The Testing of our Faith
"After these things the Word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision saying, "Fear not Abram, I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward." This was to be a turning point in Abramís life and experience with God. It was a vision, or a divine revelation that was given to him, defining a higher walk and a deeperdeepening relationship. Up to this point Abram and Sarai had not no offspring, so in the light of this vision he made a request, "Lord God, what will you give me seeing I go childless." This was one of the great issues that Abram faced, having caused him much soul searching during his life. It posed a serious question that now in the light of this new revelation, must be answered.
So many in Christendom have responded to the call of Christ on the basis of the "REWARDS," that are offered as an incentive to bring people to salvation. These include, the peace of God because your sins will be forgiven, and you will have a home in heaven after you die, besides enjoying a life under the protection of God, and the promise that whatever you ask, the Lord will give it to you. However, I want you to notice that Abram was being told that the reward for his faithfulness would be the LORD himself. This "Reward" is magnified with the words, "Exceeding and Great." So that whatever else may have been in the mind of Abram, his thoughts were now directed to just one thing, when the Lord said, "I AM THY ECCEEDING GREAT REWARD."
I wonder how many Christians today would be happy if they could received such a revelation from the Lord, or would there be many other things for which they craved, simply because the words, "Exceeding and Great," sound to them a little hollow. For Abram the one thing that seemed to check his total acceptance of this vision, was the fact that the Lord had not given him any children. He therefore desired to put his inner "Hurt" to rest, by telling the Lord that he would be happy to appoint his servant Eliezer as his son and heir. The flesh will always supply an answer where it would consider God had failed in some issue in life. The call of the Lord upon our lives at first brings an excitement, but our understanding of all of its consequences only dawns upon us as we continue to walk in obedience to his voice.
In Abramís case he was promised a new country in which to dwell and a seed, which is exactly the same for us as he is the FATHER of the FAITHFUL. How many of Godís people have "Eaten the words," which in their mouth were as sweet as honey, but as they endured the dealings of God those same words became bitter in the belly. I am writing these words, having been confronted by so many people who are confused by the experiences of life which seem to them to be so wrong. I am simply using Abram as the example here because he illustrates the ways of God that we must learn, and also to see the goal that has been fixed before us from eternity past. The concept that most Christians have today, is that once we receive Christ into our life everything is going to be fine and we will march on singing, "Halleluiah praise the Lord," till we reach the Pearly Gates.
In Gen 15 we come to a specific point in Abramís life where a new paradigm is to be laid in his life. This new foundation concerns the "Death" of the old man as the basis for the future blessings of his life. Of course this applies to every one of us, and yet for so many this has never become a reality in their life. The issue is raised over the fact that Abraham had no son and heir. However, Abraham seeks to side-step the issue by trying to solve the issueproblem himself, by making his servant to be his heir. Years have passed since Abram answered the call of God and left home but his father also came with him, which was not according to plan. So there was a delay in the journey while that matter was taken care of. Such delays can be seen in Christianís lives everywhere as issues that are seen to be unimportant but have to be rectified. Some Christians are just sitting today, going nowhere in the purposes of God because of issues that must be taken care of, in their lives. Some are facing a crisis, as the spirit of the Lord brings the issue to a head so that the next step on this journey of discovery can be revealed. It is at this point that the flesh will be most active, putting forward its own solutions in its endeavor to remain in control.
This battle for supremacy between flesh and spirit must be fought one day in a decisive showdown that will settle forever the issue of LORDSHIP in your life. That time had now come in Abramís life and the drama is played out for us all to see in real life. After offering his own solution to the question of an "HEIR," the Word of the Lord came to him saying, "This shall not be your heir, but he that shall come forth out of your own bowels, shall be your heir." God had spoken and the decree was made denying the flesh any right to even suggest its solution, for the answer has now been set, which in itself will bring about the final demise of the flesh in Abramís life. From a human point of view the answer was quite impossible, but this divine strategy which is the only waysituation inby which the "Flesh" could be totally put out of action.
Abrahamís experience becomes as a parable for us, as the rules of life are carefully orchestrated for all to see. This is what James has to say, "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." James 1:14. Temptation continues to invade our thinking because we have never won a decisive battle over the flesh, so it remains a threat to our spirituality. John also spells out the activity of the flesh, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2:16. How many Christians alternate between the FLESH and the SPIRIT in their life, because both are active, and no decisive battle has yet taken place, to decide who is LORD.
Can you not see that such a state of affairs runs counter to the work of Grace and the will of God in our lives, and therefore no Christian can escape the challenge to, "Cast out the bond-woman and her son." It is impossible for the Lord to fulfill his will and purpose in our lives until this question of authority is settled. The OLD MAN of flesh and blood must die before the NEW MAN of the New Creation, can become LORD within us. This is the whole purpose of the Cross, where Jesus Christ died as the LAST ADAM that represents you and I. We died IN HIM for he tasted death FOR EVERY MAN! It is impossible for a man to live two lives at once, so if we live out of our flesh and blood man who was born and will die, we will live as a MORTAL HUMAN BEING. This is the FLESH Life that opposes everything that the spirit desires to do in us. Only in the CROSS can that "Old Man" be put out of action, so that Jesus Christ our true identity can function as LORD. The flesh will never quit of its own accord, ist MUST DIE.
