Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 10

This entry is part 10 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap of Part 9: God gives Abram a new name, Abraham, and a covenant relationship. This covenant is sealed with a sign or token, circumcision. The bible tells us: “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness” (Genesis 17:19-22). We also spoke about doubt that can happen within our minds. The remedy for doubt is faith, and faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). God gave us the Bible as a testimony of His works in the past, so we will have a reason to trust Him in the present.

Part 10

Abraham has faith in God’s word and anticipates the promise of a son. He first tries to do it his own way, by impregnating his wife’s servant Hagar. “Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife” (Genesis 16:1-3). “And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael” (vs. 15).

Was this the right thing to do? Make an arrangement to complete God’s plan without him. Isn’t that what Sarah and Abraham did? Because she was unable to bear children. How many of us do the same? Try to do things our own way, without the hand of God in our lives? The promise was to show the power of God and how he alone could make the impossible possible. A man of 100 years of age and a woman 90 years of age, who had already been through menopause, would have a child. “Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women” (Genesis 18:11). Menopause is the time of life when a woman no longer has eggs to be fertilized and menstruation ceases. This is an important miracle of God to pay attention to. The woman who no longer had an egg, produced a son. Isaac indeed was the child of promise. You know what happens next, God tempts Abraham to see his faith. “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of” (Genesis 22:1-2). Through obedience we see Abraham do as commanded. He prepared wood for the offering, brought 2 servants and his son to the place God had commanded. On the third day he instructed the servants to remain were they were, “and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you” (vs. 5). He took the wood of the offering and placed it upon his son and they went to the place commanded. Along the way, Isaac asks his father, “where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (vs. 8). He next goes to slay his son, but is stopped by an angel who tells him not to harm the child and “now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me” (vs. 12). “And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice” (vs. 15-18). Obedience does pay off. Following the commands of the Lord is what will allow for your salvation, redemption, justification, anointing, how you become a child of God, and gain an inheritance as a fellow heir in Christ. “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:17). Make sure you constantly align yourselves with God’s plan and refrain from doing your own will.

Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 9

This entry is part 9 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap of Part 8: Because of the bravery of Abram, Lot and his family are saved. A battle between 9 kings took place and Lot was taken. We see the character of Abram when he chooses to go to battle for his nephew instead of being a coward. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10).

Part 9 Abram receives a new name from God: “Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee” (Genesis 17:5). He also receives a covenant with God: “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” (v.7). “And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you” (v.11). Why receive a new name? Why receive a covenant? Why need a token of the covenant?

God gives him the name “Abraham”, which means “father of many”. This reinforces God’s promise to Abraham that he would not only have a son through Sarai, but also that he would be the father of many nations. This is true through Ishmael, Isaac, and the sons of Keturah–the wife he took after Sarah died. He receives a covenant, promise, agreement, contract and a token of the covenant for the very same reason; each reinforces God’s promise to Abraham.

Was it difficult to accept? These promises that God presented to Abraham were impossibilities when speaking of the understanding of man. Abraham would need to believe in something that had never happened in nature before, something that was impossible in his own mind. How does he respond? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3). I am not sure we ourselves can comprehend this. Abraham when “against hope, believed in hope” (v.18).

Did he receive the blessings only? or were others included in these blessing? Where the circumcised the only ones who would receive the blessings of the covenant? “And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised” (vs.11-12). Through faith, by the plan of God, the promise is “sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all” (v.16).

This faith that Abraham had, was it fragile? When tested did he doubt? As so-called Christians of today are hypocritical, did he believe for a time, but begin to distrust? The bible tells us: “And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness” (vs.19-22). Can we have this kind of faith? Can we be fully persuaded as Abraham was?

Doubt is a tool of Satan to make us lack confidence in God’s Word and consider His judgment unlikely. Any time we allow human reason to overshadow faith in God, sinful doubt is the result. No matter how logical our reasons may seem, God has made foolish the wisdom of the world (1 Corinthians 1:20), and His seemingly foolish plans are far wiser than man’s. Faith is trusting God even when His plan goes against human reason or experience. The remedy for doubt is faith, and faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). God gave us the Bible as a testimony of His works in the past, so we will have a reason to trust Him in the present.

Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 8

This entry is part 8 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap of part 7: Abram, Sarai, and Lot have made themselves comfortable in the land God called Abram out to. They have gone through many obstacles along the way and are faced with new ones in their current locations. Did Abram seek God? Or did God seek Abram? Those were the questions presented last week and we heard from Maimonides, a Jewish philosopher on this topic. However, God has given the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. Let us not settle for the controversy of man but lean on God’s word to guide our understanding.

Part 8

As Abram settled in the new land, he had to provide for his family. He had a great amount of possessions, we read, when Lot and Abram divide themselves because of the strife amongst the servants. “And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left” (KJV Genesis 13:7-9). “Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other” (v.11).

After their time apart, we read that Lot is in trouble and has been seized in a battle of kings; taking place in Sodom. Four kings began a battle against five other kings and during the struggle Lot, his family, and all his possession were taken. One of Lot’s servants was able to escape this barbarism and found Abram. “And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people” (KJV Genesis 14:14-16).

This man Abram saved his nephew from slavery and death. Abram faced many challenges and he chose combat when deciding what to do with the men who took Lot. Prior to this event, we can read nothing about Abram’s fighting skill, or his bravery, but through these simple sentences we can see that he was a warrior, that he overcame much, and that he succeeded with the challenges he faced. This is quite a different feeling to have of Abram than the one we have when he was in Egypt. If you recall while he was in Egypt, he feared the pharaoh and was afraid to call his wife his spouse, but instead called her his sister. “Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee” (KJV Genesis 12:12-13). He plays the role of a coward in these verses. So which Abram is he? Coward? Or warrior?

What options did Abram have in both scenarios? He had a choice when choosing to call his spouse, his sister. But, did he have a choice when it came to his nephew’s life? He obviously could have ignored the news of his nephew’s demise, but could he live with that decision? He obviously dealt with a heavy burden. How many of us would have acted in a similar fashion when we hear of a brother or sister in Christ who have faced adversity? We are commanded to love one another: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (KJV John 13:34-35). Abram acted with love when saving Lot. He acted as the New Testament Church ought to act when facing these challenges. We do not get to choose our family, but instead we must do as commanded. We must be obedient to Christ in all the ways he asks, not just with the easy things, but with the difficult and challenging things also. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (KJV Matthew 5:10). As Abram chose, choose to be a warrior for Christ, not a coward.

Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 7

This entry is part 7 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap Part 6: Noah and his family took a cruise. He saved his house; as he’d set out to do. The time for preaching was over, only action proved those that should be saved. “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (KJV 1 Pet 3:21). Salvation for them and for us is by obeying the command of God. The ark “condemned the world”, but Noah “became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (Heb 11:7).

Part 7

Genesis 12 begins with the story of God speaking to Abram. Abram lived in Haran with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and his father Terah. He was commanded to “get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee” (KJV Gen 12:1). He did as he was told and left the land of Haran at the age of 75. He gets to the land and is instructed by God “Unto thy seed will I give this land” (v.7). Later, he explores the land (Bethel, Egypt, South, & Bethel) starting and ending in Bethel. “Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other” (v.11). “And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee” (vs.14-17).

We can easily follow the story as it happens, but we might have several questions along the way, such as: Why was he selected? Why not his brother Nahor? Why not his father Terah? Why did he have to travel so far from home? Why did God tell him all things after Lot had separated himself from him? Did he seek God? Or did God seek him?

Maimonides, a medieval Jewish philosopher and significant Torah scholars of the middle ages, maintains that Abraham found God through his own reasoning skills. “After this mighty man was weaned, he began to explore and think. Though he was a child, he began to think [incessantly] throughout the day and night, wondering,” until, as a result of his own correct understanding, he reached the truth (Laws of Idolatry, Chapter 1, Halacha 3).

“Once Abraham recognized and understood the ethical God, he began to tell the idolaters that they were not pursuing the true path; he broke their idols and informed the people that it is only proper to serve the God of the world… he stood up and called out in a great voice to the entire world that there is only one God in the entire universe and it is only Him that they must serve. He would walk about, call out and gather people from city to city and from kingdom to kingdom until he reached the land of Canaan, and he called out there in the name of the Lord of the universe. The people would gather around him and ask him questions and he would teach each of them according to their respective knowledge, until he would bring them to the path of truth…” (Riskin, 2012).

