Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. Tonight, is study #3 of Genesis, chapter 12 and we are continuing to look at Genesis 12:1-5:
Now JEHOVAH 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 shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as JEHOVAH had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
I will stop reading there. In our last study we were discussing the “nation” that God made reference to in Genesis 12:2: “And I will make of thee a great nation.” We saw from looking at a few other verses that it is the spiritual nation that is made up of everyone God has saved, His elect people. We saw this, especially, in Revelation 21:24:
And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
In the Bible, God has in view two nations, really. There is the nation of the people of the world that are unsaved (the kingdom of Satan) and the nation of the Lord Jesus Christ that consists of all that were truly saved through the atoning work of Christ.
That is why Jacob and Esau are such wonderful pictures of all human beings. God said, “Jacob have I loved,” and of Esau God said, “And Esau I have hated.” This was because God saved Jacob and did not save Esau. When Jacob and Esau were in their mother’s womb and before either had done good or evil, God had already made choice. We also read that their mother Rebekah was concerned because they struggled or fought in her womb. God said to her, in Genesis 25:21-23:
And Isaac intreated JEHOVAH for his wife, because she was barren: and JEHOVAH was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of JEHOVAH. And JEHOVAH said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
Two nations were in her womb and, again, theologians look at this and they say, “Yes, Esau become Edom and Jacob became Israel---two political nations.” Once again, they completely miss the truth. The spiritual teaching is that there is the nation of them that are saved and the nation of them that are not saved. There are only two nations in the world. Yes, they are among many political nations, but in the spiritual realm there are only two nations, saved and unsaved. We saw that God made this statement in Psalm 33:12:
Blessed is the nation whose God is JEHOVAH; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
There is the nation that is blessed and it ties it to the people He has chosen. What was the point that God made of Jacob in the Book of Romans? Let me turn there, to make sure I say it correctly. It says in Romans 9:10-13:
And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
So, this is all tied to the purpose of God according to election. What is “election”? The word “elect” means to be “chosen.” It is by God’s choosing. In Psalm 33:12 when it says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is JEHOVAH; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance,” we could say that “nation” is the nation Jacob is a figurehead of, as we compare it to Romans, 9, verse 13. It is the nation of the elect that are the nation of them that are saved. They are the nation God obligated Himself to save and they are the sole reason for the sending forth of the Gospel into the world. Jesus said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” When Jesus said this, He was not speaking of the physical or political nation of Israel in any way. He had in mind the spiritual nation of Israel and the Book of Galatians refers to spiritual Israel that is made up of Jew and Gentile. The Bible tells us directly in Romans 2:28-29:
For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Here, God defines a “Jew” or spiritual Israel as someone that is circumcised in heart. It has nothing to do with outward circumcision and that means it has nothing to do with being of the blood line of Abraham or being of the physical descent of Israel. It has nothing to do with that. In God’s eyes, this does not make one a “Jew.” In fact, you could be physically circumcised and not be spiritually circumcised and, therefore, by the Bible’s definition you are not a “Jew.” You may be a Jew by physical descent, but you are not a “Jew” of spiritual Israel. A true “Jew” in God’s sight is someone that has that circumcision of the heart. A person that is a “Jew” inwardly (and not just outwardly) is a Jew, according to God. That is why we read this in Romans 11:24:
For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?
We broke into this passage midway, but God was speaking of ending His relationship with Israel and He refers to them as the olive tree. Then He speaks of grafting in new branches, which identifies with the New Testament churches and congregations. It goes on to say in Romans 11:25:
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery…
By the way, a “mystery” has to do with hidden truth. The whole Bible is a mystery. It is a parable because God hides truth and, here, God is saying that He has been hiding a particular truth that He no longer wants them to be ignorant of, so He is going to reveal it. Again, it says in Romans 11:25:
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Before we move on to verse 26, we should be aware that the word “Gentiles” is the identical Greek word that was translated as “nations.” It is the word “nation” in Revelation 21: “the nation of them which are saved.” To say, “The Gentiles of them which are saved,” did not make sense to them, so they translated it as “nations,” but this word can be translated as “Gentiles,” “nations” or “heathens” in many places in the New Testament. It is really equivalent to the Old Testament word that is also translated as “nations” or “Gentiles.”
Again, it said in Romans 11, verse 25, “that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in,” and then it goes on to say in Romans 11:26:
And so all Israel shall be saved…
I am sorry to keep repeating this, but it is a fact that, once again, the natural-minded theologians see that it says, “the fullness of the Gentiles be come in,” and they really do not have a good explanation for that, except that they speak of the church age, followed by another “age” for Israel whereby “all Israel shall be saved,” and they come up with a doctrine that God has a plan to save all the Jews over in Israel. They apply it to our time, disregarding the fact that the Jews in Israel have no interest in the whole Bible or in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Saviour and Messiah. They denounce and refuse Him and they want nothing to do with him and, yet, because theologians have developed these ideas many churches and congregations have a keen interest in the nation of Israel and it is one reason there is so much support for Israel, politically. Of course, we are not going to get into politics. It really is of no concern to us, but it is a truth that one reason there is so much interest and support of Israel as a nation is due to an erroneous doctrine that teaches that Israel is key or central because God has a plan to save all Israel. And, yet, they are simply misreading what is being said. Verses 26 follows verses 25, so, again, let me read Romans 11:25:
… that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
God’s program of evangelization would go into all the nations. That was the Great Commission: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Now that we have this understanding that there is the “nation of them that are saved,” we realize that the Great Commission was actually a command by God to find His elect, the lost sheep of the house of Israel. That is who Christ was sent to and that is who the people of Christ are sent to – it is the elect or spiritual Israel. The task was to teach and baptize the elect and once we realize that, we know that the Great Commission was carried out perfectly, without missing even one (person) from the nation of the elect. It was perfectly fulfilled.
