Covenant – Seed of Abraham – Part 4

What does the Scripture say to us?

Seed of Abraham – Part 4

Genesis 17:7 – And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

In our Text for Today, we read that God established His covenant between Himself and Abraham, and He included the “seed” of Abraham in every aspect of that covenant.  Furthermore, He said it is “an everlasting covenant.”  Knowing that God’s covenant is “everlasting,” and that it is fully extended to “Abraham’s seed,” the believer has only one true alternative in life.  It is the Word of God.  If God said it, that settles it.  There is no other way.  If the child of God is to walk in victory in this life, if the child of God is to live in health in this life, if the child of God is to live fully and abundantly provisioned (rich) in this life, there is but one choice.  It is the Word of God.

As the seed of Abraham, you have full access to every element of covenant God established with Abraham.  That can be seen, perhaps as clearly as possible, in 3 John 2.  This verse, in the New Testament, is a clear confirmation to what God made available to Abraham from the moment He established His covenant with him.  in Genesis 17:1-10, we see God’s commitments in that covenant.  God made promises in this covenant to Sarah, too, but let us look only at what He committed to Abraham and his seed forever.

  • A change in name – Abram became Abraham; you and I were formerly known as sinners, now we are known as the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ
  • To make Abraham exceeding fruitful – we have an added element of that that Old Testament saints could not produce, that being the fruit of the reborn, recreated human spirit
  • To make nations of Abraham – as the seed of Abraham, we still hold that promise
  • To bring kings out of Abraham – as the seed of Abraham, men and women of great power should rise from you, too
  • The covenant will be with Abraham and his seed – if you belong to Christ, you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise
  • The covenant will be throughout all the generations of Abraham’s seed – if you belong to Christ, you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise
  • The covenant will be FOREVER – it is still in effect at this very moment for you and me
  • To give him land – see the following …
    • Authority
    • Wealth
    • Great possessions
    • Controlling power
    • Influence
  • OBEDIENCE ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED – this is the love walk fulfilled in which faith works at its highest level
  • Circumcision required – for Abraham, it was the circumcision of the flesh; for us, it is the circumcision of the heart, the new birth

All this still belongs to all the seed of Abraham today.  Lay hold it by faith NOW!  Selah!

Manna for Today – Genesis 17; Galatians 3:13-29; Hebrews 1:3; Joshua 1:6-9; 3 John 2

Covenant – See of Abraham – Part 3

Stop being held back.  You are the seed of Abraham.

Genesis 17:7 – And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

So, what’s holding the seed of Abraham back?  Yesterday I wrote to you that it was “lack of faith.”  Then is shared a number of key Scriptures addressing that answer.  Remember, if God said it, that settles it.  I am not denying that Christians have faith.  If you’re born again, you have been given the measure of faith (Romans 12:3).  But it appears that so many Christians have allowed their faith to become ill-defined, misguided (misdirected) , or weakened from insufficient feeding of the knowledge of the Word of God. 

  • Ill-defined faith – ask most Christians to define faith, and see how many give you a truly Biblical answer (Hebrews 11:1).  They can use a lot of pretty words, even encouraging words, but are they truly accurate?
  • Misguided  (misdirectedfaith – this is faith that has been built upon the traditions of men, making the Word of God of none effect. It is a belief system built upon wrong teaching, either deliberately or through the ignorance of the teacher and the system he/she follows.
  • Weakened faith – this is the faith in Christians who have little if any teaching of the Word of God at all; unchurched, undiscipled, and disconnected from the church body. 

Once again, I stress to you that we have a faith problem.  It’s not a sin problem, though sin does indeed exist, and many fall prey to it.  But Jesus conquered sin, and has made us the righteousness of God in Christ.  It’s not a sickness problem, though sickness does claim many as its prey.  But Jesus conquered sickness, for by His stripes we were healed.  It’s not a lack problem, though poverty and lack seems rampant among many believers.  But Jesus conquered all lack, and supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory.

I’ll say it again.  Our problem is a faith problem.  We must get back to the Word, to our covenant our God has made for us.  This is the covenant that Father established with Abraham and his seed forever.  This is the covenant that established Jesus the Christ as “the seed” (singular, not plural) of Abraham.  This is the covenant that carries a note of ratification in Galatians 3:29, that “if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” This is the covenant that establishes Jesus as the heir of the world (Romans 4:13), and that the seed of Abraham are “joint-heirs with Christ,” heirs of all that Jesus received, and in equal measure with Him Who is the “heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2).  Welcome to God’s covenant family.  When you know and believe this, your faith is positioning you to be the recipient of all you believe.  Selah!

