Our Covenant Keeping God (Part 2)
December 10th, 1961 @ 10:50 AM
OUR COVENANT-KEEPING GOD (PART 2)
Dr. W. A. Criswell
12-10-61 10:50 a.m.
On the radio you are sharing with us the services of the First Baptist Church in Dallas. This is the pastor bringing the eleven o’clock morning message entitled, Our Covenant-Keeping God. In preaching through the Bible, we have come, after many years, to the last book of the sixty and six. And in preaching through that book, the Book of the Revelation, we have come to chapter 4.
The Revelation is divided into three great sections according to the outline of God in chapter 1 and verse 19 [Revelation 1:19]. First, is the vision of the thing that John saw [Revelation 1:19], and he wrote that down [Revelation 1:10-18]. Second, a prophecy, an outline of the development of the Christian story through the churches of Christ in the earth—the things which are [Revelation 1:19]—and John wrote them down [Revelation 2:1-3:22]. Then came the third great section of the book in which John was told to write down the things which he should see [Revelation 1:19]; things that should come to pass after the churches are taken away from the earth. Then John wrote that down [Revelation 4:1-22:21]. Beginning at chapter 4 to the end of the book is the description of the great climatic consummation and end time of the age.
Now, in the fourth chapter as it begins, there is a door opened in heaven, and a great voice invites John to come up hither [Revelation 4:1]. And when John goes into heaven, the first thing that he sees is a throne set, and on the throne the Lord God Almighty [Revelation 4:2-4], which of course means that at the center of this universe is the sovereignty, and the fiat, and the government of Almighty God. As John looks, there proceeds out of the throne of God thunderings and voices and lightnings [Revelation 4:5]. That will be a phrase that you will find again and again from then on in the Revelation: thunderings and voices and lightnings. That refers to the judgments of the wrath of Almighty God. But in that verse, as John sees the throne out of which comes the thunderings and the lightnings and the voices, as he looks at that throne, first he sees an iris, a rainbow around it [Revelation 4:3].
A rainbow is a sign of the covenant of God. That’s why the Lord set His prismatic bow of beauty and majesty in the sky. It is a sign of the covenant—the promise of God. Before a single judgment falls, before God’s hand is lifted against a creature in the earth, first, there is the sign and the symbol of the rainbow of God. The Lord will remember His promises. God will deal with His creation in mercy, in forgiveness—the rainbow of our covenant-keeping Lord [Genesis 9:13-16]. Then that gave the pastor opportunity to present these sermons that he is preparing and preaching in preparation for that great, vast end time that is described beginning at the fourth chapter of the Apocalypse [Revelation 4:1-22:21]. Our covenant-keeping God—the rainbow round about the throne [Revelation 4:3]—before the day of judgment comes, God will remember His promises, will faithfully keep His covenant.
Now, the great covenant of God, as it is unfolded and developed in the Bible is the Abrahamic covenant [Genesis 12:1-3, 7, 15:1-21, 17:1-14, 22:15-18], and the sermon last Sunday morning was a presentation of that covenant. Then the pastor said that the remainder of the Bible was nothing more than the outworking and the outreach of that great promise that God made to Abraham. From then on, all that you read in the Bible will be an unfolding of that faithful promise-keeping God as He carried through the word that He said to Abraham.
Now, we are going this morning rapidly through this book, just as rapidly as I can. And by experience of the early service, I cannot read all of these passages; I am going to have to just point them out. And some of them I shall be able to read. Now, you cannot go through the Bible as rapidly as I will turn these pages because I have my Bible marked. Nor do you need to write them down unless you want to. All of these sermons that are delivered on the Revelation are copied down, they are taken down stenographically, and you can get them in the church library. They are very valuable to me. I pour my soul out preparing these messages, and all you have to do is go there and pay for the ink and the paper on which they are stenographically reported, and you can have them forever.
Now just a moment to refresh our minds on the Abrahamic covenant: in Genesis 12, verses 2 and 3: “And the Lord said unto Abram…I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee…and thou shalt be a blessing…and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” [Genesis 12:2-3]. Then Genesis 12:7: “And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land.” Now, that promise is reiterated again and again, and I am going to read twice its reiteration. In Genesis 17:7-8: “I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession.” Once again in Genesis 22:15-18: “And the Angel of the Lord called unto Abraham…and said, By Myself have I sworn, saith the Lord…That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore…and in thy Seed…—Galatians 3:16: as of one—and in thy Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” God refers to that as the covenant that He has made, everlastingly between Him, God Almighty, and Abraham, and the seed of Abraham.
