Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Romans 9:4; Q & A (7 of 6)

  To those of us that can count (you know who you are) this is the SEVENTH installment of a six part series.  This came about because one of my most stalwart readers posed some questions via an email. This friend and reader , who declined to be named, is an unapologetic 'replacement theology' adherent and though he and I  had discussed this issue and its various implications many many times over the years, he had  questions.  I promised him that I would take  his questions directly from the email and answer them to the best of my ability.

1.  How can Abraham be the father of MANY nations yet we keep singling out one nation? 

 The short answer to this quandry is that God keeps singling out one nation, and we are simply following His lead.
  But the long answer is pretty interesting too. There is a subtle, yet significant transition amongst two different conversations between God and Abram that at least partially explains it.In Genesis 12:12 God says "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". Later on, in Genesis 17:4-6, God says something slightly different. "As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee .And I will make thee exceeding  fruitful , and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee."  It goes from singular to plural. Why?
  Well a lot of things happened between chapters 12 and 17, and one of the things that happened was Ishmael was born.  A lot can be said about Ishmael, but Genesis 17 says "And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee : Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful , and will multiply him exceedingly ; twelve princes shall he beget , and I will make him a great nation." Also in Genesis 21, the angel of the Lord tells his mother that, despite NOT being the  child of promise, Ishmael will still have an important destiny.  Verse 18 reads "Arise , lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation."
  If you take the nation God promised Abram through Isaac, and the  twelve princes that Ishamel produced (named in 1 Chronicles 1), Abraham really does become the "father of many nations.".  Going forward from Ishamels departure, though, the focus in the Bible becomes entirely on Isaac and his descendants.  The other peoples of the world, including the Ishmalite cousins, are really only portrayed insomuch as how they interact with Isaacs family. Isaacs family goes to Egypt, and Isaacs family crosses the Red Sea on the way out of Egypt. Isaacs family gets the 10 Commandments, and the tabernacle instructions. Isaacs family takes the land of Canaan, and all the kings of Israel including the Lord Jesus Christ, come out of Isaac, not Ishmael. 
  Also, lest I be accused of neglect, there is also a spiritual nation associated with Abraham, which we will cover in  a later question.

2. How can Ephesians 2 say we're not strangers to the covenants of promise yet were told those covenants are just for Jews?  

  I covered this in another post, but I'll hit the high points here.  The book of Hebrews says that we have "a better covenant" built upon "better promises". "Better" doesn't mean "the same promises, just reassigned."
  The context of Ephesians 2 is how Gentiles didn't have access to God the same way Israel did. A Gentile who wanted access to God ( like Ruth or the Ethiopian eunuch) had to take on the trappings of the Mosaic law (feasts, sacrifices, dietary laws, etc), and even then, he had no promise of a land inheritance and so missed out on the promises associated with  the land because those promises were doled out along family lines.
 In Ephesians 2 the whole point is that  what the law could not accomplish  was accomplished by Jesus Christ.  A relationship with God was almost impossible for a Gentile before the crucifixion , but now the Gentiles can be joint-heirs with Christ, not joint heirs with Israel. The covenants of promise spoken of are the better promises of the better covenant anthey are the inheritance spoken of as belonging, as a present possession to everyone who is "in Christ" whether they  came from a Jewish background or a Gentile background.  
