THE FIVE COVENANTS WERE NOT UNCONDITIONAL
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is
given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and
teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to
observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo,
I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen"
EXCEPT THE JEWS.
Believe it or not, there are perhaps 20 Christian
organizations and denominations which today oppose the
practice of witnessing Christ to the Jews. The reasons given
vary, but essentially, the belief is that they have a separate
covenant with God, and don't need to be saved by the Blood
But Jesus never said anything about excluding Jews from "all
nations." In fact, the Gospel was to go out to the "Jew
first," and then to the Gentile. But for years Christian
Bible scholars have put forth Scripture interpretations
which have reversed the order given by Christ. They move
Jews into second place on the witnessing list. We look at a
prime example of such teachings before delving into the
nature of God's Covenants with Israel.
In the Bible we read: "Simeon hath declared how God at
the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a
people for his name. And to this agree the words of the
prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and
will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen
down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will
set it up:" (Acts 15:14-17)
The first problem appears in the NIV, which changes "Simeon"
to "Simon." Those who teach that Israel has a glorious
future awaiting the "restored nation" have universally
adopted this change, and falsely attributed some of the
sayings to Simon Peter. Of course, whether the Bible
translators followed the lead of Futurism, or the other way
around, could be the proverbial chicken and egg story, and
really doesn't matter; it is a forced interpretation, a
modification of the Word of God, if you will, and can be
easily proven wrong.
Dr. John Walvoord makes this statement: "God was to visit the
Gentiles first 'to take out of them a people for His name.'
James goes on to say that this is entirely in keeping with
the prophets, for they had stated that the period of Jewish
blessings and triumph should be after the
Gentile period...,He states, in effect, that it was God's
purpose to bless the Gentiles as well as Israel, but in
their order. God was to visit the Gentiles first, 'to take
out of them a people for His name.'" (Things To Come, p 110)
I don't know how Dr. Walvoord came to this conclusion, but
he is greatly mistaken. And nowhere does the Bible say that
"the period of Jewish blessings and triumph should be after
the Gentile period." This is a Dispensational fabrication.
But if God's first visit to the Gentiles had to do with
building the present Gentile Church, the words of the
prophets couldn't possibly have agreed to it because, as
every astute Bible believer knows, they were never told
anything about the Gentile Church. How could they have
agreed to something they knew nothing about?
Where the present Church is concerned, God did not visit the
Gentiles first; He visited the Jews first. "He came unto
His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as
received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on His name" (John
1:11-12). Christ's first visit was to the Jews; He came
to Israel, not to Gentiles. Most did not receive Him. Verse
12 is still speaking of Israel. All the Jews that did
receive Him became the sons (or children) of God. As part of a longer
story, the Jews, through continued rebellion and sin, lost
their special status as the people of God, and in an
effort to restore His people, who had become no people,
Jesus came "...to save that which was lost" (Matt 18:11).
"Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the
sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and
it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said
unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto
them, Ye are the sons of the living God" (Hos. 1:10).
When Jesus later said, "...I will build my church..." He was
speaking to Peter, a Jew, and it was Peter who expressed the
kind of faith which was the "rock" on which Jesus would
build His church. And when Jesus commissioned the eleven
disciples to take the Gospel out into all the world, those
disciples were Jews.
This Simeon, of course, was not Simon Peter, as the
interpreters suppose. It would have been quite ironic had
this been Simon Peter, because Peter said that God chose him
to take the word of the Gospel to the Gentiles. Get it?
Peter was a Jew, and God told him to take the Word to the
Gentiles. It didn't happen the other way around.
So, as far as the present day Church is concerned, God
visited the Jews first, and used them to take the Word of the Gospel to the
Gentiles. Interpreting this passage with a Dispensational
predisposition, scholars have completely reversed the
meaning of Scripture.
So what was Simeon (not Simon) talking about?
Thousands of years ago, God visited the Gentiles first to
take out of them a people for His name (God brought Abraham
out of Ur of the Chaldees (Genesis chaps. 11 and 12). We all
know the story. Later God established the nation Israel to
be a kingdom of priests to Him. They would be a peculiar
people. They would show to the Gentile world the mercies of
God. They would show Gentiles the way of God's salvation.
(Exodus 19) This is what the words of the prophets agreed
to. It was the only thing they could agree to; they didn't
know anything about the future Gentile church.
But what does "After this I will return" mean? After what?
Again, it does not mean "after the Gentile period." It is
a quote from the prophet Amos: "In that day will I raise up
the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the
breeches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will
build it as in the days of old." Verse 12: "That they may
possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which
are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this." In
verse 13 God promises Israel property, in verse 14 He
promises freedom and liberty for Israel; they would rebuild
waste cities and inhabit them. In verse 15 God would plant
them permanently in their own land.
At the time Joel wrote, Israel was in a mess. God promised
to lift them up and out. Did it ever happen? No it did not.
Is it going to happen in the future? That's what
Dispensational scholars think. But it would be impossible.
Joel sets the time frame in verse 12 for all this to happen,
"That they may possess the remnant of Edom." There hasn't
been an Edom for nearly 2000 years, and all the remnant of
Edom, known as Idumeans, are gone. Herod the Great, the vile
king who tried to murder the Child Jesus, was among the last
of the left-overs of Edomites. Of course, Dispensationalists
consider it no big deal to restore Edom in the future, and
give them another run at it, as they do the Roman Empire,
but there is nothing in the Bible about that.
Things would have happened just as Amos had prophesied, just
as God had covenanted with the nation, but for the fact that
Israel broke the covenant, rebelled against God, rejected
the promise, and crucified Him who came to confirm the
covenant with them. Scholars mistakenly believe that the
covenants with Israel were unconditional, that no matter
what Israel had done, or would do, God had obligated Himself
to fulfill the promises. Nothing could be farther from the
Among the common fallacies is that God unconditionally
promised them a 1000 year kingdom, which He has to deliver
in the future, and which is detailed in Revelation 20. That
is not true at all. God never promised to keep His part of
the covenant unconditionally, and oddly enough, He did not
promise a meager 1000 year kingdom. He promised to keep His
covenant for a 1000 generations to those who
love Him and keep His commandments. "Know therefore, that
the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth
covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his
commandments to a thousand generations"(Deut. 7:9).
But the day came that Israel did not love Him: "If I had
not done among them the works which none other man did, they
had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both
me and my Father" (John 15:24). Read this verse again
and again, and commit it to memory. "They had seen me..." You
will often hear, in Dispensational circles, that there is
coming a day of "Great Tribulation," when God will chastise
Israel for rejecting and crucifying the Saviour. That is
clearly unscriptural and untrue. If the end should happen
today, there would not be a Jew alive who had seen Jesus do
the works among them. The generation that saw those things,
and still rejected Him, was destroyed in the holocaust in
A.D.70. Those Jews who didn't hate and reject Him helped
Christ build the Church which took the Gospel to the Gentiles.
The tabernacle of David was not raised up when it was
scheduled to be raised up 2000 years ago. As matter of fact,
it was even further demolished. It will never be raised up.
God's ultimate purpose was "that the residue of men might
seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name
is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things."
Israel refused, and God found another way - and another
Interpreting Scripture in accordance with some predetermined
doctrine often results in unusual teachings. Believe it
or not, Dispensationalists, whether they realize it or not,
teach that God will someday reward Israel handsomely for
crucifying Christ. Follow carefully the written word of the
Futurist: "The new covenant guarantees Israel a converted
heart as the foundation of all her blessings...the new
covenant that guarantees salvation to the nation Israel must
be apart from all human agency and therefore
unconditional... it must be viewed as yet future... the
death of Christ is that which makes a new covenant possible"
(Pentecost, Things To Come, pp 116,117,120,122).
So, in short, Israel could not have received salvation
until it murdered Christ! But how did Israel lose it's
salvation in the first place? Was it not by rejecting and
crucifying Christ? This kind of confusion proves that
Scriptures cannot be forced to fit a pet doctrine if that
doctrine is unscriptural to begin with. And futurism is an
One of the unsupported teachings of futurism is that God
made some covenants with the nation of Israel which He had
obligated Himself to fulfill no matter how the nation
responded to those covenants. They also teach that when God
made covenants with Abraham and David, those covenants were
everlasting, therefore unconditional, and Israel was to
automatically be the recipient of those covenants, no matter
how wicked or evil that nation might become.
