Tuesday, August 20, 2019

God's Promises To Abraham - a seven-part series Part V

Rebecca Meets Isaac by the Way, by James Tissot (c. 1896–1902)
by Michael C. Garrett

Good afternoon everyone! Good day, good morning – whatever it is wherever you are – and good evening! We welcome you here to Owensboro, Kentucky and the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ. This is indeed our weekly Church service. My name is Michael C. Garrett. And, I’ll be talking about world events and biblical prophecy – and how the two of them tie in together.

Hillary vs Trump 2016 - part II

Now, when the Republican convention had finished in Cleveland, Ohio and they officially nominated Donald J. Trump, in which he chose Indiana Governor Mike Pence to be his running mate, all the news organizations then ramped up for the Democratic convention which was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the following week. And they presumed – and she had won the nominating process –the former first lady, former senator and secretary of state, wife of Bill Clinton - Hillary Clinton was nominated officially and became the Democratic nominee to become president of the United States. And this was the time - every four years – that I go into television hiding. And, there are stations like USA and TNT that have a lot of reruns and the TMC which has a lot of movies, and there’s TV Land, which has a lot of the old shows. Well, during that time I catch up on my old westerns and old comedies. Because quite frankly I just have a hard time with these election years.

And I had thought at the time about the two candidates. Now, certainly anything could have happened – accidents and diseases and tragedies – and you don’t really wish that on anybody. And, unless something had happened, the two main candidates became Donald Trump for the Republicans and Hillary Clinton for the Democrats. And I had started thinking about it. Both of these people are obviously highly intelligent. You know they both had very active brains – very intelligent, very creative. They are both highly accomplished. I mean, you think about Donald Trump and his empire of real estate. And, you think about Hillary Clinton and all of the things that she has done. Both have very high and lofty goals. Both are very ambitious – they have been all of their lives. And both have a very – in my estimation, and I only know of them from what I see on the television or read about them – highly elevated senses of self-worth. Both have huge egos. And that’s not necessarily a good thing in my book. And apparently from what I was able to find out, read and study, both expect – from the people which are around them – total and complete unwavering loyalty. I mean – if you join one of their teams you’re expected to toe the line completely and to never color outside the lines. And there’s a little dictatorial nature in them. And also from what I have been able to glean from reading and hearing about them, both of them have apparently a very highly evolved sense of vengefulness and spitefulness. You have heard stories about both of them! If you cross their paths, if you resist them, if you do not fall in line with them, they become extremely agitated and rather not very Christian in their responses. And all of this reminds me of someone else!

1) Intelligent.
2) Highly accomplished.
3) High lofty goals.
4) A huge sense of ego.
5) Expect and demand total loyalty.
6) Highly vengeful spirit for anybody that steps outside the group.

Do these remind you of anybody!?

Well, the last thing listed here – comparing and contrasting those two people – we now know that Donald J. Trump became the president of the United States on January 20th, 2017. And I just shook my head and went – how did we get here!? How as a nation – and I’ve said this from the get-go – of over 329,297,856 people did we end up with the two of them being in line to be the next president!? And I know there were a couple of independent candidates, third party and fourth party – and they might have taken votes away from one or the other – but they weren’t in the running. It was either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. And what a situation it was! And I wanted to comment on that.

