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Is God For Us? Or Is God Against Us?

Index

  1. Before God Gave Moses the Law, how did God Deal with Man?
  2. Why Did God Give The Law of Moses To Israel?
  3. How did the Law of Moses improve God’s blessing on Israel?
    1. Gentiles also included in the promises
  4. What is God’s purpose for those that belong to Him?
    1. To Israel
    2. To The Church
  5. Favor?
  6. Chosen in Christ for Spiritual Riches
  7. How do we Enter into These Truths in a Practical and Beneficial way in our Earthly Journey?

Preface

This booklet will show the main purpose of the events recorded in the Bible. It is intended to help the inquirer understand what God’s message in Scripture is conveying to us. It will benefit an honest inquirer who desires to understand God’s main purpose for man.

Before you start to read, may I encourage you to read verses 7 and 8 of chapter 7 in the gospel of Matthew. In this passage Jesus states: “ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” One who seeks truth and the power in his life to overcome, will not be disappointed in the revelation of God, revealed in Scripture.

Some basic questions one should ask when he finishes reading this booklet are: (1) Is it God’s purpose to demand from man? (2) Is God’s main purpose to give to man? (3) If there is realistic benefit to be gained from God, how do I receive it?

1. Before God Gave Moses the Law, how did God Deal with Man?

In the year 1440 B.C. (approximately) God gave Moses “the Law” for the Israelites to keep. In this law there are 613 commandments of which the 10 commandments best known to most of us are found.

Before the law was given, how did God deal with man? To answer this question we need to look to the first book of the Bible, in the first three chapters of Genesis. In these chapters, God created man and set the foundation of man’s relationship with God. “And God said, let us make man in our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). This set the relationship God was to have with man. We learn in this passage that man was created to reflect the image and likeness of his Creator.

God planted a garden in Eden and put man in it (Genesis 2:8, 15). In this garden, God had planted two trees, one was for life (the tree of life), and one was for death (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil). “And the Lord God commanded the man saying, of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17). God gave life to man; for man to maintain it, he must not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It was one thing for man to hear the words; it was another thing to understand the implications and repercussions that would come from violating that prohibition.

Adam’s sinless state did not keep him from responding to Satan’s temptation through the woman. When Adam responded, he fell from the perfect state in which God had created him. Adam, by falling from this open eternal fellowship with God, would now begin a journey back to the dust of the earth from which he was created (Genesis 3:19). God designed Adam to walk with Himself, and to live by faith in what God had told him. Adam, in violating God’s prohibition, became aware of his physical and spiritual nakedness (Genesis 3:6, 10). By this act of eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam had moved from being a sinless man to a man indwelt by sin. Adam’s perception of life was now distorted. Adam’s person and nature had become unrighteous and unacceptable before God.

To deal with their new state of un-righteousness, Adam and his wife sewed fig leaves together to cover their nakedness. Genesis 3:8, records God walking in the garden. The man and the woman’s awareness of their nakedness increased with God’s presence to the point that they hid themselves from Him. This was Adam’s answer to their present state. For all who listen to their conscience, does not Adam’s nature within us respond in the same way as did Adam?

The remedy God provided for Adam in his present condition was something apart from the work of Adam’s own hand, or his ability to change his estranged state from God. “Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics (coats) of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). The coats of skin with which God clothed the man and the woman were a divine covering. This covering of animal skins was provided at the cost of death to the animal. The truth which is shown in this event is; life for man would now come from death! In other words, a blood sacrifice was required by God to provide man with a divine covering. This set the knowledge and standard before man of how God would be approached by mankind for the remainder of time. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11). Man would hereafter be sinful and unfit for the presence of God, without a blood sacrifice as a covering for sin.

Man’s part is to believe God in faith, which brings him under the covering of this blood sacrifice, (as he looks forward to the future sacrifice that God would provide, the Lamb of God). This was the place in which man would be required to live and walk if he was to have a divine covering.

Cain, son of Adam, tilled the ground and brought the fruit of the ground to God as a sacrifice (Genesis 4:3). Cain’s sacrifice was from the work of his own hands; his sacrifice was not acceptable to God. His brother Abel, by faith, brought a lamb, a blood sacrifice. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice (Genesis 4:4). Next we read that Cain was wroth, because his works were not acceptable to God; he acted as if there was no barrier between God and man (Genesis 4:6). Cain’s approach to God was according to the works of his own hands, based on his own religious ideas. God told Cain that if he did well, he would be accepted. This has direct reference to the offering of a blood sacrifice. The statement of God is clear; without a blood covering, man cannot enter into a relationship with God (Leviticus 17:11). Cain had to exercise obedience to truth, by faith, to enter into this place of favor.

