17. The Grand Invasion Begins
As we ponder the purpose and meaning underlying God’s Redemptive Invasion into the world of ‘Head-less’, demon-manipulated, Sin-corrupted humans, it helps to keep in mind what God repeated about His ways, through the New Covenant writings of Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles. Paul unpacked and amplified something God had already revealed in Genesis and Exodus.
“…no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ (God’s living Word). Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.” (1 Cor. 3:11-13)
This reinforces what God revealed concerning His rejection of the offerings of Cain, and the striving of the builders of the tower at Babel. God will not use, rely upon or accept anything that originates from the temporal, worldly, radically independent efforts or devices of anyone’s fallen flesh. He only accepts what first comes to us from His Word and Spirit…what comes from His already-finished Perfect Creation and Original Blessing that abide in Him…in eternity (Genesis 2:1-3).
Everything must come to us from God’s creative Word, our one true Source. We must receive and use and offer back to God what we first receive from His Infinite, Eternal Treasury of Finished Work that abides in Heaven. He supplies His entire Creation from that Treasury…His perfect, eternal, Finished Work of Creation…that flows from His Perfect Nature. And He rests and rejoices in that Perfection, which we can only receive, know and enjoy through His Word and Holy Spirit.
So our task is to believe and rest and rejoice with God, and depend on and look to Him…in our space and time situations and circumstances. When we do this, we embody and reflect the Truth that there is only one God…and therefore, only one Source, His Word. Everything by way of Revelation and Authority comes to us from His Word alone. Only He obeys God’s perfect Will and meets His perfect standards of Righteousness, perfectly. And that is the very first and greatest commandment God gave to all mankind from atop Mt. Sinai, as recorded in the Torah of Moses:
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery: You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself (physically or in your imaginations) an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” (Exodus 20:2-6 Emphasis added.)
On that day, God’s living Word appeared to the entire nation of His Chosen People, Israel. And that was the very first disciple making and training command He uttered to them. Only He, the living Word of the living God, was to be their Source and their Head and their Master. And centuries later, on another mountain, God confirmed this to His Word’s disciples who were about to be promoted to apostolic rank in order to spread the New Covenant Reality across the face of the earth:
“And He (the living Word of God made flesh) was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah (the authority of the Torah and the Prophets of Israel) appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles (succot) here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to (obey) HIM!’ (Matthew 17:2-5 Amplification and emphasis added.)
Genesis revealed through Cain and the builders of Babel that anything we do in our original radically independent, ‘Head-less’ state is unacceptable. Fallen flesh can’t do anything for God, nor is it able to be, like God. God is the only Source. We must receive all that we are and have and do from Him…through His Word and Holy Spirit. This is vital for every prospective disciple to keep in mind at all times. It is the difference between spiritual Life and spiritual Death:
“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish (Word-empowered) things of the world to shame the (decapitated) wise, and God has chosen the weak (Spirit-led) things of the world to shame the (Head-less) things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, ‘LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.’ (1 Corinthians 1:26-31 Amplification and emphasis added.)
The people of the fallen world system are ‘Head-less’ because they refuse to acknowledge God’s living Word and rely on and live under His authority alone. It’s normal for them to be radically independent and do whatever they think and feel would be best for them. Decapitated flesh is virulently opposed and alien to God. It is, by nature, Sin-loving, death-corrupted, inherently selfish, self-seeking, rebellious, manipulative, predatory and destructive even when it does not intend to be. Even if we try to hide what is really in our heart behind religiously pious disguises, nothing changes; we remain trapped in ‘living death.’
The post-flood world as revealed in Genesis, chapters 7-11, presents such a human race – people who learned nothing from the Judgment against Sin that came through the flood. They continued to ignore or reject God’s Word, and bypass Him, seeking instead, to ‘make a name’ for themselves. After mankind fell into that terrible separation from God’s Word, their beautiful image and likeness of God nature died. Their state of decapitation and its resultant death slammed the door shut on mankind’s ability to know and abide and interact personally with their Creator. So in addition to having originated from helpless dust, our innate bankruptcy, weakness and helplessness are magnified by our inherited Sin-contamination. That is living death and that’s why it can produce nothing that is acceptable to God. His laws of Creation and Reality will never allow death to succeed, nor will He accept anything that oozes out of it. Fallen flesh operates at sub-human levels of being, thinking and acting, reacting and interacting. That is the image and likeness of the Serpent. And unless we repent and submit to the Authority of our Creator, the Word, we remain condemned to eternal separation from God!
