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Grace Bible Church

Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries


The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary.

The Tree of Life for week ending 05/05/02.
The Doctrine of the Abrahamic Covenant. Part 4.

We are studying Point 9 in the Doctrine of the Abrahamic Covenant which deals with the fact that the Amplification of the Covenant is given after Abraham Passes Momentum Testing.

We have been noting GEN 22:1-6, Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." And He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you." So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young slaves with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood himself for the burnt offering, and he arose and went to the place of which the God had told him. On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. And Abraham said to his young slaves, "Stay here with the chamor ass [the finest means of transportation in the ancient world], and I and the young man will go yonder; and we will worship and we will return to you." And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.

All the ingredients for judgment are there, the wood represents humanity, 1CO 3:12, the fire represents wrath and judgment, as in Num 11:1, while the knife represents the crucifixion of the flesh, as in PRO 23:2.
In verse 7, Isaac breaks the silence, GEN 22:7-8, And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." And he said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" And Abraham said, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son."

Abraham's intention has not wavered and he still has his priorities straight. Abraham knows that God has the power of resurrection and resuscitation. The Giver has the ability after the sacrifice is made to bring the son right back to life so that they can go down the hill together.
Therefore, Abraham never loses sight of the Giver and that is why he is called a friend of God. As a mature believer, Abraham is so occupied with the Lord that nothing becomes a distraction.
Abraham has tremendous security because he knows the Giver can never leave him or forsake him. And, if the Giver gives an order like this he has a reason for it and Abraham doesn't even question the order.
Wisdom is not in questioning the order but in knowing the One who gave the order and obeying it.

GEN 22:8 And Abraham said, "God [Elohim] will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son."

When the time comes, Abraham will give Isaac the whole picture, but this isn't the time. This is Elohim's command and Elohim will provide for Himself.
Everything must be properly prepared and then Isaac will hear the words and then exercise his option. The way that he exercises his option will also indicate the perfect illustration of our Lord Jesus Christ when He said in LUK 22:42 "Yet not My will, but Thine be done."

So once Abraham mentioned Elohim to Isaac that was enough for Isaac who as a believer, understood the answer in terms of the doctrine of divine essence that Elohim must provide the sacrifice, Elohim has the power to see to it. The sacrifice is God's business, for the mature believer, the issue is always what the Lord thinks, what the Lord says, the Lord is always the issue. Since God is to be the judge, God must select the sacrifice. In a burnt offering God judges the offering and when it says that it is a sweet smell, Lev 1, that means the offering was acceptable to God.

The sacrifice must be perfect to receive the transfer of our sins to Himself and the subsequent judgment of those sins. There are two facets to the sacrifice, the transfer of the sins to the innocent victim and then the judgment of the innocent victim. There has to be an innocent victim for this one time in history to demonstrate that when the reality of the Cross comes, there will be an innocent human victim. The lamb and the other type of sacrifices merely portray the human victim that God will accept.
God will only accept one human victim, and that is the impeccable Lord Jesus Christ as the God man, therefore, the innocent lamb represents the impeccable lamb of God. The principle that Elohim will provide the lamb is a correct principle because God the Father will provide the lamb, the unique Son of God, JOH 1:29, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
Abraham accepted God's authority and his son Isaac accepted his authority. When his father answered his question, the answer was good enough for Isaac.

GEN 22:8, And Abraham said, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together.

The word for together is jachdaw which means that they were in harmony, united for a mutual purpose. It illustrates the perfect harmony of God the Father and God the Son in the provision of our so great salvation. The principle also is that the grace of the cross is the basis for the principle of harmony among believers.
This passage also teaches us that only God can provide or supply what will satisfy Himself and only God has the right to say what will satisfy Himself. It is the Lord who is to be satisfied not us. In our relationship with grace, God has all the rights and we have none. As with salvation, so with the entire plan of God, we are not consulted as to what pleases us, our responsibility is to enter into what pleases God.  God devises the plan and we can only advance in perfect harmony to do His will. Just as Abraham and Isaac advanced up the hill in perfect harmony so we must advance in the perfect harmony of doctrine resident in the soul of each believer.
Harmony doesn't mean that we have all arrived at the same point spiritually, far from it. Harmony means we are all adjusting to the justice of God and taking in Bible doctrine.

