Sunday May 27th 2012
The Letter to the Hebrews
Part Forty Six
1). 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. 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
a). We have seen in previous weeks how the offering up of Isaac given here in Hebrews 11 as an example of Abraham?s faith must be taken back to the Genesis account in Genesis Chapter 22 and that this Chapter in Genesis has to be viewed within the context of the five chapters that surround it ? five chapters that present a complete history of both Israel and the Church from the time of Christ?s birth to the time of Christ?s return to the earth.
b). In the first of these five Chapters, Genesis Chapter 21, we see the miraculous birth of Isaac foreshadowing the miraculous birth of Christ.
c). We had then followed the incredible detail seen in Genesis Chapter 22 surrounding the offering of Isaac, which foreshadowed the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ.
d). In Chapter 23 we had seen the death of Sara foreshadowing the setting aside of Israel with respect to the offer of the Kingdom of the Heavens.
e). This is then followed in Chapter 24 by Abraham?s oldest servant?s search for a bride for Isaac from amongst Abraham?s family, foreshadowing the Holy Spirit?s search for a Bride for God?s Son from amongst the family of God ? the eternally saved of this dispensation ? the ones who would receive the offer of the Kingdom of the Heavens that had been taken from Israel.
f). 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." 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. 7 "The LORD God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, 'To your descendants I give this land,' He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 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."
g). We had seen from our scripture that the oldest servant was given very specific instructions concerning his task ? and in v8 we see that he would be released from his oath if the woman was not willing to follow him, but he was under no circumstances to take Isaac back to Mesopotamia.
h). And with respect to Christians we can clearly see that the Holy Spirit has an obligation to search out a Bride, but if anyone chooses not to follow Him in respect of this then His obligation towards that person is removed. The Son, the Lord Jesus Christ cannot return to the earth Himself with regards to His Bride as He has already accomplished all that has to be done to provide eternal salvation to the eternally lost and soul salvation to those who are then eternally saved ? Joh 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. 31 ? Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. 36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not one of His bones shall be broken." 37 And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."
2). 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). The bride for Isaac is to be found in a particular place, ?by the well of water? and we will notice that it is ?the well? rather than ?a well?.
b). And within the scriptures Isaac is not the only one whose bride is found in such a location - Ge 29:10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.
c). Ex 2:16 ? Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. And they came and drew water, and they filled the troughs to water their father's flock.
17 Then the shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.
d). Now with regards to the picture we see with respect to Abraham?s oldest servant and Rachel we had noted that it would be those Christians who would draw deeply from the Word of God under the leadership of the Holy Spirit who would constitute the prospective Bride for God?s Son.
e). And of course this search beside the well of water by the Holy Spirit continues throughout the course of this present dispensation; and will continue until the rapture of the Church.
3). And I guess it will be no surprise for us that there is another woman by a well of water that sets out exactly the same picture for us, though from a different perspective, recorded in the Gospel of John - Joh 4:3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. 4 ? But He needed to go through Samaria. 5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink." 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."
a). Here we see Jesus leaving the land of the Jews to go to Samaria the land of the Gentiles, foreshadowing His leaving behind the Jewish people following His resurrection, and His ascension, and then this present dispensation when He deals with the Gentiles with respect to the Kingdom of the Heavens.
b). And in v6 we find Him by a well of water, a very specific well, Jacob?s well ? a picture of the Word of God entrusted to Israel. And it is to this well that the Samaritan woman comes ?to draw water?.
c). Now I encourage you to read and study the whole of John Chapter 4 so as to see all the amazing detail presented there, but for the purpose of our study today we shall just pull out some of this detail to look at.
d). We see that He speaks to this woman of ?the gift of God? and of ?living water? - Joh 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God,
and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."
e). And this would take us from eternal salvation, ?the gift of God?, to the salvation of the soul - Joh 4:14 "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting [age lasting] life."
f). The woman, who has been married 5 times and is now living with a 6th man who is not her husband ? possibly picturing the corrupt, adulterous condition that the Church would be in by the end of this dispensation ? goes into the city with news of her encounter.
g). That which we see in v10, ?if you knew?, ?you would have asked? is reminiscent of that which we find in Revelation Chapter 3 in relation to the Laodicean church - Re 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
h). It is after all, in the 6th hour that we see this encounter taking place.