   According to John 3 the new birth is a spiritual birth, and so  is accompanied by a spiritual inheritance and spiritual blessings  that are available to every believer at the moment of regeneration.  These include things like the promise of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4, 2:33-39), promise of life now and life to come (1 Tim 4:8, 2 Tim 1:1) , the promise of his coming (2 Peter 3:4) and the promise of eternal life (1 John 2:25). In Christ we have redemption  (Rom 3:24)  atonement and  joy (Rom 5:11), no condemnation (Rom 8:1), law of life (Rom 8:2), love of God (Rom 8:39), one body (Rom 12:5), approval (Rom 16:10), sanctification (1 Cor 1:2), wisdom and righteousness (1 Cor 1:30,  4:10) instructors and fathers (1 Cor 4:17),a bodily resurrection (1 Cor 15:18),  and hope (1 Cor 15:19). We are made alive (1 Cor 15:22), we are given  rejoicing (1 Cor 15:31), we are stablished and anointed (2 Cor 1:21), we triumph (2 Cor 2:14), we are made new creatures (2 Cor 5:17), the vail is done away with so that we can  understand the scriptures (2 Cor 3:14), we have simplicity (2 Cor 11:3), we are made children of God (Gal 3:26), we are joined one to another (Gal 3:28), we are given a spiritual circumcision ( Col 6:15), we are made nigh to God (Eph 2:13), we experience the fullness of mystery (Eph 3:19), and we receive a high calling and purpose in grace (Phil 3:14, 2 Tim 1:9). We are given the chance to be persecuted (2 Tm 3:12), yet have peace (1 Peter 5:14) as we experience all spiritual blessings (Eph 1:3). We are not only wrought in Christ, (Eph 1:20), but we are his workmanship (Eph 2:10) while being fellow heirs (Eph 3:6).  In Christ we can  experience steadfastness ( Col 2:5), faith and love (1 Tim 1:4), salvation (2 Tim 2:10) and boldness (Phi 1:8).  In light of all this, why in the world would we want a  land grant in Palestine and a promise against crop failure if we tithe?
  The real  fatal flaw in 'replacement theology' is in its application.  The  aforementioned things have been available to every Christian since Calvary regardless of location or living conditions. A 21st century American who is saved  has just as much sanctification or wisdom or victory available to him  as a saved man  toiling in a Soviet gulag in the 1980's or as a saved man rotting in a Roman dungeon in the 1st century. It's because we are all one, and those blessings aren't based on what we do, but rather on what Christ did. 
 The promises made to Israel aren't equally available in the same sense in every century because for most of  their history, they couldn't meet the conditions associated with the promises and therefore couldn't enjoy them.  That's what I mean by application.  For example, if we are the recipient of Israels promises, why did our enemies prevail against us for 600 years in the Spanish Inquisition? Weren't they promised victory over their enemies? Why are we sick? Weren't they promised healing? Why do our crops fail?  Weren't they promised prosperity?  What happens when Christians of one country go to war against Christians from another country, if God has promised to fight our enemies for us? See, application is where it all falls apart when  someone tries to jam a body of New Testament believers into the Old Testament promises.

3. How are we called the "seed of Abraham" in Galatians 3 yet are not entitled to the blessings of the seed where with God told Abraham that all families of the earth would be blessed through him? 

  Great question by the way, Anonymous Reader Guy.  For starters, Galatians 3:8-9 says "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed . So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. In context, the blessing mentioned is justification by faith, not a land grant doled out among family lines. That is not a physical blessing, in fact, according to Ephesians 1:3 God has blessed us with "all spiritual blessings".   Along these same lines, Paul claimed to be sowing spiritual things by preaching the gospel in 1 Cor 9. All of the promises made to the  church are  spiritual in nature, including our upcoming resurrection since it is raised a "spiritual body" according to 1 Cor 15.
  But as you may have noticed, that still leaves us with Galatians 3:7 which says   " Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham." At the risk of  getting off topic, and tackling an area above my intelligence,take a look at something  really interesting in John 8.
 In John 8:33-39, the Bible says "They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou , Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you , Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth  ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free , ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do  the works of Abraham."  So what are the works of Abraham? According to Romans 4:3 "For what saith the scripture ? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness"
  Now I don't claim to understand all the implications of those verses, but its very interesting that Jesus  admitted they were Abraham's seed, but then told them they weren't Abraham's children.  There appears to be a difference, and the difference, though subtle, is significant enough for Jesus to comment on.  The explanation of the difference is found in Galatians 3:7.  Apparently these were descendants of Abraham who by physical birth qualified for the  physical promises of the physical covenants , but yet they had rejected the God who had made those covenants.  Since "God is a spirit", they don't get the spiritual blessings and because of their disobedience, were running the risk of being ejected from the land, which of course happened about 30 years later. 
