Monday, May 9, 2016

Genesis 17:9-14 Circumcision. The Symbol Of The Covenant

And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.

Brit milah [circumcision] is sometimes referred to as the covenant of Abraham, who circumcised himself in order to become a Jew. The timing of Abraham’s act had a special two-fold significance.

1. Abraham was 48 years old when he came to know his creator. Yet he was not commanded to circumcise himself at that time and waited until he was much older–99 years of age. Why?  That answer can be found in the Mishnah. "In order not to close the door upon proselytes, however advanced in years." It doesn't matter, how old your are or what you have done, in your life, as long as you come to God.

2. The Talmud says that it is a symbol of your stepping out in faith. Actually, there is no explicit commandment in the Torah requiring circumcision for proselytes. However, in the B'rit Hadashah, the New Testament, Baptism is the new circumcision, a symbol of your leaving the old person behind, and stepping into a new life, through the Messiah, Y'shua.

As for the eighth day circumcision, it turns out, a newborn babies vitamin K and Prothrombin production, which is vital to making blood clot, thereby preventing a baby from bleeding out, occurs or maximizes, on the eighth day. An amazing tidbit of information, that shows God as the designer of us all.

If a man doesn't go through circumcision or immersion, baptism, according to the law, then where is the faith? If you aren't willing to step out and perform a simple act of obedience unto God, then what will your life, with the Messiah, be like? Circumsion or Baptism is your first step in your Walk With God.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Genesis 17:6-8 God's side of the Bilateral Agreement

I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.

The reference to "... fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. " points to the fact that God will cause Sarah and Abraham to have child, through which this covenant will play out. Also, it includes the future Messianic Jews (Christians), a fact disputed by many Jews today. However, anyone can plainly see that the Jews, alone, have not fulfilled this prophecy of nations and kings.

This covenant will be an agreement that will last forever, not until a certain time, as some "Biblical Scholars" indicate. It will include the whole of Canaan, as seen in the picture below.

However, as we will see, that the details differ a little. The possession of the land will not be linear and will depend on Abraham and his descendants faithfulness. 

Also, notice that the land promised in this agreement is different than the promised land in Genesis 15, as seen in the picture below, which will be fulfilled during the Millennial Reign of the Messiah. There are a lot of scholars, that totally miss this and combine the two, as the same.

I love the final promise. The land will be thiers and "I will be their God". That includes Jews and Messianic Jews (Christians).

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Genesis 17:1-5 Abram Gets a Pretty Cool Name Change as God and Abram Makes a Bilateral Agreement.

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. 

Here, just shy of Abram 100th birthday, Yahweh appears to Abram. There are some that say this is an example of a contradiction in the Bible. They refer to Exodus 33:20 and John 1:18, where it says that nobody can see the face of God. However, look at the wording. It doesn't say that Abram looked at God's face. It says that God appeared to him. Since Abram didn't die, we can assume that God appeared to him, the same way that he appeared to Moses, in a way that represented God.

Also, this is the first time that God uses the name, El Shaddai, God Almighty. If you remember, there is a law of first mention, within the Jewish community. It states that the first time something shows up, it's very important to take notice. This time, I do believe that it's due to a dual reference. Abram is about to get a name change and also, his descendants do not only include the Jews, but also the Christians, encompassing all true believers.

And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. 

Right off the bat, Abram recognizes something significant is about to occur. He falls to his face out of respect and reverence.

If you remember correctly, back in chapter 15, Abram saw God in a vision and God made a unilateral agreement with him. That agreement was based on the Faithfulness of God and it was never ending. This agreement is a Bilateral agreement and is based on the faithfulness of generations to come. In these verses, God begins to tell Abram the first part of the deal.

God promises to make Abram a father of many nations, not just Israel. As part of this agreement, Abram gets a name change. God adds the Hebrew letter, HEY, to his name, making it, Abraham. The name, Abraham means, The Father of Many Nations. The letter, HEY, is significant, in that it means It means that the Breath of God and God's Spirit will dwell in him and his faithful descendants.

Also, this is proclaiming that the Word of God, The Mashiach Nagai, The Messiah, The Seed of The Woman, that will crush Satan's head, will come forth, through the descendants of Abraham.

We'll go over the rest of the agreement, next time. In most agreements, it's all about the details.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Genesis 16:7-16 God Sets End Time Scenario Back On Track

Now the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. And He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” The Angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.” Then the Angel of the Lord said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.” 

There are many good scholars, that every time they see the phrase, "The Angel of the Lord.", that automatically say, it is an Old Testament appearing of Y'shua, Jesus. However, if you are well adjusted student of the Word of God, one that gets back to the original Hebrew, you will find that the words, "Now the..." are not even in the original scriptures. This is an incidence where the translators try to make the text clearer to the reader, without knowingly, or maybe knowingly, change the scriptures to match their agenda, whatever that may be. However, you and I will continue to get back to original scriptures and let the Spirit of God teach us.

