New Foundations Ministries
Walking Into Our Promise Land
by George Kirkpatrick
As we consider our walk with God in comparison to His ancient people, the children of Israel, it is easy to see how God's Old Testament people are types and shadows of our walk with God.
God brought His people out of Egypt with an high hand. Egypt is a type of the world. When we come to Christ (The Anointing), we receive the power to overcome the world - - - our worldly appetites and our worldly ways. Jesus spoke to His disciples:
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world." John 16:33
If we are to walk as Jesus walked, we, too, must overcome the world and all its influences in our lives. When Jesus met with John on the Isle of Patmos, He revealed eight promises we, too, can claim in our walk with God.
". . . To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." Revelation 2:7
". . . He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death." Revelation 2:11
". . . To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna," Revelation 2:17
"And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:" Revelation 2:26
"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name from the book of life. . . ." Revelation 3:5
"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God . . . " Revelation 3:12
"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne . . ." Revelation 3:21
"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God and he shall be My son." Revelation 21:7
To those who have Spiritual eyes, it is plain to see that all the promises of God are made to the overcomers. No such promises are made to those who are overcome by the world. In the parable of the sower, Jesus gave us four examples of those who received the Word of God:
"And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them." Matthew 13:4-7
The first three who received the Word were overcome by the world and their self desires. The first seed fell by the wayside. The Word was given no chance in his life. Because of this, the fowls (evil spirits) devoured the Word.
The second seed fell on the stony heart of man. The Word had an effect for a short time, but when the desires of the flesh took its toll, the Word of God was forgotten and the old life revived.
The third seed fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up and choked out the Word. What are the thorns that choke out the Word? Jesus revealed:
". . . the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the Word, and he becometh unfruitful." Matthew 13:22
The cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches will make all the work of the Lord unfruitful in our life. Being unfruitful means "no fruit of the Spirit in their life - - - no love, no joy, no peace, no longsuffering, no gentleness, no goodness, no faith, no meekness, no temperance, no lowliness, no patience, and no righteousness. These are destroyed by the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches.
The fourth person who received the Word brought forth fruit:
"But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold." Matthew 13:8
The Word of God fell on good ground and brought forth an hundredfold, sixtyfold, and thirtyfold. These are the "called", the thirtyfold, the "chosen", the sixtyfold, and the "elect", the hundredfold. See "The Great Household of God", "Even the Very Elect, If Possible", and "Threefold Salvation."
"Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." Matthew 13:9
It is easy to see only those who have an eye to see and an ear to hear are going to enter into God's presence when this dispensation is complete.
Israel was given their promise land, and it was for all eternity. But Israel did not keep their promise land because of their unbelief. Today we look forward to our promise land, the Kingdom of God.
When Moses was about to die, he called all Israel together, and related to them concerning their journey in the wilderness. The book of Deuteronomy is the recap of Israel's forty years in the wilderness. Forty is the number of testing, probation, and trial. Israel was on probation those forty years. Only two men over sixty years of age entered into their promise land - - - Joshua and Caleb. All those who failed God died in the wilderness. God spoke through Moses:
"Because all those men which have seen My glory, and My miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted Me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to My voice. Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked Me see it." Numbers 14:22-23
The same is true today. Those who do not have Spiritual eyes to see, nor Spiritual ears to hear will not enter into their promise land, the Kingdom of God.
When Moses called all Israel together, he reminded them how God had proved Himself over and over again to them in their wilderness experience. The book of Deuteronomy is the written record of these experiences:
"Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you." Deuteronomy 4:1
Israel was given many statutes and judgments to live by because they refused to hear God's voice when He appeared to them on Mount Sinai. If they would do these statutes and judgments, they would preserve their lives.
God's desire was that they would all go in and possess the land of promise, but those who refused to hear His voice would die in the wilderness. God has made this same promise to those who will go in and possess their promise land, the Kingdom of God. We, too, must hear God's voice, and do His will, or we will be like those who refused to be obedient in the wilderness, and were destroyed.
"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." Luke 12:32
It is God's total good pleasure to give His little flock the Kingdom of God. The word little means "small." As with Caleb and Joshua, it will only be a small flock who will receive the Kingdom of God. "See "Fear Not Little Flock."
