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"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible might not tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Abrahamic Covenant - Part Five

This Copyrighted Material is Presented to you with the permission of Les Feldick Ministries and may not be reproduced in any form, or by any means, for the purpose of Re-Sale.  Thank you.

Genesis 12:1-3
Okay, we’ll turn to Genesis chapter 15.  Remember we’re on the second part of this Abrahamic Covenant.  Last week I think we pretty well touched a lot of the verses that dealt with that they would become a great nation of people.  And remember that by the time they leave Egypt there’s going to be anywhere from three to seven million of them, and like we were just saying after our last break that all you have to do is look at the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, and you drive through, that’s about three and a half maybe four million people now.  Imagine that many people just pulling up stakes and moving out into a desert wilderness and you’ll get some idea of what Moses had to put up with.
Now in the next few moments we’re going to be looking at several verses and portions of Scripture that deal with the promise of a "land."  And like I said in our closing moments last week, this is the problem in the Middle East tonight.  Israel has territory that the rest of the world thinks she should give up and let the Palestinians have it, for the sake of peace.  Israel says, what?  "It’s our land!"  And they haven’t even got all that God has deeded to them.  So I can sympathize, I can identify with the nation of Israel tonight as well as with the Palestinians.
They’ve been there now for hundreds of years, its home to them and nobody likes to be uprooted from home.  And I can empathize with that.  But we’ve still got to recognize that what God has said is Sovereign, its set in concrete and the nations of this world are never going to change it. We might as well get ready.  There is not going to be peace in the Middle East because you see, with the thousands upon thousands of Jews coming in from Ethiopia, Russia, Albania, Europe and other places, everyplace except America, there aren’t too many Jews leaving America yet.            One day they will.
But they have to have room.  And I can see the handwriting on the wall for the Palestinians.   Bless their hearts, I know they’re going to hate to be uprooted and I empathize with that, but God has promised it thousands of years ago through this Abrahamic Covenant.
Now I think, in order to give you some idea of how much real estate is involved in that last verse we saw last week as we closed, and you might want to be looking at it in Genesis chapter 15 that last three verses, and I don’t want to erase this, but I’m just going to put a small map up here.   And again I always have to remind people, this is not according to scale.
But, here is the Mediterranean Sea, and over here is the Sea of Galilee, and the Jordan River, and the Dead Sea and that puts Jerusalem right about there.  Present day Beirut, I suppose somewhere up here on the seacoast and then way out here to the east; no where to scale, but way out there is the Euphrates River.  As we’ve seen in Desert Storm in the last several months and the Tigris coming down from the other direction and then down here of course, is the tip of the Red Sea and over here is the River of Egypt.  Not the Nile.  I think the Nile is over here, but this river is no longer there, but I think in Bible times it was and so we’ll just call this the River of Egypt.  Now do you see what that verse says?                                     
This is God speaking, and He says to Abraham
Genesis 15:18b
"…Unto thy seed have I given (what’s the verb tense…past tense.  It’s already done.  It’s not something in the future.  God has already done it.   He said, I have given) this land, from the river of Egypt (down here in the corner all the way out) to the River Euphrates:"                          
And then we know from the geography of these various tribes mentioned that their northern border is going to be clear up here north of Lebanon and the southern border is going to be clear down here to the Rea Sea.  But in rough terms the nation of Israel, land-wise, is all the way from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates River to the Red Sea to the river of Egypt and back.       That’s the biggest part of the Middle East, isn’t it?
Now that has already been deeded to the Nation of Israel.  That’s all in the Abrahamic Covenant.
Now even at Solomon’s height, they never even got close to enjoying this much land.  So no one can say, well that’s all been fulfilled, that’s in the past.  No it isn’t, as they didn’t even come close.  Now tonight of course, Israel is sitting there, and again I can’t draw this again perfectly, but see, the West Bank comes clear out of there.  The Gaza Strip comes out of there.  And all Israel has left is this little narrow neck of land with a lot of it taken out.  You want to remember this is only, about 40 miles from the sea to the Jordan Valley.  Forty miles.
Now when you read the account of Jesus going from Jerusalem down to Jericho, which is up here on the north shores of the Dead Sea, that’s only about 18 miles.  And yet you know, we think of it in terms from America’s standpoint of maybe a hundred miles, or a hundred and fifty.               But everything is so small and they’re only a hundred and eighty miles long from the Red Sea to, well their border now would be up here somewhere south of Lebanon.  But see, Israel tonight is cramped.  They’re packing them in like putting them in a little postage stamp territory and they’re going to have to have more room.  Well, they’re going to get it.  I don’t know when. I  don’t know how.   But God’s going to see to it because He has given His word.
All right, let’s go up through Scripture now and pick out some more of the verses with regard to the Land promised. Come over with me to Deuteronomy chapter 30 and let’s start with verse 1.
Deuteronomy 30:1a
"And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee" 
Now in the previous two chapters, God has listed all the blessings that would come if they’d be obedient but all the curses if they’d be disobedient. And when you read those chapters you can see how they have all been fulfilled to the last jot and tittle.
Deuteronomy 30:1b
"…the blessings and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whether the LORD thy God hath driven thee."   
