The PROMISED Land
Let’s continue in Genesis 13:14-15: “And the Eternal said unto Abram . . . Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.” The land where Abram was, is the land of Canaan, called Israel today. That, then, is the Promised Land that’s why it’s called the Promised Land!
But for how long? Forever! The inheritance is to be an eternal inheritance, which of necessity involves and includes everlasting life!
If one inherits a piece of land, the deed must describe the exact boundaries of the property. Is such a description given in this deed of the land we may hope to inherit?
The answer is found in Genesis 15:18, “In the same day the Eternal made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” From the Nile River in Egypt, to the Euphrates in the Near East!
We’ve all seen enough maps to know where that is, and I’m sure we all know it isn’t up in heaven somewhere, but right here on this earth. “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29); and the promise the promise of eternal inheritance is the land of Israel, from the Nile clear to the Euphrates, here on this earth! God help us to put our trust in the sure Word of God, not in the fables of men!
Other scriptures show that the territory of Christ’s Kingdom is to expand and spread until ultimately it shall include the whole earth. See Romans 4:13.
Obedience Before Inheritance
In making this promise to Abram, God conditioned it on obedience. Abraham did obey! First, he left his native land, his friends and relatives, his old ways of life he forsook all, and followed where God led. Again God conditioned the promises on obedience. Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. And again he did not stop to reason it out, or make excuse, or rebel he obeyed! God didn’t take the son; He merely wanted Abraham’s willingness to obey, in faith.
But now notice, after Abraham had obeyed had been put to the test and found faithful were there any further conditions to the promise?
Let’s read Genesis 22:15-18: “And the angel of the Eternal called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”
Now it was unconditional. Abraham already had performed his part of this covenant this agreement. And so today whosoever will from every nation may come and take of the waters of life freely, because God has kept His promise, and the promised Seed, Christ, has come.
Yes, the promise is now absolutely sure. Why? “Because,” as we read further in Genesis 26:5, “because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Again let me say that sin is the transgression of the Law, the same fundamental, eternal, spiritual Law that Adam transgressed when he sinned, and the same laws and commandments Abraham obeyed and kept (long before the sacrifices and rituals of Moses), making possible all the blessings we have today, both material and spiritual!
Now you remember that Isaac and Jacob also were included in “the fathers.” We find now that these same promises were made also to them.
Notice Genesis 26:2-5: “And the Eternal appeared unto him [Isaac], and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; and I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”
And again the promise was made to JACOB, recorded in Genesis 35:9-12: “And God appeared unto Jacob . . . and God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name . . . I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation [today the United States] and a company of nations [today the British Commonwealth] shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; and the LAND which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.” (For proof that the English-speaking peoples of today are the descendants of ancient Israel, request our free book The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy.)
Even the Gentile-born, through Christ, become not only Abraham’s seed, but spiritually adopted Israelites as well.
The promises were made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their children. Their children are Israelites, not Gentiles. There is a mistaken idea, today, that Christianity is a Gentile religion. But Jesus said plainly, “Salvation is of the Jews.” Or, as the Apostle Paul wrote: “To the Jew first, and also to the Gentile” (Rom. 2:10). The Scepter promise, through which Christ and salvation were promised, went to the House of Judah, whose people were called Jews. The Bible reveals that the covenants and the promises pertained only to Israel. We read it in Romans 9:4: “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises.”
Christians Are Heirs to the Promise
Then how are all nations to be blessed through these promises? To the Gentile-born Galatians Paul said, “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed [children], and heirs according to the promise.” Now let me ask you, what hope has any Gentile without becoming, by spiritual adoption through Christ, an Israelite? Absolutely none!
To the Gentile-born Ephesians Paul wrote, as recorded in Ephesians 2:11-12: “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh. . . .” Doesn’t that plainly say they are no longer considered Gentiles? Paul continues: “Ye being in time past Gentiles . . . that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise. . . .”
This doesn’t sound like Christianity is a Gentile religion. This doesn’t sound like the New Covenant is a Gentile covenant! While these Ephesians were Gentiles before they became Israelites through Christ they were strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world!
But notice the 13th verse: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes [formerly] were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” And now verse 19: “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” Oh, what a glorious, matchless privilege to be taken into the very household of God to be able to call the Eternal Creator our Father! For the UNconverted, Adam is the human father, and Satan the spiritual father. But, through Christ, Abraham becomes our fleshly father and God becomes our spiritual Father.
For we read in Galatians 3:7, “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” That’s why Abraham is called the “father of the faithful” whether Jew or Gentile!
Again, in Romans 8:14, all who “are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” Yes, begotten sons, now to become actual born sons at the time of the resurrection, when we shall inherit the Kingdom of God! The Kingdom of God is the Family of God the God Family! It’s a glorious family relationship! This glorified inheritance surpasses anything you have ever conceived!
NO Man Has Ascended to Heaven
Jesus Christ did not say we should go up to heaven, to be with Him there. Instead, He said in John 3:13: “No MAN hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down FROM heaven, even the Son of man” that is, Himself! He went again to heaven, from where He had come. But He said, “Whither [where] I go, ye cannot come.” That’s in your Bible in John 8:22 and John 13:33!