There are three meanings to the word “seed.” First, there is the Seed as of one which Paul discusses in Romans [Romans 4:13, 9:7], and in Galatians [Galatians 3:16, 19]. There is the Seed as of one [Galatians 3:16], which refers to the great coming King—and that shall be my sermon next Sunday morning—the Seed as of one, that refers to the Messiah, the Christ, in whom all of the families of the earth will be blessed [Genesis 22:18; 2 Corinthians 5:19]. That is the Seed of the woman which shall crush the serpent’s head [Genesis 3:15]. That is the first meaning of the seed. The second meaning of the seed refers to Abraham’s descendants: “In blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand of the seashore” [Genesis 22:17]. So the second meaning of the seed refers to Israel, the descendants of Abraham. Now the third meaning of the seed refers to the children by faith of Abraham, which you will find much elongated and discussed in the epistles of Paul. We are the children of Abraham by faith [Romans 4:13-16; Galatians 3:29]. All who have ever believed in God, all who are ever saved are the spiritual seeds of Abraham [Galatians 3:7].
Now this morning, we are going to take this part of the Abrahamic Covenant. We are going to follow through the faithfulness of God concerning the land, that the land belongs to Israel. Then second, we are going to take the faithfulness of God through the seed of the descendants of Abraham, that they are a nation before God forever. And then third, we are going to discuss the ultimate conversion of the seed of Abraham, of Israel, to the Lord God. Now that shall be the sermon this morning whether we finish it or not. Next Sunday morning, we are going to start on the Seed in which all of the families of the earth will be blessed. Now just as rapidly as the pastor can, we are going to follow through this idea, this assertion, this avowal that the preacher made last Sunday that the rest of the Bible is nothing other than the unfolding and the outworking of that great promise that God made to Abraham, our covenant-keeping God.
First: the land. God said to Abraham that “this land belongs to thee and to thy seed forever” [Genesis 17:8]. “I give it to you as an everlasting possession” [Genesis 17:8]. Now, through all of the remainder of the Bible, that is faithfully fulfilled. It is heavenly affirmed, and it is earthly presented. Genesis closes in the last verse with the word of Joseph with his brethren in Egypt: “I die: but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land into the land that He sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob [Genesis 50:24]. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying: God will surely visit you. He does not forget us. And ye shall carry up my bones from hence” [Genesis 50:50]. And back in the land of Israel shall you bury the dust of my bones. Back in the land that God sware unto Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And in the thirty-first chapter of the Book of Deuteronomy, verses 7 and 8 [Deuteronomy 31:7-8], and in the thirty-fourth chapter of the Book of Deuteronomy, verse 4: “And the Lord said unto Moses, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed” [Deuteronomy 34:4] Now in the remainder of the Bible, that great covenant promise is ever before the mind and the heart of God.
In Isaiah 14:1: “For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their land.” God doesn’t have anything to say about the Mississippi Valley. And God doesn’t have anything to say about the Ganges Valley, or the Amazon Valley, or the Nile. But God does have something to say about that rock pile over there that we call Palestine. It figures forever in the elective purpose of Almighty God. Jeremiah 16:14-15:
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
But, the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all of the lands whither He had driven them: and I will bring them again into the land that I gave to their fathers.
Ezekiel 11, verse 13:
…Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt Thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?
And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
Son of man, thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all of the house of Israel, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get ye far from the Lord; unto us is this land given in possession.
“We own it.”
That’s what the Amorites said. That’s what the Hivites said; the Gergashites said it; the Hittites said it. That’s what the Arab says today: “Get you hence. Unto us is this land given in possession. We’ve got it!”
Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; Although I have cast off My people among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them in every land a little sanctuary,
and…thus saith the Lord God; I will gather you from the people, and assemble you from where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.
And it never varies. Ezekiel , verses 25, 26:
Thus saith the Lord God; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the nations, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to My servant Jacob.
And they shall dwell safely therein . . . build houses, plant vineyards, . . . dwell in confidence.”
In the ninth chapter of the Book of Amos, Amos closes his prophecy with these words:
I will bring again the captivity of My people Israel, they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall make gardens, and eat the fruit thereof.