Now does that ring a bell?  Isn’t that exactly where they’ve been?  Oh, they have been out there scattered in all the nations of the world now for over 2000 years.  You want to remember that this is one of the miracles of Scripture.  If you ever run into a friend who has a doubt about the veracity of the Word of God, remind them that the living proof that the Bible is true is the Jew, the Nation of Israel.
Even though they’ve been in dispersion, they’ve been out there scattered among all the nations of the world, yet tonight with rare exceptions a Jew is still a Jew.  They have not lost their identity, whereas you take we American with our ancestors, most of us as I look over you, probably came from Europe, Great Britain, the Mediterranean or wherever, but here America has only been a nation a little over 200 years and most of you can’t even trace your roots to one nation any more.  Why?  Because we’ve all intermarried, we’ve amalgamated; we have lost our national identity.  But not the Jew.
The Jew has been in Russia.  He’s been in Germany.  He’s been in Timbuktu; he’s been all over this world.  He has put down roots, he has become part and parcel of their various governments and societies, but he’s still a Jew.  And as God brings them back now to the land of promise, they are not an amalgamated people.  Now the Samaritans were, and that’s why the Jews of Jesus’ day hated them.  They had lost their purity, they had intermarried.  But the Jew is for the most part still a relatively pure race of people.  And God has seen to it.
And this is why we want you to understand that the Bible is so true! And this is why God is saying that after He has scattered them among all the nations:
Deuteronomy 30:2-3
"And you shall return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all of thy heart, with all thy soul; 3. That then the LORD thy God will turn (or end) your captivity, have compassion on thee and will return and gather thee from the nations whether the LORD thy God hath scattered thee."  And then come down to verse 5:
Deuteronomy 30:5
"And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the (what’s the next word?) land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above all thy fathers."  Israel hasn’t reached their place yet, but it’s getting close.  The time is coming and we don’t think it’s that far away, when all these prophetic utterances concerning the nation of Israel will become a reality.
All right, let’s move on.  Go to the book of Joshua chapter 1.  And again we’ll just skim the first six verses, because all we’re trying to establish is that God has promised a nation of people coming out of Abraham who would be congregated within a geographical area, a land that will be promised to them.
Joshua 1:1-2
"Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, 2. Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel."  How do they get it?  God is giving it to them.  Now granted as they come in this time under Joshua, they’re going to have to fight wars.  They’re going to have to fight battles, but nevertheless, God has mandated that it’s going to be their land.
All right, let’s go a little further up through the Old Testament.  Let’s go all the way to Ezekiel 37, that portion of Scripture that should just ring a bell with almost anybody who has ever heard the old spiritual  "Them Bones."  And here’s where it came from.  And again we won’t take time to read all these verses, I wish we could, but we just can’t take the time for that but Ezekiel is shown in a vision this valley floor just covered with bones.  Now remember this, this is a vision.  But out of this vision, we’re going to get a literal truth.  And as he sees these bones, the Lord tells Ezekiel to prophesy upon them, and he does so. Verse 5:
Ezekiel 37:5-7
"Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live; 6. I will lay sinews (or flesh) upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD. 7. (So Ezekiel says) I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone."  Well I think you’ve all had dreams that almost come real, haven’t you?  Well, this is what Ezekiel saw.    All these bones, they’d been there for centuries, they’re very dry, they’re bleached, but all of a sudden they began to move and they began to come together.  Now remember this is just a symbolic lesson.  This isn’t a literal thing, but he’s got a literal lesson in it.
And as all these bones that had been out there for centuries are now coming together, and right before his eyes, they take on flesh. The skin comes upon them and then finally, he says, verse 10:
Ezekiel 37:10-11a
"So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army.           11. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are (what?) the whole house of Israel:"  Oh, in symbolic language, in a symbolic vision, he saw that Israel was out there in those Gentiles nations for hundreds, yes thousands, of years.  Nationally dead.  But all of a sudden, what’s God going to do?  He’s going to put life back into that nation and we’re seeing it right before our very eyes.                                                                 They’re coming home! They’re coming back by the thousands every day.
The Jew had almost given up of every having a homeland until finally it happened in 1948.  But I want you to come on down to verse 12 where God says to Ezekiel:
Ezekiel 37:12
"Therefore Prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold O My people, (remember he’s talking to Israel) I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel."  In other words, a Jew living out in Gentile territory is just like being in a grave.  He’s dead.  He is spiritually out of it.
Ezekiel 37:14a
"And I shall put my Spirit in you, you shall live, and I shall place you in your own landThat’s what I wanted you to see.  It just keeps coming up over and over that God has not forgotten that that land He deeded to Abraham is still the same land only now it’s going to be given to the children of Abraham, at a much later time. And then he goes on to say,
"how that they will no longer be a split nation, no Northern Kingdom and a Southern Kingdom; it’s going to be a one Nation, under their Messiah."
All right, now then let’s go a little further to Jeremiah 23, and let’s pick up at verse 5:
Jeremiah 23:5a
"Behold the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and King…"  Now that word Branch is capitalized – used several times – who is it?  Christ!  It’s in a prophetic naming again of the Messiah.  And He says,"I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a (what?) King."
