"Branded for Christ"
"Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out
of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto
a land that I will shew thee:"
The story of Abram's life and family and his travels
certainly reveals that, even though he was not always faithful, yet
God was with him all along the way.
In chapter 15 of Genesis, God makes a covenant with Abram
to give to his seed a vast area of land -- from the river of Egypt to
the Euphrates River. When Abram was 99 years old, God repeated this
covenant, this time calling it the Land of Canaan -- the same area as
before -- as an everlasting possession and renewed His promise that
he, Abram, would be the father of many nations. See Genesis 17:4 and
Acts 7:8. Then God changed his name to Abraham and by this name he is
known from that time forth until today.
At this time, God gave Abraham a mark -- circumcision,
to identify Abraham and his seed as a special nation designed to carry
forth the message of the Kingdom of God throughout the world. (Genesis
Jacob and his twelve sons continued to develop as a nation.
Sent to Egypt, they became great in number; and were led out into the
wilderness of Sinai by Moses, across the Red Sea by a great miracle
-- where, because of their unbelief, they remained for 40 years until
all those who would not believe had died. When they finally came over
into the Promised Land all the men who had been born in the wilderness
were required to be circumcised (Joshua 5:2-7) -- thus identifying them
as descendants of Abraham, to be that great nation, specially blessed
by God, to carry forth His message to the world.
However, as the generations came and went, the religious
leaders began to revise God's Word according to their desires for more
power over the people, more money in their religious coffers, and to
appeal more to the old Adamic nature that man was, and is, born with.
Making the commands of God of none effect by their revisions of His
Word, they tried to appeal more to the times in which they lived, until
finally, when --in due time-- the Messiah came according to God's Word,
they rebelled against Him -- as Jesus said in Matthew 15:8,9, "This
people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with
their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship
me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Please read
Matthew 15:1-9 as well as Mark 7:9-13. The unbelief of the nation broke
forth again and they crucified their King, Jesus. This resulted in the
nation being set aside again as in the wilderness, and this time the
blessings came to the Gentiles.
However, in the ages to come, Israel will become the nation
God wants them to be -- they will claim the Promised Land, and 144 thousand
Jewish evangelists will go forth from Jerusalem to carry the message
of the Kingdom of God to the whole world. (Revelation 7:4).
CIRCUMCISION OF THE SPIRIT
As the old religious leaders revised the Word of God to
serve their own selfish purpose, so today men are revising the Word
of God (the Bible) to gain fame and fortune. Satan continues even today
with his origional attack as in the day when he changed (revised) the
Word to deceive Adam and Eve -- changing the Word just a little at a
time to deceive and to conquer.
There will be no mistakes when Jesus comes, for all who are His are truly branded with His mark and will hear when He calls as in Revelation 4:1 "...Come up hither..."
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven
with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of
God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
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