[ 25 ] Les Feldick [ Book 3 - Lesson 1 - Part 1 ] Noah, "Security of the Believer": Genesis 7-8
[ 26 ] Les Feldick [ Book 3 - Lesson 1 - Part 2 ] Noah, "Security of the Believer": Genesis 7-8
[ 27 ] Les Feldick [ Book 3 - Lesson 1 - Part 3 ] Noah, "Security of the Believer": Genesis 7-8
[ 28 ] Les Feldick [ Book 3 - Lesson 1 - Part 4 ] Noah, "Security of the Believer": Genesis 7-8
[ 29 ] Les Feldick [ Book 3 - Lesson 2 - Part 1 ] Babel, "False Gods": Genesis 9-12
[ 30 ] Les Feldick [ Book 3 - Lesson 2 - Part 2 ] Babel, "False Gods": Genesis 9-12
[ 31 ] Les Feldick [ Book 3 - Lesson 2 - Part 3 ] Babel, "False Gods": Genesis 9-12
[ 32 ] Les Feldick [ Book 3 - Lesson 2 - Part 4 ] Babel, "False Gods": Genesis 9-12
[ 33 ] Les Feldick [ Book 3 - Lesson 3 - Part 1 ] Abrahamic Covenant: Genesis 12-15
[ 34 ] Les Feldick [ Book 3 - Lesson 3 - Part 2 ] Abrahamic Covenant: Genesis 12-15
[ 35 ] Les Feldick [ Book 3 - Lesson 3 - Part 3 ] Abrahamic Covenant: Genesis 12-15
[ 36 ] Les Feldick [ Book 3 - Lesson 3 - Part 4 ] Abrahamic Covenant: Genesis 12-15
NOAH: SECURITY OF BELIEVER
GENESIS 7 & 8
Ok, it’s so good to have you all back again today and as we do every week, we’re just going to pick right up where we left off last week, so if you’ll turn with me again to Genesis, chapter 7. And just for a little quick review you remember that last time we were together we explained the Ark and its tremendous size and how it was certainly capable of holding all that the Bible says it did. But I think the main thing that I tried to get across, and I hope that I succeeded, was that the Ark was a picture of our salvation.
And you remember that I pointed out that the word “atonement” is also the same Hebrew word “pitch” and it was the pitch that sealed the Ark against the waters of judgment and consequently then made the Ark a place of safety for those within. And then I pointed out that the blood of Christ is what makes our salvation secure. If we’re not under the blood then we have no salvation. And so I pointed out also that God must have been in the Ark as He made the invitation then to Noah and his family, as well as to all of creation, to “come into the Ark.”
It was now time for judgment to fall but God waited seven more days with the door open and if you want to call it that, with the gangplank down. And anyone could have still come into that Ark of safety, it was there for the taking, but none responded. And then we found and this is what I want to start with then tonight is in Genesis chapter 7 in our verse by verse we left off at verse 10, but I want to skip across at least in my Bible across the page to verse 16, where it says:
“And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: (then if you haven’t underlined it in your Bible before, underline because this is so crucial, it is so tantamount to New Testament doctrine I think and it’s shown here again in type and what is the word?) and the LORD shut him in” Now I pointed out in my earlier classes back in Genesis chapter 2, that the word in our King James capital ‘L’ capital ‘O’ capital ‘R’ capital ‘D’ is always a reference to Jehovah and Jehovah in the Old Testament with maybe two, possibly three, exceptions is always God the Son. Jehovah is Christ in His Old Testament personality and so when the LORD, Jehovah, God the Son, invited them into the Ark and He became as I said before then that gyroscope, that maintained the safety of the Ark throughout all of the flood.
And when I begin to explain the flood if not this half-hour hopefully the next one, you’re going to know what I’m talking about. That old box didn’t float up on some calm ocean of water. Quite the opposite, but we’ll come to that later. But what I wanted you to see as we start out tonight is that God shut the door. Now remember there’s only one door in this Ark. Only one. And again this is all so typical. As we come into the New Testament economy we are told over and over “there is only one door.”
John uses the analogy in his Gospel in chapter 10 that it’s the sheepfolds door and there’s only one door into the sheepfold. And who is it? The Lord Jesus! And then Paul makes it so plain in the book of Acts that there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved. And then later on, Paul also uses that same analogy in I Corinthians I think it is chapter 3, where he says, there is only one foundation. There is no other foundation than that which is laid, which is Christ Jesus.
And so this is the reason that there was only one door going into the Ark and when that door was shut, there was no possible way for entrance by anyone else. There was only one window and it was not in the side where it had any access to someone from the outside, it was in the top of the Ark. In the roof. And there was only a band, somehow under the roof line for ventilation. And no doubt that eave of ventilation was constructed in such a way that the air could flow but the water would not splash into it as the seas rose and so forth.
But all these things I think are pertinent with regard to our own salvation experience. There’s only one door into salvation and there is no other way except through that one door. Once we go into that door of salvation, who seals it? God does. There’s not a human latch on that door. God shuts us in!
And so with that as a backdrop, since there is so much confusion and argument, and of course I won’t argue. I don’t think I’ve had an argument with anybody in twenty years. There’s no point to be made in arguing things, but yet there is so much controversy today and I’ve been accused of taking the stand that I stand and so be it. I teach as I think the Lord has opened it up to me and I feel that’s where my responsibility lies.
But I’m talking a little bit about this whole concept of eternal security. Oh it just riles some people up, and on the other hand there are those who have beaten it into the ground. They have totally taken it out of context and as I said, they have overdone this doctrine of eternal security. And so with this concept now then coming from the Ark, my wife and I have often talked, you know all the teachers that we ever heard and sat under they usually take a subject, you know, they’ll teach maybe for a week on the Holy Spirit, and may teach a week on the Trinity. And I’ve never done that. Those of you who have been with me a long time know we always start in Genesis and just go on through. But just like now, as we come to a certain point, you have to stop and analyze a particular doctrine. And that’s the way I’ve always taught. And as we come through Genesis – Revelation, I think we hit every major subject in Scripture – all of them. So tonight, we’ll just take a look, briefly at eternal security.
Are we secure once we have entered into that Ark of safety? Is the blood of Christ sufficient to take us through those times of testing and in the final judgment and so forth? Let’s go to Romans first but in the back of your mind always remember what we’re trying to get out of this is that God shut the door. And it was the pitch, the atonement as it were, that sealed out those waters of judgment for Noah and it’s the blood of Christ that secures us from any judgment from whatever source.
Well, if you’ve got Romans chapter 8, I like to just start right there with verse 1. A verse that’s been precious to me for many, many years. What a promise! And always remember, God cannot lie! If we believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and I trust you all do, then we have to rest on the fact that if God said it, that settles it. There’s no room for controversy.
“There is therefore now (how much?) no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus….” See, that’s conditional. That’s qualifying. That doesn’t cover the whole human race, but all those members of the human race who are in Christ Jesus, now the promise of God is, we will never face condemnation. There is “Therefore (now then) to them no condemnation who are in Christ Jesus.”
And I won’t even use the rest of the verse because just about every commentary I’ve ever read and every scholar that has really looked into these things, maintain that the last part of this verse 1 was never in the original manuscripts. Only in a few and so they feel that somewhere along the line, someone not inspired added that “who walked not after the flesh but after the Spirit.” Because it comes up a little later in the chapter where it’s appropriate. So just take verse 1 for that first part and that says all we need to have, that there is “therefore now no condemnation.” You know what that means? It means what it says.
There is nothing that God can bring against us in condemnation if we’re in Christ Jesus. Why? For the same reason that once Noah and his family went into the Ark and the door was shut, and the Ark was sealed against the waters of judgment, what could touch them? Nothing! And the same way here. All right, let’s come on down through chapter 8 and go to verse 14. This whole chapter and some of you were in my class where we’re studying the book of Romans right now and in the first seven chapters of Romans the Holy Spirit is only mentioned once or twice. And that’s what leaves Paul in such a dilemma in chapter 7. Why is it Paul says, that the things I want to do and the things I do do I shouldn’t do? And then it breaks out in chapter 8. What’s the remedy? The Holy Spirit. And then in chapter 8 we have 19 times the Holy Spirit is used in just one chapter because that’s the answer for all the dilemma of chapter 7.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they (might be? They can hope to be? No. But what?) are the sons of God.” That’s a present tense verb. What? “The sons of God, or children of God.” Now let’s just take a contemporary situation. Let’s say a family, husband and wife, have borne two or three children. But one of those children becomes a belligerent renegade. He is an embarrassment to everything the family stands for. And finally that parent says, “He is such an embarrassment. We don’t want that kid to even partake in our inheritance. Let’s just go to the law and let’s totally disinherit him. Let’s not even recognize him as a son.” And that can be done. But no matter where that son may roam, whose blood is flowing in his veins? His parents.
And it’s the same way here. Once we have entered into this kind of a relationship and we have become bona fide children of God by virtue of all the acts of God that are attendant to our salvation, who can change that? It just can’t be done. Oh we may think that God should kick that person out of his family. And we may have all kinds of ideas but listen, the Scripture stands. If that person has GENUINELY, now that’s where I make the qualifications, those of you who have heard me teach over the years, you know that. I am a firm believer in eternal security ONLY for those who have been genuinely saved. Yes, for that person, there is no condemnation.
But I’m not talking about people who have gone through maybe a set system whereby they become a church member and automatically by rote repetition of things, well now you’re a Christian. No, I don’t buy that. I don’t buy people just simply walking the aisle and following whatever procedure may be given to them. And they also do it by rote description. No, that’s not salvation. But, for the person who has genuinely come under the power of the Holy Spirit and has genuinely believed Paul’s Gospel of salvation with all his heart, which is “That Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again!” which is found in I Corinthians 15:1-4, then I have to maintain, the Scripture says, there is no condemnation, they are a child of God and always will be.
“For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have (past tense, this has been done) received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father.” We’ve come into that relationship with God that places us as a complete mature son and then you see that is brought about even to a fuller extent in verse 16.
“The Spirit itself (or Himself) beareth witness with our spirit that we (and again what’s the verb?) we are. (no ifs, ands or maybes about it. The Spirit makes relationship with us known) that we are the children of God.” And then verse 17, look at the promises that follow.
“And then if children, then heirs (if we’re a child of God) of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ,…” You know what it means to be a joint heir? Yeah you do. Everything that’s His is ours. But on the other hand how does it work? Everything that’s ours is whose? His. A lot of believers don’t like to accept that part. But this is where it comes in, that just as surely as everything that’s God’s is now ours, He expected everything that’s ours to be His. Now that’s that He expects it. He doesn’t command it. He doesn’t demand it and this is the beauty of living under Grace. Once in a while, people will say things that just make my day. And the other night as I was leaving a class I heard a dear lady that I know has been a believer for years and she said to a friend of hers as she was going out the door, she said, “You know it wasn’t until the last two or three weeks that I’ve come to understand the Grace of God.” And oh, that just made my day!
Because we had been talking of course, back in Genesis where Ishmael comes on the scene. Now here I go chasing rabbits, I’m sorry, but you’ll remember that Hagar was now pregnant and she was causing such a problem in the home that finally Sarai, and that was before the name was changed, Sarai finally said what? Abraham get her out of here. I can’t stand it. And so Abraham did. But who came on the scene and says, now you go back to Sarah’s tent? God did. Well, why didn’t He just leave her there because that’s where they ended up, some years later? Oh, God had an eternal purpose in the whole thing because that was going to be a living example of a New Testament truth.
And so you know the story and we’ll be there in a few months I guess, here in this class, but anyway. Some years later now, the son of promise comes on the scene, Isaac. The one that God had said in the beginning would be born. And so Isaac is now a young lad and what’s Ishmael doing to Isaac? Making life miserable for him. And now God comes into the picture and what does He tell Abraham?
“Send Hagar and Ishmael out into the wilderness” Why? “For Ishmael will not live under the same roof with the son of promise, Isaac.” Now that sounds almost cruel but remember God’s doing all this because Paul is going to use that as an allegory in Galatians chapter 4. And what’s the allegory? Oh, he says, “Abraham had two sons. The one was born of the flesh, Ishmael. The other was born of promise, Isaac. Ishmael stood for law and legalism. Isaac stood for Grace.”
Now to prove that you cannot let those two live under the same roof, Paul says, “Even as Ishmael was sent out, so also legalism has to be send out. Because law and legalism cannot live under the same roof with the son of promise Isaac, or Grace.” And so we have to come to that understanding that to live under Grace, the Grace of God, it’s just beyond our human comprehension.
And that’s the only reason that I can stand here and teach that if you’re once a genuine born again child of God, you can never be cast out of God’s family. Now the first thing I know people say, “Well I know people who have done such and such. And they’ve done such and such.” Even preachers. Bless their hearts. But you know what my answer is? If God hasn’t begun a disciplining process in their lives, I doubt, I don’t care if they’re a preacher or not, I doubt if they’ve ever been a child of God because the Bible makes it so clear that if we’re a child of God, and if we begin to waver in our discipline, what’s God going to do? The same thing you did with your kids. You begin to discipline. And then we know that the Bible also promises that if discipline doesn’t work and they get rebellious God takes them home. He’s not going to let someone stay and continue to bring reproach to His name.
Now isn’t all of that enough to tell us that a child of God, first by choice, remember several weeks ago, I used the illustration of the Redeemer and I think that’s probably already been on the television. How that we’re bought out of the slave market, remember? And we’re totally removed from anything that is tying us to the slave market. And then what would the Roman slave master do? Now he says, “I’ve given you your freedom. You’re free to go anywhere in the Roman Empire, you’re a purchased citizenship”. And what would that servant more than likely say? “You’ve done so much for me, I want to stay right here and be your servant.”
All right, now this is exactly how salvation works. Once we’ve come into the Grace of God and we comprehend all that God has done for us, how can we help but want to serve Him? All right, now we’re in Romans chapter 8, come on down just a little further. Come down to verse 22. Now this is another whole thought in here but I’m going to leave that for now, we’ll come up with that in another time, but here in verse 22, Paul continues,
“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain unto now. 23. And not only they, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, (We as believers have the first fruit of the Spirit) even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is to say the redemption of our (soul? No. That’s not what it says. Redemption of our what?) body.” Now if you’re like myself and my wife, we’ve been under the preaching for years and years and 90% of the time all we hear is the salvation of the soul; the concern of the soul. And I’ve come to understand since I’ve been teaching and getting into the Book, that God isn’t concerned just for the soul, He’s concerned with the whole person. God is concerned in the salvation and the redemption of the body, soul and spirit.
All right now in light of that then, come with me if you will to I Corinthians chapter 12, now we’re on this same concept now. Once we enter into that Ark of Safety, which for us is the Gospel of salvation – that Christ died. His blood was shed, He was buried, He arose again. And when we believe that with all our heart, then we enter in to this Ark of Safety, which we call salvation.
Now then, in chapter 12 of I Corinthians. We have Paul expressing this concept of being in the Body. Instead of the Ark, we’re going to use the Body, the Body of Christ. Now in verse 12, he’s going to use the illustration of the human body as a type, if I may use that word, of the Body of Christ. Now the human body is made up of all of our various members, isn’t it? Our fingers, our toes, our legs, our hearing, our sight, these are all different organs, these are all different functions but they all operate under one center of operation in the mind and we’re one body, but we’ve got all these different members. All right, now look at the analogy in verse 12:
I Corinthians 12:12-13a
“For as the body (the human body) is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.(and of course he’s making reference to the Body of Christ, the True Church) 13. For by one Spirit are we (and that’s capitalized, so it’s the Holy Spirit. Now what’s the next word?) all (not just the most spiritual believers. Not just those who say they’ve arrived. But how many? All) baptized into one body,…” Now stop right there. Does the Holy Spirit baptize with water? No. So this is not water baptism.
Now all you have to do is just stop and think for a moment. Almost, and I’ll protect myself by using the word almost, every Christian group will not accept membership without water baptism. Isn’t that right? All right now I’ve always got a question for all of them, and I don’t care who they are. Do you firmly believe that every member in your congregation is a born again child of God? Well, now you’ve got to be honest. Of course not. We’re all in memberships where there are unbelievers who have been baptized in whatever form of baptism you may use. Or whatever time in life you may use. There are still people coming in to every group who are totally unsaved, but they’re baptized. And they’re ‘member-ized’. But not the Body of Christ, there will be no unbelievers in the Body of Christ.
Because you see, that’s the Holy Spirit’s work that when a person becomes a child of God, the Holy Spirit immediately places them and that’s what the word baptized here means, the Holy Spirit places them in to the Body of Christ. Now the reason Paul uses this analogy of the human body, some believers, their role is nothing more than a little pinkie. Some may even have the role of a little toe, which most people never see. Some are going to be more visible, but every one of us, regardless of where God has placed us in the Body have a function in that Body, be it small or great.
The other night we were studying Romans chapter 12 and I’m going to come back to that in just a moment but in Romans chapter 12, it’s laid out so clearly of what God expects of His children. And there are listed the gifts that really amount to something. The various gifts that every believer has at least one of. All right, so we are baptized or placed into the Body of Christ by an act of the Holy Spirit who can search the heart. The Holy Spirit will never place an unbeliever into the Body of Christ. None of us can examine one close enough to screen him from the membership in our local church. We can’t do it and we’re not supposed to. That’s why Jesus gave the illustration back in His earthly ministry, of tares and wheat. You remember?
I remember a few months ago – years ago, I was teaching on that very concept of tares and wheat and the agronomists down at the college brought in some tares and some wheat and you couldn’t tell the difference. But, one would never give a grain and the other would. And it’s the same way in the church. We can’t judge and say well now that church member is not a child of God, that’s not our job. We can’t do that. But we have to be aware that in the Body of Christ, there are no false professors. Only the genuine believer is in the Body of Christ and that’s the only criteria.
And so I tell everybody, that’s the membership you’d better be sure of. Don’t worry about whether you’re a member of the biggest church in town or the smallest or whatever, are you a member of the Body of Christ? And remember the qualifications here is, it’s for all, see?
I Corinthians 12:13b
“…for by one Spirit are we all baptized into that body….”
LESSON ONE * PART II
NOAH: SECURITY OF BELIEVER
GENSIS 7 & 8
Well, we’re going to have to pick up where we left off in our last lesson on the eternal security of the true believer. So I’d like to have you turn with me again to Romans chapter 8 once again and we’ll drop down to verse 35. Even though Genesis is interesting and I always feel as though all those Old Testament teachings are so foundational, yet there are times when I think that the Holy Spirit behooves us to jump into the New Testament and pick up some things that are so apropos for us today.
All right, in verse 35 then of Romans 8 on this same concept – are we secure once we have entered into that Ark of Safety and the door has been shut, as we saw in the last lesson? Or do we have to somehow work and worry and strain and hang-on lest we be lost. My, that would be awful. I’ve had so many people come in my classes and I make no apology that I think the biggest part of my ministry is teaching believers. And to bring them into this place of really understanding and loving the Word of God and the God that bought them. Albeit God has certainly given me, I think, more than my share of lost people to His glory, but nevertheless, if believers can just come to this place of trusting. Now that’s not license. Oh, I always have to follow that right up with that. Grace is not license. Now it’s a possibility, God does not hamstring us. But it’s not license.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Can any of those things take us out of that Ark of Safety, after we have truly believed in our heart for salvation that “Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again?”
“As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; We are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” Now we’ve been fortunate in America. We don’t know what that is, but you know what I read the other night? There are more Christians being martyred right now in the world than in any other time in human history.
I couldn’t believe it but somebody wrote that and I have to trust that they knew what they were talking about. There are so many areas of the world where life is cheap and religion, you see, is coming on so strongly and most religionists have absolutely no tolerance for a Christian. And so I tend to believe it. There are probably more people being martyred for their faith than at any time in human history in other areas of the world. We in America don’t know. I hope it never comes. It certainly could. The setting is there and I think it could come a lot faster than most of us like to think. But as yet we fortunately don’t know what it is to come under this kind of pressure.