With that said, here, a messenger from God, finds Hagar, by the spring, on the way to Shur. Shur means "wall". To give you perspective, Shur is a place southwest of Palestine on the eastern border or within the border of Egypt; the Israelites passed through the wilderness of Shur after crossing the Red Sea. See the map below:

Abram and Sarai is presently living somewhere near Beer-Sheba, near the southern shores of the Dead Sea. The pregnant Hagar had traveled a long way. She was definitely on her way back to her birth home, Egypt.

The angel, that stops her, asks the question, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?” First of all, he says her name, her rightful position, then asks two questions, to which, he already knows the answer. Most non-believers jump on this and similar verses and say, "See....This is another inconsistency, within the Bible." or "See....This shows that God is not omniscient and doesn't really know everything, as the Bible tells us." However, it really shows their ignorance concerning local cultural idioms. Let me give an example.

When you were young and your mother, seeing that you were doing wrong, says, "What do you think you are doing?" or "What are your doing, young man?" Does it show that your mother was an idiot and didn't really know what was going on? Absolutely not. No one, in their right mind, would say that. The only ones, that would say that, are those who are not looking for the truth and have a personal agenda. Anyway, the angel is doing the same thing that your mother was doing....Getting your attention and setting your mind's eye on the truth of what you are doing. This always followed by a correction, as we see here. The angel is telling Hagar to turn around and go back to Sarai and do as she says.

You see, there were two wrongs here. Hagar shouldn't have taunted Sarai and Sarai shouldn't have treated Hagar, the way that she did. In the end, Ishmael have to be born and raised, within the house of Abraham, for God's plan to play out.

And the Angel of the Lord said to her:
“Behold, you are with child,
And you shall bear a son.
You shall call his name Ishmael,
Because the Lord has heard your affliction.
He shall be a wild man;
His hand shall be against every man,
And every man’s hand against him.
And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”

As  this prophecy turns out, Ishmael will be the father of the Philistines and others up to the modern Islamic State. However, we will talk about that, when we discussed Ishmael's descendants, in a future post.

Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?” Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; observe, it is between Kadesh and Bered. So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

This backs up the implied idiom, we just discussed. Hagar recognized it, testifying that God sees all. She even name a nearby well, Beer Lahai Roi, which means, well of the living One that sees me. Obediently, she does what she is told. She bares Ishmael and goes back to Sarai and Abram and sets God's plan, back on track.

Now, a parallel lineage has been set into motion to mimic the true Messianic line. It will so closely resemble the Messianic line, that it will lead many astray. However, those, who are True Believers, ones the walk with God, on a daily basis, will be able to differentiate between the two lines. Which one are you?

It doesn't matter how many times I read the scriptures, it still amazes me how God, even though he allows man to live their lives, according to their own will, still is in control of the outcome. He is a masterful strategists, who has foreseen every outcome and has set into motion his plan for the salvation of man, even man has his own sovereignty. Again, it is amazing.

Foreseeing Israel's and the worlds disobedience throughout history, God is setting up an end time scenario to corral mankind into seeing God's handiwork and move them back to God. Here, he is setting up a seed of Abram to both punish and preserve his remnant in the future mankind.

Image result for he shall bite your heel

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Genesis 16:4-6 Sarai Reaps What She Sowed.

So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes. Then Sarai said to Abram, “My wrong be upon you! I gave my maid into your embrace; and when she saw that she had conceived, I became despised in her eyes. The LORD judge between you and me.” So Abram said to Sarai, “Indeed your maid is in your hand; do to her as you please.” And when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her presence.

After Hagar became pregnant, with what would turn out to be Ishmael, it appears that the relationship, between Hagar and Sarai, turned sour. What most likely happened is that Hagar began taunting Sarai, because now, she would be the mother of the heir of Abram's house. In the Middle East, that equates to Sarai being a second class citizen. I'm sure that Hagar began looking at Sarai with contempt. This was not right, but unfortunately deserved, because of Sarai and Abram's sin of unfaithfulness. However, Sarai did the right thing and put it into God's hands.

As a sidebar, this does gives us an insight into the trouble our sin can get us into. If Sarai and Abram had faith in God's promise to give them an heir, then this incident wouldn't have happened. That can translate into our lives. If we are having problems, in our life, the first place we need to look for the reason is our past transgressions against God. So many times, our problems and our past sins are the cause for our present troubles. If so, stop, confess your sins to God, repent and go on. It will settle out.

In the end, it is obvious that, Abram and Sarai saw the error of their ways. However, they responded incorrectly. Sarai began treating Hagar harshly and Abram looked the other way. The result was that Hagar began to live separately from Abram and Sarai. This incident will result in future problems, which we will investigate, in a future study.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Genesis 16:1-3 Abram!!!!!! What In The World Do You Think You Are Doing????

Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

As I read this, I can't help myself from screaming at Abram. In the past two chapters, we saw Abram faithfully pursue the five kings and smite them, with a handful of men. Afterwards, he was rewarded by meeting the Word of God, in the flesh, Melchizedek and then entered into a unitlateral agreement with God, to give the land to his descendents. Now, Abram has a lack of faith moment. He listens to Sarai, instead of relying on God. It's like taking two steps forward, then one step back.