i). And then from our personal experience we were all eternally saved through the ministry of a corrupted church, and we heard things there that caused us to want to know more ? and in this I think we can see our experience pictured in the men of the city - Joh 4:39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all that I ever did." 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word. 42 Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."43 ? Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee.
j). The key here for us is in v42, in what the Samaritans tell the woman, ?Now we believe, not because of what you have said, for we ourselves have heard Him?.? ? they hear His voice, taking us both to Revelation 3:20 and the beginning of the Book of Hebrews - Heb 1:2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
k). Heb 3:7 ? Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you will hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness,
l). It is then those who will come to the well of water, the living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ on an individual basis, those who will hear His voice
through the ministry of the Holy Spirit with respect to the whole council of God and receive this meekly who will make up the prospective Bride ?
Joh 16:3 "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.
m). Then in John 4:43 we see that after 2 days the Lord departed from Samaria and went to Galilee ? picturing the close of this dispensation and Christ?s return to the House of Israel - Joh 4:46 So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum.
n). The nobleman in our verse here is a picture of God the Father and the son is the nation of Israel who is sick and near to death ? Isa 1:5 Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, And the whole heart faints. 6 From the sole of the foot even to the head, There is no soundness in it, But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; They have not been closed or bound up, Or soothed with ointment. 7 Your country is desolate, Your cities are burned with fire; Strangers devour your land in your presence; And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
And it is of course on the 3rd day, after 2 days, that Israel?s spiritual sickness will be healed and the nation restored ? Ho 6:1 ? Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. 2 After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight. 3 Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth.
o). And this event from John Chapter 4 brings us to the fifth of our five consecutive chapters in Genesis ? Chapter 25.
4). In John Chapter 4 Jesus leaving Samaria after 2 days brings us to the close of this dispensation, and the close of this dispensation is also pictured at the end of Genesis Chapter 24, with the focus in this chapter being on Christ?s Bride - 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). Rebekah and her maids rising and going on the 10 camels as they follow the man pictures the rapture of the Church, the event that brings this dispensation to a close ? Rebekah, the maids and the 10 camels make clear to us that this is the complete Church, the same as we see pictured in the 7 Churches of Revelation Chapters 1-3.
b). Although Rebekah and her maids all see Isaac walking in the field it is only Rebekah who ?took a veil and covered herself? ? pointing to the fine linen, clean and bright adorning the Bride in Revelation Chapter 19 and we should also take into account in this the ?best garment? that Ruth puts on as part of her preparation for meeting Boaz on his threshing floor.
c). As we saw in a previous study all of this detail must be put together along with the picture given in the translation of Enoch, along with other related scripture, in order that the rapture of the Church can be seen in its complete form. Remembering of course that any one type will never of itself give us the complete picture ? it must always be precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little ? in this is the leading of the Holy Spirit and right here is our safety and protection from deception.
d). There is a great tenderness in the last verse of Genesis Chapter 24 that should be both an encouragement and a comfort to us as we consider the events surrounding the Judgment Seat.
e). Isaac taking Rebekah into his mother?s tent pictures the Bride occupying the realm that should have been Christ?s mother?s, should have been Israel?s ? the Kingdom of the Heavens.
f). Despite the setting aside of Israel with respect to the Kingdom of the Heavens, Christ loves His Bride and it comforts Him that His Bride receives that which Israel lost.
g). These events in the type picture the closing of this dispensation and also bring to conclusion Genesis Chapter 24. Christ?s attention now returns to Israel as we move into Genesis Chapter 25, just as we saw in Christ leaving Samaria and returning to Galilee in John Chapter 4.
h). Mt 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house?????44 ? "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
5). 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). And so, in following the typological framework we come to that which is at the end of our sequence of Chapters in Genesis and that which is pictured in Abraham leaving Ur to receive the land of Canaan as an inheritance in Hebrews 11:8 and Isaac?s resurrection in Hebrews 11:19.
b). Abraham here in Chapter 25 is a type of God the Father who ?again took a wife? and although the literal idea in the verse is of Abraham taking another wife, within the type God the Father is seen marrying the same wife, Israel ? but this is now Israel in repentance, Israel cleansed from her sin and restored ? and this is given to us through the name ?Keturah?; a name that has to do with the sweet smelling savor of a burnt offering for sin.