“Nay (Paul writes) in all these things we are more than conquerors though him that loved us. 38. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,…” You see that includes everything – that includes the powers of Satan; that entails the power of the human intellect because I’ve even had people tell me this – “Oh no, God won’t cast me out but I can take myself out.” Oh you can? You’re greater than God? You’d better think twice before you say something like that because God’s power is supreme. And he has placed us in this Ark of Safety.
“… nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. 39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, (or anything in creation) shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Now go back to the flood a moment, not in your Bible, but in your mind. Do you remember that when the earth was filled with violence and God said, “I’m going to have to destroy man?” What does that next verse say? “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD”
See Noah found grace. It was that love of God for that righteous man, Noah that brought about the instructions to build the Ark and to have that place of safety. All right, now same way with us. It’s the love of God that constrains us and that pulls us into that place of safety.
Now, let’s come across the page to Romans 9, 10 and 11, and I guess here I can put a little something on the board. You know that in English and in our grammar or our sentence structure, we can put in what we call a parenthesis can’t we? And we do it quite often even in our speech. Now something that is parenthetical is something that does not have to be there because we’ve got the complete sentence. This together with this makes the complete sentence, doesn’t it? And the parenthesis is just complementary. But what can you do with the parenthetical part of that sentence? Well, you can take it out. You can just simply remove it and what do you still have? Well, you’ve still got your complete sentence; it still makes sense even with that section removed.
All right, now this is the way chapters 9, 10 and 11 sit in the book of Romans, they’re parenthetical. Now from chapter 8, which we’ve just been looking at, for 9, 10 and 11 Paul deals almost primarily with the nation of Israel, just sort of a departure from those first eight chapters, so they’re parenthetical. All right, now let’s use that concept.
Let’s just mentally take 9, 10 and 11 and lift them out and see if we haven’t got a complete sentence. Now turn to chapter 12, verse 1. Remember what chapter 8 said, the last verse said, “nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“I beseech you therefore, (see? What’s the “therefore?” Because of what he’d just instructed us in chapter 8) brethren by the mercies of God,…” The what? The mercies of God, not because we deserve it, but because of God’s grace, His mercy and because of all that He’s done for us without putting any strings on it. But what does He beg of us? And that’s what the word beseech means, it means I beg of you. It’s still left up to you to respond however you want, but oh what does God expect? And that’s the word. He expects:
“…that you present your (soul? No. what?) bodies a living sacrifice,…” The whole person as a result of our regeneration. As a result now of our new life in Christ Jesus. What’s it to do with this body? Well, it’s to control it, to affect it, and what does it do? “That we might present it a living sacrifice.”
Oh not one that’s put on the altar as Isaac was to be put to death, but what? A sacrifice that can continue on living. One just comes to mind. Keep your hand here in Romans, turn back with me to Hebrews. I think it’s in chapter 13. Yeah. Hebrews chapter 13 and let this become a precious verse to you, let’s just begin with verse 10.
“We have an altar, whereof we have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.” Now I’m sure Paul wrote Hebrews, Paul is addressing primarily again, if I may use the word, Hebrew believers. And so there’s this constant bringing of the Old Testament economy and explaining how something far better has taken its place. And so this is the reason for this. And then he says, verse 11:
“For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned (where?) without the camp.” Now you know what a stench burning flesh is. And so it was repulsive and so they were to be destroyed way outside the camp.
“Wherefore, Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered (where?) without the gate.” Why wouldn’t the Jews let Him be crucified inside the city wall? It was so reproachful. The cross was a place of terrible reproach. And they weren’t about to let that take place in the city wall. And so they crucified Him outside the city, because of its reproach. All right let’s go on. Verse 13:
“Let us go forth therefore, unto him outside the camp, bearing his (what?) reproach.” Now again, in America we’ve never understood this. But you go back and you read history, secular history of the Dark Ages, and I’m kind of amused when our present day students in high school or college or university, the history books have almost totally removed any reference at all to Christianity.
But, someone who graduated from one of our Oklahoma universities several years ago, quite a few years ago, brought me his textbook on American History…not on American History but on Ancient History and it was dealing with that whole period of time that we know as the Dark Ages. And you know 99% of the context of that university history textbook dealt with the religion that was in Europe in the Dark Ages. Religion was in the basis of everything that took place.
Now that was the time of the Crusades, you remember. And the Crusaders were trying to liberate Jerusalem from the Moors, if I remember correctly but everything that happened was based on religion. All right, now in the name of religion then, they have always persecuted the true believer. I don’t care what group would happen to have the upper hand, and so we don’t understand what that was like, but you see, Christians have been the fodder of the mills of persecution for centuries; it’s just that we’ve been so fortunate to be born in America. All right, so basically, Christianity has always been something of reproach – that is true Christianity. Now, verse 14:
“For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” In other words, the songwriter has put it how? “This world is not my home, we’re just passing through.” Now here’s the verse I wanted you to see, verse 15:
“By him therefore (in other words, because of God’s grace, because we have now entered in to the Ark of Safety by virtue of His shed blood, of His death, burial and resurrection, oh what are we to do?) let us (now watch the language, it’s not a command again, but what is it? Like beseech – It’s up to you, but oh please, God says, let us) offer the sacrifice of (what?) praise to God continually,…” Not just once a week, not just Sunday morning at 11 o’clock. You know that’s what most people think is all that’s required to be a Christian and if you’re there every Sunday for fifty-two weeks, boy you are the epitome of spirituality. Huh?
Listen that is by far the weakest criteria for spirituality. Now I’m all for the local church. And in fact I’ve always told my people that come to my class, if you have something that’s in your church calendar that’s important that’s where I think you ought to be. And I never want to interfere with any of the workings of the local church, not at all.
“…the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name.” This is a continual all through the week not just on Sunday, Not of your billfold, not of anything else, but in this instance, what does He want? “The lips of praise.”
Now is that so hard to fulfill? My, the minute we get up in the morning, what does God want to hear? Oh He wants to hear praise that He’s given us another day of His grace, that He’s extended health or strength or whatever we need. And He wants to hear it from our lips. Don’t just say, “Well He can see it in my heart.” No, God wants us to communicate with Him. That’s the whole idea of prayer. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”
Isn’t that perfect? All right, now then, let’s come back and I want to look at one more portion in the New Testament before we go back to Genesis and that would be in Ephesians. This is in that same line of thought that we started last week as we left Noah and all the creatures in the Ark and God shut the door. Their safety has been made secure by the “pitch” which remember was analogous to the blood of Christ, we also are in the Ark of Safety. Now let’s come into Ephesians chapter 1 and oh let’s drop down at verse 6.
“To the praise of the glory of his grace, (now I didn’t intend this, but do you see how that fit with what we just read?) wherein he hath made us accepted (not by who we are. Not by what we have done, but we are accepted how?) in the beloved.” Who’s the beloved? The Lord Jesus. So we’re accepted in what He has accomplished on our behalf.
“In whom we have redemption through his (what?) his blood, (you see the emphasis now? We are redeemed through the power of His Blood) the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” You see why I emphasize grace? Oh so many people think that somehow they have to do something that merits all this. Well that’s human nature. There’s nothing that the human race would love better than if God would have said, “Well now, if you’ll just do such and such I’ll save you.” That’s what the human race would like to be able to do but we can’t. We have to just lean back and say, there’s nothing I can do because God has already done everything that’s required of me – that’s grace.
“Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;” When we enter into His grace, what does He do with the Word? Oh, He just opens it up to us. I’ve seen people – in fact got a gentleman sitting right here and he’d be the first to admit that when he first came into my class, he knew nothing of this Book, and oh how he’s grown in grace and how he has got so many of these things so absolutely right. Well, I didn’t do it, the Spirit does those things. He opens it and He gives us as it says here, wisdom and prudence.
“Having, made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10. That in the dispensation (or the administration) of the fullness of time he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” In other words, it’s all His and He’s going to bring it all together in His own time.
“In whom we also have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:” Now we’re getting closer to the verses that I want to home in on and that is verse 12 – 14.
“That we should be to the praise of his glory, we who first (what’s the next word?) trusted in Christ.” Now how much work is involved in trusting? None. See, trusting is the same word as what? Believing. And believing and faith, so you’ve got trust, believe and faith, they’re all basically synonymous. All right, so it’s in Him that we believe, we placed our faith, we trusted. When?
“In whom ye also trusted, (when?) after (what?) that ye heard the word of truth, (and what’s the word of truth?) the gospel of your salvation:…” And remember, what’s the Gospel of salvation for us today? I Corinthians 15:1-4 “that Christ died, was buried and rose again” That’s the Gospel. Nothing more and nothing less. All right, when we heard the Gospel of salvation look what happens now.
“…in whom also after that you (what’s the word?) believed. (you see the emphasis? Then what happens?) you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” Now before we go into verse 14, turn back with me to the little book of Jude way at the back of your Bible, and let’s just drop in at verse 1.
“Jude the servant of Jesus Christ, and the brother of James, to them that are sanctified (so who’s he writing to? Believers) by God the Father, and (what’s the next word?) preserved in Jesus Christ and called.”
Now I imagine most of you gals no longer put up preserves, not much canning, but I think it’s coming back. Maybe you’ll remember. But when you preserve something, when you put something in that fruit jar and you seal it, how long to you expect it to be good? From then on. If something wrong doesn’t happen that material is safe. It’s preserved. Means the same thing here. Now, come back with me to Ephesians and we have that same word. That we have been ‘sealed.’ It’s a mark of ownership but it is also a mark of preservation. And how long is God going to preserve us? Read into verse 14: That this sealing by the Holy Spirit:
“Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption…” Now you’re going to say, “Well I thought we were already redeemed?” Oh, we are. We’re redeemed but yet not totally, because see, this old body is still here. It’s still in the flesh, it’s still prone to sickness and weakness and sin and all the rest. There’s coming a time, when even this body, is going to be redeemed. It’s going to be changed. It’s going to be like His glorious body. Read the verse again.
“Which is the earnest…” Now our real estate lady isn’t here otherwise I was going to put her on the spot and say now what is earnest money in a real estate transaction especially? It’s a down payment, but $100 on a $200,000 home? That’s no down payment. Somebody could skip town and forget about that $100 but when you have earnest money what is it? It is such a big payment that nobody’s going to walk away from it. And that’s what God has done with us. He has sealed us, He’s preserved us, He has made us His own and it is His earnest money until we finally enter into that great day, the resurrection day and we receive our new body and we’ll be with Him in glory.
Now this is all the act of God Himself. We haven’t done a thing with this. It was all triggered the moment we what? Believed. Oh, and people want to work for their salvation. But now here we have to be careful and we touched on this the other night; we’ve got a retired pastor and his wife is retired from the mission field and he came up afterward, he said, “My, Les, I appreciate this tonight. He said, “This is what people need.”
All right, I’ve only got a couple of moments left, go back with me quickly if you will to I Corinthians chapter 3, and I hope I can wind this up and then so that our next half-hour we can go back to Genesis chapter 7. So in I Corinthians chapter 3, now verse 9, here is what God is expecting of us even though salvation is a free gift, we are totally set at liberty, we are free, this is what God expects.
I Corinthians 3:9-10a
“We a laborers together with God: you are God’s husbandry, you are God’s building. 10. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder,…” Now Paul doesn’t claim that he’s anything but the contractor. He’s merely carrying out what God has already established.
I Corinthians 3:10b
“…I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereupon….” Now Paul is using here an analogy of building something. So I always like to tell my classes, now just image there’s a long block wall or even a brick wall, and every one of us have been given a little section of that wall to put in our bricks. After salvation we’re laborers in that great work of God, but let’s just picture it now of a building made of bricks. All right, Paul laid the foundation. But he’s not the foundation. Who’s the foundation? Jesus Christ is! See? He says, verse 11:
I Corinthians 3:11-12
“For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12. Now if (and that word ‘if’ is conditional) any build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay and stubble.” You’ve got two different categories of materials. Look at them real quickly. Gold, silver and precious stones – fire can’t hurt them. Wood, hay and stubble – fire puts them up in a puff of smoke. Now those are the things that every believer is given to put in his little section of the wall.
I Corinthians 3:13a
“Every man’s work (that is as a believer now) shall be made manifest:…” It’s going to be put in the spotlight someday. And I think it’s going to be at the Bema Seat, the Judgment Seat of Christ.
I Corinthians 3:13b
“…for the day shall declare it, (declare what? What have we done with our Christian life? What have we done with our little section of the wall?) because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall test every man’s work of what sort it is.” Gold, silver and precious stones or wood, hay and stubble.
I Corinthians 3:14
“If any man’s work abide (it’s gold, silver and precious stones) which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive (what?) a reward. 15. If any man’s work shall be burned, (in other words, he’s put in nothing but wood, hay and stubble. Nothing really that counted) he shall suffer loss: (not of salvation, but loss of what? Reward. Because the rest of the verse says it) yet he himself shall be saved;…” Now isn’t that plain English? There’s going to be a multitude of Christians going out to meet the Lord with nothing in their section of the wall but a bunch of old sticks, like the three pigs. Nothing that stood for anything. Oh, they’re saved. They’re going to be there. But they’ll have no reward.
And Paul alludes to this throughout his letters, he uses the Olympics so often, he said everyone that enters the Olympic race runs for what? “The prize” and so he says, “so run you that you might receive the prize.” And then he says, and “they ran for corruptible prize, but you for an incorruptible prize.”
LESSON ONE * PART III
NOAH: SECURITY OF BELIEVER
Genesis 7 & 8
Now let’s pick up where we thought we were going be to two weeks ago, go back with me to Genesis chapter 7 and we’re ready to take a good look at Noah’s Flood. And I’m going to explode a lot of myths. There’s a common picture I think that comes into our mind and I may have mentioned it several weeks ago, we talk about Noah’s Ark, we all immediately get that picture of a little rowboat type thing with a little shed in the middle and the giraffe standing looking over the edge. You’ve all seen them. It all goes back to our Sunday School material when we were little kids. That just goes to show you how impressionistic young minds are. And I’ve almost had 100% of people that I’ve ever said that to nod their head, yeah, they know what I’m talking about.
Well, listen the Ark was not just a little rowboat. It did not just have a little shed stuck in the middle and there were no animals with their heads sticking over the edge. As we pointed out a few weeks ago, the Ark was an enclosed rectangular box. It was built not to sail across the sea; it wasn’t going anywhere. But it was built to withstand the awful, and I can’t emphasize this enough, the awful riggers of the flood.
Now the secret of this whole thing is in verse 11 because the only thing I think 99 out of 100 people who have ever considered Noah’s Flood think about is the forty days of rain. I’ll never forget years ago as I was teaching this, I had several pastors in my class and when I got through one came up and he said, “Les you have just simply shot out of the saddle one of my best sermons!” And I said, “I bet I know how you preached it.” I said, “You said it rained and the water got ankle deep and somebody said, hey old Noah was right. And so they go knocking on the door. And when it got knee deep a few more woke up. When it got up to their waist a few more.” “Yep,” he said, “That’s exactly how I’ve always preached it.” And he said, “It makes a fantastic sermon.” But I said, “It’s not Biblical! They didn’t have time. It was instantaneous, absolute mayhem. It was cataclysmic destruction.”
“And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.” That seven days of grace that we mentioned where the door was open and the gangplank was down and anyone could have come in. No one did so God shut the door. Genesis 7:11
“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, (now the months in Scripture – April is the first month, so this would have been the month of May) the seventeenth day of the month, the same day, (now here’s the secret) were all the fountains of the great deep broken up and the windows of heaven were opened.” It didn’t just begin to rain and the water rose. No doubt, the rain began to fall.
If you’ll go back with me you remember to chapter 1, those of you who have been with me now ever since we started in Genesis 1 verse 1, we pointed out that back there in verse 7, when that present earth had been flooded from a previous judgment, not on man, but on what we think is an angelic kingdom. But nevertheless, the earth was covered with water and God is now getting it ready for the human inhabitation. And so it says in verse 6:
” And God said let there be a firmament (or an atmosphere, what we call the air around it) in the midst (or between) the waters, and let it divide waters from waters. 7. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And I’m of the impression, and there are a lot who would agree with this line of thinking, there are some that don’t, that at that point in restoration, God raised half of that water that was now flooding the planet and put it into a huge vapor belt someplace out in space and that laid the foundation then for the amazing spring-like weather that enveloped the planet from one end to the other. It was a constant spring-like climate. And since it was constant, there was no weather. There were no storm clouds. And the Bible can accurately say that it never rained that God watered the things that needed water from beneath.
And so even as Noah was building the Ark, and now you can be flipping back to chapter 7, as Noah was building the Ark and he started talking of a great rain, they probably didn’t know what he was talking about. And even though, as I’ve pointed out, the technology of that day was fantastic, probably as far along as we are or more, yet they couldn’t comprehend water just coming down from above, they’d never had it rain.
And so I would just like to project, and that’s all we can do, that all of a sudden it began to rain all over the planet. And that was the first sign to these people that, hey that old boy that’s been building that old box out there must have been right. This is what he was talking about. But before they even had time to react to that thought, all the fountains of the great deep were broken up.
Now just analyze that for a moment. What do we normally think of when the deep explodes out above the surface? What do we call it? Volcano. And so if you can picture in your mind and I’m going to get you to expand your imagination here as far as I can, that all around this planet there were volcanic eruptions everywhere and along with the volcanic eruptions, tremendous earthquakes. This whole planet went into convulsions. There was no time to go knock on Noah’s door. There was no time to find a high place and crawl up in a tree. It was instantaneous judgment. But it didn’t just last for an hour or two, this continues on for months and the whole planet is completely turned inside out by these tremendous acts of God.
Now you see the problem with people and even we, as believers, are sometimes prone to not understand that with God nothing is impossible. That with God this old planet is like you and I handling a marble or a ball bearing. It’s that simple in His power. He can do with it whatever He wants. And He controls all the forces of nature, the forces of outer space, and this was all brought to bear in these early months of what we call the Noah Flood.
I like to picture it, those of you who remember years back, washing machines used to have that front window and as those old suds would be rolling and those clothes tumbling, that’s the way I like to picture the surface of the earth in Noah’s Flood. It was just complete turmoil. Now we have plenty of archaeological proof for all this. This isn’t just a figment of my imagination by any means. In fact, if you get into a study of the Flood, and archaeologists, most of them, not all of them, but most of them, scoff at the idea of Noah’s Flood but all around the earth, you will find a soil product called “Loess” and it comes strictly from volcanic action. Yet in everyplace on this planet there has been laid down, even on our oceans and it has settled to the bottom, everywhere on this planet there is a tremendous amount of loess.
And the only place it could have come from logically is the time of Noah’s Flood with all of this volcanic action. Along with Noah’s Flood of course, we have the disappearance of much of the land surface of that pre-Noah time. We pointed out to someone who asked a question earlier, that the land surface in that time from Adam to the Flood was far greater than it is today. See today, 75 or 76% of the planet surface is water.
Only a small portion is earth, or land, and even a small percentage of that is habitable. Most of it is inhabitable. So what we have to understand is that up to the time of Noah’s Flood it was a beautiful earth, tremendously productive. Vegetation that was just beyond our imagination. Highly populated. I had a friend who was in the space program back in the 60’s and then already he and a friend of his had projected on computer of how many people could have come on the scene in 1600 years from Adam and Eve on up to the time of Noah, which is about 1600 years. And they had an easy, easy mathematical time approaching 4 to 5 billion people in 1600 years.
