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ONLINE CHURCH BULLETIN:
INDEPTH STUDY

ABRAHAM IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

ABRAHAM IS NAMED 42 TIMES FROM EXODUS - MICAH AND 75 TIMES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.  (MATTHEW, 7X; MARK, 1X; LUKE, 15X; JOHN, 11X; ACTS, 8X; ROMANS, 9X;  2 CORINTHIANS, 1X; GALATIANS, 9X; HEBREWS, 10X; JAMES, 2X; 1 PETER, 1X.)  LUKE CALLS THE PROMISE TO ABRAHAM THE CONSOLATION OF ISRAEL.  IF IT WAS TO BE THE CONSOLATION FOR WHICH ALL ISRAEL WAS SEARCHING, THEN IT HAD TO COME THROUGH:

THE RIGHT GENEALOGY

(1)     FIRST THROUGH A JEWISH GENEALOGY.  THE ONE NAMED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT IS THAT OF DAVID’S.

ABRAHAM TO DAVID - 14 GENERATIONS, MATTHEW 3: 9;
JEWS CLAIMED ABRAHAM AS FATHER, LUKE 3: 8; 13: 16; 16: 30; LUKE 19: 9; JOHN 8: 33; 8:37; 8:53; ROM. 4:1; GALATIANS 3:6.
PAUL CLAIMED TO BE A DESCENDANT, 2 CORINTHIANS. 11:1. 

    NOTE:  THIS IS ALSO OFFERED AS PROOF THAT GOD DID NOT DISINHERIT ISRAEL WITHOUT FULFILLING THE PROMISE, cf. 2 CORINTHIANS 11: 22.

(2)  SECOND THROUGH THE RIGHT BLOODLINE - DAVID AS DESCENDANT OF ABRAHAM, MATTHEW 1: 1

(3)  THIRD, THROUGH THE RIGHT PERSON (SPECIFIC SEED)  JESUS AS DESCENDANT OF ABRAHAM - MATHEW 1: 1, JESUS IS IN ABRAHAM'S GENEALOGY, MATTHEW 1: 2; JOHN 8: 56.  (COMPARE THE GENEALOGY IN LUKE 3: 34.  EACH VERSION SHOWS JESUS' DESCENDANCY FROM ABRAHAM AND DAVID, BUT AS COMING THROUGH DIFFERENT SONS OF DAVID, SOLOMON AND NATHAN, AND MERGING AGAIN IN JOSEPH AND MARY.

WHY IS ALL THIS IMPORTANT?  BECAUSE GOD MADE A PROMISE, A PROMISE TO ABRAHAM.  THE KEEPING AND FULFILLMENT OF THIS PROMISE IS THE SINGLE GREATEST EVIDENCE IN ALL OF THE BIBLE.  ISRAEL CONSIDERED THIS PROMISE TO BE THEIR SINGLE GREATEST HOPE.  IT’S FULFILLMENT WAS THEIR LIFE AND THE CONSTANT TOPIC OF RELIGIOUS DISCUSSION IN JEWISH WORSHIP AND THE SINGLE GREATEST HOPE TO THE WORLD.

    (1)  A PROMISE WAS GIVEN TO ABRAHAM

    ACTS 7: 2 - THE CALL OF ABRAHAM IS DISCUSSED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT AS BEING CENTRAL TO THE PURPOSE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.

    ROMANS 4: 12 - THE PROMISE TO ABRAHAM WAS SEALED THROUGH CIRCUMCISION.  CIRCUMCISION WAS PART OF JEWISH LAW AND IS ALSO PART OF THE GOSPEL.  FOR ABRAHAM AND ISRAEL IT WAS PHYSICAL. FOR JESUS’ FOLLOWERS IT IS SPIRITUAL.   (cf. Romans 2: 28-29).

    ROMANS 4: 13 - IT IN INTERESTING THAT ABRAHAM CAN THROUGH THE GOSPEL BECOME HEIR TO THE SAME PROMISE, "FOR THE PROMISE THAT HE WOULD BE HEIR OF THE WORLD WAS...THROUGH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH."  THE BENEFITS OF THIS PROMISE ARE RETROACTIVE, ENCOMPASSING ALL THE RIGHTEOUS FROM THE BEGINNING OF CREATION AND EXTENDING TO THE END OF TIME.  ONLY A SPIRITUAL PROMISE/LAW COULD BE SO ENCOMPASSING.

