Prior to World War II, the American and British peoples had acquired more than two thirds of the cultivated resources and wealth of the world. Yet, astonishing wonder though it be, we acquired nearly all of it rather suddenly, since the year 1800. Never in all history did anything like this occur. Never did any people or nation spread out and grow so suddenly and rapidly into such magnitude of national power.
Millennia ago, this same national greatness, wealth and power was promised by the Almighty to Abraham. Yet few have ever noticed this astonishing fact in Scripture. We must realize, if we would understand, a peculiar fact. The Holy Bible is the particular Book of a definite nationality—the children of Israel.
It is undeniable! Its history, from Genesis to Revelation, is primarily the history of one nation or people—the Israel ites. Other nations are mentioned only insofar as they come into contact with Israel. All its prophecy, too, pertains pri marily to this people of Israel, and to other nations only insofar as they come into contact with Israel. The Bible tells of these Israelites and their God.
It was inspired by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, committed to writing through Israelites exclusively, and preserved until after the New Testament was written by these Israelites. In its sacred passages we read that all the promises and the covenants of God, all the sonship and the glory, belong solely to Israel (Romans 9:4). Yet we must face the astounding fact that our white, Englishspeaking peoples—not the Jews—have inherited the national and physical phases of those promises! How could this have happened?
The Bible is an Israelitish Book, preeminently of and for the Israelitish nationality, inspired by their God through their prophets. Is it not indeed strange that we English-speaking peoples are today the greatest believers in and exponents of this Book of the Hebrew people; that of all nations we are the chief worshippers of Israel’s God and Israel’s Messiah—in name and in form, if not in truth and in deed?
The more these facts are realized, the more apparent it becomes that a full knowledge of these Israelites is necessary to a right understanding of the Holy Bible, which is chiefly concerned with them as a people. And this knowledge becomes important if we are to understand the present status of the National Greatness Promised Israel American and British peoples in the world—and their relation to unprecedented world conditions at this fateful hour! Let us remember as we approach this fascinating story that the Bible is concerned with the material, the fleshly, the literal, racial and national, as well as with the spiritual. Let us not spiritualize away national things, nor nationalize spiritual things. Let us understand the sacred Word of God as it is!
Before the days of Moses there was no nation on Earth known as God’s particular nation. Prior to Moses there was no written Word of God; no inspired Scriptures; no Holy Bible. Think of it! For more than 2,500 years—21/2 millennia—mankind existed without any written revelation from God! The only historic record of God’s dealing with mankind prior to Israel is the revealed history of the Bible. And—even more astonishing— only the first 11 of the 50 chapters of Genesis are devoted to the entire history of the world prior to Abraham, father of the Israelites! Surprising? Only the first 11 chapters of the very first book of the Bible are used to record for us the history of the first approximately 2,000 years—more than one third of its entire span. God began this world with just one man—Adam. Whatever God does through human agencies must start the smallest, and, like the grain of mustard seed, grow big. To this first man God communicated directly and personally. God revealed all essential knowledge otherwise inaccessible to the human mind. The basic essentials of all knowledge—what is man?—why is he here?—what’s the purpose of life?—what is the way of life that will produce peace, health, prosperity, happiness and joy?— what is man’s end—his destiny?—God revealed this basis of all knowledge to the first man. To Adam, God revealed Himself—the Eternal Creator-Ruler of Earth and all the universe. God revealed to Adam that he was, unlike animals, made in the form and shape of God with powers of mind possessed by no other physical creature; with the potential, through free choice, of developing the very character of God and of inheriting eternal life in the Kingdom of God. To Adam
Mankind spurns god’s Way As men began to multiply on Earth, Adam’s sons followed in his Satan-inspired course of human nature. Prior to Abraham, only three are mentioned as accepting God’s way of life—only three during more than a third of the whole span of the history of mankind. Abel was called righteous; Enoch walked with God; and Noah was a preacher of righteousness, which is simply obe- dience to God’s government (Psalm 119:172). Aside from these three and possibly Shem, there is no record that any man prior to Abraham yielded to the rule of the Eternal. By the time of Abraham men had lost all knowledge of the true Creator-Ruler, His revelation of His purpose, and the way of God to peace and happiness and to life eternal. Man pursued his own ways and devices, walking contrary to the spiritual laws of God. Sin and violence filled the Earth