‘I will even appoint terror over you’ – Leviticus 26:16

And another thing I want to comment on which actually does tie into this series of God’s Promises To Abraham – a seven-part series, is – once again our television sets and our computer screens, newspapers, are filled with stories of violence and terror. In the last series, I mentioned that we had the incident in Nice, France, where a man took a 19-tonne cargo truck and deliberately drove into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais. He went out of his way to run down as many people as he could. Finally, his vehicle came to an end and finally he was shot. But not until he had murdered, slaughtered, assassinated, executed – however word you want to use – 86 totally innocent people. Many of them children. And this was in the wake of the Dallas policemen and the policemen in Baton Rouge, and in the wake of what happened in San Bernardino, and the 49 people who were murdered – executed – in the nightclub down in Orlando, Florida. It was also in the wake of bombings and shootings which happened in Paris, and Brussels. And it seemed like a tidal wave – of every day or every other day! And then on July 18th, 2016, we heard reports at the time – and we didn’t hear a lot about it because of the cable news people were preoccupied with the Republican convention – a smattering report that in Bavaria, Germany, an Afghan refugee Riaz Khan Ahmadzai attacked and injured four people, two critically, on a train near Würzburg in Germany. Finally, he was cornered by the police and he was shot dead. A 17-year old! And he did dedicate his attack to ISIS. And yet still, we turned on our television sets and we heard about the mass shooting in the vicinity of the Olympia shopping mall in the Moosach district of Munich, Germany in which 9 was killed and 36 injured (four by gunfire)! The gunman - David Sonboly - an 18-year-old Iranian-German with dual nationality ended up killing himself. The report by the Bavarian State Office of Criminal Investigation and public prosecutor's office in March 2017 concluded that the shooting was not political. 1 The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany's security agency, also believe he was a "psychologically ill avenger" rather than a terrorist. 2 I know as I listened to the reports at that time, there were some of the newscasters who were suggesting that he might have been a Right-wing extremist – as in a neo-Nazi. And you did hear in all of the discussions at that time, and I was amazed at how freely they talked about it in the wake of that shooting, that in Germany among the people – the citizens, not the leaders – there was a growing controversy about the governments (Angela Merkel’s) decision to invite into Germany over a million refugees from Islamic countries. 3 And this is really starting to boil over! You’re hearing the same things said about France – the people of France has become extremely disgusted with these interlopers coming into their country and then wanting to kill the French. And apparently, the same anger is building in Germany! I had even heard one reporter fleetingly refer to riotous situations – and apparently, there are neo-Nazi groups, or far-Right leaning people who are becoming more and more vociferous and militant in their language about “the foreign invasion.”

So, folks, this story continues on and on. Because this is going to go on more and more.

And I had also heard at that time – that in Afghanistan a twin bombing occurred in the vicinity of Deh Mazang square in Kabul. At least 97 people were killed and 260 injured. The terrorist group ISIS claimed responsibility. 4 Now, we used to say it was once a month, and then it felt like it was once a week, and now it’s getting to be about every day – or every other day! These horrible stories are happening all throughout the Western world! And for you Americans don’t feel content, don’t feel totally secure, because this same horrible bloodbath is coming to cities – and already has – near to where you and I live! It’s a horrible thing to contemplate, but it is the zeitgeist – the spirit of this age – of anger and violence. And just very scary and very frightening!

Ancient Assyria

Ancient Assyrian warriors
Now we’re going to continue this series – a series which began June 23rd, 2016. The Brexit vote. Britain’s decision – the people voted to leave the European Union. And how we’re trying to show from the pages of the Bible that it was inevitable that the British people and the European people go down separate paths. Because we believe that the British people and the American people are the recipients of the blessings that God promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (in which his name was changed to Israel), and then one of Israel’s sons was Joseph – and Joseph had two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. And we believe that they are the distant progenitors of both the English people (the British people/Ephraim) and the American people (Manasseh) – the founding stock. And, later on in this series – when we get through with the promises of Abraham – we’re going to talk about Europe in Prophecy. And the two of them don’t stay together. You have Britain and America on one side of this issue, and you have a soon-coming United Europe – by whatever name they come to call themselves – on another page of prophetic history. And these attacks – such as the one in Munich, Germany in 2016 – if it wasn’t actually ISIS motivated, it was done in an age when the ISIS mentality is permeating more and more people. And the German people – somewhere down the road is going to say, “Das reicht! Nicht mehr!” “We’re not going to put up with this violence!” And, right now the German people are from a socialist-type country and they are a very sort of hard-working – they’ve always been known as hard-working and industrious. But historically – the German people have been very militant, very war-like. And all you need to do is open the pages of your history books and read and realize that the two great wars – the two great world wars of the 20th century – were started because of situations that revolved mainly inside of Germany. 5 And then those sentiments became very aggressive and very war-like – and because of it well over 62 million people died in the 20th century in wars that had Germany a central part of them! There is a part of the German DNA – when they finally get their act together and get focused on a goal (and we might think it’s not a good goal) they go after it! And somewhere down the road, the German people are going to say, “Genug davon!” Germany won’t be led by Angela Merkel, but just as England said, “Enough of this migration into our country – we want out of this system.” And they voted to leave the European Union, so the Germany people – on their own – will say, “ Genug von diesem Chaos!” Germany people like order. They’re very meticulous – very order oriented. And when chaos and violence start to engulf their society there will be somewhere a political party – a political figure – who will rise up and say, “Join my team. We’re going to put an end to this!” And it’s going to happen! It’s all talked about in the pages of your Bible.