It is only when we misunderstand and think that the command was to go into all the political nations or the physical nations of unsaved people that it is seen to be a “complete failure,” because it was just a miniscule number that came out of all political nations that were baptized. But, it was a wonderful and glorious fulfillment of that commission to find God’s elect, so it was “until the fullness of the nations be come in.” When the last one of the elect written in the Lamb’s Book of Life at the foundation of the world became saved, then the fullness of the nations came in (and this happened prior to May 21, 2011). So that was when it could be said, “And so all Israel shall be saved.” We can understand this reference to “And so,” to mean “And in this manner, all Israel shall be saved.” And, again, it is not referring to political, national Israel or Jews that are circumcised in their physical bodies, but it is all spiritual Israel or Jews that are inwardly circumcised, where circumcision was of the heart. All spiritual Israel include a great many Gentiles from the rest of the world, but also included people like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob whom God had saved; they were physical Jews that became spiritual Jews, as well. They were all saved “in that manner” as God saved Jew and Gentile and brought them together as “spiritual Israel.” By the way, this is exactly what it says in Galatians 3:26-29:
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
So, if you are counted for the seed of Abraham, you are a “Jew.” The promise was to Abraham and his seed and those that are also included among that number and counted for the seed are Greek. God does not look at the nationality of a person. He does not care and He does not look at race or creed or any of those things that the world and theologians are so focused upon because they fall into the trap of understanding the Bible superficially, in a literal, natural-minded way, rather than taking the time to properly study. How can people come up with doctrines concerning Israel when there are statements, like Romans, chapter 2, that say they are not all Jews who are Jews outwardly and then it gives the definition of a spiritual Jew: “he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit”? How can theologians develop their theology and write their commentaries while ignoring or dismissing a Scripture like this and not taking it into account?
It is because they do not follow a Biblical principal: when we come to conclusions, they must harmonize with everything else found in the Bible. To harmonize means it must “fit.” You know, every wrong doctrine is sort of like a puzzle piece that is being “forced” into a spot in the puzzle board where it does not fit. You have a puzzle with 500 pieces and you start putting it together; you get down to the last few pieces and you try to fit a piece in that just does not fit. That is what happens with wrong doctrine. It might have some of the shape of the correct piece, but there is a corner off to the right that just will not fit. What the churches have done and what their theologians have done is to “force” that doctrine in and say, “Well, there we go.” A person can do that, of course, but if you do, that piece that does not fit causes trouble somewhere else in the puzzle because the first piece should have been placed in another spot. That is what always results and there will be a “chain reaction” and consequences.
For instance, some insist upon the doctrine that Christ paid for sin in 33AD. It is like a wrong puzzle piece that is forced into a spot. And, because they are forcing it, there are consequences elsewhere. For example, the Bible insists that there must first be the shedding of blood before there can be the remission of sins. And now they must cover for that and try to explain it, so they run and try to come up with some other “theological jargon” to try to explain the piece that is out of place because they put the wrong piece in another spot. Then they get in trouble somewhere else. Invariably, that is what happens when you have a wrong understanding or a wrong conclusion: it will result in additional wrong conclusions.
On the other hand, when you have a correct understanding, it is different. By God’s grace, we have a correct understanding now that Christ died from the foundation of the world. Then when we come to a verse like Hebrews 9:22 where it says, “…and without shedding of blood is no remission,” our response can be, “Oh, here we know there was shed blood at the foundation of the world and, therefore, Abel’s sins, Noah’s sins, Abram’s sins and Jacob’s sins could be remitted because there was blood available.” Do you see how smoothly and easily it fits? We do not have to argue against verses like Revelation 13, verse 8, where God refers to the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” We do not have to argue against it like people that say, “What God meant was that Christ was the Lamb slain in theory or in principal.” They have to insert words because their understanding does not work, so they have to modify it. They are trying to bend the corner of the “puzzle piece” so it can squeeze into their tight spot and they can try to give the appearance that it fits. However, it just gets them into more difficulty.
Now that we have the correct “puzzle piece” in place regarding the doctrine of the atoning work at the foundation of the world and then a demonstration in time at the cross in 33AD, which provides us with additional understanding when we read 2Corinthians 5, verse 10: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” That word “appear” is the same word used to describe Christ’s appearance in His tableau. And now we have a basis to understand additional doctrine and there is growth. Again, we can relate that to a puzzle. When you get a piece in the proper place, what happens? When you look at the remaining pieces, there is more opportunity for those pieces. You look at the puzzle anew and you see that once you fit a piece properly there, now one fits properly over here. “I see that because that prior piece was set in the right place.”
This is the mistake the churches make and, of course, their puzzle board is such a mess, it is hopeless. God has ended His relationship with them. Unfortunately, some (people) are reverting back to that “mess” and the disorganized puzzle board that the corporate church and their theologians have developed over the course of the church age and which brought upon them the judgment of God because they trusted their manmade doctrines more than the Bible. Some individuals that were outside the churches are now trusting in these erroneous things instead of the information that God opened to our understanding beginning at the time of the Great Tribulation. And there are predictable results: they are getting into trouble and they have no explanation for even simple doctrines that you would think they would know if they had a right understanding. But, of course, they do not have understanding, so they cannot provide explanation.