And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord God.
“I have given it to them,” He said to Abraham, “forever” [Genesis 17:8], and throughout all of the rest of the Bible, that is fulfilled and reiterated, that promise. “And some day, I will place them there, when I have gathered them finally together. They shall no more be pulled up out of that land which I have given them” [Amos 9:15].
In the twenty-first chapter of the Book of Luke, our Lord said, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” [Luke 21:24]. It is for now; it is for now that it is in Gentile possession. But someday when the elective purpose of God is fulfilled among the Gentiles, then God shall give Israel back their home and their land. In the eleventh chapter of the Book of the Revelation, right in the middle of it, there is described a city, in Revelation 11:8, and that city is spiritually called Sodom and Gomorrah. But it is a place where our Lord was crucified. He calls it spiritually Sodom and Gomorrah. He calls it spiritually Egypt and Sodom. But he identifies it as Jerusalem, the city where our Lord was crucified [John 19:17]. So clear to the end time you are talking about that little country; and you are talking about that land; and you are talking about that promise; and you are talking about that covenant; and the Lord will faithfully keep the word that He says. Someday that land and that country will be given to a re-gathered, reassembled Israel, the covenant people of God.
All right, now the second. The second thing that we are to discuss this morning is this: that Israel will be a nation before God forever. I don’t know anything about the future of Great Britain; God doesn’t say anything about it. I don’t know anything about the future of America, the United States; God doesn’t say anything about it. I don’t know anything about the future of China; God doesn’t say anything about it. He has a purpose for all of us. But I do know this, that there is one nation that God has elected in whom to glorify His name, and that nation is the little people and kingdom of Israel. I want to show you how even in our ordinary everyday thinking we don’t look upon Israel as other nations and other people. They are separate and distinct and apart just like God says in His Book.
Last Sunday morning at this hour, if you were here, our gifted and illustrious and increasingly effective and beloved song leader Mr. Lee Roy Till started the service with a solo. I am glad they dedicated the flowers to him. I am willing to dedicate anything he wants to him. He sang a beautiful solo. Do you remember it? If you were here, you could not help but have been moved by the rendition of that song. All right, listen to it. It is entitled, “Fear Not Ye, O Israel.” You have heard the song many, many times. I asked him for the lyrics of it. It is taken from the Bible [Jeremiah 31:6-16].
Behold, there shall be a day,
when the watchmen upon the mountain top shall cry aloud:
Arise ye, arise ye,
Get ye up into Mount Zion,
Unto the Lord your God,
For thus saith the Lord,
Fear not, O Israel, Neither be thou still dismayed.
Refrain thy voice from weeping
And thine eyes from tears,
For I the Lord am with thee. I will save thee.
I have loved thee with an everlasting love
And have redeemed thee.
Why criest thou in thine affliction?
Why mournest thou in nightly watches?
I have redeemed thee,
Therefore, thus saith the Lord, Sing ye out with gladness.
Thy morning has turned to joy. I have redeemed thee.
Be glad, be glad and rejoice. Thy sorrows are ended.
Fear not ye, O Israel. Neither be thou still dismayed,
For I have redeemed thee.
[“Fear Not Ye, O Israel,” Dudley Buck]
And when he sang that song, everybody out there said, “Amen.” That’s God. Amen. That’s the Lord. You put America in there, and everybody would have laughed out there. Why, that is the most ridiculous inanity I ever heard in my life. Or you put China in there or you put Great Britain in there, the British Empire, you put anything in there, but when you put Israel in there, all of you sit out there and say, “Marvelous!” That reflects the Spirit of God, and that reflects the inspiration of the Holy Book. Why? Because God hath set His affection upon Israel. They are a distinct and a separate and a different nation. And when you stand up here and sing like that, immediately the hearts of all of God’s children know that we are singing about the great covenant-keeping God.
All right, now let’s go through the Bible just as rapidly as we can, and you are going to find here that in the remainder of the Scriptures there is nothing other than the outworking of these great promises of the Lord.
Now, the prophecy of it: in the Book of Leviticus, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years before there was such a thing as a captivity, after He describes the scattering of the people abroad, now Leviticus 26:42-46:
Then will I remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
The land shall be left . . . shall enjoy her sabbaths, lying desolate . . . Israel shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because they despised My judgments…
And yet, and yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break My covenant with them: I am the Lord God!