Now the reason for that of course is that as we’ve witnessed in the last fifty years that once you get to a certain level and population doubles and then when it doubles it just explodes and we’re seeing it. And so I think we can readily understand that at the time of Noah’s Flood this earth was highly populated, a tremendous technology, and there was no time to escape. It was instantaneous. It was complete.
And for that reason there is not a lot of evidence of the things before Noah’s Flood except in the fossil record. Now the fossil record is – only logical way to look at it – is again the Flood. Now scientists, they’re going to scoff at this. And if there’s any that happen to be listening to me on television, they’re going to think, yep – he’s showing what he really is, if he believes that stuff. But, let me tell you something, turn back, keep your hand in Genesis and turn back with me to Timothy, I might even have to look a moment whether it’s First or Second. I Timothy chapter 6, now I know I’m just like one little small feeble voice out there in the wilderness, but I’m going to let it be heard none the less that I am an avid supporter of good science. I love science. And I love people that have got the intellectual and the physical fortitude to go into the study of it. I think it’s an exciting discipline. But we’ve got to be honest and scientists aren’t always honest.
I Timothy 6:20
“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science (that isn’t where it stops. What are the next two words?) falsely so-called.” In other words, Paul says, Timothy look out for the false sciences. True science never disagrees with Scripture. True science and Scripture always fits hand in glove. But it’s these false sciences, these manmade sciences that cast all these belligerent reflections on the Word of God. They are not true sciences.
Now, like I said, they’re going to hit the ceiling if one of them happens to be listening to me and they hear me explain their discipline in this way, but you see, the reason they’re a false science and they’re not a true science is because everything is based on what man thinks. They can prove nothing in the laboratory. Now mathematics, we know, is a true science because you can never change the makeup of true mathematics. You can’t change the true workings of chemistry and physics.
But you see, a geologist can come along and he can say, well we think that such and such. And then the next generation comes along and then they teach that guys thinking as what? Absolute fact. And it’s only a theory. Now I’ve got no argument with theories. If somebody wants to come up with some bizarre reason and he will tell his kids in the classroom, now this is strictly theory, we can’t prove it. I’ve never had any opposition to that, I’ve even told kids in my high school classes, if your teacher makes it plain that what he’s teaching is simply some manmade idea and that it is only theory, I’m not going to go complain. But when these same people come in and say this is the way it was – and of course that’s the way it all is anymore. You watch public television and what is it –Nova? Oh they’re interesting. I mean it’s interesting, but you see the gullible just simply eats that stuff up as though that’s the way it was. They don’t know. There’s no way for them to know.
Now we’ve got the fossil record of course, but again, how much can you determine from the fossil record? Only just so much and the rest, what do they have to do? They have to interpolate and they have to assume and so they – let me give you one good example. Anybody and I wish I had Leycel here, he’s a geologist. I wish we had a geologist here, but you could go into any basic geology course in any university and this is the first thing they throw at our kids. They call it a geologic column. Or an evolutionary geological column. And what they’ve done, they’ve teamed up with the evolutionary biologists and they have divided, now this isn’t all of them, I think there are nine of them if I can remember correctly. But they have divided the structure of the surface of the earth into various strata that they associate time with and the associated time is dependent on the fossils found…is that one ‘l’ or 2? Anyway, on whatever fossils are found in any particular layer of rock.
Now if down here they found the very simplest of life forms in this particular layer of rock, then they maintain that this is the oldest rock on the earth. It’s the furtherest down from the top and consequently the very earliest of life forms are found in this layer. Then as the little one-celled creatures and so forth came on up and became, let’s say reptiles, then you’ll naturally find that throughout all the earth’s structure, in this level now you find the next higher form of life because they’ve evolved from the simplest now to the reptile.
Then the next one from reptiles, I think you go to birds, and so on and so forth on up through that geologic column. And oh that sounds so believable. Yeah, that must be the way it is, because as wind and erosion and so forth pile this material up, moving it, then the oldest fossils are down here and then finally when you get to the top one they come to the fossils of man. Now here’s 18-19 year old kids, fresh into university and some professor throws this at you, what are you going to say? Well man that’s logical. But you see, what they won’t tell our kids is they have never any place on this planet found any of these in this order. Never. They’re all mixed up. Granted there may be levels of sandstone or rock of some kind with only primordial forms but it’s not on the bottom, it might be way up on top. Study the Geological Time Scale below.
And so it’s a lie and our kids fall for it and then they’ll come home and tell Dad and Mom, you know I can’t believe the Bible because after all my geology professor has proved, see, evolution is the only thing that makes any sense. But what they don’t tell our kids is, this is simply an idea. It’s a theory.
But the evolutionist just puts everything on it. Now, the other verse I want to show you, you’re still in the New Testament aren’t you? I Timothy? Turn on further to the right and you’ll come back to II Peter, chapter 3. We looked at this verse several weeks ago, but I think it behooves us to look at it again. Let’s drop down to verse 4, well I guess we should read all three of them, start at verse 1,
II Peter 3:1-5a
“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2. That you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, (in other words the Old Testament.) and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior; 3. Knowing this first. (now we’re to know this. We’re expected) that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts., (and these scoffers are going to say) 4. Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (nothing has changed.) 5. For this they willingly are ignorant of,…” Now you remember when I explained this verse a few weeks ago? Now when it says they’re willingly ignorant, what does it tell you? They don’t want to know any different. They will not listen to anything different.
You talk to a geology professor and you tell him now wait a minute, all of this isn’t this way on the surface of the earth, because after all, it’s all mixed up. Something has happened somewhere along the line, we think it was Noah’s Flood, and he’ll scoff at you. He’ll laugh you out of his room, why? Because he doesn’t want to believe that there was ever a Flood.
They will not accept it because you see; we know from the chronological record that Noah’s Flood in no way shape or form could have taken place more than 5000-6000 years ago. Now what does that do with all their millions and millions of year? Well, blows it out of the water. And so they just totally reject Noah’s Flood. I mentioned a few weeks ago and I’ll mention it again, never I don’t think ever, will you find a college textbook on any of these sciences ever make any reference to Noah’s Flood. They totally reject it and ignore it. Of course, that’s their problem.
And of course this is where we also come into the controversy in teaching our kids, you know there are some states that have tried to pass a law that if they’re going to teach evolution, they have to teach creationism, and they won’t have it because it just makes a fallacy of everything they’re trying to tell our kids. But all I can say is now what takes more faith, to believe something like this that is a figment of somebody’s imagination or to believe the true record. Well, I think it takes a lot more faith to believe that stuff than it does this one.
Now if there was an oil man here in the room, I know if he was a true geologist, he’d say, well now wait a minute, you know in the oil business we rest on geology. You know what my answer would be to him? Now you tell me something, would it put oil in any different area of strata if it was laid down by Noah’s Flood or if it was laid down by evolution? Would it change anything? No. Wouldn’t change anything.
That oil would still be in the same place. And so I’ve had a few geologists come into my class and they have been able to reconcile this and they’ll say, “If I want to believe the Word of God, then I have to believe all of it.” I can reconcile the fact that there is oil and gas in certain places. There’s coal in certain places because of the Scriptural records. And I don’t have to go back and say, well the geologist said, such and such. And so here’s where we have to be so careful and try to get our young people aware that science isn’t always honest.
I always have to remember back when we were making our moonwalk, again this same friend who did the computer work, was in the moon program, whatever they called it. And if you’ll remember before they went up there, they had one big fear of landing on the moon. And you remember what it was? That they would literally just sink in that dust. And low and behold they got up there and it was only about what 12 inches deep? Well, this so shocked the scientific community that immediately they went to work building an instrument that they could put up the next time they went up there and set it out and measure how much and how fast this solar dust was collecting on the moon, because they couldn’t believe that there was only those few inches if the moon was billions and billions and billions of years old.
So the only thing they could put together was if this is the case then that dust must be falling on the moon at such a minimal amount that we have to have a special instrument to measure it. So they did. They took one back up and they set it out and when they went up the third time, they measured it and they were aghast that instead of some infinitesimal un-measurable amount there was a fraction of an inch, which measured and calibrated meant the moon couldn’t be over about 10,000 years at the most.
All right, you know what this guy told me? He said, they buried that information and they didn’t want the public to know it. And you never did until just a few years ago I saw it in the Tulsa World on the back page, a little article about that long, of that very same thing. That they were amazed that there was so little dust on the moon, but that it was accumulating as that rate. But see, they wouldn’t want the public to know that. That just simply blows their whole idea of millions upon millions of years.
And so you come back to the sciences falsely so-called. Take it with a grain of salt. I remember a few years ago a fellow was taking one of the archaeology magazines, one of the prestigious ones, and he showed me an article where they were refuting a little town listen in the Old Testament, in Genesis I think. He said, “Well now Les, how about this?” I said, “You just wait, one thing about archaeologists, they are honest to the place that when they find something that is in line with the Scripture, they at least will announce it.” And sure enough, it wasn’t even a year and that same magazine had to admit that this particular little town that they had said never existed; they found it, just according to the Biblical record.
And so every time they scoff at the Old Testament record, all you have to do is just sit back and say, but this One is the true one. This is the Word of God and God does not lie, He will not lie. And so, the whole scientific community tonight will not recognize Noah’s Flood because it totally changed everything and so that the history of this planet instead of going back millions and millions of years in actuality goes back to Noah’s Flood.
Even Carbon 14 data, everybody says, well what do you do with Carbon 14 dating? Well, hey Carbon 14 cannot be accurate either until only the Flood, because Carbon 14 dating is based on a continuous degeneration under continuous circumstances. But those continuous circumstances were interrupted at Noah’s Flood. The whole planet was involved in volcanic ash, volcanic smoke, probably meteorites from outer space, along with the deluge of the water and so if you’ve ever seen pictures now on television of what a rampaging river flood can do, why it can carry huge boulders. It can just make mayhem of railroad tracks and trains, there’s nothing that water won’t destroy.
Now keep all that in mind whenever you see the next newscast of some roaring flood like the one they had in Pennsylvania a few years ago. That just literally took everything in its path. Well, this is just a glimpse of what was taking place, not on some lone river, but on the whole planet. It was total destruction from pole to pole from one end to the other and no one knew what hit them.
And in our next half-hour I’ll just give you a few glimpses of what archaeologists have to admit; they don’t know where these things came from but if they would just give the Flood the credit for it, it would answer all their questions. It’d be so simple.
LESSON ONE * PART IV
NOAH: SECURITY OF BELIEVER
Genesis 7 & 8
In this lesson we’re going to look a little more at the Flood and why the earth that now is, as the Bible calls it, a result of all that took place during this particularly the five months, 150 days, that the water was at it very deepest. It covered what at that time was the highest point, and that didn’t necessarily mean that there were 14-15 thousand foot mountains before the flood, we don’t know for sure, but it was a universal flood. There was no such thing as just part of the Middle East being inundated, but it was universal.
Now one of the arguments of course is, well where did the water come from? Well it’s easily explained as we did in the last half-hour that originally in Genesis 1 the earth was covered with water and God removed half of that water, or at least a portion of it, put it up in the atmosphere and the rest He made seas. And then it all came back down and covered the planet totally; the Scripture says in one place that even the highest point was 15 cubits under the surface of the water. But with all that was taking place, as we pointed out in our last half-hour, the tremendous volcanic and earthquake activity – and again we especially living here in the Middle West, we just have no idea of the power that can be involved.
Now back in 1883 I think it was, there was a volcano in the East Indies, in the area of what is now Borneo or Java called Krakatao, probably the largest single eruption that this planet has ever known this side of the Flood. And as history gives the account of it, it was in a civilized area and this thing had been building for several weeks. Getting more evident, and still people didn’t move away from it. In fact, they even scheduled tours up to the base of the mountain to listen to it and then finally I think it was one day in August, Krakatao erupted and in its eruption, the sound of it now was registered three thousand miles away.
Now imagine if a volcano, or any kind of a noise, would take place in New York City and it could be heard in LA. Well, so was that one. But that was just one and as a result of that one volcano the whole atmosphere of the planet once the dust started going around it, was affected, weather was affected. And that was just one. Now multiply that as one author has put it by thousands and thousands of other great volcanoes and you can get just a little bit of a picture of what took place when the fountains of the deep were broken up.
Now earthquakes also come into the whole scenario and when you’ve got earthquakes taking place under water – you want to remember the whole planet is now covered with water and out of that water is coming all this volcanic eruption but underneath you’ve got all this earthquake activity. The planet is in convulsions. Everything is changing and we have to realize that all living things died. Normally we think that the fish and the water creatures survived, but you see, archaeologists have found humongous areas of accumulated dead fish that can have no other explanation but that they also died in Noah’s Flood.
In fact, there are a few Biblical geologists who give credit for our oil pool, crude oil, not to the precursors of coal and so forth, the great vegetation that has decomposed and turned into oil but rather they were great accumulations of fish and so that our crude oil is actually precursed by these water creatures. But there is evidence all over the globe and we know it right here in eastern Oklahoma. You can go into almost any high spot around here and you can find oyster shell. And right along with fresh water shells they find seawater shells.
And in various areas especially up in the northern part of the Mid-West, the upper plains, Montana and so forth, they’ve found areas of great seemingly burial yards of all the great wild animals. All mixed together. And of course a few human as well. So this great flood and all that action has caused a lot of confusion in the area of science.
But there’s ample evidence all around the planet that there was some tremendous event that totally tore this planet apart. When they speak of the ancient continent of Atlantis, I personally think it existed. I think that at one time the land mass was all single, there was no big division of oceans and indeed if Atlantis was somewhere between South America and Africa and it’s on the bottom of the ocean, I have no trouble believing it because all we know is that that pre-Flood civilization was destroyed. The planet was completely renovated and everything that’s on the scene tonight, everything, our mountains, our rivers, our canyons, our Grand Canyon, our ocean beds, everything is the result of Noah’s Flood.
And so everything has a new beginning. God’s in control, He’s Sovereign. Do you think that it was an accident that the Middle East ended up with the world’s oil? Of course not. That was Sovereignly designed because God, from the very beginning, had decreed that time as we know it would come to an end in the Middle East. We know that everything that is taking place in the Middle East tonight is tied to God’s program of bringing things now to its culmination and the only way it could be done is with this business of oil.
Now we like to think that we didn’t go into that war (1990) because of oil, and I don’t say that we did, but yet the whole world is concerned about the Middle East only because of that one commodity. Just stop and ask yourself, if there was no oil in the Middle East would the world be concerned about those deserts? Why of course not. But oil is at the center of everything.
Now, I’ve mentioned before we know that at some point in the future there’s going to be a great Russian invasion of the land of Israel. We know that’s going to happen. But the problem has always been, why will the Russians want to invade Israel; there’s nothing there? And I’ve said for years, they’re going to find something, either going to discover a great deposit of gold, because Russia is strapped for cash, or they’re going to find a great deposit of oil. And in the last Jerusalem Post, they have struck oil and they are excited down in the Negev and they think and again it’s only projection, they think it might be one of the greatest oil finds ever. Now if that comes to fruition, then you just mark it down, Russia is going to have her eye on that great oil reserve. And of course, the nation of Israel with all of her technology and her ambition, are the ones that can bring it to fruition. But everything that now is can only be traced back to the time of Noah’s Flood.
Our whole Middle-western farm area, scientists and geologists like to tell us that it’s all the result of great glaciers that brought all that great topsoil and came down about as far as central Missouri and then they receded. Well, like I was telling my wife one night here while back, you know, they can pull the wool over our eyes and it sounds so good, but there’s a lot of things that these people don’t tell us. And I think you’re all aware that glaciers are made up of snow and ice and dust and so on and so forth, but there’s only one way a glacier can move. By gravity. The only way it can move is gravitationally. But you know what they tell us? That glaciers that began in Canada actually traverses elevations of over 2000 feet, in their move down into the Mid West. And some of those things, and they can’t give an answer for it. So all you can say is – it’s ridiculous.
We also know that glaciers were able to just grind to powder great rocks and granite and just literally ground it, then why in the world do you find in those same areas fossils, which are far more fragile, totally intact. They weren’t destroyed in the glacial move and they can’t explain that. And so the best way as I’ve been trying to tell my classes now for 20 years, you look at something on this old planet tonight and you just tell yourself, this is the way God prepared it when the water left the surface. He laid down all the great farm areas. He laid down the coal beds. He laid down the oil pools, the gas pools. He laid down the rivers, the canyons. All of these things came on the scene as this water began to leave.
Next time you go to Grand Canyon, you ask one of the guides, well how much deeper is the Grand Canyon now than when they first discovered it a couple of hundred years ago? He’ll say, “Oh I don’t know, probably an inch if that. It hasn’t gotten any deeper.” Why not? I mean if that thing was cut by wind and water and erosion, why isn’t it still cutting it? Well, why not just be logical and say “Well as the waters left, that volcanic disrupted surface of the earth, it was probably molten. It was still soft. And just like if you were to take a pail of water and pour it on some fresh concrete, what would you do? Oh you would just cut little tracks right through it, easily.”
And so I think of all these great canyons as this great rush of water began now finding its way to the sea, and God brought the land areas up into view, all these things took place in just a short period of time and the planet was now prepared for the great restoration of mankind, and it’s the only logical way to realize that everything we have needed in our technological society, God provided. God has provided every bit of it.
He has provided the great forest areas for our lumber. He’s provided the farm areas for our grains and for our food. He’s provided everything. And I’ve already made the point, He put the oil, the greatest part of it, in the Middle East because that’s where the world is finally going to have to come together in that final great effort, which of course we refer to as Armageddon and I’m kind of amused that when the Iraqi thing started a lot of people started saying this is Armageddon. No this isn’t Armageddon! Not by any stretch of the imagination.
Now it’s a preview. All I told my classes – now that just goes to show you how easy it is to believe that the time is coming when some great world leader will call the armies of the world together in the Middle East but it won’t be to get rid of Saddam Hussein; it’s going to be to get rid of the Jew, first and primarily. And then of course, it turns into the forces of the anti-Christ and Satan trying to actually create a war with the coming of the Lord Jesus and of course that’s futile. But their whole premise to start with will be to bring the armies of the world to get rid of the Jewish problem. That has been Satan’s aim all through Scripture. To get rid of the Jewish problem!
And now I don’t have to explain what that is. Every day’s news is trying to deal with the Israeli and the Palestinian problem. Palestinians will tell us there’s only one way to solve it and that is to push Israel into the sea. Bless their hearts, I know they want a homeland, and I can feel with them, but again being a student of Scripture we know that Palestine was deeded to the Jew. It’s Israel’s homeland and God is going to see to it that they keep it. No one is going to drive the Jew into the sea.
All right, so coming back then if you will to Noah’s Flood, I hope you’ve been asking yourself the question, “Well now if there was such turmoil and with all these great tidal waves being caused by the earthquakes and volcanoes, what about this Ark?” Even though it was built sturdily, and even though it was built of tremendous water capable lumber, how did it survive? Well do you remember I told you several weeks ago, that the verb when Noah and his family were getting ready to go into the Ark, verb from the Lord Jesus was what? “Come into the Ark.” So I think that I’m safe in saying that throughout these five-six months when the water is roaring and this Ark could have been tossed around like a cork and sunk many, many times, yet it was the very presence of Jehovah within that guaranteed that that Ark stayed afloat.
Now we won’t take time to look at it because these thirty-minutes just go too fast. But you all know the account, when Jesus and the Twelve were coming across the Sea of Galilee in that – wasn’t too small a boat because after all, Jesus was evidently below deck and a storm rose and where was Jesus. I’ve already told you, below deck, and what was He doing? He was sleeping. And those storms on the Galilee can get pretty ferocious because it’s a shallow lake. You think that little boat would have ever sunk? Huh-un. It would have never sunk. But see the Twelve still hadn’t gotten it through their thick heads who He was down there. And so they go down and they wake Him up.
