The Promises to Abraham – the Promise of the Land

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by TrevorL, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. TrevorL

    TrevorL
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    The Promises to Abraham – the Promise of the Land
    There are many promises that were made to Abraham, the first is found in
    Genesis 12:1-3 (KJV): 1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
    The Apostle Paul quotes the last phrase to indicate that the gospel was preached to Abraham:
    Galatians 3:8 (KJV): And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

    The promises of Genesis 12 are further expanded when Lot separated from Abraham, and Abraham was promised that he and his seed would inherit the land which he could see, north, south, east and west:
    Genesis 13:14-15 (KJV): 14 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
    Paul defines this seed as Christ:
    Galatians 3:8 (KJV): And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
    Galatians 3:16 (KJV): Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.


    Thus the promise of the land is an important part of the gospel which is to be fulfilled in Christ. Those that believe this promise concerning the land, and hence have faith in Christ and are baptised are incorporated into Christ, and become heirs with Abraham of this land promise.
    Galatians 3:26-29 (KJV): 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 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. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    The disciples in the time of Christ did not believe in an immortal soul going to heaven when they died, but believed in their resurrection at the return of Christ, to inherit the promises made to Abraham.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  2. The Biblicist

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    They most certainly did! Jesus taught it very clearly (Jn. 11:26; Mt. 22:32; Lk 16:19-31; Lk 23:43; etc.).
     
  3. Moriah

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    Hi Trevor,

    I am so glad you made this new thread. I love talking about the life of the spirit and particularly life after death of the physical body.

    Many Jews today claim not to believe in the life of the spirit after death of the body; however, the Jews deny the Messiah also do not have the revelations of the New Testament, which tells us more about the life of the spirit.

    Religions that do not believe in the life of the spirit after the death of the body are Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists; Christadelphians, and Messianic Jews. They call their beliefs soul sleep. I call their beliefs the doctrine of death.

    The Word of God says the Spirit gives life to spirit, John 3:6. It is impossible for me to believe that my spirit, after which the Holy Spirit has given life, will cease to exist, or sleep without consciousness for an indefinite amount of time.

    I would like to discuss much with you concerning this topic. For now, I want to comment on your information that you posted about Abraham, and that Abraham was only about earthly land. That is not true; for Abraham longed for a heavenly country, consider carefully these scriptures:

    By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. Hebrews 11:8

    By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. Hebrews 11:9

    For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Hebrews 11:10

    Did you see that in Hebrews 11:10? Now read on to Hebrews 11:16.

    Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:16.

    The people of faith in the Old Testament were longing for a heavenly country. So you see, it is not just about an earthly land, it is about a heavenly one.
     
    #3 Moriah, Jan 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2012
  4. savedbymercy

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    Jesus Christ is the Land of Promise, promised to Abraham. The Land is Eternal Life Gen 17:8

    8And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

    Thats Eternal Life forever with God in a metaphorical statement as the Everlasting possession of Canaan Land..

    And it has been fulfilled in Christ ! You seek anything else you are in a delusion, for God promised nothing to the physical descendants of Abraham, for they are not the Children of God Rom 9:8

    8That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
     
  5. TrevorL

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    Greetings Moriah,

    I appreciate your reply. I have taken a copy of the replies by The Biblicist and savedbymercy and I hope they do not mind, but I would prefer to confine my response to only part of your reply at this stage. I will consider their replies possibly at a later time. My main aim is to try to understand what Abraham was promised and what he believed concerning this.
    I personally would not use the term “soul sleep”, but I do believe that we return to the dust, waiting the return of Christ and the resurrection from the grave. Perhaps the following verses cover some of the scope of my belief:
    Genesis 2:7 (KJV): And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
    Genesis 3:19 (KJV): In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
    Daniel 12:2 (KJV): And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.


