As with all rules or laws from God, whether it be gravity, electricity, momentum, mathematics, cancer, etc., they are always true. Rules/laws control the orbits of the planets, the movement of electrons, the behavior of chemical substances, etc. The rule or law cannot be made up by man; it must be discovered. Sir Isaac Newton did not make up the law for gravity--he discovered the law. He then wrote down an equation expressing how the law operates.
We need to understand the laws (the rules of design) for prophecy and judgment. Once we understand these God-given laws, then we can ignore denominational approval and just accept the facts based on the science of judgment and prophecy. In this, we become seekers of truth, for only truth makes up the law of judgment.
In mathematics, two plus two equals four whether a student agrees or not. Similarly, if there is a consistent interpretation of prophecy that follows God’s laws of design, then whether one is a member of a certain denomination or not, the outcome remains the same. When it comes to the laws of judgment and prophecy, denominational or personal belief systems have nothing to do with the reality or the certainty of the rule of judgment. In Noah’s day, most people denied that the flood was coming, but their denials and refusals to listen to the laws and conditions of God concerning judgment did not stop the science of judgment. The inevitable happened anyway, as it always does in a law or rule designed by God. The flood came anyway!
People try and make the covenant between God and Israel exclusive as they attempt to make the God of the Old Testament different from the God of the New Testament. Yet, Jesus said that He was “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 1:10-12). The Bible tells us that God is “not a respecter of persons” (Colossians 3:25).
The promises offered by the covenant are not exclusive to the Jews but they are available to “whosoever will!” Galatians 3:28-29: “There is neither Jew nor Greek [Gentile], slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (covenant).”
Genesis 17:2-7: “And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him saying, as for me, behold my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And 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.”
Abraham was not identified as Jew or Gentile at this point. He was a friend of God because he lived by faith. The Pharisees tried to tell Jesus that the Jews were God’s people because of Abraham, but Jesus denied that claim! “They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39). Faith is simply submitting one’s will to the will of God and obeying the Scriptures. God wanted a nation, a people of Abraham’s character, which were willing to become what God wanted. For a time the direct descendants of Abraham and Sarah became Israelites (although Abraham’s descendants today are both Jew and Gentile). But also remember that Israel’s covenantal election was conditional. Please read Deuteronomy chapters 7-9. God warned dogmatically that if they disobeyed the conditions of the covenant, then God would reject them. Please read Deuteronomy chapter 28!
The Israelites not only violated God’s covenant; they did not live up to the terms of being trustees of the covenant. For this reason, God’s mercy and grace turned into anger and wrath, and He sent them into Babylonian captivity. II Chronicles 36:16 reports: “But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people till there was no remedy.”
Ephesians 2:11-19 tells us clearly that the Jews today are not exclusive owners and benefactors of the Abrahamic Covenant: “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world; But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.”
Note: In Genesis 17, God calls the covenant “His covenant” nine times. In reality, God’s covenant is an everlasting covenant with mankind and it was placed in trust with Abraham with conditions! God’s everlasting covenant with mankind has always had conditions. “If you will be my people, I will be your God! If you obey then…if you disobey then…”
Deuteronomy 6:5 and 28:1-20: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might….And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee. And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee. The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.”
We must never forget that God’s covenant with mankind is everlasting and conditional. God would have used Israel to deliver the gospel to the world, but they disqualified themselves as a nation. Now God uses “whosoever believeth in Him.” John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
God’s covenant is not between equals, but between God Himself and mortal man. The Creator with the created. God first gave the covenant to Adam, then to Noah, then to Abraham, and now to Abraham’s descendants.
Genesis 17:4 tells us:“As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.” Again, God tells us that it is His covenant and that Abraham is the father of many nations, not just Israel. God warns us clearly that He allows whoever is worthy to be a trustee of His covenant.
Hebrews 4:2 reads: “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”
Galatians 3:28-29 reads: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free,there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
The Scriptures warn us about the “full cup of iniquity” law. When God’s mercy and grace runs its duration, then God’s anger and wrath boils over, and His judgment starts to fall. Judgment is first meant to lead to repentance (redemption). If the person is beyond redemption, God’s judgment is finally for total destruction. God sends utter destruction upon people and nations when their wickedness takes them beyond redeeming love. There is a point of no return when the unpardonable sin has been committed. Even this is mercy and grace because if God did not utterly destroy the unrepentant, then extended mercy only allows evil, violence, and needless suffering to continue upon the innocent. The principle is simple: God breaks His silence when a person, a city, or a nation reaches a certain level of wickedness, and He uses one or more of His divine judgments. If the situation is redeemable, His judgments are for redemptive purposes. If the situation is beyond redemption (repentance), then His judgments are utterly destructive.
The following are just a few examples of the cup of iniquity reaching full measure:
Genesis 6:5-7: “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth; men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air; for I am grieved that I have made them.’” God destroyed the inhabitants of the world in Noah’s day because the antediluvians cup of iniquity was full.
Genesis 15:13-16: “Then the Lord said to him (Abraham), ‘Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years, But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.’”
God does not give Abraham’s descendants the land until after the Amorites had failed to repent, taking advantage of God’s mercy, compassion and grace. Therefore God’s judgment instead. God is the same for all peoples. Judgment only comes after man continues in sin instead of repenting, thus filling the cup of iniquity and bringing on God’s wrath! Remember that ancient Israel’s possession of Canaan was based on the same conditions applicable to the Amorites!
MOSES KNEW GOD’S LAWS OF JUDGMENT AND CONDITIONS TO KEEPING THE LAND
Deuteronomy 9:3-5: “But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly… After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, ‘The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.’ No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you. It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations…”
THE CANAANITES LOST THEIR LAND WHEN THEIR CUP OF INIQUITY BECAME FULL. GOD BREAKS HIS SILENCE AND HIS WRATH STARTS TO FALL. JUDGMENT COMES WHEN GRACE IS CONTINUALLY REJECTED BY REFUSING TO REPENT AND OBEY GOD’S COVENANT.
Ancient Israel and Babylon both filled up their “cups of iniquity” separately, and judgment fell on them both accordingly! God is no respecter of nations or people. God has no favorites!
Jeremiah 25:7-12 reads: “But you did not listen to me…and you provoked me with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves…Because you have not listened to my words, I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon…and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin…This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt…and will make it desolate forever.”
TO BE CONTINUED
© 2001 World Ministries International