Proclaiming a Message of Good News and Hope to our generation!

Tag: Abraham

Light of the World, Chapter Five: The Promised Family

If we can keep in mind that God has not forgotten His original intention for humanity, if we also keep in mind that He cannot fail, then it might become easier to see how His plan continued to move forward in Genesis. Immediately after Adam and Eve disobeyed God, He informed them of the consequences of their sin. Life would be much harder than before. At the same time He also gave them a promise of the future victory.

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The Promise of the Kingdom Continued

First the Kingdom, Part 7: The Promise of the Kingdom Continued

The New Testament of the Bible begins with a gigantic emphasis on the Kingdom of God. 2,000 years later we are beginning to hear more about the Kingdom of God again, and that excites me. What also really excites me is learning that the ages of time leading up to the First Century were actually the preparation for what was to begin unfolding for the Early Church and is continuing to unfold today!

We are part of God’s great plan of the ages! I have suggested that an important part of that plan is for us to understand the promises God made to many Biblical characters from Adam and Eve, to Noah, to Abraham, Moses and many others.

The New Testament writer and apostle, Paul, made Jesus and His message of the Kingdom the center of his life. He had this to say concerning the Old Testament prophecies:

Acts 26:22-23:
Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:

That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
KJV

In another places Paul explained even further how God’s promise to Abraham was relevant to the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

For instance, Galatians 3:8-9:
The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.
NASB

When we isolate the message of the New Testament from the Old we can miss the bigger picture. We can easily get wrapped up in our tiny part in God’s economy. Then we might miss the value that it represents when placed along side the other parts. It is like playing with the pieces of a picture puzzle and never attempting to fit them together. And if we do not understand the overall plan that began in the beginning, we are like people working a puzzle without the illustration on the puzzle box!

The children of Abraham did multiply greatly. By the fourth generation they settled in Egypt during a famine. Eventually there were millions of them but now they lived as slaves to Pharaoh. So God raised up Moses to be their leader and through demonstrations of supernatural power they were led out of Egypt and began their journey to the land promised to Abraham.

Moses delivered the people from bondage in Egypt, but he looked forward to a deliverer who would save them from themselves. He foresaw the next individual who would also demonstrate supernatural power and words of incomparable truth. Where Moses saved the people from slavery to men, Jesus would save them from their sins. (Deuteronomy 18:15, John 6:14, Acts 3:19-26, 7:37, Matthew 1:21).

Israel finally occupied the promised land and David eventually took the throne. Being also a spiritual man, he was given understanding of the Kingdom that would come. David wanted to build a house for God, a resting place for the Ark of the Covenant. The prophet Nathan agreed, but God visited Nathan with His Word on the matter. David would not build a house for God, but a house would be built.

1 Chronicles 17:11-15:
‘And it shall come about when your days are fulfilled that you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up one of your descendants after you, who shall be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever.  I will be his father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. But I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.”‘ ”  According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.
NASB

David’s son Solomon built the beautiful temple in Jerusalem, but his throne did not last forever. Hidden in this prophesy concerning Solomon is another glimpse of Christ and His Eternal Kingdom!

One of the most intriguing stories is that of the prophet Daniel and his interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Daniel explained that God was revealing how four great kingdoms were described in the dream, symbolized in a great statue made of gold, silver, brass, and iron mixed with clay. we know them as Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece under Alexander, and Rome. In the dream a rock was cut out of a mountain without hands, which struck the stature and destroyed it, to become a great mountain that filled the earth. (Daniel 2:31-45). Then Daniel declared that the mountain was the Kingdom of God!

Dan 2:44-45:
“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. “Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”
NASB

This prophecy and others in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, and Malachi would be remembered by the people living under the Roman occupation of Israel and Judah. They believed that the promised Messiah-King would free them as Moses did from Pharaoh centuries before. However, many could not see the deeper deliverance that would come. His name would be called the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace. The nations will willingly come to learn about the Lord, beating their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, to no longer war with one another. Many of them failed to see that righteousness, peace and joy can only come from the Holy Spirit living within us! (Isaiah 9:6, Micah 4:1-4, Romans 14:17)

God through Jeremiah foretold of a change of heart that would change everything. The people who worshiped God would no longer measure their success according to their performance, but they would begin to relate to God in a way that only a few had understood until then. He said He would write his laws upon their hearts and minds, and that they would know Him for themselves. Ezekiel spoke a similar word from the Lord where He would give them a new heart and His Holy Spirit would live in them so they could do His will from a pure desire. (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 11:19-20, 36:25-27)

Is it possible that these prophecies are relevant today? Do some of God’s people need to return to that fresh innocence when they first received a new heart towards Him?