But is it reasonable that God would make an unconditional
covenant with mortal, sinful man, obligating Himself to
fulfill that covenant, no matter what the man did? Then, if
that man committed the worst sin possible, such as turn from
the Lord in unbelief, how could God fulfill any promise to
him? Suppose God made an unconditional covenant with a poeple
to make them a priesthood kingdom, to show His mercies and speak
of His holiness to all Gentiles. Now suppose that nation rejected
Him, murdered the King, and went their own ungodly way. Ordinarily,
one would expect that God would hold off giving them the Kingdom,
or cancel it outright. But the problem is, this is an "unconditional"
covenant. It means that there are no conditions attached whatsoever.
The integrity of God, therefore, would prevent Him from cancelling
the Kingdom, nor could He postpone it. You can't make an unconditional
covenant with another party, and when that party does not comply with
the terms, cancel your end of the bargain. The reason is very simple:
If it's an unconditional covenant, there can be no terms imposed on the
other party. I don't know how Dispensationalist scholars could have
This section will prove that God never made an unconditional
covenant with the nation of Israel. Any promise of blessing
in return for hearing and obeying His Word carried with it
an equal promise of judgment, to be fulfilled if His Word was not obeyed.
There were no promises made in the Old Testament that were
not fulfilled by A.D.70. And there is no such thing as a
"guaranteed converted heart" (Things To Come, p 116) to any heart that is
unwilling to accept Christ as Saviour. As far as can be determined
from Scripture, God never forced salvation upon anyone.
Pentecost lists five major covenants which God in the past
had made with Israel. One, it is supposed, was conditional
and temporal. The remaining four, it is supposed, were
permanent and unconditional. Pentecost quotes Charles Fred
"The four unconditional covenants, with the formula 'I
WILL,' are found in
(1) Genesis 12:1-3, where the formula is found, either
expressed or understood, seven times [the "Abrahamic
(2) Deuteronomy 30:1-10, where it is found, either expressed
or understood, twelve times [the "Palestinian Covenant"];
(3) Samuel 7:10-16, where it is found seven times [the
"Davidic Covenant"]; and
(4) Jeremiah 31:31-40, where it is found seven times [the
The conditional [Mosaic] covenant, with the formula 'IF YE
WILL,' is found (5) besides in Exodus 19:5 ff., also in
Deuteronomy 28:1-68; verses 1-14, 'If thou shalt hearken
diligently... blessings'; verses 15-68, 'If thou wilt not
Dr. Lincoln defines a divine covenant: "A divine covenant is
(1) a sovereign disposition of God, whereby he establishes
an unconditional or declarative compact with man, obligating
Himself, in grace, by the untrammelled formula, "I WILL," to
bring to pass of Himself definite blessings for the
covenanted ones, or (2) a proposal of God, wherein He
promises, in a conditional or mutual compact with man, by
the contingent formula "IF YE WILL," to grant special
blessings to man provided he fulfills perfectly certain
conditions, and to execute definite punishment in case of
failure" (p 68).
Dr. Pentecost elaborates: "In an unconditional covenant
that which was covenanted depends upon the one making the
covenant alone for its fulfillment. That which is promised
is sovereignly given to the recipient of the covenant on the
authority and integrity of the one making the covenant apart
from the merit or response of the receiver. It is a covenant
with no 'if' attached to it whatsoever" (IBID p 68).
And Lincoln adds: "All of Israel's covenants are called
eternal except the Mosaic covenant which is declared to be
temporal, i.e., it was to continue only until the coming of
the Promised Seed" (IBID p 69).
Wrong! According to Scripture, the inference that the old
Mosaic covenant was temporary from its inception is false,
even though the Futurist says,
"The quotation from Jeremiah [chapter 31] is used to show
that the old covenant itself was recognized as ineffectual
and temporary and was ultimately to be superseded by an
effectual covenant, so that the Hebrews should not be
surprised that a new and better covenant should be preached,
nor should they place further trust in that which has been
done away ...the prediction of a new covenant automatically
declares the Mosaic covenant as a temporary, not an
everlasting covenant" (IBID p 125).
But the facts are distorted here. Jeremiah 31 shows that the
old covenant was to be replaced, not because it was
temporary, but because by that time Israel had alreaady
broken it. After someone drops a light bulb, and breaks it,
that is not the time to declare it breakable. The Bible does
not say that planned obsolescence was built into the Mosaic
covenant from its inception, for in Jeremiah 31:32, the
Bible says, "Not according to the covenant that I made
with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand
to bring them out of Egypt; WHICH COVENANT THEY BRAKE,
ALTHOUGH I WAS AN HUSBANDMAN UNTO THEM, SAITH THE LORD."
Why was the Mosaic covenant replaced by a new one? Because
Israel broke this covenant, just as they broke all the
covenants God had made with them. Like all the other
covenants God made with Israel, this was a conditional
covenant. But God is a merciful God. When Israel broke one
covenant, He replaced it with another covenant which was
easier for the nation to keep. Unfortunately, Israel broke
that one, too.
As for the eternal nature of the covenants, it is true. God
intended them to be eternal. But simply because a covenant
is intended to be eternal, it should in no way be construed
to be unconditional. Had Israel not defaulted on her part,
God would have kept his promises eternally. But in the case
of Israel, He could not do so.
THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT
Contrary to common teaching, the "Abrahamic Covenant" could
not have been unconditional, not even to Abraham.
"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 show thee: 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: 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" (Gen
Notice that God said, "Do this, AND I will do that." This
covenant has the "I WILL," but that "I will" is clearly
contingent upon Abraham obeying and going to the land that
God would show him, because of the all important
coordinating conjunction "AND," inserted at the critical
point in the statement. This one little word, plus a little
common sense on the part of the Bible reader, confirms the
conditional character of this covenant.
THE NIV DOES A STRANGE THING
New Bible translators, as is often the case, seem to
"translate" in accordance with popular interpretations. The
NIV renders the chapter in a very strange way. It begins
verse 1 as normal Scripture, but abruptly changes to poetry
in verses 2 and 3. And we notice that the word "and" is
missing. All this seems suspiciously contrived, seemingly
intended to hide the fact that the covenant is conditional.
Whenever Scriptures speak of the agreement between God and
Abraham, it stresses the fact that Abraham received the
promises AFTER he obeyed. If the promise to make of Abraham
a great nation had been unconditional, his obedience would
have been irrelevant, and Scriptures would hardly have made
an issue of it.
But the grammar of the passage speaks for itself, and we can
draw no other conclusion from this passage but that God gave
Abraham a command by which he would be blessed only if he
obeyed. Abraham obeyed, and God blessed him. Dr. Lincoln's
"I WILL" formula is found to be quite ineffectual. This
covenant contained the "formula," "I WILL," and though the
exact words, "IF YE WILL" were not present, the condition
was clearly implied. Common sense reveals that if Abraham
had not obeyed God, he would not have so been blessed. The
blessing entailed, among other things, a new country, a new
home. How could Abraham have possibly received the promise
if he had not left Haran as he was commanded, and had not
gone to this land that the Lord would show him? If the
covenant were unconditional, and if Abraham had disobeyed,
and not gone to Canaan, God would have had to pick up the
Promised Land, and bring it to Abraham in Haran, or perhaps
to his original hometown. Ur of the Chaldees. I don't think
God works that way.
The exact wording, "IF YE WILL," is not needed to make a
covenant conditional. Picture the case of a father who makes
an agreement with his teenage son. "Son, go wash the car,
and I will give you ten dollars," says the father. Is the
father obligated to give the money to his son whether the
son washes the car or not? Now, some theologians may have a
problem with this question, but I can assure, it's very
clear to the teenager. This is a covenant made between the
father and the son, and it is a conditional covenant. If the
son doesn't wash the car, he needn't expect the ten dollars
on the basis of the promise. And so was the covenant God
made with Abraham. Abraham received the promises because he
obeyed. Scriptures repeatedly make that clear.