Many believe all who call on the name of the Lord will enter into the Kingdom, but as the prophet Joel relates:
"Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great." Joel 3:13
Joel spoke of the time when God would put in His sickle for the harvest time. In His parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus gives us insight as to what Joel was referring to:
"The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels." Matthew 13:39
The harvest is the end of the world. The word used for the world is the Greek word AION, and should have been translated "Age." So the harvest comes at the end of the Age. This is when God is going to thrust in His sickle. Jesus revealed this time to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe." Revelation 14:15
God will thrust in His sickle to reap when the earth is ripe. The word ripe in this Scripture means "to dry up, to wither away, and to become dry as plants in the time of harvest." What a perfect picture of the church system here at the end of the Age. The dryness is apparent wherever we look. The first gathering of the sickle is when the tares will be gathered to be burned. But God has a second gathering with His sickle:
"And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe." Revelation 14:18
The second time the angel thrust in his sickle, he gathered the cluster of the vine, for her grapes were fully ripe. Notice a different word was used in this Scripture for the word ripe. In this instance, the word ripe means "to flourish and come to maturity." This will be when God gathers His little flock, those who have come to full maturity and completeness in Him.
So, if God only has a little flock at the time of harvest at the end of the Age, where will the majority of God's people be? Joel reveals where the multitudes will be:
"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision." Joel 3:14
The multitude of God's people are in the valley of decision. Joel explicitly warns us that the day of the Lord, "Judgment" is near for those in the valley of decision.". These are those who do not know if they want to walk with God or run with the world. They want all God has to offer, yet they are unwilling to give up anything to obtain it. God admonishes His people through His Word:
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you," II Corinthians 6:17
If we want to be received or treated with favor by our God, then we must come out from among the worldly influences in our lives. We must separate ourselves from anything and everything that takes our time and money away from God.. And we must not touch the unclean thing. Speaking in a moral sense, our thoughts and our lives must be morally clean. Moses also warned the people how to handle the Word of God:
"Ye shall not add unto the Word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you." Deuteronomy 4:2
This is the same warning Jesus gave John on the Isle of Patmos:
"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:" Revelation 22:18
The plague written in the book is the wrath of God which He will pour out upon all sin. God has given us fair warning so we do not have to be among those who hide themselves in the dens (caves) and rocks, crying to the mountains and rocks to fall on them and hide them from the wrath of God, Revelation 6:16.
Those who have added to God's Word by teaching such false doctrines as a false rapture, once saved-always saved, eternal security, and ultimate reconciliation will partake of what God has promised those who have added to His Word.
God also made promises to those who take away from His Word:
"And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this book." Revelation 22:19
God is warning those who only use the Scriptures to prove what they want to believe, yet refuse the whole counsel of God. God warns He will take their name out of the book of life and out of the Holy City and all the promises written in this book. These are those who only accept the parts of the Bible which tend to prove their man made doctrines and the precepts of their denominational orders. We must accept everything written in His book or we have taken away from His words of instruction.
Moses continued his warning to ancient Israel - - - which is also true for us today:
"Your eyes have seen what the Lord did because of Baalpeor: for all the men that followed Baalpeor, the Lord thy God hath destroyed them from among you." Deuteronomy 4:3
By the words of Moses, our eyes can see what God did to ancient Israel because of what happened in Baalpeor:
"And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. And the Lord said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor." Numbers 25:1-5
What was the sin Israel committed in Baalpeor? They committed whoredoms with the daughters of Moab. As we have seen throughout the Word, when God's people marry the heathen women, they turn away from the true God to worship the gods of this world. Solomon is a good example of this. His heathen wives turned his heart away from the God who had made him king over Israel.
Let's compare this with today. Many churches allow men and women who are not married, yet live together, to sit in their midst with no admonition nor conviction of their sin. Adultery and fornication are rampant in the church system today, even among the leadership.
When Israel joined themselves or became part of Baalpeor, God's anger was kindled against them - - - and His judgment was swift and complete. Moses was to hang all the leaders who had allowed this to happen. Then the judges were to pronounce judgment upon all those who were joined to Baalpeor. They were to be put to death so this sin would be totally cleansed from the midst of Israel.