Now we’re also going to use this verse when we come to the third part.  But, pass over it for now; we’re going to come back to it.   And "A King shall reign and prosper."  And then come on down to verse 7 because this is exactly what we’re seeing in our news every day now, the fulfillment of this which was written 600 years BC, verse 6:
Jeremiah 23:6a
"In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely"                           
That hasn’t come yet, but we’re building up to it. And then verse 7:
Jeremiah 23:7-8
"Therefore, behold, the days come saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 8. But, (they’ll say) the LORD liveth, who brought up and who lead the seed of the house of Israel out of the North Country; (what’s that? That’s Russia, straight north of Israel, they’ll come out) and from all the countries whether I had driven them; and they shall dwell (where?) in their own land."  Can you beat that?  God said it and don’t you worry for a minute the nations of the world, the United Nation, the Kings and Prime Ministers can peace talk all they want – Israel is going to end up in her own land!
And she’s only got a portion of what she’s going to have some day.  So, I don’t see Israel giving up a big chunk of territory.  I can envision the day when the Palestinians will be pushed out, or they’ll be amalgamated; they’re going to have a choice.  And I don’t know why they rebel at that because we were given the opportunity to go to Israel many years ago and at that time we had an Arab guide and an Arab bus driver and they both made it so plain that the best situated Arabs in the whole Middle East, other than the oil rich of course, but those who had it the best were those living in Israel, who were part and parcel of the Israeli economy, they had businesses, they were thriving.
We’d drive through the countryside and there would be a big nice school and our guide would say, now until the Israeli’s came on the scene these kids never had an education.  But Israel provides schools for them.  Provides their education and yet they’re rebelling against it.  And so I take 90% of the news coming out of the Middle East with a great big dose of salt because the whole media is slanted against Israel because Israel is God’s Covenant People.
Now I tell my classes all the time, "Now look, don’t expect the present day Israeli government or the Jewish people to be super-spiritual, or super-moral, if anything they’re quite the opposite.  But, they are still His Covenant People."  God has His thumb on them.  And God doesn’t sanction much of what they’re doing but nevertheless, they are His Covenant People and I think a lot of times people think, well if they’re the people of God, why don’t they behave like it?
Well, listen they’re the people of God only by virtue of the Covenants as yet, but, when Israel becomes all that God wants them to be, as it says in chapter 31.  And since I’m on that line of thought here in Jeremiah, and we’ll finish that thought.  The Scripture says it better than I can.  The day is coming when their ungodliness, when their unbelief will come to an end and you’re going to find that the Jew once again is the apple of God’s eye.
Jeremiah 31:31a
"Behold, the days come,…" Now even though Jeremiah wrote this clear back in 600 BC, yet it’s still future from our time. But it’s coming, God has said it is. And He expects us to believe it.
Jeremiah 31:31
"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:" Now He could not make a new covenant until this one has run its course.  The Abrahamic Covenant is still going to be fulfilled.  She’s going to be a nation of people, living within their geographical area, with a super, super government – God Himself in the person of Christ the Messiah, their King and when that has become a full reality, now look at Israel’s spiritual condition.
Jeremiah 31:32a
"Not according to the covenants that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt;…"
What covenant was that?  Law.  And Law was harsh.  Law was a burden.  Peter and others in the New Testament referred to it as a yoke of bondage that no one could bear.  But oh the day is coming; it’s going to be something far better than that covenant of Law, the one that they broke.
Jeremiah 31:32b-33
"…which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith the LORD. 33. But this shall be the covenant that I will make (now you see I’m emphasizing the verb tenses here, this is future.  A covenant, he says that I will make) with the house of Israel; After those days saith the LORD, I will put my law (not on tables of stone but where?) in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people." Oh, they’ll just have full knowledge without having to sit down and read the Torah, or study under a Rabbi; it’s just going to be there by an act of God.
Jeremiah 31:34a
"And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor,…"  As they were taught back there in Joshua, you remember when they came into the land. In fact you remember what the instructions were?  When they rose up in the morning, when they sat down to eat, when they lay down to sleep, what were they to be doing?  Memorizing the Word. Just letting it saturate them.   God says, the time is coming they won’t have to do that because they’ll have it inwardly.
Jeremiah 31:34b
"…from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD, for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
Now that’s going to all come to pass when this Abrahamic Covenant comes into full fruition, the Messiah will finally be their King and they will enjoy this whole Middle East as their homeland.  There will not be an unbelieving Jew anywhere in that kingdom, they will all be believers.        And it’s going to be that glorious kingdom that all the Old Testament has been looking forward to.
Now next week I’ll make a little more mention of the fact that all these promises given to Israel are earthly, I’ll shock you.  Never does the Old Testament teach a Jew dying and going to heaven.  Never. Y ou can’t find it.  But he knew that he would die and be resurrected and come back to this earthly Kingdom.  He didn’t really understand it.  He didn’t really have a full knowledge of it as we have now with the Word of God complete, but nevertheless,
the Old Testament Jewish believer had no concept as we do, of dying and going to heaven. So, Israel was an earthly people with earthly promisesThe Church, the Body of Christ, is a heavenly people with heavenly promises.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Abrahamic Covenant - Part IV