"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" (Heb.
11:8). "For when God made promise to Abraham, because he
could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying,
Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will
multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he
obtained the promise" (Heb. 6:13-15).
Because Abraham obeyed, and kept his part of the bargain,
his son was the automatic recipient of the promise - if he,
too, obeyed God. God told Isaac, the son of Abraham:
"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" (Gen. 26:3-5).
God made it clear that He was going to perform the oath
which he promised to Abraham BECAUSE Abraham obeyed. But
notice that here, too, we see a condition imposed. "Sojourn
in this land, and I will be with thee..." Like Abraham,
Isaac obeyed the Word of the Lord. He did not reject the
promises of God. If he had, we may be sure that God would
have fulfilled His promise to Abraham through someone else.
We see, then, that this Abrahamic Covenant, hyped by
Dispensationalism to be unconditional, was not so at all.
The promise to Abraham was fulfilled only because Abraham
obeyed. It was then fulfilled through Isaac because Isaac
was faithful. It is being fulfilled even to this day through
Christ, because Christ is faithful. But it is not going to
be fulfilled to Israel.
GOD DID NOT CALL ABRAHAM OUT OF UR OF THE CHALDEES
Dispensational Bible scholars have seized upon a small
glitch in the memory of a great New Testament Saint, using a
small, insignificant error, to try and show that the
Abrahamic Covenant was unconditional, and that Abraham was
slow to obey God to leave his father's home. This is what
Pentecost writes: "While Abraham was living in the home
of Terah, an idolater, God spoke to him and commanded him to
leave the land of Ur...and made certain specific promises to
him that depended on this act of obedience. Abraham, in
partial disobedience inasmuch as he did not separate himself
from his kindred, journeyed to Haran. He did not realize any
of the promises there. It was not until after the death of
his father (Gen. 11:32), that Abraham begins to realize
anything of the promise God had given him, for only after
his father's death does God take him into the land
(12:4)..." (p 74)
Few passages of Scripture have been more botched than the
story of Abraham's call to the Promised Land.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?
For as many years as any of us care to remember, we have
been taught that God called Abraham out of Ur of the
Chaldees to go into an unknown land which would later become
known as the Promised Land. That is what we find in
Stephen's speech given in Acts chapter seven. Most of us
have never bothered to check out his story, for the simple
reason that Stephen, a man approved of God, full of faith,
and full of the power of the Holy Ghost, just couldn't be
wrong. But he was. This is what he said:
"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 Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from
thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this
land, wherein ye now dwell" (Acts 7:2-4).
Ur of the Chaldees was in Mesopotamia, where Abraham dwelt
before he moved to Charran, a city which in the Old
Testament is called Haran. Stephen apparently wasn't
thoroughly familiar with relevant history. Even though a
careful study of the Bible reveals that God did not call
Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees, a number of expositors,
for reasons of their own, accept Stephen's version as the
ultimate and final account of what happened. Genesis,
however, tells a different story. Some expositors try as
best they can to reconcile the two versions as, for example,
the Wycliffe Bible commentary: "God's call to Abraham did
not come in the Promised Land but when he was far away in
Mesopotamia. Stephen related a divine visitation while
Abraham was still in Mesopotamia, as a result of which he
went first to Haran, where he lived for some time, and then
later journeyed from Haran to Palestine. Genesis 11:31,32
does not record this earliest divine visitation; but Gen.
15:7 and Neh. 9:7 both indicate that God's call came
originally to Abraham in Ur of the Chaldees in Mesopotamia."
That is false. The Bible records no divine visitation while
Abraham was still living in Ur of the Chaldees. The
visitation came when Abraham was living in Haran. And the
Bible does not say how long Abraham lived in Haran. Neither
do Gen.15:7 and Neh. 9.7 indicate that God's call came
originally to Abraham in Ur of the Chaldees. We shall see
later what these two verses really indicate.
Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost concurs with the accepted - and
erroneous - Dispensational view: "While Abraham was living
in the home of Terah, an idolater, God spoke to him and
commanded him to leave the land of Ur...Abraham, in partial
obedience inasmuch as he did not separate himself from his
kindred, journeyed to Haran. He did not realize any of the
promises there. It was not until after the death of his
father that Abraham begins to realize anything of the
promise God had given to him, for only after his father's
death does God take him into the land" (Things To Come, page
None of this is correct. God did not command Abraham to
leave the land of Ur. Abraham was not in "partial
disobedience" when he left his father's land. When God
called Abraham to go into the Promised land, Abraham
departed as he was told, and his father was very much alive.
In fact, he would live for another 60 years. Furthermore,
the Bible shows that Abraham realized virtually all of the
promises while his father was still living.
MOSES TOLD IT LIKE IT WAS
This is Moses' account: "And Terah lived seventy years,
and begat Abram, Nahor,
and Haran" (Gen. 11:26). And Terah took Abram his son, and
Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter
in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them
from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and
they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. And the days of Terah
were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran"
It is important to notice that God didn't call Abraham at
this time. But Terah, for reasons probably unknown to
himself, packed up the family and headed toward Canaan. They
got as far as Haran, and settled there. Terah, head of the
clan, was in control. He took Abraham and the rest of the
family. Abraham didn't take him. It is true that the
intended destination was Canaan land, so we may safely
assume that Haran was a stopover in the ultimate plan of God
to bring Abraham into the Promised land. But the question
is, did God call Abraham out of Ur, or did He bring him out?
The difference is important.
Study Gen.15:7 and Neh. 9.7 closely. Can you see where the
Bible scholars made their mistake? "And he said unto him,
I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees,
to give thee this land to inherit it" (Gen. 15:7). "Thou art
the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him
forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of
Abraham" (Neh. 9:7); Did you notice that these verses do
not say that God CALLED Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees.
They say that He BROUGHT him out. How did God do it? Not on
wings of eagles, or a flying carpet, or anything like that.
He did it in the most natural way one might expect. God
inspired Terah, Abraham's father, the head of the clan, to
load up his family, and journey to Canaan land. Terah
himself probably didn't know why he suddenly had the urge to
move to Canaan. But he did just that. Only he travelled
northward, got as far as Haran, and settled there. Terah was
an idolater - no doubt an incorrigible idolater. This we
suspect, is one of the reasons why God did not let him get
any closer to the Promised land with his family. The other
reason is obvious. God was going to make a covenant with
Abraham. Abraham would have to leave his father's home, and
travel to Canaan land on his own. This would be a test of
Abraham's faith and obedience. So God did not CALL Abraham
out of Ur of the Chaldees, He BROUGHT him out, and CALLED
him out of Haran. Why did God bring them to Haran? The Bible
doesn't say. Perhaps for reasons of safety. Terah's
household was much larger than Abraham's would be, and large
numbers may have been safer when traveling through that
country. Or perhaps they took that route to avoid the harsh
Syrian Desert. The Bible doesn't say, therefore we really
don't know. Nor does it matter.
GOD'S CONDITIONAL PROMISE TO ABRAHAM - THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT
While Abraham lived in Haran: "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 show
thee: 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: 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. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken
unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and
five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took
Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their
substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they
had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land
of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came" (Gen.
Now, with a little adding and subtracting...
Terah lives in Ur of the Chaldees. There, at about the age
of 70, three sons are born to him, Abram, Haran, and Nahor.
Some years pass, Abram grows up, and marries Sarai.
Afterwards Terah takes Abram, Sarai, and Lott, the orphaned
son of Abram's deceased brother, Haran, and they head in the
general direction of the land of Canaan (I say "general
direction" because actually they headed rather northward
instead of directly westward to Canaan land. They get as far
as the city of Haran, and settle there. We presume that
Terah buys land, and establishes his household there,
because that apparently is where he's going to stay for the
rest of his life. While in Haran, God tells Abram to get out
of this country, and go into another that He would show him.
Abram is now 75 years old. Terah is 145. Abraham leaves as
he is told. Terah dies at the age of 205.