Well, let’s go back and talk about the promises that God gave to Abraham and to his descendants. Now, I call this seven-part series – God’s Promises To Abraham – but keep in mind when I say that I’m actually meaning Abraham and his descendants. In part one of this series I talked about how we – the United States of America and the United Kingdom – were founded by the people who were descended from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Ephraim, and Manasseh. And how we as Christians – as followers of Jesus Christ and the New Covenant – are also related to Abraham. Because it’s said about Abraham over and over – “Abraham believed God!” And it was accounted to him – or it was accredited to him as righteousness.

Genesis 25:23 – Rebekah, who was Isaac’s wife, she had two babies forming in her womb – verse 22 – and they struggled. There was this constant conflict. “And the LORD said to her: ‘Two nations are in your womb, Two peoples [two different types of people] shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger.’” And we talked about how that Esau was destined to become the progenitor – the founding stock – of the people we now call the Turkish people.

Genesis 26:5 – “’Because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.’” And He says to Isaac in verse 2 – “…’ 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 [countries], 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 [countries]; and in your seed [or through your descendants] all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.’” – and that was the central promise to Abraham.

Now, at the end of the series, I’m going to talk about the ultimate promise God gave to Abraham. And that promise was eternal life as a part of the Kingdom of God.

Isaac and Rebekah

Genesis 26:6 – “So Isaac dwelt in Gerar. 7) And the men of the place asked about his wife. And he said, ‘She is my sister’; …” – now, he’s talking about his wife. And, I’m going to point out that we’ve heard this story before. In the life of Abraham – which is very interesting to me – how so many similarities from what Abraham went through, his son Isaac went through. Remember – Abraham’s wife Sarah was barren – unable to have children until God blessed her. The same thing happened with Rebekah, who was Isaac’s wife, she was unable to have children until Isaac pleaded with God and God blessed her and then she was able to bear children. Well, here’s another story where you think – haven’t I read this before!? Well, let’s read what Isaac did and then we’ll go back and look at Abraham. “… for he was afraid to say, ‘She is my wife,’ because he thought, ‘lest the men of the place kill me for Rebekah because she is beautiful to behold.’” Here’s another similarity. Abraham’s wife Sarah – even in what we would call a pretty aged state; an older lady – was a tremendous looking lady. And apparently Rebekah – also a very beautiful woman; very easy on the eyes, as they sometimes say. And, Isaac is fearful that if he claims her to be his wife, they will simply kill him and take her. And he feared – he was scared.

Abraham and Isaac, Jacob – we’re all told in the Word of God that they’re going to be a part of the Kingdom of God. They already have their ticket punched in order to be a part of the Kingdom of God upon the return of Jesus Christ! And they are all biblical “superheroes” – as you might say. Just fantastic stories. And, they had moments in their lives where they spoke with God – literally spoke with the One we now call Jesus Christ! Where Jesus Christ came to them in their prayers, in their thoughts – and sometimes actually in person. And, we’ll read later how Jacob wrestled in the dirt – like two schoolboys on a playground – with the One we now call Jesus Christ! I mean, they had a closeness and relationship with God that none of us have ever approached. These are biblical “heavyweights.” And yet they too were human. And they too as it’s often said, “Had feet of clay.” They had their strong points, but they also had their weak points.

And I just want to point that out. The people of God are not always perfectly righteous. The people of God – the followers of Jesus Christ – are just mortal men and women who are attempting to grow in grace and in knowledge – as it were day by day, week by week, month by month, and year by year. In spiritual growth, you have your highpoints and then you have moments in your life where it’s just disappointing – or it’s frustrating. Sometimes it’s because we don’t spend enough time in prayer and Bible study. Sometimes we invite this unto ourselves. It’s sort of a spiritual depression. Sometimes people around us go out of their way to make our lives more miserable. It might be a boss, it might be a family member, it might be a health issue – you know all of a sudden we discover we have this illness, disease, or maybe a very serious disease, and that can take the air out of your balloon really quick. Spiritually speaking we hope that compared from one month to the next month or from one year to the next year we hope that we are spiritually maturing. And in the year – in the spring holy days and the fall holy days – I discuss with myself and often talk about this to share with others, that hopefully one year ago compared to now we have made some improvement. Hopefully, we’re a little spiritually more mature – a little more spiritually competent that we’ve grown in grace and in knowledge.