Manna for Today – Genesis 17; Galatians 3:13-29; Hebrews 1:3; Joshua 1:6-9; 3 John 2

Covenant – Seed of Abraham – Part 2


Again, I ask, What is holding the seed of Abraham back?

Genesis 17:7 – And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.I believe the answer to my opening question today is simple.  Yet knowing the answer, the solution cannot be quickly or easily attained.  It takes work, diligence, integrity, and a determined will.  So, what is holding the seed of Abraham back?  And the answer is, LACK of FAITH.  Now don’t jump ahead of me and try to make that statement one of the often heard cliches that has arisen from shallow mining of the faith movement.  It is this shallow mining of the Word of Faith that has brought a bad name to it, deceived many, and allowed some to use it for self-enrichment.  But the mining of the deep truth concerning faith in God can and will transform your life.  Let’s take a deeper look.

First, we must accept some basic truths set forth in God’s Word.  As we examine these truths, never forget that if God said it, that settles it

  • Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).  Do you want to please God?  If you will walk in the fullness of His blessings, you must.  Therefore, faith in God is expected, and demanded if we are to please Father.  God said it, that settles it.
  • Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  Please note these words and never allow them to be taken from your thinking.  Faith DOES NOT COME by seeing, by feeling, by fasting, by praying, by fellowshipping, or any other means than HEARING.  God said it, that settles it.
  • Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).  Faith is not about tomorrow; it’s about today.  Faith was not yesterday, it IS today.  When faith calls something into existence, whether it can be physically experienced at this moment or not, changes nothing.  If faith has called it into existence, IT IS.  God said it, that settles it.
  • Faith calls things that be not as though they were (Romans 4:17).  Light as we know it did not exist before God said, “Light be.”  But the moment He spoke it, using His faith to call it into existence, it was.  He called something that was not as though it was, and it was.  We are to be imitators of God as dear children, and the faith we use in that imitative work was authored and finished by Jesus.  There is nothing wrong with our faith.  What is wrong is what we know about it, how we use it, and whether we choose to develop it.

We’ll continue here next time.  Selah!

Manna for Today – Genesis 17; Galatians 3:13-29; Hebrews 1:3; Joshua 1:6-9; 3 John 2

Covenant – Seed of Abraham – Part 1

What’s holding the seed of Abraham back?

Genesis 17:7 – And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.Let’s take a moment to consider what it means to be the “seed of Abraham.”  That is no small consideration.  In order to simply begin to grasp that concept, we must first learn about who Abraham was, with whom Abraham was connected, and what Abraham possessed.  To that end, I encourage you to begin reading in Genesis 12, and continue reading, even beyond the point of Abraham’s death, so you can clearly see the results of Abrahamic covenant.  He came from Ur of the Chaldees, being known at that time as Abram.  Abram had many encounters with the Lord before his name became Abraham in Genesis 17.  Because he followed the leading of the Lord, God was already blessing him in great measure, making him a man of great substance.  But when the Lord changed his name to Abraham, it seems that everything changed.  He was 99-years old, and Sarai was 90.  But when his name was changed, so did the aging process in his body (and Sarah’s).  Isaac was born to them when Abraham was 100-years old.  So, let’s consider the power in the name change

Abram is a Hebrew name meaning exalted father.  Abraham is a Hebrew name meaning father of many nations.  AbramExalted Father, had one son by Hagar (Ishmael), but none the Sarai.  So, the name Abram was fitting.  But God changed all that when He called him Abraham, changing his name to Father of Nations.  Making that change when Abraham was 99-years old put the Lord in a position of having to exercise miracle-power in the bodies of Abraham and Sarah.  That alone would have been worth of covenant establishment between God and Abraham.  But let us not forget, for nearly a quarter of a century before God changed Abraham’s name, renewing his strength and youth, and increasing him in every way possible, He had already been enriching him (while known as Abram).  What I would desire you to understand is that God wants those who covenant with Him to prosper.  I remind you again that in Joshua and 3 John, the Lord specifically addresses the prosperity issue in stating His desire to prosper His covenant partners, and in both cases, He puts prosperity at the head of the list.  He said He would “make your prosperous, and have good success,” and that He wishes above all else that His covenant partners “proper and be in health, even as your (their) soul prospers.”  And allow me to add one more wonderful note to that Biblical harmony.  It is found in Isaiah 55:11.  There we read, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”  The point here, God’s Word is God’s Covenant.

