Do you understand your Bible?

Do you know that a third of the Bible is about prophecies?

Do you know that modern nations are also mentioned in the Bible? Nations such as America,Britain, Russia, China, Iran, Canada, Australia and more are named by their ancient names in the Bible and their fates have been foretold thousands of years ago!

And believe your Bible because they are playing out just as prophesied in the Bible? There is no other book as accurate as your Bible!

Did you know that the blessings such as the Greatest single nation bestowed to America and the British Commonwealth of nations was promised to Abraham?

Did you know that The Royal family of Britain is a continuation of the Throne of David?

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A Nation and a Company of Nations

These tremendous promises were repromised to Isaac and to Jacob. Ishmael and Abraham’s other sons were rejected from this birthright. Esau, Isaac’s son and Jacob’s twin brother, sold it and was rejected. The promise, as confirmed to Isaac, is recorded in Genesis 26:3-5: “… 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 ….” Notice! Twice God promised “all these countries.” That is millions of times larger than the 2 x 6-foot plot our “intellectual” cynic contended for. Also, Isaac’s descendants were to “multiply as the stars of heaven.” That’s thousands of times larger than a tiny “township.”

To Jacob it is repeated in Genesis 27:26-29, where material blessing of wealth in the things of the ground is added, with the prophecy that heathen nations shall be ruled by the birthright nations of Israel. “Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness ]margin: fat places] of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.”

To Spread Worldwide

And we find the promises again in Genesis 28:13-14, where the added detail that these nations of Israel shall eventually spread around the world is recorded. “And, behold, the ]Eternal] … said, I am the ]Eternal] God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south ….”

The original Hebrew for “spread abroad” means “to break forth.” This promise places no limit on how far east, west, north and south Jacob’s descendants should spread. Thus it indicates they would spread around the Earth. This is confirmed in Romans 4:13: “For the promise, that he ]Abraham] should be the heir of the world  ….”

But this is not a promise that Abraham’s descendants should inherit, own, and possess the whole of the Earth, leaving nothing for Gentiles—that is, prior to the new Earth—but rather that, in years and centuries to come, they would spread and occupy certain areas in various parts of the Earth. Yet, the new Earth—after the Millennium—will be inhabited only by those who shall be Abraham’s children through Christ (Romans 4:13).

There is a phase of this prophecy heretofore utterly overlooked—not before understood. Indeed these birthright Israelitish nations have spread to and occupied various lands or areas in many locations around the world. This occurred after they were—721-718 b.c.—driven in a captivity out of their own promised land of Samaria in Palestine. The next verses in Genesis 28 complete this phase of the prophecy. “And, behold,” God continued, “I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest ]God is here referring, not to Jacob personally, but his descendants who were to spread abroad in all directions], and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of” (verse 15).

This generally unnoticed, but significant prophecy will be fulfilled at the Second Coming of Christ. It is explained further in Jeremiah 23:7-8, and 50:4-6, 19-20, and other prophecies.

Repromised to Jacob

Still later, God appeared to Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, even further defining the makeup of these “many nations” thus: “And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply;a nation and a company of nationsshall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins” (Genesis 35:11). The Moffatt translation renders it “a nation, ]and] a group of nations.” The Fenton rendering is “a nation and an Assembly of Nations.” The rsv translates it as in the Authorized Version, above quoted. So the “many nations” are eventually to take shape as a nation—one great, wealthy, powerful nation—and another company of nations—a group, or commonwealth of nations.

Mark carefully this crucial fact! This is basic, if you are to grasp the all-important key to all prophecy—the very key to the real meaning of the unprecedented world events of the present. This promise never has been fulfilled in the Jews. It cannot be “spiritualized” away by interpreting it as being inherited only through Christ. It could not pertain to the Church, for there is but one true Church acknowledged in the Bible, and it is not a nation, or a group of nations, but one Church of called-out individuals scattered through all nations. Yet this amazing promise must stand fulfilled, unless we are to deny the Bible and God’s sacred Word!

Here is the enigma of the ages! Is this a divine promise unkept? Thomas Paine and Robert Ingersoll lost faith in God and rejected the Bible because they believed these national promises were never fulfilled.