  In light of this  huge, over-arching, history-of-the-whole-world-including-the-future topic, let me conclude with this ;the physical seed of Abraham qualify for the physical promises, but the spiritual seed of Abraham qualify for the spiritual promises which are , by definition, better. There are other aspects to all this that I hope to address in greater depth in the future but in the meantime I hope that's clear, and I hope that helps.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Romans 9:4 Promises (6 of 6)

 NOTE: This is the last (sort of) installment of this series which, as I've said before is based loosely on a book I almost wrote which is based loosely off a class I almost taught.  This  piece is lengthier than most, but I think contains relevant information.  Part one is here.

"Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;"  Romans 9:4

 Here at the end of verse 4 we find "promises" Many of these promises overlap or are distinctly attached to the covenants.  Almost all heresy taught in modern times finds its roots in people to whom the covenants were not made wanting to claim the promises associated with those promises.  By way of illustration, if I enter into a rental agreement with a man to rent his property, that is a covenant of sorts.  The particulars of the covenant may vary depending on our negotiations, but the nature of it is still the same.  The promise of that covenant is that, if I meet the conditions of that covenant, I am able to benefit from the property.   Now imagine that somebody who didn’t sign that lease suddenly decided to start sleeping in the apartment.  As someone with whom the covenant was not made, they have no claim of the benefits of that covenant.  That same landlord may make a separate agreement with a separate individual regarding a separate piece of property. The fact that we both have a lease with the same individual does not mean we have the same lease or even derive the same benefits from that lease.  The reader misses this point at their own peril.
 Promise #1-The Land
  Obviously this dovetails with the land covenant. This piece of property is defined in Genesis 15:7 as “this land”. It is a real, temporal place located on the surface of the earth.  The borders of this land are spelled out in Genesis 15:18; it runs from the Nile to the Euphrates.  This is an unconditional promise, as made obvious by Genesis 15:17-20, which says “And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down , and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.  In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying , Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:  The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,  And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,  And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”  Abraham, and his seed are given this land with no conditions laid on them for ownership. 
 Furthermore, God makes provision for their future foolishness. Earlier in the chapter, in verse 9, it says “And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old , and a she goat of three years old , and a ram of three years old , and a turtledove, and a young pigeon”
  The heifer is a purification offering for sin (Num 19). This gives Abram a clean slate before it goes any further. The she goat is an offering for sins committed in ignorance (Num 15). This blots out any sins that Abram didn’t even realize he’d committed.  The ram is an offering of a sweet savour (Ex 29).  In the future, when Abrams descendants go through poverty, they can rest in the fact that the turtledove (Lev 12) and the young pigeon (Lev 12) speak on their behalf. So willful sins, sins of ignorance, offerings of praise, and proof against poverty are all represented in the list of animals God tells Abram to prepare.  God has literally thought of everything.
  But it doesn’t stop there.  The apparent tradition was that when two people entered into a covenant that they would split the animals and walk through the split together.  God doesn’t do this here. He has Abraham make all the preparations and then walks through by himself after Abraham is asleep.
    But as we covered earlier, owning the land is one thing and living there is something else. There are definite conditions set to dwell there. Genesis 17:10-14 reads “This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.  And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.  And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger , which is not of thy seed.  He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.  And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.”  Even the ‘stranger’ who is no kin to Abraham has to be circumcised if he wants to stay in the land. 
  Later on, after generations in Egyptian slavery, Abrahams descendants returned to the land and in Joshua 5:2-9 were commanded “At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.  And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.  And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise : All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt.  Now all the people that came out were circumcised : but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised .  For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed , because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey.  And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised : for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way.  And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole .  And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you.”  While they were in Egypt, God never made an issue about circumcision but before they can cross Jordan they have to have it done.
  Furthermore the ability to stay in the land is predicated upon obedience. Deut 28:21-25 says  “The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.  The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish .  And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.  The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed .  The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies : thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.”  The landlord of all the earth is more than willing to evict them if they don’t behave.  In fact, most of your Old Testament is a cycle of disobedience followed by expulsion, followed by repentance and followed by restoration.