This Copyrighted Material is Presented to you with the permission of Les Feldick Ministries and may not be reproduced in any form, or by any means, for the purpose of Re-Sale.



GENESIS 12:1-3

We’re going to pick up more or less where we left off in last lesson, but before we start on a real in depth study of the Abrahamic Covenant, which I have mentioned in previous lessons is so basic to understanding all the rest of God’s program for the ages and the change of God’s dealing with the human race as we come into Genesis chapter 12, I need to show you some important verses that help make all this connect.

Now within that Abrahamic Covenant remember, we have these three basic premises: 1. That He’s going to make of them a Nation of people.           2. He’s going to put them in a geographical area.  He’s going to give them their own land.  3. And over that people dwelling in their own land,      He’s going to provide them with a government.  Not just an ordinary government, not even kings such as David and Solomon.                                 But that one day, God Himself would become their King in the person of the Messiah, the Christ.

And consequently that’s why when we come to the book of Matthew; He is referred to as the King of Israel.   Now that wasn’t just a frivolous term. This was all part and parcel of this Abrahamic Covenant.  All right, Genesis chapter 46 is where we closed last week, where God said to Jacob as he was hankering to get down in Egypt where Joseph was, He said:

Genesis 46:3b

"…I am God, the God of thy father, fear not to go down into Egypt;…"

Now the reason it’s spoken in the way that it is, God, up until this time, has instructed them not to go to Egypt. Because you remember, Egypt in Scripture is a picture of what?  Of the worldSinfulnessAbsolutely.  And so now God has come to the place where He can permit Jacob to go on down to Egypt with his sons and their wives and their family and Joseph and his family are already there – so for a total of 70 some souls, will move down into Egypt and then look what it says:

Genesis 46:3c

"For I will there (in Egypt) make of thee a great nation."                                          

Now then if you’ll come to the Book of Exodus, and we’ll be studying this in detail when we get there chronologically, but you’ll see in Exodus chapter 1 drop down to verse 5 where it says:

Exodus 1:5

"And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already."  And then verse 7.

