THE GOD OF THE COVENANT Pt 2

Students of prophesy will have to admit the prophet Ezekiel made many interesting predictions concerning Israel. We would call your attention to chapters 36-39, where a careful reading of these chapters will strongly suggest God is not finished with Israel.

Ezekiel was among the Jewish captives carried away to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar the king. He was there with Daniel and was a contemporary of Jeremiah the prophet who remained in Israel by decree of Nebuchadnezzar. We don’t know if he knew Daniel, but since Daniel held such a high position in Babylon it is possible he knew of him. Both Ezekiel and Daniel prophesied of future events that had to do with Israel. In the three chapters we are referring to, Ezekiel was told of the restoration of Israel back in the land, but this restoration is NOT after the captivity turning from Babylon, but a later restoration, the one AFTER their disbursement of 70 AD and the destruction of the temple.

Looking at Deut 30:3-5 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And again in Isaiah we read,

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THE GOD OF THE COVENANT

“And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Gen 17:7

There are some today in Christendom who say God is done with Israel, and the church has replaced them and will receive all the blessings they forfeited. Those who say that, do not know the God of Israel very well nor have they studied the scriptures. As Jesus told the Sadducee’s Mat 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For those who are in this position, lets us go back and see why this is not the case, despite Israel’s history.

From the very beginning Israel failed. Prior to the receiving of the law they said; Ex 19:8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD. Again this was BEFORE they had actually received the law, in fact this was BEFORE Moses went up on the mountain to receive it! While he was up there, they immediately broke the first commandment by having Aaron make a golden calf to worship, which they did! AFTER THAT we have recorded what God told THEM: “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; Deut 7:9 He was referring to Israel, because of the promise he made to Abraham, which we have for our initial text. And please notice it is AN EVERLASTING covenant. With God EVERLASTING does not end!

So what is a covenant anyway?

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What is real Bible study

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. II Tim 2:15

While many people posses a Bible, how many really study it. Someone says, I don’t need to do that, I go to church and listen to the minister/priest/ rabbi up front, he will tell me what it means. This is the reasoning of many of people, but is this the correct frame of mind? Paul spoke of the Bereans saying Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. These people listened TO PAUL, but went and searched the scriptures to see for themselves, if what he was saying was correct. This is how we find out, we must not trust man alone instead we must study for ourselves. And then, Paul says II Tim 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. Then, after searching the scriptures, I Thess 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. The word prove, ( Gr dokimazō ) means to approve of or examine all things, then hold fast to that which is good.

Reading the Bible is good, but better to study what it says to understand it, and assimilate it into our lives. In order to do that we must look at the passages in the context of where we find it. It is easy to take scripture out of its context to prove a point.

For example;

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The Ressurection of Jesus

Many religions in the world boast of their leaders and what they have said or done. None but Christianity can claim their leader came back from the dead to establish his church. Biblical & historical fact alike declares the resurrection of Jesus from the dead three days after his death on the cross. Unlike other religions who say they have a plan whereby they will some day be united with their god or in a place of peace and serenity, Jesus promises those who believe in him a place in Heaven with him forever. While all systems of “Faith” admit of sinful tendencies and how to atone for them, only Christianity guarantees its people their sins have been put away once and for all by the death of Christ, and a standing before God totally “Justified” from all guilt because of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Some religions tell us the individual will atone for his sin through good works or “acts of faith” toward their god. In light of that, the question must be asked what god are they talking about. For example; the Muslims say Mohammad & Moses are prophets. Here’s the problem Moses at the burning bush said God told him his name I AM THAT I AM that is my name. Mohammad says “Allah” is God, One lied! Jeremiah 32:27 says Behold, I [am] the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

Isaiah 44:6 says Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I [am] the first, and I [am] the last; and beside me [there is] no God. So anyone want to say who lied? Before we can decide our own destiny with a god we can’t see, we need to determine what it is he expects from us, the way to please him. I really don’t know about the rest but of the God of the Bible it says But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Heb 11:6 in order for faith to work it needs an object, some thing or better some one to believe in. Jesus said Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. Pretty radical don’t you think for someone to essentially make themselves equal with God, saying to believe in them as well as God, unless

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The Sovereignty of God Part 5

Moses met God at a burning bush in the desert and God told him the time had come to get the children of Israel out of Egypt, because God had promised Abraham he would give the land of Canaan to his descendants after 400 years of living in Egypt, for God said And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land [that is] not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; Gen 15:13 further he told him And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance vs 14 . When Israel came to Egypt because of a famine in the land of Canaan the Pharaoh of that time welcomed them with open arms. After the death of Joseph and the patriarchs, Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. Ex 1:8 Now things changed and the children of Israel were put to hard labor. Why did this happen? He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants Psalm 105:25. So they cried out to the Lord for deliverance. Moses comes back to Egypt, but not before God had to convince him to go back, you see he didn’t want to. But God made a promise to Abraham and God says My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure :Isa 46:10b In Hebrews we read For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,Heb 6:13 there was a condition But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites [is] not yet full. So there was a time period, now it was up.

So God told Moses he would be with him and said here is the message for Pharaoh Let my people go, he also told him And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.Ex 4:21 He said this before he ever left. After he got there and spoke to Pharaoh the first time, and he refused to let them go, God said And I will harden Pharaoh‘s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. Ex 7:3 Notice he added something here and multiply my signs and my wonders. We have already mentioned what Paul told us For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. What does it mean to harden the heart?