It is no different today. God's judgment is near. It will be swift and complete. God is about to deal with the sin of the world, and the sin in His people - - - especially those who are set as leaders over God's people. In his letter to the Hebrews, Paul admonishes us:
"Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do with with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." Hebrews 13:17
We are to obey them who have the rule over us and submit ourselves to them - - - for they watch for our souls. But what happens when these leaders lead their flock astray as they did in Baalpeor? God will deal, and deal harshly, with these leaders of God's people. This is why it is so necessary to make sure the leaders you have submitted to are chosen of God and not selected by men.
Today the church system is full of those leaders selected by the people, and not chosen of God. The church and the nations of the world are not going to get away with their moral degeneracy. God's judgment is already being poured out in the form of such diseases as Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Moses continues his admonition to Israel:
"But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day." Deuteronomy 4:4
Moses was not speaking to those who came out of Egypt. All those who came out of Egypt except for Joshua and Caleb had died in the wilderness because of their rebellion and unbelief. Moses related to the people:
"And the space in which we came from Kadeshbarnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the Lord sware unto them." Deuteronomy 2:14
All the millions (multitudes) who were not obedient to God's Word perished in the wilderness. Only the obedient where alive that day. What a lesson for those who are seeking their promise land, the Kingdom of God.
Those in Israel who did not follow God's direction perished in the wilderness. Today those who are in the religious systems - - - but do not follow God's Word to the letter - - - will perish in their religious confusion. Religion never saved anyone, nor will they find grace in the sight of God. There is no overcoming message in the church today. As Moses related to the children of Israel:
"Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it." Deuteronomy 4:5
Moses had taught the children of Israel God's statutes and judgments. He taught them God's statutes so they would know what God expected of them when they went into the promise land. He also taught them God's judgments so they would know what would happen if they did not do them.
Today God is teaching His people His Kingdom ways so when they inherit the Kingdom they will know how to rule and reign with Him. Those who do not know His Kingdom ways and principles cannot be placed in positions of authority in His Kingdom. Moses continues:
"Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon Him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?" Deuteronomy 4:6-8
As we consider these verses, it is plain to see the people who are going to be part of the Kingdom of God. God's Kingdom will be made up of Spiritual Israel, those who make up His Holy City, New Jerusalem. This will be His people who have a wise and understanding heart, who through their obedience and love have drawn near to God and God to them.
All God's laws are righteous. The beloved John proclaimed:
"Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous." I John 3:7
When we do God's law, the Word of God, then we are righteous because His laws are righteous. If we want to be righteous in the sight of God, then we must live our lives by His righteous laws. When we live this way, then all the nations will know we belong to God. Those who do His commandments are made another promise:
"Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what His Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you." John 15:14-15
Only one man was called the friend of God. This was the father of our faith, Abraham. We, too, can become friends of God if we do whatsoever He commands us. This is when we become obedient to His Word. When we become totally obedient, then we are no longer in the servant realm, but we become God's friends. Then whatever the Lord hears from His Father, He will make known unto us. Moses gives warning to the people:
"Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and the son's sons:" Deuteronomy 4:9
Moses warned the people to keep their soul diligently. The soul is the life of man, his innermost being. We are to guard our souls, thoughts, and emotions diligently. This means we are to guard them with extreme caution. We are to do this so we will not forget the things our eyes have seen. When we read of Israel's failures, we are to take heed we do not fall into the same error. James put it very well when he wrote:
"For if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass. For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh in the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therin, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." James 1:23-25
If we are only hearers of the Word and not doers of the Word, then we are like a man looking into a mirror. The mirror we look into is the Word of God. What do we see reflecting back to us? It is the life of Christ. When we turn away from the Word, then we forget what kind of person we really are.
When we continue in the Word, then we understand God's perfect law of liberty in our life. But this is only when we become doers of His Word, and not hearers only. When we do the Word, we have God's promise we will be blessed in our deeds (all we set out to accomplish).
When God called Israel to Mt. Sinai to speak to them audibly, they refused to hear His voice. Instead they wanted Moses to hear God and tell them God's words.
"And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it." Deuteronomy 4:14
Those who have labored in God's Word have been given the grace to teach His statutes and judgments so when we enter into our promise land the Kingdom of God, we will know what is pleasing and not pleasing in His sight. If we are going to rule and reign in God's Kingdom, then we must learn His Kingdom ways. These can only be taught by those who understand them. Those who understand God's Kingdom ways and principles will be made heads over His inheritance.
"Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire. Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female," Deuteronomy 4:15-16
When God spoke to Israel out of the smoke and fire on the mountain, they saw no similitude (form or likeness) of God at that time. As the beloved John wrote:
"No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us." I John 4:12
The world will see God only when our love is perfected in each other.
God warned Israel not to make any graven image or similitude of any figure - - - male or female. Yet in the church system today, we see many pictures of Jesus. No one knows what Jesus looked like. Some even picture Him as a woman. The catholic religion has many images and similitudes they look to. Many worship the shroud of turpin which is supposed to be Jesus' burial cloth - - - again a similitude of what God warned against. We do not need such things if we believe God's Word. Moses continued:
"But the Lord hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto Him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day." Deuteronomy 4:20
The Lord brought Israel out of the iron furnace. The iron furnace was a place of testing. Israel's time in the wilderness was their time of testing and preparation. Today God's elect are in their iron furnace.
"But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is lie a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap." Malachi 3:2
Our God is like a refiner's fire in our lives, and He will refine His silver and gold vessels. He is also like fuller's soap (laundry soap) to wash us clean through in the water of His Word.
Israel was God's inheritance, just as we are His inheritance in the earth today. As Jesus revealed to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son." Revelation 21:7
Those who are going through God's iron furnace are His overcomers who will inherit all things . This is what God has planned for His elect. Our iron furnace experience is never easy. But we, too, must have our time of testing and preparation if we are to enter into the Kingdom of God to become rulers and reigners with Him. Malachi further revealed:
"And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him." Malachi 3:17
We are God's jewels in the earth if we obey His Word and serve Him with our whole heart. God's elect, alone, will be spared in the time of tribulation, and only those who serve Him with their whole heart will be His in that day. Jesus spoke of these jewels who will make up His Holy City:
"Who, when He had found one pearl of great price, went and old all that he had, and bought it." Matthew 13:46
Jesus sold all He had - - - His glory in the eternal realm to come to earth to obtain a pearl (jewel) of great price. He did this so He would have a people He could walk and talk with in the cool of the day as He did with Adam and Eve in the garden.
When Israel entered into their promise land, the Levites had no inheritance in the land. God was their inheritance. As God has promised, the whole earth is our inheritance - - - and we are His precious jewels, His inheritance in the earth.
Moses continued warning Israel:
"Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which He made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee. For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God." Deuteronomy 4:23-24
God is very definite about our not making graven images of Him or anything else He created. We are to worship the Creator, not the created.
Moses informed us, our God is a jealous God and a consuming fire. The word consume means "to totally destroy." Yet the church system teaches the people to fear hell, but does not teach them to fear God who is the all-consuming fire. Paul gave us the same warning in his letter to the Hebrews:
"Wherefore we receiving a Kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:28-29
Israel was promised their promise land as an eternal inheritance. We are made the same promise concerning the Kingdom of God, if we serve Him with reverence and godly fear. Our God truly is a consuming fire which will destroy all things that do not bring glory to His name. Moses continued:
"When thou shalt beget children, and children's children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the Lord thy God, to provoke Him to anger: I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you." Deuteronomy 4:25-27
What Moses spoke to the people is exactly what happened. Israel sinned. Because of this they were scattered among the nations. They lost their promise land, as we can also lose our promise land, the Kingdom of God, if we become rebellious as Israel did, and do not heed God's warnings.
But God made Israel a promise:
"But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul." Deuteronomy 4:29
God promised Israel a way back to Him, if they would seek Him with all their heart and with all their soul. God did not forsake His ancient people. He sent them a Saviour. Jesus told His disciples:
". . . I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Matthew 15:24
Jesus was only sent to the lost sheep of the tribes of Israel. It was not until Paul had ministered for a period of time that he declared:
"But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth." Acts 13:45-47
Paul declared the Jews were unworthy of everlasting life. They refused to believe on the one who brought God's plan of salvation, so Paul turned away from them, and began to minister to the Gentile nations. Paul was to be the light unto the Gentiles, and his writings are still a light unto us today.