Please consider these things and stay with us as we move from the Old Testament times of promise to the New Testament times of fulfillment! Is is easy to “like” and “follow” our Living Truth Facebook page or subscribe to our blog on https://livingtruth.com

The Promise Of The Kingdom

First the Kingdom Part 6, The Promise of the Kingdom

One of the great blessings of my life was to be born into a family of believers, and into a church family that values the Scriptures in both the Old and New Testament. They understood how the New Testament was concealed in the Old, and how the Old Testament was revealed in the New. To put it in another way, Christ was concealed in the Old and revealed in the New!

Even if one decides to start their reading of the Bible at the beginning of the New Testament, this will become evident. In the Gospel according the Matthew there are so many references to events in the narrative that fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament. I submit that the New Testament cannot be fully understood and appreciated — that Christ Himself cannot be fully understood and appreciated without the foundation that was laid in the these ancient scriptures, which Jesus referred to as the Word of God, and that Jews today recognize as their Bible.

When John the Baptist and Jesus came preaching, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand,” the people of their day already had a sense of anticipation and enthusiasm built in them for the Kingdom. The prophets of ancient times had planted the seeds for that anticipation. Looking back we have the advantage of understanding their perspective better, but more importantly we have God’s perspective of the message that John and Jesus brought!

We have looked at the “Original Blessing” that the Creator spoke over the Creation and the humans He created. Then we saw how David, the King of Israel wondered how humanity could be worthy of this high calling to rule the creation and be reflections of God’s divinity. This is the context within which the entire Bible was written. In the Old Testament there is the promise and the mystery concerning how it will be fulfilled, and the New Testament is where the fulfillment begins to come into view.

First let us look at some of the outstanding promises found back there.

From the fall of Adam and Eve, things became progressively worse. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, and was warned of the great flood that was to come upon the whole earth. (Genesis 6:8, 13).

After the Lord saved Noah and his family along with all the animals in the ark, He renewed the Original Blessing to be fruitful and to multiply.

Genesis 8:20-21:

Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. The LORD  smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.”
NASU

Genesis 9:1-2:

And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ” Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.  “The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given.”
NASU

So while sin had entered in and death because of sin, God was still intent upon blessing us! As we continue, the plan to fulfill that blessing is revealed a little more each time. Until then He reassures us that a cataclysmic judgment to destroy every living thing will never happen again!

In Genesis chapter 12 we see the call of God to Abram, who would later be called Abraham.

Now the LORD said to Abram,

“Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. “  (Genesis 12:1-3)
NASB

Abram believed God and followed Him. Little did he know how these promises would come to pass. This was an early indication that the full original blessing might still be available. Abram would both be blessed and a blessing! He was to be fruitful and multiply in the way God had originally planned. Of course we know that things were not perfect for him and his descendants. This is still the time of promise.

Isaac would be born to Abraham and Sarah in their old age, and Abraham’s faith would be tested through him. Abraham proved willing to obey God by offering his promised son, and would make a powerful prophecy himself. He declared that the LORD would provide Himself a sacrifice instead of Isaac, and 2,000 years later God would provide His only Son Jesus to sacrifice for our sins to restore the Original Blessing to humanity!

Abraham’s descendants were to be as innumerable as the sands of the seashore and the stars of heaven! This foreshadowed the 2 groups that would inherit his faith. Those descendants that were born from the natural process and followed in his footsteps, and those who would come later through Christ and their trust in Him! (Galatians 3:16, 26-29; Ephesians 2:11-22)

This great nation of both Jews and gentiles is God’s instrument for blessing all the families of the earth. It is a nation that incorporates every member in the world-wide Body of Jesus Christ! Do you see yourself as a recipient of a blessing, but also as a blessing to the nations of the world? If not, maybe you need to dig into the Old Testament a bit more!

We hope you will stay tuned until the next installment, as we continue to explore the wonderful promises presented from Genesis through Malachi! It is easy if you simply “like” Living Truth on Facebook, or subscribe to our blog at livingtruth.com

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