“The Grand Deception” (Part 2)
God is a covenant making, covenant keeping God. He has made covenants with His people which He never breaks. Any covenant He makes with them is an everlasting defence for their benefit, not His! He always remembers His covenants (Psalm 105:8).
While the New Covenant is essential and the ultimate covenant God cut with man, the most important one is the Abrahamic Covenant God cut with Abram before the Lord changed his name to Abraham. In the ancient blood covenants when two people or families or tribes joined together their names were linked. It was also known as a covenant of strong friendship!
When God cut the covenant with Abram He changed his name from Abram to Abraham and in the pronunciation of the name in Hebrew God actually joins his name with Abram phonetically. As far as God was concerned Abraham was family. We do know from the Word of God that Abraham was called the friend of God because God considered him righteous by his faith and willingness to obey Him (James 2:23).
Imagine being called God’s friend. Well did not Messiah Jesus say that if any person wanted to be His friend and love Him first and foremost then they would keep His commands as an expression of that love and trust in Him.
He said to His disciples, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because everything I have learned from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:13-15).
Through the blood covenant God cut with His friend Abraham God would bring blessing to him, to his decedents and ultimately to the whole world. Let’s now look at the legacy provided by this blood covenant God cut with His friend Abraham.
The Abrahamic Covenant
(Genesis 12:1-4a) “The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram left, as the Lord had told him…”
Abram, before his name was changed, lived in Ur of the Chaldees and the people there were moon worshippers. However, God supernaturally revealed Himself to Abram as the God who created the moon and everything in the universe. We read that God had already said to Abram to leave his country where he lived very comfortably, and there seems to be sometime between the time when God spoke to him and when he left to go to the country God would show him.
Now notice that God said “I will” showing His absolute sovereignty. As it has been said, God does what He wants, when He wants, in the way He wants, with whomsoever He wants and in whatever way He wants and asks no man’s permission. However, He also created man with a free will. All things are foreknown to God but the choice is still given!
In His infinite divine and eternal wisdom and foreknowledge of all things God foresaw that Abram would become a man of faith and obedience even though he would make mistakes being not perfect (Genesis 18:19). God saw this as well but looked upon Abram’s heart and saw there that even though he would struggle in the end Abram would not stagger through unbelief at God’s promises but remain strong in faith, knowing that God would perform what He had promised. God declared Abram to be a righteous man because of his faith in Him (Romans 4:18-22).
Faith accompanied by actions pleases God and He rewards it (Hebrews 11:6). We know that Abraham was by no means perfect and yet he persisted in his trust in God and the promises made through that blood covenant and in the end received from God everything that had been promised to him.
It was God then who initiated His call upon the life of Abraham and the man obeyed God. Now notice what God promised to do when He said to Abram “I will.” God had decided and that was that. We must always make room for the sovereignty of God in all matters pertaining to our walk with Him. His ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts our thoughts. As Isaiah the prophet writes, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Now what was God going to do through His friend Abraham? Four times God says “I Will.”
Firstly; “I will make you into a great nation.” Secondly; “I will bless you and will make your name great. I will make you a blessing.” Thirdly; “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.” Fourthly; “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
While these blessings refer to Abraham they also include his descendants that would come through the lineage of Isaac and Jacob the Patriarchs of Israel. Those who bless the Jewish people will themselves be blessed by God, but those who curse the Jews will themselves be cursed, and there are no exceptions outside of or within Christendom itself.
This is a stark warning to those who profess to love Messiah Jesus but disregard and even denigrate the Jewish people or lay aside God’s promises to Israel. Martin Luther the reformer was a man mightily used of God and ‘the pin-up boy’ of the reformation but deteriorated over the years into a man who cursed the Jews and damned them to hell and actually expressed verbally that they should be rounded up, corralled and killed. He wrote a book called “the Jews and their lies” and many believe that it was this so called, ‘theology’ of Luther from this book, that influenced Adolph Hitler to try to exterminate the Jews as a race. Of course this played right onto Satan’s hands! Satan’s Grand Deception came into full swing through Adolph Hitler, a man in whom lived the spirit of antichrist!
