Abraham's Family in the Dispensation for Restoration

As a result of Ham's lack of faith, the Dispensation for Restoration
was not successfully carried out in Noah's family.  However; God has
absolutely predestined his Will to fulfill the Purpose of the
Creation.  On the basis of the loyal and devoted heart of Noah, God
called Abraham to carry on the Dispensation.  So Abraham had to
establish the Foundation for the Messiah, which Noah's family had
failed to do.

                      I. THE FOUNDATION OF FAITH

      A. The Central Figure for Restoring the Foundation of Faith

In the Dispensation for Restoration centered on Abraham's family, the
central person for restoring the Foundation of Faith was Abraham. 
After an indemnity period of four hundred years and ten generations
from the time of Noah, God chose Abraham to take Noah's place. 
Abraham was the son of Terah, an idol worshipper, and therefore loved
by Satan.  God took Abraham as indemnity to restore Satan's having
taken Ham, the second son, who had been in a position to be loved by
God.  Because Abraham took the place of Noah, and thus the place of
Adam, God also blessed Abraham, saying that Abraham "would be a
blessing" and that he would make Abraham's descendants into a great
nation (Gen 12:2).  "And he brought him outside and said 'Look toward
heaven, and number the stars, if you are alble to number them....I am
the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this
land to possess'" (Gen 15:5-7).  This was God's promise of blessing to

     B. The Offering Required in Restoring the Foundation of Faith

                       1. The Symbolic Offering

At that time Abraham asked what the conditions were for him to gain
God's blessing: "'...O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess
it?'" (Gen 15:8).

God asked him to scriface a heifer, a ram and she-goat, and a pigeon
and a turtle dove (Gen 15:9).  These three kinds of sacrificial
offerings were the offerings required for restoring the Foundation of
Faith.  They symbolized all the things of the cosmos, which perfect
themselves through the three stages of growing.  In other words, God
had Abraham sacrifice a heifer, a ram and a she-goat, and a pigeon and
dove as symbols of the entire cosmos, which had been lost because of
the Fall.  Thus, this offering is called a 'symbolic offering'.  In
addition, these three sacrifices on the altar were intended to
represent and restore horizontally the invaded conditions of the three
generations of the vertical dispensation -- those of Adam, Noah, and

How did Abraham make this significant symbolic offering? We read in
Genesis 15:10-13 that Abraham cut the offerings in two and laid one
half against the other, except for the birds, which he did not cut in
two.  Birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abraham drove
them away.  That evening at sunset, God appeared to Abraham and said,


"'...Know of a surety that your descendants will be sojourners in a
land that is not theirs, and will be slaves there, and they will be
oppressed for four hundred years...'" (Gen 15:13).  The birds of prey
came down upon the carcassesbecause Abraham did not cut the birds in
two.  This caused the Israelites to suffer four hundred years of
opression.  Then let us inqure into the meaning of the birds of prey
descending upon the offering.

Ever since the Fall of the first man and woman, whenever God works to
carry out his Will, Satan moves to block God's way.  When Cain and
Abel offered sacrifices, Satan was "...couching at the door..." (Gen
4:7).  In Noah's time, the raven symbolized Satan, who was looking for
an opportunity to invade Noah's family right after the Flood Judgment
(Gen 8:7). Similarly, at the time of Abraham's symbolic offering (as a
result of the conditons made) is sybolically depicted in the Bible by
the birds of prey descending on the offering.

Then what was Abraham's sin?  It was his failure to divide the dove
and the pigeon.  Why should the offerings have been divided?  As a
result of the Fall, man and his world came to embody both good and
evil.  The purpose of the dispensation for salvation is the
fulfillment of the Purpose of the Creation.  God has worked to fulfill
the Purpose of Creation by separating good from evil in both man and
his world and then destroying the evil and expanding the goodness,  In
order for God to relate to anything, it must first be symbolically
separated from Satan.  Thus, the offerings had to be divided.

It was only after the one man, Adam, had been divided in two, in the
form of his sons, Cain and Abel, that the scrificial offerings could
be made.  In Noah's time, God's purpose in separating food and evil
and then destroying the evil through the flood was to restore the
sovereignty of goodness.  God intended to have Abraham indemnify
Adam's and Noah's failures to separate symbolically the good and evil
by having Abraham cut the offerings in two.