Seems like this man was handed down a verbal story of Abram that wasn’t written. This reminds me of a game I played as a child called the telephone game. (One person passes a message to the next person and each person shares with the next as they heard or interpreted. This often produces a message at the end that is far different than the original message.) Does a man who lived in a time period so far removed from the time of Abram know more than what the modern bibles teach us today? “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (KJV Romans 8:32). He has given the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. Let us not settle for the controversy of man but lean on God’s word. Reference

Riskin, S. (2012, October 25). Parshat Lech Lecha: Why God chose Abraham. Retrieved from

https://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Judaism/Parshat-Lech-Lecha-Why-God-chose-Abraham.

Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 6

This entry is part 6 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap of Part 5: Enoch was taken because he “walked with God”. He prophesied: Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (KJV Jude 1:14- 15). How shall Christ execute judgment upon all? “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (KJV John 12:48).

Part 6 A 500 year old man went out preaching for 120 years and tried to get the people of his time period to repent, turn toward God, and follow his way, his grace, his plan. If you haven’t figured out about whom I speak, I’ll give you another hint. He had a boat. A giant boat. Yep, I speak of the preacher, Noah. “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (KJV Hebrews 11:7).

He literally took on the world with his preaching. He was called faithful, a preacher of righteousness, an heir of righteousness, finder of grace, and he walked with God. I wonder how he kept his head up. Odds are most people who preach think about numbers. We want to convert them all. Noah preached for 120 years and he saved eight souls. “…When once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water” (KJV 1 Peter 3:20). So, the real question is, was Noah disappointed with numbers? We seem to be today. If there aren’t enough people in the pews we feel disappointed. Is this what God wants for us? Is it really about numbers?

I often found encouragement from Joe Wilson. He too, was often disappointed with the numbers game, but would say “we preach the truth, or in other words, we plant the seed, but God gives the increase. We are not responsible for the soil. We are responsible for the seed”. Christ taught the parable of the sower and the seed and said: Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (KJV Luke 8:5-11). We preach the word of God and should be satisfied in that. Noah knew the rain would come, he knew the world would be destroyed, he knew he had to save his house, he knew he had to lean on God who provided the plan, he built a tomb (the arc), he followed the pattern God gave him, he remained faithful, he put his confidence in the Lord, he trusted, he knew God would be his salvation, he knew one way into the arc (one door), he had one light (one window), he preached one message, and eight souls were faithful. This reminds me of a verse of scripture: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (KJV Ephesians 4:4-6). I’m pretty sure God isn’t after numbers. He is after those who truly love him the way he showed his love. Not a love that says what about me, but a love that says: how can I help you. Noah might have had some ego issues as some of us do, but he served God and it was enough for him. We should learn the faith of Noah, serve the Lord as he did, save our family, and the Lord shall be our reward. Have contentment in the Lord.

Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 5

This entry is part 5 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Part 4 Recap: After the fall in Eden, Cain slayed his brother because of his jealousy. He went against his father’s teaching by presenting a gift to God which spoke of himself. Denominational teachers do the same by presenting stories about themselves rather than preaching Christ. The acceptable gift which Abel brought before God was an innocent lamb which spoke of Christ’s coming.

Part 5

Our character for this week is Enoch. Enoch was spoken about in four books of the bible, Genesis, Hebrews, Luke, and Jude. The book of Genesis tells us: “And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (KJV 5:21-24). Where did he go? Enoch was taken by God and did not die, like we will one day. What should we understand from this fact? “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (KJV Hebrews 11:5). Enoch was the very first prophet mentioned in the bible. He spoke of the coming of Christ. He was unique because he pleased God and the Lord took him directly to heaven, without seeing death.

The prophecy of Enoch is only mentioned once in the bible; in Jude. “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (KJV Jude 1:14-15). He states that Christ will come to: execute judgment upon all. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (KJV 2 Corinthians 5:10). “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (KJV Hebrews 9:27).