A man may not keep his promise, and a man may forget his covenant, but I will not forget says God. I am the Lord. And, “I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the Lord” [Leviticus 26:45]. We may do something else, but God doesn’t. And when God made an unconditional promise back there, He will faithfully keep it forever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever! However they may sing that forever, forever, forever Sunday night, that is the way God writes it in His Book. Just like that—forever, and ever, and ever, and ever!
Now, in Isaiah chapter 11, verse 11: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time” [Isaiah 11:11]. The first time they went into captivity was in the Babylonian captivity [1 Chronicles 9:1]. Then they came back [Nehemiah 7:6]. Then the land was destroyed by the legions of Titus in 70 AD. But there will be a second time. There will be a regathering of Israel again: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people . . . He shall set up an ensign for the nations . . . they will gather together to Judah from the four corners of the earth” [Isaiah 11:11-12].
Now in Isaiah 61, verses 8 through 9:
…I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed.
And in Jeremiah, the thirty-first chapter and the thirty-fifth through the thirty-seventh verses:
Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divided the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is His name:
If those ordinances depart from before Me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me forever.
“If that sun goes out and does not shine, then will I forget My covenant promise with Israel.”
Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off the seed of Israel for all that they have done.
“No matter what they have done,” says the Lord God, “I still remember the covenant promise I made with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob. And just as I set the sun in the sky to shine, and put the earth a foundation for a man to walk upon” the same Lord God says, “I made this covenant, that Israel would be a nation before Me forever, and I will keep it,” says the Lord [Jeremiah 31:35-37].
Now, in Jeremiah 32:37-42:
Behold, I will gather them out of all the countries, whither I have driven them…
They shall be My people…
I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may love Me and fear Me forever,…
And I will make an everlasting covenant with them…
For thus saith the Lord; Like as I brought all the evil upon this people, so I will bring the good upon them which I have promised.
And in Ezekiel 11, starting at verse 13 through verse 17:
…Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said: Ah Lord God! wilt Thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?
And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
Son of man, thy brethren, even thy brethren…which are in thy house—
on and on—
Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God, I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.
In Ezekiel [Ezekiel 39:23-29], in Hosea [Hosea 1:10-11], in Zephaniah, the last verse, and in Zechariah chapter 8, verses 7 and 8 [Zechariah 8:7-8]; and in Matthew 24 verse 34, our Lord said, “Verily, I say unto you, This generation, this genea, shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled” [Matthew 24:34]. This kind, this species, this race, Israel, will be here when I come again, says the Lord God. Did you ever see an Edomite? Did anybody you ever saw see an Edomite? Did anybody you ever saw who ever saw anybody else whoever saw anybody else, still did he ever see an Edomite? Or any of the “-ites” that are in that Book? But if you will go with me any day down the streets of Dallas, I will show you lots of Jews. God says they will be here; they will be here until I come again.
Now Mel, in taking this down, see me privately. I cannot get it in this time. I cannot do it. So you come and see me, and I will work out this sermon for you so it can be mimeographed and the people can have it.
Now I want to close the message with Israel’s conversion, Israel’s ultimate conversion. In Jeremiah 30, chapter 30, verse 10:
Therefore fear thou not, O My servant Jacob, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.
For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee—now—though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee.
There may not be any more America,, there may not be any more Great Britain, there may not be any more China, but there will always be an Israel.
Ah, it just hurts me as I pass over all of this what God has said in the conversation of Israel. Let us take three passages, then I will have to quit. In Zechariah, chapter 3, “I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day” [Zechariah 3:9]—in one day, in one day. Zechariah 12:10:
I will pour upon the house of David—verse 10—and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. And in that day, there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem.
And “In that day—13:1—and “in that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness [Zechariah 13:1] . . . And one shall say unto Him—Zechariah 13:6—and one shall say unto Him, What are these wounds in Thine hand? And He shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends” [Zechariah 13:6].
And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east . . .
And the Lord God shall come, and all the saints with Him . . .
And it will come to pass, that at evening it will be light.
And it shall be in that day, the living waters shall go out from Jerusalem…
and the Lord shall be King over all the earth,” and on and on.