Jesus came to the lost sheep of the tribe of Israel. We need to understand God did not forsake Israel. Israel forsook their God. God has provided a way back for them, as He spoke through Moses. Israel never accepted the coming of Jesus. They are still looking for a future Messiah.
Paul wrote to the church at Rome:
"For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:" Romans 11:13
Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles. The word apostle means "one who is sent." God met Paul on the road to Damascus and changed his religion and his Spiritual outlook. Paul became a new creation in God and knew what he was to do. He related to the Gentiles:
"For He that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:" Galatians 2:8
Peter was the apostle to the circumcision (Israel), and Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles. It was by Paul we have the revelation of the church and the knowledge as to how the church is to operate. As God spoke to Ananias, Paul was a chosen vessel of God.
Paul had to break from all his former religious beliefs to do the work of God. Paul was well thought of in the Jew's religion. This is why they wanted to kill him. This is still true today when one leaves the organized religion. They may not try to kill them physically, but they are ostersized from their midst, spoken evil of, prayed against, and made apostate from their presence. Moses related to Israel:
"When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto His voice;" Deuteronomy 4:30
Moses spoke of the time of the Great Tribulation. This is the time that lies directly ahead of us. God promised His ancient people when the time of tribulation comes, if they would turn back to God and obey His voice, they too would be saved. This is why many believe Israel will recognize their Messiah, Jesus Christ, and turn back to the true worship of God. Paul spoke of this in his letter to the church at Rome:
"But to Israel He saith, All day long I have stretched forth My hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people." Romans 10:21
"I say then, Hath God cast away His people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew. . ." Romans 11:1-2
Israel was a disobedient and gainsaying (speaking against God) people. Still God has not cast away His ancient people, but they must come to God by and through Jesus Christ. As Jesus related:
" . . . I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." John 14:6
Jesus is the only way to God for all peoples. This includes His ancient people Israel. God made a promise through Moses:
"For the Lord thy God is a merciful God; He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which He sware unto them." Deuteronomy 4:31
Israel broke their covenant with God. A covenant is made between two people or peoples. Israel did not keep their end of the covenant, so God was not obligated to keep His part of the covenant. Because of Israel's refusal to keep their part of the covenant, the covenant became of no effect. This is why God made a new covenant with His ancient people. This new covenant also included the Gentiles. As Paul related to the Hebrews:
"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people." Hebrews 8:10
The new covenant was made in Jesus' blood and broken body. This was not a covenant written in stone or with ink. This is a Spiritual covenant God has written in the peoples' hearts. Those who come to Jesus Christ with a broken and contrite spirit will be the partakers of this covenant. This covenant can only be kept by and through the Spirit. This new covenant replaced the old law (covenant). Paul informed the Hebrews:
"In that He saith, A new covenant, He hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." Hebrews 8:13
When the new covenant was made, the old covenant vanished away. God did not forsake His ancient people. Instead He provided them a way back into His presence. When Jesus addressed His disciples, He informed them:
"These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Matthew 10:5-6
The disciples were not to go to the Gentiles. The Gentiles were not given the Word until Paul was sent to them. The disciples were only to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Jesus further stated:
". . . I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Matthew 15:24
God gave ancient Israel every chance to return to Him, but they rejected God and His Son. But God's mercy is still extended to them. If they return to Him with their whole heart and accept their Messiah, then they, too, can enter into God's promise land, the Kingdom of God.
God had given Israel ample warning as to what would happen to them if they turned their backs on Him:
"I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you." Deuteronomy 4:26-27
We know by history this is exactly what happened first. Israel was scattered by the Assyrians in 721 BC and Judah, by Babylon, in 586 BC. We need to take warning, or we, too, can lose our promise land if we turn our backs on God in this time of testing and preparation.
Paul related God's Word was to be spoken to Israel first. But they rejected it, and as Paul proclaimed, because of this Israel judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life.
