March 14, 2014
Over the past few weeks I've talked about a retired trial attorney by the name of Jim Christianson who flew here from Alaska, and to whom our fellowship has ministered healing. Jim's healing has yet to be completed in some areas, but this past Sunday he requested healing over tremors he has experienced since the event when he was crushed in a grain elevator many years ago. The fellowship gathered around Jim on Sunday afternoon, and we saw an immediate cessation of the tremors. I had breakfast with Jim on Monday morning and the first thing he did when I walked in was to stretch out his hands. They were rock steady. It was a real "Praise the Lord" moment! And still there is more to come!
Should you choose to join us for our Sunday gatherings, the CC number to call is (559) 726-1300, and the access code is: 308640#. We are usually "live" on the conference call by 12:30 PM Pacific (3:30 PM Eastern) or very shortly thereafter.
For us as believers, the Blessing of Abraham has an extraordinary genesis. It begins in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer with His unmatched sacrifice for us on the Cross.
We’ve looked at the name of God in past discussions (and I will review that again before we get too far along in this series) — Yowd He Vav He — and the intricate and astounding picture encompassed in His Name. Now we need to see how that applies to the Blessing of Abraham under the New Covenant.
Jesus is both Pattern and Redeemer and Restorer of the Blessing. The apostle Paul describes for us how this took place.
Philippians 2:5-.11: Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Here is my own translation and amplification from the Greek text:
Philippians 2:5-.11 (RAC Translation): Be like Jesus, The Anointed One, and be in His anointing with His mindset, Who, though He existed in the form of God and continuing in that form, did not regard equality with God as a thing to be grasped, but [temporarily] emptied Himself of His God-status and co-equality with the Father, becoming [instead] as a servant, taking on the nature, essence and mortality of ordinary man. And being seen as an ordinary man, He abased Himself and submitted Himself to death itself, particularly the kind of death which came by being hung on a cross. Therefore God the Father has exalted Him to the highest position and granted Him that name — rank, authority, power, title, position, character and essence — which is above and beyond every name — rank, authority, title, position, character and essence (i.e., Yowd He Vav He Yeshua, Ha-Mashiach), that at [the very utterance of] the name of [YHVHYHM] Jesus, every knee should, must and will bow of beings in heaven, on earth, and under the earth [in Hades, the region of departed sinful spirits]; and that every tongue, utterance and language shall confess, acknowledge and agree fully that Jesus Christ is Lord, Supreme in Authority, to the honor, praise, dignity, worship and glory of God the Father.
That’s a mouthful, I know, but you get the picture. But let’s fill out this picture with one more thing Paul wrote.
Galatians 3:5-14 (NASB): Just as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
By now, you’re seeing it, I’m sure. “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” Jesus became that curse in order to cancel it. He willingly chose to go to the Cross because his very death on the Cross would be the cancellation of the curse — AND the restoration of the Blessing.
Jesus was the ONLY one who could restore the Blessing of Abraham. Consider again what Paul wrote to the Ekklesia in Philippi.
“Though He existed in the form of God and continuing in that form..He emptied Himself of His God-status and co-equality with the Father... taking on the nature, essence and mortality of ordinary man...and submitted Himself to death itself, particularly the kind of death which came by being hung on a cross.”
Why would He do that? Because His objective was to restore the availability of the Blessing of Abraham. By His restoration of the Blessing of Abraham, Jesus gained for Himself a people whose lives would exhibit His very nature — Love, Blessing, Abundance, Riches, His Faith, His Character, His Personality.
Jesus gained for us — that is to say, He gained for those people who would live by His faith — ALL of the attributes of the Blessing outlined as Moses rehearsed the Blessing before Israel as he was about to depart and leave the nation under Joshua’s leadership.
We need to review all that the Blessing of Abraham means to those who are (1) obedient to EVERY Word that the Lord gives to them by His Spirit, and (2) walk in and by His faith.
Those are the two essential ingredients to receiving and walking in the Blessing: Obedience and Faith. Without them, the Blessing of Abraham simply waits on the sidelines for the trigger mechanism which releases it. Paul describes Jesus as “obedient to the point of death, even the death of the Cross.”
Jesus Himself said,
John 6:38: "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”
John 7:16b: “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.”
John 8:38: “I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.”
John 12:49-50: “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”
Over and over and over again, Jesus makes clear that He is ONLY doing what the Father commands. He is obedient to the finest detail of God the Father’s heart’s desire. As the picture of obedience, Jesus was and is therefore qualified to be THE restorer of the Blessing of Abraham.
When it comes to the subject of faith as a part of the equation, Jesus likewise makes clear that the faith He demonstrates is God’s faith. It is His Faith as well because He and the Father are One.