This is what the first eleven chapters of Genesis reveal. Now we know that there is nothing we can do to redeem or cleanse or regenerate or justify ourselves. Sin-contaminated ‘dust’ is as helpless and impotent before God as anything can be. Unless God redeems and regenerates our fallen human nature…we are doomed to everlasting perdition. God’s perfect standard of Righteousness and Justice will never change. And the human race, because of its separation from God’s Word, is incapable of doing anything to save, improve or justify itself. So we must come back to our one true, living God, and repent of trying to be independent of Him.
So Genesis 3-11 provides the dismal background out of which the story of Abram, whom God later renamed, Abraham, ensues. When the Word of God first appears to him in Genesis, Abram and all his fellow humans are trapped under the Adamic shroud of Spiritual Darkness and living Death.
So the Invasion of Life into Death Begins
The radically independent post-flood race of Headless humans had dead, disconnected spirits. They could not interact or operate at the ‘spiritual’ level with God. All they could do now was try to develop as much knowledge and physical skills as they could. The more they developed their soulish, Sin-corrupted faculties, the more of a competitive ‘edge’ they could gain over their decapitated fellows. So they were driven to study, train and discipline their souls and bodies and cater to their insatiable natural appetites, desires and urges as their sole mode of existing. Their endless competitiveness compelled them to develop and glory in their various cultures, practical lore and practical skills. They did everything they could to make their rebellion against God and self-exaltation even over God’s own Word, succeed. Just like the Serpent, they strove to make a name for themselves and a future destiny to meet their own expectations and satisfy their personal appetites and desires. In other words, the religion of Man-worshipping Humanism was off and running.
“Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.’ And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. They said, ‘Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’ The LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The LORD said, ‘Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.’ So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:1-9)
This was the state of the world prior to the introduction of the man named ‘Abram’, whom God later renamed, ‘Abraham’. He came from the Sumerian portion of the ancient civilization known as Mesopotamia, where the famed city of Babel (Babylon) existed. Abraham’s original home, Ur, was in the southern part, Chaldea. Today we know it as Iraq.
In Abram’s time, there were no Scriptures as we know them today. Entities such as ‘the Jewish people’ or ‘Israel’ or ‘Judaism’ or ‘Christianity’ did not exist in this period of human history. In his part of the world the worship of moon gods was common. The male moon god of his region was named ‘Nanar’ and his consort goddess was, ‘Ningal’. So Abram’s family was most likely conditioned by and lived according to, this lunar form of idolatry.
Although Abram’s Head-less world contained some highly developed cultures; it suffered from the endless conflict and strife for power among various kings and warlords in that region. This was a symptom of the demonic self-life virus’ that the Serpent had ‘hacked’ into the human nature of Adam, our original earthly Covenant representative and his wife, Eve (Chava). Compared to the image and likeness of God level of human life contained in the first two chapters of Genesis, the kind of humanity that prevailed in Abraham’s day was insanely brutal, terrifying and enshrouded in spiritual Darkness. And of course that same living dead humanity still fills the Earth today.
Centuries after Abraham, in the Book of Acts, the Israelite New Covenant apostle Paul had to deal with a similar Headless world, very much like the generation described at Babel. This is what he said to some highly intellectual, decapitated Hellenistic pagans in the city of Athens:
“…‘Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:22-31 Emphasis added.)
The ‘Man appointed by God’ that Paul was referring to, was the same living Word that God revealed to Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Noah and others in the book of Genesis. Now, at the beginning of Genesis chapter twelve, this same Word of God establishes contact with Abram the Chaldean. Previous to chapter 12, He had ordered Abram to forsake his current life and ties and follow Him to another place. In response, Abram and his father, Terah, and his grandson Lot and their families had moved to the city of Haran (see Acts 7:2-4).
Creating True Disciples
But now, in Genesis 12, this living Word of God makes some world-shaking promises to Abram. Every true disciple of God’s Word, from first to last, is included in these promises. So take them to heart; learn them well. Whatever God promised to Abram directly affects the life of anyone who will ever be included in the Blood Covenant Family of Abraham. So in a very real sense, when God’s living Word came from eternity into this time and space world and pierced Abraham’s innermost being, each disciple of today was there too, being included by God. He was speaking to us too, when He said: “…I will bless you…and you will be a blessing…and through you, all the families of the earth will be blessed!” (Gen. 12:2b-3)
Just as God’s living Word was sent in Genesis 1, to create the physical universe and bless the human race through Adam and Eve, we now see Him being sent to create a new reality – a new, repentant, spiritually regenerated human race that will no longer be ‘Head-less.’ God will call them out from among those that continue to insist on rejecting the Headship of God’s living Word (remember that at that time, there was no written Word in existence).