The further significance of dividing the offering was that it would
establish the condition of having symbolically separated a world of
Good sovereignty from the world which is under the dominion of Satan. 
Also, dividing the offering and draining the blood establishes
sanctification by the symbolic removal of the "blood of death," which
was inherited through the blook relationship with Satan.

Not cutting the offering in two was analogous to not having separated
Cain and Abel, leaving no Abel-type object for God to relate to. 
Secondly, it represented the failure to separate the good and evil
after the Flood Judgment of Noah's time, as a result of which there
was no object of goodness through which God could carry out his
dispensation.  Thirdly, it represented the failure to meet God's
requirement to separate (symbolically) a world of good sovereignty
from the world which is dominated by Satan, the failure to separate a
world where God can have dominion.  Finally, since not dividing the
offering meant not removing the "blood of death," it meant the
offering was not sanctified and therefore that God could not deal with
the offering.  Consequently, although externally Abraham did offer the
sacrifices to God, viewed from the dimension of dispensational
meaning, it was not a divided offering and therefore was not an
offering acceptable to God.  Because Abraham offered things which was


not divided, his offering amounted to an offering to Satan, and was
thus deemed sinful.

What were the consequences of his mistake in the symbolic offering? 
After Abraham failed in the offering, God told him, "'Know of a surety
that your descendants will be sojourners in a land that is not
their's, and will be slaves there, and they will be oppressed for four
hundred years...'" (Gen 15:13).  This was a severe penalty.  If this
was punishment for Abraham's mistake, why did it fall on his
descendants, and not on Abraham himself?  And why was it for four
hundred years?

Because Abraham failed in the symbolic offering, the four-hundred-year
period of indemnity that had been necessary to find Abraham as the
central person was invaded by Satan.  Therefore, from God's viewpoint,
making up for the lost four hundred years would require another four-
hundred-year period of separation from Satan.  This could not be done
in Abraham's generation alone.  Because of this, his descendants had
to restore the lost indemnity period.  This was done through the
Israelites' four hundred years of oppression in Egypt.  Thus, the
period of suffering was both the period of punishment from Abraham's
mistake in offering the sacrifices and the period to establish the
foundation of separation from Satan for the sake of the new

If Abraham had offered the three kinds of required offerings in
accordance with God's will, in other words, if the symbolic offering
had been successful, then the Foundation of Faith would have been
restored.  Then the work of establishing the Foundation of Substance
would have taken place in Abraham's family, centered on his sons. 
This would have involved an Indemnity Condition for Removing the
Fallen Nature between Isaac, the second son, and Ishmael, the first
son.  There is no mention of this matter in the Bible because Abraham
had already failed in his offering, which was to have restored the
Foundation of Faith.

                    2. Abraham's Offering of Issac

After Abraham's failure in the symbolic offering, God ordered him to
offer Isaac as a burnt offering (Gen 22:2), thus beginning a new
dispensation.  Genesis 22:9,10 states, "When they came to the place of
which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there, and laid the
wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar,
upon the wood.  Then Abraham put forth his hand, and took the knife to
slay his son."  With absolute faith, Abraham was committed to offering
as a burnt offering his son, Isaac -- whom he had received as a
blessing.  At this moment, the "angel of the Lord" commanded him,
"...'Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I
know that you fear God, seeing that you have not withheld your son,
your only son, from me'" (Gen 22:12).

In the eyes of God, the sacrifice of Isaac had much more meaning than
just the testing of Abraham's faith.  God's dispensation to restore
the Foundation of Faith had progressed through three stages in the
families of Adam, Noah, and Abraham.  Although Abraham failed in his
symbolic offering, it was God's will that the Foundation of Faith be
restored in Abraham's time because it was the third attempt.


Through the offering of Isaac, God unfolded a new dispensation, on a
new level.  For Abraham, who deeply valued God's blessing, killing
with his own hands and offering the son God had given him as a
blessing pained his heart more than sacrificing himself would have. 
Abraham was able to make this extremely difficult sacrifice in an
acceptable manner (Gen 22:12) because of his absolute faith,
obedience, and loyalty to God.

