The Covenant of Promises Subject to Conditions
We have thoroughly reviewed the relevance and history of the Exodus generation and their reception of the Abrahamic Covenant. This generation was an example for those who lose their salvation, and contrasting them, Abraham is an example of persevering salvation. The Covenant to Abraham contained promises and ordinances which were given to the Exodus generation. When they did not continue in faith (evidenced by obedient works), God did not perform the promises. Likewise for Abraham, though he did not fall away and rather persevered in faith, if he would not have continued in faith God would not have performed the promises given to him. As God did to Abraham’s seed, it was in like pattern to His dealings with Abraham himself, only Abraham proved faithful – “So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham” (Gal. 3:9).
- God said to the Covenanted seed, OBEY, “That I may perform the oath which I have sworn” – Jer. 11:5
- God said to Abraham, OBEY, “That the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.” – Gen. 18:19
God said of Abraham, “I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham…because that Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws” (Gen. 26:3-5). Abraham’s faith was maintained in obedience to the voice of his God. The faith he had at first was kept “that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be” (Rom. 4:18), but do you realize that even the Abrahamic Covenant which was committed to Abraham was established through the hurdles of trial and conditions, that he was the example of persevering salvation and faith as he was proven in these trials, that his life is a thematic skeleton for the entire New Testament’s depiction of salvation, and that those who are saved will be saved because they “walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham” (Rom. 4:12) from their beginning to their perseverant end (Heb. 6:11-20, James 2:14-26) all throughout like-trials?
This prophecy was fulfilled in the days of Solomon when Abiathar was ejected from the priesthood in 1 Kings 2:27. This rejection ended the line of Ithamar, as it is written: “So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD; that he might fulfill the word of the LORD, which He spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.” Abiathar was a son of Eli, Eli was in the line of Ithamar, and Zadok replaced Abiathar. From this point the line of Ithamar ceased to exist. If God can go back on “a perpetual statute” and “an everlasting priesthood,” can God go back on a promise for perpetual perseverance in the everlasting ordination of the New Testament priesthood of all believers (1 Pet. 2:9)? Not the priesthood of Ithamar but that of the New Covenant saints!? Regenerate Christians are called by Peter, “A Royal Priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:9)! Men argue that such words of everlasting mean, unequivocally and without condition, everlasting, but is this an oversimplification of the Covenant promise and an unbiblical, unhistorical, unscriptural interpretation? What about the word “for ever” (1 Sam. 2:35)? Is a Covenant made with the seed of Aaron different than a Covenant made with the spiritual seed of Abraham, or is it different from the Covenant made with the seed of Christ?