It was in such a world, which had strayed far from God and knowledge of the glorious benefits of God’s rule and the wor- ship of the true God, that one man was honest and upright, sub- missive and teachable, strong and purposeful. So God gave him a test command of obedience. To this man, Abram, God com- manded: “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation ...” (Genesis 12:1-2). Here was a command, which was a condition and a promise, provided the condition of obedience was met. And so now, as God had started the whole world with one man, He started His own peculiar nation in the world from one National Greatness Promised Israel 21 single man—Abraham. As the world, which has strayed far from God and the blessings of God’s worship and rule, was started with one man who rebelled against God and rejected His rule, so God’s own flesh-born nation, from which is to be reborn the Kingdom of God, was started with one man who obeyed God without question, and accepted His divine rule. Did Abram stop to argue and reason? Did he say: “Let’s reason this out a bit first; here I am in Babylon, in the very center of all this world’s commerce, society and gaiety. Why can’t you just as well give me this promise right here, where everything is pleasant and alluring? Why must I leave all this and go over to that uncivilized land?” Did Abram quibble, resist, argue, rebel? He certainly did not! The inspired Scripture account states simply: “So Abram departed.” There was no arguing with God. There was no human reasoning that God was wrong. There were no foolish questions: “Why must I leave here?” “Can’t I do as I please?” There was no stopping to say, “Well, here’s the way I look at it.” “Abram departed.” Just plain, unquestioned obedience! And God established this man, whose name He later changed to Abraham, as the father of His nation, Israel! To Abraham and his descendants were all the promises of God made. And we must become like Abraham, and through Christ one of his children, if we are to inherit the promise of eternal life in God’s Kingdom. Of His peculiar flesh-born nation, Israel, the Eternal said: “This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise” (Isaiah 43:21). That prophecy shall yet—and soon—be fulfilled!
Few have realized it, but a duality runs all the way through the plan of God in working out His purpose here below. There was the first Adam, material and carnal; and there is Christ, the second Adam, spiritual and divine. There was the Old Covenant, purely material and temporal; and there is the New Covenant, spiritual and eternal. God made man mortal,physical, of the dust of the ground and of the human kingdom; but through Christ he may be begotten of God to become immortal, spiritual, and of the Kingdom of God.
And in like manner there were two phases to the promises God made to Abraham—the one purely material and national; the other spiritual and individual. The spiritual promise of the Messiah, and of salvation through Him, is well known by the most superficial Bible students. They know that God gave the spiritual promise to Abraham of Christ to be born as Abraham’s descendant—and that salvation comes to us through Christ. But—and this will sound unbelievable, yet it is true—almost no one knows what that salva- tion is; what are the promises of salvation we may receive through Christ; how we may receive them, or when—incredible though that sounds! But that truth belongs in another book.
What is essential to the theme of this book is the fact that God also made another entirely different, most amazing national and material promise to Abraham which has been almost entirely overlooked. Notice now again how God first called Abram, and the two- fold nature of His promises: “Now the [Eternal] had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation...and in thee shall all fami- lies of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).Notice the twofold promise: 1) “I will make of thee a great nation”—the national, material promise that his flesh-born children should become a great nation—a promise of race; 2) “... and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed”—the spiritual promise of grace. This same promise is repeated in Genesis 22:18: “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed....” This particular “one seed” refers to Christ, as plainly affirmed in Galatians 3:8, 16. Right here is where those who profess to be “Christians”— and their teachers—have fallen into error and scriptural blind- ness. They have failed to notice the twofold promise God made to Abraham. They recognize the messianic promise of spiritual salvation through the “one seed”—Christ. They sing the hymn “Standing on the Promises”—falsely supposing the promises to be going to heaven at death.
This is a pivotal point. This is the point where professing “Christians” and their teachers jump the track of truth. This is the point where they switch off the track that would lead them to the missing master key to the prophecies. They miss the fact that God gave Abraham promises of physical race as well as spiri- tual grace. But the plain fact that the “great nation” promise refers alone to race—not the “one seed” of Galatians 3:16, who was Jesus Christ the Son of Abraham and the Son of God, but to the plural, multiple seed of natural fleshly birth—is made certain by God’s repetition of His promise in greater detail later.
Notice carefully! Understand these promises! “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the [Eternal] appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. ... [T]hou 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” (Genesis 17:1-5).
Notice, the promise is now conditional upon Abraham’s obedience and perfect living. Notice, the “great nation” now becomes many nations—more than one nation. This cannot refer to the “one seed,” Christ. The following verses prove that. “And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings [more than one] shall come out of thee” (verse 6).