The very fate of the Bible as the revealed Word of God—the evidence of the existence of God—hangs on the answer to this momentous question. The Jewish people did not fulfill these promises. The promises do not refer to the Church. The world with its great church leaders does not know of any such fulfillment. Did God fail? Or has He made good this colossal promise unknown to the world? The true answer is the most astonishing revelation of Bible truth, of prophecy, and of unrecognized history!

CONTINUE READING

Chapter 4: The Separation of the Birthright and the Scepter

CHAPTER 4

The Separation of the Birthright and the Scepter

From the Book The United States and Britain in Prophecy ByHERBERT W. ARMSTRONG

Now we come to a most vital distinction, and a bit of Bible truth known to but a very few. Very few, indeed, have ever noticed that the promises to Abraham were twofold. But the Bible itself makes sharp distinction between these two phases of the promises.

The spiritual promises—the promises of the “one seed,” Christ, and of salvation through Him—the Bible calls the scepter. But the material and national promises relating to many nations, national wealth, prosperity and power, and possession of the Holy Land, the Bible calls the birthright.

Race, Not Grace

Let us understand the meaning of the terms:

“Birthright: native right or privilege”—Standard Dictionary;“any right acquired by birth”—Webster’s. A birthright is something which is one’s right, by birth. It has nothing to do with grace, which is unmerited pardon and a free gift which is not one’s right. It has to do with race, not grace. Birthright possessions are customarily passed down from father to eldest son.

Scepter: kingly office; royal power; badge of command or sovereignty”—Standard Dictionary. The promised kingly line culminates in Christ, and involves grace to all.

We have seen how both sets of promises, right of birth and gift of grace, were unconditionally made by God to Abraham. Both the birthright and the scepter were repromised by the Eternal to Isaac and to Jacob. But the fact that should open your eyes, as a joyous truth newly discovered, is that from that point these two sets of promises became separated! The scepter promises of the kingly line culminating in Christ, and of grace through Him, were handed on toJudah, son of Jacob and father of all Jews. But the astonishing truth is that the birthright promises were never given to the Jews!

Let that be repeated! Realize this! The birthright promises were never given to the Jews!

Turn to these passages—read them in your own Bible!

“The sceptre shall not depart from Judah …” (Genesis 49:10).

“]B]ut the birthright was Joseph’s” (1 Chronicles 5:2).

Of course it is well understood that the scepter went to Judah and was handed down through the Jews. King David was of the tribe of Judah. All succeeding kings of David’s dynasty were of the house of David, tribe of Judah. Jesus Christ was born of the house of David and the tribe of Judah.

Another eye-opening truth completely unrealized by most people today is the fact that only apart of the “children of Israel” were Jews.

Read that little understood fact again!

The full explanation and proof of this must be reserved for Chapter 6. Only those of the three tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi were Jews. While all Jews are Israelites, most Israelites are not Jews!

So understand! The birthright promise did not pass on to the Jews! But the scepter—the promise of Christ and of grace—was passed on to the Jews! “Salvation,” Jesus said, “is of the Jews”! (John 4:22). “The gospel of Christ,” wrote Paul, “is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). The promises of grace were handed down through Judah!

But the promises which the Bible terms the “birthright” have not been understood at all. Few have ever noticed that God made any promises to Abraham other than the scepter. Few know what is in the Bible!

Birthright Never Given to the Jews

Fewer still have understood that these great national material promises were never given to the Jews! The astonishing and vital fact that many have overlooked is “the birthright is Joseph’s.” And, as we shall see later, neither Joseph nor his descendants were Jews! Astounding as it may be, it’s true!

This knowledge about the birthright is the pivot of this entire truth which will prove the key to the understanding of all prophecy! It’s of supreme importance that you get this clearly in mind!

“Birthright,” as defined above, includes only that which comes by right of birth. No one can receive eternal life as a right, from natural birth. If it were our right, inherited by birth, it would not be by grace. Salvation comes by grace—God’s gift, by undeserved pardon—unmerited favor. We can receive only material possessions as a right by birth. And when that right is passed down through generations to ever-multiplying descendants, it finally devolves into a national inheritance. It confers only material possessions, power, or position. It does not bestow spiritual blessings. It is a matter of race, not grace!

There is another distinction between a birthright and grace we ought to understand. A birthright, as before stated, is normally passed on from father to eldest son. There are no conditions which the recipient is required to meet. The son does nothing to qualify for it. He receives it as his right for no other reason than that he happened to be born his father’s son. He has a right to it without earning it or qualifying to be worthy of it. He could, however, disqualify himself to keep, or even to receive it.

