Message Notes1). In our previous session we saw that Adam and Eve are given to us as a picture of the future fulfillment of God?s plans and purposes for His Son and His Bride in respect of rulership over the earth.
2). Enormously significant though this picture is it is not complete in itself.
a). God says in - Isa 28:9 ? "Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts? 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little."
b). Those who will be taught knowledge and who will understand the message will be those who press on to spiritual maturity. Those who progress from the milk of the word to the meat of the word. Those who understand the events of the Judgment Seat of Christ concerning their inheritance, the salvation of their soul.
c). These will be those who have searched precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little there a little.
d). And this is exactly what we will do in this session as we add more detail from the scriptures to the picture of marriage.
3). We have seen the Bride taken from the Body, we will now add to this by seeing the Bride taken from the family. And the place we need to go for this is once again back into Genesis.
a). We will start by looking at the big picture given to us in the events of Genesis Chapters 21 ? 25 and then come back to concentrate on Chapter 24 in particular.
4). Chapter 21 begins with the birth of Isaac - Ge 21:1 ? And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. 2 For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 3 And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him-whom Sarah bore to him-Isaac.
a). Isaac is the son of promise and is a type, a picture of the greater Son who was promised, the Lord Jesus Christ.
b). Here we would see Abraham as a type of God the Father and Sarah as a type of Israel and Isaac as a type of Christ.
c). In the anti-type, the fulfillment of the picture, Christ is born to Israel in God?s old age ? figuratively speaking. Jesus was born at the time set by God - Ga 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
d). He is the seed of the Woman promised in Genesis 3:15 and is the One through whom the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be realized.
5) Chapter 22 then deals with the offering of Isaac as a sacrifice ?
Ge 22:1 ? Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." 2 Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."
a). And of course the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father whom He loved was offered as a sacrifice on exactly the same mountain 2000 years after this event.
b). Abraham received Isaac back from the dead in a figurative sense ?
Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
c). And Christ was literally raised from the dead - Heb 13:20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead,
6). Chapter 23 then deals with the death of Sarah, Abraham?s wife ?
Ge 23:1 ? Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. 2 So Sarah died in Kirjath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.
a). Following Christ?s sacrifice Israel, who is God?s wife, according to scripture, is set aside, finding herself in the place of death while God deals with a new group of household servants - Jer 3:8?..I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce;
b). The setting aside of Israel is announced by the Lord in -
Mt 21:43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.
c). And is then fully realized in - Ac 28:28 "Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!"
7). Then, following the death of Sarah we find Abraham sending his oldest servant to Mesopotamia to find a wife for his son from amongst his family
Ge 24:1 ? Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, "Please, put your hand under my thigh, 3 "and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; 4 "but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac."
a). And following the picture that scripture gives to us here in Genesis we are looking at God?s dealings with the Church during this present dispensation, as the Holy Spirit is sent to search among the eternally saved, those who are God?s family, for those who would be the Bride for God?s Son.
b). We shall come back to this in detail shortly.
8). And, finally, following the marriage of his son, Abraham marries Keturah in Chapter 25 - Ge 25:1 ? Abraham again took a wife, and her name was Keturah. 2 And she bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.
a). Keturah in Hebrew = a sweet smelling aroma such as you would get from a burnt offering for sin.
b). This points to the restoration of the nation of Israel following their national repentance at the end of the seven years of the tribulation. Israel once again becomes God?s wife and this time Israel becomes fruitful, whereas before she had been only barren - Ho 2:19 "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy; 20 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the LORD.
9). And so here in this broad picture we have presented to us a complete overview of the events that have and will yet take place during the approximate 2000 years from the birth of Christ to the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom.
a). The picture in our overview shows us quite plainly the taking of a wife by God?s Son before the restoration of the nation of Israel. Making absolutely certain a pre-tribulation rapture/resurrection of the church.
