle Paul cleverly draws from the very terms of the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 17:5 and 15:5 to establish the right of the “Faithful” to share in Israel’s inheritance as “Abraham’s offspring” or descendants.
Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of Elohim, in whom he believed—the Elohim who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of Elohim, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to Elohim, being fully persuaded that Elohim had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom Elohim will credit righteousness—for us who believe Him who raised Yahshua our Master from the dead, Romans 4:16-24 NIV. (Emphasis supplied)
So here we stand, engrafted branches into the Abrahamic Covenant through the “Seed” of Abraham—Yahshua.
The promises were spoken to Abraham and his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Messiah, Galatians 3:16 NIV.
Therefore, holding on to this hope, many have gone before us,
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. Elohim had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect, Hebrews 11:39-40 NIV.
Even so, “Elohim as granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life,” Acts 11:18. Consequently, “there is neither Jew nor Greek…you are all one in Messiah Yahshua…Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise,” Galatians 3:28-29.
“But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13 NIV), where a Kingdom of Priests will serve Yahweh and “reign on earth”. (Rev. 5:10, 22:3- 5 NIV).
In all of this, the element of faith is necessary as Messiah Yahshua said in John 6:38-40 (NIV):
For I have come down from heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me. And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day. For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
When all these things are fulfilled, we find in Scripture that Father Yahweh makes good on His promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their faithful natural and spiritual offspring. Abraham becomes a blessing to all people and A FATHER TO MANY NATIONS; Israel occupies the Promised Land in its entirety and eventually in a new heaven and new earth (Isaiah 65:17-25); and the Holy City, New Jerusalem, will come down out of heaven from Elohim as the dwelling of Yahweh will be with men, and He will live with them. All the “Faithful” will be His people and Yahweh Himself will be with them and be their Mighty One.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things [will have] passed away, Revelation 21:1-4 NIV.
Through all of these things, Yahweh will surely make Abraham’s “name great” (Genesis 12:26b).
He who overcomes will inherit all of this, and I [Yahweh] will be his Elohim and he will be my son, Revelation 21:7 NIV.
Therefore, the Scriptures (rightly divided) are clear regarding the ultimate hope of those who believe and share the faith of Abraham. The Abrahamic Covenant conveys no such claim that Believers will ever live eternally in heaven as falsely taught today in Churchianity. For Yahshua taught His disciples to pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” (Matthew 6:10 KJV)
In ultimate hope the writer of Hebrews wrote, “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14 NIV), and “the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever (Psalms 37:29 NIV)."
Lastly, Yahshua announced in Revelation 22:12 (NIV): “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me…”
-David Jones, Jr,
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