Now, in verse 39 of Matthew 23—the twenty-third chapter of Matthew is the most caustic and bitter passage in literature: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees—woe unto you,” as He castigated in their unbelief the nation of Israel [Matthew 28:13-39]. But how does it end? “I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, until you say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord” [Matthew 23:39]. Israel will live in unbelief, scattered among the nations, until that great end time when the Lord God shall come [Deuteronomy 28:64; Ezekiel 22:15], and Israel shall look upon Him whom they have pierced [Zechariah 12:10], and the iniquity of the land will be purged in a day [Zechariah 3:9]; and a nation will be born in a day [Isaiah 66:8]; and they shall receive their Lord Messiah just like you do by faith [John 14:6, Hebrews 11:6]; and they shall say someday, “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord” [Matthew 23:39]. And the apostle Paul expatiated on that in the, in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Romans, verses 25 through 29: “I do not want you to be ignorant, my brethren, concerning this mystery, this mustērion, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in” [Romans 11:25]. And when that day comes, when the last one who is to be saved has come in, has come down that aisle—and that is known to God, just like the day of your death is known to God, and the day we stand at the judgment bar of Christ is known to God. There is a day known to God when the last one that is to be saved has come in; and when that day comes, then all Israel shall be saved [Romans 11:25-26]. God is going to do something with that people and that nation, as it is written:
There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
For this is My covenant with them, when I shall take away their sins.
As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes, but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
For the gifts and calling of God are without change, without repentance.”
A man may say one thing one day, and then he be something else another day; a man may make a promise, and he may forget it; but the calling and the elective purpose of God is forever and ever. And God made a promise back there when He swore by Himself, because He could swear by no greater, when He swore by Himself to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob [Hebrews 6:13].
All right, how is that going to be? You have it here in the fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians and the eighth verse. Paul says:
Brethren, I make known unto you the gospel . . .
how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.
And He was buried, and He was raised again the third day according to the Scriptures.
And He was seen of Cephas, Simon Peter looked upon Him, then He was seen of the twelve.
Then He was seen of five hundred brethren at once…
Then He was seen of James. And then all of the apostles looked upon Him.
And last of all, He was seen of me also, hōsperei tō ektrōmati, hōsperei—h-ō-s-p-e-r-e-i—hōsperei, hōsperei, hōsperei—as it were, like, as—hōsperei, as it were, ektrōmati, ektroma, trauma.
[1 Corinthians 15:1-8]
To a doctor, a trauma is a wound inflicted, a trauma, usually by violence, a trauma. It is exactly in Greek as you have it in your medical dictionary. A trauma, t-r-a-u-m-a, a trauma, a wound inflicted. Now the Greek word ektrōmati referred to the opening of a woman’s abdomen and taking out the baby before the time—ektroma. It is stated here—to ektrōmati. Last of all, He was seen of me, hōsperei, as it were, ektrōmati, ektroma. He was seen of me before the time [1 Corinthians 15:8], before the natural time, before the elective purpose of God, as you perform an abortion before the time. Well, what do those words mean? Those words mean that Paul is reflecting the great covenant keeping of God through the ages! For there is coming a time in the fullness of time when the Lord God Messiah shall appear to His people Israel, and they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced [Zechariah 12:10], and they shall say: “Whence are these wounds in Your hands?” And He shall say: “They were given Me by My own people [Zechariah 13:6], My own people rejected Me, crucified Me, nailed Me to the cross.” Then, says the Book, there shall be a great mourning in the house of David; and a great mourning in Jerusalem; and a great mourning in Israel [Zechariah 12:10-12]; and there shall be opened in that Lord Christ a fountain of cleansing for the iniquity and the rebellion and the unbelief of the people of God [Zechariah 13:1], and the nation shall be converted in a day; and Israel shall be saved [Isaiah 66:8; Romans 11:26]. But before that appearance to Israel, Paul says, the Lord appeared unto me beforehand, before the time, He appeared unto me [1 Corinthians 15:8]. And like the Lord appeared unto Paul, so the Lord someday shall appear to His people in the land of Palestine, gathered in the land of Palestine, and there will they receive their Lord Messiah [Romans 11:26], and then shall be the millennium of this earth [Revelation 20:4, 6]. Oh, it hurts my heart to say things so fragmentarily, but I cannot put it all in one little brief forty-five minute message such as I have tried to deliver this morning.