Promise #2-Prosperity
 Exodus 15:26 says  And said , If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee”.  Exodus 23:24-30 says “And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.  There shall nothing cast their young , nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil .  I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come , and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.  And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.  I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee.  By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased , and inherit the land”. God promised them, in exchange for obedience, that he would prosper them in health and wealth as they made their way into the land.
Deuteronomy 28:1-11 says “ And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:  And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.  Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.  Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.  Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.  Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in , and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out .  The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.  The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.  The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.  And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.  And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee.”
  Keep these specifics in mind when some ‘minister’ on television or in a tent somewhere promises you healing or prosperity as some sort of birthright. The fine print on that contract reads that it was given to a certain man’s descendants as a reward for obedience while living on a certain piece of property.  They were never promised that if they obeyed God while exiled in Hungary or South America that God would cause them to never get sick and to always make good business deals. There is also nothing to indicate that this promise passed on to any other group of people.  There are few things more surreal than living in 21st century America and seeing jobless people who live in government housing claim Old Testament promises of prosperity while giving their money to Bible-wresting charlatans.
Promise #3-Supremacy
 Isaiah 60:9-14 lays it out, saying “Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.  And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.  Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought .  For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish ; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted .  The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious .  The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” Deuteronomy 28:13 says “And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:”
  I intend to tread carefully here because a pretty substantial case can be made that the ‘thee’ in Isaiah 60 is the Lord Jesus Christ and he will be given  supremacy over all when he rules and reigns on the earth. That is certainly the case, and a double application is probably valid since the man Christ Jesus is of the right lineage to fulfill the verse either way but I think that Deut 28 indicates that, somewhere in the ruling structure, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have a seat at the table.  Either way, this is a conditional promise based upon either personal obedience on the part of Jesus Christ, or national obedience on the part of Israel.  This will be explored in greater depth as we go on.
  Obviously the Hebrew people are not enjoying this promise as we speak since everywhere they go everyone hates them, and tries to kill them.  They do not appear to be the ‘head’ of anything, and after rejecting their Messiah cannot even successfully defend the borders of the land God gave them against incursions by their enemies.    Some have mistakenly claimed that, after the ascension of Jesus, promises like this were rescinded by God and transferred to another group of people.  But these promises all interweave and overlap, and this promise must be viewed in light of the others.
Promise #4-Blessings
  This promise first  shows up in Genesis 12:2-3, when God promises Abraham “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 .” This unconditional promise proves itself to not simply apply to Abraham personally , as it is re-invoked in Genesis 27:29, which says  “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.” It is repeated again in Numbers 28:4-9, and applied to the entire nation when it says “God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.  He couched , he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up ? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.”
  This promise bears itself out in world history, as one nation after another finds the sun setting on it’s prestige and strength after mistreating the Hebrew people. A quick list from the ancient world would include the empires of Egypt, Rome and Babylon, and Greece all of whom spanned the world until they mistreated the Hebrew people.  Spain lost their armada, and soon afterwards, their supremacy due to their seizure of Jewish properties during the Inquisition.  In the modern world we have the examples of Germany and Britain, one of whom slaughtered Jews and the other gave away Abrahams land in the Balfour declaration.  Niger, Chad, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Upper Volta, Senegal, and Mali all have one thing in common; they all severed ties with Israel  and sided with the Palestinians in 1972 and 1973. All of them had the Sahara desert expand into their countries, and now all of them have a difficulty feeding their people.  Though it’s dangerous to cherry pick history in order to make it fit a thesis, the Bible is clear; in Zechariah 2:8-9 it proclaims “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.  For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants : and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me”
  This promise has some future application, also, as we can see in Matthew 25:31-46;”When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come , ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  For I was an hungred , and ye gave me meat : I was thirsty , and ye gave me drink : I was a stranger, and ye took me in :  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick , and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying , Lord, when saw we thee an hungred , and fed thee? or thirsty , and gave thee drink ?  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in ? or naked, and clothed thee?  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed , into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  For I was an hungred , and ye gave me no meat : I was thirsty , and ye gave me no drink :  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in : naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.  Then shall they also answer him, saying , Lord, when saw we thee an hungred , or athirst , or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?  Then shall he answer them, saying , Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.“  Here is a future event in which nations are somehow judged for how they treated Jesus’ brethren with eternal consequences.