As we read on to Noah’s time on the earth, Scripture tells us: “And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them” (Genesis 6:6-7). In contrast to God’s overall view of mankind, God sees something different in Noah for He states: “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8 JND). We should ask why did Noah find grace in the eyes of the Lord? The answer is found in Genesis 7:1. God told Noah, “...Because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.”

Because Noah believed God, Noah found grace in the eyes of God and God declared Noah to be a righteous man.

By faith, Noah built an altar unto the Lord, and offered a sacrifice. “And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma” (Genesis 8:20-21). Noah followed the pathway of all who believed God, by offering a blood sacrifice unto the Lord (Leviticus 17:11).

In Genesis 12:2-3, God tells Abram (Abraham) that He is going to bless Abram, and through him all families of the earth will be blessed. In verse 7, the Lord again appears to Abram. God tells Abram that He is going to give the land of Cannan (Israel) to Abram’s seed. Abram then built an altar unto the Lord. As with those in the Godly line before him, Abram approaches God only through a sacrifice.

In Genesis 15:1, God again appears to Abram, and tells him, “I am your shield and your exceeding great reward.” In verse 5 God tells Abram that if he can number the stars, “so shall your descendants be.” In verse 6, a most startling thing is written, “And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted (reckoned) it to him for righteousness.” Abram’s faith, had brought him from his natural unrighteous state to be made righteous. This righteousness was imputed to Abram, by the work of God (Romans 4:22). Romans 4:23-24, tells us this same imputation of righteousness is given to everyone who will believe God in faith as Abram did. Abram came from an unrighteous state, to a righteous state in the moment he believed God in faith (Geneses 15:6).

This same truth is also conveyed to us in the gospel of John, 1:12-13. Here, the truth is made known that receiving Christ whom the Father has sent is the way a person can be born of God. He is made acceptable to God and becomes a son of God, by faith, believing on His name. By believing on Jesus the Lamb of God, (John 1:29), one believes God and the sacrifice which God has supplied.

2. Why did God give the Law of Moses to Israel?

If men were always brought into relationship with God by a sacrifice through faith, then why did God give Israel the Law of Moses to keep? To answer this, we must understand that there is a difference between a person believing what God has said intellectually, and believing God from the heart. Israel, as a people, were a carnal and fleshly people, and as such they were given carnal ordinances (Ezekiel 36:26; Hebrews 7:16; 9:10). Israel was a nation chosen by God, for an earthly purpose (Exodus 19:5). This purpose included the revelation of Himself to the world. God also predetermined that the Christ should come through Israel. Israel declined this place of faith as we read in Hebrews chapters 3 and 4. Israel, in their intellect rather than faith, attempted to please God by making a show of the flesh, which was by doing what they thought would please God (Isaiah 29:13; Galatians 6:12).

In Galatians 3:19 it is written “What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed (Christ) should come to whom the promise was made (Israel); and it was appointed through angels in the hand of a mediator.” To Israel alone were the oracles and promises of God committed, not to the Gentiles (Acts 15:7.10; Romans 3:2; 9:4). The law was added because Israel did not receive the Word of God with faith (Deuteronomy 32:20). “But the word preached did not profit them. Not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Hebrews 4:2). God chose Israel to be His people. Israel chose anything and everything, except Jehovah, to be their God (Jeremiah 22:17; Hosea 9:17).

3. How did the Law Improve God’s Blessing upon Israel?

The blessing upon Israel was and is totally connected with the Messiah. The Messiah, who was to come, was made known in the Old Testament Scriptures in the types, shadows, sacrifices, prophecies, and plain statements, as to the coming Anointed One of God. These are written in the Law of Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms (Luke 24:44). Without the fulfillment of the Messianic promises, Israel has no hope in this world or the next.

However, Israel prophetically fulfilled what was written about it. The promised Messiah did come through the seed of Abraham (Abram), and Israel’s hope as a nation, is in the fulfillment of future prophecies, such as Isaiah 11, and Jeremiah 31:31-34. This will take place in the reign of Christ on this earth. These promises will place Israel as the head nation on the earth, and not the tail. Israel, as a nation, will not be subject to Gentile control (Deuteronomy 28:1; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 34:23, 31).

“For the Law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect” (Hebrews 10:1). The Law blessed the individual Israelite by showing him God’s standard, and his own complete failure to be able to comply with its demands (John 7:19; Romans 3:31).