    MATTHEW 8: 11, MEN WILL COME FROM THE EAST AND WEST AND SIT DOWN WITH ABRAHAM IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.  (NOTE THAT ABRAHAM WOULD BE SITTING IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN ALONG WITH ALL THE RIGHTEOUS.  THIS WOULD INCLUDE ISAAC, JACOB AND THE PROPHETS, cf. LUKE 13: 28.  (NOTE: ACCORDING TO THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, IS "HEAVEN."  THEY TEACH THAT ABRAHAM WILL NOT BE IN HEAVEN, BUT ON EARTH INSTEAD.  THIS VERSE CLEARLY TEACHES THAT HE WILL BE IN HEAVEN.)

    (2)     FULFILLMENT OF OLD COVENANT PROPHECIES IS KEY TO THE FULFILLMENT OF THE THE PROMISE TO ABRAHAM AND VICE VERSA.

CONSIDER THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PROMISE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. 

    THE JEWISH PSYCHE WAS CONTINUALLY FUELED AND REINFORCED BY REMINDERS OF THE PROMISE.

    PSALMS 105:9, 42, NOTE THE CONTINUED EMPHASIS ON THE ABRAHAMIC HERITAGE.

    ISAIAH 41:8, JACOB - GOD'S CHOSEN SERVANT;
    ABRAHAM - GOD'S FRIEND
    ASSURANCE FOUND IN THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL, ISRAEL'S REDEEMER (cf. verses 14-20 AND LUKE 1: 35).

    ISAIAH 51: 2, ISRAEL WAS TO SEEK THE LORD, THE ROCK
    LOOK TO ABRAHAM

    THE LORD WILL COMFORT ZION AND MAKE HER LIKE EDEN (A PROPHECY OF GLORY OF THE CHURCH)

    READ:  JEREMIAH 33:26, EZEKIEL 33: 24; MICAH 7: 20
    THE RESTORATION OF THE JEWS TO THE LAND OF PROMISE (CANAAN) WAS AN ASSURANCE TO THE JEWS THAT GOD WOULD ULTIMATELY FULFILL HIS PROMISE IN THE SPIRITUAL SENSE.

CONSIDER THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PROMISE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

      IT WAS A SUBJECT OF CONSTANT DISCUSSION AND APPLICATION:

      MATTHEW 8: 11, "MANY WILL COME FROM EAST AND WEST AND SIT DOWN WITH ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN."

      LUKE 13: 28, "ABRAHAM, ISAAC, JACOB AND PROPHETS ALL UNITED IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD.  REMEMBER, ABRAHAM LOOKED FOR A CITY WHOSE BUILDER AND MAKER IS GOD.

      THIS REFERS TO (1) THE WORLD'S REPONSE TO THE UNIVERSAL INVITATION OF THE GOSPEL TO BECOME MEMBERS OF ABRAHAM'S FAMILY, (2) THEIR ULTIMATE JOINING IN THE HEAVENLY LAND OF PROMISE.

    (3)     CONSIDER HOW THE NEW TESTAMENT WRITERS REFERRED TO THE PROMISE AS BEING FULFILLED THROUGH THE GOSPEL.

      LUKE 1:55, MARY APPLYING DIVINE PROMISE TO PREGNANCY:  "HE HAS HELPED HIS SERVANT ISRAEL IN REMEMBRANCE OF HIS MERCY AS HE SPOKE TO OUR FATHERS, TO ABRAHAM AND TO HIS SEED FOREVER" cf. 54 & 55.

      LUKE 1: 73, ZACHARIAS, FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT SAID, "TO PERFORM THE MERCY PROMISED TO OUR FATHERS, AND TO REMEMBER HIS HOLY COVENANT, THE OATH WHICH HE SWORE TO OUR FATHER ABRAHAM."

      ACTS 13: 26, "...SONS OF THE FAMILY OF ABRAHAM...TO YOU THE WORD OF THIS SALVATION HAS BEEN SENT."

      ROMANS 4: 13, THE PROMISE MAKES HEIRS OF THE SAVED.  BOTH ABRAHAM AND THE SEED ARE HEIRS/CO-HEIRS OF THE WORLD, NOT THROUGH LAW, BUT THROUGH THE GOSPEL.  (NOTE:  THIS DOES NOT MEAN THEY WILL INHERIT THE EARTH, BUT OF THOSE IN THE WORLD ONLY THE SAVED ARE HEIRS.)  THIS REFERS TO THE PROMISE OF BLESSING TO ALL NATIONS OF THE EARTH.

      ROMANS 4: 16, PROMISE SURE TO ALL THE SEED

      ROMANS 9: 7, "IN ISAAC YOUR SEED SHALL BE CALLED" - NOT BORN PHYSICALLY, BUT CALLED TO BE BORN SPIRITUALLY!  read v. 4.  cf. GENESIS 21: 12.  ("CALLED" MEANS "TO CALL OR SEND FOR")

      GALATIANS 3: 14, BLESSING OF ABRAHAM TO INCLUDE GENTILES.  COULD NOT BE FULFILLED WITH THE JEWS UNLESS AND UNTIL IT INCLUDED THE GENTILES - "THAT WE MIGHT RECEIVE".  JEWS AND GENTILES ALIKE ARE CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST AS LONG AS WE OBEY CHRIST.