Next Sunday, we are going to speak of that King, that coming King. Don’t you ever persuade yourself that God is done with this earth, that these crackpots who look upon themselves as latter-day Napoleons, who shake their fists in the face of the Almighty, who close down churches, and who imprison preachers, and who martyr God’s saints, and who say: “We are going to bury the whole world,” don’t you ever be persuaded that God is done. He is resigning all of the destiny of the nations and kingdoms of the earth to these who strut up and down on the face of God’s globe. The Lord has a King in Zion, and He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh and hold them in derision [Psalm 2:4]. Ah! The Lord shall bring victory by His own right hand [Psalm 118:16]. And the Lord shall establish His kingdom by His own fiat. The first thing he saw in heaven was a throne set [Revelation 4:1-2]—as though a man could overthrow the throne of God [Psalm 2:1-4]. The judgment shall come [Colossians 3:6; Revelation 14:18-20], but out of it God shall be the salvation of His people [Psalm 14:7; Matthew 24:34]. There is an Israel; they are going to be saved, that Israel [Revelation 12:25-26]. And then there are the spiritual seeds of Abraham, we are going to be saved. We are going to be saved [1 Thessalonians 5:4-5]. Ah, what days, what triumphs God hath in store for His people. “Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, neither hath entered into the heart of a man, those things God hath prepared for those who love Him” [1 Corinthians 2:9].
And that is our appeal to your heart in this song of invitation, to come into the blessed kingdom of Jesus. Come. Come. A man gets into the kingdom of Jesus by walking in. Just like you would walk in that door, come, come. A man gets close to God just by drawing nigh [James 4:8]. Come, come. “Come unto Me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, come” [Matthew 11:28]. “Whosoever will, let him come” [Revelation 22:17].
That is the invitation of God to the earth, to the isles, to the ends of this globe, come. And we walk into the kingdom of Jesus by faith [Ephesians 2:8]. “Lord, here I am. I give You my heart, and my life, and my destiny, and my forever, and I give the preacher my hand in token thereof.” Come. Come. To put your life with us in the fellowship of the church, you, or your family, or all of you; as the Spirit of God shall make appeal and shall say the way, do it now, while we stand and while we sing.
GOD’S COVENANTS WITH THE JEW (PART 2)
Dr. W. A. Criswell
A. Revelation is divided into three sections according to the outline of God (Revelation 1:19)
1. Beginning at chapter 4 is the description of the consummation and end time of the age
B. A voice invites John to come up hither(Revelation 4:1)
1. First thing he sees is a throne, and on the throne the Lord God
a. Center of the universe is the sovereignty and government of God
2. There proceeds out of the throne thunderings, voices, lightnings – refers to judgments of the wrath of God
3. He sees an iris, a rainbow around the throne – a sign God’scovenant
a. Before a single judgment falls, the sign of the rainbow – God will remember His promises
II. God’s covenant with Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3, 6-7, 13:14-17, 15:18, 17:5-8, 22:15-18, Hebrews 6:13, Galatians 3:16)
A. Three meanings to the word “seed”
1. The Seed as of one Paul discusses in Romans and Galatians – the Messiah Christ (Genesis 3:15)
2. Abraham’s descendants (Genesis 22:17)
3. The children by faith of Abraham, discussed in epistles of PaulIII. The faithfulness of God to the covenant
A. Concerning the land that belongs to Israel(Genesis 12:7, 17:8)
1. Through all the Bible it is faithfully fulfilled, heavenly affirmed and earthly presented
a. In the heart of Joseph (Genesis 50:24-25)
b. Reaffirmed to Moses(Deuteronomy 31:7-8, 34:1-4)
c. The message of the prophets(Isaiah 14:1, Jeremiah 16:14-15, Ezekiel 11:13-17, 28:25-26, Amos 9:14-15)
d. For now Israel is a Gentile possession, but some day God shall give Israel back their homeland (Luke 21:24, Revelation 11:8)
B. Israel will be a nation before God forever(Leviticus 26:42-46, Isaiah 5:26, 11:11-13, 61:8-9, Jeremiah 31:35-37, 32:37-42, 50:4-5, Ezekiel 11:13-17, 39:23-29, Hosea 1:10-11, Zephaniah 3:20, Zechariah 8:7-8, Matthew 24:34)
1. Song, “Fear Not Ye, O Israel”