And you know the account. And they said, “Lord we perish.” Well, the Lord could have just said, “Let me sleep, we’re not going to perish.” But you see, so many times, He would condescend to those Twelve and so He did, He went to the upper deck and what does He do? “Calms the wind.” The storms went down. But they wouldn’t have sunk, because He was in the boat. And I think that’s the same way it was with the Ark. When I explained the tremendous tidal waves and someone will come and say, “Well then how did the Ark survive?” The Lord was in it. Had He not been in it, it wouldn’t have. But it does. And remember it’s not going to go any place, all it has to do is just stay practically in one place.
Now we’ll skip all these verses, you can read them in your leisure. But it rained for forty days, no doubt about that. And then we come down to verse 24 of chapter 7:
“And the waters prevailed upon the earth (in other words, they maintained at that deepest depth) an hundred and fifty days.” For 150 days, that’s five months. Now if you can just again imagine not only what was taking place in the activity, but the pressure. The pressure that is now placed upon the surface of this planet by all this water. It’s just beyond our comprehension.
Now scientists I think have practically proven that can take common garbage and if you can put it under enough pressure, what can you make out of it? Well a form of crude oil. And so if you can picture again, the tremendous amount of vegetation that was on this beautiful earth, and remember it was pole to pole. It was a semi-tropical climate and so the vegetation that was on the surface would again be beyond our imagination. And all of that was just plowed under, and I’ve talked to coal miners who have worked in coal mines oh almost a mile deep and they said, every once in a while you’ll see right in that vein of coal the perfect outline of a tree, of a limb, of leaves. So they know that all this stuff at one time was living vegetation. And so all of this then became under the pressure of this tremendous amount of water, the coal beds of today, and I think the oil fields, albeit some think it’s accumulated fish; I’m not going to argue with it.
And by the way, I do want to pass this on, if anyone wants to read a good book on the Flood, one of the best I’ve ever read and someone just gave me a copy here a month or two ago, it’s by a gentleman by the name of Rehwinkel, I hope I’ve got that spelled right, and if you can’t find it in a bookstore, you can call Concordia – now I’m not here to advertise anything but Concordia Publishing, in St. Louis. In order to get my copy, I just called them, I didn’t bother to bring a phone number along, but if you’re interested in reading a good book on the Flood, I think it is $15 if I’m not mistaken.
“And God remembered Noah….” Now that throws a curve at us because I say, “Well if He’s in the Ark how could He forget him?” Well I don’t think that’s what’s implied. But it was coming to the time now when God to begin to move things forward on behalf of Noah and those things in the Ark.
“And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;” In other words, they begin to leave. Now it isn’t just the wind itself because we know that from all the activities of these volcanoes, new surfaces are coming on the scene. The mountains are rising up, the rivers are being formed and as you drive across the countryside, always be amazed. I mean if you really get a good look at this, most of the surface of this earth is naturally drained.
Do you ever think about that as you drive through the country? How that as it rains, the water, through all its various little trickles and streams all finds its way to a common place. On this side of the Rockies of course it goes to the Mississippi. On the other side it goes to the Pacific, but you go all around the planet and everything with isolated instances, I know, but everything is draining to the sea and a common creation. Well this all happened at the end then I think of Noah’s Flood.
“And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated, (in other words, they have reached their peak and they’re running to the sea) 4. And the Ark rested in the seventh month, and upon the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.” Now that doesn’t mean it’s up on the top of Mount Ararat. Mount Ararat is a rather high mountain, I think it is around 16,000 feet if I’m not mistaken. That doesn’t mean the Ark was at the 16,000 point. You know as well as I do that when you call a mountain, like Mount Hood in Oregon, or even some of our mountains here in eastern Oklahoma, you consider all the ground, down to the base and all the way around. So the Ark could have rested at any level somewhere in the area of the great mountain, Ararat.
“And the waters decreased continually (oh they’re flowing into the sea now, maybe in some areas a little slower than others but God’s getting the surface ready for re-habitation) until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen. 6. And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the Ark which he had made:” Which remember, there’s only one and it’s in the roof, it isn’t in the side. And it was a rather small one, only about what? Eighteen inches by eighteen, something like that.
“And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.” And it doesn’t come back to the Ark does it? Now I think the analogy here is, what kind of a bird is a raven? Well, it’s like a vulture, it’s a bird of prey and it’s something that’s carnivorous. So I think what you have here is this old raven goes out and it doesn’t come back because it could find ample stuff floating on the water that had already died and was perfectly at home with him. But the next little bird he lets go is of a totally different sort. What is it? The dove. Now in Scripture we always associate the dove with the Holy Spirit, so the spiritual realm here as over against the natural.
Now remember what I told you several weeks ago, all through Scripture, you always have first the natural and then the spiritual. First we have Cain and then Abel, first Esau and then Jacob. First, Saul and then David and all that. Well same way here, the very same way. First, the raven which spoke of the unregenerate person, who is always satisfied with the things of the old life. Well what about the dove? Let’s look at it quickly.
“Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; 9. But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.” The dove found no rest for the sole of her foot and she returned unto the Ark. That dove wasn’t going to light on some old rotting carcass. It just wasn’t at home on it. And as a believer we’re not to feel at home in the world either.
“And he waited another seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; 11. And the dove came to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.” What’s that the sign of? New life. Now this dove, the spiritual aspect is finding that which she could identify with and so she comes back with this signal that new life is coming on the earth.
Now don’t sit back and say, how can that be so quickly? I told you also several weeks ago, all you have to do is go out and look in the area of St. Helen’s. And you’re from out there in Oregon and I’ll bet you know it as well as anybody that that area has come back so fast after the terrible eruption of that mountain just what, ten years ago now? So if God speeds things up, then this all becomes so believable, and remember with Him nothing was impossible. And so the dove comes back now with something that signifies the new creation, the new life.
“And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, in the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth:…” Now that’s a year and 10 days they were on that ark.
Now before you read any further, I always like to ask the question, unless you’ve been in my classes – How did Noah and all his creatures in the Ark, how did they get out? Oh everybody says, oh he opened the door. Oh no they didn’t. God had shut that. And just like in the life of a believer, now remember this has got to carry all the way through. A believer doesn’t go out of this life the same way he came in. Not into the spiritual life. Now read on, how did they get out of the Ark?
“…and Noah removed the (what?) covering of the ark,…” That’s roof isn’t it? So how’d they go out? They went out the top. They didn’t go out the side. They went out the top, they went up. And if the Ark rested in a crevice like some people think it did, they walked out on ground level.
But in the spiritual realm, once you and I enter into the Ark of Safety, there’s only one way out and which way is it? It’s up! Now isn’t that beautiful! That’s the only way we’re going to go someday. We’re going to go up. We’re not going to go back into the old life. We’re going to go up whether it’s in the Rapture and I think it’s getting close, and when we’re suddenly translated or whether we do have to go through the valley of death and someday wait for resurrection, whatever, that’s the direction we’re going. We’re going to go up!
And so the only way out of the Ark was through the roof. “Noah removed the covering and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry.” I’ve been amazed over all the years of teaching I’ve never found anyone who could answer it for me until I showed it to them. Now this goes to show how easy it is to read something and never see what we read. Because, it’s there, plain as day, that he removed the covering. All right, now let’s move on again quickly. Verse 14.
“And in the second month, and the seventh and twentieth day of the month, the earth was dried.” It’s been a little over a year from the time of that sudden destruction until now the new earth is making its appearance. And let’s move on quickly, verse 18.
“And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife and his sons wives with him: 19. Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark. 20. And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. (remember the sacrificial animals, and fowls he took in by sevens. And he takes one of them to sacrifice to God) 21. And the LORD smelled a sweet savour;…” And then verse 22, here’s where we’re going to end for tonight.
“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” You don’t have that kind of language before the Flood. There was no such thing as seasons before the Flood. There was no such thing as weather. It was constant. And so the Flood changed all that. One scientist has put it that that’s probably when the earth began its seasonal tilt so that we consequently have now our seasons.
LESSON TWO * PART I
BABEL: FALSE GODS
GENESIS 9:1 – 12:1-3
Good evening and again it’s good to have everybody back and we’re going to pick right up where we left off, so if you’ll be turning in your Bibles to Genesis chapter 8 and then we’ll be ready to go into chapter 9. We would encourage you to study right along with us.
All right, let’s turn to Genesis chapter 8 and in just a few words of review, you remember that from Adam until the flood was about 1650 years. That’s a long time. And in that 1650 years we come from the perfect couple all the way down to a planet filled with people and I’m of the opinion that there were probably as many at the time of the flood as there are on the planet today, possibly even more. They had a tremendous technology, but you want to remember in that 1600 and some years, there was no civil government. There was no organized worship. And as far as we can see from Scripture, there wasn’t “religion.”
Now I think most people realize I don’t like that word. But, sometimes we have to use it for lack of a better one. But as a result then of no civil law per se, no government to maintain law and order and no system of worship to really maintain a relationship with God, we find that by the time you get to Genesis chapter 6, the earth is filled with violence. It’s corrupt. It is rotten to the core and God sees there’s only one remedy and that is to just utterly destroy them.
But then we found that God’s grace was still evident, there were eight souls that He was able to save and bring to the other side of the flood. There was Noah of course, and his three sons and their wives. Now that’s quite a commentary on how far the human race can remove themselves from any relationship with God even in a period of only 1650 years. And I think we’re seeing much the same thing taking place in our own day and time.
How rapidly we’re seeing the human race and we’re seeing the very fabric of what we call Christian society falling apart and even as Jesus said, “as it was in the days of Noah, so it would be at the second coming.” And for those reasons plus many, many others, we certainly do feel that we’re approaching the end-time rapidly.
And then in our last study you remember, we explained that the flood was not just a simple rising of rain water and a quiet flooding of everything, but rather it was tumultuous; it was cataclysmic! It was so fantastic that the whole planet erupted instantaneously to such a degree that all of the evidence of that pre-flood civilization has been all but totally removed. Now we have the fossil record of course, but other than that, it has been completely removed from the scene and then last week as we saw the floodwaters, begin to recede and finally new life appears and God instructs Noah now to leave the Ark and remember I told you that they didn’t go out the door. The door had been shut previously by the Lord Himself, and so Noah removed the roof, or the “covering” of the Ark and they went out through the top.
And then as we wound up our last half-hour in the final verse of chapter 8, we see that now it’s a completely different earth. It’s a different climate. And rather than having one climate of one spring-like temperature with no weather, and the beautiful environment of that pre-flood civilization, now it’s a complete change. And the earth is now going to come under weather. It’s going to come under climatic changes as we understand now the four seasons.
“I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of mans heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. 22. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” And I think possibly from a scientific point of view, that’s when the Lord instigated then the tilting of the earth as we go through our seasonal changes. That’s only speculation of course, the Bible doesn’t tell us.
Now we come into chapter 9 we want to keep moving on as quickly as we can. And yet I always like to explain to people the reason that I take Genesis so slowly and so in detail is that if you have a good solid understanding of the book of Genesis, then the whole New Testament is more readily understood. Now we’re living in a time when we’ve got all these various groups and they’ve all got their various ideas and their various doctrines. And many times I’ve told people, well analyze what you believe. Does it fit all of Scripture? Or are you just taking a verse here and a verse there and then building doctrine on it? Because if you’re going to have a doctrine that is true to the Word of God, it has to fit from cover to cover.
We have absolutely no options that we can pick and choose and that’s what I try to show people as I teach, that we’re using the whole Scripture and making it fit and that nothing is out of place, hopefully. But, we’re going to take our time and we’ll still be in Genesis for a little longer.
In fact a class that I started just exactly a year ago, we just finished the book of Genesis last night. So it was twelve months with two-hour classes once a week to go through the book of Genesis. So I think here on this program, we’re doing quite well. And of course it’s because we’re not being interrupted with questions, although I miss that. I like, and those of you who are in my other classes, you know, that we love to answer questions. And again, I can direct that to our TV audience. If you have questions we would appreciate hearing from you and I always tell my classes, I’ve never had a dumb question. If it’s a question on your mind, then it’s a good one. And it’s worthy of time to answer. But hopefully as we go through the Bible we’ll answer many questions that you might have.
The question about salvation comes up often. Have I believed what the Word says about my salvation? Well we might stop for a moment and answer that right here. As most of you know, God gave the Apostle Paul our instructions in this Age of Grace we’re now living in. (Acts 9:15, Romans 11:13, Ephesians 3:2) Paul tells us in I Corinthians 15:1-4 for us to be saved “that we must believe that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again,” plus nothing else. That is called faith + NOTHING! And God loves it when we rely totally on what he has done for salvation. Now for our study in Genesis chapter 9 and we’ll begin with verse 1.
“And God blessed Noah and his sons, and he said unto them, Be fruitful, multiply, and (what’s the word?) replenish the earth.” Now you remember way back in Genesis 1, and this is why I like to compare Scripture, come back with me again if you will to chapter 1 and drop down to verse 28. This is just after Adam and Eve have been created and placed in the Garden and they too are given a like instruction.
“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and (what’s the word?) replenish the earth….” And are you getting the drift? Just as surely as Noah is now coming on the scene and filling up the planet that had been filled once before, that’s why I feel that Adam and Eve also then, were coming on the scene and refilling the planet, not that it hadn’t been inhabited by humans previously, but evidently by an angelic kingdom but Adam also was told to once again fill up the earth or the planet.
All right, now if you’re back in Genesis chapter 9, this is also the instruction to Noah the three sons and of course their four wives. “Be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth.” Fill it up again. Verse 2, now I’ve got to emphasize, this is going to be what we would say in today vernacular, a whole new ballgame. This is going to be totally different than it was back before the flood and if you’ll remember we could have said the same thing when Adam and Eve came out of the Garden to the existence out of the Garden. It also was a whole new ballgame – something totally different. All right here it is again, now he says to Noah and these sons, we’re going to set down a whole new set of rules and regulations, a new criteria. And what is it?
“The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air and upon everything that moves upon the earth, upon all the fishes of the sea, into your hand (He says to Noah and these three sons) they are delivered. 3. Every moving thing that liveth shall be food for you;…” Now the King James uses the word meat, but it would be better translated ‘food’ because the word meat in the old English meant your general diet of food, and not just meat as we understand it. So, everything in God’s creation God is now giving permission to be food for the human race, but He’s going to put a stipulation on it. And here it is in verse 4.
“But the flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, you shall not eat.” Now there is a strict command of God to the human race that even though He’s given permission – they can eat of anything and everything, they were never to partake of blood. That has never been rescinded. That is still just an anathema even in the New Testament.
Now it’s interesting to note, that like almost everything else that God commands in one direction, the powers of Satan always come back and say what? The opposite. Now here is a good one, it’ll make you think. God has commanded that the human race never ingest blood of anything. And yet you get into the satanic cults and satanic worship, what’s one of the first things they demand? Drinking blood as part of their ritual. And that just should wake people up that that is in direct opposition to the command of the Creator. All right, now I want to get back to a little bit I skipped back there in verse 3 that emphasizes the change – now they can eat of meat animals. And remember before the flood they never had that permission.
Again let’s go back to chapter 1, we’ve got to compare back and forth, it’s the only way you can learn to study and as I’ve told my classes over the years, the only reason I go to all the trouble and take the time to teach, is to show people how to study. I’m not a proselyter. I have never tried to convince someone to move from one group to another, or from one church to another. That’s not my business, but what I do try to do is get people into the Book and show them how to study on their own.
All right, back in chapter 1 now then, by comparison with Genesis chapter 9, God told Adam and Eve, verse 29:
“…I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food. 30. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for food: and it was so.” Now what was the diet then of every living thing including man? Those things that grew naturally, the herbs. The fruits. The nuts. The grasses. The forages. There was no indication here of anything having the freedom to kill and eat.
Now, in chapter 9 this is all part of this whole new program. Now it’s just the opposite. God said anything that liveth, you are free to kill and use for food, with that one restriction. You cannot have the blood of it. All right, the reason behind it of course, as the Bible knew way back here and medical science really didn’t get the impact of it until WWII, those of you who are old enough to remember that even as WWII began, what did they use in badly wounded troops? Well not blood transfusions but what? Plasma. And then all of a sudden, they began to realize that life was in the blood.
I always like to remind people as well, you go back to even the early days of our country, what was the number one way of treating most disease? They’d bleed them. In fact, someone told me, I don’t know how much truth is in it, that was really what caused the death of George Washington. He had gone to what we now call barber shops, you remember that’s why you’ve got the red and white pole out in front of a barber shop, because that was part and parcel of their trade. They would bleed people hopefully to bring them back to health. And evidently according to, like I say I don’t know how much truth is in it, but someone said that this is what happened to George Washington. He was sick and someone just bled him a little bit too much.
But anyway medical science didn’t pick up on this until our generation that life is in the blood and now rather than take blood from a sick person; we transfuse them with more blood. And all that just to show that the Bible is so scientifically correct. So God says, the life is in the blood and then verse 5, He continues why He’s putting this stipulation on this.
“And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, at the hand of man; and at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. 6. Whoso (or whoever) sheddeth man’s blood, (or kills him) by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” Now that puts man head and shoulders above anything else in God’s creation because we were created in the image of God and God so ordained that the life of this human being is in the blood. Now of course it carries through in all the animals and birds and everything, I know that. But God is putting a stipulation on the human being as not being cheap, but rather that this human being’s life is of intrinsic value to God.
Now we know there are many areas of the world where life is cheap. They think nothing of killing people by the hundreds or the thousands, in fact, we’ve seen it quite profusely over the last several years, first in the Far East – the killing fields of Cambodia and Viet Nam and now we’ve seen it again in the Middle East and this is nothing new of course to the human race, but this isn’t the way God ordained it. God ordained that man was to be of intrinsic value. His life was not to be taken lightly. And if someone did take the life of a fellow human being, what was the stipulation? That individual also then must be put to death by his fellow man.
Now we call that in the vernacular of Bible study, the instigation, or the beginning or human government. In other words, before the flood, man didn’t have this authority from God to control the behavior by capital punishment, or incarceration in prison or anything else. But now God is instituting that man would have authority over fellow man, under God. And that if man was guilty of murder or of some other crime, then the authority of human government was to take that person and deal with them accordingly. Now that particular aspect and we call it, capital punishment, has never been rescinded throughout Scripture.
Now there are some things of course, that have changed, but this has never been rescinded. It still stands as God’s law for the human race and of course, mankind and if there are sociologists listening to me, they’ll probably almost go into orbit, because you know they’re trying to tell us that capital punishment is barbarian and it’s just not fit for civilized society. But what has caused our problem? Why is crime increasing every day? I just read in yesterday’s Tulsa World that crime jumped what? Something like 27% again the last year? Why is it jumping? Because we are not deterring it with a severe enough punishment.
Now in the few moments that we have left let’s go back to the New Testament, because after all this is why we study is to compare, as I said earlier, all of Scripture with Scripture. Go back with me to Romans chapter 13 and now Paul writing to the church, and to the church at Rome in particular, but of course to the church down through the ages. Now in Romans 13, Paul is laying out so clearly the role of government. We in America are blessed aren’t we? We think that we have the best government that the world has ever known. And it’s got its weaknesses. It has its problems, no doubt about it, but still it’s the best that the world has ever seen. And we’re not to take advantage of it but rather we’re to recognize what a blessing good government is.
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, (now that higher powers is not talking about God, it’s talking about government – the authority over us in society) For there is no power (there is no government) of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” A Saddam Hussein? Yes. Why? Because certain things had to happen and they have happened because God has ordained it to come in the way it has.
Personally, I think this war that has just ended – the hundred hours – might very well have been a fulfillment of Jeremiah 50 and 51 where the prophet describes the total annihilation of the nation of Babylon, which of course, Saddam claims that he is. And he wanted to be another Nebuchadnezzar. But, a Hitler? Ordained of God? Yes.