Now there are three basic things we see in these verses in Genesis 12:1-3.
Firstly; there was an individual blessing for him personally. Secondly; there was a national blessing for his descendants. Thirdly; there was a universal blessing for the Gentile nations of the world. It was a three-fold blessing, a trio!
In Genesis 1:1 the name of God is “Elohim” in the Hebrew text denoting plurality within the oneness. Three is a special number that defines the plural nature of the One God and we see this threefold nature expressed in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit who together are exactly the same in their nature and divine attributes and never act independently from each other. Their will is one and the same, even though they have differing functions within the Godhead. God’s Word affirms this great truth. Even a human being created in God’s image and likeness has a spirit, a soul and lives in a physical body (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
When we pray we pray to the Father in the name of Messiah Jesus otherwise we would not know to pray “Our father in Heaven” as Jesus Himself taught us to pray (Matthew 6:9). Messiah Jesus continuously intercedes for us at His Father’s right hand and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us according to God’s will (Hebrews 7:25) (Romans 8:27). We should always pray to God in the name of Messiah Jesus trusting in His perfect and continuous ministry in intercession on our behalf as his friends. It is a covenant all the way down the line!!!
In the Book of Romans we can get our systematic theology related to the Biblical relationship between Jewish and Gentile believers. As it has already been stated previously Messiah Jesus has only one bride. Now let’s look at this three-fold blessing guaranteed through God’s blood covenant with His friend Abraham.
1. An Individual Blessing
“I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing.”
Now we know that God blessed Abraham with wealth and prominence and many possessions and by the standards of his day he was a very rich, wealthy and powerful man and had a personally trained army born in his own household numbering 318 men trained in warfare (Genesis 14:14). Abraham was a fair master with a sword himself and led his men to rescue Lot who had been taken prisoner.
One thing we need to always keep in mind is that wealth is not always a sign of God’s blessing even among many New Covenant believers. God’s view and perspective on true wealth is not always related to money and possessions though He always provides what we need and not always what we want. God blessed Abraham in every way and through His blessings He was able to use Abraham to bless others.
True wealth according to God’s Word is to have heart knowledge of the Word of God. The Book of Proverbs shows us how to receive all that God has promised but its emphasis is on knowing God and having His wisdom in all of the changing circumstances of life. If we have His wisdom and seek it as we should seek for hidden treasure, which takes effort and digging for it in the Word of God, then we will have whatever we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Messiah Jesus (Proverbs 2:1-9).
As it is also written; “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3).
Abraham is known as the father of faith and of all who believe and the example of His faith is the benchmark for our faith as New Covenant believers. If we exhibit the same kind of faith in God Abraham had then God will treat us as He treated His friend Abraham, because we who believe and are spiritually grafted into Israel are the seed or descendants of Abraham. Believing Gentiles are spiritually grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel and partake of the blessings of the New Covenant made with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah (Jeremiah 31:31) (Romans Chapter 4).
Some of us will be blessed financially and with health but not always. However, whatever we need in life whether in times of peace or persecution the Lord will supply more than we can even imagine of think by the power of His indestructible life dwelling on the inside of us and that in abundance so that we will have something left over to share with others (John 10:10) (Ephesians 3:20).
If we have the knowledge and wisdom of God’s Word deep down on the inside of us then even though we are not perfect we will prosper in life and be successful according to that good, acceptable and perfect will of God. Through His faith Abraham experienced a personal blessing upon his life both in the natural and spiritual realm. His name is held in great honour and with high esteem today within Christendom, within Islam and within Judaism.
2. A National Blessing
“I will make you into a great nation”
Now we are told that Abraham and Sarai his wife could not have children and that they were getting on in age. However, Sarai was also in the bond of the Abrahamic covenant and God also changed her name to Sarah which also in the Hebrew text is linked to God’s name phonetically. Before Sarah conceived with the supernatural help of God the Lord promised Abraham that he would have a son from his own loins, and that he would have descendants as numerous as the stars in the sly, and as the sand on the seashore and He believed and obeyed God and his faith was rewarded! (Genesis 22:15-18). God said I will not only give you a son but a nation! Abraham and Sarah would be the parents of a nation whose people could not be numbered.