Manna for Today – Genesis 17; Galatians 3:13-29; Hebrews 1:3; Joshua 1:6-9; 3 John 2

Covenant – Biblical Covenant Defined – Part 5

There is more meaning in covenant than a mere agreement.

Genesis 17:1-2 – And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.  And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

In Matthew 18:19-20, Jesus said that where two believers agree (make a symphony) on earth (in this life) as touching anything (within the will of God) they shall ask (this is not one party speaking and the other nodding his head), it shall be (no stronger word of absolute purpose than the words “shall” or “will”) done for them of My Father which is in heaven (God WILL do it).  He added that in His Name, He would be in the midst of any two or three who gathered in such an agreement. (parenthetical insertions are mine)

When God came to Abram to establish His covenant, He required of Abram, who became Abraham by God’s command, blood.  Abraham had to circumcise himself, as well as every other make in his household, and from that day forward, every male born into his household when they were eight days old.  Because God could not at that moment offer His Own blood, He used the blood of an animal (sheep, goat, ram, dove, oxen) as a substitute for His blood until Jesus came, the Word made flesh, and could shed His blood once, for all.  But from the very beginning of God’s covenant with Abraham, it was not just God and Abraham involved in that covenant.  There were four parties directly involved in that covenant.  Allow me to explain so we can better understand covenant.

God the Father came to Abraham, calling him “father of nations.”  This was a Father-to-father encounter.  Years later, when Isaac was likely a teen, or even a young man, Father told father Abraham to take Isaac to Moriah (Calvary, or Golgotha), build an altar, slay Isaac, and burn him.  He also showed Abraham in a vision Isaac being raised from the dead.  Remember, the plan of salvation, that is the crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus was already God’s plan, and Jesus was already a willing participant.  But for Jesus to have legal entry into the earth to become that sacrifice, there had to be a covenant partner who was willing to do the same thing.  That was Isaac, raised by his father to be an obedient son, honoring God and the covenant.  Because Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, God could legitimately sacrifice His Son.  And because Isaac was fully compliant with Abraham, and willing to be sacrificed, Jesus could do the same thing.  And He did.  You see, covenant demands mutual engagement in every arena.  Unless all parties are in agreement, the covenant will not work.  Thank God for father Abraham and Isaac.  Selah!

Manna for Today – Genesis 17; Psalm 119:89; Matthew 5:18; Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 16:17; Luke 21:33; Romans 3:4; Hebrews 1:3

Covenant – Biblical Covenant Defined – Part 4

I’ll say it again.  God made it (covenant).  He is eternal.  So is His covenant.

Biblical Covenant Defined – Part 4Genesis 17:1-2 – And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.  And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

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Today, let’s look directly at God’s covenant with Abraham.  When God made covenant with Abraham, because He could swear, or make an oath by no one greater than Himself, He took it upon Himself as our changeless God (Malachi 3:6) to make a covenant that would include His unchanging Son (Hebrews 13:8), and would require the shedding of His blood for ultimate confirmation.  But until the fulfilling of the time for the brining forth of His Son into the earth, blood was still required.  For man, it was the shedding of blood through circumcision when an infant son was eight days old (or for an adult if he entered the covenant later in life).  But until God Jesus came in the flesh, God used the sacrifice of a selected animal as a representation of His blood.  Because it was an animal’s blood, that sacrifice had to be made again and again, year after year, and sometimes more often, in order to keep that covenant in a fully operational and valid form. 

But, when Jesus came, all that changed.  When Jesus was the sacrifice, all other blood sacrifices came to an end.  Jesus’s sacrifice was “once for all” (Hebrews 10:10).  I should note here, this did not destroy the law, but rather fulfilled the law.  His flesh was ripped and torn apart.  His blood flowed.  Jehovah God accepted that blood as from the spotless Lamb of God.  The covenant, the New Covenant was established and settled forever.  Settled forever in heaven before the foundation of the world.  Settled forever in the earth by Christ at Calvary.  And settled forever in me June 17, 1959.  I don’t know your date of settling, but the moment you were born again, it was settled forever in you.