The three days of transformation Jesus spoke about regarding his building of the TRUE Temple, was the death, burial and resurrection. For most Christians, all they see in the cross is a sacrifice for the sins of the world, but this was not the LAMB OF GOD dying there. We are told in scripture that the LAMB of GOD was slain FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD! The word "Foundation" in the Greek Text means, "The Casting Down." So the Lamb was slain when man took the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, and continues to be slain whenever man violates the nature of God, even to this day. Jesus Christ on the cross was MADE TO BE SIN FOR US, who knew no sin, so that WE might be made the righteousness of God IN HIM. How was he "Made to be sin" for us? By dying as the LAST ADAM who is the MAN OF SIN in the Garden of Eden. Jesus Christ died as the LAST of that Adamic race of people generated out of the MAN OF SIN. Scripture states clearly, "IN ADAM ALL DIE," and their death collectively was in Jesus Christ who was made TO BE THE MAN OF SIN (ADAM), and so DIED AS THE L-A-S-T ADAM.
Abram now faces the greatest challenge of his life, as God brought him out of his tent to view the stars. Abram was brought forth "oOut of the tent of his narrow thinking" into the wide expanse of spiritual vision where he was asked to count the stars, but Abram was not able to do so. However, the word of the Lord said to him, "SO SHALL THY SEED BE." Now this was contrary to everything his natural mind told him, for he was childless and his wife was way passed being able to bring forth children. But the spirit won the day as Abram BELIEVED GOD, and as a result of his believing in the LORD, he was declared RIGHTEOUS. How wonderful to see such a helpless soul express faith in the midst of such an impossible situation. Surely, "tThe eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout the whole earth to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is made perfect towards him." Abram is reminded that it was the Lord that brought him out of Ur of the Chaldees to give him this land as an inheritance.
Faith always must be brought beyond believing, so even though Abram believes the word of the Lord, elements within himself challenged the means of fulfillment. So a question arises in his heart, "How shall I know that I shall inherit this land?" It was at this point in his life that worship is introduced through which he was to learn the ways of God. Faith finds its true definition in worship standing beside the altar of burnt offering, and without it, faith will always remain purely a thing of the mind. So God commands him to take a heifer, a she goat, a ram, a turtle dove and a young pigeon, dividing each one except for the birds. So Abram is obedient and obeys the word of the Lord. It is standing by the altar of worship that we will learn the reason for the delay in the receiving of the inheritance. The question of the "Seed" is here exposed and a covenant is entered into between God and man.
This offering is very instructive, for the bullock animals and bird speak to us of the sacrifice of Christ both FOR US as well as IN US. From an inward perception, we find there are powers that must die in us, so that the flesh is robbed of its abilities in order that the spirit may be Lord. This is achieved as we present our bodies as a "Living Sacrifice" wholly acceptable unto God, which is our spiritual worship. Our inheritance will never be obtained while the flesh is still functioning in us. If the flesh was able to obtain the inheritance by its own efforts, it would exalt itself above the spirit. However, such can never be the case for it is, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit sayeth the Lord." Therefore while the flesh is still active in us we will never enter into our inheritance in Christ. All this Abraham is yet to learn as he stands by the sacrifice, fighting off the "Birds" or the thoughts that would challenge our commitment to Christ.
Nothing is overlooked in this sacrifice as the head, legs and inward parts are all to be dealt with individually. The head, must give up its right to rule in favor of the TRUE HEAD which is Christ, the legs, speaking of our walk, must learn obedience to the authority of Christ. The inward parts involving our love and affections must be cleansed of all lust and desires that are generated by the carnal mind. It is only when we are willing to become a LIVING SACRIFICE wholly acceptable to God, that we can lay claim to the covenant by which we can obtain the inheritance. There is no substitute for this sacrifice that will bring to us a revelation of the heart of our God. Only then will we understand why the inheritance could not be entered into sooner, and why we had to go through the experiences we did. The opening up of the Cross to our spiritual consciousness will answer every doubt concerning the way he has led us, and the reason why it had to be so.
In this sacrifice we must learn how worthless, and barren the "Flesh" really is. It is the "LAMB SLAIN" that declares, it is only through "Death" that we can receive Life. We can only live ONE LIFE at a time, so death to SELF is a pre-requisite to receiving the Life of Christ. All these things become very clear as we become a living sacrifice, where the change takes place and our true identity finally finds its expression through us. The veil of flesh that has obscured the Christ dwelling within, is rent from the top to the bottom as the death to self takes place. It is in this living sacrifice that the Christ is brought into visibility in us. The "Flesh in US" is the veil that must be destroyed, before we will be aware of the living Christ walking IN US today. This is the unveiling of the great mystery that man is the dwelling place of God. Your body is the TEMPLE OF GOD, and it is in that MOST HOLY PLACE within us that we find God, and in his presence we find fullness of Joy and nothing that defiles can enter in.
No sooner had Abram laid out the various parts of the sacrifice now open unto the eyes of God, than the fowls coame down to remove the offering if they canould. The carnal mind has a thousand reasons why this whole thing is a futile exercise, so the birds representing our thoughts continue to try and stop this sacrifice of love and devotion. Such thoughts stir up the carnal mind to challenge both the reason, as well as the need for such drastic action. The flesh will fight to the last breath to retain its right to determine both what is "GOOD and what is EVIL," for it is in the fruit of that tree that it finds its power to determine how we will live. But God said, "The day you eat the fruit of that tree YOU WILL DIE." However the "Flesh" will even challenge the very WORDS OF GOD, suggesting we can take what is "Good" from that tree but not touch the "Evil," and so escape the penalty!! But remember, the "Flesh" functions through the carnal mind of man and is a LIAR and the Father of all lies, having deceived the whole world.