The name Israel was given to them through the Patriarch Jacob after he had wrestled through the night with the pre-incarnate Messiah and at daybreak came into a place of victory and had his name changed from Jacob to Israel by God Himself in Messiah who had wrestled with Jacob (Genesis 32:22-30. The text itself tells us Jacob was in fact wrestling with God. With a change in his name Jacob became a changed man in his character.
Now let’s be absolutely clear that the name ‘Palestine’ was an invention by the Romans to destroy the identity of the Jewish nation. The word ‘Palestine’ comes from the world ‘Philistine’ which were Israel’s implacable enemies down through their history. In most Bible maps the Land of Israel is called Palestine which is incorrect. God calls the land Israel, the apostles and prophets called the land Israel, Messiah Jesus called the land Israel and in fact the whole Bible itself calls the land Israel.
Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for over 3,000 years since King David and his men took the city of the Jebusites and called it the City of David and that according to God’s will for the Israelites (2 Samuel 5:9). God will punish those nations and their leaders who seek to divide Jerusalem, remove it from its rightful place in God’s thinking and carve up the Land of Israel (Zechariah 12:2-3) (Joel 3:2-3). God is going to gather all of the nations against Jerusalem not only Islamic ones but also western nations and their armies will fall on the mountains of Israel. The prophets testify to this!
We also need to keep in mind that the Land of Israel called the Land of Canaan in Abraham’s time was given by God through that blood covenant to the descendants of Isaac and not to the descendants of Ishmael (Genesis 17:15-22).
Israel belongs to the Jewish people who Biblically are defined not as Israelis but as Israelites. So then the second blessing was that through Abraham there would come forth a nation which today is Israel!
3. A Universal Blessing
“…and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Israel was to be a channel of blessing to the Gentile nations. They have blessed the world with three special gifts. a) The Jews gave the world Monotheism. They gave the world the Oracles of God (the Bible). They gave the world Messiah Jesus.
a) The Jewish nation gave the world Monotheism
(Deuteronomy 6:4) “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God (Elohim), the LORD is One (Echud). And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.…”
God is “Elohim” denoting plurality and ”Echud” denoting Oneness, and as the only God He in His Tri-unity is to be loved with all of our being as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, being together the One and only Triune God. They are not “three gods” but One God in whom dwells three distinct and equally divine persons who are one in every way and who never act independently from each other, but are perfectly united in their will and sovereign purposes.
In the time of Abraham the Gentile nations had many ‘gods’ too numerous to number which were demonic in nature (Deuteronomy 32:16-17) (Psalm 106:36-37) (1 Corinthians 10:20). However, God wanted to have a people who had the revelation that He was the one and only Triune God and that no other ‘gods’ existed apart from Him (Isaiah 45:51; 46:9). In the rime of Moses there were thousands upon thousands of ‘gods’ within Egypt and the surrounding regions. God had to show Pharaoh and the Egyptians that He was the only God and that He was all powerful. The Egyptians had their ‘gods.’
God sent blood upon the ‘god’ of the Nile River. God sent darkness upon the ‘god’ of the sun. God sent locusts upon the ‘god’ of the harvest. God sent boils upon the ‘god’ of healing. God sends death upon the firstborn of Egypt including Pharaoh’s own household whom the Egyptians saw as a ‘god.’
Even though the magicians of Egypt were able to duplicate the miraculous powers of Moses and Aaron using the power of the occult, they lost out to the power of God being unleashed upon Egypt by God through His servants Moses and Aaron! It was an act the magicians of Egypt could not beat! By these manifestations of His absolute and sovereign power God was announcing to the whole pagan world there is no God but Me!
Added to this when the final ‘coup de grâce’ was given by God to the Egyptians they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that He alone was God when they saw the waters of the Red Sea closing in upon them and went into the dark depths of Sheol in abject terror at the power of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and with the stark realization that it does not pay to mess with Israel!!!
b) The Jewish nation gave the world the Bible (the Oracles of God)
(Romans 3:2) “First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God.”