Also He said, “I go” (to heaven) and “I will come again” (John 14:2-3). Yes, come again back to earth. And when He comes when He is again here He will, as He said, “receive you unto myself; that where I am [here on earth], there ye may be also.”
And in Matthew 25, beginning verse 31, we read that when Jesus will have returned to this earth, as King of kings, Ruler of all nations on earth, then He will say to the saved: “. . . Come, ye blessed . . . inherit the kingdom prepared for you . . .” (verse 34). The Kingdom of God is the very divine Family of God. It will rule all nations, here on earth! To enter into to inherit the divine Kingdom of God is a destiny of such terrible glory that your mind cannot possibly grasp it, now! And our inheritance, as divine members of the very God Family, shall be this earth, for an everlasting possession.
What’s wrong with this earth? Absolutely nothing but sin rebellion against God and His eternal spiritual laws that govern peace and happiness and joy! Happiness and joy a glorified condition such as you may inherit is not a matter of geographical location! It is a spiritual condition! There will be no sin in that happy World Tomorrow! No liars, no murderers, no thieves nor robbers. Think of it there’ll be no Satan, no locks on doors, no jails, no hospitals, no poorhouses! No strife, no war, no sickness nor disease, no poverty, nor hunger, nor want!
When Do We Inherit the Promises?
Now let me ask, WHEN shall we inherit these promises? How shall we inherit them? Has Abraham, himself, already gone to his reward? Has Abraham already inherited the promises?
First, notice the inspired words of the first Christian martyr, Stephen, full of faith and the Holy Spirit Stephen, who paid with his life for these inspired words of Scripture. You’ll read them in Acts 7:2-5:
“And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; the God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, and said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall show thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldeans, and . . . removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell [Israel of today]. And he gave him NONE INHERITANCE in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on. . . .”
God gave Abraham none inheritance in that land “yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him when as yet he had no child.”
Abraham never received the promised inheritance though God’s promise was made unconditional because Abraham had obeyed God! But let’s go further. Notice, now, Hebrews 11:8-10, 13:
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country.” Notice carefully: Abraham merely sojourned in the land which he was AFTER to receive for an INHERITANCE “dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. . . . These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off. . . .”
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the fathers to whom the promises were made all DIED, in faith, NOT having received the promises! My friends, do you grasp what that inspired scripture of God says? In plain language it says they died, but did not receive their reward the very fathers to whom the promises were made did not “go to their reward at death.” Thus saith the Lord!
Now further, the Scriptures tell us that Abraham is dead. When the New Testament was written, many hundreds of years after his death, Abraham was still dead, as recorded in John 8:52-53. There you read plain words: “Abraham is dead. . . .” Abraham has not received the promised inheritance, even to this day!
All through the New Testament you read that Christians who become Abraham’s children through Christ are not now, in this age, inheritors they are now heirs. An heir is one who has not yet come into his inheritance.
Now why has Abraham, even to this day, as yet not inherited the promise? Why? Listen! Since “eternal inheritance” of the earth constitutes the better promises of the New Testament, and since the message which Christ delivered in confirming these promises was the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, it follows that the land of this earth the land of the promise Jesus came to confirm is the territory occupied and governed by the Kingdom of God!
WHEN We Inherit the Kingdom
But that Kingdom, Jesus said, is not of this world this age! In His great prophecy of world news today of world wars, and 20th-century world upheaval now Jesus Christ said, in Luke 21:31:
“When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” The Kingdom of God is to rule the world. It is not yet established but today it is nigh at hand and it’s later than you think! In Luke 19 Jesus gave the parable of the “pounds,” because they thought the Kingdom of God should immediately appear. He represented Himself as the young nobleman going to the far country heaven to receive the right to rule the kingdom, showing it would be set up and take over the rule over all nations, at the second coming of Christ!
But there’s still another reason yes, another reason why we can be only heirs at this present time. Notice I Corinthians 15:50, “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot INHERIT the kingdom of God.” No human can inherit the Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is not a human kingdom. There are no humans in it! It is a Divine Kingdom the God Kingdom!
Jesus explained it to Nicodemus in John 3:3-8: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus couldn’t understand that. Not many today can understand it! Jesus continued that except a man be born of the SPIRIT, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. “That which is born of the flesh,” continued Jesus, “is flesh.” Yes, we were all born of the flesh, therefore Jesus said we are flesh yes, flesh and blood. And flesh and blood cannot inherit cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. “That which is born of the Spirit,” said Jesus, “is spirit.” When we are born of the Spirit, then we shall BE spirit so said Jesus. Did Jesus know what He was talking about or do some of us think we know better, today?
Now to Paul’s statement again in I Corinthians 15:50-53:
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption [flesh is corruptible, subject to aging and decay] inherit incorruption [spirit things and spirit beings are immortal, never changing, never aging, always and eternally new]. Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” now notice carefully: “we shall all be CHANGED.” The word converted means “changed” changed from one substance to another from one composition to another.
“In a moment,” Paul continues, “in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead [not the living in heaven, but the dead] shall be raised [not come down from heaven, but raised] incorruptible, and we [the generation then living] shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”