When God commanded Abraham to offer Isaac, the situation was already
such that the entire Creation, including Isaac, had fallen into the
hands of Satan through Abraham's failure in the symbolic offering.  To
separate Isaac from Satan, God asked Abraham to offer Isaac as a
sacrifice.  At the point where Abraham was prepared to make the
sacrifice, the absolute faith and obedience within Abraham's heart
left no room whatsoever for Satan's accusation.  Thus Satan had to
leave Isaac.  Separated from Satan, Isaac stood on the side of heaven,
and God ordered Abraham not to kill Isaac.  God had now recovered
Isaac, who had been lost.  When God says " I know..." in Genesis
22:12, we can understand that he was expressing the reproach he felt
toward Abraham's failure in the symbolic offering as well as his joy
over Abraham's successful offering of Isaac.  Abraham had succeeded
despite the fact that it was much more difficult for him than offering
his own life as a burnt offering.  In offering Isaac, Abraham
symbolically killed himself for his failure and made it possible for
Isaac to be set up as the resurrected Abraham.  Through this offering,
Abraham also met the indemnity condition for allowing Isaac to take
his place as the central person for the Foundation of Faith.  Although
the resurrected Abraham and Isaac were two separate individuals,
dispensationally they represented one resurrected person.  Conse-
quently, the offering of Isaac marks the shift from Abraham to Isaac
as the central person in the Dispensation for Restoration centered on
Abraham's family.


      A. The Central Person for Restoring the Foundation of Faith

Isaac, who represented the resurrected Abraham, became the new central
person.  He had been resurrected from the brink of death.  Abraham's
display of faith in God was highly admirable; but Isaac, himself, had
also displayed unshakable faith when, with an obedient heart, he
accepted his fate as a burnt offering.  It is not exactly clear how
old Isaac was at the time of the offering, but from the fact that he
carried the wood to be used in it and asked his father where the lamb
for the offering was (Gen 22:6,7), it is apparent that Isaac was old
enough to understand Abraham's intention to some extent.  If Isaac had
resisted his father's seemingly irrational plan to kill him for the
burnt offering, God would not have been able to accept the offering. 
Through this we can understand that Isaac was a central person whose
obedience was in no way inferior to the loyalty of Abraham.

     B. The Offering Required in Restoring the Foundation of Faith

The offering required in restoring the Foundation of Faith was
fulfilled by the ram that was offered by Abraham and Isaac: "And
Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked and behold, behind him was a
ram, caught in a thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the


ram, and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son"
(Gen 22:13).

In place of Isaac, Abraham offered the ram that God had prepared.  It
is easy to picture Isaac, caught up in a feeling of joy and gratitude
since he was spared from death, willingly cooperating with Abraham in
sacrificing the ram as a burnt offering.  This was the symbolic
offering that restored the Foundation of Faith centered on Isaac. Even
though Abraham offered the ram. from the dispensational standpoint,
Isaac had become one with Abraham and had inherited his mission; thus,
it was Isaac who restored the Foundation of Faith through indemnity by
successfully carrying out the symbolic offering, in place of his


Based on the Foundation of Faith which Isaac had established, the
Foundation of Substance now had to be made in order to complete the
Foundation for the Messiah.  For this purpose, Isaac's two sons, Esau
and Jacob, had to meet the Indemnity Condition for Removing the Fallen
Nature.  If we examine what is mentioned in the Bible based on outward
appearances, the activities of Jacob's family raise many questions. 
Why did the twins, Esau and Jacob, fight even while in their mother's
womb (Gen 25:22,23)?  Why did God love the second son, Jacob, while he
was still in his mother's womb (Rom 9:13)?  Why was Jacob born with
one hand grasping Esau's heel (Gen 25:26)? Why did Jacob have Esau
swear to sell his birthright to him in exchange for some pottage
(Gen 25:32-34)?  Why did Jacob cunningly deceive his blind father and
take Esau's blessing (Gen 27:1-36)?  Why did God so greatly love,
protect, and bless Jacob throughout his life, despite the fact that he
did so many seemingly questionable things?  And in light of these
things, why did God make him the root of the chosen people?