Promise #5-Restoration
   The nature and scope of this promise is staggering.  God, having committed himself to this people, further commits himself by making a promise that exists afresh and anew to every generation of Hebrews.  No matter what their fathers or grandfathers had done, the promises of God exist brand new for them if they will only return to him.  God will never write off or cast away Abraham’s seed, as he says so clearly in Leviticus 26:40-46 "If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;  
And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies ; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled , and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:  Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember ; and I will remember the land.  The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.
 And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies , I will not cast them away , neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly , and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.  These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the LORD made between him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses." 
  Every fresh generation of Abrahams descendants faces this promise, and faces this choice; will they believe what God said, or just be one more generation of scattered skeptics living in someone else's country while their own country is inhabited and enjoyed by squatters?  And if they, as a group somehow turned their hearts towards God, what would that look like?  The scriptures state that some  future generation of Hebrews will do just that, and when they do,  God will honor it no matter how many centuries of apostasy that preceded them and restore them by bringing them back into the land.
  This is reiterated in the oft-misapplied 2 Chr 7:14 , which says "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray , and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."  

Promise #6-Signs
  This promise dovetails with the covenant for signs,; in fact they are the flip side of the same coin.  The nation begins with signs in Exodus 4, and those signs are invoked again and again (Ex 8, Ex 13, Ex 31, Num 16, Num 26, Deut 6, Deut 11..etc etc) as proof that God is dealing with them. The church was never promised this. In fact, the church has a ‘better covenant’ and ‘a more sure word of prophecy’.
  In the early book of Acts, when Jewish apostles were dealing with Jewish hearers, they deployed their signs and the Bible says “And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.” These are called the “signs of an apostle” in 2 Corinthians 12:12 and every person doing ‘signs’ in the book of Acts is a descendant of Abraham.
  In God’s future dealings with Israel as a nation, he will bring back Moses and Elijah (Rev 11) and once again, signs and wonders will be the medium of communication.  At the same time, the devil’s counterfeit will be hard at work (as in Moses’s day) with his own signs and wonders (Mark 13:22, 2 Thess 2:9).
Promise #7- A Prophet
  Deut 18:15 says “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken “.  This capital ‘P’ Prophet would be like Moses, a Hebrew, and this promise found it’s fulfillment in the birth of Jesus Christ.  Moses worked signs and wonders, and Jesus worked signs and wonders. Moses’ birth was accompanied by the slaughter of infants, and Jesus’ birth was accompanied by the slaughter of infants.  Moses was a mediator between God and Aaron, and Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and man.  Moses was rejected by his people the first time, and Jesus “came unto his own, and his own received him not..”.  Moses was accepted by his people the second time, and the Jews will accept Christ as a people at his second coming. The parallels are remarkable, and as icing on the cake, the Bible says that the spirit of Jesus Christ is the “spirit of prophecy”.
Promise #8-A Great Nation
“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:” is the promise given in Genesis 12. Not only will they exist as an ethnic group in the land that God gave them, but they will be a self-governing people; a nation all their own.  Exodus 19:6 repeats the promise adding that they will be “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation”.   They are never referred to as a nation in Abraham’s day, and they certainly aren’t self-governing while slaves in Egypt, but after coming out of bondage, crossing the Red Sea, and entering into the land, Exodus 33:13 quotes Moses as saying “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.”