How can one love the Bible but not love the Jews who wrote and produced the Bible? If we did not have the Old Testament then we would not have God’s account of creation. If we did not have the Old and the New Testaments we would not have the knowledge of sin especially revealed through Torah.
If we did not have the Book of proverbs we would not have the wisdom of God for life and godliness. Proverbs is God’s book on Psychology and Psychiatry!
If we did not have the very Oracles of God and the Messianic prophecies concerning Messiah Jesus we would not have known who He was or recognised Him when He came to Israel.
Down through the centuries thousands upon thousands have lost their lives to preserve the Bible! As it is written in the prophet Isaiah; “The grass withers and the flowers fall when the breath of the LORD blows on them; indeed, the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:7-8).
b) The Jewish nation gave the world our Messiah Jesus
(John 4:22) “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.”
Messiah Jesus said these words to a Samaritan woman who did not understand what it was to really worship God in Spirit and in truth. Jesus said that the Jews knew whom they worshipped and where He should be worshipped, but added that the kind of worshippers God really seeks is those who worship Him in Spirit and in truth and that the physical place does not really matter (John 4:21-24).
Jesus was actually condemning all religions and in this light it needs to be said that God is not worshipped Biblically in Ecumenism, Interfaith associations. He is not worshipped in every religion that does not accept the Bible as the unadulterated and final authoritative Word of the Living God, that rejects that Messiah Jesus is fully God the eternal Son, and that He is “the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no one comes to God the Father except through Him” and that “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (John 14:6) (Acts 4:12). Every religion man creates denies the deity of Messiah Jesus which is the spirit of antichrist (1 John 4:1-3).
The grand deception being perpetrated upon the Christian world with its denominational system and its Hellenising of the Oracle of God, the Bible, and removing Biblical Christianity from its Jewish roots, is what is happening today within Ecumenical and interfaith circles and in an increasing number of Protestant Evangelical and Charismatic denominations and in the Roman Catholic and Christian Orthodox Church systems.
Nowhere in the Word of God are we taught that the Church and Israel are two separate groups. In Messiah the Gentile believers are spiritually grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel.
As we read; “Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands) — remember that at that time you were separate from Messiah, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Messiah Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Messiah.” (Ephesians 2:11-13). New Covenant Believers do not support the root but the root supports them (Romans 11:17-18).
Both the natural and engrafted branches of New Covenant believers are one new man in Messiah and all together the Israel of God spiritually sustained by the true Vine being Messiah Jesus who is Himself the root of the Olive Tree Israel, and the one who provides the divine sap to produce fruit for God through the branches He sustains.
Those who come to faith in Messiah do not replace Israel or do away with Israel but enlarge Israel. The Book of Romans is the spiritually Biblically centred quintessential treatise from the Holy Spirit related to the relationship between Jews and Gentiles who have come to faith in Messiah Jesus for salvation.
Many preachers focus primarily on Romans Chapters 1-8 and chapters 10-16 but not that many really look at what Romans chapters 9-11 are really saying about the Biblical Israel. When a Jewish person comes to faith in Messiah they do not cease to be Jewish but come into the full realisation of what it really means to be Jewish according to both Testaments.
The Book of Romans Chapter 9 is Israel’s past. Romans chapter 10 is Israel’s present and Romans Chapter 11 is Israel’s future.
Paul gave us the marks of one who is of the Israel of God Biblically speaking when he wrote; “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God” (Romans 2:28-29). If anyone understood this great Biblical truth concerning the Israel of God Paul did!
So then the Jewish nation gave the world Monotheism. The Jewish nation gave the world the Oracles of God (the whole Bible) and the Jewish nation gave the world Messiah Jesus.
Tragically and sadly the Grand Deception continues concerning who are the real Israel of God Biblically. At the end of this present age Israel as a nation will be completely restored spiritually and nationally and be the head and not the tail of the surviving nations. When all kingdoms have been demolished and every high thing that exults itself against the Knowledge of God eradicated and the dust of battle has settled the Israel of God will be the last man standing under the kingship of their Commander in Chief Messiah Jesus King of the Jews!