But Abraham had his weaknesses – even though he’s called the father of the faithful. And he’s called the ‘friend of God.’ How is that for an epitaph on a tombstone!? “Here lies a friend of God” And it’s written by the finger of God! And Isaac had some moments where he didn’t shine all that well either. And here is one of them. He showed a little lack of faith. I’ve often said that faith is often synonymous with courage. If you have a little lack of courage, you are in effect having a lack of faith. And here Isaac has a lack of courage and a lack of faith. He fears what these people might do to him if he claims Rebekah as his wife. So he says, “O’ she’s my sister.”

Verse 8 – “Now it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked through a window, and saw, and there was Isaac, [sporting with Rebekah] his wife.” Now, isn’t that a nice euphemism!? 6 And all of a sudden Abimelech says, “Woe!” Verse 9 – “Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Quite obviously she is your wife; so how could you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac said to him, ‘Because I said, ‘Lest I die on account of her.’” 10) And Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might soon have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us.” 11) So Abimelech charged all his people, saying, ‘He who touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.” Now again, this is the king of the Philistines. We don’t normally have a very good feeling about the Philistines. Because in biblical parlance we’re always rooting for the other side. You know – you think about King David and his problems with the Philistines. We’re rooting for young David who with his slingshot slays Goliath. We’re sort of naturally prone to feel a sort of antipathy towards the Philistines and maybe a certain disrespect. But here in this chapter and in this incident, the Philistines show a lot of honor – and the king of the Philistines show a lot of honor.

Well, with that in mind – let’s put a placement card here in Genesis 26 – and let’s turn back to Genesis 12. We’re going to see two stories about Abraham.

Genesis 12:9 – “So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South. 10) Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11) And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, ‘Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. 12) Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will kill me, but they will let you live.” – now isn’t this the same story we just read concerning Isaac!? The same thinking – the same rationalization!? So, the son was indeed like the father. Verse 13 – “Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.” 14) So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful. 15) The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s house. 16) He [the Pharaoh] treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, [jack’s – male donkey’s], male and female servants, [jenny’s – female donkey’s], and camels. 17) But the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18) And Pharaoh called Abram and said, ‘What is this you have done to me?’ …” – now, obviously – because of the plagues – Pharaoh figures it out!

Now, isn’t it interesting how many times in the stories of the Bible that the chosen people of God end up interacting with EGYPT! It’s fascinating! And here’s one instance where Abram and his wife are in Egypt.

And the LORD plagues the Pharaoh. Think about the children of Israel – many generations down the road who end up in slavery in Egypt. And in order to help release them – God did what!? He plagued the Pharaoh and his house and all the country of Egypt. So, these reoccurring themes are very interesting to me!

“…’ Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?’ …” – the Pharaoh figures out why he is being “cursed.” Verse 19 – “Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’? I might have taken her as my wife. …’” 7 And, they didn’t have any problem with having multiple wives back then. “…’ Now, therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way.’ 20) So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.”

Now, going back to verse 16 – take another look at verse 16. “He [the Pharaoh] treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep [in other words, the Pharaoh gave Abram sheep, oxen, donkey’s, servants, and camels]…” And I want to point something out – was God proud of the future Abraham lying to the Pharaoh!? Probably not. Could God handle that!? Yes, God rolled with the punches. He knew that Abram was lying. He knew that Abram was lacking faith. He knew that Abram was lacking courage. But God still blessed Abraham with wealth. Isn’t that amazing!? Then Pharaoh gave Abram these animals – worth a tremendous amount of money. Abraham becomes a very wealthy man. And so did Isaac, and Jacob, and Joseph. And one of the reasons they gained in great wealth is because God took the circumstances in which Abraham or his descendants were found, and He found a way to bless Abraham. Remember – “’ I will bless them that bless you, and I will curse them that curse you’”!? And basically, God says to Abraham and to his descendants, “I’m gonna take care of you.” We too in our lives should look to God Almighty and Jesus Christ with an expecting faith. That no matter what we do, They are going to look after us and They are going to take care of us. Now, God doesn’t promise us all a mansion, or a fancy Rolls-Royce. But I dare say – unless I chose not to eat – I have never been hungry. I have never been without drinking water. I have never been without someplace to lay my head – some living arrangement. And really, when you get down to it, how much stuff do you need in your life!? I mean – everyone wants to have good health. Well, historically, God has been very gracious to me. Well, everyone wants to have food in their belly, and water. Well, He has taken care of that. Well, everyone wants some type of roof over their head. Well, He’s taken care of that. Well, you know, we’re a very blessed people – especially if we live in a country that has many things and many opportunities. So, I’m not as wealthy as Donald Trump, but I might be more happy and content deep down inside!? I don’t have all the titles of Hillary Clinton, but I’m looking forward to a title that Hillary won’t be able to “lie herself into.” Because, you see, someday, me and all of you who are fellow co-workers with Jesus Christ, we look forward to being called ‘the sons and daughters of God’ for all eternity. The chosen of God. I’ll take that anytime over the temporary titles which Donald and Hillary are seeking with such fervor. Eternal members of the Family of God. That’s what God is placing before us!