Now the living Word will set His called-out ones apart from the rest. He will reserve them for His own personal service. And after He pierces and penetrates their hardened hearts, He will impregnate them with His life. Then His obedient-to-God Life will begin to work in them. And to reject and rebel against their Head, the Word of God will no longer be their only choice. They will be spiritually equipped to receive, embrace, abide under His Lordship and continually obey God’s living Word. And if they choose that, He will be able to share His eternal Life with them and equip them to live under Him, according to God’s Heavenly ways. Thus they can begin to live as disciples of God’s Word…empowered and commissioned to serve God as His own true image and likeness!
The Perfect Plan and Provision
Because God is perfect and changeless, and because His living Word is perfect and changeless, God did not need a ‘Plan B’ to fall back on after Sin mortally wounded Adam and Eve. He had already created and supplied everything that would be necessary to perfect, complete and fulfill all that He had originally intended and decreed in the beginning. All Creation, including the human race, was blessed from the beginning and judged to be ‘very good.’ God’s work was perfect and complete from the start. That’s why He entered into His perfect, eternal ‘Sabbath Rest’ when He finished creating (Genesis 2:1-3). Creation already had everything it would need for its ultimate redemption, regeneration and perfect fulfillment! All of that has always been contained and given in God’s living Word! That’s why God requires all men to know that He is the one and only, living, Almighty God…the All-Sufficient one. There is no other God besides Him. This revelation pierced Abram’s heart and drew him out of his original idolatry. And from that moment of God’s piercing Self-Revelation, Abram and his family were never the same. That’s how it will be with you. After God’s Word pierces you, He will include you and graft you into Abraham’s Covenant Family, and you too, will never be the same.
Because God is so utterly perfect, He never makes errors or misfires. He never has to ‘second guess’ Himself. So after the fall, instead of having to completely reject, scrap and abandon His Serpent-bitten, decapitated, mortally wounded humans, He sent His living Word after them, to seek them out and cover their shameful nakedness. His Word contains in Himself everything it takes to overcome our evil and restore us to that original ‘very good’ standing by applying God’s redeeming Good to us. He is always intent on saving and restoring us to the original image and likeness of God perfection. And He will do it as soon as we repent and submit to Him. That’s why God never gives up on us. There is no need! From the beginning He provided everything we’d ever need to have our needs met! No matter how dire and tragic and apparently hopeless the condition of a man or woman may seem, God always has everything covered! As long as we can still function in our mortality, and have not yet entered eternity…there is still time for us to repent. So nothing deters God from sending His living Word after us…except when we insist on rejecting Him and cling instead to our stubborn unbelief and hard-hearted rejection of His Word. But if we do believe and submit to His Word’s authority, He’ll give us what we need and take us all the way across His pre-ordained ‘Finish Line.’
So God’s living Word began to reveal this to the Chaldean moon-worshipper, Abram:
“Now the LORD (had) said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.’” (Genesis12:1-3)
Notice the Redemptive, Restorative Love that is eternally in God’s heart. He always aims to overcome the Serpent’s evil with His Good which is given to us by and through His living Word. God does not lose or fail. He is Perfect; so He always succeeds and overcomes any opposition. However, He will not take our free will away from us. We must exercise it. And so if we repent of our radical independence, His Word will restore His Original Blessing to us.
All of this began with the faithful obedience of Abram the former Chaldean moon worshipper…and it proceeds throughout human history to the present day…and beyond. So notice how the Word separated Abram and his household from the humans around them that were still decapitated and trapped in the coils of the Serpent. This was a continuation of what God sent His Word to do in the very beginning of Creation, when He spoke His Word and separated ‘the Light from the Darkness’. Now He speaks His Light into repentant humans…and separates His own from the people around them that are still given to that Darkness.
Our redemption, salvation and eternal wellbeing are not our idea. They come into our time and space histories from the eternal plan and purpose of the real, true living God. Abraham did not choose God, God chose Abraham and gave Himself to him and his family, through His Word and eternal Covenant. The Word penetrated the demon-possessed Darkness like a blazing, unstoppable Shaft of Light that cuts through the Darkness and is sharper than a two-edged sword. He came from eternity and pierced the Darkness that had enshrouded earthly time and space. And He penetrated and broke Abram’s Sin-hardened heart and began to draw him and every other human captive of the Serpent that would be willing to hear and obey God’s Word. The Word has been sent to set all of us free from demonic bondage. We no longer have to groan and languish in Darkness. The Light of the World has come to draw us to Himself and set us free. His God-given mission and ‘job description’ are clearly expressed through the words of the prophet Isaiah:
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me
to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations; and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.” (Isaiah 61:1-4 Emphases added.)