Many are worried about these sayings. The judgement seems to be quite a scary thought. How are we to be prepared? To what standard are we held? Should we worry about what we were taught by man? The bible tells us: “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (KJV John 12:48). If the word shall judge us, do we know the word? To know the word, turn to John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (KJV). Now read John 1:1-5 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (KJV). The word is God and specifically Jesus Christ; the one that came in the flesh. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (KJV Hebrews 11:6). What else did Enoch know?

Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 4

This entry is part 4 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap of Part 3: Last week’s bulletin spoke of Adam knowing his error and we see his guilt when he hid. Adam was fearful of the presence of the Lord after his mistake and he watched as God killed animals before him to make clothing. Next, he was driven from his home, Eden. Adam faced a new world than the one he knew, which included self-doubt, doubt in his partner, and fear.

Part 4

The bible tells us that Adam and Eve had children in their own image; Cain and Abel his twin brother. They were taught by their physical father Adam. We can see this clearly when both children decide to bring a sacrifice before the Lord. If they had not been taught, they would not understand the need for a sacrifice unto the Lord. However, we see both children bring their individual sacrifice to God. “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell (KJV Genesis 4:3-5). We must ask ourselves, did he know what he was doing? Did Cain understand why he needed to sacrifice? Did he understand what it represented? Could he not see that bringing a sacrifice before the Lord which showed off his own work was not acceptable, but that only God’s work would be? This is how denominational preachers teach today. They speak of themselves and what they have done for God. They give their witness to you and explain how their experience is unique and holy, verses the plain old text from the bible. The true sacrifice was Christ and Abel’s sacrifice spoke of this. We all should know that. Why would you bring a sacrifice before the Lord which spoke of your own work, as if it even came close to the work that God has done for us. We must humble ourselves and realize that it is not about what we have done for God, but it is about what he has done for us.

“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh” (KJV Hebrews 11:4). Unfortunately, the sad truth is, that Cain slew his twin brother Abel, because of the jealousy he held in his heart. “And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him” (KJV Genesis 4:6-7). He knew his own father had committed sin and suffered its consequences, but he decided killing was a good option. Because this was not a command during that period, Cain did not commit a sin, but he did face consequences for his actions. “And he (God) said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth” (KJV Genesis 4:10-12).

In the end of this story we see that Cain could not grow the crops he brought as a sacrifice, but his penalty was to become a Shepard and survive by that means. Did he live a Godly life after this? How hard was his struggles with keeping a flock? Did he suffer for the loss of his brother? Did he understand the faith of Adam or Abel? Did he ever learn this? What did he know?

Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 3

This entry is part 3 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap of Part 2: The Holy Spirit inspires Moses to write about the creation of the world, creatures, and mankind. We talked of the fellowship that Adam had with God and their intimate relationship prior to the fall. Next, we spoke of Paul and his presentation of the righteousness of God given him “at that time” (KJV, Romans 3:26). We concluded through scriptures that all men prior to Paul’s presentation of righteousness, did not understand the righteousness of God. Lastly, we spoke of Isaiah, who instructed the Israelites about God’s design for our understanding and how it would be presented: “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (KJV, Isaiah 28:10).

Part 3

Adam fell when he bit the fruit of the forbidden tree. Did he know it was wrong? Yes, God had commanded him, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (KJV, Genesis 2:16-17). We know that Adam knew this commandment because we can clearly see his actions; when God came in the cool of the day to speak with Adam. “Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden” (KJV, Genesis 3:8). He knew what he had done and hid because of the fear that he felt. Did he know he would die spiritually or physically?

The consequences of his sin included: “…cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (KJV, Genesis 3:17-19). “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden…he drove out the man…” (KJV, Genesis 3:23-24).

Adam was fearful of the presence of the Lord after his mistake and he watched as God killed animals before him to make clothing. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (KJV, Genesis 3:21). How did God sacrifice these animals? Did Adam who had just finished disobeying God watch as God made these clothing? Did Adam tremble with terror? God did say: “…for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (KJV, Genesis 2:17).

As he was driven from his home, Eden, was he fearful of the world outside this garden? How would he get his water to drink? How would he get his food for nourishment? How would he provide for his wife? Did Adam know that the animal sacrifice that he just witnessed spoke of Christ? Did he understand a plan had been made because of his disobedience? Did he know that God himself would need to die because of a mouthful of fruit?