Now, let’s turn to Genesis chapter 20. Here we have another story – about who!? Abraham. “And Abraham journeyed from there to the South, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and stayed in Gerar.” – now wait a minute, didn’t we just read about that!? Recall chapter 26, verse 6, talking about Isaac – “So Isaac dwelt in Gerar.” Abraham and Isaac both dwelt in the same location.

Verse 2 – “Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, ‘She is my sister.’ And Abimelech …” – again, a title was given to Philistine kings, rather than a personal name, such as Pharaoh for Egyptian kings. Possibly the same Abimelech that’s in chapter 26. 8 However, they’re both in Gerar, and they are both dealing with a Philistine king titled Abimelech. But it could theoretically be his son. “… king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 3) But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, ‘Indeed you are [all but a] dead man …’” – WHOA! Talk about a nightmare! This is the Creator God saying, “Buddy, you’re all but dead!” Now, that would get your attention! “…’ because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.’ 4) But Abimelech had not come near her; …” – he had not had sexual relations with her. “… and he said, ‘Lord, will You slay a righteous nation also? 5) Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she, even she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.’” – this Philistine king is saying to God – keep in mind he is a Philistine, and again we sort of having a low opinion of the Philistines, and yet, this Philistine king is having a conversation with God. So, this Philistine king must have had something of quality about him. ‘Lord, will You slay a righteous nation also?’ – maybe under this Philistine king, the people were a decent people!? I don’t know – it would be something to think about. Verse 6 – “And God said to him in a dream, ‘Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; …’” – so God is saying, ‘I’m the One that kept you from going into the bedchamber and attempting to have sex with the woman.’ “…’ therefore I did not let you touch her. 7) Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.’” – now, sometimes God speaks very boldly. And sometimes God speaks in terms of life and death. I know a lot of people go to a church on a Sunday and they want to think about, ‘Well, the little Lord Jesus away in a manger. The beautiful little child.’ ‘Oh, the beautiful Man that had the long hair and sad face.’ And they think of God maybe the same way you and I might think of a puppy dog or a kitty cat. But the Being who is speaking to this Philistine king is the same Being that we now call Jesus Christ! And Jesus Christ can be kind, and He can be patient, and He can be merciful, and He can be loving when that’s His game plan. And at times He can be just downright distinct and definite! ‘You touch her, you touch him, and you and all of your household will die.’

“’ Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.’” – Matthew 7:12

I’ve often said – in my life I’ve had an adage or an axiom to live by. And I’ll give you a cleaned-up version – and I pretty much try and follow this axiom.

1) Always treat a lady or a gentleman as though they are a lady or a gentleman.
2) Always treat the southbound end of a northbound horse as though they are indeed the southbound end of a northbound horse.
3) Never, ever, ever, get the two confused.