      GALATIANS 3: 16, FULFILLED THROUGH CHRIST (IN THE WORK OF CHRIST).

      JAMES 2: 23, SCRIPTURE IS FULFILLED.

    (4)     JESUS IS PRESENTED AS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PROMISE

      ACTS 3: 13, "THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB GLORIFIED HIS SERVANT JESUS, WHOM YOU DELIVERED UP..."

    (5) MISCELLANEOUS SCRIPTURE SHOWING THE  FULFILLMENT OF PROMISE

      GALATIANS 3: 25, PROMISE = COVENANT = IN YOUR SEED ALL FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED

      ACTS 7: 8, WITH PROMISE WAS COVENANT OF CIRCUMCISION/cf. ROM. 4: 10-12.

      ACTS 7;17, "TIME OF THE PROMISE" - LAND RECEIVED

      ROMANS 4: 1, WHAT HAS ABRAHAM FOUND ACCORDING TO THE FLESH?

      ROMANS 4: 3, ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD AND IT WAS
      ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

      ROMANS 4: 9, "DOES THIS BLESSEDNESS THEN COME UPON THE CIRCUMCISED ONLY, OR UPON THE UNCIRCUMCISED ALSO?  FOR WE SAY THAT FAITH WAS ACCOUNTED TO ABRAHAM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS."

      ROMANS 4: 13, THE PROMISE IS TO THE HEIRS OF THE SEED, NOT THROUGH THE LAW, BUT THROUGH THE GOSPEL.

      ROMANS 4: 16, PROMISE SURE TO ALL THE SEED ONLY WHEN MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE GOSPEL.

      ROMANS 9: 7, "IN ISAAC YOUR SEED SHALL BE CALLED" - NOT BORN PHYSICALLY, BUT CALLED TO BE BORN SPIRITUALLY"  READ V. 4.

      GALATIANS 3: 14, BLESSING OF ABRAHAM TO INCLUDE GENTILES.  COULD NOT BE FULFILLED WITH THE JEWS UNLESS AND UNTIL IT INCLUDED THE GENTILES - "THAT WE MIGHT RECEIVE..."

      GALATIANS 3: 29, IF CHRIST'S, THEN ABRAHAM'S

      1 PETER 3: 6, CHRISTIAN WOMEN ARE DAUGHTER'S OF ABRAHAM.

    (6)  IN ORDER FOR THE PROMISE TO BE FULFILLED, IT HAD TO BE PROTECTED BY A LAW.  THAT LAW WAS THE LAW OF MOSES.  MOSES’S LAW PROTECTED IT, BUT IT DID NOT FULFILLED IT.  cf. GALATIANS 3: 14-22.

      CONSIDER THE STATED PURPOSE OF THE LAW:

      1)    PROTECT THE PROMISE, GALATIANS 3: 22
      2)    PROTECT THE SEED, GALATIANS 3: 19
      3)    IDENTIFY THE SAVIOR, ROMANS 1: 1-3
      4)    ACT AS SCHOOLMASTER, GALATIANS 3: 24
      5)    IDENTIFY SIN, ROMANS 3: 20; 7:7.
      6)    FORESHADOW THE GOSPEL, HEBREWS 8: 5
      7)    ILLUSTRATE OBEDIENCE, ROMANS 15:4
      8)    TO INCREASE WISDOM, 2 TIMOTHY 3:14-15
      9)  TO PRESENT AN OVERWHELMING CLOUD OF WITNESSES, HEBREWS 12: 1-2.
      10)  TO STRENGTHEN FAITH, HEBREWS 11:1
      11) TO RECORD GOD'S INTERACTION WITH MAN, HEBREWS 1: 1, 2.
      12) TO DEVELOP WITHIN MAN AN APPRECIATION FOR GOD'S LOVE AND GRACE, ROMANS 7: 13-25.

CONSIDER THE SPECIAL TREATMENT OF ABRAHAM IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

    LUKE 16: 22, ABRAHAM'S BOSOM - PLACE OF CONSOLATION FOR RESTING SPIRITS, cf. 16: 23, 24, 25, 29.

    JAMES 2: 21, SET EXAMPLE BY WORKS THROUGH SACRIFICE.

    HEBREWS 6: 13, PROMISE GIVEN BY OATH.
    WHAT IS THE OATH?  IS IT SEPARATE FROM THE PROMISE OR AN INHERENT PART OF IT?