Simple arithmetic shows that this story is not the same as
Stephen's. If Terah was 70 years old when Abram was born,
and Abram was 75 when he was called to go into the promised
land, then Terah was 145 years old at the time. But Terah
died at the age of 205. Subtract 145 from 205, and you find
that Terah lived another 60 years AFTER Abram left.
Here is a seeming "contradiction" in the Bible. Stephen says
one thing, Moses another. Whom should we believe? The answer
is simple. Moses writes what the Holy Spirit inspires him to
write, and Luke also writes what the Holy spirit inspires
him to write. Neither man makes mistakes. But while Moses is
inspired to tell it like it is, Luke is inspired to tell it
like Stephen thought it was. So there is no contradiction in
Scripture, but Stephen was wrong. Abraham was not called out
of Ur of the Chaldees. He was called out of Haran. And
Abraham left BEFORE his father died, not AFTER.
We often hear that Abraham dilly-dallied in Haran, or
perhaps in Ur, waiting until after his father died before
leaving. The Bible nowhere says that. God called him, and he
left just as he was told: "So Abram departed, as the Lord
had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was
seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran"
(Gen. 12:4). Notice how careful the Holy Spirit was in
giving the ages of Terah and Abraham at just the right
places. Someone much later wasn't going to get it quite
right, and others, later still, were going to take advantage
of that slight error to help promote an unbiblical,
futuristic agenda. But the given ages of the men make things
Stephen's error was only an error in detail, and would have
been of no consequence. After all, he did get his message
across to the unbelieving Jews, and stirred them up so much
so that they stoned him. It is not unusual that a man of
God, even one filled with the power of the Holy Ghost, could
now and then be found in error. There was a point in time
when Peter, who himself wrote inspired Scripture, was not
always perfect in his knowledge and actions, and Paul didn't
hesitate to tell him so. "But when Peter was come to
Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be
blamed" (Gal. 2:11). But when the Holy Spirit had him to
write Scripture, He made sure this mortal man could make no
error. Being inspired by the Holy Spirit is a guarantee that
a believer will make no mistakes whatsoever when writing
down Scripture; being filled with the Holy Spirit,
apparently, is not.
Today, many Bible scholars, even when they know that there
is a difference between the two accounts, prefer Stephen's
version over that of Moses, as though a choice were
optional. But the stories are different, thus only one can
be true. And it requires only common sense, not high level
reasoning, to determine which one is true, and which is not.
Bible teachers often tell us that when we study the Bible
prayerfully and diligently, the Holy Spirit will teach us.
They get some of that from Scriptures such as this: "For the
Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to
say" (Luke 12:12). But the context clearly shows that this
applied to the disciples, and for a specific purpose: "And
when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto
magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what
thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say" (Luke 12:11):
It is generally taught that this applies to every Christian.
But how many of those same Christian teachers, when they
themselves have to face a magistrate for one reason or
another, hire smart lawyers to coach them in what they ought
"These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present
with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom
the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all
things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever
I have said unto you" (John 14:25,26). Whether this applies
to Christians today as they study the Bible is questionable.
If one had never been a Christian before he begins to study
his Bible, then he didn't know anything, and there is
nothing that could be brought to his remembrance. But Jesus
taught the Apostles for a space of about three and a half
years, and then ascended into heaven. It is reasonable to
expect that the apostles, being human, would forget much of
what they had learned in those three years. So the Holy
spirit would help the apostles remember all the things that
Christ taught them, especially when the time came to write
those things down on paper.
Does the Holy Spirit teach us as we study the Bible?
Probably not. I believe that there is a good, practical
reason why He doesn't. No matter who gets what revelation
from where ever, or by whomever, we are not obligated to
believe it unless we ourselves can prove it from the Bible.
So, if a man claims that the Holy Spirit gave him this
truth, or that truth, or that "God spoke to him" about this
or that, how could we verify it unless the Holy Spirit did
the same for us? And if He did the same for us, He would
have to do the same for everyone, all the time. Why, then,
would it have been necessary to write the Bible in the first
place? He gave us a brain. Perhaps we should use it more!
Now, from observation, we know that many good, godly,
sincere men study the Bible, but not all men understand the
Bible in the same way. If that were not so, we would all
have one mind, and there would be no divisions among us. But
there are more denominations in the nation and the world
than anyone would care to admit, each with its own pet
doctrines, and every member believing, at least to some
extent, that his denomination is "the true Church." And we
do not doubt that many denominations have been founded by
men who diligently studied the Bible. But the Holy Spirit is
not confused, or divided. So how could He have taught them
all as they studied? And if He didn't teach all, then which
ones did He teach? Which one was holy enough to qualify for
that special attention by the Holy Spirit? Which one was
greater than Stephen? Which one was more full of faith, and
of the power of the Holy Spirit?
It stands to reason, then, that no one can claim revelation
by the Holy Spirit on the basis of greater spirituality, for
who can claim greater holiness than Stephen? And if the Holy
Spirit did not teach Stephen, even at the critical time when
his words would be entered into Scriptures, are we so much
holier than Stephen that we should expect the Holy Spirit to
do more for us?
I think the Holy Spirit DID teach us. He gave us the written
Word, and gave us all the natural ability to think in a
simple, rational way. He warned us against subtle deception
which was sure to come. He went even further, He gave us
written instructions in how to understand the written Word:
"Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to
understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and
drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept,
precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a
little, and there a little: But the word of the LORD was
unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line
upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a
little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be
broken, and snared, and taken" (Isa. 28:9-10,13).
Although Isaiah was here prophesying specifically of the
time when Jesus would speak of the kingdom of heaven to the
Jews in parables, I believe that it can well apply to all
Bible study. Sometimes we have to do a little searching here
and there in the Scriptures to find the whole truth; it
isn't always handed to us in the first verse or two we
happen to read.
A man may claim that the Holy Spirit taught him a truth as
he studied the Bible. But who is obligated to believe him if
it can't be verified by Scriptures? To claim, then, that the
Holy Spirit teaches us as we study the Bible, things which
cannot be proven by the Bible, is to claim direct
revelation; it is to claim a measure of spiritual
superiority or even infalliblity, and that is the mark of a
cult. Many men, even good men, have made such claims. But by
doing so, by giving credit for some of their teachings to
the Holy Spirit, they sometimes place error on the same
level as truth.
ABRAHAM WAS NOT IN "PARTIAL DISOBEDIENCE."
Some believe that by taking Lot with him, Abraham did not
fully obey the command to leave his kin. But let us not
misunderstand the purpose of the command. God wanted Abram
to get out of the idolatrous environment of his father's
dominion. There was no disobedience on his part to take the
young son of his brother with him. When Abraham left his
father's house, he was now the head of his own clan, and
ruled, even in matters of worship. Surely the Lord God knew
he would. Speaking of Abraham, the Lord said, "For I know
him, that he will command his children and his household
after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do
justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham
that which he hath spoken of him" (Gen. 18:19). Since he
didn't worship idols, neither would anyone in his household,
Things actually turned out quite well, because later the
Bible refers to Lot, even with all his shortcomings, as a
"just man," and a "righteous man" (2 Pet 2:7-8). So Abram
snatched the youngster out of the hands of the idolaters,
and Lot was saved. Abram was an obedient servant of God. He
may have strayed from the will of God at other times (who
hasn't?) but when he was ordered to leave, he left, just as
the Lord had spoken to him, thus he had kept his part of the
covenant. After that, God would fulfill the promises to him
and his children. And if his natural children wouldn't
accept it, then God would find other children to fulfill the
covenant to. He would keep His part of the bargain, even if
He had to raise up stones as children of Abraham (Matt.
3:9). Nowhere does the Bible say that Abraham was in
"partial disobedience" to the commandment to leave his kin
and his father's country.
Scripture after Scripture tells us that Abraham obeyed, and
none say that he only "partially obeyed." "Abram departed as
the Lord had spoken unto him..." (Gen 12:4). "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" (Heb. 11:8). "And the
scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God,
and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was
called the Friend of God" (James 2:23).