“And He (Rabbi Yeshua, the Messiah) came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.’
“And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’ And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, ‘Is this not Joseph’s son?’
“And He (the same Living Word of God that had appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) said to them, ‘No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’ And He said, ‘Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown. But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.’
“And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, He went His way.” (Lk. 4:16-30)
Our perfect God…sent His perfect Word…to fulfill His perfect will, plan and purpose…to Perfection! The Word came to destroy the works of the Serpent (1 John 3:8). He invaded the demonic Darkness to be the Light of the world (John 8:12). In place of our living death existence, He is here to be our new and eternal Life. (Here are a few Scripture texts that help to reveal what He is here to do: Genesis 45:5; Leviticus 19:16; Deuteronomy 6:2; 30:14-16; 32:47; Psalm 27:1; 36:8-10; 91:15-16; 133:2-3; Proverbs 3:17-19; 22:4; Ezekiel 18:26-28; 37:13-15; Daniel 12:2; Malachi 2:4-6; Matthew 7:13-15; 10:38-40; 16:24-26; 18:7-9; 19:17; 29; 20;28; John 1:3-5; 3:14-21; Revelation 21:5-8).
God’s world is now Sin-corrupted and broken and demon-possessed. But God never changes! So He is not about to allow the Serpent to drag His beloved Creation with him into the eternal Hell that is reserved for him and the other rebel angels. God will have it His way, regardless of what the Serpent and his powers of Darkness do. And no human is intended to join them in their eternal punishment and desolation. Nothing can separate human beings from the Love of God that is in His precious, living Word made flesh except for their own unbelief and stubborn refusal to receive God’s saving, redeeming, restoring Word. As long as they insist on closing their hearts to the living Word of God, He must honor their free choices and bypass them in favor of those that will choose to be His. But as soon as the others repent and submit to His Authority and Grace, everything will change for them as well:
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus (God’s living, redeeming Word) is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ (Messiah)? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:31-39. See also Isaiah 52:13-15, and 53)
This is what God began to reveal to Abram and his family, and to the rest of the world. None of us, Jew and Gentile alike, knew God’s Living Word. We were all conceived and born in that original decapitated state. So since the living Word of God was not our Head and Life Source, and we knew nothing about Him, we were not under God’s Authority and could not receive His Spirit-given Eternal Life. But Abraham proved to be an obedient, faithful, reliable ‘point of entry’ by which God’s Word was able to enter our time and space world. And thereafter, other people who would hear and obey God’s Word also became points of entry for God’s Word to carry out His Father’s purposes throughout the world. And that is what disciples of every generation are called to do and to be:
“Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My Word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:6-11)
For Abraham, and all humans who hear, believe, embrace, obey and follow God’s Word, there is sure and certain hope. If we receive and obey His living creative Word as our Lord and Master, His Word becomes our Way, the Way back to union and friendship with God. He becomes our eternal Life Source and all-sufficient Provision. Once we reconnect with God’s Word, the Word connects us to the living God who sent Him to us. But if we reject God’s living Word, we remain decapitated and trapped in the Serpent’s Sin, Darkness and Death. That is what He was explaining to Nicodemas, a respected member of the Sanhedrin of Israel, in John 3:
“…Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God…”
“Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can these things be?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things (I previously revealed to you in Genesis and Exodus)? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal Life…For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (John 3:3; 9-21 Amplification added.)
The response Abraham gave to God’s living Word is the model and pattern for the entire world. But membership in his family is not something we can cause to happen for ourselves. We can’t graft ourselves into this company of people. We have to be born into it, not by a natural birth according to the will and desires of human flesh, but by a sovereign act of God’s redemptive creative will. If it merely depended on a man’s choice, or his natural birth, the Lord would not have said what He did to Nicodemas. Nicodemas was a true, natural-born son of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He was also an extremely religious Jewish man of the first century. In that sense, he was a member of one of the world’s recognized, highly visible ‘World Religions’. But Yeshua said something to him that he, and many others like him, can not begin to grasp or understand until the Spirit of God opens their eyes and their hearts and enables them to hear and understand the summons of the Living Word of God. What God demands of us is not ‘membership in a World Religion’ that was invented by human initiatives. He does not demand adherence to a certain man-devised creed and set of teachings. Those are created things. Created things are part of the fallen, Sin-corrupted world of Adam. Nothing that is created can save us. Created things from this fallen Sin-corrupted world share the same fate we all do. Only the living Word of God, the living Person who appeared to Adam, Eve, Noah, and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob can save us…He is the Word of God that later became flesh and appeared on behalf of the entire world. He and He alone is Salvation (Yeshua).