And I’ve always said, and you know the German people got just exactly what they deserve and then horror of horrors, maybe you saw in on the news this morning and I read it in one of the newspapers yesterday, where now circulating amongst the young people again of Europe, did you see it? Video games, not tapes but games, where the player of the game actually is the head of a concentration camp and the game is registered on how they can put their subjects to death and how much they can make them suffer.
Now you see, this is all getting the world ready again for some awful things that are coming upon human society, but the government has been ordained of God for the good of Christian people. Now many time governments are not that, but again like I’ve just said, nations get what they deserve. And if someday we lose our beautiful democratic way of living, it will probably be because we’ve brought it on ourselves with poor choices.
“Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, (that is the government) resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive unto themselves condemnation. 3. For rulers (government) are not to be a terror to good works, but to the evil.” In other words, when you meet a local policeman, he shouldn’t strike terror in the heart of the law-abiding citizen. Rather he should be almost complementary. But what should he be to the law-breaker? Just that. It should make that law-breaker just skip a heartbeat, because this is the reason that they’re there.
“…Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? (or respect it?) do that which is good, (or which is right) and thou shalt have the praise of the same; 4. For he (the local government) is a ministry of God to thee for good. But if you do that which is evil (or you’re a law-breaker, you’d better be what?) you better be afraid; (that government should strike terror into the law-breaker) for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him who (what?) does evil.” Or is a law-breaker. And we’ve lost that. Our young people seemingly have lost that fear for the authority. Our criminals, they can let them out in a matter, I think I read it again the other day, in an average of eight months, some 70% if I read correctly, are back in. Why? Because they have no fear of it. And this is the only thing that holds the fabric of society together.
And this is what we call then, human government, and if you want to go back to Genesis for just a moment we have left – human government was to maintain law and order; it was to protect the lives of the citizens; and the deterrent for crime and murder in particular, God instituted capital punishment. And any nation that practiced capital punishment had a real low crime rate until they removed it. And I think the last, most visible example is the nation of France.
Up until sometime in the 70’s France believe it or not, still used the old guillotine to execute murderers. You know how many murders they had in France? You could just about number them on one hand. But you see again, they said, oh that’s barbarian, that’s something from the Dark Ages and so they outlawed it. What do you suppose happened? Their murder rate when up just like everybody else’s. So no one can tell me that capital punishment is not a legitimate deterrent to murder or to major crime.
So again, come back to Genesis chapter 9 and see clearly and do not forget what the Word of God says on these things because the Word is true. I stand on it from cover to cover. Make no apology for it. And so, here it is again the stipulation that “Whosoever sheddeth man’s blood by man (that is by man’s human government) shall that person’s blood be shed (he shall be put to death) for in the image of God he made them.”
LESSON TWO * PART II
BABEL: FALSE GODS
Genesis 9:1 – 12:1-3
Let’s just pick up where we left off last week as we were in chapter 9. Noah and his sons have now come out of the Ark and God has given them new instructions. Now they are permitted to eat of anything that lives, except they were not to partake of the blood. And life is indeed precious and so God makes the stipulation now that human life is to be protected by a civil government and that civil government was to exercise law and order by setting up a deterrent, which in this case we call capital punishment.
And again, we have to realize that there are many influential people who are aghast at capital punishment. And of course I can be, because there’s always that fear that you may be executing an innocent person. But I think the Bible takes all that into consideration. We’re talking about people who are without a shadow of a doubt, guilty of murder and they have to be dealt with.
No one wants to see an innocent person put to death, and that would be horrible, we know that. But as we move on then, in verse 7, God now continues to instruct. Remember God never leaves the human race without a knowledge of His will. Now back here they had no written law, they had no written Word, but nevertheless, God gave instructions and then it was expected that they would pass it on to the coming generation. And to a certain degree isn’t that our responsibility?
You know I’ve told people years ago when my own children were just babies, “You know we’re only generation away from paganism.” That’s all. One generation. Because you see, if we don’t instruct our little ones in the things of God and they grow up ignorant of all this, what are their kids going to be? Pagan. Or they’re going to be out in something as bad. And so it’s a responsibility of every generation to teach their children the things of God.
And of course, it’s been the failure of the human race from day one not to do it. And this has been the problem, even beginning with Adam. I’ve often had to think, Adam lived 930 years into that 1650 to the flood, he must have already seen the breaking down of the morality and how it must have torn at the man to see what was happening to his offspring. We’re going to see the same thing now after the flood. These three sons of Noah are going to be the progenitors then of another, within a matter of a couple of hundred years a civilization of people that go off the deep end into paganism.
“And you, be fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein. 8. And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him saying, And I behold, I shall establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;”
Now remember that this word covenant pops up all the way through Scripture but especially here in the Old Testament. And a covenant is always from God to man, and consequently it cannot be broken. God’s Word cannot be broken.
Now when man makes a covenant with man, usually they don’t last very long. We call them treaties today. A treaty usually isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, but when God made a covenant, it was eternal and it could never be broken. And now, He’s going to come in this covenant with Noah and it’s simply the one that you all know about, where “He sets the rainbow as a promise that He would never again destroy the earth with water.”
Now way back in Genesis chapter 1 when I referred to that first flood, I made mention of the fact that I think the reason God put this extra emphasis on not ever flooding the water again, was because He’s now done it twice. And He says, there’s not going to be a third time. Now He’s going to destroy it, we’re coming to the day, I think speedily when again this old earth is going to be completely renovated but it’s not going to be done with water, rather it will probably be with the forces from within, again volcanoes and earthquakes and cosmic disturbances, meteorites and various things, the earth is going to go through a complete regeneration in order to be fit then for the 1000 year Earthly Kingdom that is coming.
But here He established this covenant with Noah that He’ll never again destroy the planet with water and the rainbow, a lot of people have put a question out, well why the rainbow? Well, you want to remember before the flood, it never rained. There was no rainbow, but now after the flood we have weather and we have storm clouds; we have thunderstorms and the accompanying rainbow, and so God could verily literally say, “now when you see that bow, always be reminded that the flood was a literal happening but it’ll never happen again.”
Now I think we can leave that and we can come all the way down to verse 19.
“These are the three sons of Noah: and of them (those three men) was (what are the next two words?) the whole earth overspread.” Now again, flying in the face of what most people are taught in our secular educational system, contrary to most of science today, we maintain that the earth that now is – our mountains and our rivers and our plains and our streams, as well as our population, all began on this side of Noah’s Flood. Our present day mountain ranges came up as a result of the flood. Our present day river basins were all formed as Noah’s floodwaters receded and God established the seas.
I’ll have to beg your forgiveness. I forgot to cover a question that comes up so often. We’re going to cover it, because I think it’s interesting. It must have crossed your mind, when God took the water off the earth, which previously evidently was up there in the atmosphere in some sort of a vapor belt, and yet there’s nothing in Scripture to indicate that He lifted water back off the earth after the flood. And so the question has come up over the years, well where did all that extra water go after the flood?
So let’s just stop a minute, go back with me to the book of Job because it’s interesting that this old Book leaves no stone unturned. Go back to Job chapter 38, and let’s just reflect a moment on the floodwaters of Noah. And then we’ll come right back to his three sons. But the floodwaters of Noah are definitely on the planet and they’re in a particular place. Job 38 and drop down to verse 30 and I’ll give you a second to read the verse. And then you can tell me, where is the excess water? Sure! On the frozen icecaps, Antarctica and the Arctic. Frozen as a stone.
Now you see that rings a bell with the environmentalists, what are they scared to death of? Oh, the global warming. And you know I can remember telling my classes twenty years ago, that if the atmospheric temperature would raise an average of two degrees worldwide, New York City would be under water. And people used to look at me almost cross-eyed and I said, “It’s a fact.” If the average temperature would rise just two degrees, enough of those polar icepacks would melt that it would flood most of the coastal areas of the land masses on this earth, and now you see we’re hearing it.
I read it again, just the other day, if indeed we’re having global warming, and I doubt it. I think it’s just a big flap. But if we are, they’re scared to death that New York will go under water and LA could go under water, for God took the excess water and He froze it as stone up there on the northern icecap but predominately in Antarctica, on the South Pole. Well, I wanted to cover that because I think it’s kind of an interesting little tidbit.
Now if you’ll come back with me then to Genesis chapter 9, the three sons of Noah from whom the whole earth was populated. In other words, we can segment the whole mass of population tonight, into three areas: the sons of Ham, the sons of Shem and the sons of Japheth. And the more archaeologists dig the more they come to proving Genesis chapter 9 and particularly chapter 10. But we’ll leave it with that for just a moment because now we want to go to verse 20 and the Bible is, what shall I say? It never glosses over anything, does it? It tells everything like it is.
Now I think you and I would just as soon skip verses 21 through 23 because it’s not a very pretty picture. But God doesn’t do that. He doesn’t gloss over it, He doesn’t cover up even His choicest servants such as Abraham, David, Moses – when they failed God still puts it out there in front of us. All right, now look what happens to Noah, verse 20:
“And Noah began to be a husbandman, (in other words, he began to cultivate) and he planted a vineyard:” Grapes. And when you normally think of grapes, what’s your first product? Wine. And so Noah is the first indication, I’m not saying that it wasn’t before the flood, but it seems from Scripture that this is the first instance of the use of alcohol. And look what it did to the man. Even this great man, Noah. Man of Faith, a man who found grace in God’s eyes, a man who survived the judgment of the flood and yet alcohol got to him, and what happened?
“He drank of the wine, and was drunken;…” And I mean he must have been drunken to the place of having passed out. He’s out like a light.
“…and he was uncovered (or he was naked) within his tent. 22. And Ham, the father of Canaan,…” Now the Scripture is careful to point that out, because Canaan immediately reminds you of what other thing in Scripture? The Canaanites living in the land of Canaan, which now we know as the land of Israel.
All right, Ham then, one of the three sons of Noah, usually listed in the middle; it’s usually Shem, Ham and Japheth:
“…(Ham) saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. 23. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.” Then verse 24, if you’ve got any insight at all into language, verse 24 should tell us something.
“And Noah awoke from his wine, and (what’s the next word?) knew what his younger son has done unto him.” I always tell my classes lately, twenty years ago, fifteen years ago, I would almost pass by these verses because you didn’t even like to touch on the subject, but we’re living in a day now where it’s in our every magazine. It’s in every newscast and we’re up against it in our society. And I personally think, and I can’t prove it, there’s enough evidence in Scripture based on verse 24, that something more than just ‘seeing’ Noah’s nakedness took place. Because of the verb “he knew.”
A drunken person in a stupor would never know that someone came into the room and left and saw his nakedness. So I have to feel that something homosexual took place here and it had to be something drastic like this for Noah to come back and place a curse not upon Ham, but upon his son Canaan. Now it’s interesting to note that the offspring of that grandson Canaan then were the people that we’ll be touching on somewhere down the road in Sodom and Gomorrah. And what was the problem in Sodom and Gomorrah? Homosexualism. And so it all ties together and we don’t want to over do the subject but I think we’ve said enough that this was not just a casual thing but it was something of intense importance. Verse 25.
“And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” And so when Noah realized what had taken place, “he cursed Canaan” not Ham, but the son of Ham. And I’ve often wondered and I’ve had people ask me more than once, why did he curse Canaan, and not Ham himself? And the best explanation I’ve ever read I’ll pass on to you because I think it’s the best one, is that in the ancients and to a certain degree today, a son did not receive credit so much himself as his father.
Now let me give you an example. Remember back in the Old Testament when David came upon the scene, the first thing when King Saul saw what a specimen this young man was, what did he ask? “Who is his father?” And so the glory of David was a reflection upon his father Jesse.
And I think you have the same thing here in reverse. Had Noah placed the curse upon his son, Ham, it would have been a reflection upon whom? Himself. And so he skips that and he puts the curse upon Canaan, so that some day someone could say regarding Canaan, “Hey, whose son is that?” And they wouldn’t say, “Noah,” they’d say what? “Ham.”
Now I said, I think that’s the best explanation. But anyway the curse isn’t laid on Ham, it’s laid on Canaan and Canaan is the one who, remember, now maybe I can put a makeshift map and I always make sure that people understand that this is not drawn according to scale, but here’s our Mediterranean Sea, and here’s present day Jerusalem. (See map below.)
There’s the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and this whole area now we understand as Canaan.
Now down here will be ancient Sodom and Gomorrah. And this is present day Jerusalem. But this is what we normally picture as the land of Canaan, throughout all of Scripture. Today we refer to it as the land of Israel, but for our sake of study, we’re still going to refer to it as Canaan because the Canaanites, the offspring of this grandson of Noah, are now occupying the land of Canaan.
Now this carries all the way into the coming of the nation of Israel, and hopefully within just a little while, we’ll be getting to Genesis chapter 12, which to me is the benchmark of Genesis because from Genesis chapter 12, we’re going to get the setting of everything that leads into our own doctrines in the Church Age.
And I’ll be almost boring you with it I think, because I make so much of the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis chapter 12. But what I’m saying is when it comes to the choosing of a bride for Isaac. You know what the Old Testament says? Abraham had been told of God that Isaac’s wife was not to be a citizen of what? Canaan.
Abraham said “my son shall not marry a Canaanite.” Well, it comes all the way back to what took place here and that’s why we’ve got to take our time and look at all these things detail by detail, because there’s a reason for everything. This isn’t like some people try to say, just a bunch of Jewish myths that came about sitting around a campfire. This is the literal unfolding of God’s program and He’s giving it to us detail by detail and it all fits. Nothing comes into the picture that you can say, “Well now that just doesn’t fit.” It all fits. All right, so Canaan is the one who is cursed. And then he goes on to say:
“…Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. 27. And God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” Now I’ve always been real careful that we do not imply that through these three sons of Noah and because of the curse place on the son of Ham, that God has given an inferior race or that he has made others superior. Now we’re going to see the whole human race divided from these three men and they’re going to be different in their role.
Now I like to use the word role in more places than one and we can use an analogy of an athletic team. Now you take a football team, just for an example, you certainly know enough about sports that the lineman has a totally different role than a running back. And a wide receiver has a totally different role from the quarterback. Some are on camera a lot more than others, but yet, take one of those players off the team and what happens? Well, the people who are most visible can do nothing because every member of that team has to play his role in order for the whole thing to work. And it’s the same way now with these three basic races of humanity. They are not one superior over the other, but they all have their particular role.
Now then, what are the roles that God has stipulated? Well, the offspring of Ham, who are going to be in the next chapter, predominately responsible for the building of the Tower of Babel, so somehow or other some of these offspring of Ham, and we’ll call them that, we’ll call them Hamites, make their way and then come to the land of Canaan. And from the Canaanites then we know that there is a migration down into what we would call southern Africa and maybe even southern Arabia and well, you come down later and you get to the Queen of Sheba, who probably came from some area down in that south.
Then from the Euphrates River, and we’ve seen that in the news lately, the Tigress and the Euphrates and remember I’m not drawing to scale. But somewhere east of the Euphrates River, we have the establishment of the offspring of the other son of Noah – Shem – and then from that Tower of Babel as they began to migrate up predominately toward Europe and western Russia, we have the offspring of Japheth.
I guess, it would be perfectly safe in saying that’s predominately what we call the white race, or the Caucasians are the Japhethites. Now out of the line of Shem, we’re going to follow predominately the man Abraham, who then becomes the father of not only the nation of Israel, but who else? All the Arab people. So our Middle Eastern people are predominately from Shem. And that’s why I put it over here on the board.
The offspring of Japheth are going to migrate up to Europe, Scandinavia, Great Britain and all up and down western Russia. Now all you have to do is reflect on human history. And we know that from the Tower of Babel, we have the population going to the Orient, China and I think from China, the Mongolians and those are the people that migrated then across the Pacific and were probably the forerunners of the American and the South American Indians, the Incas. But never lose sight of the fact that those people had tremendously advanced civilizations. In fact the Chinese were way ahead of the Caucasian races when it came to materials such as silk and mathematics; the spices, and many other areas. So you see, there’s no superiority here in the Caucasians over some of these others, but it’s the role.
Now it’s never dawned on me until the other day as I was just thinking, and I do a lot of my thinking just riding in the tractor, believe it or not. But it all of a sudden dawned on me that when God said here that He would enlarge Japheth, I think I can see now where it came about. And go with me if you will to the book of Acts, and chapter 16. Now up until this time, the Caucasian people or the Japhethites, were for the most part barbarian.
If you’ll remember when Rome was at the pinnacle of its power, Rome was actually overrun by the barbarians from the north, you remember? From the Gaul’s who sacked Rome and burned it, well they were the people of Europe and Northern Europe. And so the Japhethites were really of not much impact on the human race until we get here to Acts chapter 16. Remember Paul has been spending all of his time there in Asia Minor, which today is the land of Turkey. Now verse 6:
“Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.” Asia Minor, in fact was where Paul had really intended to go, according to this he had been in Asia Minor and he intended to go back to the east, that was his intentions, but the Holy Spirit stopped him and instead it sent him due west to the land of Greece and thence the Gospel went to what continent? Europe.
And the Gospel as we now know it today is what Paul was given to preach to this Age of Grace we’re still living in for salvation. “How that Jesus died for our sins was buried and rose from the dead,” as found in I Corinthians 15:1-4. And all we have to do to be saved is believe that! So Paul went to Europe and it just simply overwhelmed them by what he preached. And as the Gospel went over Europe that in turn prompted European people by virtue of their convictions to go where? To America. And so we’ve seen now in the last several hundred years, how that the Caucasian races have taken the things that were more or less lying there dormant for ever so long and they’ve exploded it with intellectualism, with technology, and yet I think the engine behind it was Christianity itself. And so all of this again, ties together. Paul would have gone right back to Asia but the Holy Spirit said, “No, I want you to go to Europe.” And from Europe the Gospel of salvation spread to us.
LESSON TWO * PART III
BABEL: FALSE GODS
GENESIS 9:1 – 12:1-2
It’s so good again to have you all with us and we’ll pick right up where we left off. You’re used to hearing that now, aren’t you? Go back with me then to Genesis chapter 9. I always like to review for just a moment or so, for the sake of our television people who have been away now for a week, maybe some of you more. But anyway, after the flood now we see Noah and the three sons and their families are instructed to repopulate the earth, begin to cultivate it.
And Noah, as someone just expressed after our last program, they had read or heard that in conference with what I said, that evidently before the flood there was no fermentation. There was no mention of alcohol or drunkenness for sure. And maybe as a result then of a change brought about by the flood, or whatever, very possible – I wouldn’t argue the point – that maybe Noah didn’t realize that what he was drinking would do what it did. But nevertheless, the Scripture makes it clear that the alcohol got the best of him. He became drunk.
And then the sad commentary on all that is, and I didn’t make mention of it last week, but if we could have read a little further in chapter 9 is says, “Noah lived after the flood 350 years.” Now isn’t it amazing that there is never another mention of the man in Scripture? Three hundred and fifty years he continues after the Ark and yet not one word. Well the only thing I can put on it is that the catastrophe that happened to him up there in verse 20 and 21 and 22, destroyed the man’s testimony. And you know we as believers have to be so careful. The devil is constantly out to trip us and if he can trip us hard enough and we fall far enough, we too can certainly lose our testimony. It doesn’t take long.
I think everyone, even the secular world, knows it takes a lifetime to build a reputation. How long does it take to destroy it? Moments. It can happen politically. It can happen in the business world. And it can certainly happen even in Christian circles where we can build a reputation over years and years and yet it can be destroyed in almost a moment of time. And I think perhaps that’s the reason then that Noah lost his influence because we’re going to see in the moments to follow, the human race is going to take another track, straight down, in spite of all the knowledge that Noah and his three sons have concerning the will of God, and I also want to remind you these were grown people who went into the Ark and they had complete memory of everything that was before the flood.
