The Seed, The Promised Land, and Faith

(by Henry Mate )

When I was in the mainstream church, little was heard of Eretz Israel (The Land of Israel). One day a friend read for me a verse in the New Covenant.

Galatians 3:16  And to Abraham and to his Seed the promises were spoken. It does not say, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, “And to your Seed,” which is Christ (MKJV). The Hebrew word for Christ is Messiah.

Later, I tried to look for a reference to the verse. I landed on Genesis 12:7.

Genesis 12:7  And Jehovah appeared to Abram and said, I will give this land to your seed. And he built an altar there to Jehovah who appeared to him. (MKJV)

Let’s compare the above verse with Genesis 13:14-15.

14  And after Lot was separated from him, Jehovah said to Abram, Lift up your eyes now and look from the place where you are northward and southward, and eastward and westward. 15  For all the land which you see I will give to you, and to your seed (H2233 / G4690) forever.  (MKJV)

The Greek word for seed is Strong’s G4690 and it means – sperma-a male seed, offspring, or remnant.

The Hebrew word for seed is Strong’s H2233 – zeh’·rah – meaning a descendant or Offspring.

Although Paul in Galatians implies the SEED is Yehshua, in reality, Yehovah is pointing even further down the line of offspring.  Yehovah points to Eretz Israel as the ultimate inheritance of THE SEED of not just Yehshua alone, but all those who come into Covenant with Him and therefore become adopted sons, known as “sons of Abraham” and later “sons of Israel”.

Now read this in Hosea 11:1-2.

1  When Israel was a child, then I loved him and called My son out of Egypt. 2  As they called them, so they went from them. They sacrifice to the Baals, and burn incense to graven images. (MKJV)

And this in Genesis 13:16-18,

16  And I will make your seed as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can count the dust of the earth, then shall your seed also be counted. 17  Rise up and walk through the land, in the length of it and in the breadth of it, for I will give it to you. 18  And Abram moved his tent and came and lived in the oaks of Mamre, which is in Hebron. And he built an altar to Jehovah there. (MKJV)

Later on, Yehovah told Abram:

Genesis 15:5  And He brought him outside and said, Look now toward the heavens and count the stars, if you are able to count them. And He said to him, So shall your seed be. 

Genesis 22:18 And in your Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.  19  Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba. And Abraham lived at Beer-sheba*. 

*Beersheba – a city at the south edge of Israel. A “Well of the sevenfold oath”

If the seed is Israel then were do the other nations come into the picture?

Galatians 3:17  And I say this, A covenant having been ratified by God in Christ, the Law (coming into being four hundred and thirty years after) does not annul the promise, so as to abolish it. 18  For if the inheritance is of Law, it is no more of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by way of promise. (MKJV)

Here is this passage again from the TS2009 (The Scriptures):

Galatians 3:17-18, “Now this I say, Torah, that came four hundred and thirty years later, does not annul a covenant previously confirmed by Elohim in Messiah, so as to do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is by Torah, it is no longer by promise, but Elohim gave it to Abraham through a promise”.

And continuing with the TS2009:

26 For you are all sons of Elohim through belief in Messiah יהושע.
27 For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah.
28 There is not Yehuḏi nor Greek, there is not slave nor free, there is not male and female, for you are all one in Messiah יהושע.
29 And if you are of Messiah, then you are seed of Abraham, and heirs according to promise.

And don’t stop just because of a man-placed chapter break. The discussion continues in chapter 4.

Galatians 4: 1 And I say, for as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and trustees till the time prearranged by the father. 3 So we also, when we were children, were under the elementary matters of the world, being enslaved. 4 But when the completion of the time came, Elohim sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under Torah, 5 to redeem those who were under Torah, in order to receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, Elohim has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, also an heir of Elohim through Messiah”. (TS2009)

The good news is that this Abrahamic covenant is a covenant of faith.

