ABRAHAM BLESSED BY GOD
WITH THE SEED MULTIPLIED • Abraham was blessed by God. The blessing here is not that of material things. Many of us have had the wrong impression in the past, saying that receiving a good job or material benefit means that the Lord has blessed us. We have all been told to count our blessings one by one, counting such things as our degree, promotion, wife, house, and children. Although I do not say that such things are not blessings, I do say that they are not golden blessings, but muddy blessings. In Genesis 22, God did not bless Abraham in this way. Rather, He blessed him with the multiplied seed, saying, “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 seashore” (v. 17). I do not care for material blessing. I care for multiplication. I would firstly like to see fifty churches in the United States, then a hundred, and then a thousand. I would also like to see that from the United States the multiplication would spread to Africa, Australasia, Europe, and even back to Jerusalem. This is the blessing I want to see.
Abraham was blessed with two categories of people, one likened to the stars of the heaven (v. 17; 15:5) and the other to the sand upon the seashore (v. 17), which is also likened to the dust of the earth (13:16). If you know history and the prophecies regarding Abraham’s descendants, you will see that they are of two categories, one heavenly and the other earthly. We, the Christians, are the stars, the heavenly descendants of Abraham; and the genuine Jews, God’s earthly people, are the sand, the dust. Eventually, the Jewish people will be God’s priests on earth and will teach all the nations. This is prophesied clearly in Zechariah 8:20-23. Why are the Jews described both as the sand and as the dust? The sea signifies the world corrupted by Satan, and the dust is of the earth created by God. The Jews have been restored to God’s creation. Hence, they are signified by the sand which is the dust beside the sea. Although they are an earthly people, they are not the dust under the sea, but the dust, the sand, by the seashore. They are separated from the corrupted sea, Satan’s corrupted world. However, the stars are not only separated from the corrupted world but are also heavenly.
According to Revelation 20:8 and 9, at the end of the millennium Gog and Magog will fight against the camp of the saints and the beloved city. The camp of the saints is the camp of all the heavenly stars, and the beloved city, Jerusalem, is the city of the separated sand. The two categories of Abraham’s descendants, who at that time will be caring for God’s interests in the universe, will be attacked by Gog and Magog under Satan’s instigation. That will be the last war in the universe, a war between the devilish people and Abraham’s descendants.
The star is sown as a seed in Genesis 22 and will be harvested in Revelation 20 and 21. The New Jerusalem is composed of the twelve tribes of Israel, representing the Old Testament saints, and the twelve Apostles, representing the New Testament believers. Those represented by the Apostles are the heavenly stars, and those represented by the twelve tribes are the sand of the seashore. These two peoples eventually will be built together into the eternal New Jerusalem. Hence, the eternal New Jerusalem will be the ultimate consummation of Abraham’s seed. This is God’s blessing to Abraham.
After seeing this, we need to say, “Praise the Lord, God’s blessing is not a good house, car, degree, promotion, wife, or child. It is the multiplication of the saints in God’s recovery and the multiplication of the churches.” I hope that one day a part of the New Jerusalem will be our multiplication as God’s blessing to us. At that time, all the cars and houses will be gone. Only the multiplication in God’s blessing will remain forever. We shall see the blessing in God’s multiplication in the New Jerusalem for eternity.
Here in Genesis 22 we see a basic principle, that is, whatever God gives us will be multiplied. God gave Abraham one Isaac, and Abraham offered him back to God. Then this one Isaac was multiplied into numberless stars and sand. If Abraham would not have offered Isaac back to God, he might have had only one Isaac. But having been offered back to God by Abraham, Isaac was multiplied into the New Jerusalem. This is the way to have God’s gift multiplied in us—offer back to God what He has given us.
WITH CHRIST AS HIS UNIQUE SEED • God’s blessing of Abraham eventually issues in Christ as the unique seed in whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed (v. 18; Gal. 3:16). In Galatians 3:16 Paul speaks of only one seed—Christ. We all are included in this one seed. Are we not all in Christ? Do you know the true significance of the short phrase “in Christ”? This phrase is used many times in the New Testament. In Christ we have been justified. In Christ we are sanctified. In Christ we have the sonship. Everything concerning us is in Christ. Hallelujah, we are in Christ! We are actually a part of Christ. Ultimately, all the heavenly stars and the earthly sand will be in Christ. As we have pointed out in the past, the New Jerusalem will be a great, corporate Christ. In the four Gospels we have the individual Christ, but at the end of Revelation we have the corporate Christ including all true believers.
In this one seed, Christ, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. Have not the United States, Germany, Japan, China, and Great Britain been blessed? This is God’s blessing. May we all expect that the blessing which we shall receive of God will be the multiplication that will issue in Christ, the unique seed. The multiplication that will spread to Europe, Africa, and throughout the earth must simply be Christ. All the churches on earth will just be the multiplication of Christ.
CHRIST REVEALED IN THREE WAYS
In Genesis 22 Christ is revealed in three ways: as the angel of the Lord (vv. 11-12, 15-18; Exo. 3:2-6), as the ram (v. 13; John 1:29), and as the seed of Abraham (v. 18; Gal. 3:16). When Abraham stretched forth his hand to kill Isaac, the angel of the Lord prevented him. Then Abraham saw a ram and killed it, offering it in Isaac’s place. Afterward, it became a blessing in multiplication. This multiplication issues in Christ as the unique seed. Here we see the angel of the Lord stopping, the ram replacing, and the seed bringing the blessing. All three are Christ. This is too mysterious because Christ is everything. Christ was the One who told Abraham not to kill his son. Then He immediately became the ram caught in a thicket to replace his son. After the crucifixion, He became his unique seed in God’s blessing. The angel of the Lord, who was Christ, provided the ram, a type of Christ, which eventually issued in the seed, who is also Christ. Christ is everything. We do not have a small, limited Christ. We have a great and unlimited Christ who is everything. Praise the Lord!
(Abraham—Called by God, Chapter 22, by Witness Lee)