Adam faced a new world than the one he knew. He had to acquire skills to survive. Thorns and thistles could harm him. Poisonous plants and danger surrounded him. Did he hold onto anger because his wife encouraged his sin? Did he forgive her? He was quick to blame her when God asked him why he was disobedient. Could he trust her now, in this unknown world he was faced with? Did Adam suffer, from the loss of the fellowship he had with Christ? Did he lose sleep over his failure? Was the weight of his error heavy upon him? What did he know?

Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap of Part 1: Part one of this series began with the question in the title, “What did they know?” The discussion began with the thoughts or views of the patriarchs; Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. Could they and did they understand the mind of God? Did they grasp the concept of Christ and what he would accomplish? What concepts did they grasp and know? Righteousness? Faith? Hope? Love? We will delve a little deeper in this week’s continuation. If we seek to understand what they know, we may wrap our own minds around the mind of God more fully.

Part 2

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (KJV Gen 1:3). If we are to understand this moment in time, we must consider who speaks and to whom. The creator, Christ, speaks and it is so. His word alone has the creative power to make that which is nonexistent, a reality. The penmen of these words is the Holy Spirit through inspiration to Moses. What did Moses know? Did he know there were three in the godhead? Did he understand who was speaking when he wrote those words found in Genesis 1:3?

The bible says: “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him” (KJV Gen 2:18-20). We can clearly see a joyous time between Christ and Adam. They had fellowship from the beginning. They must have had fun together discussing all the animal’s names and laughing together. And Adam had the great honor of naming God’s creatures. What did Adam know about Christ’s Plan/Way? Adam lived 930 years, how long was he in the garden? How many conversations did they enjoy together before the fall?

The Holy Spirit through the mouth of Paul helps us to understand the righteousness of God. “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (KJV Rom 3: 21-26). Paul makes a statement here we need to explore very thoroughly. He reports that he, Paul, is declaring the righteousness of God… at this time. What does that mean? Did Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses know the righteousness of God? Did they know the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ?

If you were to take a guess, how many people existed from the creation until the New Testament began? Can we count that high? And how many of them understood the Plan/Way? Is their faith equal to ours? Did they and could they grasp these concepts? The Holy Spirit through Isaiah writes: “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (KJV Isaiah 28:9-10). We see that God gives to us what is possible to understand and he did so, “here a little, and there a little”.

Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan?

This entry is part 1 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

What we often take for granted is what might explain what we do not understand. That that is not discerned by a lot of students of the Scriptures shows that their conception may be rather unclear. We have spent time studying of late things that have opened our minds to understanding the purposes of God which we had missed. The clarity of pre-supposed concepts can usually be realized when we determine what did they know? This

Did Adam, Job, Noah, Abraham and all the heroes of the Old Testament understand God to be another type of being, the same being (even though they might have NOT been given His real name? In all their associations with Him, did they think or just react to situations they were not supposed to understand?? When God said: “let there be light,” was there not light, already, and was He not that light? Were they aware that darkness came before light? “Darkness covered the face of the earth.” Was that light not standing in their presence and was He prophesying of an event that was coming or was to be? He that was to RULE when Moses by inspiration, was He that was to RULE the day, did they understand was also He that was to rule, the night? Were the stars, which were set in the expanse of the heavens, literal stars or were they to exist or did they exist before the earth, literally? Stars, were set in the heavens. What was in fact, the heavens? When God said it is good and very good, on the fifth day, did He not speak of an existence BEFORE the earth spawned His creation?

Is not the Old Testament religion mainly a religion of law in contrast to that of the New Testament? Would the objects of His creation be able to comprehend concepts like faith? How many times do we find the word faith in any of the old covenants and did not that word come into existence right at the close of the law of Moses? Would faith then be the standard of men under the old covenants? Was the old covenant based on faith or based solely on works? Did these works have another name? Could that name have been righteousness?

Faith presupposes that man understood that without God supplying grace, hereafter called the plan, that man would be hopelessly lost? The fall of man and it’s disastrous consequence supply as a background the gospel, but for which testament? When God made man, why did He not also make woman at the same time, or did He? Was woman a change in the plan? Were there other, changes?