Mark 11:22: And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
We can better render this from the Greek text, Have God’s faith, or Have the God-kind of faith.”
Romans 10:17 reads, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
See the connection? Faith originates in the Word — the rhema — which comes out of the mouth of God. His Word generates His faith in us.
There you have it: the two essential ingredients which precede the receiving of the Blessing of Abraham: Obedience and Faith. Now, let’s take a look at all that the Blessing of Abraham produces for those who are obedient and walk by faith. Deuteronomy 28 spells out in great detail all of the elements of the Blessing of Abraham. And, of course, Moses begins his recitation of the Blessing with the principal requirement:
Deuteronomy 28:1-14: And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that (1) the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
To “hearken” is to listen and obey. If we listen to the voice of the Lord, faith for obedience will follow.
(2) Blessed shalt thou be in the city.
(3) Blessed shalt thou be in the field.
(4) Blessed shall be the fruit (offspring) of thy body.
(5) Blessed shall be the fruit of thy ground.
(6) Blessed shall be the fruit of thy cattle.
(7) Blessed shall be the increase of thy kine.
(8) Blessed shall be the flocks of thy sheep.
(9) Blessed shall be thy basket.
(10) Blessed shall be thy store.
(11) Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in.
(12) Blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
(13) The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face.
(14) They shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.
(15) The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses.
(16) The LORD shall command the blessing in all that thou settest thine hand unto.
(17) He shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
(18) The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.
(19) All people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD.
(20) And they shall be afraid of thee.
(21) The LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods.
(22) The LORD shall make thee plenteous in the fruit of thy body.
(23) The LORD shall make thee plenteous in the fruit of thy cattle.
(24) The LORD shall make thee plenteous in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee.
(25) The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure.
(26) The LORD shall open unto thee the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season.
(27) The LORD shall bless all the work of thine hand.
(28) Thou shalt lend unto many nations.
(29) Thou shalt not [have to] borrow.
(30) The LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail.
(31) Thou shalt be above only.
(32) Thou shalt not be beneath…..if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them.
(33) Thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day...to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
There you go! 33 Commandments of Blessing — with the absolute requirement of obeying the rhema Word which proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. This is the promise God has made to the seed of Abraham.
Does God keep His Word?
Can we expect to have all these parts of the Blessing of Abraham in our lives? Can we trust God, believe that He loves us and believe that He desires to bless us more than we desire the Blessing?
The answer is: Absolutely!
Consider for a minute a picture that we see in the life of Abraham’s son, Isaac.
Genesis 26:1-5, 12-13: And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.
See the picture of obedience? Do you see the ridiculous and impossible circumstances that prevailed?
Just as the Lord had appeared to Abraham, He now appears to Isaac. Despite the fact that a famine has hit the land, water is nowhere to be found, crops are drying up, food is scarce, and people are starving, the Lord says to Isaac, “Don’t go down into Egypt like your father did during the famine that hit the region when he first was here. I know there is plenty in Egypt right now, and it would be your natural instinct to go there. Don’t do that. Stay and dwell here in the land. Live here. Occupy this land no matter what the current circumstances are. Remember the oath I swore to your father? I will perform that oath precisely as promised. I will multiply you. I will multiply your seed. I will give unto your seed ALL these countries. Stay here! Don’t go anywhere!”
And that’s exactly what Isaac did. It wasn’t logical in terms of human reasoning — but then God’s Word, His rhema, often collides with logic.
So Isaac sowed in the land — in the midst of famine! And the land began to produce supernaturally. No, it hadn’t suddenly started raining where Isaac sowed. God caused the dew of Heaven to provide enough moisture for the crops to grow. And, brother, did they ever grow. Under any ordinary circumstances, when a farmer plants a field, he can expect a return of perhaps 50%, depending on the quality of the seed being planted. A 50% yield on a field would mean a great return and a wonderful harvest.
Isaac saw the seed he planted literally multiply. He didn’t get a 50% yield. If he planted 10 acres of corn seed, he harvested a thousand acres of corn. If he planted a hundred acres of wheat, he harvested ten thousand acres.
Are you beginning to get the picture? Are you seeing the Blessing of the Lord upon him?
Now you can understand why the Scripture tells us, “and the Philistines envied him.”
That is precisely what God was wanting to happen! His heart’s desire is that the world see a people who live in His Blessing. It causes them to seek after Him.
More to come!
If you are in need of healing please join our prayer conference calls on either Monday, Wednesday or Friday of each week at 7:00 PM Eastern. Once again, the number to call is (805) 399-1000. Then enter the access code: 124763#. Let us minister to your need for healing!
Blessings on you!
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