Which means you never treat a lady or a gentleman as though they’re the southbound end of a northbound horse. And you never treat the southbound end of a northbound horse as though they’re a lady or a gentleman. Because they aren’t! And if you do – or you attempt to – they will always take it as a sign of weakness. And they’ll become just more aggressive. And so, at times, you must meet aggression – or the spirit of aggression – with a counteracting force – or spirit of aggression. Just in order to protect yourself – to survive you have to do so. But it’s exactly what God says – ‘I’m gonna treat them the way that they deserve to be treated.’ This is one of the most often mentioned concepts in the Bible. In the end, we will all receive - according to our works – exactly what we deserve to receive. We will either be blessed, or we will be cursed. And God doesn’t have a problem meeting out justice. And, I understand that. I don’t have a really hard problem with that. There are times people might say, “Well, Mike, you’re mighty hard on that ‘little guy’ down in Texas!” Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why I have been and why I will be!? It’s very simple. People’s eternal lives are at stake! The lives of people I know. The lives of people I have cared about and loved and befriended are being led – by his direction. And his direction – he refuses to even acknowledge the name, Jesus Christ. I can’t tell you how absolutely obtuse that is! If you cannot say or write the name, and revere the name, of Jesus Christ, you have no pathway to eternal life! And therefore, you can’t lead anybody to eternal life. And that’s why that becomes such an issue with me. Because I’m worried about people I once knew. Well, they may hate me – I don’t hate them. And I’m still worried about you folks! And some of you may read this. As I asked my one-time friend, who was in a hospital bed, I said, “Do you really believe that the ‘little guy’ down there in Texas can lead you to the Promised Land – just like Moses and Joshua!?” And he couldn’t speak. Because deep down inside he knew what I was saying was true. But he still – apparently – feels at some level a sense of obligation to stay in that “camp.” And so I fear for my former friend. I truly do – I fear. I just know that the train is going in the wrong direction. Because the ONLY WAY that you have eternal life is through Jesus Christ and through the principles and the concepts of the New Covenant. Which is why I talk about that so much. That is the overriding force of what we’re about here at the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ.

Verse 8 – “So Abimelech rose early in the morning, called all his servants, and told all these things in their hearing; and the men were very much afraid. 9) And Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, ‘What have you done to us? How have I offended you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done.’” I mean, Abraham’s little fib – his little half-lie; and we’re going to talk about that in just a moment – even though God could look over it, God could handle it, God didn’t allow His world to fall apart – Abraham potentially put another man and his whole kingdom and his household into a terrible jeopardy. He said, ‘You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done.’ Verse 10 – “Then Abimelech said to Abraham, ‘What did you have in view, that you have done this thing?’ 11) And Abraham said, ‘Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will kill me on account of my wife.’” – now again, it’s fear. Abraham feared. Fear is a very human emotion. Fear – as I have said – is the lack of faith. Abraham should have been more filled with faith and belief that God would protect him and protect his wife. Also, read this – ‘Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place.’ Abraham was attempting to judge this Philistine king and his household and his countrymen – and misread them.

We come from a tradition – the tradition of the WCG founded by HWA – through much of the work, his son GTA. And the WCG doesn’t exist anymore – that should be a clue that something was wrong. But within the WCG – and I went out to Pasadena, California, the headquarters for four years, a college student, I graduated from there – I got to see a lot, to hear a lot. And I got to learn a lot. I mean, learn everything. And one of the things which most disturbed me in my years of being a part of the WCG is that from their pulpits and from their lecterns the leaders of AC and the WCG were constantly harping on how bad everybody else is. “This is bad! That is bad!” A song would come out – “Oh that’s bad! Evil – don’t listen to it!” They were all the time judging everyone else! And they really never took the time to look inward and to see where their flaws and their weaknesses were. And they presumed that God wasn’t anywhere else. Well, folks, that’s a mistake. That’s called self-righteousness – those who trust in themselves that they’re right and despise everybody else. The WCG and AC was a factory that produced self-righteous people. And again, that tradition hasn’t died out! And so now, people of the ICG have been told by their leaders that somehow I’m a bad guy. They don’t know why. Truth be known – because I stood up and talked about Jesus Christ. And I talked about the principles of the New Covenant. And I gave a sermon entitled “Look To Jesus, Not Moses.” Look to the New Covenant, not the Old Covenant. That was the crux of the sermon. And that placed me on a blacklist – and it all went downhill from there. I really don’t know why they did what they did. I think a part of it was jealousy amongst some of the leading ministers. Insecurity. Well, they’ll have to answer before Jesus Christ. But I do know – within the tradition of the WCG, which the ICG is a part of that – too often they say what Abraham said, ‘Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place.’ Well, he made a mistake. He did not properly judge the situation, and he relied upon his fear to motivate him.

Now notice verse 12 – this is an interesting part of the story. I don’t know if you remember this, but this is really interesting to me. “’ But indeed she is truly my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; …’” – Sarah – originally called Sarai – was his half-sister. Now, to us we go – “Oh shocking! He married his half-sister!” Well, who did the children of Adam and Eve marry!? Have you ever thought about that? Where did all the people come from!? There’s only one possibility. The children of Adam and Eve ended up marrying one another. Well, it was their only possibility! And here in this situation – our society would probably not condone it now – but God condoned it. God allowed it. God didn’t struggle with it. So, yeah, Sarah was his sister – technically. But Abraham didn’t tell the whole story, did he!? He said what we often call a ‘little white lie.’ Well, Abraham was human. And so, if someone tells you a lie just don’t be totally shocked. If I got offended every time someone told me a lie, I would just be perpetually upset. Because people – in this day and age – aren’t very honest. Verse 13 – “’And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said to her, ‘This is your kindness that you should do for me: in every place, wherever we go, say of me, ‘He is my brother.’’”