But God made a promise through Moses:
"For the Lord thy God is a merciful God; He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which He sware unto the them." Deuteronomy 4:31
God is a merciful God. He has not, nor will He forsake His ancient people. But His ancient people have forsaken Him. Moses reminded Israel of when God appeared on Mt. Sinai and spoke audibly to them:
"For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it? Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? Or hath God assayed to go and take Him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders. And by war, and by a mighty hand, and by stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord He is God; there is none else beside Him. Out of heaven He made thee to hear His voice, that He might instruct thee: and upon earth He shewed thee His great fire; and thou heardest His words out of the midst of the fire." Deuteronomy 4:32-36
When God appeared to Israel, the people saw the smoke and fire on the mountain. The mountain shook at God's presence, and the people trembled and turned away from God, and told Moses to hear from God, and tell them what God said. The same is true today, the people do not want to hear from God. They want to hire a man (preacher) to hear from God, and tell them what to do. It is God's desire to have a personal relationship with everyone who is called by His name. Paul wrote to the Hebrews about another day that is coming:
"And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: But ye are come unto Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things then that of Abel.
See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused Him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven: whose voice then shook the earth: but now He hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be skaken may remain.
Wherefore we receiving a Kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:19, 22-26 & 27 - 29
Paul reminded the people of the time when God spoke on earth to Israel. Then He prophesied of another day when God will appear to Mt. Zion - - - to those who make up His Holy City, the general assembly, the church, the ekklesia, the called out ones who have become His elect through obedience to His Word.
Paul warns us not to refuse Him that speaks from heaven (the Spiritual realm). He informs us Israel did not escape God's judgment when they refused to hear His voice. When God spoke to Israel, His voice shook the earth. But His promise this time is that His voice will not only shake the earth (our earth), but the heavens also (our Spiritual walk in Him). Everything that can be shaken will be removed. If our faith is shaken, then we too will not inhabit His Holy City. Again we are reminded our God is a consuming fire.
Moses continued to remind ancient Israel what God had accomplished in their life:
"And because He loved thy fathers, therefore He chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in His sight with His mighty power out of Egypt; to drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art, to bring thee in, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day. Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord He is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else." Deuteronomy 4:37-39
God did great deliverance in Israel's life, and Moses reminded them there was but one God, and only one God for Israel to serve. The same is true today for Spiritual Israel. If we have other gods in our life, then we cannot have a pure relationship with our one and only God.
You may say, "I do not bow down to idols." This may be true, but anything that consumes our time and money has become our god. Paul reminded the church at Ephesus there was only one God.
"One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Ephesians 4:6
To the church at Corinth, He wrote:
"But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him." I Corinthians 8:6
Many have tried to make God a triune God, having three heads - - - the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. They refuse the word the Holy Spirit gave to the beloved John:
"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." I John 5:7
The Father, the Word (Jesus), and the Holy Ghost are one God. The word one does not mean united, but one - - - and no other. The prophet Jonah knew this one God:
"And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land." Jonah 1:9
Jonah feared the one who created all things. So we need to ask who was it that created all things? John revealed this creating God:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, the incarnate Christ. 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." John 1:2-3
All things were created by the incarnate Christ (Christ Jesus).
"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." John 1:14
The Word came to earth as the Son of God.
The Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, and Jesus was conceived in her womb. There is only one God, the Father which is the Holy Spirit. When Jesus prayed to the Father, He prayed to the Holy Spirit. On the banks of the Jordan, the Holy Spirit spoke, "This is My beloved Son." When Jesus ascended He stated, "I go to the Father." Or He returned to assume His position as the Father which He had from the beginning - - - the Word who was with God and the Word was God.
"Thou shalt keep therefore His statutes, and His commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, for ever." Deuteronomy 4:40
All through His Word, God admonishes His people to keep His Word that their days might be prolonged on the earth - - - yet people refuse to read His Word - - - and those who do read His Word, refuse to live it.
What God promised ancient Israel is our promise today. God promised the meek would inherit the earth. Heaven is not our inheritance, nor is it our hope. Our only hope is that we become part of His Kingdom people who will inhabit and make up His Holy City. Any hope outside of this is folly.
Ancient Israel was given their promise land. We, too, are promised a land, and it is the whole earth where God will set up His Kingdom. We need to learn His Kingdom ways if we are to rule and reign with Him 1000 years. After that we will rule and reign for all eternity with our God. This is the promise He made to His little flock, those who walk in His will and in His way. This way is open to all who will seek it with their whole heart. God is bound by His promises as long as we keep our end to live a righteous and holy life and live by the dictates of His living Word.
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