 

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The Sovereignty of God Part 4

Now we look at Jacob and Esau, and we read The elder shall serve the younger As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. The eldest son or the first born was always in line for the inheritance, physical & spiritual. In this case God would have it the opposite, because it was his sovereign choice brought about by his providence. Esau despised his birth right, giving it up voluntarily for a bowl of pottage. Jacob desired what his brother did not want, and we ask WHY? In Malachi 1:2-3 we find the quote Paul has here Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. Here we have God reminding Israel what he has done for them, And what he did to Esau And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever. Paul points out in how he changed Jacobs name to Israel, how he gave him the Law, the promises, and from him came the messiah. Esau received none of these things Israel was a blessed nation Edom was not. Israel will be an honored nation, Edom will not be.

But why did God love Jacob?

 

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The Sovereignty of God Part 3

That man needs to be delivered from his sinful condition goes with out saying. Even sinners know they are sinful and see the manifestation of the depravity of others if no where else but on the news. So how does man get saved from the wrath to come, especially if those who need salvation don’t even know they do? John the Baptist said to the religious leaders who came to him in the wilderness to see him But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Mat 3:7 . They didn’t even know it was coming, and their coming to John wasn’t because they were fleeing from it. So it is with everyone else, people have no idea.

As in the days of Noah; they didn’t understand, A flood!! What is that? So we see bumper stickers on cars which read JESUS IS THE ANSWER! But many say, what is the question? Jesus gave that question to the Pharisees, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” Mat 23:33b Salvation is through the preaching of the gospel, for Paul says For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe I Cor 1:21. But what is mans response? For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. I Cor 1:18 Look at what Paul says in Romans Chap 10 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? Vs 13-16

While it is true the context is dealing with the Jews, but today it can be said for anyone, because Paul also says concerning the world But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. Vs 18 Now Peter tells us

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The Sovereignty of God Part 2

If you were to ask the average person whether he thought he was a good person he would say yes. If you ask about his friends, he would probably answer in the affirmative. If you were to ask about people in general he would probably say that most people are good people. But what does the Bible say. A rich young ruler said to Jesus, “Good master” Jesus answered back And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God Mat 19:17 very interesting! The Bible says They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one Psalm 14:3 Paul quotes this verse in Romans 3:12 talking about the condition of man in the third chapter. In Genesis chap 6 we read And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually 6:5 Because the people on the earth were so wicked God judged the whole world and everyone on it with a flood. How did man get this way? Wasn’t man created in a beautiful garden and every thing was good as far as God was concerned, so what happened? Unless we read the third chapter of Genesis, we have no idea. We all know Adam and Eve disobeyed God, ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and God said But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gen 2:17 But Satan challenged Gods word and said ye shall not surely die: Adam & Eve didn’t know what death was so when they died they didn’t understand what happened nor what it meant, we understand what it meant. We all die physically, which they did hundreds of years later, they died spiritually immediately. Adam did not die in that moment naturally, he died legally; that is to say death was recorded against him. that ye are legally dead; that God considers you as such, that in the day when your father Adam touched the fruit, and when you yourselves did sin, God, the Eternal Judge, put on the black cap and condemned you Scripture saith, ye are “condemned already.” God created man in his own image. God is a tri-unity, so is man. Man is body, soul, & spirit, 3 parts just as God. God could have fellowship with man through the spirit, since God is a Spirit. But when they ate of the fruit their spirit died, meaning they could no longer have fellowship with God because they were “dead” to the things of God because they had sinned, so they were dead in sin. To the Colossians Paul said And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; dead how? Spiritually dead. Notice they had to be “quickened” or made alive. Since we all came from Adam and he sinned, we inherited his nature which was bond to sin. What do I mean?

 

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The Sovereignty of God Part 1

We are going to begin a basic study in the Sovereignty of God, with the emphasis on Election. When the subject of election comes up, people want to run and hide. They treat it like a bad word. The reason for that is they don’t understand it. It is not a subject to be shunned but embraced and in this study you will see why. Mans sinful nature will not allow God to be God and to be sovereign over all things, and will not accept that he is sovereign over man. We will let the scriptures themselves tell us so.

God is sovereign over nature, the Bible says Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Pslm 148:8 Man attributes natural disasters to “Mother Nature” not Father God. It makes it more palatable that way. Jesus said in the last days: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places .Mat 24:7b All these [are] the beginning of sorrows. I believe we, in the USA, have seen a judgment of God in the form of hurricane Katrina. Such devastation for a city, which was a prominent place for witchcraft and the occult in America. Are all natural disasters judgments from God? Let us say the sin of man who is in rebellion against God contributes to the cause. Look at the flood, the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah brought about because of mans sin. God created the universe and he is the one who controls it and everything in it. Listen to what he told Job

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Religion or relationship; Shadow or substance Pt 2

Job 22:2-3 Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect?

When talking about the subject of religion or relationship, here is a fundamental question to be asked of all who are of the religious community, and we find it in the book of Job. Simply put; can self righteousness through works we do, make us profitable to God? Can I persuade God I am worthy of heaven after having done what I think are works of righteousness to please him? Can my righteous acts make God any better with a subject such as me? Do I make him look good, adding to his worth or notoriety? Does it give him pleasure to see how good I am? What does the scripture say? Jesus said Mar 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

Isa 64:6 says But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. So Paul writes; Titus 3:5 says Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Yet is this not what religion is all about the doing of works in an effort to be acceptable to God?

 

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