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Mystery of Israel
And God established this man [Abram], whose name
he later changed
to
Abraham, as the
father
of his nation,
Israel!
To Abraham and his descendants were all the
promises of God made. And we must become like Abraham,
and through Christ, one of his children, if we are
to
inherit
the promise of eternal life in God's kingdom.
Of his peculiar flesh-born nation, Israel, the Eternal
said: "This people have I formed for myself;
they shall
shew
forth my praise" (lsa. 43:21). That prophecy shall yet-and
soon-be fulfilled!
Dual Promises to Abraham
Few have realized it, but a duality runs all the way through
the plan of God in working out his purpose here below.
There was the first Adam, material and carnal; and there
is Christ, the second Adam, spiritual and divine. There was the
Old Covenant, purely material and temporal; and there is the
New Covenant, spiritual and eternal. God made man mortal,
physical, of the dust of the ground and of the human kingdom;
but through Christ he may be begotten of God
to
become
immortal, spiritual, and of the kingdom of God.
And in like manner there were two phases
to
the promises
God made
to
Abraham-the one purely material and national;
the other spiritual and individual. The spiritual promise of the
Messiah, and of salvation through him, is well known by the
most superficial Bible students. They know that God gave the
spiritual promise to Abraham of Christ to be born as
Abraham's descendant-and that salvation comes to us
through Christ. But-and this will sound unbelievable, yet it
is true-almost no one knows what that salvation is; what are
the promises of salvation we may receive through Christ; how
we may receive them, or when-incredible though that
sounds! But that truth belongs in another chapter.
What is essential
to
the theme of this chapter is the
fact that God also made another entirely different, most
amazing national and material promise
to
Abraham which
has been almost entirely overlooked.
Notice now again how God first called Abram, and the
twofold
nature of his promises: "Now the Lord had said unto
Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and
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