But the gift of immortality received by grace does have qualifying conditions! It is not your right, nor mine, to receive the gift of eternal life—to be actually born as God’s son—literally a member of the God Family! Think what conditions would result if it were! A rebellious, defiant, hostile, God-hating criminal or atheist could shake his fist at God and say: “Look, God! I hate you. I defy you! I refuse to obey you! But I demand your gift of eternal life! It’s my right! I want to be born into your divine Family—to receive all the vast power of a son of God, so I can use that power to oppose you! I want to make your Family a house divided against itself. I will cause friction, hostility, hatred, unhappiness among all your children! I demand that power, as your gift, as my right, so that I may abuse that power—use it for evil!”

Grace Requires Conditions

Grace Requires Conditions

Most professing “Christians”—and many teachings of what is called “traditional Christianity”—say there are no conditions, nothing that we must do to receive God’s glorious grace. They deny that God requires obedience to His law! They twist the truth around by saying that would be earning one’s salvation! They do demand it of God, while they still rebel against His law and refuse to keep it!

Think where that would lead! Understand this! Eternal life is, indeed, God’s free gift. You can’t earn it! But it is not your right! You cannot demand it of God as your right, while you defy God, rebel against His government, refuse to let Him rule your life His way!

Therefore God has imposedconditions! Those conditions do not earn you a thing! But God givesHis Holy Spirit to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32). He does not pay it—but the passage speaks of the Holy Spirit which “God hath givento them that obey Him.” It is still a free gift!

A rich man might have seven men standing before him, and say: “I will give, as my free gift, $1,000 to any or all of you who will step forward and receive it.” Their stepping forward does not earn it. It is merely the condition required to receive the free gift.

The word “grace” means unmerited, undeserved pardon!God pardons those who repent! And “repent” means to turn fromrebellion, hostility, disobedience. “Repent” means to turn to obedience to God’s law. The fact that God chooses not to give this wonderful gift—the gift of immortality, which carries with it divine power—to those who would misuse it for harm and evil; the fact that He chooses to give it only to those who will rightly use it—does not mean it comes by worksinstead of grace. If there were noconditions, then everyone could demand it—and it would be received as a right by birth, instead of by grace!

The very fact of grace makes necessary God’s required qualifications. But it still is an undeserved gift! Obedience does not earn anything—that is only what we owe to God. A birthright requires no qualification. It is a right by birth.

What the Birthright Conferred

Just what special material inheritance was passed on by

the birthright few have understood. Yet it conferred the

richest, most valuable material inheritance ever passed

from father to son—the most colossal wealth and power ever amassed by man or empire! The magnitude of this birthright is staggering!

It includes all the first phase of God’s tremendous promises to Abraham. This legacy guaranteed on the authority of God Almighty,unconditionally, multitudinous population, untold wealth and material resources, national greatness and world power!

Not only had God promised that a world-dominant nation and a company, or commonwealth, of nations whose peoples descended from Abraham would be as populous as the grains of sand of the seashore—as the stars in multitude; not only did He promise they should possess the gate(Fenton translation: gates) of enemy nations, which alone signifies world dominance and power; but the birthright finally included vast material wealth and unlimited national resources. That was made plain in the blessing given to Jacob, as we shall soon see.

The Birthright Denied to Ishmael

Except in cases of divine intervention, which occurred three times, the inheritance of the birthright fell automatically to the eldest son in each generation.

Isaac was chosen by the Eternal to inherit both the scepter and birthright. Abraham had other sons. Ishmael was the eldest. But God chose Isaac, and “Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac” (Genesis 25:5). Isaac, however, was Abraham’s firstborn lawful son. Ishmael was the son of Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian handmaid.

Abraham loved Ishmael and desired for him to have the birthright. “And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!” (Genesis 17:18).

Sarah his wife was barren. “And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I … will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly … and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac …” (verses 19-21).

Regarding the future nation to spring from Ishmael, the angel of the Eternal had said to Hagar: “]H]e will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell to the east ]correct translation] of all his brethren” (Genesis 16:12).