One of the greatest undertakings to which you can give yourself is to come to a place of knowing how the Abrahamic covenant has been applied to you, and to at least begin to see how complete that covenant is in your life.  It covers every arena of your life; spirit, soul, body, domestically, professionally, financially, and socially.  God’s covenant with Abraham was established more than 400 years before the law of Moses was given.  In fact, the covenant of the law of Moses was set in place as a school master to give guidance to God’s people in a soulish, sensory-perceived manner until it could be fulfilled through the work of Jesus to reveal the spiritual truths of the New Testament.  Open your heart and learn it.  Selah!

Manna for Today – Genesis 17; Psalm 119:89; Matthew 5:18; Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 16:17; Luke 21:33; Romans 3:4; Hebrews 1:3

Covenant – Biblical Covenant Defined – Part 3

God made it.  He is eternal.  So is His covenant.

Genesis 17:1-2 – And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.  And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

For more than sixty years now, I have been a student of God’s Word, with more than fifty of those years in ministry.  I have learned the deep importance of studying the meaning of words so the truth the Lord is setting forth will not be lost in me due to shallow understanding.  Regardless of your place in life, five-fold ministry or layman, we should all study the Word of God deeply in order to show ourselves approved unto our Father.  Jesus said He would give to us the “keys of the kingdom.”  Jesus is the Door to the kingdom, and He’s not locked.  He has said, “Whosever will, let him come.”  But IN the kingdom are many things to which we can attain only through diligent study, learning, and growth.  In that we find the “keys of the kingdom.”  The study to discover Biblical definitions is one of those keys.  “Covenant” is one of those key words. 

In my personal study of that word, in my reading about that word from the writings of Godly men who were master linguists, I have discovered that “covenant” is not a mere agreement.  We can agree on many things that will never come to life-or-death decisions.  But when one enters into Biblical covenant, one has stepped into a realm that is truly life-or-death.  It is much more than a simple agreement; it’s about blood.   The word “covenant” implies a cutting of the flesh to produce the flowing of blood.  There are many examples of this throughout history, not just in the Bible.  And in ancient cultures, “covenant” was a matter of life-and-death.  If two parties entered into covenant with one another, there would be a cutting of the flesh, a mingling of the blood, an exchange of deeply symbolic gifts, and the taking of an oath of loyalty to each other.  Once the blood had flowed, and had been received by both parties, a pronouncement of blessing and cursing would happen.  The two parties would become equal owners of each other’s possessions.  What belonged to one belonged to both, to share equally as needed.  The strengths of one became the strengths of the other so that weaknesses could not be exploited by an enemy.  And if, peradventure, one of the covenant parties should break that covenant, the covenant having been initiated in bloodletting, the covenant breaker would now be punished by bloodletting; his own blood, his life, his death.  And in many blood covenants, if one party broke the covenant, his own off-spring, and far away as four generations, would be required to hunt the covenant breaker and slay him.  Consider the seriousness of blood covenant.  Selah!

Manna for Today – Genesis 17; Psalm 119:89; Matthew 5:18; Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 16:17; Luke 21:33; Romans 3:4; Hebrews 1:3

Covenant – Biblical Covenant Defined – Part 2

Let’s settle on defining terms that can anchor our faith.

Genesis 171-2 – And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.  And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.Yesterday I began writing to you about defining Biblical covenant.  It’s really not that difficult to do, but we must remove ourselves from the constricting influence of religious speech and sanctimonious thinking.  I believe you know what I’m saying.  You can be having a conversation with a complete stranger about the weather of going fishing, and everything is going along well.  But let the conversation turn towards church, the Bible, or some doctrinal issue, that often the entire tone of voice and even the elocution of many people drastically change.  If you’ve been saved very long, you’ve probably encountered it, especially if you are in the five-fold ministry.  It would almost be humorous if it weren’t so serious.  That is generally a result of moving away from Biblical definition to religious mind-set and what might be called church talk.

I’m talking about Biblical definitions.  Consider the word “love.”  I’m talking about the God kind of love; what the Greek language calls “agape.”  In almost every conversation I have ever had with someone about the God kind of love, agape, at some point, usually very early in the conversation, feelings become one of the great focal points.  By feelings, I’m talking about emotions.  People describe it like a tub of honey (feelings of sweetness), an all-encompassing embrace of warmth (feelings of security), and there are many other expressions.  I’m sure you have heard many of them, perhaps even used some of them. 