In other words, it would be just as if you and I tonight, would all of a sudden find ourselves in the Ark and we’d come out on the other side of the flood, wouldn’t we remember all the technology that we had enjoyed? Wouldn’t we remember all the things that were on the earth before the catastrophe? Of course we would. And so I think these eight people had full recollection and again, only the brakes of God kept things from moving too fast and He kept it slowed down so that technology would not erupt again until God was ready for it, which of course, we’ve seen now in the last 80-90 years.
Well, you remember then that the three sons of Noah, who came out of the Ark with their families, then become the parents of the three great classifications of people that then overspread the earth. You might even break it down this way that out of the line of Shem, came all the mostly great, what we would call “religions.” As you know I don’t like that word. But out of the line of Shem we’ve got Mohammedism, Judaism and Christianity. And of course when I say the line of Shem, the primary man is going to be Abraham.
Out of the line of Ham then we have a lot of the original discoveries. A lot of the original inventions came from the Hamitic people. And we’re going to see evidence of that as soon as we get into the next chapter.
And then out of the line of Japheth, even though as I said, they were basically uncivilized and barbarian for ever so long, yet once they came out of that they mushroomed into the people who became so, what shall I say? So…expert in the arts and the sciences, music…out of that you come with the Beethovens and the Tchaikovskys and you take inventions of the industrial revolution, they all came out of the Caucasian peoples, out of Europe, Great Britain and then of course as it spilled over into America from the immigrations and that’s not to take anything away from the immigrants who came from the Orient, who have also contributed tremendously to the America as we now know it.
But coming back to the overspreading as the Bible lays it out. We’ve laid it on the board for you last week, how that the Japhethites migrated on up into present day Europe. The sons of Ham ended up primarily in the land of Canaan and the sons of Shem out there in the Middle East, and I kind of prefer to put the Oriental peoples out of the line of Shem although I may be wrong in that. But anyway those three basic groups of people come from these three sons of Noah.
Now then if you’ll come on over then into chapter 10 and I want to not take every verse word for word, the sons of Japheth are given there in verses 2 and 3 and then when you come down to verse 6, we pick up the sons of Ham. Japheth are listed first there in the first three verses or four, then in verse 6 we come to the genealogy of Hamitic people
“And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.”‘ and those sons were Cush, Mizraim and Put and Canaan.’ And then in the other verse I want you to pick up is verse 8:
And Cush (one of the sons of Ham) was the father of Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth.” Now mark that down in your mental bank because Nimrod is the one we’re going to talk about for the next few moments but to keep on going genealogy-wise, through the chapter, you get to verse 21 and then you pick up Shem.
Now there are the three sons. Japheth in verses 1,3,4 and 5, the sons and the genealogy of the Hamites. And then picking it up in verse 21, the offspring of Shem. And out of the line of Shem, we’re going to run into in the last part of chapter 11, the family of Abraham. Terah, the father of Abraham came out of the line of Shem. Also in those series of verses is a little tidbit that I think is interesting. Others may totally disagree and we certainly can’t prove it, but it’s an interesting statement there in verse 25:
“And unto Eber (who was in the line of Shem) were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided, and his brother’s name was Joktan.” Now what I’m referring to is, I think you’ve all read or heard or something about the so-called theory of the continental drift. Have you ever heard it? How that the various continents of the world at one time fit together just like a jigsaw puzzle.
In fact all you have to do is look at a map of western Africa and eastern South America and they just look like they would definitely be pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. And various other continents are situated in a way that it’s very possible, now I’m not saying they did, but it’s possible that they drifted apart as we now know them, and if they did indeed, it was during the days of Peleg. “For it was during that man’s lifetime that the earth was divided.” That’s just like I say, one of the little tidbits, you don’t have to hang your hat on it, but it is interesting thinking anyway.
All right, now I said we wanted to deal primarily in this half-hour with the man Nimrod. Come back if you will then to verse 8 where “Cush, a son of Ham, has a son and he calls him Nimrod.” Now even to this day, we speak of someone who does a lot of hunting as a what? As a “Nimrod.” But you see they’ve got it out of context. Nimrod was not a hunter of wild animals. He was not a deer hunter. Nimrod was a hunter of fellow human beings. And we pick that up of course in verse 9 and 10.
“He was mighty hunter before the LORD:…” Now most of your newer translations, the King James says “before” but your newer ones will very often say, “He was mighty hunter against the LORD.” He was a rebel. He certainly was not a spiritual man.
“Wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before (against) the LORD. (and then verse 10 gives us a clue as to what did he hunt) 10. And the beginning of his (what?) kingdom…” It’s a political thing and so what is he? He’s a despot. He’s a totalitarian dictator and he begins to form this totalitarian empire, if we could call it that. It’s probably not fitting word, but nevertheless he puts together a kingdom, as the Bible calls it, and he brings the people under his control.
And then you see the importance of the Hamitic people, as I said they were the pioneers because it’s out of this line of Ham that verse 10 says:
” the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, or the Tower of Babel, in the land of Babylon. Down there on the banks the Euphrates River. But let’s go on.
“Out of that land went forth Asshur, and he builted (what city?) Nineveh,…” Now you remember that Ninevah was one of the great cities of the ancients. Who built it? The Hamitic people out of the same beginners of the city of Babel, and then also some other cities. But now I’m going to leave the Scriptural text for just a moment and draw my information from secular writings.
It’s rather interesting that again archaeologists have done us a tremendous favor and they’ve dug up a lot. And they’ve found out a lot about this man Nimrod. And Nimrod as a totalitarian despot type dictator had a wife that you could liken to Jezebel. She was totally immoral. She was unscrupulous. And her name was Semiramis. And Semiramis somehow or other, whether it was by intrigue or whatever, her husband passed off the scene, Nimrod, dies a premature death from what we can gather, and this Semiramis usurps his throne and she becomes even worse than he even dreamed of being. And as her Jezebel type character would bring about, she has a child out of wedlock, and she names him Tamar. So the son of Semiramis is Tamar.
Now she is a totally wicked individual under no doubt satanic influence and if you’ll remember, I haven’t spent a lot of time teaching on Satan, but I have mentioned more than once, that from day one, Satan is the master – what do I call him? Counterfeiter. He’s the master counterfeiter. And he is always bringing something up that is so near to the real thing that people can hardly tell the difference. So through this wicked woman Semiramis, and her offspring Tamar, by satanic influence, she dreams up the whole idea of her son being a “son of the gods.”
And so it’s a copy of course, of Christ as the Son of God and Mary the virgin mother. Because Semiramis claims that this child did not come from human contact but that he was a son of god. And so way back in the antiquities you have a counterfeit of the Mother and Son, or the Madonna and her Child if you want to put it that way. But this Semiramis then is the instigator of all of the wickedness that you can associate with the building of the Tower of Babel. Now let’s look at the text again if you will, in chapter 11 beginning with verse 1.
“And the whole earth was of one language, of one speech.” All three segments: the Hamites, the Japhethites and the Shemites now. By the way, from Shemites we get the word that we’re very familiar with today and that is Semite. When you talk of anti-Semitism it’s from this same root word. And they were all one language and as yet they haven’t really divided by their character or as I’ve said in the last lesson, by their role. They’re all one group of people.
“And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. 3. And they said one to another, (again I have to feel that it was at the leading of Semiramis, who in turn was lead by satanic influence and so these people said) let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime for mortar.” They had all they needed.
“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven;…” Now let’s be logical. These people knew they didn’t have Jack’s Beanstalk! They knew they couldn’t build a literal tower into the very throne-room of heaven. So how do you reach heaven? Well by a worship. And so what they are instituting here is a false, anti-God, ungodly system of worship whereby Satan no doubt inspired them to think that they could usurp the very heaven of God Himself.
Now that’s nothing new to Satan. He’s thought it before and he thinks it even yet today, that he is still going to defeat God and His purposes. So they build this tower as not as something high that they can actually walk up and enter heaven, but rather as a system of approach to heaven, it’s the introduction of false worship.
Now as I go through the Scripture, time and again I’ll, come back and make the statement – remember that every false religion on this planet tonight, I don’t care what it is or where it is, every one of them have their roots back here at the Tower of Babel. This is the beginning of false pagan worship.
Now, archaeologists have found that in the old ancient Tower of Babel, around the top were all twelve signs of the zodiac. And so I maintain that today, the horoscope, the zodiac, is that of the underworld. It’s of the occult and it should be left alone. Now there again, is how Satan has adulterated something, which originally was in God’s program. And I think that before the flood that Adam and the early believers understood the Word of God, not from the written page, but in the stars.
They had an intrinsic knowledge of the constellations and all these things that was the Word of God written in the stars. But, as the human race degenerated, Satan took that which was spiritually perfect, adulterated it, and turned it to his own purposes so that when we get here to the Tower of Babel, this knowledge of the stars is turned into something that we call now, of the spirit world of the occult and the horoscope and everything that’s associated with it is not of God, but it’s of the counterfeiter – of the adversary.
So if you don’t remember anything else tonight, I want you to remember that every false religion that has ever been or is now or will come, and they’re still going to be coming, have their roots, every one of them, in the Tower of Babel. You just can’t escape it. Consequently now if you’ll turn with me all the way back to the book of Revelation we haven’t left Babel behind, not by any stretch of the imagination, because you come back to the book of Revelation, chapter 17 where we’re dealing with the false worldwide religion that’s going to come on the scene in the final seven years of what we call the Tribulation.
In Revelation chapter 17 and you come all the way down if you will with me to verse 4, now this of course is in symbolic imagery. But it’s certainly a literal truth, where John sees this woman – it’s a religious system – worldwide.
“And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, (now all that speaks of what? Tremendous wealth) having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:” And all you have to do is just look at some of the religions in the world today, the cults and the false teachers, some of these people on television. Someone was telling me a while back yet, this one fellow, and I’m not in the business of naming names, but this one fellow draws in a million dollars a day from his television ministry. I mean it’s just mind-boggling.
You take some of the great religions of the world, their wealth tonight is unbelievable. And they’re all going to come together. They’re going to amalgamate all this wealth and here’s what John is seeing pictured then, this woman, this religious system, with tremendous wealth. “decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of (oh not religious things, but what?) abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.” Now I maintain it’s not a physical fornication, but a spiritual, an adulterating of spiritual things, which of course, God hates.
“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Clear back here in Revelation. We haven’t left Babylon behind, not by any means but here she comes again and this great world religious system that’s coming on the scene and oh listen, it’s already here, we’re seeing it growing by leaps and bounds in what we call the New Age Movement and I warn people constantly and it’s creeping into the churches. It sounds so good. It’s Babylon. It’s Babel. And as we come back to Genesis, this is where it all started at the Tower of Babel.
“And they said, Go to, let us build a city and a tower, whose top may reach into heaven; and let us make us a name, (now here’s as far as we got before we went to Revelation.) lest we be (what’s the word?) scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” And what had God instructed them earlier? “Scatter.”
Go out and repopulate the whole earth. Now in an attitude of rebellion what are they saying? I don’t care what God says, we’re going to stay right here. We’ve got it pretty good. So God’s going to have to take things into His own hands isn’t He?
“And the LORD came down and He looked at the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6. And the LORD (or Jehovah) said, Behold, the people is one,…” Now remember they’ve already been segmented genealogically, but they’re still just basically one people, they’re one race.
“…they have one language; and this they begin to do:…” Now, look at our explosion of technology, right now in the last few years, what has been one of the catalysts, not the only one but one of them? A breaking down of language barriers.
I remember years back when the DNA was first discovered and I read an article on that. And there was I think a German, or a French scientist, there was a British scientist, and there were a pair of American scientists who were all getting real close, to the discovery of the DNA composition. They had all been comparing notes over the years. Until of course, they got real close and they wanted to be the only one to discover it, so then they quit. But basically what enhanced their discovery was this breakdown of the language barrier and they could converse.
This is where they were here at Babel. They had one language and they had already the seeds of technology. Now remember they aren’t that far removed from the flood, probably about 200 years. And there’s a lot of memory of it, but now look what God said.
“…and this they begin to do, and now (what’s the next word) nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” In other words, as these people looked and they saw a bird fly and they say, hey we want to be able to fly too. What would they have been able to do? Hey, they would have had flight again before long, had God not intervened to slow it down because He wasn’t ready for it. And so God says, we’re going to stop it in its tracks.
“He said, let us go down and there confound (or confuse) their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. 8. So the LORD scattered them abroad…” Now in the Hebrew the word scattered is a lot stronger. It’s a word where He just literally forced them. He didn’t just gently scatter them like an old hen might her chicks. But, He forced them to go out into the very reaches of civilization.
“…and they left off to build the city. 9. Therefore the name of it is called Babel;…” And the definition of the word babble is confusion. Confusion. It originated by the confusion of the tongues. But today, we speak of the world and all of its business and everything else as Babylon, in the book of Revelation. And why? Because, the world tonight is nothing but a mass of confusion. It’s just unbelievable as you watch the news from day to day the confusion amongst the nations. The confusion within society, that’s babble.
And even the Church tonight is right back to the place of babble, isn’t it? Just mass confusion. And there’s so much disagreement. And yet the Word of God is so plain. Why is it? Because, we’ve come full circle back to the origination of the real confusion. Just take the basic doctrine of salvation for example. God has made it so simple, yet most want to work for it. Paul in this Age of Grace where we cannot work for salvation tells us, “To believe in our heart that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again,” as found in I Corinthians 15:1-4 and Romans 10:9-10. Well, we’ll leave it off there and we’ll pick it up next week.
LESSON TWO * PART IV
BABEL: FALSE GODS
GENESIS 9:1 – 12:1-3
Once again we’re ready to pick up where we left off and if you’ll turn with me back to Genesis chapter 11 we want to touch on a couple of things that we didn’t get time for in the last half-hour. And that is back to the Tower of Babel, and some of the things that are still with us today. Many of us don’t even realize that that’s where they originated because they have been part of our custom now. For example, I guess all of you are acquainted with the Easter egg hunt at Easter. And the Easter bunny, Santa Claus at Christmas, the Christmas tree, well where did all these things originate? Every one of them goes back to the Tower of Babel!
Because you see, as they instituted pagan worship, in consort with the Tower of Babel, the first thing Semiramis introduced, as I mentioned last time, was the idea that her son Tamar was a son of god. Well, just like we’re seeing today. We’re coming full circle. And the more you understand Genesis, the more you can see what’s taking place today. They weren’t satisfied with just the male god-figure, so what did they have to introduce? The female goddess. And so the very core of what later became the mythologies of Rome and Greece and Egypt and Babylon was centered on a female goddess.
Now, that’s all right as far as it goes, but it doesn’t stop there. Along with the worship then of the female goddess and their various names, Venus of course is one and oh, I’m forgetting a couple of the others. Those are escaping me. Yeah, Diana of the Ephesians. You know them. Well, anyway associated with that naturally followed then the fertility rites. Sexuality. And I’ve told my classes for years and all you have to do is just go back into some good encyclopedias you can check me out – associated with pagan worship, the ancient temples such as one you just mentioned, Diana of the Ephesians and these various other temples in the worship of female goddesses were just nothing but glorified houses of prostitution, but in the name of “religion” because that all went hand in hand with this pagan worship.
So now with the fertility rites of course, they went right back to nature and as we have just experienced in the beauty and I think this is one of the most beautiful spring times we’ve had in a long time, but as you approach springtime and the spring equinox, March 21-22, what do we see popping up all around us? Well, new life. And new life of course speaks of fertility, and so they put all this together then as they formed their fertility rites around the worship centered on the spring equinox, March 21 and 22.
Now again, Satan was becoming the great counterfeiter because whether he knew it before hand or whether it just came out accidentally, I don’t know, but nevertheless, also associated with the spring equinox would be our celebration of Easter. Now our Easter is timed according to the Passover of Israel in the Old Testament and all of Israel’s feasts and her time keeping was based on the moon phases. Either the new moon, or the full moon or what have you. And so way back here then, they instituted these fertility rites in association with the spring equinox and thereby came then the rabbit associated with our Easter and the Easter egg associated supposedly indicative of new life. But remember its pagan in its origin.
Well the same way with many of our customs of Christmas. That of course, is close to the first day of winter, the winter solstice as we call it, December 21 and 22 where again the ancient pagans went through their various rituals in their worship and so they instituted for example the worship of the evergreen tree because it alone was still showing signs of life when everything else was dead. And then the ancient Europeans actually began a worship of the evergreen tree, all coming out of these pagan systems and they also had in Europe what they called the Yule log – the burning of the Yule log. And so all these things, oh I’m just passing it on, just for sake of information, go back to the Tower of Babel.
And you see, as Christianity then, back in the early days in the first and second and third century of Christianity, a lot of these pagan people were coming into the “church.” And I put that in quotes. Now if they came into the “church” without having a genuine salvation experience, “by believing that Jesus died for their sins, was buried, and rose again,” and they merely came in to enjoy the worship service, it wasn’t very long until these people would begin to say what? “Well, you know we ought to add a little color, this is getting kind of monotonous. We ought to do this and we ought to do that.” And so they would introduce some of their pagan practices into the “church” and the “church” accommodated it and now here we are 1900 years later and we just take all these things for granted. But I want people to know, where do they come from? They have no place in our present day church.
Now I’m not telling people throw away their Christmas tree. We have one, and I don’t tell people, “Well now spoil Christmas and tell your kids there’s no such thing as Santa Claus.” Maybe I should, but I’ll tell you what, anytime I see Santa Claus going down the aisle of a church, I won’t go back because Santa Claus does not belong in a local church! That is a symbol of paganism! It’s a symbol of the commercial world and we should never intermix them. Now like I said, I’m not telling people to take away the fun of Santa Claus as long as you don’t associate it with the birth of Christ. Because I don’t think Christ was even born on December 25th.
I read one theory, and that’s all it is because nobody really knows, but we know He couldn’t have been born in the wintertime because the shepherds don’t stay out in the fields in Judea in December. It’s too cold. But I kind of think in my own line of thinking that April 1st would be more likely and again I just pass this out in speculation. I can’t prove this from Scripture and I hope to always tell you that when I say something that isn’t Biblical. But, I prefer to think that Christ was more likely born on April 1st than any other time.
Now I was reading the other night and this gentleman had speculated that He was born in September and that the time period of December 25th was more than likely the conception of Mary by the Holy Spirit, which would bring Christ’s birth then up to September. He may be right. But personally I think April 1st and I’ll tell you why. I think Adam was created and brought on the scene April 1st. God stipulated to the nation of Israel that April is to be the first month of the year to them. And so everything in Israel’s calendar back in Biblical times began with April 1st. I think that Christ was probably resurrected on an April 1st. Now I say – I think. I can’t prove any of this.
But I think there are a lot of things that are associated in God’s timetable with this first day of the first month of the Biblical year, the month of April and then again I think to kind of put the frosting on the cake, Satan comes back and he adulterates that very day, the first of April with what we now call what? April Fool’s or All Fool’s Day, which again came out of the occultic practices and certainly not from Scripture.
Now that’s just a little aside. Now let’s move on. We’re here in Genesis chapter 11 and verse 9 is where we closed last week that the place was called Babel because it was a place of confusion.
“…and from thence the Lord scattered them abroad upon the face of the earth.” And I told you last week that the word scatter here in the English is too mild. I read one commentary on it; he said the word should have been “splattered.” He actually just threw them out of that part of the world but whatever, we want to realize that God was rather forceful in seeing to it that these peoples of the earth now scattered abroad and from thence, from the Tower of Babel, they migrate within their genealogic line of either Ham, Shem or Japheth.