Concerning the "SEED" Abram was told, "Know of a certainty that thy "SEED" shall be a stranger herein the land, but in Godís time it shall come with great substance to its inheritance." There will be a time before the inheritance becomes reality, in which the seed will be seem like an alien in the Land of the promise. The "LAND" which is our body has not yet been freed from enemy control, so the "Seed" which is Christ cannot be LORD. But as the enemy is driven out the expression of the true seed becomes refined in us, and the contrast between the manifestation of the Christ life, and the life other people of the world are living will be most dramatic. At the moment the so called "Christian" life differs very little from that of other people in the world. Nicodemus was told by Jesus that he needed to be born out of a "HIGHER ORDER," before he would be able to see or enter the Kingdom of God.
So the sacrifice is set, and Abram has succeeded in preventing the birds from removing any part of it, but we are told the sun went down. Life for us during this period of development alternates between night and day, or light and darkness. But slumber is not the answer when nature sleeps, for the horror of great darkness calls for the strengthening of our faith. Just as that which is natural in us responds to the night, that which is of the spirit assumes control in the light, for the light overcomes the darkness. Often we can learn more during the time of darkness concerning Fatherís will and purpose for us, than in the light of day. However we are told that Abram fell into a trance as the "Smoking Furnace," or the fire of God swallowed up the sacrifice, and the Lamp of fire illuminated that which belongs to Christ. Only NOW, as the sacrifice is accepted and Christ has come forth, is there a covenant made with Abram. In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates."
One would think, that in the light of what had taken place Abraham would walk in the spirit and in righteousness. But there is a spiritual law, which says, "That which is first is not spiritual but natural." So Abram believed God that his seed would be as the stars of heaven, but he was not yet convinced that apart from the spirit there could be no seed. Here was the evidence that in Abram the flesh was still active, seeking to fulfill the promise of God in its own energy. Flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other, so that we cannot do the things we would. Thus the battle raged in Abram just as it does in so many of Godís people today. Paul gives us the answer to this battle by saying, "Walk in the spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh."
Somewhere in Abramís thinking there was a doubt about how his SEED would be produced, because he was conscious that Sarai was barren. Abram was still controlled by his natural sight and the world of appearance, which denied Godís ability to do what is impossible to us. Paul states, "For OUT of him and THROUGH and TO him are ALL THINGS." Sweeping the truth aside, the "Flesh" devises a plan to produce the promised seed by using Hagar the Egyptian slave as a surrogate mother. When we doubt the promises of God and begin to speculate on how God can fulfill his word, we invariably put limitations on God, thus opening the way for the flesh to rush in and provide a more rational answer. Having looked for so long in vain for Sarai to produce a child, Abram now takes Hagar believing that only through her can he obtain the promised seed. However, the spiritual principle of faith is, that OUT OF THE DEATH of SELF, when it has fully expired, God will bring forth his own son by the power of the spirit. Until we learn that the flesh profiteth nothing, there will be no true manifestation of the promise. We may believe the word God has given us and stand beside the sacrifice, and yet still believe that by our earthly effort we can produce the promised seed.
Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die it brings forth much fruit. It is not until we have exerted our natural energy and accepted Hagar as a suitable vessel through which to bring forth the divine seed, that we discover that all we produced was an Ishmael. Only then are we forced to admit the futility of the flesh. Remember, that which is FIRST is not spiritual, but that which is CARNAL, and afterwards that which is spiritual. We desire with all our hearts to LIVE but not to die, and to preserve our own strength, intellect and will, rather than trust the Lord to fulfill his own will through us. What a shock it is to hear the Lord say to us when our efforts have produced the best we can, "This will not be your heir, but he shall be a WILD ASS MAN." But as the flesh refuses to concede defeat, we continue to hold on to our Ishmaels until the barren freewoman Sarahi, is "As good as dead," But out of that "Death" the spirit is now free to energize Sarahiís Womb and the son and heir is produced. For as the Lord said, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called." Even then we are still reluctant to cast out the Bond Woman and her son, for they cannot share in the inheritance that belongs to Isaac. However, only when we see Ishmael mocking Isaac, do we realize Ishmael can never inherit the divine promises given to Abram.
The Lord has promised Abram a LAND and a SEED. Most Christians believe that their natural self is the "Son and Heir" that will receive the promises of God. However we are told by Paul that the SEED of Abraham which is CHRIST formed in us is the SON and HEIR, and he is the only one who will inherit the promised land. This land of promise is our BODY from which we must drive out the squatters that have possessed it. Our "Son and HEIR" is Christ our true identity, who has been given the promised land, (Our Body) through which he can express himself in increasing measure as the aliens are driven out. We gladly, yet glibly receive the promises of God without knowing the cost of possessing them, or the joy of victory. Most Christians spend most of their time trying to "Get things from God," like eternal life and a home in heaven when they die. Others seek after the knowledge of God, and to know and understand the events of the future. However, very little time is ever spent on the two important issues that Abram was confronted with, producing the SEED and possessing the LAND. Once we see the divine perspective on these issues we will be freed from the carnal notions that have deceived us and consumed our energy,. so that Truth has fallen in the streets.
As the spirit opens our eyes to the truth we understand why Abram joined with Hagar, believing that by this means he would have his son and heir. Have we not also as a living soul united with the flesh to seek to produce a SON OF GOD. Have we not declared "I am a son of God." There is only ONE SEED that can produce a SON of GOD and that is CHRIST. Paul reminds us that God did not say to Abraham concerning SEEDS as of many, but referred to "THY SEED" WHICH IS CHRIST. So Paul emphasizes this when he says, "If you are CHRISTíS, (the true expression of Christ living his life through you) then you are Abrahamís seed, and heirs according to the promise." Not simply because you have given your heart to Jesus, or you believe Christ died for you on the Cross, but your body is the present possession of the Christ, and you have become the vessel of his manifestation to this world.