  Here is where it gets interesting.  Beginning in the book of Joshua they take the land and dwell there as a self-governing people, but repeatedly because of idolatry, they aren’t able to stay self-governing.  Over and over again they are conquered and enslaved by Philistines or Babylonians or Chaldeans.  In AD 70, after rejecting their Messiah they were driven out of the land by Rome and dispersed to the four corners of the earth where they stayed until the 1940’s when  Israel became a nation again.  Throughout the  1940’s up to this present day, emigration  back to  the land continues.
  As important and pivotal as the re-emergence of Israel as a nation is, I cannot honestly claim that event to be the total fulfillment of those verses.  Simply put, they are currently neither a kingdom of priests, nor an holy nation.  They exist, at present, unable to completely vanquish their enemies and hold onto the land God gave them. They are not in obedience to the word of God. They are, as a group, an odd mix  of unregenerate Christ-rejecting secularists and unregenerate Christ-rejecting religionists.  Because of all this, I think those verses have a future fulfillment as we will establish later.
Promise #9-National Conversion
  Joel 2  is where we find this promise, which reads “Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.  Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:  But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up , and his ill savour shall come up , because he hath done great things .  Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice : for the LORD will do great things .  Be not afraid , ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring , for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.  Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.  And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.  And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten , the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.  And ye shall eat in plenty , and be satisfied , and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed .  And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed”
  There are a lot of particulars to this promise that deserve further study but are outside the scope of this study.  Suffice to say that God promised them that, after literally centuries of either half-heartedly serving him or outright rejecting him, that one day they as a people would praise him while living in the land and prospering. There seems to be no condition on this promise, rather it comes across as a certain fact that this will happen.  On this side of Calvary, the only possibility would be if Abraham’s descendants accepted their Messiah in the future.  Since the scriptures cannot be broken, there must be a national conversion coming up.
 Promise #10-A King
   After being promised a land to live in, and a nation to belong to, Gen 49:10-12 tells us that a king is coming to reign. “Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up : he stooped down , he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up ?  The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come ; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”
  This is another unconditional promise that, in practice, means that even while under Babylonian rule or Egyptian slavery, the Jews could take comfort that one day one of their own would rule over them.  That king, as explained by other passages would be God himself, although the verse is partially fulfilled during the reign of David. If you compare 1 Samuel 12:13 (“Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen , and whom ye have desired ! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you.”) with Isaiah 9:6-7 (   For unto us a child is born , unto us a son is given : and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor , The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”), it becomes obvious that God gave them their choice for a king, but that God’s choice would be the final king over them.
  It goes without saying that the Gentiles were never promised that one of their own would be their ruler, and certainly not that God himself would be their king.

Promise #11-Healing
  This may be the most frequently stolen promise in the age we live in.  Entire ministries have been built up claiming divine freedom from illnesses and sicknesses while claiming promises given to Old Testament Jews.  A careful look at what God actually promised is the usual remedy for this problem, and so, looking at Isaiah 35:4-6, we see that it says “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped .  Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out , and streams in the desert.”  It’s a healing not just of the infirmities of blindness, deafness and lameness, but healing of the land itself. Isaiah 42:6-7 says “I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;  To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.” Exodus 15 gives the conditions of this promise when it says “And said , If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.”  A connection between  physical illness and spiritual illness is made in Psalm 103 which says “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;”
  This much is clear; the healing would be done by God himself predicated upon their obedience and accompanied by their deliverance.  They would not get sick unless they sinned, and if they sinned and repented, God would heal them. This is why, the night the Jews left Egypt there was not a sick person among them.  This is also why so much of Christ’s earthly ministry was spent healing the blind, the deaf and the halt while proclaiming that their sins were also forgiven. It was proof of his diety.
  The flip side of this is that, while healing was promised with obedience, disease was just as surely promised with disobedience in Deut 28, and both the blessing and cursing are only promised while they are in the land God gave to Abraham.  Gentiles were never told that their illnesses are because of sin, or that obeying a list of rules would get them supernatural healing.  The truth is that we live in a sin-cursed world and we are all in bodies subject to decay and death, with no promise that God will heal us, though he certainly is at liberty to do so.