Exodus 1:7

"And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land (that is the land of Egypt, Goshen in particular) was filled with them." And so they began to just multiply until finally, verse 9:

Exodus 1:9

"And he (the king of Egypt) said unto his people, Behold the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:

So the King had to do something drastic.

Now if you’ll turn on over to Exodus chapter 19, one of the other benchmark verses of Scripture.  A verse I dare say that most nominal Christians don’t even realize is in their Bible.  But it is such an important verse in light of this covenant that we’re studying.  In Exodus chapter 19 drop down to verse 5 and again get the setting.  Israel is now out of the land of Egypt.  They have come through the Red Sea experience.  They are gathered around Mount Sinai and in chapter 20 they’re going to receive the Ten Commandments.  But just before God gives the Commandments to Moses, look what He tells this nation of people.

Exodus 19:5a

"Now therefore, if…." Now what kind of a word do we call that in English?  Conditional, isn’t it?  If.  It’s going to be up to them.

Exodus 19:5b

"…if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, (see how many times that word comes up) then you shall be a peculiar…"

Now the word peculiar in its original is not as we think of as someone odd or a little bit different.  But, the word in its original language was of intrinsic value.  You shall be a special people.

Exodus 19:5c

"…treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:"  Why?  Because God is Sovereign.  He can do any way He wants to do.              Now look at verse 6, underline it, circle it, do something with it because this is a crucial verse if you’re going to understand even the New Testament.

Exodus 19:6a

"And you (the nation of Israel) shall be unto me a (what’s the next word?) kingdom of priests,…"  Now let’s stop.  As we understand the word priest, what is the role of a priest?  So far as God and man are concerned, what’s the role of a priest?  He’s a go-between, isn’t he?  Now we’re not acquainted with that so much, especially Protestants Now our Catholic friends understand it a little better than we do because after all isn’t that what they think of in terms of their priest?  He’s the go-between between them and God.  Now that’s the term priest.

Now Israel was being promised that if they would be obedient to the commands and the covenants of God, they would be a kingdom, a nation of priests – go-betweens.

Exodus 19:6b

"…and an holy (now that word holy means separated. It doesn’t mean perfect but it means separated.  A holy or a separated – what’s the next word?) nation."  Now there’s plain English.  Israel is a large enough group of people now brought out of Egypt, God is going to give them the Commandments, He’s going to give them the system of worship, which we now recognize as the system of Law, the Temple and all the rest of it. But the whole idea of this thing is that they were to become a nation of go-betweens.

Now the best verse I guess that I can show that would be a fulfillment of that, if you’ll go all the way back to Zechariah. Zechariah is the next to the last book in your Old Testament, and come down to chapter 8.  Zechariah chapter 8 and try to keep all this sorted out now in your memory - that Israel had become a nation of people while they were down there in Egypt.  God has miraculously brought them out, they’re around Mount Sinai ready to be given the very system that’s going to prepare them for this role.

They are now a nation of people and He is promising that they can be priests of God, they could be the go-betweens, not just between each other but between themselves and again, this river of humanity.

Now remember the whole idea of separating this little nation of people is to prepare them for the day when they could be all that God wanted them to be with regard to the non-Jewish people, which we normally refer to now as Gentiles.

Zechariah 8:20

"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, (now it hasn’t yet, it’s still future, but of course in Zechariah’s time, we’re back there about 450 BC but we could still say it’s appropriate, because it never did happen up till now) that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities; 21. And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD (or Jehovah) and to seek the LORD of hosts; (and these people will say) I will go with you also."

Zechariah 8:22

"Yea, many people and strong (what’s the next word?) nations (I’m a stickler for every word.  So we have people and nations – plural)            shall come to seek the LORD of hosts (where?) in Jerusalem, and pray before the LORD."  Not heaven, but in Jerusalem. Oh, it’s going to be the center of all this activity.  Now verse 23, I think most of you who have been in my classes longer, you’ve already got this well underlined.

Zechariah 8:23

"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days (what days? When God is finally using Israel to evangelize the nations) it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold out of all languages (around the world, every tongue and tribe and nation of people) of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We want to go with you for we have heard (what?) God is with you."                           