Now, again, let’s put a placement card here and turn back to chapter 12 and verse 16 – The Pharaoh “treated Abram well for her sake. He had [or as my margin says, he gave him] sheep, oxen, [jack’s – male donkey’s], male and female servants, [jenny’s – female donkey’s], and camels.” Bestowed upon him a tremendous amount of wealth. Well, in chapter 20, verse 14 – “Then Abimelech took sheep, oxen, and male and female servants, and gave them to Abraham; and he restored Sarah his wife to him.” Every time Abraham got involved in one of these situations – which he really did not shine with honor – God still blessed him and made him more and more wealthy. It’s just an amazing story. God understood his weaknesses. And, the God we are speaking of here is the same God we now call Jesus Christ. God knows your frame – as He says in Isaiah, ‘That we are but dust.’ He knows we’re flawed. He knows we’re weak at times. He knows that at times we can be so magnificent, and He knows that at times we can be not very magnificent. But He also has a Spirit of forgiveness. I wish people were as forgiving as God is. Don’t you wish you lived in a world where people could forgive and forget and lay things aside!? But no, we live in a world where people – even church people – they just get hooked on something and they just grind and grind. Well, the God that we serve is indeed a merciful God! Verse 15 – “And Abimelech said, ‘See, my land is before you; dwell where it pleases you.’ 16) Then to Sarah he said, ‘Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; 9 indeed this vindicates you before all who are with you and before everybody.’ Thus she was rebuked. 17) So Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants. Then they bore children; 18) for the LORD had closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.”

Isn’t that an interesting story!? I find it interesting.

If you would, turn back to chapter 26, verse 12 – going back now to Isaac. This is after Isaac has not been totally truthful with the Philistine king – maybe the same king, or maybe the son. “Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the LORD blessed him.” – now again, we live in a culture that says, “Well, if you do something bad, God’s just gonna smack you down, and throw you away!” No, not necessarily. God is understanding. God is merciful. God is patient. And if God is on your side, He’ll even take your weaknesses and try and teach you something from it, and try to open future doors for you. So, again, a wonderful story about God’s mercy. Verse 13 – “The man began to prosper, …” - he became wealthy in money and livestock, grain, and personal stature. If God be for you, who can be against you!? God blessed Isaac, “and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; …” – so the finances of Abraham and then later Isaac grew greatly. Even though the beginning of the situation wasn’t very honorable. God took limits – and made lemonade – for both Abraham and Isaac. Verse 14 – “for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him. 15) Now the Philistines had stopped up all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, and they had filled them with earth. 16) And Abimelech said to Isaac, ‘Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.’” Abraham and then Isaac had prospered so greatly in numbers of people, wealth, and livestock, that the king of the Philistines was getting a little nervous, “Your mightier than we are now.” But keep in mind – verse 12 – the LORD had blessed Isaac. Verse 17 – “Then Isaac departed from there and pitched his tent in the Valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. 18)And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called them by the names which his father had called them. 19) Also Isaac’s servants dug in the valley, and found a well of running water there. 20) But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, ‘The water is ours.’ So he called the name of the well Esek, because they quarreled with him. 21) Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also. So he called its name Sitnah [enmity, meaning hatred, dislike]. 22) And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth [spaciousness], because he said, ‘For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.’ 23) Then he went up from there to Beersheba. 24) And the LORD appeared to him the same night and said, ‘I Am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I Am with you. …’” – what is He stressing to him!? Be courageous. Be filled with faith. Don’t be afraid. Remember both Abraham and Isaac lacked faith. They both lacked courage. And one of the first things God tells him in this dream is, ‘fear not, for I Am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.’ 25) So he built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD, and he pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well. 26) Then Abimelech came to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath, one of his friends, and Phichol the commander of his army. 27) And Isaac said to them, ‘Why have you come to me, since you hate me and have sent me away from you?’ 28) But they said, ‘We have certainly seen that the LORD is with you. So we said, ‘Let there now be an oath between us, between you and us; and let us make a covenant [an agreement] with you, 29) that you will do us no harm, since we have done nothing to you but good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the LORD.’” – so, these people were wise enough to recognize that God was with Isaac.