Notice, these nations and kings shall come out of Abraham—physical generation—multiple seed, not just one descendant through whom scattered individuals may become Abraham’s children by spiritual begettal through Christ (Galatians 3:29). The scattered, individual Christians do not form nations. The Church, it is true, is spoken of as “a royal priest- hood, an holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9), but Christ’s Church is not divided into “many nations.” This is speaking of race, not grace. “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations ...” (Genesis 17:7). The “seed” is plural—“in their generations.” “And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan [Palestine], for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (verse 8).
Notice, the land—material possession—is promised to the plural seed, of whom He is “their,” not “his,” God. The plural pronoun “their” is used again in verse 9: “and thy seed after thee in their generations.” But now examine this promise carefully! The future of great nations rests on the promises the Eternal Creator made to Abraham. The only hope of life after death for anyone—regardless of race, color or creed—is dependent on the spiritual phase of these promises to Abraham—the promise of grace through the “one seed”—Christ the Messiah!
These are not casual, incidental, unimportant promises. These are basic—the foundation for the establishment of the greatest world powers; the basis for any personal salvation spiritually; for any hope of eternal life for humans. These are stupendous promises. The future of mankind is based, by the Creator God, on them. Jesus Christ came “to confirm the promises made unto the National Greatness Promised Israel fathers”
(Romans 15:8)—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. A carnal cynic, whose mind is hostile to God and His prom- ises, purposes, and ways, tosses these tremendous promises aside, saying flippantly, “Oh yeah?—but what kind of ‘many nations’? Twentieth-century style? Nations of 100 million or more people? Don’t be ridiculous! Those men who wrote the Bible knew nothing of nations that would be ‘great’ by our 20th- century standards!
They referred only to little nations like there were then—nations containing no more people than a small township or county today! “And then how much land did this promise include? Was God supposed to have promised an inheritance out of the land of Canaan, as mentioned in verse 8 of Genesis 17?
And then in repromising this land to Jacob, all the land that was included was ‘the land whereon thou liest’ in Genesis 28:13. How much land was that? Not more than a tiny plot 2 feet wide, and about 6 feet long!” A cynical objector actually argued thus! So let’s answer the sneering closed-minded cynic! Let’s check carefully, and see precisely what was promised under this phase of the promises pertaining to race—the physical, material, national promises. I leave the checking of the spiritual phase of the promises to be explained in other booklets or articles.How much land was promised?
But first hear out the refutation of the criticizing cynic. “That promise,” continues the objector, “of ‘many nations’ was written in Hebrew, and the Hebrew word for ‘nation’ is goi, and for more than one, plural, it is goiim. It merely means some ‘people’— it could mean just a little handful of Abraham’s children and grandchildren.”
I mention this because a self-professed “scholar” did one time make this very ridiculous statement and professed to reject this entire important truth on these arguments primarily. If the reader cares to check up on this Hebrew goi he will find it means “nation”—or, in the plural, “nations” or “peoples,” without regard to size of population. This is the word most often used—actually
26 The United States and Britain in Prophecy hundreds of times in the Old Testament—for the various nations of the world, including the largest nations. In the prophecy of Joel 3, verse 2, God says He will gather “all nations.” That is speaking of a time yet future, in this 20th century—and the Hebrew goiim is used. There the word goiim includes such nations as Russia, Germany, Italy, China, India—pretty big nations.
But God promised that Abraham’s literal, human, flesh-and- blood descendants should become “a great nation” (Genesis 12:2); that He would “multiply thee exceedingly” (Genesis 17:2); that “thou shalt be a father of many nations” (verse 4); and that “I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee” (verse 6). As we proceed along with other promises and prophe- cies, we shall see that biblical language describes these as great and large nations.
And how much land? In Genesis 17:8, God promised “all the land of Canaan,” but in other scriptures He promised much more. In Genesis 15:18: “In the same day the [Eternal] made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt [the Nile] unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” The Euphrates is a considerable distance to the east in the ancient land of Babylon, which is today Iraq—consid- erably east of Palestine.
But all of this objector’s arguments are refuted and made ridiculous by the very next verse from the one he quoted when he said that all that was promised was a plot about 2 x 6 feet. He could have read this next verse: “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 ...” (Genesis 28:14).
Here the size of the “many nations” is compared to the number of grains of dust of the earth. Elsewhere God compared the populations of these promised nations to the grains of sand on a seashore and to the stars—uncountable for multitude. As we proceed, the magnitude and the reality of these prom- ises will become quite evident.