That’s where everything is happening. And this is what Israel had in her future.  Oh she could come to the place where ten men to one would say, "Can we go with you and go back to Jerusalem and meet this God of yours that we can have fellowship with Him as you do?"

Wasn’t that tremendous prospect and Israel blew it!  But oh I want you to see that this was the potential all the way up through the Old Testament. Another verse just came to mind a moment ago.  Maybe let’s go to the New Testament, I don’t think it’s the verse I had in mind but let’s go to Galatians.

Come to Galatians and I’m just trying to sort out and see what we can use the quickest and which would be the clearest.  I think chapter 3.               In Galatians, and just drop down again for sake of time to verse 23 and 24.

Now of course, Paul again is writing to predominately Gentile people but he is stressing why everything happened the way it did.                        Why has the Law now been set aside and why had God turned to the Gentiles by grace through faith alone?

Galatians 3:23-24a

"Before faith came, (or the faith way came) we (speaking as a Jew) were kept under the law, shut up (confined) to the faith which should afterwards be revealed.  24. (this says it all.) Wherefore the law was our (what’s the word?) schoolmaster..."                                                     Now what in the world is the role of a schoolmaster?  Oh, it’s to teach your kids.

And why do we educate our children?  To be prepared for a role in adult life, isn’t it?  That’s the whole reason parents scrape and save and put their kids through school and my when I see the cost of some of these universities lately!  But why do parents do it?  To prepare that child for an active life when he becomes an adult.  That’s the role of a schoolmaster.  All right, now that’s what the Law was to Israel.

Galatians 3:24b

"…to bring us unto (or to bring us to the time of the Messiah) Christ, that we might be justified by faith."  Without the law.  But now then if you’ll come down to chapter 4 it’s a further clarification of this thought.

Galatians 4:1

"Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord (now that’s small ‘l’ it’s just a term) of all 2. But (this child) is under tutors and governors (teachers. Private instructors) until the time appointed of the father."                              Now you know what Paul is referring to?   Back in the Roman Empire especially, well-to-do families would do just that.

This little boy as he came into the family meant nothing; he had no more rights than a hired servant except that old daddy is going to foot the bill to get him educated.  And he’s going to educated him for a particular future role, probably within the family business or within the estate, or whatever the case may be.  But he’s going to be educated by tutors for that time when the father says, "Now I’m ready son to bring you in as a full heir, I’ve got a job for you to do."

All right, now this was exactly what God was doing with the nation of Israel.  He puts them under the Law.  He teaches them, He deals with them miraculously and patiently and He’s moving them along, for the day when they could become the great evangelistic force amongst the Gentiles.

Now, I know the other verse I was thinking of.  Let’s back up again in the Old Testament, all the way to Isaiah because I want you to be able to see that God was not negligent in letting this mainstream of humanity go its way.  Oh He had them on His mind all the while, but He had to let them go until He had tutored, until He had prepared this Covenant people of Israel, to fulfill the role that He had given to them.  But in Isaiah 42 starting with verse 1 where Isaiah, and, I always like to remind people who hear me teach, to whom is Isaiah writing?  To Israel.  He doesn’t write to the Romans or the Greeks, he’s writing to the Jew They were the only ones that had anything to do with the Old Testament writing. So always keep that in mind.

Isaiah 42:1

"Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my Spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles."  And the word judgment here does not mean punishment as we think of the term, but he would bring forth rule.  To whom? Gentiles.  But of whom is the prophet speaking?  Christ.  The Messiah, this coming King And who was he intrinsically interested in?           The non-Jew, the Gentile.

Now if you’ll flip on over to chapter 59 in this same book of Isaiah chapter 59 now drop down to verse 20.

Isaiah 59:20a

"And the Redeemer (capitalized, who’s the Redeemer?  Christ.  T he Messiah) shall come to Zion,…"

Where’s Zion?  Jerusalem.  Now you know I’ve made this statement in my classes.  Hymn writers, bless their heart, some of them though have got awful theology.  And they give the idea as we sing the song, "Marching to Zion," haven’t heard it now for a long time, but you all have sung it at one time or another.  When we listen to the song and we sing it, where to we think of as Zion?  Well, Heaven.  But Zion isn’t in Heaven.               Zion’s the north side of Jerusalem.  And so this is the Zion that Isaiah is referring to.