You know, we have a problem within the churches of God – sometimes the people don’t even understand who God truly is working with. But back here – these non-believers, they understood that God was with Isaac.

Verse 30 – “So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31) Then they arose early in the morning and swore an oath with one another; and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace. 32) It came to pass the same day that Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well which they had dug, and said to him, ‘We have found water.’ 33) So he called it Shebah. Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.

Verse 34 – “When Esau …” – remember Esau, Edom – the progenitor of the Turks. “…was forty years old, he took as wives Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35) And they were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah.” They don’t approve.

And that brings us to chapter 27. And this story truly gets interesting between Esau and Jacob. Jacob, who got his name changed to Israel. And, a lot of spiritual lessons can be learned from it. So, we’ll pick this up next time with God’s Promises To Abraham – a seven-part series. And when we get through with the promises God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Joseph, and Ephraim and Manasseh – we’re going to start talking about Europe in Prophecy. We’re going to try and show how Abraham’s family was to go one direction, and we’re going to try and show that the prophecies of Europe take us down another road. And how in the end-times all of that plays out. And again – world news – some of the things we are reading and hearing directly relates to some of the fulfilling – or getting ready to fulfill – some of the prophecies which we’re going to talk about.

I hope you find this relevant. I hope you find this interesting. I hope you find it educational and inspiring. We think you so very much for being with us today. We ask for your prayers – and our prayers go out to all of you. If you want to support us financially to some extent, you’re more than welcome to do so. But that’s your choice. If you would like to print these articles, you’re more than welcome to do so. Please share these articles with family and friends – even with enemies. And, don’t forget to “like” and “follow” and “share” us on our Facebook page - @owensboroCOJC and follow us on Twitter - @OCOJCFeeDFlocK. But more importantly, I hope that you appreciate the Words – the truth – that we’re saying. The Word of God, the Truth of God, and the attempting to explain and to magnify the Plan of God – that’s what we’re all about here. So thank you. May God bless all of us. Goodbye friends.

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1 "Revenge or racism? Report raises questions about Munich shooter's motives". The Local. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
2 "Munich shooting: Gunman had ideological motivations, say experts". Deutsche Welle, 4 October 2017.Retrieved 4 August 2019.
3 “So far this year Europe’s leading economy has registered 964,574 new asylum seekers, …” Germany on course to accept one million refugees in 2015. The Guardian. 8 December 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2019. “Applicants in 2018 = 185,853. Applications and granting of protection status at first instance: 2018. aida. December 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
4 "More madness, more bloodshed in Afghanistan". Pakistan Today. 23 July 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
5 In a nutshell – World War I was started because “Austria-Hungary had been looking for an excuse to wage a “preventative war” against Serbia as a state in order to weaken or destroy them so as to take back territory in the Balkans, which had been taken during the Balkan Wars. … With the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife on June 28th, 1914, Austria-Hungary was able to secure the promise from Germany that it would aid in a war with Serbia and possibly Russia, …” Today I Found Out Feed Your Brain. What started World War I. Hiskey, Daven. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2019. “World War II began when Germany invaded Poland in 1939.” How Did World War II Begin? Reference * Retrieved 6 August 2019.
6 “Isaac was observed ‘sporting’ with Rebekah his wife” (Gen 26:8; RSV, “fondling”, NIV “caressing”, ICC, Genesis, p. 364, “to exchange conjugal caresses.” Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Harris, Laird R., Archer, Gleason L., Jr., Waltke Bruce K. Moody Publishers Chicago. 1980. #1905 page 763.
7 FACT: “When a bride entered a ruler’s harem, there was a period of purification that lasted for several months. During this period, the Pharaoh would not have sex with the woman. This was a common practice in ancient Egypt.” Bible Blender. Abraham’s journey to Egypt – Sarah’s beauty prompts a lie that she is his sister (Genesis 12:10-13:2). 8 January 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
8 “Abimelech may have been an official title for Philistine kings.” Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Holman Reference. 2015. pg. 9.
9 My NIV margin reads: “That is about 25 pounds (about 11.5 kilograms). https://www.jmbullion.com/charts/silver-prices/ indicates 25 pounds of .9999 silver in today’s market is US $6, 248.32.

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