    I agree that the term “heavenly country” is used in Hebrews 11:16, but this is defined in
    Hebrews 11:10 (KJV): For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

    The only directions that Abraham was not called upon to look were the ground or heaven. In Genesis 13:14-15 he was called upon to look north, south, east and west, to all the land thast he could see. Therefore Abraham is to be raised from the dust to inherit the kingdom of heaven when Jesus returns to sit upon the throne of David in Jerusalem.
    Isaiah 2:1-4 (KJV): 1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  6. Moriah

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    If you read Ecclesiastes 12:7, you will learn that we have a spirit that returns to God, even though the physical body returns to dust in the ground. In Luke 23:46, Jesus on the cross had committed his spirit to God before he breathed his last. We know from the scriptures that Jesus was alive in his Spirit after death on the cross. God decides what happens to our spirit after we die.

    Ecclesiastes 12:7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
    Luke 23:46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.

    This is about our physical bodies awakening. This is at the resurrection of our physical bodies.

    The scriptures show that Abraham did not even see what earthly land he was going to have, and lived in tents on his earthly land. This shows his desire was to go wherever God took him, that his desire was about a heavenly kingdom where God was.

    In the Old Testament, God spoke on earth from Mount Sinai. Later, God spoke to us through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus is God’s King upon Zion, His Holy Mountain, see Psalm 2:6. This is spiritual. Jesus is ruling in spiritual Zion. One-day heaven and earth will pass away, there will be a new heaven and earth, and God will live on earth with His people on earth.

    None of the scriptures and passages you gave discount that our spirits live on in consciousness after the death of our bodies. I will show more scripture about the heavenly city in my next reply.
     
  7. Moriah

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    I love proving by the scriptures that we live on after the death of the body. I hope it gives much knowledge and comfort to others.

    For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Hebrews 11:10

    Did you see that in Hebrews 11:10? Now read on to Hebrews 11:16.

    Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:16.

    The people of faith in the Old Testament were longing for a heavenly country. So you see, it is not just about an earthly land, it is about a heavenly one.

    In Hebrews 11:16, we are told God has prepared a heavenly city for them. In John 14:3, Jesus says, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. Therefore, you can see there is a place in heaven now in which spirits go to live with Jesus.

    Jesus even tells us in John 12:26 that we who serve him must follow him, and that he is going to the Father in heaven, where we follow him!

    John 12:26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

    When a person believes in God through Jesus, we are actually coming to Mount Zion, the heavenly city.

    Hebrews 12:23 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,

    God revealed Jesus in the New Testament for the first time, and at that same time, those who were already dead physically, they lived in their spirits and together with those on earth who were learning of Jesus for the first time, Jesus made them perfect. We too are made perfect by faith in Jesus Christ.

    Hebrews 11:40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

    See In Hebrews 12:23, Paul speaks about faith in Jesus making the spirits of righteous men perfect, the righteous men and prophets of the Old Testament who had been dead physically. Faith in Jesus makes these spirits perfect. Our spirits do not cease to exist, they are conscious, and Jesus Christ, whom they learned about at the same time as the first Christians, made them perfect. The scripture says the spirits of the righteous men made perfect are...in heaven.

    The spirits of people, who are in heaven, were learning of Jesus at the same time Jesus was being revealed by the apostles for the first time. They are the cloud of witnesses.

    Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
     
  8. TrevorL

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    Greetings again Moriah,
    I appreciate your two replies.
    I agree that apart from our body and our breath, we are sustained by God’s Spirit, and when we die this Spirit returns to God who gave it. I do not believe that this constitutes a separate thinking entity. When we die our thoughts cease, and we return to the dust.
    Psalm 6:4-5 (KJV): 4 Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. 5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
    Psalm 146:4 (KJV): His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.



    Daniel 12:2 (KJV): And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
    In response to my quoting Daniel 12:2, you stated:
    Yes, and only when our physical bodies are resurrected will our thoughts be restored. The term sleep is also teaching that we do not have a conscious existence after death. Notice that the sleep is in the dust of the earth, a strong allusion to Genesis 3:19.