And you remember a couple of weeks ago, I pointed out that primarily we have the offspring of Ham ending up here along the Mediterranean. We have the offspring of Shem out here in the area of ancient Babylon, because this is where Abraham is going to originate. And this is now then the main area of the Semitic people, the Arabs and the Israelites. And then the offspring of Japheth migrated on up into western Russia and on up in to Europe, Scandinavia, Great Britain and the northern shores of the Mediterranean. And so all the people of the earth are now coming from the three sons of Noah.
Now as we come over to verse 10 in chapter 11, we keep moving on. We’re going to be introduced to the generations of Shem. And again, I’m not going to take it all word for word because we’ve covered a little bit of it back there in chapter 10, but the important name now in chapter 11 and in the line of Shem, is in verse 22:
“And Serug lives thirty years, and he begat Nahor:…”
“And Nahor lived nine and twenty years and he begat Terah:”
“And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram,…”
And we know from Scripture that Abram’s name was changed by God to Abraham. Now we’re getting close to that chapter that I said a week or two ago was the benchmark of almost all the Old Testament, the call of Abraham. So if you can get these names straight, that Nahor was the father of Terah, Terah was the father of Abraham, as well as his brother Haran. And they are living down here on the Euphrates River, down here in the ancient city of Ur.
Now it’s interesting that most of your Bible maps and I’m not going to argue with them, but I’ve had people come up after class and say, “Well now Les, this map shows Ur on the west side of the Euphrates and you said it was on the east side.” And I said, “Well, that’s what the mapmakers say but I always have to go by what the Book says.” And they’ll look at me quizzically and they say, “Well what do you mean?”
Well let’s turn to Joshua, and look at that for a moment. Turn all the way to the last chapter, which is chapter 24. Joshua chapter 24 and just drop right in to verse 1 and 2. Now this of course, is taking place many, many years later. Israel is now in the land of promise, having been led there under Joshua after Moses passed off the scene.
“And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and their judges, and their officers; and they presented themselves before God. 2. And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers (or we would say your forefathers) dwelt on the other side of the (now the King James uses the word) flood…” But all your newer translations that I’ve seen use what word? “River.” Now read it that way.
“…your forefathers dwelt on the other side of the river…” Now the other side of the river is the east side. Because Joshua is not on the east side of Euphrates and speaking of west of the river but speaking from the land of Israel, he said, our forefathers came from the other side of the river. That’d be the east side. That would have to put Ur over here. But nevertheless, it’s a technicality, because as you’ve been watching the Middle East events you’ll realize that down in this very corner of what was Kuwait, I think, was seemingly according to your maps, the ancient city of Ur. But whatever – that’s the territory that Abraham comes out of.
“…Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the river in old times, even Terah, the father of Abraham, the father of Nahor: (underline that last portion) and they served (what?) other gods.” What were they? Idolaters!
Now we’ve come about 200 years again from the Tower of Babel to this call of Abraham.
Now let’s come back if you will to chapter 11. About 200 years from Noah coming out of the Ark, until they’re gathered at the Tower of Babel. Then about another 200 years from the Tower of Babel to this call of Abraham and now we’re at 2000 BC as near as we can tell chronologically. We’ve come 2000 years from Adam to Abraham and there’s 2000 years left from Abraham to the time of Christ. All right, verse 27 then, still in chapter 11 where it says:
“Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat (or was the father of) Abram,…” Now we’re going to use that term first for a while, instead of Abraham. We’re going to call him Abram because the Bible does, but it’s the same man who will be called Abraham.
“Terah begat Abram, Nahor and Haran: (three sons) and Haran was the father of Lot.” (Who of course came with Abraham and Sarah to the Promised Land.)
“Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.” So one of the brothers died before they move from Ur further to the northwest.
“Abram and Nahor took them wives; the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai;…” And again I’m going to use the pronunciation as it’s spelled, her name also will be changed later on to Sarah. But here she’s still called Sarai.
“…and the name of Nahor’s wife, was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah. 30. But Sarai was barren; she had no child. 31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, (in other words, the nephew of Abram) and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with him from Ur of the Chaldees, to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran, and dwelt there. 32. And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.” Now again geographically, as they left Ur they came up to an area northeast of present day Canaan. In fact, it’d be an area somewhere north of Damascus. Now again this isn’t all scale remember. But, Damascus, Syria the present day city and up north of that was the community that we know in Scripture as Haran. And as they migrated from Ur to Haran it was here that God put the stop on them until Terah dies. Now there’s a reason for it and I think you should already catch what it was. What was Terah? He was an idolater. He worshiped other gods.
Now in order to pick up the prompting of this family moving out of their home ground we have to go to chapter 12 verse 1. And all you have to do is watch the verb tense.
“Now the LORD had said (so chapter 12 verse 1 is taking us back to chapter 11, see?) to Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, and unto a land that I will show thee.” But from the verses that we just read in chapter 11, Abram didn’t just say Sarah, the LORD God has told me to leave, let’s just say goodbye to father and our relatives and let’s move out. But rather, I can’t prove this from Scripture but again I like to just kind of imagine how this took place. We know that the people of the Orient are tight knit when it comes to family, even today. You go into China and the family in spite of what the Communists have tried to do, is still a tight knit unit.
Also the Middle Easterners have been nomadic, from day one. They didn’t really set their roots down like we think of it in Western culture. And they would move from place to place with their flocks and their herds. So I like to think that after God, however He did it, I don’t know, but when God spoke to Abram and said, now get thee away from your father’s house and Abram the obedient son went in and said, “Father we’re going to leave.” What do you suppose old father Terah said? “Well, son that’s no problem, we’ll go with you. I mean after all we can pick up our tents and we can move.” And I don’t think Abram had the wherewithal to say “Dad, I can’t take you.” And so he says, “Well all right.”
But, it wasn’t in God’s will that Terah go with Abram, so what does God do? Well, he lets them migrate and He brings them on up to Haran up there into what is modern day Syria and there God put the brakes on and He waits until Terah dies and then after Terah has died, now Abram comes down into the land of Canaan. Got that picture?
All right, now let’s go on if you will to verse 2 and 3. Now what I like to have you do, is somehow, anyway you see fit, understand that verses 2 and 3 are what we call the Abrahamic Covenant. Now you can either put a circle around them, underline them or put it out on your margin – this is the Abrahamic Covenant.
Now, if you’ll remember a week or two ago, I explained that a covenant was always from God to man and that it’s unbreakable. It’s irrevocable. And now God makes a covenant with this man Abram. He is now what? Eighty some years old, ninety? And Sarah is only a few years younger. And they’ve never had a child. And now look what God says, in verse 2 and 3:
“I will make of thee (of Abram) a great (what’s the word?) nation, (now don’t lose the impact of these individual words I will!) and I will bless thee, and I will make thy name great; Thou shalt be a blessing: 3. And I will bless them that bless thee, and I’ll curse him that curseth thee: (and then the all-encompassing promise is) and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” Now as Bible believers we have to get a good understanding of what God really said.
I was encouraged sometime ago when the Daily Oklahoman interviewed our own Senator Nichols and Senator Nichols, a devout Roman Catholic, said in his interview that even though his own church did not see things as he did, yet he had to stand on the Biblical premise that the nation or the people that will bless Israel, will be blessed of God and he says, I have to believe the Bible.
And so, I’ve been encouraged that the Senator has got his Bible straight. I was reading again just before we left this morning that at the prayer breakfast in Washington, back in January, that would have been the one, that war went so fast you can’t remember whether it was in the hundred hours or just before but anyhow they had a great prayer breakfast in Washington DC in which there were multitudes of our government leaders and it was again to make the stand that we as America are the friends of Israel. And they made it plain in their various addresses at that meeting that the nation that stands with Israel is going to be in the very blessings of God.
And we certainly saw that accomplished in this last little episode where everything just went like clockwork, because after all we were protecting God’s covenant people. And so never lose sight of this promise to Abraham, that He would make them a great nation and that He would bless the man individually and we know that he was. He would make his name great. Archaeologists are now finding bills of sale and everything else with Abraham’s name on it. The man is still world renowned, many, many thousand years later. So indeed, his name is great.
But the best parts of this covenant are in verse 3, two of them. “I will bless him that blesseth thee, I will curse him that curseth thee (and then the last is that) in thee (through this man Abram) God would bring a blessing upon the whole human race.”
Now of course, what did God have in mind? Redemption! Salvation! Salvation would come to the whole human race through the nation of Israel. We’ve got a couple of minutes left, turn with me if you will, to the book of Romans where Paul is writing to the Gentile congregation at Rome and so I call this Gentile ground scripturally, but in Romans chapter 3, and let’s drop right down to verse 1 and 2.
“What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there in circumcision? (Or being a Jew? Now verse 2 the answer to the question.) 2. Much, every way: (of course they had an advantage) chiefly because unto them were committed (what?) the oracles (or the Word) of God.” Every word in this Book comes through the nation of Israel. Some would maintain that Luke was a Gentile, and I prefer to think that if he was anything we might have been a half-Gentile, but I think he was still primarily a Jew. Every word of this Book has come to us from the Jewish people. And never lose sight of it.
If we had time and you can do it in your own leisure. You go into Romans chapter 11 where Paul says, that by their fall (that is through the fall of Israel, when they rejected their Messiah) what did it prompt? God sending salvation to the nations of the world without Israel, but Paul is quick to point out in that chapter, God hasn’t set aside Israel forever. Israel has been set aside only temporarily. They are still in His eternal program.
LESSON THREE * PART I
In these next lessons we’re going have 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.
But before we start that I would like to address a few remarks to our television audience that it’s going to be so hard to cover as much as I would like to cover in just thirty-minutes. And I’m always afraid that if I’m not rightly understood and if these things don’t really come by us in an understandable way that you’d be prone to just turn me off. And so I would beg with those of you watching us on television to not give up on us even though we may not get as far as we’d like to get in this first thirty-minutes, but bear with us and over time I think, as most of my class people have over the years, you’ll begin to see how beautifully all of this comes together.
Christendom is a mass of confusion tonight. We’ve got so many different ideas and groups and the problem is they just don’t take the time to see what does the Word really say, and we also have to realize what it does not say.
Now I’m one of those creatures, and I was just telling my wife as we were driving up, even the national magazines are beginning to realize that there are legions of people, like me, and that is whenever I pick up a book or a magazine, I immediately go to the back page. Do you know people like that? I just can’t help it and you know what they’re doing now, they’re putting their editorials on the last page. Well, now I’m going to do that same approach before we go back to Genesis 12 and start our study on the Abrahamic Covenant, I’m going to start at the tail end of it in Ephesians chapter 2.
Now this is one of the letters of Paul written to the predominately Gentile churches there and the Ephesian letter was more or less in encyclical. In other words, it was written more or less with the idea that it would be passed around to all the other churches in the area. But it was predominately to the Gentiles that he writes, beginning in verse 11 for sake of time. And again those of you watching on television, if possible, find a Bible and take down these verses. Take down some notes and if it should leave you with your head swimming, you can go back and see what the Word says.
“Wherefore remember, that you (now that’s a personal directive) being in times past Gentiles in the flesh, who were called Uncircumcision by those who are called the Circumcision…” In other words, that’s the way the Jew referred to the Gentile – the uncircumcised ones.
“That at that time, (while Israel was almost in a snide way referring to Gentiles as the uncircumcised dogs) you (Gentiles) were without Christ being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers from the covenants of promise,…” Now underline that word covenants because this is going right back to the Old Testament. But Gentiles were “strangers from the covenants of promise” and now the last is almost unbelievable to a lot of people if they don’t understand why Paul is inspired by the Holy Spirit to write it. And that is that our Gentile forefathers were in this situation.
“…having no hope, and without God in the world:” Now that seems shocking doesn’t it? And people are prone to say, well that wasn’t fair. How could God do that?
Well, we’re going to cover all that if not in this half-hour, well certainly in the next one. But this was the state, you want to remember, of our forefathers back in the pre-Christian era. Now after all we’ve all got forefathers that go all the way back you know, to Adam. And so our forefathers, back there before these revelations that were especially given to the Apostle Paul, our forefathers were in this set of circumstances. They were not part of the nation of Israel. They were Gentiles. They were in no way associated with the Covenants that God made with Israel and consequently then, they were without Christ, “they were without God in this world.” That was their lot.
But don’t stop there. The next verse. That three-lettered word that I always say is so crucial if you’re going to be a Bible student. “But now.” Now, is a time word. Even though this was the lot of our forefathers for hundreds, yes thousands of years – 2000 years and then some now it’s different. We are no longer under those circumstances of being outside the Covenants and aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, without hope and without God, now Paul says:
“But now in Christ Jesus you who were at one time far off (what did he mean by far off? They were without hope, without God in this world) are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” The death, burial and resurrection are what make all the difference in the world.
Now while we’re mentioning death, burial and resurrection; it’s been quite a while since I’ve referred to it and like I’ve always stressed, I don’t claim to be an evangelist. I’ll leave the evangelizing up to them. I’m not a preacher and so I don’t constantly preach at people, but nevertheless, even though I’m basically trying to teach, we do want to bring periodically the Gospel of salvation as plainly as we know how to bring it so that there will be – as I told one of my classes the other night. I guess my most fervent prayer day in and day out is “that no one will ever come to my classes over a period of time and slip out into eternity lost.”
Because that to me is just horrifying to have someone sit under what I think is good solid teaching and yet miss God’s salvation. I think that would be awful and so that’s my fervent prayer. So periodically I’ll just make a point to come in and make as clear as I know how to make it, the Gospel, or the plan of salvation, or as Paul just said in Ephesians “that we’ve been made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
All right, now turn if you will then to I Corinthians 15 the first four verses. I use them often enough in my nightly classes that I trust people can almost just see these words in their sleep. Here Paul is writing to the Corinthian church, which was Gentiles predominately, so he’s writing to you and I today. He says:
I Corinthians 15:1-2
“Moreover brethren, I declare unto you the gospel, (the gospel, not a gospel) which I preached unto you, and which also you have received, and wherein you stand; (that is positionally) 2. By which also you are saved, (now there’s only one Plan of Salvation in our Bible for us today and that is by believing this Gospel we’re about to share in verse 3 and 4) if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, (in other words, you’ve got to know what you believe) unless you have believed in vain.” In other words, a lot of people believe, there’s no doubt about it, but they’re not believing the right thing, they’re just believing something, and anything and they think they’re going to get by. But the Scripture is so adamant that we have to know what we believe and that’s what Paul uses is the word know – K-N-O-W – from the Greek word, epignosis – full knowledge. We have to know what we believe. But we’d better know the Plan of Salvation. We’d better know why God is able to save a sinner. Now here comes the Gospel in the next 2 verses that saves you if you truly believe it for your salvation.
I Corinthians 15:3
“For (he says) I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that (here it comes) Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.” Now, that means that it wasn’t just all of a sudden an afterthought. God didn’t just all of a sudden find Himself in a jam and He had to do something. No. It was all preplanned from eternity past. It was all considered before man even came on the scene.
I Corinthians 15:4
“And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” He really died for our sins, and rose from the dead! Now that’s the Gospel of salvation we must believe, plus NOTHING.
“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it (the Gospel) is the (what’s the next word?) power of God unto salvation to everyone that (what’s the next word?) believeth;” Doesn’t say to everyone that repents and is baptized. It doesn’t say to everyone that does such and such and such and such. But it says, very plainly that if we believe this Gospel, “that Christ died, was buried and rose from the dead” – when we believe that with all our heart that Gospel becomes the very power of God Himself. The very power that created the universe is released on us, to us, in us and we by that power of God then become a child of God.
I mean it’s beyond human understanding, so what do we do? We take it by faith. We can’t comprehend it, but the Bible says that’s what it is and when we believe it, God, as Paul says over and over, accounts it as righteousness. By believing. But we’ve got to be careful what we believe. Now all of this coming back then to what we just saw in Ephesians 2, that we have been made nigh by the blood of Christ. Now you can’t separate the blood of Christ from His death, and resurrection, because they’re just tied together, and can’t be separated.
I usually don’t fault the men behind the sacred desk, that’s not my job, but one of the couples in one of my classes were rather upset the last time we met and their pastor had made the statement that there is nothing in Scripture that indicates that Christ died a sacrificial death. How in the world can anyone say that, when the Bible is full of the fact “that without the shedding of blood there is no remission?”
And then Paul comes along and is constantly referring to Christ as our Passover. He is the One who died for us, who shed His blood for us, He is the sacrifice and the only sacrifice that God was satisfied with.
Paul also, as he wrote Hebrews, and I’m sure he did, said, “that the blood of bulls and goats couldn’t take away sin, (but what could?) The blood of Christ!” Because He was the supreme, the prefect sacrifice. So that’s all wrapped up together the fact that “His blood was shed, He died, He was buried and He rose again from the dead” and now then we have been made nigh by virtue of that tremendous act of God and when we believe it the very power of God moves in on a life and we become as again Paul says, in II Corinthians and other places, “we become then a new creation.”
But, like I said, now that’s starting more or less on the back page. Now let’s come back to Genesis chapter 12. We touched on it just a little bit last week, but now in chapter 12 of Genesis, we come to a place where once again, God is seeing the human race time after time utterly rebel and reject Him.
Now just for a moment of review. Adam wasn’t in the Garden very long until he did what? Well, he rebelled. He sinned. He was disobedient. Now when Adam moved from that Garden experience, to living out of the Garden, in our present day vernacular couldn’t we very easily call that “a whole new ball game?” It was a whole new ball game, it was a whole new set of circumstances. It was a new set of regulations that God had now given, instruction or whatever you want to call it, was just totally different from life in the Garden. All right, under that set of circumstances then we found the human race just utterly rebel until it got so bad God had to bring in the flood.
Now again watch what happens. When the flood is finished, as we’ve been seeing the last several weeks and Noah and his family comes out of the Ark, what have you got again? Another new ball game. A whole new set of circumstances, and again God gives even more or different rules and regulations to live by. Remember we pointed out how that He gave instruction that they could kill animals and eat the flesh thereof. They couldn’t do that before. And so there was all these things that just made life after the flood totally different than life before the flood.
But God hasn’t changed. Human nature hasn’t changed. But yet, the circumstances change. Now they hadn’t come very long after the flood and we saw here a few weeks ago where were they? At the Tower of Babel, and now Satan’s influence comes in and they end up going after other gods – the introduction of idolatry. Remember? Paganism. At the Tower of Babel paganism just permeated the whole human race. Everyone. We have no indication that now we know Noah lived through a lot of that period of time, we don’t know what happened to him, but Noah aside, we have nothing to indicate that anyone had any knowledge of the one true God. They had all flocked after idolatry and paganism.
Now what does God have to do? For almost 2000 years, and I want to bring this out, from Genesis 1:1 through chapter 11, covers 2000 years of human history. But beginning with chapter 12 verse 1, we’re going to cover the next 2000 years and it takes up the biggest part of our Bible, all the Old Testament and well into the New are now going to be in those next 2000 years.
But here God is with a human race that again has totally rejected His offer of salvation. They have totally rejected His authority and they have followed other gods; they’re steeped in idolatry and remember idolatry’s god is Satan himself. And it just seems as though there’s no hope for that human race. And then we can use that three-lettered word again – “But God”
God says I’m going to do something different. I’m going to take a new approach. Now it wasn’t again that He got caught by surprise. This was all preordained and as we were discussing the other evening with just a small group, you know there’s a fine line between the Sovereignty of God and the free will of man. And it’s so hard to define those two and not get them crossed over because God is absolutely Sovereign. We know that. He has laid the whole line of human history out ahead of time. And yet He has never taken the free will away from man to accomplish it.
And so you come on to this whole business of foreknowledge and all that, but we don’t want to get confused on these things that God is never caught by surprise. So now with the human race totally saturated in idolatry, He says:
“I’m going to take a new approach. I’m going to take one little group of people. I’m going to take one man and out of that one man I’m going to bring about a small nation of people. And with that nation I’m going to work, I’m going to teach them, I’m going to reveal Myself to them in a way that the human race has never had revelation before. And I’m going to take that little nation of people and sometime down the road I’m going to funnel them back into the other nations of the world in order to bring them to Myself.”