All men, even natural born descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, are born ‘decapitated’ from the living Word of God. They may grow up to be externally religious and theologically proper and correct, as Cain appeared to be and as Nicodemas certainly was. But because they are born into that fallen flesh state, they are cut off from God’s living Word, and therefore, ‘Head-less.’ So only after they submit to God’s living Word and He becomes their true, Life-transmitting ‘Head’, can they begin to receive and share in His eternal Life. This goes beyond their original natural birth. It is a new creation, a regeneration leading to a new birth that is not at all natural or initiated by the will of fallen flesh. As we said, this can never be initiated or controlled by the will or devices of men. It is Almighty God’s pure gift. Salvation is imparted when the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob redeems us by the perfect, atoning, finished Blood Covenant work of His living Word…Messiah Yeshua.
“There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He (the living Word of God) was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him (from among the Jewish and non-Jewish believers that obeyed and received Him), to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (Jn. 1:9-13 Amplification and emphasis added.)
The proper kind of ‘good ground’ that can bear the fruit that only God’s Word can produce, is a humble heart that understands God’s Word and repents of its former radically independent, decapitated existence and receives Him so that He can do what only God Himself could do. Such people depend on God to impart to them a living connected relationship with His living Word. And that constitutes a new, supernatural life and status.
“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the Word of the Kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the Word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the Word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” (Mt. 13:`8-23 Emphasis added.)
The oracles of God are forever entrusted to the care and propagation of Abraham’s natural family, but the true salvation God wants to impart is not just for those among them that repent and submit to God’s living Word; it is for all the families of the earth, without discrimination or exception. So this required Salvation is not a matter or ‘right or wrong’ or ‘good or bad.’ It is a matter of whether you are still spiritually ‘dead’ or whether you are now spiritually ‘alive’ with the eternal, resurrection Life of God’s living Word, Yeshua our Messiah!
The new life that Scripture talks about comes from an obedience connection to God’s living Word. It happens when we believe, love, embrace and obey Him and He, by the Holy Spirit’s Power can obey God’s commandments from within us…in our name. It’s about choosing to embrace the one who is Life and following Him and embracing His ways:
“But if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law (the Torah of Moses) and boast in God, and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal? You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? For “THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU,” just as it is written.
“For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew (a true child that shares the faith and righteousness of Abraham) who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from (the fallen religious flesh of) men, but from (the Word and Spirit of) God.” (Romans 2:17-29 Emphases added. See also Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 36:22-28)
These are the essential good news considerations that God entrusted to His friend, Abraham, and through him, to Isaac, Jacob, and all the rest of the mortally wounded Jewish and non-Jewish sons and daughters of Adam. It is for anyone who has the wisdom to submit to, and obey God’s Word and follow Him as His disciple. This is the way back to union with God, as revealed through Moses and the prophets and apostles of God’s living Word. And no one that comes into human history after that, has the God-given authority or ability to add or subtract from it or to try to change it into something else. God does not need anyone’s help; He did it right the first time.
So as we continue to ponder the revelations given through the lives of Abraham’s family members in the days to come, please remember that these same issues will underlie everything else that the other books of the Bible will unpack and emphasize and chronicle. As we said, the revelation given through the sons of Abraham was eventually written and included in the Bible. But this is not merely an ethnic, cultural, religious or academic or racially-based matter. It is not a matter of the temporary categories created by fallen human souls or their Sin-corrupted faculties. It goes much deeper than that. It is about God Himself, dealing with the dead, Sin-decapitated human spirit and regenerating it back to true spiritual, Eternal Life. This is a matter of the innermost heart. It’s about whether or not the source of what comes out of that heart is actually God’s living Word and Holy Spirit, or not. Does it come from the living Word that Moses eventually wrote about in the written Word? Or does it come from something else? That is the issue.
“In the beginning (through His living creative Word) God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and (by His living Word) God separated the Light from the Darkness.” (Gen. 1:1-4 Amplification and emphasis added.)