Hebrews 11:8  By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out into a place which he was afterward going to receive for an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he went.  9  By faith he lived in the land of promise as a stranger, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs of the same promise with him. (MKJV)

Back into Galatians 3:6-9 we read this:

6  Even as Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. 7  Therefore know that those of faith, these are the sons of Abraham. 8  And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations through faith, preached the gospel before to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all nations be blessed.” 9  So then those of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. (MKJV)

The word faith is frequently used interchangeably with belief or believe.  What do Faith and Belief mean from a Hebrew perspective?

It means to “Shema”.  That is the Hebrew word for “To hear and obey”.

It means to not just hear a thing, but to follow it up with action to show your belief.  It is not just a mental assertion from the western Greek perspective, but in Hebrew thought, it always involves action.  Putting action to show your belief in a thing.

This is what James taught:

James 2:17 So also belief, if it does not have works, is in itself dead. 18 But someone will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith from my works. 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Do you see how faith worked with his works, and from the works faith was made complete? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness, and he was called the friend of God.” 24 You see then how a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

You just read the MKJV version of Galatians 3:6-9 and now have a better understanding of the word translated into English as “faith”. Now, let’s read the TS2009 version of this same passage.

Galatians 3:6-9 (TS2009 The Scriptures)

6 Even so Aḇraham “did believe Elohim, and it was reckoned unto him as righteousness.” 7 Know, then, that those who are of belief are sons of Aḇraham. 8 And the Scripture, having foreseen that Elohim would declare right the nations by belief, announced the Good News to Aḇraham beforehand, saying, “All the nations shall be blessed in you,” 9 so that those who are of belief are blessed with Aḇraham, the believer.

Those who are of faith, just as Abraham was a believer.  What did Abraham do?  He came out of his homeland of Ur of the Chaldeans (in Babylon) not knowing where he was to go. Abram had come to know the God of his ancestors and developed a faith and belief in Him. So when he was called by God to leave his homeland not yet knowing where he was even to go, he left. He put action to his faith. And of course, by the time Paul wrote this, Abraham had also been tested to kill his firstborn and only son, Isaac. He was ready to follow through with this act, when stopped. He proved his faith by his actions.

Let’s wrap this up with what happens after Abraham has faith/belief to leave his home in Babylon to go where Yehovah called him.

Genesis 12:

2  And I will make you a great nation. And I will bless you and make your name great. And you shall be a blessing. 

3  And I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you. And in you shall all families of the earth be blessed. 

4  And Abram departed, even as Jehovah had spoken to him. And Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 

5  And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gained in Haran. And they went forth to go into the land of Canaan. And they came into the land of Canaan. 

6  And Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, unto the Oak of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 

7  And Jehovah appeared to Abram and said, I will give this land to your seed. And he built an altar there to Jehovah who appeared to him. 

8  And he moved from there to a mountain on the east of Bethel. And he pitched his tent with Bethel toward the sea and Hai on the east. And he built an altar there to Jehovah, and called upon the name of Jehovah. 

9  And Abram journeyed, going on and pulled up stakes toward the south. 

And in Psalms 105 we read:

1  O give thanks to Jehovah; call on His name; make known His deeds among the people. 2  Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; talk of all His wonderful works. 3  Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek Jehovah rejoice. 

4  Seek Jehovah and His strength; seek His face evermore. 5  Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth, 6  seed of His servant Abraham, sons of Jacob His chosen. 

7  He is Jehovah our God; His judgments are in all the earth. 

8  He has remembered His covenant forever, the Word which He commanded to a thousand generations; 

9  the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac;  10  and He confirmed it to Jacob for a Law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant, 11  saying, To you I will give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance; 

12  when they were a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.  13  When they went from one nation to another, from a kingdom to another people,  14  He allowed no man to do them wrong; yea, He reproved kings for their sakes, 15  saying, Touch not my anointed, and do My prophets no harm. 

And I conclude with this reminder:

Romans 4:13  For the promise that he should be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. 

James 2:24 You see then how a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

Faith does not replace the Law.  Faith causes us to Hear and Obey and it is in obedience that we show our faith just as Abram showed His Faith by leaving Babylon and walking in the Way Yehovah showed him. 

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