10). So let?s now return to Genesis Chapter 24, as it is the present search for the Bride amongst the family of God that is our major concern.
a). As we begin to look in this in detail let us remember the types, the pictures, we have identified.
b). Abraham = God the Father
c). Sarah = Israel
d). Isaac = The Lord Jesus Christ
e). The oldest servant = the Holy Spirit
11). Now we saw at the beginning of Chapter 24 how Abraham commissions his oldest servant to go to his family to find a wife for his son and in the same way the Holy Spirit has been sent to accomplish the same task on behalf of God?s Son.
a). Joh 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
b). Joh 16:12 "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
15 "All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
c). And here in our scriptures from John?s gospel we see the promise of the sending of the Holy Spirit who will come from the Father.
d). Let?s note some things the Lord says about the Spirit?s ministry from our John 16 scripture
i/ He will guide you into all truth;
ii/ He will not speak on His own authority
iii/ He will tell you things to come
iv/ He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you
e). Clearly then there are specific God given boundaries for the Holy Spirit?s present ministry ? we should be able to see from our scripture that any attempt on our part to give voice to the Holy Spirit outside of what is already in God?s complete revelation to Man ? the scriptures, is not of God. God is not adding anything to that which He has already said.
f). After His resurrection and just before His ascension the Lord addresses this topic again - Ac 1:4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; 5 "for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
g). And we are of course looking here at the sending of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
12). Let?s pause for a moment to say something about the ministry of the Holy Spirit as this can appear confusing.
a). When the Holy Spirit is sent on the Day of Pentecost following the Lord?s resurrection this is not the first time He has come into the world, this really denotes the beginning of a new ministry in addition to that which He has always been performing.
b). If we go back to the foundation we can understand this ?
Ge 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 ? Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
Ge 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
c). From the beginning it has been the combined work of the Godhead to bring life to that which is dead and it is the Holy Spirit?s part of the action to impart life.
d). Man is made of the dust of the ground and is made lifeless. It is only when the breath of life is breathed into him that he becomes a living being.
e). Breath and spirit are exactly the same word in the Hebrew and Greek languages, therefore we can see that the Spirit of God and the breath of God are one and the same thing.
f). The Holy Spirit has always been in the world breathing life into that which is dead ? this is the very process by which we passed from death into life at the point of our eternal salvation ? ?that which is born of the Spirit is spirit? ? and is the process by which spiritual life is sustained within us as we are continually filled with the Spirit by receiving the scriptures, which are God breathed.
g). This has been the ministry of the Holy Spirit since time began and will continue to be His ministry through the end of the Millennial Kingdom ? without this ministry no one could be eternally saved.
h). At Pentecost then we see a ministry of the Spirit in addition to that which He already has ? and as this additional ministry has nothing to do with eternal salvation of itself we can clearly see that it is a ministry to those who are already saved ? it is a ministry to those who are already in the family of God, just as we saw in the beginning of Genesis 24.
i). There was also a work of the Spirit, begun at Pentecost, to empower the church with regards to the church re-offering the earthly portion of the Kingdom to Israel, a re-offer that was accompanied by signs, wonders and miracles as witnessed on the day of Pentecost and thereafter until the close of the Book of Acts which we have noted earlier.
j). So to review ? the Holy Spirit has always been in the world bringing life to that which is dead, providing the means of eternal salvation.
i/ He began a work of empowering the church with respect to re-offering the earthly part of the Kingdom to Israel ? this began at Pentecost and concluded with the fulfillment of the setting aside of Israel recorded in Acts 28.
ii/ He began a work amongst the saved in the antitype of the search for the bride seen in Genesis 24 ? a work that began at Pentecost and will continue until the rapture/resurrection of the church.
13). So let?s return to Genesis 24 and see the truth revealed in it.
A). Ge 24:5 And the servant said to him, "Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?" 6 But Abraham said to him, "Beware that you do not take my son back there.
Ge 24:8 "And if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be released from this oath; only do not take my son back there." 9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.
a). There are several things that we must note here ? the oldest servant raises the question of the woman from the family not being willing to follow him to the land to marry Isaac and Abraham responds by saying that if she is not willing to go the servant is released from his oath. There is then the absolute ?no? to the son being taken back and concludes with the servant swearing an oath.
b). What we see here is the introduction of choice ? the Holy Spirit in the antitype will make an offer to those in the family, Christians, to be a part of the Bride of Christ. But if individual Christians are not willing to follow Him, He will not force them and will have no obligation towards them. This leaves the absolute certainty that some will choose to follow and some will not.
c). The Son, Christ cannot be brought back as He has already appeared once on behalf of those who would make up the Bride, to bring eternal salvation through His death on the cross ? this cannot be repeated. Christ must remain at the right hand of the father until His enemies are made His footstool.