Isaiah 59:20b-21

"…and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob,…" (that is of the Children of Israel)  21. As for me, (God says) this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth nor out of the mouth of thy seed, or your children, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD from henceforth forever."                         But now don’t stop there, come right into the next chapter, chapter 60 verse 1, where it says:

Isaiah 60:1

"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee."  Now who is the "thee?"  Israel.                                        What time is it referring to?  When their Messiah was there.

You remember in the Gospels when Jesus told Israel, "you are the light of the world?"  Couple of verses down, it says, "you are the salt of the earth."  What was He talking about?    They were to be the vehicle.  All right, now let’s come back here to Isaiah 60.

Isaiah 60:2-3a

"For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: (now who are the people? Israel.  The Jew.  And hasn’t that been true?  Spiritually blinded.  And so God foresaw all this) but (there’s that three lettered word that makes the difference) the LORD shall arise upon thee, (for what purpose?) and his glory shall be seen upon thee   3. And the (what?) Gentiles shall come to (what?) thy light,…"           Israel’s light?  See it?  Oh the Gentiles were to see all the spiritual light through Israel.

Isaiah 60:3b-4

"…and his glory shall be seen upon thee, 4. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising."                   This is all in that prophetic program.  But as I said before and I’ll say it again, Israel blew it.  They just totally rejected it and they couldn’t understand it and as Paul writes in Corinthians, they didn’t know who He was.

Now those of you who have been with me again over the years, you’ve heard me say it over and over, Israel should have known who Jesus was. Israel could have known if they’d have just gone back to the Book.  But Israel did not know.  And so Paul can write in Corinthians that the wisdom of this world was just not comparable to the wisdom of God.  And then he says, so clearly, "that had the rulers of this world, had the rulers of Israel, had they known who Jesus was, They would not have crucified the Lord of glory."

So why did they crucify Him?  They didn’t know who He was.  And I maintain then for those of you that want to read on ahead of me or study on ahead, when you get to those early chapters of Acts, what is the great burden of the Apostle Peter?  Oh, to stress to the Jew who it was that they had murdered.   And that’s the word he uses in Acts chapter 2 and Acts chapter 3.  And he says, "He was the Promised One, but God raised Him from the dead."   And Israel still couldn’t believe it.  It’s just beyond our comprehension but they could not believe who He really was.

All right, now then, if you’ll come back to Genesis 12 and let’s just take another little run then at some of these other verses with regard to the Abrahamic Covenant.

Now, in this Abrahamic Covenant, God has established the fact that the nation of Israel is now on the scene.   They have come out of Egypt, several million strong, now the next thing I want you to understand is that God is going to provide them with a piece of land, a part of this old earth’s topography.  To show you that, turn to Genesis 15.  We’re not going to get far on this segment, but we’ll get started. Hopefully we’ve established that they were to be a nation of People.  But now God’s going to put them in a geographical area.

And this is the sore spot of the whole Middle East tonight.  That’s why it’s so appropriate that we’re studying this Covenant in light of the prophetic aspect as well as the here and the now.  Genesis chapter 15, the very same verses are appropriate that we read earlier, where Abram is wondering, "How is God going to bring this about, seeing that he’s childless."   Now if you’ll come down to verse 8.  Last time we looked at these verses he was talking about numbers, people.  He said, "as the stars are numbered, so are the people that will come of thee." Now, verse 7:

Genesis 15:7

"And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this (what’s the next word?) land (here it comes.  Now we’re talking about real estate.  Regular old terra firma) to inherit it."  And old Abram is so human, he comes right back and what does he say?

Genesis 15:8

"And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?"  You can just hear old Abraham, "Yeah, but Lord, how do I know that? How do I know I’m going to inherit the land?  You haven’t given me any guarantees other than Your word."  We’ve got to give Abram credit, he was a man of faith, but even a man of faith still says what?  Show me some proof.

Well, we haven’t got time to go into all of this with just one minute left and we come down through these verses that I call the signing of Israel’s deed.  That’s verses 10 down through verse 18, but now look at those closing three verses and with this we’ll have to stop.

Genesis 15:18"

In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed I have given (past tense) this (what’s the word?) land,

(now look how big it is and we’ll show you on the board perhaps next week) from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the River Euphrates:"

God tells Abraham, "I have given you this land, from the River of Egypt to the Great River Euphrates, and He lists all the Canaanite tribes, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites."  Whose land is it now?  Israel’s!  And the Canaanites are going to have to be driven out so that Israel can inherit the land that God deeded to Abraham.