c). Having been forgiven and cleansed and restored, the barren fig tree that we saw at the Lord?s first advent is now fruitful in the 7th Day ? pictured in the 6 children that Keturah bore Abraham - Jer 23:3 "But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
d). And I think we would conclude that these children were born to Abraham ?by faith?, as he is now somewhat older than when Isaac was born.
e). And so this whole panoramic dispensational picture presented through Genesis Chapters 21-15 draws to a close, but it closes pointing to a specific time ? the 7th Day and a specific event ? Israel restored to her inheritance.
f). It has been remarkable to see how that presented in Hebrews 11:4-8 and 11:17-19 and Genesis Chapters 21-25 have all come together to show us incredible detail concerning God?s plans and purposes for His Son, for Israel and His Church in the 7th Day.
6). Although the sequence of events we have been studying draw to a close, their focus, that of an inheritance, then continues with respect to faith to the saving of the soul in Hebrews Chapter 11 - 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
a). Isaac of course is the son of promise, the one in whom Abraham?s seed is to be called. It was with Isaac and Jacob that Abraham dwelt in tents as strangers and pilgrims in the land of Canaan and Isaac and Jacob who were heirs with Abraham of the same promise ? Heb 11:9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
b). Now we will notice first of all that Isaac acted ?by faith? and this faith had to do with a blessing concerning ?things to come? ? things concerning a land and an inheritance in the 7th Day ? Jacob was the only one recognized as Isaac?s seed in the same way that Isaac was the only one recognized as Abraham?s seed, and Isaac?s faith as we see comes out of believing that which God had said with respect to the covenant He made with Abraham. Not only would Abraham have shared the details of this covenant with Isaac, remembering that Abraham had the gospel preached to him, but God also reaffirmed this covenant to Isaac. Isaac was specifically told by the Lord
Ge 26:2 Then the LORD appeared to him and said: "Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. 3 "Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. 4 "And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; 5 "because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws."
7). Jacob and Esau were twin brothers and that which transpired between them, particularly with respect to Esau, is the subject of the fifth and final warning to Christians that we find in the Book of Hebrews - Heb 12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
a). Although twins, Esau having been born first was recognized as the elder of the two and therefore the one in line to receive the blessing of his father that was reserved for the firstborn alone. Esau though forfeited the rights of the firstborn and his younger brother Jacob received these rights in Esau?s place.
b). We will no doubt remember the account of this presented in ?
Ge 25:29 ? Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, "Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary." Therefore his name was called Edom. 31 But Jacob said, "Sell me your birthright as of this day." 32 And Esau said, "Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?" 33 Then Jacob said, "Swear to me as of this day."
So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
c). We see here in v34 that Esau ?despised his birthright?, meaning that he considered it to be of no value and no consequence; and this would be because he only looked within his present rather than the enormity of what was contained in his birthright with regards to ?things to come?.
d). Now although Jacob?s actions in this encounter may appear somewhat mercenary there is something that we need to keep in mind so as to temper our view of this.
e). Before the birth of the twins God speaks to Rachel and this is what he tells her - Ge 25:22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If all is well, why am I like this?" So she went to inquire of the LORD.23 And the LORD said to her: "Two nations are in your womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger."
f). It is clearly stated then in the section of our verse that is underlined that before their birth that the older, Esau, would serve the younger, Jacob. From God?s perspective then it was in Jacob that Isaac?s seed would be called.
g). Now, even though we can see that it was clearly God?s purpose that Jacob should receive the rights of the firstborn, it is still a deliberate, intentional choice of Esau?s freewill that makes this possible. We just need to remember that God knows the end from the beginning.
h). Esau willingly gave up his birthright which he considered to be of no value and this birthright was received by his brother who had a very good understanding of just how valuable this birthright was ? Esau wasn?t cheated out of it, he just gave away that which he couldn?t care less about.
i). So although it appears that Jacob uses deception to receive his father?s blessing before Isaac?s death by impersonating Esau he was in effect only making sure that he received that which was rightfully his.
8). We will stop here for today and pick this up again next week, if the Lord is willing.