In Genesis 12 we read, after Abraham and Lot separated, Lot
chose all the plain of Jordan, in the direction of Sodom,
and Abraham dwelled in the land of Canaan. Later we find
that Abram was a wealthy man. "And Abram was very rich in
cattle, in silver, and in gold" (Gen. 13:2). "And Lot also,
which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents"
(Gen. 13:5). The two men had so much livestock that the land
couldn't hold them, so they had to split up. Lot moved to
the plains of Jordan, Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan.
After they had separated, God offered Abram all the land
that he could see. "For all the land that thou seest, to
thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever" (Gen.
Scholars of the futuristic persuasion make much of the fact
that God didn't give this land to Abram until after he and
Lot had separated, implying that Lot's presence was a result
of Abraham's disobedience. I don't think that this was
because of any "disobedience" on Abram's part. But the
covenant was between God and Abram; Lot had no part in it.
God gave the land to Abram, not to Lot. So it made good
sense that God did this after Lot had gone his own way.
Again, we must repeat, that Lot was not the bad influence
from which Abram was commanded to separate himself. Lot was
apparently no influence upon Abraham. It seems to have been
just the opposite. In the Scriptures Lot is called "just."
Later, when Abraham was 100 years old, Isaac was born. That
was 25 years after he left Haran. After 25 years, he was
fully settled in the land of Canaan. He was rich; all the
promises of land that God had made to him were fulfilled.
Now he also had an heir which God had promised. And his
father, believe it or not, would live for another 35 years!
So the fact is, Terah was alive when Abraham received
virtually all of the promises God made to him. Bible
scholars, who preferred Stephen's view, simply did not read
their Bibles closely enough.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FLOOD
Some Bible scholars believe that Abraham and Terah both
recognized the true God, and worshipped Him. Walvoord
writes: "The fact that Abraham and his father started out
for the Promised Land is evidence that though they may have
participated in the worship of pagan deities of the time, at
this important juncture in their life they recognized the
true God and henceforth obeyed and worshipped him" (Major
Bible Prophecies, p 41).
The Bible does not support this conclusion. It is never said
that Terah recognized the true God. Long after Abraham's
departure, the Bible says that he worshipped false gods.
"And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD
God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the
flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and
the father of Nachor: and they served other gods" (Josh
24:2). Joshua never says that Terah gave up his false
gods. The "other side of the flood," by the way, means that
they lived across the Euphrates River from Canaan land.
Haran was across, on the far side of the river, Ur was on
the near side.
It would have been a marvelous thing had Terah repented from
his practice of idolatry, and recognized and worshipped the
true God of Abraham. Perhaps he, too, would have had a place
in the Promised Land. But history cannot be rewritten. And
obviously God foreknew the heart of Terah, that he would
never change. So God commanded Abraham to leave his father's
WHY THE EFFORT TO MAKE ABRAHAM A "PARTIAL" VILLAIN?
Dispensationalists predict a bright future for the nation of
Israel, even after she had rebelled for the last time (Matt.
21:37). They entertain the mistaken idea that the promises
God made to the nation were without any condition whatsoever
and so her disobedience did not nullify the covenants. They
believe that to this day Israel is only in "partial
disobedience," and that the day will come when God will
change her heart, and she will return to the Lord, and
receive the promises. So it would help this cause if the
world could be convinced that Abraham also was rebellious to
begin with, and in "partial disobedience," but did receive
the promises of God when he became fully obedient.
But that is a faulty interpretation. Scriptures show beyond any doubt
that Abraham obeyed the commandment to leave his father's estate
immediately and fully, and that he received the promise because he
THE PALESTINIAN COVENANT
The Palestinian Covenant is found in Deuteronomy, chapter
30, verses 1 thru 20. That's the whole chapter. If you read
Dispensational prophetic literature, you will notice a
strange phenomena; they often quote Deuteronomy chapter 30,
verses 1-10, as being the "unconditional" Palestinian
Covenant, the covenant wherein God promised the nation
eternal possession of the land. But they are not being true
to the Word of God. They are concealing something! These
dedicated Dispensationalists almost never tell us that the
whole covenant is found in the whole chapter - all 20
verses. Instead, they tell us that the covenant is covered
in verses 1 to 10, but when they list the verses, they never
even go that far, and stop at verse 9, or verse 8, or even
verse 6. We think we know why.
Deuteronomy chapter 30 has 20 verses. The first half of the
chapter itemizes all the good things God will to for Israel
if they obey, but the last half reveals what would happen to
the nation if they should break that covenant. In the book
of Deuteronomy we see the formation and establishment of
Israel as the priesthood nation of God, where God promised
the nation a long and blessed existence in their own land if
they obey the Word of the Lord, but total annihilation if
they don't. Read Chapter 30:
Verse 1: And it shall come to pass, when all these things
are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have
set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all
the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, v 2:
And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his
voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou
and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy
soul; v 3: That then the LORD thy God will turn thy
captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return
and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy
God hath scattered thee. v 4: If any of thine be driven out
unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD
thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: v
5: And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which
thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he
will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. v 6:
And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the
heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine
heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. v 7:
And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine
enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.
v 8: And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD,
and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. v
9: And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every
work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the
fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good:
for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he
rejoiced over thy fathers: v 10: If thou shalt hearken unto
the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and
his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and
if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and
with all thy soul."
In spite of clear Scriptures to the contrary, Dr. Lincoln is
persuaded that the [Palestinian] covenant in Deuteronomy
30:1-10, where the formula, "I WILL," is found, either
expressed or understood, twelve times, is unconditional.
That is impossible, of course. A hundred "I WILL'S" cannot
make this covenant unconditional, even if we read no further
than verse 10. But as we continue reading, we find the
conditional nature of this covenant becoming more and more
v 11: For this commandment which I command thee this day,
it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. v 12: It
is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up
for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it,
and do it? v 13: Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou
shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring
it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? v 14: But the
word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart,
that thou mayest do it. v 15: See, I have set before thee
this day life and good, and death and evil; v 16: In that I
command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in
his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and
his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the
LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest
to possess it. v 17: But if thine heart turn away, so that
thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship
other gods, and serve them; v 18: I denounce unto you this
day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not
prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over
Jordan to go to possess it. v 19: I call heaven and earth to
record this day against you, that I have set before you life
and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that
both thou and thy seed may live: v 20: That thou mayest love
the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and
that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and
the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land
which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac,
and to Jacob, to give them."
It is plain to see that these promises are not without
condition. Verse 10 says, "If thou shalt hearken unto the
voice of the Lord thy God..." Verse 11 says that it is a
commandment, and verse 15 reveals that if Israel disobeys,
she will not live: "See, I have set before thee life and
good, and death and evil;" God urges them to "...choose
life, that both thou and thy seed may live." Unconditional?
Absolutely not! How scholars could have possibly determined
that this is an unconditional covenant is one of the great
mysteries of Christian scholarship.
It is regrettable that some Bible scholars and teachers,
when quoting, or expounding this covenant, stop short of the
whole covenant. It indicates an attempt to hide the truth
from their readers.
Dr. Pentecost tells us that "The Palestinian covenant is
stated in Deuteronomy 30: 1-10, where we read..." Then
he quotes the covenant. True to form (Dispensational form)
he stops abruptly before he reaches verse 10, which verse
has a very definite "If thou shalt..." (Things To Come, pp
Dr. Hal Lindsay: "...after Moses predicts the curses and
judgments that will befall Israel for breaking their
covenant (see Deuteronomy chapters twenty-eight and
twenty-nine, he then predicts their ultimate
restoration..." Dr. Lindsay then quotes the Palestinian
covenant, and breaks off at verse 8! This, again, is a
serious misapplication of Scripture. The curses and
judgments given in chapters 28 and 29 are also given in
chapter 30 - if we read the entire covenant, without
stopping at verse 8.
