February 13th, 2015
This week on ‘The Hal Lindsey Report’
To understand God’s plan for the world, it is vital to understand what, at first, may seem like a dry subject – covenants. In the Bible, God makes two kinds of covenants with human beings – conditional and unconditional. A conditional covenant is predicated on God saying to man, “If you will.” An unconditional covenant is predicated on God saying to man, “I will.”
Conditional covenants are like the contracts we humans make among ourselves. “If you give me a certain amount of money, then I will give you a car.” God makes conditional covenants, too. He made one with Israel through Moses. In Exodus 19, He said, “If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
Did they obey His voice and keep His covenant? No. God offered them a deal, but they didn’t fulfill their part of the bargain. Does God then have to fulfill His part? No. A conditional covenant means, “If you do this, then I’ll do that.”
But God also made unconditional covenants. In an unconditional covenant, God simply says, “I will.” Period. Once such a covenant goes into effect, there are no conditions that have to be fulfilled by human beings.
God’s covenant with Abraham – what theologians call “The Abrahamic Covenant” – is an unconditional covenant. Through the years God reiterates and expands it, but He never changes the unconditional nature of it. Indeed, He cannot change it or He would be a liar and the Bible says in Titus 1:2 and elsewhere, “God… cannot lie.”
To add other conditions later would be like moving the goal posts just as the football team is about to score a touchdown. It wouldn’t be honest. God is not tricky. He’s trustworthy. Once the covenant went into effect, nothing could change it. Later, God would reiterate the covenant and expand on it, but He never changed the nature of it, nor did He add conditions to it.
Those who claim He did, have a fundamental problem. They’re saying that God lied.
Psalm 105 says, “He has remembered His covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations, The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac. And then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant, Saying, ‘To you will I give the land of Canaan As the portion of your inheritance.'”
This verse calls it a “covenant forever” and “an everlasting covenant.” If it depended on frail human beings, the Word of God could not call it “everlasting” because somewhere along the line human beings fail, as Israel proved again and again.
The Abrahamic Covenant is one of the great dividing lines of scripture. Disbelieving it won’t change God’s Word, but it will change a person in profound ways. Among other things, he won’t understand what’s going on in the world.
Because this is an unconditional covenant, it cannot end. It remains in effect today and forever. That makes it fundamental to Bible prophecy. Whatever else happens, you can bet the farm that God will keep His covenant with Abraham.
So if you want to look into the future, or have a better understanding of the present, look at the things God promised to Abraham. He expressed them in a series of direct and implied “I will” statements. “I will make you a great nation. I will bless you. I will make your name great. I will make you a blessing. I will bless those who bless you. I will curse those who curse you. Through you, I will bless all the families of the earth.”
Romans 11:1 succinctly asks and answers the most pertinent point. “Has God cast away His people? Certainly not!” That’s just one of many New Testament passages refuting “replacement theology” and affirming that God’s covenant with Abraham is still in effect.
Not only does this covenant help us understand what’s happening in the Middle East right now, it is foundational to the central meaning of all the Bible’s teaching – from the identity and purpose of Jesus, to “salvation by faith alone,” to Christ’s coming to set up a literal thousand year kingdom on earth, to Christ’s secretly snatching up all believers to heaven before the great Tribulation begins.
Tune in this week as I discuss “The Covenant.”
mail: HLMM, P.O. Box 470470, Tulsa, OK 74147