BECAUSE ABRAHAM was obedient to God’s command to offer up his son Isaac on the altar, and would have done so had the angel not stayed his hand, God gave him the Oath-bound Covenant. This Covenant is an elaboration of the first, second and seventh promises of the original Abrahamic Covenant: “I will make of thee a great nation,” “I will bless thee” and “in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12: 2, 3), and is called such because God added His oath to it (Genesis 22: 16; Hebrews 6: 13-20).
The first Oath-bound Covenant promise is: “I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore” (Genesis 22: 17). These two expressions imply that Abraham’s seed would have two aspects: heavenly and earthly – the heavenly consisting of the Christ class and the Great Company, and the earthly consisting of the Ancient and Youthful Worthies. Ultimately the full seed will include the faithful restitutionists, especially the Jews in their capacity of blessing all mankind (Matthew 25: 34-40).
The Four Elect Classes of Abraham’s Seed
Jesus and His Church are the primary seed, all other classes being subordinate to the Christ class. That part of the Oath-bound Covenant which applies to the Christ class is typed by Abraham’s wife, Sarah. She pictures only those promises which develop the Christ class (Galatians 3: 15-29; 4: 23-31; Romans 9: 7-9). The Church is made partakers of the Divine nature (2 Peter 1: 4). They will be heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ in the Millennial Kingdom, and will sit with Him in His throne and reign with Him as Kings and Priests (Romans 8: 17; Revelation 5: 10).
The Great Company, or Great Multitude, is the secondary class of the spiritual seed of Abraham. They failed to gain “the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3: 14), but will be privileged to stand before God’s throne and to serve Him day and night in His temple (Revelation 7: 9, 15). They are represented by the “handmaids” of Joel 2: 29, who, together with the Little Flock, represented in the “servants,” God poured out His spirit “in those days” – the days of the Gospel Age.
The Ancient Worthies, from Abel to John the Baptist (Hebrews 11; Matthew 11: 11-13), were the faithful consecrated servants of God before the heavenly calling was opened; and the Youthful Worthies are faithful in their consecration after the selection of the Bride of Christ is ended. These two classes of Worthies, as the chief earthly seed of Abraham in the Millennial Kingdom, will be the Kingdom’s special representatives on earth (Psalm 45: 16; Isaiah 32: 1; Luke 13: 28). The Ancient Worthies are represented by the “old men” and the Youthful Worthies by the “young men” of Joel 2: 28. The former shall “dream dreams” – receive the deeper revelations of Divine Truth, and the latter shall “see visions” – receive the simpler revelations of Divine Truth. Along with the Old and New Testaments, these revelations will be used to teach mankind the way to eternal life.
The Seed to Possess His Enemies’ Gate
The second Oath-bound Covenant promise is: “Thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.” The four elect classes, who have been developed during faith ages, have had to overcome their enemies – sin, error, selfishness and worldliness, which have been led by Satan, the world and the flesh. The Lord helped them to overcome as they faithfully used the Word, spirit and providences of God; and their victory becomes complete in the resurrection.
The restitution class during the Millennial Age Kingdom will also have enemies to overcome. Satan will be bound and unable to tempt man, and world conditions will be favorable toward righteousness, but they will have to overcome the sin and selfishness of their fallen flesh. However, if they obediently use all the helps that will then be available, they will finally overcome the power and effects of the Adamic curse.
The Jews to be Blessed First
The third Oath-bound Covenant promise is: “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” The first general class of the non-elect to be blessed under the Abrahamic Covenant is fleshly Israel. They began a period of chastisement at the time of our Lord’s crucifixion that was to last until the elect classes have been prepared for the Kingdom, after which they shall be fully recovered from their blindness. The prophet declares, “They shall look upon [unto] me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him,” because the eyes of their understanding will be opened, for the Lord promises to pour upon them the “spirit of grace and of supplications” (Zechariah 12: 10).
The Apostle Paul in Romans 9 and 10 points out how Israel failed to obtain the special blessing of the Abrahamic Covenant by rejecting Christ, that only a remnant received the great blessing and that the majority were blinded. In Romans 11 he explains that their blindness was not to be permanent, but only until the Church was gathered out, and that then the Lord’s blessing would come to fleshly Israel, saving them from their blindness and granting them mercy through the glorified spiritual Israel (Romans 11: 25-33). The Lord will do this for the natural seed, not because of their worthiness, but because of His promise made to the fathers – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Note also Ezekiel 36: 22-33.
Fleshly Israel, as the leading nation on the earth in the Millennial Age Kingdom, shall be zealous missionaries under the Worthies and will help convert the nations to Christ. They are represented as being a part of the “sons” of Joel 2: 28, who will prophesy – teach, or declare the Truth.
The Gentiles to be Blessed Next
But the Gentiles, the remainder of the non-elect, are also to be blessed. They are represented by the “daughters” of Joel 2: 28, who, as they come into harmony with God’s Kingdom, shall also teach the Truth to their fellow man.
God has made arrangements for His coming Kingdom on such a grand scale as to permit a thorough recovery from all present mental, moral and physical weaknesses. The third Oath-bound Covenant promise implies seven distinct blessings for the human race. These blessings are:
First, they will be released from the Adamic penalty and have their sins forgiven, which implies that all the dead in Adam will be awakened from the grave (Romans 5: 12, 18, 19; 1 Corinthians 15: 21, 22).
Second, they will be furnished with a complete knowledge of the Truth (Isaiah 11: 9; John 1: 9; 1 Timothy 2: 4, 6).
Third, they will be put under conditions conducive to righteousness, in contrast with the conditions of the present, which are conducive to sin (Luke 2: 10; Isaiah 35: 1-10).
Fourth, their minds and hearts will be so worked upon as to be favorably disposed toward Christ (John 12: 32, 33).
Fifth, they will be so benefited and impressed by the good work then being done that they will willingly acknowledge Jesus as Ruler and bow down to His authority (Isaiah 45: 22, 23; Philippians 2: 9-11).
Sixth, the Christ will offer to everyone the privileges of the Highway of Holiness (Isaiah 35: 8-10); but they will be required, as a condition of their enjoying its privileges, to consecrate themselves to the Lord. All will however be blessed with the opportunity of entering the Highway of Holiness.
The seventh is the offer of the holy spirit (Joel 2: 28, 29). Christ will offer everyone the privilege of receiving the holy spirit, but it is and will be impossible to receive the holy spirit except by rendering obedience (Acts 5: 32).
The future blessings will be of such a kind that every individual who has not had his full opportunity in the present life will have it then, during the world’s thousand-year judgment day (Acts 17: 31; 2 Peter 3: 7, 8). That opportunity includes the obtaining of that which was lost – human perfection, everlasting life under human, earthly, paradisiacal conditions – an opportunity of coming again into the Divine likeness, almost obliterated in the human family through the 6,000 years of the fall. Our hearts are stimulated as we contemplate the meaning of this great Oath-bound Covenant!