Dr. John R. Rice: "After all the warnings of the terrible
punishment God would bring on Israel when they forgot God,
it is refreshing to know that He will one day turn their
hearts beck again. Israel has been dispersed. Israel will be
regathered. God has not cast away His people. Deuteronomy
30: 1-6 is a very important passage showing God's plan for
Israel in the future..." Dr. Rice then quotes the
Palestinian Covenant and, he too, stops at verse 6!
Dispensational futurists believe wholeheartedly in a
glorious future for a restored Israel. They cannot find it
in themselves to read the Bible thoroughly, because the
whole counsel of God is contrary to the faith of Futurism.
THE DAVIDIC COVENANT
The third "unconditional" covenant listed is that given in 2
Samuel 7:10-16. Here Dr. Pentecost is correct in asserting
that the covenant is unconditional, because there are no
conditions imposed upon David. The fulfillment of the
promises given to him is certain. But we must note that this
promise was made primarily to David, the nation was to be
only the secondary recipient, without any guarantee. And the
promise was made to David after the fact; after David had
already served God, and served Him well. God referred to him
as "my servant, David." So it was more in the nature of a
reward for a job well done, as it were, rather than a
covenant with conditions attached. Although Israel was to be
the recipient of the promises, this covenant was made with
David, not with the people of Israel. The fulfillment to
David was certain - through the people of Israel if they
proved themselves worthy, but definitely through Christ, the
descendant of David, Who was worthy. As it turned
out, the Son of David rules and reigns, though not from the
throne of David; He rules from His own throne. And not over
the house of David, but over His own Kingdom.
Verse 10: Moreover I will appoint a place for my people
Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place
of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children
of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, v 11:
And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my
people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine
enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee
an house. v 12: And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou
shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after
thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will
establish his kingdom. v 13: He shall build an house for my
name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for
Because of the term "for ever," Bible scholars apparently
mistake verses 12 and 13 to speak of Jesus Christ. The verse
says that God will stablish the throne of his kingdom
for ever. "For ever" sounds very much like "for all
eternity," but the following verse shows that this is not
necessarily so. This verse, in fact, makes it impossible to
believe that God is speaking of Christ.
v. 13: I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If
he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men,
and with the stripes of the children of men:"
Verse 13 suggests the possibility that this son of David
might commit iniquity. Can we say that of Christ? Of course
not. If "for ever" means what we erroneously think it means,
then God the Father was not yet Christ's Father, and the Son
of God could possibly have committed iniquity! What an
unholy dilemma Dispensationalists face!
Not to worry, though. "For ever," in this case, does not
mean for all eternity, therefore we know that the passage is
not speaking of Christ. There are times when it takes a
little extra effort to ferret out the meaning of some Bible
words and phrases (forget Greek and Hebrew Lexicons. Unless
you're a better-than-average Bible translator, they won't
help you much). To us today, "for ever" almost always means
for all eternity, but this is not necessarily true in the
Bible. Consider the following verse: EXODUS 21:6 "Then
his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also
bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master
shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve
him for ever." If "for ever" meant for all eternity,
then the servant is to be the property of the master, and is
to be subject to him throughout all eternity. But let's do
some thinking on the subject. How far could we really take
this? What if they both went to heaven when they died? One
could possibly visualize that in heaven the servant wouldn't
mind serving the master for all eternity. No problem there.
But suppose they both don't make it to heaven. Suppose one
dies a saint, and goes to one place to spend eternity, while
the other goes in the opposite direction to spend his
forever? If the servant dies a saint, and the master dies a
wicked, condemned man, one could hardly expect the servant
desiring to commute "to hell and back" each day to serve his
master. And surely God would not impose such a burden on any
of His elect. So, "for ever" here cannot mean for all
eternity, but must mean only the lifetime of the individual,
or individuals concerned. Sometimes "for ever" extends to
the end of a generation or generations of a certain category
There is no such thing as a generation lasting beyond the
lifetime of the longest living member of any particular
group of people referred to as "this generation." According
to the Zondervan Pictorial Dictionary, the word "generation"
is taken from the Hebrew word meaning to beget. That is
about as good a definition of generation as can be expected,
and not as some seem to think, that it is a "class of men
characterized by a certain quality," or a "period of time,"
or, as Scofield would have it, that a "generation" refers to
the entire nation of Israel from its beginning to the future
Millennium. If you're tempted to believe him because he
seems to be a great scholar who produced a Reference Bible,
just take a quick look at Matthew 1:17, where the Word of
God says that from Abraham to Christ there were 42
generations of Israelites. Scofield never bothered to
explain that verse in light of his definition of
"Generation" simply means the generation, or the procreation
of progeny. The old gives life to the new, then dies away,
and the process is repeated by the offspring. So the time
period of any one generation is no shorter than the time it
takes for a newborn to grow up and have a child of his own,
and no longer than the lifetime of anyone member of a
particular group called a "generation."
The following examples show that the the Bible specifies
"for ever" to last only to the end of "their generations,"
showing that any generation has a limited lifetime, and that
the "end of their generations" continues through the
lifetime of the last generation in question, but not beyond.
These verses speak of the statutes, which were nailed to the
cross. They continued until the end of Israel in A.D.70, and
afterward no generation has been commanded to live under
"So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they
die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to
him and to his seed throughout their generations" (Exo.
30:21). It is important to note that the Bible says
"throughout THEIR generations," using the plural term for
generation. It applied to many successive generations.
Likewise, the law of the Sabbath no longer exists, though
the Bible says it shall be for ever: "It shall be a
sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls,
by a statute for ever"(Lev 16:31).
The context, therefore, determines the definition of "for
THE PASSAGE IS SPEAKING OF SOLOMON, NOT CHRIST
The Scriptures, 2 Sam 7:12 thru 16, had reference only to
Solomon, not to Christ. These next two verses make that
"I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he
commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and
with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall
not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put
away before thee" (2 Sam. 7:14-15). As always, when
interpreting Scriptures, interpret the vague in terms of the
clear. "If he commit iniquity" should be a loud enough
signal that this is not speaking of Christ.
Read again verses 12 and 13: "And when thy days be
fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set
up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy
bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. v 13: He shall
build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne
of his kingdom for ever." It was Solomon who built a
house for God's name, and God established the throne of his
kingdom for ever, "for ever" meaning throughout the lifetime
of Solomon. This fact is evidenced by the following
God kept His promise to David. When the heathen wives of
Solomon caused him to sin to the point that he forfeited the
throne, God did not take the kingdom away from him during
his lifetime, because of His covenant with David, as these
next verses reveal. "Wherefore the LORD said unto
Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast
not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded
thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will
give it to thy servant. Notwithstanding in thy days I will
not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it
out of the hand of thy son" (1 Kings 11:11-12). Notice
that he maintained Solomon on the throne throughout his
lifetime, as a fulfillment of the promise to David. So when
God said that He would establish his throne for ever, He was
referring to Solomon, and forever meant the lifetime of
Solomon, and not beyond.
This is not to say that the Seed of David is not to occupy
His throne forever (Christ's own throne, not David's). The
Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of David. His Kingdom has been
set up, and He shall rule for ever. In this case, for ever
really means forever. But this fact is established in other
passages, not in 2 Samuel 7:13.
"And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for
ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever"
(2 Sam. 7:16). It is well known that the house of David,
meaning the former kingdom of Israel, no longer exists. Has
it been postponed? Will it be reinstated? Will Jesus some
day rule from the throne of David? According to Scripture,
interpreted just as it was written, this will not happen.
Christ rules His Kingdom today from His own throne. We shall
Dr Pentecost quotes G.N.H. Peters, "The Theocratic Kingdom,"
as stating that: "The covenanted Davidic throne and
Kingdom, allied as it is with the Jewish
nation...necessarily requires...a preservation of the
nation. This has been done; and today we see that nation
wonderfully continued down to the present, although enemies,
including the strongest nations and most powerful empires,
have perished. This is not chance work; for, if our position
is correct, this is demanded, seeing that without a
restoration of the nation it is impossible to restore the
Davidic kingdom. The covenant language, the oath of God, the
confirmation of promise by the blood of Jesus, the prophetic
utterances---all, notwithstanding the nation's unbelief,
requires its perpetuation, that through it God's promises
and faithfulness may be vindicated. God so provides that His
Word may be fulfilled. Every Jew, if we will but ponder the
matter, that we meet on the streets is a living evidence
that the Messiah will yet some day reign gloriously on
David's throne and over His kingdom, from which to extend a
world-wide dominion" (p 114, Things to Come).