    Genesis 3:19 (KJV): In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
    Notice the last phrases, it does not say “for dust is thy body and immortal is thy soul or spirit, and unto dust shalt thy body return and your immortal soul or spirit will live for ever in heaven in bliss or hell in torment” but it simply says “for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return”.

    Abraham will be resurrected to inherit the heavenly country, the same country which he was promised. It is called heavenly, not because it is in heaven, but because God will establish the Kingdom, and the land promised to Abraham will be part of this kingdom.

    I believe that Isaiah 2:1-5 is literal, depicting the events that will soon occur when Christ returns from heaven to establish his kingdom upon earth.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
    #8 TrevorL, Jan 31, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2012
  9. Moriah

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    Trevor,
    You did not respond to anything that I posted. If you want to debate and try to refute me, as I have done to you, then go through the scriptures I gave, and go through my explanations, then you tell me exactly what I posted that was wrong. Just do not post more scripture and say I am wrong.
    Now please go through my reply to you, go through each scripture and explanation I gave, and explain to me what you think I said was wrong and why.
     
  10. TrevorL

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    Greetings again Moriah (part 1 of 2),
    I accept your criticism to some extent, but my main aim is to establish the teaching concerning the promises to Abraham and specifically the promise of the land. You have not in my assessment clearly agreed or disagreed with this land promise to Abraham. Your main response is to claim that we have an immortal conscious spirit that goes to heaven when we die.

    In response to your request I will review each post and if appropriate answer more of your posts.

    Post #1 TrevorL:
    In summary, attention was drawn to Genesis 13:14-15 where Abraham was promised the land to the north south, east and west. Paul in Galatians 3:16 when speaking of the promises to Abraham, quotes the exact phrase from Genesis 13:14-15, And to thy seed, which is Christ” showing that the land promise is to be fulfilled when Jesus and Abraham inherit the land. Genesis 3:26-29 was quoted to show that both Jew and Gentile believers will inherit the promises to Abraham when they believe and are baptised into Christ, and this includes the land promise. The conclusion drawn from this was “The disciples in the time of Christ did not believe in an immortal soul going to heaven when they died, but believed in their resurrection at the return of Christ, to inherit the promises made to Abraham”.

    Post #2 The Biblicist:
    He drew attention to a number of passages that are popularly used to support the idea of an immortal soul going to heaven. In Post #5 I declined to answer these initially.

    Post #3 Moriah:
    In the first four paragraphs you stated your belief in the life of the spirit after death. You claimed that on the basis of John 3:6 that you cannot accept that your spirit will not cease to exist or be unconscious for a period of time. Perhaps I ignored this assertion, but I do not believe that you proved this assertion here. I did not previously respond to your possibly disparaging statement: “I call their beliefs the doctrine of death”. In response, I prefer to call my beliefs “the Bible teaching of death and resurrection, based upon the life, crucifixion, death, resurrection and glorification of our Lord Jesus Christ”. I briefly responded to this section in my Post #5 quoting Genesis 2:7, Genesis 3:19, Daniel 12:2, and you responded in Post #6 quoting Ecclesiastes 12:7 and Luke 23:46. Again nowhere in any of these quotations do you prove that our spirit will be conscious in the presence of God after death. Finally in Post #8 I quoted Psalm 6:4-5, 146:4 and clarified what Daniel 12:2 is saying, to show that the Scriptures do not teach consciousness after death.

    In the rest of Post # 3 you quoted Hebrews 11:8-10,16, and your conclusion from this was: “The people of faith in the Old Testament were longing for a heavenly country. So you see, it is not just about an earthly land, it is about a heavenly one.” I answered this briefly at the end of Post #5. Could I ask the following: Could you please list the OT Scriptures which show that the OT faithful looked forward to going to heaven when they died?