There are three factors to Christian harmony.
First is salvation adjustment, we must all be born again.
Secondly, that we get back in fellowship as quickly as possible through rebound so that we don't use our old sin nature on someone else.
Thirdly, the advance in harmony comes when we are all positive toward doctrine.

GEN 22:8, And Abraham said, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together.

God alone would supply that which would satisfy Himself.  Nothing of man could ever meet the divine requirements.  Nothing that man provides could ever satisfy God. If sacrifice for sin was ever to be found, God Himself must supply it. 
The "lamb" was not only provided by God but it was also for God.
It was for His sake first! There are many things that we are told about in the Bible that God does for His sake.
The restoration of our soul, David said in PSA 23:3, He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.
It's because of Who God is and for "his sake" that He restores my soul and guides me in paths of righteousness. God pardons us and forgives us because of the fact that God is holy and can have nothing to with sin but also He cannot leave us or forsake us, therefore because of that, for His name's sake He will pardon our iniquity! God wipes away our sins and doesn't even remember them and He does so for His own sake (see also Eze chapter 20).

GEN 22:9, Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there, and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood.

It is the epitome of spiritual growth to do the will of God regardless of how it appears to us. Whether it appears unreasonable, unfair, or unexplainable!
If we are adjusted to the justice of God through the three stages, salvation, rebound, and spiritual growth, then the justice of God can do nothing but bless us!
It's important to see that word el-hammaqom, translated "to the place", referring to only one place where this could be done, any other place and it won't work out right.

This place is located near some brush and right behind where the altar is going to be built there is a ram stuck in the brush. There's only one place to be and that is where the sacrifice or the substitute will be located and no other place will do! 

Abraham entered into reversionistic distraction from being in the wrong geographical location: GEN 12:10?20, he went to Egypt; and in GEN 20:1?18, Gerar. And both times he got himself in jams!

David's real problems began by being in the wrong geographical location, operation Bathsheba, 2SA 11:1!
In the life of Abraham, we noted that the change of geographical location was the basis for separating Abraham from his family and relatives. The only way to know positively what the will of God is for our life is to understand Bible doctrine and metabolize it.

We cannot know the will of God apart from knowing the word of God. If believers are doing what God wants them to do, then they will eventually wind up in the place where God wants them to be. 
If we get out of God's geographical location for our life, there will be no divine revelation. There are environments and human associations which are detrimental, hazardous, to the concentration of the word of God.

The believer must separate from hindrances and distractions to concentrate on doctrine, whether the hindrances are geographical or personal, friend and social distractions which would keep you from the daily function of perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine.
There's only one place to be and that's the place where the provision is, that's the place of wisdom.
The key is the place, el-hammaqom, which indicates a specific place where God wanted the burnt offering. Every detail of life is involved in being in the right place at the right time. This is why you cannot afford to miss the doctrine that your pastor-teacher communicates on a daily basis.
GEN 22:9, Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there, and arranged the wood,
The verb for arranged is arak which means to arrange or set in order. Abraham does it right, everything is in order.
God has one way of doing something and that is the right way.
Only a right thing done in a right way is right!
The right place is the predesigned plan of God, the right way is operating under the power of God the Holy Spirit.
This is why details are given precisely and accurately as a part of the Word of God to reveal to us the importance of a right thing being done in a right way!
HEB 8:5 says Just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, See, He says," that you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain."

If Noah had built the ark with his own dimensions rather than what the Lord gave, the ark would not have saved Noah and his family.