 This topic gets revisited in the book of James written to the 12 tribes which are scattered aboard where once again, they are promised healing.  So much damage has been done by false ministers who have cited passages that didn’t apply to them and then signed God’s name to promises that he never made.  These scripture–wresting wreckers have told people that their grandmother was going to be free of cancer, and when the grandmother died, the grandchildren rejected God.   Some ‘healers’ even blame the victim for not having enough ‘faith’. These charlatans have set up tents and fleeced the biblically ignorant instead of declaring the whole counsel of God.  These clowns have made money selling relics, including pieces of the tent fabric where purported healings took place.   The entire affair is rotten from the top to the bottom and it finds its foundation in not understanding the details of God’s promises.

Promise #11-The God of All Warfare
 Zecheriah 14:1-3 gives this promise “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh , and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.  For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken , and the houses rifled , and the women ravished ; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.  Then shall the LORD go forth , and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.”
  The day of battle referred to is shown in Exodus 14, where Moses tells the people  “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still , and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.”: Verse 25  shows that the Egyptians understood exactly who they were battling against when they said  “Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians.“   God promised to get involved in their warfare in Josh 23:10 which says “One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.” Nehemiah claims this promise in Neh 4:20, saying “In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us”. He does this in reference to Deut 20:1-4, which says “When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies , and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.  And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people,  And shall say unto them, Hear , O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies : let not your hearts faint , fear not, and do not tremble , neither be ye terrified because of them;  For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies , to save you”.  Looking at Isaiah 54:17, it says “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper ; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn . This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”   The promise is clear; while in the land, and threatened by their enemies, God will involve himself in their warfare and drive out their enemies. He has also promised that he will come to their aid at least one more time, this time when they are threatened by the entire world. 
Promise #13-Tribulation
  Placing the church in the great tribulation is quite the vogue thing to do lately, and it’s almost singularly the result of poor discernment among Bible expositors. Regardless of what your position is on this future event is, the descendants of Abraham Isaac and Jacob were promised that they would be here for it, but that they would survive it. “And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.  For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.  Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child ? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail , and all faces are turned into paleness?  Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jer 30:4-7
“And at that time shall Michael stand up , the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered , every one that shall be found written in the book.” Dan 12:1
   These verses are commonly misapplied to future events. 
Promise #14-The Return of David
  Jeremiah 30: 9 says “But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.” At the time this was written David had been dead for quite some time, and yet he is promised to return.  Some people say that, rather than David returning, it is the seed of David returning in the person of Jesus Christ, and while I’m sympathetic to their position, the verse makes a distinction between God and David.  There are two separate people in the verse.  Furthermore, in Ezekiel 34:23-25, it says “And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd .  And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it”.  
Promise #15-Scattering
 The next three promises are all linked together and see their fulfillment over and over again to a lesser degree in Jewish history.
“And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee. 16 And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.” Ez 22:15-16
 Having disobeyed God, God promised them that he would scatter them.  This happened more than once in Israel’s history, with the last time being the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
Promise #16- Purging
 What’s interesting about this promise is that, although it is part of the overall cycle of promises that includes a scattering, this purging doesn’t happen while the Jews are scattered.  If you look closely at Ezekiel 22, you can see that the purging and purifying takes place after they are gathered up from being scattered, and that is accomplished with the heat and fury of God.  “And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying ,  Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver.  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.  As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you.  Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof.  As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you.”Ez 22:17-22
  I believe this portends a future regathering and purging that may have begun when Israel re-emerged as a nation in the 1940’s.  It seems quite likely that Abrahams descendants might continue to emigrate to Palestine and that a significant portion of them are present in the land during the time of Jacob’s trouble. During that time of trial and affliction they are melted and call out to God and are reshaped into the holy nation that God has always wanted them to be.
