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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 from the week ending 09/28/08
I am communicating doctrine, I am not lying, my conscious bearing joint testimony with me in the Holy Spirit, but I have a great sorrow and constant pain in my right lobe, For I could wish that I myself would be accursed.  Consequently, separated from Christ, but it cannot be, for the sake of, or on behalf of my brethren, the racial Jews.  My fellow countrymen, national Jews. According to earthly descent, (ROM 9:1-3)
Who are Israelites, to whom is the adoption and as sons and the glory [that is the Shekinah glory], and the covenants[or] the unconditional covenants, and the deposit of the law, and the temple service [which means the service of God in the temples] and the promises, which says From whom [the Jews or Israelites] are the fathers, [the regenerate ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob], in fact, from whom is The Christ, the One who came in the flesh, the One who is God, ruler over all, extolled, praised, eulogized forever, Amen. However, this [the rejection of the Jews concerning their spiritual heritage] this rejection is not to imply as though the word of God has failed. (ROM 9:4-6)
(Corrected translation)
The phrase For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; means that if you have the genes of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the twelve Patriarchs, you are a Jew, or a part of Israel, as far as your physical birth and descent is concerned. As far as the imputation of human life at birth that's true, but Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were regenerate. The origin of the Jewish nation adds up to the fact that it is the spiritual seed of Abraham who is the true Israel. This is the big issue in the Koran. The Koran says this is not true:
(Sura 2:138. (Our religion is) the Baptism of Allah. And who can baptize better than Allah. And it is He Whom we worship.
Sura 2:139. Say: Will ye dispute with us about Allah, seeing that He is our Lord and your Lord; that we are responsible for our doings and ye for yours; and that We are sincere (in our faith) in Him?
Sura 2:140. Or do ye say that Abraham, Isma'il Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes were Jews or Christians? Do ye know better than Allah. Ah! who is more unjust than those who conceal the testimony they have from Allah. but Allah is not unmindful of what ye do! He remembers his people's sins.
Sura 2:141. That was a people that hath passed away. They shall reap the fruit of what they did, and ye of what ye do!
The Bible, the word of God, says that Abraham became a Jew at age 99 (GEN 17:1). The Koran says that is not true. So, you have the Koran, which supposedly dropped out of the sky on a stone tablet, or you have the Bible which contains 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over 1500 years, in 3 different languages on 3 different continents, with no historical errors or contradictions. The entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, bears the mark of Divine inspiration. Therefore, you have a choice, you can follow a book that dropped out of the sky on a stone tablet written by Allah, the moon God. Or you can follow a book that 2PE 1:21 says was not made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. A book whereby God the Holy Spirit so supernaturally directed the human writers of Scripture, that without waving their human intelligence, individuality, literary style, personal feelings or any other human factor, His own complete and coherent message to man was recorded in perfect accuracy in the original languages of Scripture. The very words of which bears the authority of divine authorship.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right or the power to become children of God, {even} to those who believe in His name. (JOH 1:12)
Now, who did He give this right or power to? "To those who believe in His name." Not to those who asked Jesus to come into their heart, or asked Jesus to come into their life. Not to them that raised their hands, or said a prayer, or who felt sorry for their sins, or who were baptized, or who walked an isle but, “To those who believe in His name.” To believe in His name means to believe that He is what His name claims to be, which is the word of God. He is the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Lord our righteousness, Emmanuel, God with us, wonderful counselor, the mighty God, the Father of eternity, the Prince of peace, the great I AM, the Lord of all.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right or the power to become children of God, {even} to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (JOH 1:12-13)
This is a reference to what is known as common and efficacious grace. We become members of the Royal Family of God the same way racial Israel becomes true Israel, by the grace of God.