Abram received another visitation from the Lord when he was ninety nine years old and said, "I am the Almighty God, walk before me and be thou perfect." This is the Lord appearing as "El Shaddai" the all sufficient one able to meet every need. To walk before El Shaddai makes us complete in him, which is the meaning of the word "Perfect." At this time Abrahamís name was changed as the Lord announced his name would no longer be Abram which means "Exalted Father," but Abraham, the father of a multitude, as the stars of heaven. This change involved the Lord taking the "H" or "Hod," one of the letters from his own name and inserting it in Abramís name. This letter involves a "breathing out" in order to express it, and obviously the Lord had breathed upon Abraham at this time, so that the will of God could be accomplished in his life. El Shaddai made a covenant with Abraham at this time involving a confirmation of the fruitfulness expressed in his "Seed" as the stars of heaven. He was told that he would be the FATHER of a great multitude.
The covenant the Lord made with Abraham that day would also include all of his offspring throughout all generations, as an everlasting covenant that would never be denied. Psalm 105:8 "He hath remembered his covenant forever, the word, which he commanded to a Thousand Generations," which is about 40,000 years. Many Christians today do not realize that the covenant God made with Abraham applies to all his "SEED" on the earth today. Therefore we are promised a SON and HEIR, which we must personally conceive and bring to the birth in us by the spirit. Paul says, "When it pleased God who separated me from my mothers womb, and called me by his grace, TO REVEAL HIS SON IN ME," then was he equipped for the ministry. Then also we are promised the "Land of Canaan" which we are to possess because it has been given to us. This "Land" refers to our BODY that has not yet been liberated from the influence and control of the 10 Nations that inhabit the "Land." So Abraham was told that for a period of time the SEED would be a STRANGER IN THE LAND. This means that Christ may dwell within us today, but our body that was given to be the expression of Christ in this world, is still under alien control and therefore manifesting our mortality.
Godís covenant with Abraham required that he and every male child be circumcised, and this was to be a sign of the covenant in their flesh. This was to be a sign affecting the organ of reproduction, and a constant reminder that the flesh was to have no part in the birthing of the seed. This was emphasized in the rejection of Ishmael that Abram birthed through Hagar to be his son and heir. This is why circumcision was a part of the covenant God made with Abraham, because his Son and Heir had not yet been born. For Godís people today, the physical mark in the body is not the focus of the Abrahamic Covenant, but Paul tells us in Romans 2:28, "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." Paul also has this to say on the subject, Galatians 6:15, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature."
The reason for this change is that natural Israel is reproduced through a natural reproduction of an egg and a sperm. However, the "Seed as the stars of heaven," can only be birthed through a spiritual reproduction by means of the "Seed of God." This was the lesson that Abram had to learn, that all we can produce by the flesh will be Ishmaels who God said are "Wild ass men." Christendom has yet to become obedient to this word of the Lord, for she has refused to hear these truths. Many "Christian" workers are producing children of the flesh holding then up before the Lord, as the "Sons and Heirs" who will inherit the promises of Abraham. But hear the Word of the Lord beloved, "These are children of the Bond-woman and they shall not inherit with Isaac." The Apostle Paul explains these truths in his letter to the Galatians. "For it is written that Abraham had two sons, the one by a BONDMAID, and the other by a FREE-WOMAN. The one by the Bond-Woman was born after the FLESH, but the one who was by the Free-Woman WAS BY PROMISE, or by the WORD OF THE LORD."
It is most important for us to know exactly what Father is saying to us here. Who is the Bond-Woman and who is the Free-Woman, both of whom function in our lives today. The difference is that the Bond-Woman can reproduce any time, and as many children as she desires. So it is for this reason that so many ministries "Marry" the Bond-Woman which is the flesh, so they can fill the Churches, which otherwise would remain almost empty. However, it seems that so few marry the CHRIST, which is represented as the marriage of the SOUL and SPIRIT. This is the whole story of the Song of Solomon, with the Shulamite woman seeking for her lover, which is Christ. However, because most people live in the "Appearance Realm," the Pastor with the most people in the Church, is considered to be the most successful servant of the Lord. Those who are "Spiritual" hear the voice of the Lord saying, "Cast out the Bond-Woman and her son for they will not inherit with Isaac." This picture is painted clearly in 1 Sam 1:1,5-6, concerning Elkanah and his two wives. The one could produce offspring anytime, but Hannah was barren until God required a son to replace the blind High Priest. Only then in anguish of soul, asking for a son that she could GIVE UNTO THE LORD, did she give birth.
In Gen 2:22 the woman that was formed from Adam was brought to the MAN, and ADAM embraced her saying she is "Bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, so she shall be called WOMAN because she was taken out of the Man." In Truth a divorce had taken place for the soul (woman) lost her union with the spirit, (Christ), and her freedom according to creation, by becoming a slave to the FORM (body) that man had been given. In verse 24 she married THE MAN who no longer functioned as a unique spiritual being who was male and female, but as separate entities they joined together becoming ONE FLESH but not ONE IN SPIRIT. In this case the Woman had become a SLAVE to the flesh of man. In other words she had become a BOND WOMAN to give birth to the children, who are born according to the WILL OF MAN. Her first child was a murderer. But in creation man was "MALE and FEMALE," spirit and soul united together and functioning as ONE, even as CHRIST. This means that the Soul (woman) was married to and functioned together with the Spirit (Christ) in perfect union as a FREE-WOMAN just as God intended, and so whatever they reproduced would be SPIRITUAL.