    But let us compare our differences in this passage, by a number of questions.
    Hebrews 11:8 (KJV): 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.
    1. Do you believe that Abraham is yet to receive this land of v8 for an inheritance? (My answer: yes)

    Hebrews 11:16 (KJV): But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
    2. Do you believe that this is teaching that when Abraham died his spirit went to heaven, as a conscious entity, to be in the presence of God? (My answer: no – please refer to my brief explanations in Posts #5 and 8)

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
    #10 TrevorL, Feb 1, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2012
  11. TrevorL

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    Greetings again Moriah (part 2 of 2),
    Post #4 savedbymercy:
    He seemed to claim that the promises are not to be literally fulfilled, but are metaphorical – please excuse me if I have not understood what he is saying. I declined to answer this post initially.

    Post #5 TrevorL:
    I quoted Genesis 2:7, 3:19 and Daniel 3:19. I do not fell that you have properly considered the full implications of these verses.
    I gave my assessment of why Paul uses the term “heavenly” country. This is not teaching immortal spirits.
    I quoted Isaiah 2:1-5 as an example of the real message and hope of the OT faithful, when the promises to Abraham will be fulfilled.

    Post #6 Moriah:
    You quote Ecclesiastes 12:7 and Luke 23:46, but both of these do not clearly teach that we have an immortal conscious spirit that goes to heaven at death.
    Are you suggesting here that Abraham will never inherit the land that he was promised, and that he was invited to behold, by looking north, south, east and west? Do you believe in the resurrection of the body? What is the meaning of the following passage:
    Matthew 8:11 (KJV): And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

    You give an alternative view of Isaiah 2:1-5 coupled with Psalm 2:6 and the idea that the present heaven and earth will be replaced. My view is that the promise to Abraham concerning the land that he saw is yet to be fulfilled, and the words of Isaiah 2:1-5 are literal and future. The teaching of the new heaven and earth is speaking about the replacement of the present order of things, when the kingdoms of men are replaced with the kingdom of God when Christ returns Daniel 2, Acts 3:19-21.

    Post #7 Moriah:
    You quote Hebrews 11:10,16 (I have partly answered this); John 14:3 (speaks of the spiritual house not heaven), 12:26 (speaks of a moral status, relationship with the Father); Hebrews 11:40, 12:23, 12:1. None of these in any way clearly teach that when we die an immortal conscious spirit leaves our body to be present with God in heaven. I am surprised that you use Hebrews 11:40 which seems to me to teach the OT faithful awaiting the resurrection at the return of Christ. They received not the promise in their lifetime, but they will receive the promise at the return of Christ when he sets up the kingdom of heaven upon this earth.
    Hebrews 11:39-40 (KJV): 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
    Do you want me to give a detailed response to each of these? Final question: Do you believe that man has an immortal soul as well as an immortal spirit?

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  12. Moriah

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    I have proved it by quoting the scriptures. You deny the word of God that states plainly about the spirit of saved men.

    Your beliefs are a doctrine of death. You even admit to it in part right here.

    What are not proven are your beliefs that we do not have consciousness after death. I have proven that there is life after death with consciousness.
    I do not debate with people who do not accept scripture from the New Testament. If that is what I find confirmed by your replies, then I will stop discussing with you. I gave you scripture from the New Testament that tells us Abraham longed for a HEAVENLY COUNTRY. You do not accept the word of God in the New Testament.
    If you continue to speak about Abraham not longing for a heavenly country, then you are ignoring scripture.
    I have already shown you from scripture that the SPIRITS of the faithful dead were in heaven. I have also proven that they are conscious. They are the cloud of witnesses. Witnesses are conscious!
     
  13. Moriah

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    I never said Abraham would not live on the New Earth in the New Jerusalem. I said that Abraham is now in the Holy City. Abraham will live in his resurrected body on the New Earth in the New Jerusalem, when the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven.
    Are you saying that you do not believe this earth will pass away and a new earth be made? Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. That is what Jesus says.
    You say it speaks of the spiritual house not heaven. That does not even make sense.