There are seven propositions, or conclusions, we can draw with regard to the subject of the grace of God:
1) In His grace, God does reveal to mankind that God exists. All you have to do is look at the Bible, and then look at current events and you'll see that is true. Evidence that there is a God and that God exists and the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ is overwhelming. It could be any moment, and there are many signs given in the word of God of what to watch for (MAT 16:1-3). We are told just before our Lord comes back the signs of the times or the trends, especially in the client nation would begin with Israel's rebirth (MAT 24:32-33). As Jesus prophesied, the Jews were scattered during the Jewish-Roman war of AD 70 (LUK 21:24). Also prophesied to occur before Christ's return, the nation of Israel was miraculously reborn on May 14, 1948. There also would be a decline of morality (2TI 3:1-4). We see a shocking breakdown in our society in this generation more than ever before. There would be famines, violence and wars (MAT 24:7). There would be an explosion of travel, knowledge, education (DAN 12:4). In all of history, the vast increase in travel has come in just since the last 50 years of both ground and air transportation. Then in education, with the advance of science and computers. Explosion of cults and the occult (MAT 24:5). Counterfeit spirituality is everywhere with cults and false christs, psychic phenomena, spiritism, satan worship, witchcraft, nature worship, aliens, UFO's, USO's. There would be a one World order (MAT 24:15; Dan 7-12). Increased centralization of world financial and political power is a prelude to the soon-coming world power system in the hands of "Antichrist," who will be the incarnation of Satan, and he will deceive most of the world (Dan 7-12, MAT 24:15, Rev13). The Bible also tells us that in the last days that there will be a form of godliness (2TI 3:5). Today many churches deny the eternal truths of Scripture and power of the Holy Spirit, replacing them with ungodly, temporal and "politically correct" values.
2) God reveals Himself through the Bible or the Word of God.
3) God has a plan for the Church.
4) God's plan is based on a policy, God's policy is always called grace.
5) The grace of God is divided into three categories: Pre-salvation grace (TIT 2:11). Salvation grace (2CO 6:1-2). Post-salvation grace (COL 2:6).
6) The Church-age believer is saved by grace, therefore, we are required by God to live by grace.
7) Every believer owes both the plan and the grace of God a hearing.
As God expresses His love to those whom He saves by the gracious things He has done, Christian service for God should also be based upon "grace." Salvation must be understood and treated as a gift from God, and Christian service and faithfulness must be the expression of the believer's love and gratitude to God. This is the confidence a believer can have that he is fulfilling the plan of God. That he is not just claiming to be a child of God, but he is living as though he is a child of God.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (EPH 2:10)
This is what ROM 9:6 is saying, For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; For they are not all believers who claim to be believers; They are not all Christians who are claim to be Christians;
So again, our entire verse says, However, this rejection [of the Jews concerning their spiritual heritage] is not to imply as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; (ROM 9:6). This simply means that if you have the genes of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the twelve Patriarchs, you are a Jew, or a part of Israel, as far as your physical birth and descent is concerned. As far as the imputation of human life at birth, that's true, However, as we have seen, Abraham was regenerate, Isaac was regenerate, Jacob was regenerate. Remember GAL 3:28 says, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.However, many of the Jews thought that all they had to be was Jewish, and that made them qualified for all the promises of God given to Abraham's seed. They thought that they were somehow special to God even though they did not even seek to know Him. A lot of believers are like that. They think that they are special to God, and yet they have no idea about His basic doctrines in the Bible. They make statements like "My Lord and Savior does this for me and my God does this." Yet they don't even know God. They don't worship God, they don't obey God. Many of them will go to heaven without ever having even read the Bible.
So, the promises were given to the spiritual seed of Abraham, not to the natural seed. The spiritual analogy, and application, for us is that many Christians think that all they have to do is believe in Christ, and that makes them qualified for all the promises of God given to them in Christ. However, these promises are given to those believers who live the spiritual life. These promises are not to those who, like the Jews, go through some religious system or formula, and do not have a personal relationship with the Lord. That kind relationship is revealed by a spiritual relationship with His people. This is why the apostle Paul says;
Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ. (GAL 3:16)
Abraham's seed, in this context, is the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember that the seed of Abraham is both real (the Lord Jesus Christ) and spiritual (all those who believe in Christ). He didn't promise this to the Jews because of their birth, or because they are descended from Abraham. No one has these promises by any natural birth, but only by the new birth: "Ye must be born again." The Jews are claiming that they were special people to God simply because they were related to Abraham physically rather than spiritually.