God promised Abram descendents and here, ten years later, he doesn't have any. The sad thing here is that Sarai blames God for the lack of children. Therefore, like many of us today, Abram and Sarai decided to circumvent God's Will and do it their way, and force the heir issue. Did he lack the faith, or did he think this was God's Will, since Sarai presented it to him?

The amazing thing is that regardless of our shortcomings, God's Will continues unabated. Praise God!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Genesis 15:1-21 God's Unilateral Agreement With Abram And His Descendents

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

After Abram defeated the kings in chapter 14, he was in an excited state of consciousness. That's what the Hebrew word, machazeh, translated as vision, actually means. The word means to be so centered on something that everything else fades away, a kind of tunnel vision.

I can actually see Abram praising God, for the battle he just won, and the godly example, he just portrayed to the other kings. He was literally in seventh heaven. This is where God can touch man and man can listen to the voice of God. If you praise God with all your mind heart and soul and spirit, and pray with only him in mind, you, too, can hear the voice of God.

God reaffirms that he will be Abrams protector and greatest reward in life. That is, eternal life with God.

Also, here we have the Word of God, who later manifested in the flesh, as Y'shua, Jesus. Please let me explain what it means, to be manifested in the flesh. Every time God speaks, it is a promise, that you can take to the bank. It's like cash in the hand. When you read in the Gospel of John, that the Word of God manifested in the flesh, it means that God's promise became reality. In the case of Y'shua, Jesus, he was the promised Messiah that came to be, by the word of God.

In the same way that Y'shua, Jesus, was the promised Messiah, here we also have a promise that will be manifested in the future. One day, the descendants of Abraham will occupy the land that God is about to promise Abram. Therefore, it will be said that the Word of God manifested in the nation of Israel.

But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

I just want to interject at this point that The name, Eliezer, means comforter. We'll use that later, in a few chapters, so keep it in mind.

During this time, if the master of the house did not have any children, all his possessions, including his spouse, went to his eldest servant, which was Eliezer of Damascus.

I do believe, that at this moment in time, Abram or Sarai was sterile, they were not able to have any children. However, because Abram exhibit great faith and works and truly believed God, he will be rewarded with a miracle, a son, an heir.

These type of rewards are available to us today, if we only commit ourselves wholly unto God.

Then He said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.” And he said, “Lord God, how shall I know that I will inherit it?”

Some people point to this statement as and example of a Braums lack of faith. Wanting proof from God. However, I believe this is a misinterpretation. If you look at the actual Hebrew, It says,

"Amar Adonai, Yahweh, mar yada yarash.

Word for word, it says,

"Vowing, Lord Yahweh, 'Here's how you may be assured of this possession."

God is reassuring Abram of this gift of his faithfulness, by way of a covenant.

So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

God is using a form of making a covenant was very usual in Abram's contemporary culture, and thus Abram received the assurance of his inheritance by means of a ceremonial with which he was very familiar. In this type of covenant, two parties are said to cut or strike a covenant. This most solemn method of covenant, involving the severing of the bodies, was to represent the two parties; and as explained in Jeremiah 34:18-20, it sets forth the penalty of a broken covenant. It implied that the covenant-breaker would receive a destruction as complete as that which had befallen the slaughtered animals.

It was normal, that the two parties would then walk between the slaughtered animals, signifying a bilateral agreement between the two parties. However, God has a surprise for Abram.

Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

First, when Abram fell into a deep sleep, God gave him a prophesy, that Abrams descendants would go to a strange land, and be kept as slaves for 400 years. For this atrocity, God will punish this nation. As a result, Abram's descendants would come out with a great abundance of wealth. However, Abram would not see this happen. He will live to a good old age. The fourth generation, spoken of here, signifies that the average lifespan of these descendants would be 100 years.

It is interesting that God mentions the iniquity of the Amorites has not been completely dealt with. As a reminder, the Amorites are descendant from Ham, son of Noah. Ham performed a great sin against his father. This is a reminder to the descendants of Abram that they will have to deal with the Amorites. And sure enough, we will see that it will be the Canaanites, descendants of the Amorites, with which the descendants of Abram will have the most trouble with.

And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates— the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”

Back to the covenant....Now remember Abram is in a deep sleep and typically two parties normally pass through the cut pieces of  the covenant. However, The Spirit of God, symbolized by the smoking oven and burning torch, passes through the pieces. God is making a unilateral agreement with Abram. Because of Abram's great faith, God will fulfill the requirements of this oath, covenant, by himself, even if Abram's descendants lack the faith of Abram and fall away from God, God will fulfill his promise.

Therefore, if anyone says that Israel is no more, or God is finished with Israel or the Church is the new Israel, please show them this covenant concerning the faithfulness of God. As a matter of fact, Israel has never occupied the land, promised to them by God. Hopefully, we will see the fulfillment of this covenant as depicted in the following drawing.