CONSIDER THE SPECIAL LESSONS THE NEW TESTAMENT OFFERS THROUGH THE EXAMPLE OF ABRAHAM:

    (1)   SPECIAL RECOGNITION:

      NAME:  JAMES 2: 23, FRIEND OF GOD
      FIRST REFERENCE TO "FAITH IN GOD" IS USED OF ABRAHAM, cf. GENESIS 15: 6.
      THE FIRST REFERENCE TO ANYONE AS A PROPHET WAS MADE OF ABRAHAM, cf. GENESIS 20: 7
      FIRST TO BE CALLED A HEBREW, GENESIS 14: 3.

    (2)     FAITH OF ABRAHAM

      MARK 8: 39, ABRAHAM'S CHILDREN DO THE WORKS OF ABRAHAM; 8: 40.

      ROMANS 4: 2, NOT JUSTIFIED BY WORKS

      ROMANS 4: 3, ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD AND IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS

      ROMANS 4: 9, "DOES THIS BLESSEDNESS THEN COME UPON THE CIRCUMCISED ONLY, OR UPON THE UNCIRCUMCISED ALSO?  FOR WE SAY THAT FAITH WAS ACCOUNTED TO ABRAHAM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS."

      ROMANS 4: 12, CIRCUMCISION/STEPS OF THE FAITH/ WHILE UNCIRCUMCISED.  ABRAHAM'S FAITH WAS WHILE CIRCUMCISED AND UNCIRCUMCISED THUS SIGNIFYING THAT HIS BLESSING WOULD COME UPON BOTH THE JEW AND THE GENTILE.

      ROMANS 4: 13, PROMISE - HEIR - SEED.  NOT THROUGH THE LAW BUT THROUGH FAITH.

      ROMANS 4: 16, PROMISE SURE TO ALL THE SEED.  ONLY WHEN MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE GOSPEL.

      GALATIANS 3: 7, ONLY THOSE WHO ARE OF FAITH ARE SONS OF ABRAHAM".  (cf. GALATIANS 3: 29.  ONE IS OF FAITH ONLY THROUGH THE GOSPEL).

      GALATIANS 3: 9, THOSE WHO ARE OF FAITH ARE BLESSED WITH BELIEVING ABRAHAM

      HEBREWS 11: 8, ABRAHAM OBEYED CALLING.  GIVEN INHERITANCE BY ACCEPTING THE CALLING.  (cf. GENESIS 26: 3-5).

      HEBREWS 11:17, FAITH - OFFERED UP ISAAC - HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON

      JAMES 2: 21, WORKS - SACRIFICE

      JAMES 2: 23, FAITH ACCOUNTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS

    (3)     ABRAHAM'S ETERNAL DESTINY

      MATTHEW 8: 11, "MANY WILL COME FROM EAST AND WEST AND SIT DOWN WITH ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN."  (THOUGH THIS COULD INITIALLY REFER TO THE UNITING OF ABRAHAM AND THE SAVED IN THE CHURCH, IT ULTIMATELY REFERS TO THEIR BEING JOINED IN HEAVEN.)  cf. HEB. 11: 40.)

      LUKE 13: 28, ABRAHAM, ISAAC, JACOB AND PROPHETS ALL UNITED IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD.  REMEMBER, ABRAHAM LOOKED FOR A CITY WHOSE BUILDER AND MAKER IS GOD (HEBREWS. 11: 8).  HE CLEARLY DID NOT EXPECT TO INHERIT AN EARTHLY PLACE FOR EVERYTHING ON EARTH IS BUILT BY MAN (cf. HEBREWS 3:1-10).

      1 CORINTHIANS 15: 50, FLESH AND BLOOD CANNOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD.  FLESHLY MAN HAS NO CITIZENSHIP IN THE KINGDOM WHETHER ON EARTH OR IN HEAVEN.

CONSIDER THIS:

    (1)  ABRAHAM WILL NOT BE ON EARTH WHEN TIME ENDS, BUT WILL BE IN HEAVEN AS WILL BE ALL RIGHTEOUS OF ALL TIMES!

    (2)   IF FLESH AND BLOOD CANNOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD/HEAVEN, THEN THE KINGDOM OF GOD MUST BE SPIRITUAL AND NOT PHYSICAL (NOT OF THIS EARTH).

    (3)  IF ABRAHAM INHERITS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, HE WILL NOT INHERIT THE EARTH!

    MAN IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEEDS DONE IN THE FLESH, AND WILL ANSWER FOR THOSE DEEDS THROUGH HIS OWN SPIRIT, FOR IT IS HIS SPIRIT THAT WILL INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD OR BE PUNISHED IN AN ETERNAL HELL.