Marriage today, must be a constant reminder of this estrangement that took place in the Garden of Eden, as a man marries a wife with the idea of the two simply becoming ONE FLESH. So often the union of spirit and soul within both the man and the woman, is overlooked with devastating results. Divorce abounds in Christian circles in the world today, and even among the clergy, as a testimony that the divine order has been violated. The divine pattern is that both male and female, the spirit and soul must first be united within us as we awake from the Adamic dream, and see that they were never separated in reality, but only in the carnal mind of man. We must abandon the Adamic consciousness that today seeks only for the carnal side of marriage, that is wrapped up in SENSATION, and the desire to get the greatest delight from our natural relationship with our wives, but ignore the Spiritual.
Even the ideaconcept of marriage itself is under threat in our world today, as our young people have the idea, that getting married is simply two signatures on a piece of paper. For so many today it is only the sensation that men and woman can generate between themselves that is of any importance to them. Satisfaction is based now upon performance as books abound telling us how to increase the physical sensation of marriage, but not our relationship. Likewise in the spiritual realm most Christians are only interested in the "Sensation" they can enjoy in meetings in what is called praise and worship, but are not interested in the relationship, of a Son with his heavenly Father. Pentecostals and the Charismatics are the worst offenders, in this area.
Paul makes the statement, "In God we LIVE and MOVE and HAVE OUR BEING." What does this mean in practical terms? Jesus said, "Believe that I am IN THE FATHER, and the FATHER is IN ME." John 14:10. Jesus Christ had no true existence apart from his Father, so he could say in Truth, "I (what I am in reality, which is SPIRIT) and my Father ARE O-N-E." Whatever the Father is doing, you will see me doing, and whatever my Father is saying you will hear me saying." How does this work? The truth is that whatever the Father is doing, he is doing THROUGH ME, so the activity is IN ME, but it is the Father doing whatever it is that is being done. What ever Father is saying he is saying through me, but the words are not mine for they belong to my Father.
We do not have a relationship with our heavenly Father until we can say in honesty, "IN HIM I L-I-V-E and M-O-V-E and HAVE MY BEING." There is no sensation known to man that can eclipse the joy and thrill that comes from such a relationship. To see broken hearts restored before your very eyes as Father ministers through us his healing power, and to see prison doors fly open as the bondages are broken and the prisoners released as Father speaks the word through us, is the most wonderful experience we can know. But before this can take place the SOUL must be released from being a bond slave to man. Without her relationship to the spirit, that soul is a slave to sensation and every other aspect of the flesh. She can never know freedom until the power of the flesh is broken over her and she searches for her true lover through whom she can enjoy the freedom and fruitfulness that only the spirit can give to her. The "Bond-Woman" can only bring forth an ISHMAEL the "Wild ass Man," that can have no inheritance through Abraham. But the "Free-Woman," in relationship with the spirit can bring forth the Christ, and the "Seed as the stars of heaven."
Here is the good news for the barren soul from the prophet Isaiah, Isaiah 54:1 "Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD."
Your seed shall be even as the stars of heaven not just in number but also in quality. The Apostle Paul expands further on this matter in Galatians by saying, "Which things are an allegory, for they are two covenants, the one from Mount Sinai, in Arabia which is in bondage with her children, but the other Covenant represents Jerusalem which is from above in the realm of spirit, and is FREE, who is the "MOTHER OF US ALL." Of this heavenly Jerusalem or Zion it is said in Psalm 87:3, "Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God." This Jerusalem that is above is the place where all the divine activity is centered. But the earthly Jerusalem is in bondage with those who are born of her. Hagar represents the Covenant of Law given at Mount Sinai, and all those who are born under that covenant, are in bondage to the Law of sin and death. Every preacher who is preaching the Covenant of Law, is birthing a people who will live in bondage to that law, and can never be free. According to which "Covenant" we preach to the people, so the offspring will be either in bondage to the Law of sin and death, or a free people of the NEW COVENANT OF GRACE, and citizens of the New Jerusalem which is from above.
Paul reminds us again, that the children born after the flesh, will even today persecute those who are born of the spirit, for they are incompatible. Therefore we are told to cast out the "Bond Woman" and her son, because her son will not inherit the promises of God given to Abraham. But the time came when the Lord said he would visit Sarah and she would have a child. The time of this event was set by God, who waited until there was absolutely no chance that Sarah and Abraham could have produced a child on their own. The scripture says they were, "As good as dead" from the human point of view of producing a child. All the energy of the flesh had at this point been used up so there was now a total trust in the Lord to perform his work. The Child of promise can never be produced by carnal or human means. The one who made the promise is the only one who can produce the child.
Now the "Seed" is conceived in Sarah according to the promise, and the son is born. His name is called Isaac, which means, "To laugh." This is the laugh of faith, when God does the impossible that defies all the logic of the carnal mind. To tell a woman at 90 years of age that she will give birth to a son would make anyone laugh. But when it is the result of a promise of God, the laugh is not a frivolous thing, but the LAUGH OF FAITH. Many times I have laughed with Sarah at the wondrous things God said he would do, and he did. The child of promise was birthed contrary tof natural laws by a divine act of God. This is as it must be even for us today, and this is the reason why sometimes we have to wait for the energy of the flesh to expend itself, before the Lord will bring it to pass. However it was not long before the son of the bondwoman begins to make fun of Isaac. Sarah asks Abraham to send the bond-woman and her son away, as he cannot inherit with Isaac, but Abraham hesitates. After all, this also is his son from the natural view of things, so why cannot they exist together?