Through this precise evidence of failure on the individual Israelite’s part, a higher hope could be seen. This hope would be in the Messiah through His intercessory work of a sacrifice (Genesis 3:15; 22:18; 49:10; Numbers 24:17; Deuteronomy 18:18). The hope was to be in Him who was to come, and Who would take away the sins of His people through a blood sacrifice (Psalms 22; Psalms 40; (Septuagint version) Psalms 69; Isaiah 52:13-15; 53; Matthew 1:21; John 1:29). The Old Testament prophecies, fulfilled as recorded in the New Testament, confirm it is true; Jesus is the Anointed One of God.

a. Gentiles also included in the promises

Now we know that the Gentiles are also included in God’s promise (Isaiah 9:2; 49:6; Acts 15:7-9; Ephesians 2:11-18). This hope would come through the Messiah, fulfilling the promises of God given to Israel. This hope becomes a reality for Gentiles who are in faith as well, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

“Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified (made right with God) by faith apart from the deeds of the Law” (Romans 3:28). In this Scripture, we learn that a man is placed in a justified (accepted) state with God, by faith alone in the Messiah, without the Law (man’s efforts). A failure in our conduct as revealed by the Law, does not control our relationship with God, but our faith in Christ does (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17).

4. What is God’s Purpose for those who belong to Him?

a. To Israel

What was and is the purpose of God in choosing Israel for His earthly people? First, He chose Israel as a place of habitation for Himself, choosing them from among all people on the face of the earth (Deuteronomy 7:6; Psalms 132:13.14). In choosing Israel as His earthly inheritance, (Deuteronomy 32:9; Psalms 105:6-11) God would reveal Himself to all peoples of the earth (Genesis 12:3; 22:18; Psalms 67:1-2; 98:2-3; Ezekiel 20:5-20).

Second, He chose Israel to bring forth the promised Seed, the Messiah (Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:16). Through Israel the second Adam (Christ) would come (I Corinthians 15:45). These two truths constitute the purpose and revelation of God in choosing Israel to be His people.

b. To The Church

Why then did God choose the Church if Israel were His people? God chose Israel as His earthly people; He chose the Church to be His heavenly people (John 17:24; 18:36; Revelation 19:7-9). Israel is chosen for a period of time on the earth. The Church is chosen for eternity, to be with Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:17). God has created a heavenly people, a spiritual body on the earth (the Church), till He comes in the person of Christ to bring the Church up into heaven where He is (John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). God has created this body of people for eternal blessing in the kingdom of His Son (Colossians 1:5, 13). This favor of God is found in the only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:16-17; John 1:18).

The Church is the object of the affections of Christ, as He gave Himself entirely for it (Ephesians 5:25). Every Christian shares in this blessing. We read of this intimacy Christ has toward the Church in Ephesians 5:30, “For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.” This oneness with God in Christ is the inheritance of everyone who has the Spirit of Christ within him. The purpose of God for His Church is spiritual blessing. This starts with every believer the day he commits his life to Christ in faith. The Christian has the full favor of God upon him in his new life and position in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 1:18).

5. Favor?

The favor and blessing that God has placed in the Christian, is it entirely a gift of the grace of God, or is it necessary to continue in some part of the Law of Moses (613 commandments), to keep this favor? We might ask this; is this blessing of God lost by our inability to always respond in faith properly? The answer to these questions is found in Scripture. This is shown in Ephesians 2:8, where the word grace means ‘unmerited favor.’ This gift of God to the newborn babe in Christ is exactly that, a gift. The preceding Scripture makes that perfectly clear; the favor of God is upon all who believe Him in faith. Romans 6:23, confirms the same message to us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Something worked for is not a gift as Romans 4:5 explains, “But to him that does not work, but believes on Him (God) Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness” (JND version). This verse clearly shows that the gift of God is indeed a gift, which is only available through faith in Christ alone. It is not possible through our own efforts, works or contributions to improve upon God’s gift.

The thief on the cross next to Jesus had nothing to contribute. However, he voiced his faith to Jesus in these words, “Remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). This thief found out what every unbeliever needs to understand to become a Christian. This is recorded in Romans 10:9, “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved.”

By faith in God, the Spirit of Christ comes into the heart of a believer to dwell throughout his time on earth. Jesus, puts the Christian in the place of being the recipient of the promises of God. The Christian’s security in these promises is assured by these words, “The gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Romans 11:29). This simply means that God will not change His mind, and take away from the believer the gift of life, once He has given it to him. To the Christian these words apply, Jesus said: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Again, Jesus speaks of His own when He states, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me, and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29). Once more Jesus spoke, “And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever” (John 14:16).