Two clues are given here: 1) Ishmael’s descendants were to become a great nation but the birthright nations were to be greater; and 2) they were to dwell to the east of their brethren—that is, of Isaac’s descendants who had the birthright. The children of Ishmael have become the Arabs of today. The nation and company of nations who hold the birthright must, therefore, be larger, wealthier, more powerful, and must be found geographically west of the Arab nations.

Abraham was the human type of God the Father, and Isaac of Christ. There are many parallels. Space prohibits expounding them here, except to note that if we are Christ’s we are Abraham’s children (Galatians 3:29), and Abraham is the “father of the faithful” (see Galatians 3:7); that Abraham was called on to be willing to sacrifice his only (legitimate) son (Genesis 22:2) even as God gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, for the sins of the world; that Isaac’s wife Rebekah is a type of the Church, and she had to fall in love with him and accept him as her husband before she saw him with her eyes; and that Isaac was born by promise, and by a miracle from God, even as Jesus was miraculously born of the virgin Mary.

Isaac had twin sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau was the firstborn, and therefore the legal inheritor of the birthright. But Esau undervalued it and sold it to Jacob.

Esau Sells the Birthright

God had chosen Jacob to possess these promises before the twins were born. But Jacob, influenced by his mother instead of waiting on the Eternal, resorted to deception and took it from Esau.

The Eternal had said to Rebekah, regarding Esau and Jacob, that they were the beginning of two nations—”two manner of people … the one people shall be stronger than the other people,” said God, “and the elder shall serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23).

Their descendants, then, were to become two different types of people. The story of Jacob’s premature and deceptive acquisition of the birthright continues, in Genesis 25:27-34.

“And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob. And Jacob sod pottage ]boiled porridge—Fenton’s translation]: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.”

“Edom” means, literally, “red soup,” and is so translated in the Fenton version. It will prove another “key” to Bible understanding for the reader to carefully fasten in his memory the fact that “Edom” refers to Esau.Many prophecies pertaining to the present and future employ the name Edom. They cannot be understood unless it is realized that they refer to the descendants of Esau, primarily the Turkish nation today.

“And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.” Later, Jacob subtly took from Esau his blessing. The story of this deception is found in Genesis 27.

Jacob’s Deceptiveness

Jacob’s Deception

It was at a time when Isaac was old, his eyesight dimmed with age. Nearing the end of his life, he called Esau and requested that he go to the field and hunt for venison, prepare it and bring it to him. He would then bestow the blessing confirming the birthright.

But Rebekah overheard, and sent Jacob quickly for two kids of the goats. These she prepared in the same tempting way that Isaac loved his venison. Then she took some of Esau’s clothes and put them on Jacob. Now Esau was very hairy, while Jacob was smooth, so Rebekah carefully placed the skins of the two kids upon Jacob’s hands, arms, and smooth part of his neck.

In this disguise, with his imitation venison, Jacob went in to receive his father’s blessing. “And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn …” (Genesis 27:19).

Isaac was surprised he had found the venison so quickly and became suspicious. Jacob lied again, asserting the Eternal had brought the venison to him. Isaac detected the voice was that of Jacob.

“And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him” (verses 21-23).

What the Birthright Included

Now notice carefully what that blessing included!

“And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the ]Eternal] hath blessed: Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine ]Fenton’s translation: increase and possession]: Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee” (verses 26-29).

Note it! Materialistic promises,national in nature, every one! Not one of them pertaining to salvation. None having to do with life after death. Nothing spiritual here! All pertaining purely to this present fleshly life! Nationalprosperity—rainfall, plenty of corn and wine, the fatness of the earth, or, as the margin reads, the fat places of the earth—increase and possession. “Nations shall bow down to thee!” “Let people serve thee.”

When Esau returned and found how Jacob had supplanted him, he was very bitter. He pleaded for a blessing, too. But Isaac could not retract the blessing given to Jacob. So he passed on to Esau the following prophecy:

“Behold, thy dwelling shall be ]correct translation: away from] the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck. And Esau hated Jacob …” (verses 39-41).

In verse 39, quoted above, the Hebrew preposition min should be translated “from” or “away from,” not “of.” Actually, the prophesied lot of Esau was more of a curse than a blessing. The Revised Standard Version translates it: “Behold, away from the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be, and away from the dew of heaven on high.” Moffatt renders it: “Far from rich soil on earth shall you live, far from the dew of heaven on high.” Actually, the Hebrew words convey the dual meaning, and bothhave happened to Esau’s descendants.

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