    The promise is of the SAVIOR. In addition, the scriptures I gave are about SPIRITS of men who have passed. It is about heaven.
    I have given you powerful scriptures that plainly tell you what happens to the spirit of the faithful. You disregard the plain Truth, I will not be interested in discussing any further.
    As for your final question, it does not make sense. A soul is a living physical body with a spirit. A spirit can be alive with a physical body or without. I am finished with the discussion. I had hoped for a better outcome for your beliefs.
     
  14. savedbymercy

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    trev

    The Land promises were fulfilled historically and geographically, but will also be fulfilled Spiritually. Abraham to whom the promise was first made understood it Spiritually, He Looked for a Heavenly Land. Heb 11:8-10

    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.

    9By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

    10For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

    16But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

    It had absolutely nothing to do with this literal earth, in fact, the promise land they looked for made them to acknowledge that this earth was not their home and they were strangers here Heb 11:13

    13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

    This is too plain to be denied !
     
  15. billwald

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    First time I had a colonoscopy it was very interesting because I could see the inside on my intestines on the screen. The second time (different doc, different facility) was strange because they knocked me out without warning me. I woke up in a different room.

    My point? If I get hit by a bus and wake up in Heaven a second later or 1000 years later, does it matter?
     
  16. billwald

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    >The Land promises were fulfilled historically and geographically

    AMEN!!!!!!! Which is why there is no theological reason to support Israel and there is no "holy land" and more than the Catholic Church has "holy water." Water is water is water. Land is dirt is land is dirt. Some water is clean, come dirty. Some dirt is fertile, some dirt is barren.
     
  17. TrevorL

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    Greetings again Moriah, and greetings savedbymercy and billwald,

    Yes, Abraham was longing for a heavenly country. Refer to comments near the end of this post.

    In response firstly to the statement by savedbymercy and endorsed by billwald:
    >The Land promises were fulfilled historically and geographically

    Repeating the quotations from the opening post:
    Genesis 13:14-15 (KJV): 14 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
    Galatians 3:16 (KJV): Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

    The above clearly states that the promise of the land is given to Abraham and his seed Christ for ever. Abraham never received this inheritance during his lifetime, and yet it was promised to him forever
    Acts 7:2-5 (KJV): 2 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, 3 And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. 4 Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. 5 And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: 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.

    Jesus, the heir of all things, did not receive the inheritance before his death, as those who occupied the land took him and slew him when they recognised him as the heir.
    Matthew 21:37-38 (KJV): 37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. 38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.

    The descendants of Abraham, the nation of Israel, did historically and geographically possess the land, but on a temporary basis and only for a short period of time, and yet the land was promised to Abraham and his seed for ever.

    Conclusion: Abraham will receive the inheritance of the land when Jesus returns and raises Abraham from the dead. Those who have faith in Christ and in the promises to Abraham will inherit this land when Christ returns Galatians 3:16,26-29, Romans 4:13.

    In response to the phrase “heavenly country”:
    Does this represent a country in heaven? Rather it will be a country which will be prepared by God, in other words, of heaven or by heaven? I previously gave my answer in Post #5:
    It is heavenly because God will be the builder and maker. Heaven is already prepared and complete. The heavenly country is the land of their sojourning under heavenly conditions, made into a paradise of God and the centre of blessing of all nations Isaiah 2:1-4.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  18. Moriah

    Moriah
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    Trevor,

    Revelation 3:12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.

    True believers are like living stones being built into a spiritual house.

    True believers already have a spiritual resurrection before a physical death. Here are more scriptures explaining this fact.


    1 Corinthians 6:17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

    John 6:56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.

    Ephesians 2:6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

    Colossians 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

    Colossians 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,

    Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,

    True believers who are alive on earth are now with Jesus in heaven, and when we die physically, we will be with Jesus in heaven, and after we are resurrected with immortal bodies, we will live on a new earth with Jesus in the New Jerusalem on earth.