The prophet Jeremiah warned the children of Israel in JER 49:20 and JER 50:45, Therefore hear the "plan" of the Lord!
However, just like in the days of Jeremiah when believers had developed hardness of the heart, so it is today that believers have the same attitude as in Jeremiah's day.
The mature believer does it well and he does it right.

We're going to study those two slaves at the bottom of the hill and we are going to see that all four people in this passage are going to be blessed. And none of them were at the same stage of spiritual growth but they all have one thing in common, they all do whatever they do and they do it right.

GEN 22:9, Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there, and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood.

There are actually four things in this verse that Abraham does which bring out the accuracy of the mature believer when he is under pressure.
First, note that he went "to the place" of which God had told him, 'el-hammaqom. This means that even under pressure the mature believer stays in the right place.
Secondly, then he built an altar there, the Qal imperfect of banah means to build, to construct, or to set up.
Thirdly, he arranged the wood, the Qal imperfect of arak means to arrange or set in order.
Fourth, he bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar on top of the wood.

The principle is that Abraham does it right, everything is in order.
There will be believers who were faithful in the mundane things in life who will rule in the eternal state because God knows that they would be faithful in much.
Abraham doesn't have to do a lot of things because a lot of things are being done for him by two very faithful and capable slaves. So the wood had to be stacked properly to burn the sacrifice.
And Abraham is doing everything right because he is thinking and he is thinking under the greatest pressure that anyone ever had. Having arranged the wood for burning, Abraham then explains to Isaac the command.
Isaac was obedient to his father's authority even as his father was obedient to divine authority. The son has confidence in his father as his father has confidence in God.
Isaac's willingness to be bound is a beautiful picture of the Son of God on the cross bearing our sins. Isaac has perfect submission to authority, he offered no resistance to Abraham even though he is the stronger of the two. Authority doesn't have to have physical strength but rather mental strength.

GEN 22:10-11, And Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."

The angel of the Lord is mal'akh Yahweh which is a reference to The Lord Jesus Christ. The word called actually means a shout.
The repetition of a name is of great significance. In this verse we have two vocatives, the doubling of the proper noun, 'Avraham 'Avraham. In the Hebrew language nouns are repeated to express an exceptional quality. Repetition serves to intensify the expression of highest degree. The doubling of Abraham's name means that Abraham has reached the highest peek in the spiritual life.
He has reached the place of pleasing God as only a few people in history have been able to do.

Moses was called "Moses Moses" in EXO 3:4.

Samuel was called "Samuel Samuel" in 1SA 3:10.

Jacob was called "Jacob Jacob" in GEN 46:2.

Abraham has demonstrated ultra super-grace status by a complete and total obedience to the will of God without questioning God's wisdom or challenging God's justice. There's been no cry of unfair or why is God doing this to me. The application of doctrine in the mature believer is simple, what God gives, God has the right to take away because God has all the rights. That's the way that it should be because God has all the wisdom.
It is the judgment of the Giver which is important not the judgment of the beneficiary. The sooner we learn that our opinions are not important, the sooner we advance in the spiritual realm. God requires that all mature believers set aside their personal opinions and prejudices in favor of divine opinions of divine justice. There is no room for two opinions or viewpoints in the reality of spiritual maturity. In spiritual maturity there is no such thing as two opinions or viewpoints!

Only in immaturity and reversionism is there room for two viewpoints.
With the knife in his hand ready to slit the throat of Isaac, the testing of Abraham is now dramatically halted!

GEN 22:12, And he said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear or respect God,

With these two commands, the test is now over and Abraham has passed.
Isaac presents to us not only a type of Christ being offered on the altar, but also Christ raised again from the dead, and that on the third day, too, for it was on "the third day" that Abraham received Isaac back again.
Remember that during the three days that elapsed from the time Abraham received command from God to offer him up as a burnt offering, his son was as good as dead to him.
Abraham had total confidence in the justice of God. The justice of God means that God cannot be unfair or mistreat anyone.
The Lord stepped in and stopped Abraham is simply because the work of salvation is entirely the work of God and there's no place for man's works!

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