However, God has to intervene instructing him to do what Sarah said, because only in Isaac shall thy seed be called. God told Abraham that he would bless Ishmael and he would make of him a nation, because he is your son. So Abraham obeyed, and the bond-woman and her son were sent away. This spiritual separation still functions today, as in most cases the natural and the spiritual seed gravitate towards those of like mind. One seed is of the earth, while the other seed is from heaven. The one people are fathered by a man, whilst the other is fathered by God. Just as the origin of the stars is in God, so the "Star-Seed" also find their beginning and expression in God. Herein lies the distinction between NATURAL Israel, and the SEED OF ABRAHAM. Many people consider that natural Israel are the inheritors of the promises made to Abraham, but for them, they only see those promises being fulfilled from the natural or earthly point of view. The "LAND" promised to Abraham which Natural Israel today claims as theirs, is seen simply as a piece of Real Estate in the Middle East, over which fighting and bloodshed have continued for centuries, and will continue because they are a "Natural People" birthed through natural parents, claiming a natural inheritance.
The inheritance that is ours beloved, is not a "Natural" inheritance but is Spiritual. This is what the Apostle Peter had to say about it.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is incorruptible, and undefiled, and that can never be changed, being reserved with YOUR NAME ON IT, in the Realm of Spirit for you, who are being kept by the "Power of God" through his faith, unto a total and complete salvation that includes our Body, ready to be revealed in Godís time.
The Birthing of the Son
Let us take a moment to see a few details about the birthing of the child of promise. Abraham received a further visitation of the Lord, in which he was given a promise that Sarah his wife would give birth to a son. Sarah heard this word of the Lord and she "Laughed within Herself," because her "Self" or her perception of her own identity was of an "Old Woman" who could never birth a child. However I believe that her "Laugh" was in fact a question rather than a doubting of the promise. Her mind had to be conditioned to "Thinking outside the square," or be reprogrammed according to the Christ mind where nothing is impossible with God. It was that promise that brought about the change in Sarah. The spirit within her raised her faith to the divine level, as she realized like Mary hundreds of years later, that God was not asking her to produce this child, but she would be simply the vessel through which GOD himself would bring forth this child of PROMISE. I am sure that Sarah came to the same conclusion as Mary who said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to THY WORD." Lord I am sure that you are perfectly able to birth this child of promise, through me for there is nothing too hard for you.
Most people read the Bible as if it is a history book, and particularly the Old Testament. However Jesus, in speaking to the disciples after the resurrection began at Moses or the first 5 books of the Bible, and the Prophets, and expounded to them in ALL THE SCRIPTURES the things CONCERNING HIMSELF. So if you are "IN CHRIST" then you also must see YOURSELF in all the scriptures, just as he did. We must allow the spirit to open our eyes, to see that we are represented in Abraham and all of his experiences, as well as in Sarah and all of her experiences. This promised SON is CHRIST, and the very same promises that were given to Abraham, are to be fulfilled in ALL OF HIS SEED who are as the stars of heaven. Of course everyone wants the blessings that were given to Abraham, but it seems that few desire to birth the SON and HEIR. However, it is only the CHRIST birthed IN YOU, who is to inherit all the blessings that were given to Abraham. Christ is also the one who is to inherit the "Promised Land" which is your body, so that you can take full possession of it, making it available to be the expression of the invisible God in this world.
This is not just a nice story to tell the children, but THIS IS TO BE REALITY for all the SEED OF ABRAHAM in every generation. God is opening our eyes to see that which has been hidden from the wise and the prudent, but is today being revealed unto his people. This flesh and blood is not the SON of God, nor is this natural man going to inherit the Abrahamic promises, or walk in covenant relationship with God. Abrahamís years of preparation were designed to bring him to the place where his "FLESH" with all its natural energy and ability had been expended, and brought into DEATH. That NEW LIFE that God wanted to bring forth would have nothing of the natural man associated with its birthing, for this is the "STAR SEED." The declaration in the scriptures is very simple, "And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him."
This was not just another human being that was born to Abraham, but this is his SON and HEIR. Now the promises of Abraham and the Covenant God made with him, were given to all generations. Paul referred to the saints in Galatia as the Seed of Abraham, hundreds of years after Abraham died, so his SON and HEIR would have to exist throughout all generations, for God only has ONE SON. So this was no natural human being, but he is the FIRST BORN of every creature, and of the generation of Jesus Christ according to Matt 1:1. Isaac is a type of Christ in his earthly manifestation, representing the SEED as the Stars of Heaven, and he fulfilled in his life that type, in many wonderful ways. Christ IN US is the hope of glory, as he is birthed in us also making available to us the heritage of Abraham.
As Isaac grew God spoke to Abraham, telling him to take his ONLY SON, and offer him as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains that I will show you. This was a challenge to Abraham who had waited so long for this son and heir, now to be told to offer him as a burnt offering. Now the "Burnt Offering" had to be strictly voluntary, for there could be no demand or force used to require a person to make this offering, for it had to be, "Of their own will." So the challenge to Abraham was, "Is this son yours, or does he belong to God." Abraham did not produce this son, for all his natural resources could never have birthed Isaac, so in truth this son belonged to God. Now this sacrifice signified that only out of Death could new life be brought forth. "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die it abideth alone, but if it die it will bring forth much fruit." So Abraham and Isaac and the servants traveled for three days to the place God showed Abraham. These three days represent the transformation from mortality to immortality, through death, burial and resurrection.
On the third day Abraham and Isaac ascended in spirit to the top of the mountain, above the lowlands of Adamic thinking, into the realm of Christ Consciousness. They are there to WORSHIP THE LORD, and this can only be achieved when we are IN THE SPIRIT. We also learn that no one can worship the Lord unless they have an offering to give to him. Today in many Churches there is NO OFFERING presented to the Lord, and so there is no reality in what they call "Worship." What would be a suitable offering that we could present unto the Lord?? Many present their talents, or their time or money, none of which could represent in any way a burnt offering. Life must be involved, but not that of an animal, as it was in Israelís day. The only offering that is acceptable unto the Lord today is YOUR LIFE. Isaac represented Abrahamís life as his SON and HEIR who would inherit all the promises that were given to him. What is required is, "The presenting of your body as a LIVING SACRIFICE, which is wholly acceptable unto God which is your SPIRITUAL WORSHIP."