If anything is clear and self-evident, it is that Israel has
not been preserved all these two thousand years. Quite the
opposite. From the time that the Romans destroyed and
scattered the nation in the first century, Israel has not
existed. To say that God has preserved Israel all these
years is to deny all the warnings in the Old Testament,
which foretold complete destruction if the nation didn't
heed the commandments of God. The final sin from which the
nation could not escape was the unbelief and rejection of
the Son of God, even when He was there among them, doing
many miracles and signs. Bible scholars, those with a
futuristic bent, deny clear Scripture, and argue with the
proverbial signpost. That there are "Jews" in the world
today, or that there is a nation of Israel (chartered with
UN blessing in 1948) gives no evidence of the nation's
special importance to God over that of any other nation of
unbelievers, or that it has been "miraculously" preserved by
In the simple words of the Bible, "Jews" today may be
circumcised in the flesh, but not in the heart. It therefore
makes them no Israelites in the biblical sense. Wonderfully
continued? Not at all. Look at Egypt, the heathen nation,
which has a history of continuation greater than Israel.
This little nation, often despicable in the eyes of God, has
been far better preserved than Israel; it has never needed
the ungodly United Nations to re-declare it a nation, as
Israel did, after nearly two thousand years of desolation
and aimless wandering of its people. To look at "restored
Israel" as evidence that God has preserved this nation is
squeezing more out of prophetic Scriptures than common sense
Does God really have to preserve Israel as a nation in order
to fulfill the Davidic, or the Abrahamic promises, if that
is what He intended to do? Was the existence of the nation
necessary? This is what the Pharisees believed. But John the
Baptist set them painfully straight on that point. He said,
"Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our
father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones
to raise up children unto Abraham" (Matthew 3:9). This
statement has great significance. What John is saying, in
essence, is not that God would fail to fulfill the promises
to Israel; that He has done. The covenant promised blessings
if they obeyed God, and terrible judgments if they didn't.
Either way, the promises of the covenant would be fulfilled.
And they were. John is saying, in brief language, what the
epistles of the New Testament have expanded on, that not all
Israel that is descended from Abraham is Israel. Paul said;
"For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel" (Rom
11:6). Then he compared the children of Isaac, the
children of God, with the children of the slave girl as the
children of the flesh, though both were fathered by Abraham.
Paul also writes, "For they that are after the flesh do
mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the
Spirit the things of the Spirit...Now if any man have not
the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His" (Rom 8:6,9).
That agrees with 1 John 2:23, which says, "Whosoever
denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: but he that
acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also." No
Israelite was exempted from that edict, not then, not now,
and surely not in the future.
"For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is
that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is
a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of
the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose
praise is not of men, but of God" (Rom. 2:28-29).
Careful consideration of these and other relevant Scriptures
confirms that, in the days of Paul, a "Jew" was an Israelite
who believed in the Son of God. An Israelite who denied the
Son of God was not a Jew; he was, in fact, an antichrist.
But Jewry ended with the destruction of the city, and the
temple, and the nation, in A.D. 70. Today there is no Jew;
one is either a believer or an unbeliever, either a
Christian or a Gentile."For there is no difference
between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is
rich unto all that call upon him" (Rom. 10:12).
To say that there is still an Israel of God, and that there
are still Jews in the world, preserved and protected by God,
people who are the "apple of His eye," who are above
Gentiles, is to deny and contradict 1 John 2:23, and other
clear Scriptures. The Jews today call themselves Jews
because they reject Christ, and hold to the Old Testament
ways, which Christ had done away with on the cross. They
worship the Father, but to what avail? We repeat 1 John
2:23, which says, "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath
not the Father: but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the
Father also." Reject the Son, and you may as well reject the
Father. So saith the Word of God.
THE MOSAIC COVENANT
Lincoln states,"All of Israel's covenants are called eternal except
the Mosaic covenant which was declared to be temporal, i.e., it was to
continue only until the coming of the Promised Seed." (p
According to Dispensational Bible scholars, the Mosaic
covenant is conditional and temporal. It is given in Exodus
19:5, and also in Deuteronomy 28:1-68. (p 67). Notice that
this scholar acknowledges the whole chapter of Deuteronomy
28 as the covenant, and separates the verses of "blessings
if thou shalt hearken diligently"; and "If thou wilt not
hearken...cursings." This is precisely what he should also
have done in the case of the Palestinian covenant,
Deuteronomy chapter 30.
Here is Exodus 19:5,6:"Now therefore, if ye will obey my
voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a
peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the
earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests,
and an holy nation..."
Pray, tell, where does it say anything about this being a
temporal covenant? It was intended to be as permanent as any
of the other covenants. Permanent, but not unconditional. It
was conditional, just like all the other covenants that
So where, and how, does the Bible declare this "Mosaic"
covenant to be temporal? Nowhere. In fact, the covenant in
Deuteronomy chapter 28, and in Exodus 19:5, is no different
from the covenant in chapter 30; one is a continuation,
expansion, and elaboration of the other. All these covenants
were permanent, made to be kept by Israel. Why did they end?
And why were they replaced by other covenants? Not because
of planned obsolescence, but because Israel broke them. In
fact, the majority of Israel broke every covenant God made
with the nation, right down to the very last one.
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make
a new covenant with Israel, and with the house of Judah; Not
according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in
the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of
the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I
was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: but this shall be
the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel;
after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their
inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be
their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach
no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother,
saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the
least of them to the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I
will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin
Dr. Pentecost introduces the "New Covenant" in his book:
"The new covenant guarantees Israel a converted heart as
the foundation of all her blessings" (p 116).
Dispensationalists not only believe that the new covenant
guarantees Israel a converted heart, but that the
Palestinian Covenant also carries that guarantee. Pentecost
writes of the Palestinian Covenant: "...this covenant has
the guarantee of God that He will effect the necessary
conversion which is essential to its fulfillment. Romans
11:26-27; Hosea 2:14-23; Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 11:16-21
all make this clear."
Do they indeed? Let us check these verses given, beginning
with Romans 11:26-27:
"And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written,
There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn
away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto
them, when I shall take away their sins."
If the Deliverer has not already come out of Sion, if He had
not already turned away ungodliness from Jacob, and if He
had not already taken away their sins when He died for the
sins of all mankind 2000 years ago, then He must come back
to die on the cross again in the future, because that is the
only way sins can be taken away. How incredible! And
how very wrong! Notice that Paul said, "as it is written."
He is not saying that this was going to happen, but that it
was prophesied in the Old Testament to happen. From the
prophet's perspective, it was going to happen. From Paul's
perspective it had already happened, perhaps some 20 or 30
years before. From our perspective, it happened 2000 years
But how can the term "all Israel" be applied today? If "all
Israel" is to be saved, then that would, by necessity,
include all the Israelites that have lived and died since
that fateful war in A.D.70. But what about the unbelieving
Jew? According to Dr. Rice: "Let it be understood that
God's plan of salvation for the Jew is the same as for
everybody else in the world. Jews are sinners as are the
Gentiles. To be saved, they must turn by faith to Christ as
others must do. A Jew who dies unsaved, not having trusted
in Christ, does not have any part in the promises made to
Abraham" (p 34).
Dr Rice has stated Scriptural truth. But what happens to
that "guaranteed converted heart" proposed by futurists? Dr.
Rice's solution is only half a solution: "Even when the
whole remnant of Israel is converted, each individual must
put his faith in Jesus as the Saviour, the only way anyone
has ever been saved, or ever will be saved...and so all
Israel shall be saved...but that will come when individual
Jews all turn, as one day they will, to receive the
Saviour..." (page 34).