Promise #17-Regathering
  God repeatedly uses the example and symbology of the Exodus to illustrate to Israel how he will deal with them. He does this again in Ezekiel 20: 34-38 where the Bible says “And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.  And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.  Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD.  And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:  And I will purge out from among you the rebels , and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD”
  A close look at this promise reveals some interesting truths. It is true that the children of Israel were scattered in AD 70 and they have sojourned in the various nations of the world since then.  It would be convenient to say that the re-emigration into Palestine since the 1940’s in the fulfillment of this regathering. But it wouldn’t be true to the passage. The passage maintains that God will bring them out into the wilderness and speak to them there, with ‘wilderness’ being scripturally defined as the areas east of the Jordan River. That has not happened. It also says that no rebellious Hebrews will be allowed into the land. That is not the current condition of the citizens of Israel as they are by and large, Christ rejectors. 
  This passage has to be about some singular future event regarding those people and that land, and not a general promise about God regathering them from someplace like Egypt or Babylon. The Bible also mentions this event in Jeremiah 31:10, which says “Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say , He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.”
  Furthermore, this future regathering results in a changed people with a changed government that impacts the entire earth.  Isaiah 2 describes it as “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.  And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.  And many people shall go and say , Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
  Jeremiah 3:17-18 gives us more insight into it, saying “At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.” 
  Isaiah 10:20-21 weighs in on this prophetic event, claiming “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.  The remnant shall return , even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. “
  Isaiah 11:11-12 gives us still more information. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left , from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.  And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
  Jeremiah 23:3-8 goes on to say “And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase .  And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed , neither shall they be lacking , saith the LORD.  Behold, the days come , saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper , and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In his days Judah shall be saved , and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called , THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Therefore, behold, the days come , saith the LORD, that they shall no more say , The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;  But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.”
 Deuteronomy 30:2-9 indicates that the very heart of this returning generation will be different.  ”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;  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.  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:  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.  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.  And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies , and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.  And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.  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:”    
  As the risk of getting ahead of myself, it’s worth pointing out that the promise in Deut 30 to gather them from “the outmost parts of heaven” coupled with the Isaiah 11 passage about the “four corners of the earth” makes for some interesting cross references in Mark 13 and Matthew 24.
Promise #18-Deliverance
  In Jeremiah 30:10-11, the context is the time of Jacob’s trouble, and the Bible says “Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed , O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return , and shall be in rest , and be quiet , and none shall make him afraid .  For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished”.  It’s the same context of Zephaniah 13:8, which reads “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die ; but the third shall be left therein.”  During the time of Jacob’s trouble, those that have been regathered back to Jerusalem for the promised purging will see 2/3 of their population destroyed, but God has promised that the Antichrist won’t be able to annihilate all of them.  
Promise #19-National Resurrection
  “The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,  And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.  And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live ? And I answered , O Lord GOD, thou knowest .  Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.  Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live :  And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live ; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.  So I prophesied as I was commanded : and as I prophesied , there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together , bone to his bone.  And when I beheld , lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.  Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy , son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain , that they may live .  So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived , and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.  Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say , Our bones are dried , and our hope is lost : we are cut off for our parts.  Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.  And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,  And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live , and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.” Ezek 37:1-4
  Out of all these promises, I must confess that this one is the one I feel I have the shakiest understanding on.    Many have said that his is a reference to the resurrection of Israel as a nation in the 1940’s and the subsequent resettling by Hebrews.  I think the passage is too specific to allow such a broad interpretation, since God never refers to the scattered Hebrew people as being dead or as being in a grave. Taking it at face value, God promises that the dead bodies of deceased Hebrews buried outside of the land of Israel will resurrect themselves and head towards the land.  This has not happened yet, and I’m not sure when it will happen.

  In closing, these promises cannot be extended to a body of New Testament believers without significantly altering the details of the promises. We have no earthly land, but rather are called out of "every kindred and tribe and tongue".  We have no promise of prosperity since we have no land to be prosperous in.  God wont protect us from our enemies in our land or heal us in our land, our  give us one of our own as a king in our land for the same reasons. He won't regather us because we were never scattered. He won't deliver us because we have already been delivered by Jesus Christ. He won't purge us because our sins have already been purged by Jesus Christ.  As amazing as these promises are, the book of Hebrews says we have "better promises" and "better" doesn't mean "the same promises  just changing hands".