B). Ge 24:10 ? Then the servant took ten of his master's camels and departed, for all his master's goods were in his hand. And he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor.
a). The servant then departs with 10 of his master?s camels loaded with his master?s goods ? 10 is a number of completion pointing to the taking of all the master?s goods.
b). This is exactly what we already saw in our John 16 scripture - 15 "All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. ? The Holy Spirit then will take all that has been given to the Son and declare it, show it to the prospective Bride.
c). And what are the ?all things? that belong to the Son? ?
Heb 1:2b?.His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
i/ Col 1:16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
ii/ Ro 4:13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
d). The all things have to do with rulership over the earth, therefore they have to do with all things connected with being a joint heir with Christ.
e). The nature and content of this offer must be revealed to us as it is not possible for us to imagine it within our finite thinking.
f). 1Co 2:9 But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
g). And this is exactly what is shown to us in the type - Ge 24:53 Then the servant brought out jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother.
h). And we cannot fail to see here the gold, silver and precious stones of - 1Co 3:11 ? For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
i). And the wedding garment of - Re 19:7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
j). Not only does the Holy Spirit reveal to us the enormity of the inheritance that is on offer to us if we will be a part of the Bride ?
Heb 6:4?? have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
k). But also the good works, the acts of faithful obedience, the righteous acts of the saints, that were prepared beforehand for us to walk in them, that will make our participation as part of the Bride a certainty if we choose to receive them.
C). Let?s go back a little in Chapter 24 and look at the circumstances in which the oldest servant first meets Rebekah, who will be Isaac?s wife
Ge 24:13 "Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water.
a). It is interesting for us to note that Jacob and Moses, both of whom are types of Christ, also meet their prospective brides by a well of water as they came to draw from it. And Christ encounters the Samaritan woman by just such a well in John Chapter 4.
b). Water is a type of the Spirit and we have seen already how the Spirit of God and the word of God are one and the same thing - 2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is God breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
c). Those then who will be part of the Bride of Christ will be those who draw deeply from the well, those who search the word of God, who have progressed form milk, to meat, to strong meat in accord with our scripture from Isaiah 28:9 ? those who are pressing on to maturity.
d). These will be those, who because of their engagement with the word can do what is required in - 1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
D). And finally the choice - Ge 24:57 So they said, "We will call the young woman and ask her personally." 58 Then they called Rebekah and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" And she said, "I will go."
a). Rebekah, we will recall, had been shown all taht would be her inheritance if she would be the bride of Isaac.
b). However, other family members had wanted to prevent her from leaving ? Ge 24:55 But her brother and her mother said, "Let the young woman stay with us a few days, at least ten; after that she may go."
c). But, ultimately, the decision to go with the oldest servant or not was a matter for her personal choice.
d). If she had chosen not to go, which she could have done, it would not have altered her status in the family ? she would still have been Abraham?s great niece ? but she would not have been the wife of Isaac and would not have received an inheritance with him.
e). And for us also, in the antitype, it is a personal decision. We have seen what the scriptures have said about the Holy Spirit?s search, and we have seen that in the scriptures is to be found everything that God is offering us if we would be part of the Bride. Many of us have already experienced the hostility that comes from other Christians as they try to stop us from making this journey ? but in the end it is a choice that each one of us has to make. And there is no middle ground ? if we have not chosen to go, we have automatically chosen not to go. What choice have you made?
f). Ro 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
E). The end of the matter - Ge 24:61 Then Rebekah and her maids arose, and they rode on the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed. 62 ? Now Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he dwelt in the South. 63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming. 64 Then Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel; 65 for she had said to the servant, "Who is this man walking in the field to meet us?" The servant said, "It is my master." So she took a veil and covered herself. 66 And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67 Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
a). The meeting takes place between Rebekah?s home and Isaac?s home
b). Rebekah?s maids, other virgins from the family are with her, but only Rebekah covered herself with a veil.
c). Isaac takes her to Sarah?s tent ? that which should have been his mother?s, but his mother was now dead.
d). This is his comfort after his mother?s death.