So Dr. Rice does not seem to propose a "guaranteed converted
heart," when he says that one day all Jews will turn to the
Lord, and then the promised Kingdom will be delivered to
them. But, given the history of Israel's continual
disobedience and rebellion, is that view not a bit too
optimistic? Two thousand years ago the time was ripe for
Jews to accept Christ. The Messiah arrived right on
schedule, He walked among them, He did miracles and signs
before their very eyes, He healed them, He restored sight to
the blind, He taught as no man had ever taught before, yet
the majority did not turn to Him in faith. In the past 2000
years only relatively few have turned to Christ. What makes
anyone think that they will all suddenly turn to Christ in
the future "Great Tribulation," when the Church is gone, and
the Holy Spirit is taken away, and the Antichrist is in the
world working full throttle to hinder such a turning to the
Lord every way he can, as Futurists teach? That kind of
conversion can only be done by means other than a voluntary
turning to the Lord in belief, and God never forces
salvation upon anyone. Besides, if God did that for the
Israelites then living, He would have to do it for all the
Israelites who are dead and gone, else He would be grossly
unfair to millions of Jews who have lived and died in
unbelief. So how is this "mass conversion" to take place?
The futurist says that things will be so bad in the terrible
"Great Tribulation" that Jews will be ready to turn to their
Lord. But if that will be the purpose of the "Great
Tribulation," history shows that it doesn't work very
effectively. In World War Two, when six million Jews were
persecuted, and gassed by the Nazis, there was no massive
conversion to Christianity.
This was part of the great Kingdom promise which Christ came
to deliver to Israel, the Kingdom which the nation rejected.
If Israel had only obeyed their God, and accepted His
beloved Son, all this, and more, would have been hers.
"And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and
the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all
thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live"
It would seem that this is a "guaranteed converted heart,"
that Israel has to do nothing but reject Christ, and live in
the sin, until that time comes, then God will come and
automatically make saints of all unbelieving Jews. But it
does not work that way, because in the same chapter God also
"But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not
hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and
serve them" (Deut 30:17);
"I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish,
and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land,
whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it" (Deut
The Dispensationalist argues that the Jew does not worship
and serve other Gods, but that there is a continuing
"remnant of faithful Jews" who worship God the Father in
synagogues. But let us be reminded again of 1 John 2:23,
which says, "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not
the Father: but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the
"Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have
cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have
scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as
a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.
Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather
you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries
where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land
of Israel. And they shall come thither, and they shall take
away all the detestable things thereof and all the
abominations thereof from thence. And I will give them one
heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will
take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them
an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and
keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my
people, and I will be their God. But as for them whose heart
walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their
abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own
heads, saith the Lord GOD" (Ezek 11:16-21).
This, too, was part of the promise of good things to come to
Israel. But read that last verse: "But as for them whose
heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and
their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their
own heads, saith the Lord GOD" This is clearly not a passage
of Scripture which supports the theory of a "guaranteed
Of all the people God has ever created and placed on this
earth, has He ever given one of them a "guaranteed converted
heart?" Did Adam or Eve receive a guaranteed converted
heart? Did Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob? They did not. Did any
of the Old Testament saints receive a "guaranteed converted
heart?" Even today, does anyone ever receive a "guaranteed
converted heart?" Absolutely not. The Bible repeatedly says
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to
become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his
name" (John 1:12):
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he
that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16).
"And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in
peace" (Luke 7:50).
"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the
world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John
"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the
name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21).
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none
other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be
saved" (Acts 4:12).
"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou
shalt be saved, and thy house" (Acts 16:31).
It is safe to say that everyone receives a "guaranteed
converted heart," but only after believing on the Lord Jesus
Christ. Salvation does not come before belief, nor is it
ever forced upon anyone, Jew or Gentile.
But now prophecy experts would tell us that God suddenly and
arbitrarily will select a generation of unbelieving Jews,
and give them a "guaranteed converted heart," as the
foundation of all their blessings. In other words, He will
force salvation upon them, willy-nilly. The prophecy expert
of course, would prefer to say that God is going to change
their hearts so that they will receive Him willingly. But
that's the same thing. He would still be creating mindless,
heartless, robots. I don't think that God wants any such to
Dr. Pentecost writes:"It has been agreed that the time of
the New Covenant was future. It was always viewed as future
when reference is made to it in the Old Testament
prophecies... It must be viewed as yet future..." (p
120). That conclusion rests on shaky ground. It was
future to the Old Testament prophets. It happened 2000 years
ago, even before Paul wrote about it. It is not still
"But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the
house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will
put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their
hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people"
But if God meant all this to happen in our future, what did
He mean to happen 2000 years ago, when the Son of God came
to earth? He didn't come specifically to redeem Gentiles; He
came unto His own. His own were Jews. The nation was
scheduled to be redeemed at that time. The prospect then was
better than it is now. At that time there was a remnant of
Jews who where faithful to God, and who accepted Christ as
Saviour and King. Today there are none. Anyone who is
faithful to God the Father must necessarily be faithful to
God the Son. If he is, he's a Christian. If not, he is an
unbeliever. If Scripture is to be adhered to, it cannot
happen any other way.
"After those days" refers to the time after the 490 odd
years of the Lord's indignation toward His people, the
darkness Israel experienced between the Old and New
Testament eras, prior to the arrival of the Messiah, Christ.
The Dispensationalist says things like, "The sequence of
events set up by the prophet [Jer. 32:37, 40-41] is that
Israel will first be regathered and restored to the land and
then will experience the blessings of the new covenant in
the land. History records no such sequence. God cannot
fulfill the covenant until Israel is regathered as a nation.
Her complete restoration is demanded by the new covenant,
and this has not yet taken place in the history of the
world...Fulfillment of the prophecies requires the
regathering of all Israel, their spiritual rebirth, and the
return of Christ."
On the contrary, history does indeed record that many Jews
were regathered into the land in anticipation of this great
event, the fulfillment of the covenant. We know that Christ
came to confirm the covenant that God had made with the
ancients of Israel. He came to deliver the promised Kingdom
to Israel. Jews from all over the world were there. "And
there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of
every nation under heaven" (Acts 2:5).
But, ignoring Scripture, Pentecost then reaffirms that,
"This covenant must follow the return of Christ at the
second advent. The blessings anticipated in the covenant
will not be realized until Israel's salvation, and this
salvation follows the return of the Deliverer." and he
quotes Romans 11:26-27: "And so all Israel shall be
saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the
Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for
this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their
To say that Israel's salvation will not take place until the
second advent of Christ does a great deal of injury to
Scriptural truth. It borders on blasphemy, because it
ignores what Christ accomplished on the cross at His first
advent. The Bible is replete with references to salvation
which came to Israel 2000 years ago. Those Israelites who
believed in Christ didn't have to wait until His Second
Coming to receive salvation.
"To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the
remission of their sins" (Luke 1:77), "For mine eyes have
seen thy salvation" (Luke 2:30), "And Jesus said unto him,
This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he
also is a son of Abraham" (Luke 19:9). "Men and brethren,
children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you
feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent"
(Acts 13:26). Who can deny that salvation came to the
Jews at that time?
But when the Jews steadfastly rejected that salvation, God
turned to the Gentiles: "Be it known therefore unto you,
that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and
that they will hear it" (Acts 28:28).
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the
power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to
the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Rom 1:16). "(For he
saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day
of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the
accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Cor
6:2)) Can anyone say that salvation had not yet come to
"(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and
in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now
is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."
(2 Co 6:2)) When was the accepted time? Was it then, or
is it still to come? The Bible plainly tell us:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath
anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent
me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the
captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at
liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year
of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to
the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that
were in the synagogue were fastened on him [Luke 4:20]. And
he began to say unto them, THIS DAY IS THIS SCRIPTURE
FULFILLED IN YOUR EARS" (LUKE 4:18-21).
In the acceptable year, Christ, the Messiah came, and this
is what the Scriptures say, "He came unto his own, and his
own received him not. But as many as received him, to them
gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that
believe on his name" (John 1:11-12).
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is
given unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matt 28:18).
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Ghost" (Matt 28:19):
"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the
end of the world. Amen" (Matt 28:20).