But in truth, agape love has nothing to do with feelings.  Agape love, the God kind of love, is love that is based on the character of the lover, a love that never changes.  It doesn’t get deeper or richer as time passes.  We may perceive it as such, but that is only our revelation of that love growing within us.  The truth is, agape love never changes, just as God never changes.  And what is wonderful is that God’s Word gives us a very precise and understandable definition of the God kind of love.  Take a moment to read 1 John 5:3.  There we read, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.”  It’s that simple.  It’s not about feelings, emotions, or anything close to that.  It is simple obedience to the Word of God.  In John 14:15; Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”  Don’t try to make God’s words mean something other that what He says they mean.  Yes, feelings may come.  Yes, emotions may be stirred.  But feelings and emotions are never a measuring stick for God’s love, and sensory perception is never a measuring stick for God’s faith.  Selah!

Manna for Today – Genesis 17; Psalm 119:89; Matthew 5:18; Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 16:17; Luke 21:33; Romans 3:4; Hebrews 1:3

Covenant

One of the great foundational stones for Biblical accuracy is definition, Biblical definition.

Biblical Covenant Defined – Part 1

Genesis 17:1-2 – And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.  And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

To prepare a culinary work of art, you need to follow the recipe.  The recipe defines the ingredients, measures, and timing.  To build and architectural masterpiece, you need to follow the blueprint.  The blueprint defines the materials and procedures.  To rightly divide the Word of Truth, God’s Word, the terms we use in the sowing of the seed of the Word must be accurately defined.  Without accurate definitions, we do not have a walk of faith, but of presumption and foolishness.  Biblical covenant is never a matter of guesswork.  It is entering into a binding agreement with Jehovah God on the basis of what He says, and to do so with full understanding of the benefits of obedience and the repercussions of failure to comply.  Our heavenly Father is a faithful God, never failing in His Word, always clear in what He says, leaving no room for failure to understand.  A statement I have used now for decades in describing Father’s commitment to and upholding of His covenant is, “If God said it, that settles it.”  My friend, that’s the end of the story for me.  If God said it, that settles it.

As I have already written, God does not leave His people in a state of questioning regarding His will for His people.  He always defines for us the terms He uses.  I understand the tendency of people to want to use words they seem to understand to define Biblical terms, but in many, if not most, cases, such definitions stray from what the Lord meant precisely.  I hear all kinds of definitions for the term “faith.”  But none of them match the clarity, and certainly not the accuracy of what Holy Ghost inspired in Hebrews 11:1.  Take the time to read God’s definition of faith, and then, be bold enough to stick with it, despite any opposition.  There were read, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  There it is – clear, plain, simple, and completely accurate.  Study it for yourself.  Read the Words.  Allow Scripture to define Scripture.  Keep it as simple as possible.  It may take you some time, and may require some energy, but the outcome of properly defining Biblical terms is well worth your investment.  As we continue in our study, we’ll examine more Biblical terms to lay the foundation necessary for accurate understanding of God’s Word in our lives.  Selah!

Manna for Today – Genesis 17; Psalm 119:89; Matthew 5:18; Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 16:17; Luke 21:33; Romans 3:4; Hebrews 1:3

The Year of Covenant


When God makes covenant, it is forever.  Amen!

Covenant

Genesis 17:1-2 – And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.  And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

In order for a covenant, a truly Biblical covenant to exist, the agreement that is made must be made with a cutting, a separating between two pieces of flesh, and from that cutting, there must be the flowing of blood.  That is why covenant is often referred to as a blood covenant.  In our modern, high-tech, fast paced world, such a thing is considered to be uncivilized.  That is one of the reasons that modern Christianity has lost so much of its power.  It has become, at least in the minds of many religious people, an idea of something good that is come upon by some carnal, or natural means.  My friend, such thinking is completely unbiblical and offers no basis for substantive Christianity.

This year, upon which we have just entered, will by no means be the first year of covenant in the mind of God.  In the mind of our heavenly Father, our God Who changes not (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8), the covenant we will examine was in place before the foundation of the world.  Before heaven and earth were created, before all that exists in the earth was created, before man was formed from the dust of the earth in the garden of Eden, before God breathed into man the breath of life, God’s covenant was already established.  It has not gone away.  It has not been nullified or voided.  On the contrary, it has been activated, acted upon, lived, and fulfilled, but never removed or taken away.  As we approach the time for the coming of the Lord for His church, the fulfilling God’s covenant will be seen in greater and greater measure.  Father has established the standards for that fulfilling, and they will be met.  I believe 2022 will be the greatest manifestation of that work that has ever been witnessed.  Selah!

Manna for Today – Genesis 17; Psalm 119:89; Matthew 5:18; Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 16:17; Luke 21:33; Romans 3:4; Hebrews 1:3