The record of Esau and Jacob's fighting each other even while in their
mother's womb tells us that their relationship was not just an
ordinary relationship between two brothers.  From God's dispensational
viewpoint, Esau and Jacob duplicated his dispensation of separating
Cain and Abel, with Jacob and Esau representing good and evil,
respectively.  God "loved" Jacob and "hated" Esau (Rom 9:11-13) even
while they were in the womb because the one represented good and the
other evil.

Jacob was to be the central person for the Foundation of Substance. 
First of all, he had to meet the indemnity condition for restoring the
position of Abel.  Jacob met this condition by restoring the
birthright of the eldest son of the family.  In other words, because
Satan had deceitfully taken control of God's Creation through the
position of the elder son, Jacob had to meet certain conditions that
would restore the birthright of the first-born to God's side.

Jacob also had to meet conditions that would restore the birthright of
the first-born on an individual level.  With wisdom and cunning, Jacob
took the birthright from his elder brother, Esau, by purchasing it
with bread and a lentil pottage (Gen 25:33,34).  God blessed Jacob
because Jacob realized that the birthright had precious value and did
his best to restore it.  This is also the reason that God let Isaac
give his blessing to Jacob (Gen 27:27).  On the other hand, God did


not bless Esau because Esau thought lightly of the blessing and sold
it for a bowl of pottage.

Secondly, by going through a period of twenty-one years of drudgery in
Haran, which symbolized the world of Satan, Jacob met the conditions
for restoring a family from the satanic world to God's side.

Thirdly, through the twenty-one years in Haran and his victory in
wrestling with the angel. Jacob also met the conditions for restoring
dominion over all things (represented by the things and wealth earned
from Laban). When Jacob was returning from Haran to the promised land
of Canaan, he wrestled with and prevailed over an angel at the ford of
the Jabbok. In doing so, Jacob restored man's dominion over the

By restoring dominion over himself, over a family, over the Creation,
and especially over the angels, Jacob met the conditions by which God
could accept him. Put in another way, Jacob met the conditions
necessary to inherit the vertical Foundation of Faith that Isaac had
established, and by doing so, restored through indemnity the position
of Abel and became the central person for the Foundation of Substance.
In this way, Esau and Jacob established the positions of Cain and Abel
as they had existed at the time God accepted Abel's offering.

To meet the Indemnity Condition for Removing the fallen Nature, Esau,
who was in the Cain position, first of all had to love Jacob, who was
in the Abel position. Secondly, Esau had to accept Jacob as his
mediator. Thirdly, Esau had to obey and submit to Jacob and come under
Jacob's dominion. Fourthly, Esau had to stand in the position of
multiplying (expanding) goodness, by inheriting goodness from Jacob,
who had received the blessing from God.

Jacob's efforts to induce Esau to welcome him back and submit to him
of his own will were heartrending. Even when Jacob was returning from
Haran to Canaan, Esau still had resentment against Jacob because Jacob
had previously taken the blessing from him. So Esau led an army of
four hundred men and went to meet Jacob. When Jacob received news of
this he prayed to God and did all he possibly could. 

Jacob thought, "...'I may appease him with the present that goes
before me, and afterwards I shall see his face; perhaps be will accept
me'" (Gen 32:20). With no reluctance he sent ahead of him as a gift
for Esau the more than five hundred livestock that he had earned as a
reward for his hard work in Haran. Jacob also formulated an
alternative plan, dividing the people and livestock into two groups,
so that one might flee if Esau attacked (Gen 32:7,8). When he was
about to meet Esau, he deliberately put his beloved wife and child in
the very rear, so that he was fully prepared to escape if it became
necessary (Gen 33:2). He himself went ahead of them, bowing to the
ground seven times, until he came near to his brother (Gen 33:3). He
greatly humbled himself, saying to Esau, "'...for truly to see your
face is like seeing the face of God, with such favor have you received
me'" (Gen 33:10).

Jacob did his best to fulfill God's Will and to change Esau's heart
from one full of hatred to one that would embrace him with love. Esau
was moved by such efforts and sincerity on Jacob's part and welcomed
him. Genesis 33:4 goes on to say, "...Esau ran to meet him, and


embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept."
Since Esau loved Jacob and welcomed him back, despite the fact that he
had taken the birthright from Esau, the Indemnity Condition for
Removing the Fallen Nature was fulfilled.