    1 Peter 2:5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

    Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

    There will be a new heaven and a new earth.
    We will live with God, in our resurrected bodies on this new earth.


    Revelation 21:2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
    Revelation 21:10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.

    This is in the passage where Jesus predicts his death. Jesus is going back to the Father.


    John 12:26”Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me."

    John 14:1-6. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

    Again, Jesus is talking about going back to heaven to his Father. True believers follow Jesus to heaven.


    When a person comes to God through Jesus and is saved, they HAVE COME TO MOUNT ZION, to the heavenly Jerusalem. We actually come to heaven where God is.


    Hebrews 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,

    Hebrews 12:23
    to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,

    True believers have come to heaven, to the spirit of righteous men made perfect. The spirits of the Old Testament faithful who had died, but live in the spirit where they had been made perfect once they heard the gospel message of the PROMISED MESSIAH. It is NOT about earthly land, it is about spiritual things.

    Hebrews 11:40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

    Again, the Old Testament faithful, with Paul and all those first Christians, together, were being made perfect by faith in Jesus Christ.


    Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

    These Old Testament believers are in heaven, and they were watching as the gospel of Jesus was being proclaimed…they are witnesses, witnesses are alive and conscious.

    I am with Jesus now. I will be with Jesus when I die, and I will be with Jesus after I am resurrected and living on the new earth. Give up your doctrine of death. Christ has made true believers alive in the spirit.
     
    #18 Moriah, Feb 3, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2012
  19. TrevorL

    TrevorL
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    Greetings again Moriah,
    I appreciate the enthusiasm and the conviction with which you have answered. I despair in being able to unravel the thoughts that combine to build up your view. Actually the words of Hebrews 12:1-2 are some of the most encouraging words that I know, based as they are on the testimony concerning the faithful in Hebrews 11. Their witness to me is what they believed and did in their life time.

    I believe in the resurrection of the faithful at the return of Christ, and until then they remain in the grave. Jesus will come to replace the present kingdoms of men with the kingdom of God Isaiah 2:1-5, Daniel 2:44, Acts 3:19-21. The nation of Israel will be converted at the return of Christ and become the first dominion of the kingdom of God Micah 4:1-8. This will be the new heavens and earth, not the physical destruction of the present heaven and earth.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  20. TrevorL

    TrevorL
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    Greetings again Moriah,
    I decided to have another look at Hebrews 12:1. I found it interesting that the word “witness” appears in chapter 11. It is a little obscure in the KJV but clearer in ASV:
    Hebrews 11:2 (KJV): For by it the elders obtained a good report.
    Hebrews 11:4 (KJV): By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
    Hebrews 11:5 (KJV): By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

    Hebrews 11:2: For therein the elders had witness borne to them.
    Hebrews 11:4: By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness in respect of his gifts: and through it he being dead yet speaketh.
    Hebrews 11:5: By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God translated him: for he hath had witness borne to him that before his translation he had been well-pleasing unto God:


    Many commentators limit the use of the term witnesses to the usage in Hebrews 11, in that these faithful bore witness to faith, and as a result God also bore witness to them. A few also extend the figure that these faithful are also in a sense witnesses to the trials of the believer today.

    I can accept this in a figurative sense only. If we imagine a stadium, and many have been in their racing event, having finished the course. They then in a sense take their seats in the stadium. These are set before us in Hebrews 11 as examples for us to follow. They are witnesses to the benefit of following a life of faith and endurance. The only interaction with us is they are examples to us when we consider their lives and their patience and endurance.

    Then later, Jesus runs his race and completes the course, and he is set before us as the supreme example for us to follow.

    Paul also speaks in these terms:
    2 Timothy 4:6-8 (KJV): 6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
    Again Paul is set before us as an example to follow. His hope was not to go to heaven, but to await the appearing of the Lord. I hope the above clarifies my understanding of Hebrews 12:1. None of the commentators that I considered support your view.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     

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