Are these things true? The answer to that question is found in this Scripture; “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should repent; has He said and will He not do it, has He spoken and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19). Jesus, praying to His Father for those who belong to Him, said “Sanctify them through your truth: Your word is truth” (John 17:17).

A Christian’s failures do not change, or take away the free gift of God. The blood of Christ paid for this gift (Acts 20:28; Romans 5:9; I Peter 1:18-19). If it were otherwise, it would not be a gift; furthermore there is no one who could qualify. For Scripture is clear, “The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is none that does good, no not one” (Psalms 14:2-3).

The Christian has favor with God, not through his own abilities and not even through his own performance, but through the work of another, even Christ. This grace is clearly given to us without merit on our part (Titus 3:5). The life of Christ working in a Christian, and increasing in Him, is performed through the Christian’s faith alone (Galatians 3:1-5). As it is written, “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:17). Again Scripture speaks, “To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Christ in the Christian does not mean there will be no failures. Even though failure may happen many times, this does not stop the Holy Spirit from doing His work in the Christian. Failure may redirect what the Holy Spirit works on in the heart of the Christian (Philippians 2:13).

6. Chosen in Christ for Spiritual Riches

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Spiritual poverty in us is our natural condition, for we are children of the firstAdam, withAdam’s sinful nature dwelling in us. Also, Scripture reveals to us that our natural inheritance through Adam is eternal death. In contrast to this place are the spiritual riches given to us in Christ Jesus. This should make us speechless, with empty hands as to what value we have in ourselves to offer to God. The riches of His grace toward us are above our ability to comprehend. However, by walking after the Lord Jesus Christ in faith, we enter into those riches. The Holy Spirit who reveals Christ Jesus to us will open these spiritual riches of God to our understanding (Ephesians 1:17-18). Here are a few Scriptures to tell us what some of these riches are. The riches of the grace of God directed toward the Christian come forth in this way:

  • A Christian is the recipient of being called and chosen by God to be his child (Ephesians 1:4).
  • He reconciled us to Himself, when we were still sinners (Romans 5:10).
  • He forgave us, through the blood of Christ, for all our sins and offenses (Ephesians 1:7).
  • He justified us when we were yet sinners
  • (Romans 5:8-9).
  • He gave us a new life by the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17; 2 Corinthians 1:20-21; 5:17; I John 4:13).
  • We are His special treasure (1 Peter 2:9).
  • He sealed us with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).
  • He took us away from our natural inheritance of eternal death, and gave to us eternal life through the Son of God (1 John 5:12).
  • He gave us an eternal inheritance in the heavens (Colossians 1:5).
  • He revealed the mystery of His will to us (Ephesians 1:9).
  • He raised us up and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6).
  • He made us more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).

In all of this, God in Christ has openly shown the kindness of His intentions toward those that belong to Him (Ephesians 2:7). What shall we say to these things; “If God is for us who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

7. How do we Enter into These Truths in a Practical and Beneficial way in our Earthly Journey?

“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). In ourselves, we cannot enter into these Spiritual blessings. Jesus showed us the way to receive these blessing when He said: “All things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). God has opened up the heavens to them who will believe Him. Faith will open spiritual eyes to see the things that God has given to those that come to Him in faith through the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:18).

God gave the land of Cannan (Israel) to Abraham’s seed as a gift. In order for Israel to possess this gift of God, the enemies of God had to be routed out of the land through warfare. It is no different for a Christian if he is to claim the territory that God has given him. A war is inevitable. When the Christian fights with the weapons that the Spirit of God has given to him, victory is assured.

A list of these weapons for the Christian’s use is found in Ephesians 6:14-18. In order to fight a victorious war, the Christian must know who the enemies of God are, and what their tactics are. This information is necessary to fight intelligently. In short, the three enemies, which the Christian has to overcome, are: the world, the flesh, and the devil. All three of these enemies have great power. These enemies are determined to keep the Christian from entering into his spiritual blessings. These enemies will not give up easily. Scripture informs us of the battle; “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). Dependent faith in God will be the key to victory.

The power of God is greater than these enemies. That power becomes active and strong in the Christian through his faith. The battle belongs to the Lord, “For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15).

“Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe his prophets, and you shall prosper” (2 Chronicles 20:20). We may enter in by faith and watch what He does for us. Scripture shows us the outcome of the battle before we start. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He (God) not with Him (Christ) also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).

D. Neely

2004 reprinted 6-29-06

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