                  A. The Origin of the Chosen People

Jacob's victory was not only an individual victory. He was the first
fallen person to win a victory for God's side. By prevailing over an
angel on his way from Haran to Canaan, Jacob had met the Indemnity
condition for restoring man's dominion over the angels. For this he
was named Israel and was selected as the basis for forming the chosen
people (Gen 35:10,11). In Exodus 3:6, God said, "...'I am the God of
your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of
Jacob.'" This means that God's will for Abraham was fulfilled through
Isaac and Jacob and that, from the standpoint of God's dispensation,
these three generations are considered as one. Jacob brought about
Esau's voluntary submission so that Esau could fulfill the Indemnity
Condition for Removing the Fallen Nature. This was the first time that
God's side (Abel) had made Satan's side (Cain) submit.

In this way, God set up a victorious individual and a victorious
family--an individual and family that had met the indemnity conditions
for making Satan submit. Then, from this starting point, God raised
and developed a chosen people. Viewed in this light, the Israelites'
becoming God's chosen people is the result of Jacob's individual
victory in subjugating the satanic side.

Jacob's course set the pattern for the subjugation of Satan, and this
pattern was to be followed by everyone to come after him. Moses and
all the prophets had to go through this model course, and the
Israelites' as a whole had to go through it. The history of the
Israelites provides the historical the national level. Thus the
Israelites' history up to the time of Jesus' coming was the central
history of the Dispensation for Restoration. This is the reason that
the Bible goes into the history of the Israelites in such great
detail, though it would seem to have nothing to do with us today.

Now, let us examine the meaning oh the verse in Romans 9:13, where we
read that God "hated" Esau even while he was in the womb. This verse
simply means that God was working to fulfill his Dispensation for
Restoration through indemnity according to the principles of the
Dispensation for Restoration by placing Esau in the position of Cain.
After Esau had completed his responsibility by receiving and loving
Jacob, he would have been in the position of restored Cain and would
eventually have received the love and blessings of God (Gen 36:7).

                   B. The Foundation for the Messiah

After the series of delays caused by the failures of the central
persons in the Dispensation for Restoration, the Foundation for the
Messiah which had been sought ever since Adam's time was finally
established for the first time in Isaac's family.

But, because Abraham had failed in his symbolic offering, his
descendants still had to go through the indemnity period of four
hundred years of oppression. So, though Isaac's descendants had
established the Foundation for the Messiah, they could receive him


only after they had gone through this indemnity period. Of course, it
was impossible that Isaac's family consist of the same individuals for
four hundred years. During this time his family expanded and grew into
tribes and a nation. After their period of suffering, the descendants
of those who had established the family Foundation for the Messiah had
to establish it on a national level.

Therefore, the Foundation for the Messiah established in Isaac's
family became the basis for starting the course of indemnity which was
to establish the national Foundation for the Messiah. In retrospect,
Jacob's individual victory led to the establishment of a family to
which God could relate. Then, centered on this family, in the next
age, God began his dispensation to establish the national Foundation
for the Messiah. Internally, God expanded the family Foundation for
the Messiah to the national level. Externally, however, Isaac's
descendants still had to undergo four hundred years of oppression as
indemnity for Abraham's failure.

Thus, Jacob's twelve sons and the seventy members of the his household
went to Egypt, which represented the satanic world, and remained there
through four hundred years of oppression. By re-separating them from
Satan, who had previously invaded, these events would raise the chosen
people to the point where God could deal with them in love. God then
planned to bring the chosen people back to Canaan, in order to
establish the national Foundation for the Messiah. On that foundation,
the Messiah would have been able to come and consummate the
Dispensation for Restoration.

God loved and protected the Israelites and sent many prophets to them
in order to prepare the Foundation for the Messiah. After the
Israelites symbolically gained Satan's submission, God would send the
Messiah, who is the fruit of the Dispensation and the true temple. The
example set by Jacob, in Abel's position, in bringing about the
submission of Esau (in Cain's position) was supposed to bear fruit in
the final relationship between the Messiah (Abel) and Israel,
representing all mankind (Cain). Thus representing all mankind, the
chosen nation was to fulfill its mission by loving, obeying, and
serving the Messiah, who is the Abel for all mankind.