An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 8 - Prophetic Truth - Page 268 of 304
earth, and we know that there are three spheres of blessing, the earth, the
heavenly city and far above all.
The New Heavens and the New Earth, relating the two passages in Isaiah
with Revelation 21, and setting out their place in the Divine scheme, is the
subject of a special article, to which the attention of the reader is
directed.  This article appears under the covering title Millennial Studies9.
Before even Israel had been formed as a nation, when Abraham alone was
before the Lord, the return of this nation from a future captivity was most
solemnly guaranteed.  The passage which sets this graphically before us is
found in Genesis 15.  Abraham had asked the Lord to give him some sign that
would confirm his belief that he should inherit the land on which he then
stood.  The answer given to Abraham was not one that might have been
expected.  Had we no acquaintance with the pattern that the ages follow,
namely a descent into darkness, before the ultimate realization of blessing,
we might have imagined that the Lord would have said to Abraham, 'Abraham,
you have responded to My call, and have come out of your fatherland to the
land which I have promised you.  You have also manifested implicit faith and
have been thereby justified (Gen. 15:6,7).  Now therefore stake out your
claim, build your house, and as your children are born, and their children
come into life in their turn, extend your borders, occupy the land as I have
promised that you shall, until your descendants possess their possessions to
the uttermost border'.
This is what might have been said, had there been no 'enemy'.  We learn
from Genesis 12:6 in a sad parenthesis '(and the Canaanite was then [that is,
already] in the land)' that Satan had made his countermove; and so the
purpose of God, though ultimately gloriously successful, takes a
corresponding turn.  The inheritance of the land by Israel must wait, 'for
the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full' (Gen. 15:16).  Abraham is told
that he must:
'Know of a surety (lit. knowing thou shalt know, a figure that
emphasizes the fact), that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that
is not theirs, (and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them) four
hundred years; and also (know of a surety) that nation, whom they shall
serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great
substance.  And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be
buried in a good old age.  But in the fourth generation they shall come
hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full' (Gen.
15:13 -16).
Israel shall return, but not until affliction has visited them.  Israel
shall return, but not until the great spiritual Amorite, Satan, reaches his
We must be careful to observe the parenthesis in Genesis 15:13 which is
not indicated in the Authorized Version, Israel were not afflicted in Egypt
for 400 years, that is the total extent of their absence from the land of
promise.  Again, care is needed when reading Exodus 12:40,41, for there the
number of years is given as 430, not 400.