Abraham told the servants to stay at the bottom of the mountain for they could not enter into this divine experience. However he told them, "I and the lad will go yonder and WORSHIP." What an unusual worship time this was by comparison with most "Worship" in the Churches today. It began with Abraham building an altar, which is essential for anyone who wants to enter into worship. We build the altar by bringing every thought into captivity to Christ. Worship must originate from within the very depths of our being. Building the altar purifies our motives and our relationship with the Father. After building the altar we turn our attention to the sacrifice, and I am not speaking about giving your tithe to the church. Abraham was freely offering to the Lord that which God had given to him, his SON and HEIR. All Abrahamís hopes, loves, aspirations and desires were wrapped up in ISAAC, that Divinely appointed sacrifice which now lay upon the altar. Nothing given to God is ever lost, for his LOVE will return to us above and beyond whatever we may give to him.
So Isaac is laid upon the wood on the altar and in Abrahamís heart he prepares to offer his son, but at that moment the Lord told Abraham not to touch the lad, for now Abraham had revealed that he recognized Isaac belonged to the Lord. Something had changed while Isaac was on that altar, for the one that returned home with Abraham was no longer Isaac, but Christ the true SON and HEIR who is forever the inheritor of all the promises given to Abraham, and made available to all his seed after him. Matt 1:1 says Jesus Christ is the son of Abraham. Now the divine order had been set, and the SEED of Abraham is not one born of an egg and a sperm, but one who is BORN OF GOD. However, mankind have all been "Born of Blood," so that which is natural must die, for as it was with Abraham, the child born to the bond woman can never inherit with the true son and heir, who must be the product of the DIVINE SEED. WE must rise into the Christ Consciousness in the spiritual realm and there enter into true worship, having presented our bodies a LIVING SACRIFICE unto the Lord upon the altar, which represents the cross.
Most Christians are very glad that Jesus Christ died on that cross, but turn away from considering that they should submit themselves to the same death. But the words of Jesus ring in our ears, as he says, "If any man will come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." No one can follow him who is not prepared to face the cross personally. The modern theologians have perverted the truth by teaching that Christ died INSTEAD OF US. This is not true, because Christ died AS US, for he was made to "Be sin" or (THE MAN OF SIN who is Adam) for us, who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. He died as the LAST ADAM so there could be an end to the GENERATION of those who had been infected by the Adamic consciousness. Remember there is no inheritance in Adam, for "In Adam all die, but in Christ shall all be made alive."
As Abraham worshipped there in that spirit charged atmosphere on the top of the mountain, a change was taking place in the offering of pure worship on the altar. The "smoking Furnace" that passed between the pieces of the sacrifice, is the fire of God that brings a transformation to the sacrifice making it suitable for him to accept. On that altar the sacrifice is changed from the earthly to the heavenly, making it acceptable unto the Lord. In the same way, Paul says, "Present your bodies a LIVING SACRIFICE unto God," and the same change will take place as the fire of God consumes the sacrifice, transforming it into its true reality, which is the New Creation Man.
Remember that this burnt offering must be of your own voluntary will, no one else can put you on that altar. ONLY YOU can present yourself to God as a LIVING SACRIFICE. YOU must build the altar as an act of pure worship, and YOU must expose your whole being fully for his inspection, becoming totally vulnerable in his presence. All of this in faith knowing that as you worship before the Lord of glory, your consuming desire is, TO BE LIKE HIM. Then the fire will fall and the Gold will be refined, while burning up the dross. Then the Lamp, which is the LIGHT OF GOD, will fill his temple illuminating the Christ within, so that his glory may be seen and cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. All this is the result of pure worship, and in no other way can the "Change" take place. From that time the altar becomes a permanent feature of our lives as an expression of our yielded-ness to the will and purpose of God. The voice of God that Abraham heard, echoes down through the ages to us today, "I AM THY EXCEEDING GREAT REWARD!"
Isaac was birthed by a miracle, not with an egg and a sperm, for God had waited all those years until the natural process of reproduction had ceased, and God had made it clear that Sarah would give birth to the SON and HEIR. Now Sarah was 90 years old and scripture emphasizes this to let us know that our true SON and HEIR, that is to inherit all the promises given to Abraham, is Christ. The divinely planted seed was sufficient for Sarah to conceive and to bring forth Isaac. Now Isaac who is a type of Christ has been offered on the altar of sacrifice, and he has become Abrahamís Seed, who alone is to inherit the promises. Paul speaks very plainly in Galatians 3:16 that there is ONLY ONE SEED and that is Christ.
"Natural" Israel is both a NATURAL SEED and a SPIRITUAL SEED, however the natural seed are as the sands of the sea-shore for multitude, but the spiritual seed are as the stars of heaven. So Paul says in verse 29, "IF YOU BE CHRISTíS, only then are you Abrahamís seed and heirs according to the promise." Natural Israel however, may claim the NATURAL promises concerning the Land that were made to Abraham, but remember, Abraham is the father of the FAITHFUL. It was also said that in him and his "seed" would all the nations of the earth be blessed. Natural Israel has never fulfilled this promise, because they rejected the Messiah that is CHRIST the Savior of the World. It is worth noting that there has been more blood spilt over Jerusalem and the "Land," than any other city or country in the world, and natural Israel has never possessed the whole land.
