Abraham’s Faith in New Jerusalem
By Gerald Flurry • June 25
God made Abraham and Sarah wait 25 years before they received the son He had promised them. By this time, Abraham was 100! Abraham cherished Isaac like few fathers have ever cherished their sons. Isaac was Abraham and Sarah’s only son and a miracle from God.
Then God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham set his mind to follow through, but God stopped him just before Isaac would have been killed (Genesis 22). To Abraham, from the moment God issued this shocking command until seconds before the knife would have pierced Isaac, his beloved son was as good as dead.
Abraham deeply understood and believed God’s promises. He knew that God had promised to continue Abraham’s lineage through Isaac. This meant that even if God allowed Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, Isaac would have to be resurrected very quickly. Believing this promise through such a hard trial required the ultimate faith. This is faith par excellence and the reason Abraham is called the father of the faithful.
Abraham is perhaps best known for this experience. This all happened in the land of Moriah, which includes the area of Jerusalem, where Jesus Christ was sacrificed for all mankind: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
I can’t imagine a parallel to Abraham’s trial—except God the Father sacrificing Jesus Christ for our sins. But no sinful human has ever faced a challenge like Abraham’s. Abraham and Isaac really are a type of God and Christ!
God tested Abraham and will give him a reward so awesome it’s hard to even fathom. Through another promise God made not just to Abraham but to all of us, we may receive a similar reward.
Race and Grace
In the world today, just before the return of Christ, faith is rare. This was prophesied: “… Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).
Abraham possessed a rare faith that qualified him to be a friend of God. In God’s Kingdom, he will have one of the highest offices of authority. He shows us how to bring faith alive.
Notice the blessings of race and grace God bestowed on Abraham for his obedience: “And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice” (Genesis 22:16-18).
“By myself have I sworn” means God backed up these promises to Abraham with the sacrifice of His own Son, Jesus Christ! Then God said He would cause Abraham’s physical descendants to multiply and become powerful unlike any other nation—the promise of race. (This promise is thoroughly explained in our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.) Finally, through Abraham’s spiritual Seed, Christ, all nations—not just Abraham’s physical descendants—would be blessed. This is the promise of grace.
The unprecedented wealth and power of America and the former British Empire are connected to the crucifixion of Christ and Abraham’s tremendous trial with Isaac. Abraham, a type of the Father, was ready to sacrifice Isaac, a type of the Son. Because of Abraham’s unconditional obedience, God made the blessings to our nations unconditional! We did nothing to earn or deserve this.
These verses are beautiful. What marvelous wonders God shows us! How strong is God’s love for Israel—both physical and spiritual Israel! All people will one day have a chance to be a part of spiritual Israel, God’s Family.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). That’s real faith. We don’t see the evidence—faith is the evidence. We must believe in God’s promises before any physical evidence exists to reinforce that faith. Faith transcends the five senses. Once we know God’s promises, we just have to believe.
“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. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (verses 8-10). Abraham’s physical residence was a “strange country” to him because he was headed for another country far more important than any earthly nation. He looked forward to new Jerusalem!
God will bring new Jerusalem with Him down to Earth after the 1,000-year World Tomorrow. In other words, Abraham set his sights on a time that is still, today, more than a millennium into the future!
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (verse 13). Pillars of faith like Abraham died absolutely sure that God would keep His promises—even the ones they hadn’t seen any evidence of in this physical life.
“For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city” (verses 14-16). This is talking about new Jerusalem! Nothing compares to it!
“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure” (verses 17-19). Remember, Abraham knew that sacrificing Isaac wouldn’t be permanent because God had to bless Abraham’s descendants through Isaac.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:1-2). Abraham really envisioned New Jerusalem! He viewed everything in life through that prism of light from God!
“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (verse 3). Our Father yearns to be with His Family. He is now bringing many sons to glory, as the book of Hebrews says. At last, after the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment, the space that now separates us from Him will be removed. God will dwell among His spirit-born sons on a purified Earth, ruling from the new Jerusalem that descended from the heavens with Him! This city will extend 1,500 miles in every direction, like a cube, covering a massive portion of the planet.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (verse 4). What a marvelous work and a wonder!
“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (verses 22-23). The vision of New Jerusalem staggers the mind! This city will last forever (Jeremiah 17:25). Abraham must have been locked in on it to be willing to sacrifice his only son.
Romans 4:11 calls Abraham “the father of all them that believe,” and verse 16 says he is “the father of us all.” “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God …” (verse 17). If you want to learn how to build faith, look to the marvelous example of Abraham.
“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform” (verses 20-21). Abraham believed every promise of God. That’s pretty impressive.
There’s a big difference between believing in the existence of God and actually believing what God says. Abraham’s faith was the latter.
When we’re faithful, we’re considered Abraham’s children (Galatians 3:7). “So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham” (verse 9). God’s end-time Church, the loyal Philadelphia remnant in the Laodicean era, learned this lesson.
Ninety-five percent of the Church rebelled, but the Philadelphia remnant didn’t, and here’s why: “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. … Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Revelation 3:7-8, 10). God promises to protect His faithful remnant from the coming Great Tribulation, a time worse than any other in world history (Matthew 24:21-22).
“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (Revelation 3:11-12). God’s loyal people today believe His promise about new Jerusalem and build the faith of Abraham. They deliver God’s message to the world.Read More