Now the best way I can picture it on the chalk board and we’re not going to have time this half-hour to bring it to fruition, but if I can help you to mentally see – let’s take a wide line, and call that the main stream of humanity. The human race. Humanity. Now this wide line come all the way from Adam 2000 years back. And it’s been one catastrophe after another, hasn’t it? Now at the end of that first 2000 years, like I said a moment ago, God is going to do something different. He’s going to call out one man. His name to start with is Abram and we get to know him better as Abraham. Now out of that mainstream of humanity, He’s going to pull off with a little narrow line beginning with this one man Abram, the nation of Israel. The Jew.
And here is what Paul was referring to in Ephesians. While God is going to be dealing with this nation of people coming out of this one man, Abram, He’s going to let the rest of humanity just sort of drift along in their godless state to their eternal doom, having no hope as Paul says.
And I’ve seen it in my classes over and over where they’re almost aghast and they say, “Well they didn’t have a chance! God wasn’t fair.” You know what I always have to remind you? What had God been doing for 2000 years? He’d been dealing with the whole human race with no one segmented. With no one left off, they all had knowledge of what He expected of them, what did they do with it? They stepped it under foot. They ignored it for 2000 years so what makes mankind think they would have changed?
They rebelled and so now God in His foreknowledge can see that this wouldn’t have changed one bit, humanity would have continued to do as they did the first 2000 years. They would just constantly live in rebellion and it would go gradually from bad to worse. So He is perfectly just, as Paul says in Ephesians, to leave these people now to take their course of human history “without God,” without anything to do with this little nation of people that God is going to be working with particularly now until some future time. He was going to send that prepared people back into the main stream of humanity to bring them the knowledge of Abraham’s God, as God will reveal Himself to Abram.
Now am I making myself clear? So He’s going to take this little nation and He’s going to make covenants with them and if you remember a few weeks ago I explained that a covenant is always one way. From God to man. So even though these covenants are seemingly broken and forgotten, (but since they came from God they’ll never be broken) they’ll never be forgotten. Sooner or later these covenants are always going to come to fruition. Never lose sight of that.
And so as God makes these covenants now with the nation of Israel, always keep uppermost in your thinking it’s because of this mass of humanity that God is doing what He’s doing because He’s going to prepare these people, hopefully, for the time when they can come back in and reveal a knowledge of their God, the Scripture calls it “the God of Abraham.” So that he can give a revelation of the God of Abraham to these pagan godless Gentile nations. Has God forgotten them? Not at all.
He’s doing everything for their benefit, albeit there will be generations in here who pass in the scene and out of the scene and they’re lost. That’s just something that we can’t reconcile in human thinking but God knows what He’s doing. So the first thing I want folk to get in their mind is the reason the little nation of Israel has survived the millennia against all odds, in spite of all the times that people of this world have tried to obliterate them, it’s because they’re God’s Covenant People.
Now granted, as we can already see, they didn’t succeed in doing what God really wanted them to do. Because before they got to the place where God could now take them into the Gentile nations and use them as His missionaries or His evangelists, what did they do? They crucified the Lord of Glory. But again, Satan may have thought that he was the victor by seeing the very Son of God dying on that Roman cross. But what Satan and the rest of the world never comprehended, God wasn’t defeated at the cross, who was? Satan was.
So even though the favored Covenant People blew it, (that’s the best expression I can use), they just totally blew it, they didn’t recognize the one who had come to fulfill these covenants, they rejected Him, they crucified Him, but God went ahead and brought the Gospel to the Gentiles without Israel by bringing on the scene one little Jew. Saul of Tarsus.
And what’s the first thing that God revealed to Ananias concerning Saul of Tarsus? “He’s a chosen vessel unto me and he’s going to take the Word to the Gentiles.” And Paul tells us in Romans 11:13 “I am the apostle of the Gentiles.” And if you’re careful as you read Paul, you’ll notice that he’s always saying, “to you Gentiles.” Watch for it as you read his letters.
LESSON THREE * PART II
Now if you’ll come back with me then once again to Genesis chapter 12 and picking up the backdrop that out of a pagan society we know, as we studied a few weeks ago, that even the father of Abram, (or Abraham) Terah served other gods. And then if you know anything about your Old Testament stories, you remember that when Jacob was on his way back with his wives and his children and all of a sudden his father-in-law, Laban came chasing after him. And what was he all upset about? Oh, his daughters had brought their gods with them. g-o-d-s.
And so even at that late point in Jacob’s life, even his wives were still hanging on to their idols. So even the relatives of Abraham and Sarah and Jacob were still steeped in idolatry even though they were not part of a Canaanite tribe or anything like that, but by the time we get to Genesis 12 every one are idolaters. There is no knowledge of the true God whatsoever.
And in that set of circumstances, God sees the heart of this man Abram that it was fertile, it was open and so God revealed Himself to him in rather simplistic language. And all He says now, if you’ve opened your Bible to Genesis 12, we’ll look at it once again, where verse 1, “The Lord had said,” remember that was back in chapter 11.
“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house unto a land that I will show thee. (and then here’s the Covenant) 2. And I will make of thee a great (underline the next word) nation, I will bless thee, and make thy name great; And thou shalt be a blessing: 3. I will bless them that bless thee, (Underline that if you haven’t before.) And curse him that curseth thee:…” Now this is God speaking. This is God’s Word. And He cannot go back on it.
And we know that over the last 4000 years of time this has held true for the last jot and tittle. Any nation, any empire that has come down on the nation of Israel has seen its own demise. You can start with Babylon. You can go to the Meads and Persians, the Greeks, the Romans and now in modern history, you can take the likes of Napoleon, Bismarck, Great Britain, France, they have all stabbed the little nation of Israel in the back politically, economically and it isn’t long afterwards until they fall. And so this Word is sure, it’s true, that any nation that blesses Israel will be blessed of God. Any nation that curses Israel will be cursed of God.
Now I’ve had people ask me, and very appropriately, “Les how many Jews do you know that know you have a love for Israel?” I don’t know a one. I’ve only known one I guess in all my life as a young gentleman, while I was in service. And I didn’t even know he was a Jew. But I love the nation of Israel simply because the Bible says to.
They are His Covenant People and once we understand what we’re going to be showing over the next several weeks, I think you will agree with me, that it is a blessing indeed to understand how God has used this little – and they’re so small, a nation. You want to remember that over the years of time, the nation of Israel has never been more than 15 or 16 million – total. And that’s about what they are today. All through the antiquities, they were only about 5 – 10 million. Now that’s not a lot of people when it comes to nations. But yet this is the little nation of people that God has seen fit to separate unto Himself and give them this Covenant. Now we didn’t quite finish it, come back to verse 3 where he says
“…and in thee (that is through Abram, through Abraham) shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Now I know there will be some people that will violently disagree with me when I point out that at this point in time from Abram’s viewpoint, not from God’s necessarily, but from Abram’s viewpoint, this is what he saw that God was going to use the nation of Israel to come back into the mainstream of the nations of the world and bring them a knowledge of Himself.
Now Abraham had no full view of the cross as we know it, we pick that up from our New Testament, but granted the Old Testament is full of prophetic utterances that Christ would die, the Psalms says, “He would be buried, He would be resurrected from the dead, He would ascended to the Father’s right hand.” Sure that’s all in the Old Testament, but Abraham back here certainly didn’t know that. Abraham just understood that God was promising him a posterity that at one time in the future would be used of God to bring a knowledge of the God of Abraham to the masses of humanity.
Now latent or dormant within this Abrahamic Covenant are three categories that I’d like you always to remember. Number one, He is promising Abraham that out of him will come a nation of people. Now it doesn’t necessarily have to mean 200-250 million people as we think of nations today. But they’re going to be a group of people who have a nationalistic character; I’m going to even qualify them as a set aside race of people. Now even a lot of Jews today do not seem to realize that to be a Jew is not just to embrace a certain religion. A Jew first and foremost is a unique race of people and to that race of people God gave a unique “religion,” and you know I don’t like that word but I can’t think of a better one, when He gave them the Law.
But it wasn’t that keeping of the Law, it wasn’t that particular system of worship that made them Jews, it was their birth. It was their bloodline. Now, we’re living in a time when the whole Middle East is a boiling pot, isn’t it? And it’s not over by a long shot. And here’s why it is so thrilling, I think, to teach especially this Abrahamic Covenant, the whole mess in the Middle East began with that one man. Do you realize that? All of your Middle Eastern people are intrinsically connected to this man and all the problems present in the Middle East tonight have their roots in this man Abraham.
Number one the Syrians, who are not Arabs, the Syrians are not per se – the sons of Abraham, but Jacob and Isaac got their wives from the Syrians who, remember were the offspring of Abraham’s other brother and his father, Nahor. And Laban, from whom Jacob got his two wives, they were Syrians, but they were relatives of Abram back there as they came out of Ur of the Chaldees. Then when Abraham began to have his first son, Ishmael. And you remember the story; we’ll be coming to it in the weeks to come. Who are the people that come from Ishmael? Well, your Arab people.
And you’ve got another segment of Arabs coming out of the other son of Isaac, Jacob’s brother, Esau. But that all came from Abram. And then you see, as you come on through the account of the Old Testament, even Lot, a nephew of Abram, or Abraham, had sons by his two daughters after the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah, they also then become part of the Arab world. They are the ones in the Old Testament referred to as Moab and Ammonites and some of those. So, your whole Middle Eastern boiling pot all goes back to this one man, Abraham.
Now of course, it wasn’t that God goofed, so to speak. But as God let the human race operate under their free will, all these things began to happen. For example, Ishmael the father of the Arab people, who have been a thorn in the side of the Jew since days immemorial, you go back to the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Read it carefully, and as they were trying to rebuild the Temple and the wall, it says that they had to build with a trowel in one hand and sword in the other. Well who was opposing them? The Arabs. And tonight, and most of the American people, and I think too many people in our government, can’t seem to comprehend that all of these Arab people have blood relationship with their arch enemy – Israel. And visa versa. But, what we have to realize from the Scripture is that even though all these people have these kinsmen, or a bloodline relationship with Abram, it’s only the Covenant line coming through Isaac and Jacob that God is going to use in this little, let’s call it a little creek of fresh water coming out of this old polluted filthy river of humanity.
They’re steeped in idolatry and now this little fresh water creek, God is going to purify with the idea of bringing it back into this old polluted river and by a miraculous chemistry of God Himself, He would be able to purify.
All right, so in this Abrahamic Covenant is a promise of a Nation. And you cannot have a nation of people unless they have what? They’ve got to have land to live in. They have to have a geographical area. So God’s going to promise them a piece of this old earth’s surface, the land. Now you put people within a geographical area, what do they have to have? They’ve got to have government. And so that’s going to be the third part of this Covenant, is that they’re going to have to have a government.
Now what we want to do in these next moments as much as we’ve got going on into the next couple of half-hours, is to chase down through the Scripture how that indeed God is over and over promising that these people are going to become a Nation living in a designated land. And with a future government that is beyond human comprehension. And this government would be when God Himself would be their King.
Now we also call that person, what? Messiah. The other words, let’s go a little further. The Greek is Christ. Messiah and Christ are synonymous. When you speak of Jesus the Christ, you are actually saying Jesus the Messiah. There’s no difference in the terminology.
All right, now let’s chase some Scriptures. Turn with me to Genesis chapter 15 and we’ll be coming back and taking these more or less verse by verse in weeks to come, but for now let’s just establish the fact that indeed when God made this Covenant with Abraham, that He promised them to be a Nation – let’s take that first, not the land, but to be a Nation. Genesis 15 and come down to verse 2. And all these things just point up how human all these patriarchs were. Now even Abram, as we have learned over the years, a great man of faith, wasn’t he? His name is as the Covenant says, he would be known worldwide and indeed there’s probably a name not as well known as Abram.
“And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me seeing I go childless,…” Now see how human he is and you want to remember he’s a man of over 80 and God’s promised him a posterity of people. How can you have people if you haven’t even got that first child?
“…and the steward (or the manager of my estate) is Eliezer of Damascus. 3. And Abraham said, Behold to me thou hast given no seed: (no child) and lo, one born in my house is my heir.’” In fact I like to qualify that – “my only heir.” Who’s he referring to? Lot. His nephew. He’s the only thing I’ve got. He’s the closest next of kin. He’s the only one I can really rely on.
“And behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; (it’s not Lot. I’m not talking about him) but he that shalt come forth out of your own innermost being shall be thine heir. 5. And he (God) brings him forth abroad, and said, Look toward heaven, and count the stars, if thou be able to number them; (and of course he couldn’t could he?) and he said unto him, so shall thy seed (or your offspring) be.” Now that must have been mind-boggling to an old man, well up in years. His wife’s just as old and they’d never had a child. And he looked up and he sees the stars and you mean to tell me that I’m going to be the beginning of that many people? God says, yes you are Abram.
“And he (what’s the word?) believed in the LORD (in other words, what He said) and He (the Lord) accounted it to him for (what?) righteousness.” Now we have to go to the New Testament for a second, I didn’t intend to do this, but turn back with me to Romans because as we come up through the Old Testament I think the only way we can really get a comprehension of all that’s taking place is to see that it’s all happening for the reason of making a New Testament lesson, or an illustration.
“What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, has found? 2. For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; (or he could brag, he could boast) but never before God.” Oh, he could tell all his peers, just look what I’ve done to merit favor with God.
You know I’ve always told my classes, and it makes people smile but I don’t say it to be funny, I say it in all the sincerity of my heart, can you imagine what Heaven would be like if we’d have to listen to everybody tell us all they did to get there? Oh hey, it would be the most boring place you’ve ever dreamed of. If every time you turned around you had to listen to somebody else tell you all that they did to get there. Oh, but it’s not going to be that way. None of us are going to be able to boast about what we did to merit Heaven, not even Abraham.
“But what saith the scripture?…” Not some denomination. Not some ecclesiastical group. But “What saith the scripture?” And this is all we can go on, and the Scripture says.
“…Abraham (what?) believed God, (and what did God turn around and do?) counted it to him for righteousness.” He saved Abraham on the spot. Now there’s no works whatsoever in believing is there? Oh we’ve got to use the mind if you want to call that works. But there is nothing that we can do physically to merit something like this from God. But like Abraham, all God looks for is our faith, our heart believing. Now I’m not an easy-believer teacher. I do not subscribe to that and those of you who have been with me over the years know that. But for the person who honestly, completely with all his heart believes and trusts what God said, God does the same for us as He did for Abraham.
Now this is probably a good place to point out, I’ve had people come up to me after a class and say, “Well Les when we become a Christian, do we become a Jew?” You know what I always say? “Hey, I’ve been a Christian for a long time, do I look like one? Do you look like one? I’ve never seen anyone that did yet.” And they’ll say, “Well no.” “Well” I said, “if you became a Jew when you were saved, then you would have immediately have gotten the Jews black hair and his dark eyes and his large nose and all the other things that go with being a Jew. But you haven’t.” “Well, somebody told me that as soon as I became a Christian, I became a Jew.” No you do not become a Jew. That person told you wrong.
Now spiritually – spiritually we come into that position with Christ that Israel enjoyed as a Nation, I’ll grant you that. It’s a positional thing. But you don’t physically become a Jew at salvation. But, we do have an affinity to this man Abraham. And what is that? Well now if you’ll remember all through the Old Testament, no one came into a salvation relationship with God apart from some kind of work.
They brought a sacrifice. They worshiped at the Temple and all these other things. Granted it was based on their faith first and foremost, but it wasn’t faith plus nothing, like I teach to you tonight. It was faith plus – bring Me that sacrifice. And to make that clear, I always have to ask my classes, had someone back in that Old Testament economy, whether it was under Law or whether it was before the Law, if they would have tried to tell God, now look Lord, I know I’ve sinned but I don’t see any need for going to get my best lamb and bring it to you. Was that man accepted? No! He had to follow his faith with the works that were required.
Abraham did no such thing. All the references to Abraham’s saving faith is that he what? He believed. Plus nothing. Now that’s where we have a connection then to the man Abraham is that we too in this Age of Grace, are now brought into a relationship with God as Abraham was by faith and faith alone. By being obedient to what God told Paul for us in I Corinthians 15:1-4, and is known as Paul Gospel of salvation, “how Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again.” So if you want to mentally connect yourself to Abraham, that’s the only way you can do it, that as he was brought into a relationship by faith and faith alone, so am I. And that’s where it has to stop because we do not physically become a son of Abraham in the flesh.
“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.” And remember all the things that so many people think we have to “do” today to merit God’s favor are works. And works is anything that we can do by just simply saying, “Hey, I guess I’ll do this or I guess I’ll do that. I guess I’ll go join that church. I guess I’ll go get baptized.” Hey, those are all things that we can do in the flesh. But faith is something beyond the flesh.
“But to him that worketh (what’s the next word?) not,…” Now of course, I use the Old King James, I’m sorry for those of you who’ve got newer translations, but you’ll get the meaning.
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Boy, that shocks people. I can always think years back of one man in particular who had just literally hit the skids and he had gotten down to the bottom where he was as he termed it himself – ungodly. God was so far from him that finally in desperation, he cried out one night. And he said, “God if you’re out there, save me!” But you see, that’s what I’d told him before – the only person God can save is the one who says I’m ungodly. And that’s the only person that God can save yet today.
All right, now let’s come back quickly to Genesis. We’re not even going to finish our references here on the Nation part, but let’s at least find a couple of them. Genesis 15, we just saw that Abraham is going to have people following him as numerous as the stars of the heavens. Now if you’ll come over to Genesis chapter 46. By now we’ve already come clear though the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and Joseph just recently has become the head man in Egypt.
And you remember the account of the seven famine years and the seven good years and so now there’s grain in Egypt. Joseph’s in control of it and Jacob the old patriarch father, now longs to be down there in Egypt. And in our closing moment, look what it says:
“And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: Now a lot of people don’t understand where the Nation of Israel came from, but it came as a result of Joseph being rejected by his brethren. He ends up in Egypt – God blesses him and he’s able to break the famine for his family up in Israel and they come down into Egypt, seventy souls. And for the next four hundred years they’ll be in Egypt and in that period of time, Israel becomes a Nation of people.
Now in those 400 and some years, they go from 70 some souls, and by the time when Moses will lead them out on that night of the Passover, there’ll be anywhere from three to seven million people, not counting the mixed multitude that came with them. So always remember that the nation of Israel became a Nation of people while they were in slavery in Egypt. And that’s when Joseph laid a requirement on them, remember what it was? Oh, someday God is going to take you back to our homeland, to Canaan. And when you go whenever it is, be sure you do what? “Take my bones with you.” Now there again, someone had imparted to Joseph that the day was coming when God would take those people out of Egypt and put them back in their own land.
LESSON THREE * PART III
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:
“…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 world. Sinfulness. Absolutely. 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:
“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:
“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.
“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:
“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.
“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.
“…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.
“…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.
“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.
“…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.
“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.”
“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.
“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?
“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.
“…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.
“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.
“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.
“And the Redeemer (capitalized, who’s the Redeemer? Christ. The 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.
“…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:
“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.
“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.
“…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:
“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?
“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.
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.
LESSON THREE * PART IV
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, it’s 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, it’s 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
“…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.
“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.
“…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:
“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:
“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.
“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:
“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:
“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:
“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.
“And I shall put my Spirit in you, you shall live, and I shall place you in your own land:…” That’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:
“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:
“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:
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“…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.
“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.
“…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. You 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 promises. The Church, the Body of Christ, is a heavenly people with heavenly promises.