As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him. Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you abide in My word, {then} you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." They answered Him, "We are Abraham's offspring, and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You shall become free'?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. And the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. I know that you are Abraham's offspring; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak the things which I have seen with {My} Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from {your} father." They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you are Abraham's children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. You are doing the deeds of your father." They said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, {even} God." Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? {It is} because you cannot hear My word. "You are of {your} father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own {nature;} for he is a liar, and the father of lies." (JOH 8:30-44)
Those who are related to Abraham spiritually are those who are born again; those who are related to Abraham physically are the Jews - unregenerate. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ. (GAL 3:16). This explains the singular of the word seed. To Abraham's seed (singular) is Christ. In the Church-age we are in union with Christ, therefore we are also Abraham's seed, singular. This passage teaches that Abraham's seeds grow as the Jewish nation - those who are descended from him. However, the Jewish nation does not have salvation simply by being descended from Abraham, or by keeping the law, but only by believing in the promise seed, the Lord Jesus Christ. Both of these principles were problems to the Jews. Like many Christians, and those who claim to be Christian, they followed a set of rules or formulas, thinking they were pleasing God (ROM 10:2).
What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. (GAL 3:17)
This means that you cannot please God by following a set of rules, laws, or a formula to receive the promises of God, or to please God. You cannot turn the spiritual life into some man-made formula. That includes doctrinal ministries.
"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
Notice spirit comes first. You need truth, or doctrine, but it has to based upon a spiritual life.
"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. (JOH 6:63)
What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise. Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed should come to whom the promise had been made.
Notice that the law was added to reveal all the transgressions that the Jews were committing, until the seed came. The seed is a reference to Christ. Once the reality came, the shadows were gone.
And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day- things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. (COL 2:13-17)
We are not to get so technical about the written word or the principles of doctrine that we become inflexible and forget about the importance of the living word, the Lord Jesus Christ. The way you do that is found in the next two verses; Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God (COL 2:13-17).
In verses 18-19 we have the religious attack. Whenever you start talking about legalism inevitably you start talking about religion. The devil is the father of all religion and Christianity is not a religion. Christianity is a relationship with God. Religion is seeking to gain the approbation of God by human works. Line upon line, and precept upon precept, and doctrinal principles are vitally important. However, they are designed to teach us to take care of our own vineyard, and increase our spiritual life. Christianity is God working on man's behalf; religion is man seeking to work on God's behalf. So they are antithetical in every way. Therefore, one of the great attacks of Satan against the truth, and against Christianity, is the religious attack manifested in every generation especially with program spirituality.
Some people succumb to the religious attack by catering to asceticism in their old sin nature. Asceticism is simply a strict adherence to rules, regulations, and formulas. The principle is that religion attacks in different ways because there is a great deal of difference between taking pleasure in self-effacement, and in the worship of angels. One has a religious source in the old sin nature, the other has a religious source outside of the soul of the person who becomes a sucker to it. Religion involves the worship or the teachings of demons. It is possible for those who are born again believers to get involved with worship, or the teachings, of the fallen angels. This attack of religion is based upon two principles. The first is that Satan attacks the authority of the Bible. He says that what you dream, what you have in a trance, what you see when you get ecstatic, is just as real or more real than what the Bible says, therefore go for ecstatics. This is where the holy-rollers get into the picture. So this is an attack upon the authority of the Word of God. Secondly, it emphasizes feeling and ecstatic experience as having merit. How you feel becomes more important than what the Bible says. This results in what COL 2:18 says, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind. The inflation without cause means to be inflated with pride or arrogance. Literally meaning, "being inflated with arrogance." The passive voice indicates the subject, the reversionistic believer, receives the action of the verb through one of these attacks of religion.
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