The inheritance is not through Jacob for God said clearly, "In ISAAC shall thy seed be called." The two promises that should concern the people of God today are these :-
That the PROMISED LAND which is our BODY, has been given to us to possess, so that we could make it available to it the Christ through which he could may express himself, and so become visible become the manifestation and expression of the Christ in this world.
That "CHRIST" our son and heir who is to inherit all the promises of Abraham, is to be BORN IN US.
That our son and heir who is to inherit all the promises of Abraham is to be BORN IN US.
However, we are told that the "SEED" would be a stranger in the land (our Body) for a period of time, because 10 nations who are alien to that land have claimed it as their own. At Kadesh-Barnea the Children of Israel stood on the border of the promised land, having already received the promise through Abraham that the land was theirs, However even after inspecting it and seeing the fruit of the land the people refused to possess it. The carnal mind had discouraged the people against taking the land, declaring the giants who inhabit the land will eat us up. But two men with the Christ mind told the people, the inhabitants are bread for us, and we are well able to take the land. That "Real Estate" was only a type of the reality, which is our BODY that God said he would give us to possess. Yes, the giants are still there such as, Sickness, disease, pain, ageing, disability and a host of others. However, the promise of God is that we would possess the Land, for it has been given to the SEED, which is Christ. When we fully possess the land, then Christ will be free to express himself in all his glory to the world. Israel at that time had not birthed the Christ, so the promised seed was not active in them.
That whole generation had to die in the wilderness before their offspring could possess the land. Moses could not bring Israel into Canaan for he represented Mount Sinai and the Law that can not give us the inheritance. However, under Joshua a new generation entered the Promised Land, but Jericho, a strong walled city stood right in the way and had to be overcome first, before possessing the land. But the word of the Lord is, "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage, be not afraid neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with thee whereever you go." Joshua sent spies into the land to check out this strong walled city and its people, and found out the people were living in fear of the Children of Israel. In Jericho, Joshuaís spies found a HARLOT who protected them, because she knew God had given the land to Israel. This harlot speaks of our own love and affections that have sought out many lovers before we possessed the land, even though our true affection was towards Christ. The city stands defiantly, almost as if guarding the Land of Canaan. The meaning of the name Jericho has to do with the Moon, which is simply a reflected light and therefore represents the carnal mind of man, which has no true knowledge of God.
All of the enemies that affect our body such as sickness and disease have no true reality, but are supported by the carnal mind that functions according to the world of appearance. When our Emotions are out of control, such a fear, sorrow, anger or jealousy, they will produce a negative response in our body, resulting in sickness and pain. Paul tells us, that if we are controlled by the carnal mind it will KILL US. Also we are reminded that the carnal mind is an enemy of God, and is not subject to the Law of God. Before we can possess our body we must put down the carnal mind otherwise the FLESH will rule our lives and we will not be able to please God. Finally, if the carnal mind is functioning in us we will retain our sin consciousness, and not know the indwelling Christ. But once we are convinced Christ dwells IN US we are no longer under the law of sin and death, "For the law of the spirit of LIFE in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." When we recognize Jesus Christ dwelling within us, in his holy Temple, we have power over all the enemies that have possessed our body, for CHRIST IS LORD.
The way in which Jericho was taken is most important for us to understand. Joshua saw a man standing over against him with his sword drawn, so he challenged him asking whose side was he on? He said that he was not on any side but was the Captain of the HOST OF THE LORD. He was the Captain of the invisible army of the Lord, such as the chariots of fire and the horsemen, but also the sun, moon and stars. Joshua knew that this was a strategic battle that was not limited to the natural army of Israel. The whole army of heaven is involved here. Joshua was told to take off his shoes because he was standing on Holy Ground that was already designated as belonging to the Lord. Joshua was told before he did anything that Jericho had been given to him with the King and his mighty men. The priests were to carry the ark around the city once each day for 6 days. The Ark of the Covenant represented the presence of the living God, and having encompassed the City 6 times, victory was near. Six is the number of man and it was on the sixth day that man was created, so being encompassesd by the presence of the Living God for six days the day of liberation was near. The carnal mind is overcome by the divine presence, and the spirit of LIFE in Christ Jesus now has set us free from the law of sin and death, as the seventh day dawns.
The priests blew on the trumpets, which represented the voice of God, and as the presence of the Living God encircled the city seven times that day, the walls of the city crumbled leaving the city exposed, and those in the city including the King were rendered helpless. It was a mere formality for Israel to possess the city. The power of Godís presence in subduing all our enemies is without question. To try and personally fight that which opposes the will and purpose of God is futile, but every knee MUST BOW TO HIM that reigns forever. Our faith to possess the land is not in our own ability, but in the captain of the hosts of the Lord, for it will be "Not by might nor by power BUT by my spirit sayeth the Lord." Many battles had yet to be fought before the land could be fully occupied. But the promise is true and we will possess the land, as we follow the Captain of the host of the Lord.
Let us not forget that we, as mortal human beings, can never inherit the blessings promised to Abraham. The inheritance is only for the SEED of Abraham, and as we have seen, there is only ONE SEED, and that SEED IS CHRIST. Furthermore that seed is already within us waiting to be birthed, so as to possess the "Promised Land." He is our true identity that waits for the breath of God to bring the SEED into the reality of our own being, in order to possess the "Promised Land." "For if that same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your MORTAL BODY by his spirit that dwelleth in you."
May the spirit quicken your understanding to hear what Father is saying to his people in these days.
To be continuedÖÖ.. Des Walter Sept. 2003
Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
KJVProverbs 22:21 That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?