The Election of Israel in view of the four unconditional covenants

Class Outline:

Title: The Election of Israel in view of the four unconditional covenants.


There is a grave difference between Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism. As a disciplined student of the word of God you should know which camp you fall into and be able to defend that camp over and above the other.


Related to this also are the premillennialists, postmillennialists, and amillennialists, which as the names indicate deal with the Millennial reign of Christ, but place it at different times in history as well as viewing it differently in terms of its reality against a view that it’s more allegorical.


I don’t know if we’ll get to that in the next couple lessons, so you’re a premillennialist, in case you were curious.


/Covenant Theology tends to interpret every usage of “elect” to ultimately refer to the Church, while dispensationalism sees three distinct elections - Israel, Christ, and the Church.\


It must be recognized that the covenant of God with Abraham is one of the mist important and determinative revelations in Scripture.


The issue concerns the election of Israel as a nation, which is easy to see in the OT, but what of Israel now and in the future? How is the election of the nation related to the salvation of the individual Jew both in the OT and NT and in the future?


A covenant theologian pulls all of these into one and calls it the church, in other words, the church is now fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant and the church has replaced Israel. As we will see, this is false, and it contradicts the character of God.


To understand how dispensationalism relates to our continued study in the Gospel of John we must first look at the unconditional covenants that God has made with Israel.


/The Abrahamic Covenant entitled certain unconditional and basic promises including individual promises for Abraham, national promises for Israel, and universal blessings that were extended to the Gentiles.\


It is of utmost importance to keep each of these three areas as distinct. If the things covenanted in one area are transferred to another area only confusion will result in the subsequent interpretation of this very important doctrine.


/Specifically, national promises to Israel should not be transferred to the Gentiles or the Church. \


/There is no condition placed on this covenant other than for Abraham to leave the land of his birth. Since this was obeyed by him God instituted an irrevocable and unconditional program.\

Nothing in this covenant requires continued obedience on the part of Abraham or his descendants.


GEN 12:1 Now the Lord said to Abram,

"Go forth from your country,

And from your relatives

And from your father's house,

To the land which I will show you;


GEN 12:2And I will make you a great nation,

And I will bless you,

And make your name great;

And so you shall be a blessing;


GEN 12:3And I will bless those who bless you,

And the one who curses you I will curse.

And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."


GEN 15:7 And He said to him, "I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it."


There are seven aspects to this covenant.


/ Blessings to Abraham:

I will make you a great nation - 12 tribes, permanent nation

I will bless you - earthly and heavenly riches

Make your name great - Abraham is honored always \


/Blessings to nation of Israel:

Bless and curse - relationship of Gentile nations to Israel

I will give this land (GEN 15:7) - Egypt to Euphrates, permanent\


/It should be mentioned here, though not a part of our immediate study, that throughout history right to modern times, the nation that has persecuted the Jew has paid dearly for it. \


The opposite is also true. The nation that has provided a safe haven for the Jew has generally prospered, and now that the foundation of the future restoration exists in the land, those who protect and support Israel will be blessed. My prayer for our country continually is that we do not soften our stance with Israel.


GEN 12:3And I will bless those who bless you,

And the one who curses you I will curse.


/Universal blessings to Gentiles:

Shall be a blessing - Messiah, prophets, apostles, scripture, etc.

Families of earth blessed - the seed, Christ.\


This covenant was ratified according to an eastern custom so that to whoever would hear or read what is recorded in Gen 15 would have to conclude that this covenant is unconditional.


GEN 15:8 And he said, "O Lord God, how may I know that I shall possess it?"


GEN 15:9 So He said to him, "Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon."


GEN 15:10Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds.


GEN 15:11And the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.


GEN 15:12Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him.


GEN 15:13And God said to Abram, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years.


GEN 15:14But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve; and afterward they will come out with many possessions. 15 And as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age.


GEN 15:16Then in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete."


GEN 15:17And it came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces.


In keeping with the way covenants were made in that day, animal blood was shed and the bodies cut in half and lined up in two rows. The normal custom demanded that the two who entered into a blood covenant should walk together between the parts of the sacrifice. This would make the covenant binding on both parties.


However, if one party became guilty of violating any single term of the covenant, it would free the other party from the necessity of fulfilling his own promises contained in the covenant. In the cast of this passage, Abraham and God did not walk together between the pieces of the animals.


/God put Abraham to sleep and God alone walked between the pieces. This made the covenant binding on God alone. \


/As for Abraham, this means that he could not be a participant in the covenant, but could be a recipient of a covenant to which he brought nothing in the way of obligations.\


What Go did on that day was to bind Himself by a most solemn blood covenant to fulfill to Abraham, unconditionally, the promises concerning the seed and the land which were given to him.


GEN 15:18On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your descendants I have given this land,

From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:


Now the Covenant theologians would like to tell you that the church is now fulfilling this covenant. What they fail to recognize is that we share in the blessings of this covenant but in no way totally fulfill this covenant.


GAL 3:7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.


GAL 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "All the nations shall be blessed in you."


/The blessing is the gospel which has come to the world through the Jews. \


Other blessings include the Messiah, the prophets, the entire scripture, and the covenants.


GAL 3:9So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.


/Blessed with Abraham = the Gentiles in the Church share in the spiritual blessings promised to Abraham, but do not fulfill the national blessing or the entire covenant in some other way.\


In other words, the covenant theologian spiritualizes the land grant and the national blessings through Abraham’s progeny and then applies them to the Church. This denies the literal interpretation of the promises. Everything that has fulfilled parts of the covenant up to now have all been literal, therefore we must conclude that the fulfillment will also be literal.


This will become more and more clear as we go through the other covenants and you will see your place in the program of God better than you ever have.


GAL 3:10For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them."


GAL 3:11Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, " The righteous man shall live by faith. "


GAL 3:12However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "He who practices them shall live by them."


GAL 3:13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us —  for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree" — 


GAL 3:14in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.


/This refers to sharing in the spiritual blessings of the New Covenant but not the national, for to Israel was promised the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.\


/Ezek 37:14

"And I will put My Spirit within you, and you will come to life [not from the dead, but spiritual life], and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it," declares the Lord.'" \


This also includes the teaching ministry of the HS. But we will reveal all of that when we get to the New Covenant. The key to remember is that we share in these promised blessings for the future Israel, but this in no way means that we are Israel now or that we fulfill her covenants from God. Plus, the ministries of the HS in the Church and the Millennium are as different as the dispensations themselves.


GAL 3:15Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man's covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it.


GAL 3:16Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ.


/GEN 22:18

And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, \


/The promise that Abraham would father a great nation is both a personal and a national promise. The promise of a specific land inheritance is a national promise. These have nothing whatsoever to do with the Church.\


This will become very, very important as we see the vineyard as well as the roots and trunk of the Olive tree being passed on to the Church. Israel is not gone, but has a future. The Church does not replace her receipt of the unconditional covenants.


/And a remnant of Abraham’s seed exists in every dispensation as it does now in the Church, both believer and unbeliever. \


The second covenant is the:

/Palestinian Covenant: Israel has title deed to the land of promise and this cannot change regardless of her unbelief or disobedience.\


This is an elaboration of the land aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant and therefore is national and has nothing at all to do with the Church.


While enjoyment of the land may be conditioned by obedience, the ownership of the land is not. This is a great cause of unrest currently in the Middle East.


However, it is promised by God who carries the deed to the whole Earth.


/Deut 30:5

And the Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. \