43 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 3 - Book 4 - Names of Deity, Most High

43: Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 4 – Names of Deity, Most High: Genesis 14-16

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 4

NAMES OF DEITY, MOST HIGH

Genesis 14-16

Please turn with me in your Bible, to Genesis, Chapter 15.

Genesis 15:1,2a

“AFTER these things the word of the Lord (“Jehovah,” all capitalized) came unto Abram in a vision, saying, `Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.’ And Abram said, `Lord God,…'”

What is different? The casual reader won’t ever notice that the word `Lord’ is not all in capitals in verse 2. Typographical error? – No! Again, it is another name of Deity. In this case in the Hebrew it is “Adon,” or in some places it is Adonay or Adano. In England, and various other European countries, the headmaster of a school is called the don. The very term “adon” in Hebrew is “master.” If it is in small letters, that means “master” is also small letters. But here it is capitalized. “Master,” then, is equal to the title of a person of the Godhead.

*adon=master * Adon or Adonay=Master * Adonai=Master=God

Genesis 15:2

“And Abram said, `Lord God (Master God), what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?'” In order to follow up on this Master concept, we must again compare Scripture with Scripture. Turn with me to Exodus 4, to the account of God appearing to Moses, and telling him that he is to go back to Egypt and approach Pharaoh.

Exodus 4:10

“And Moses said unto the Lord (capitalized, so he said to Whom? Jehovah), ‘O my Lord (now what? Small lettered Lord),…'” See the difference? The capitalized LORD is the Scripture reference that Moses is speaking to Jehovah, but Moses doesn’t address Him as Jehovah, but rather as Adon/Master. What do we call those under a Master; servants! That is exactly what we have here. Read on:

“…I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.”

Whenever you see the word `Lord’ with a capital `L’ only, this refers to Adoni as Master, and the Master, is going to be over his servant. Watch for that in the Old Testament. Another good example is in Isaiah 6:

Isaiah 6:1

“IN the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord (small letters, so Isaiah is saying he saw the Lord, Adoni, his Master) sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” No doubt it is God in all His fullness, but why does Isaiah use the word “Master?” What follows several verses down?

Isaiah 6:5

“Then said I, `Woe is me for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King (capitalized – God in all His glory), the Lord (all caps – The Jehovah) of hosts.'” So why, then, did he approach God in verse 1 as Master? Let’s go to verse 8:

Isaiah 6:8

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, `Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then said I, `Here am I; send me.'” What is Isaiah becoming? – The servant. Watch for this as you study Scripture; whenever there is a master and servant relationship it won’t be LORD in all capitals, it will begin with a capital `L’ only.

When educated men, theologians, (that’s what they claim to be) take the Bible and say it is nothing more than a bunch of Jewish legend and myth; or, as others have said, there may be some of the Word of God in it, but not all of it is; as soon as you take out part of it you would lose the fabric of this beautiful threadwork that goes all through Scripture. The main reason for my teaching throughout the last few lessons, is to show that this Book is so supernaturally woven together, we never have to doubt that it is the Word of God. I’ll admit that all we have today are translations. The King James (I still like it) is a translation. When I say the Word of God is letter perfect and word perfect, I am referring to the original manuscripts before anyone ever touched them. Portions of every book of the Old Testament were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls; the Book of Isaiah being almost totally intact. Those are the oldest copies of the Word of God that man has come up with so far.

When they translated the Book of Isaiah out of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the King James Version was almost letter perfect. This is when I was assured that I would stay with the King James Version. Even after all the translations and copying, we have a Bible that is nearly error free. Sometimes I’ll say I think the King James translators could have used this word or that word, but for the most part it is so accurate that we can just rest upon it. The other aspect of that same word `master’ comes down into not only the human level as such, but into the very social fabric of the husband and wife. The same word in small letters can also apply as a husband with regard to the wife; not that she is a slave under a master, but I wanted to show this application. Go to Genesis 24. Abraham is sending a servant to Syria to get Isaac a wife.

Genesis 24:9

“And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.”

Turn with me to Genesis 18 where the same word `adon’ is now used in regard to Abraham and Sarah as husband and wife, when The Lord told Sarah she was going to have a child.

Genesis 18:12

“Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, `After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?'” Note the small letters in `lord.’ It comes from the same root word adon, only now it is “my husband” as she speaks as the wife. Now one more New Testament reference. We find that even Paul, writing to us Gentiles, refers to Christ as Master, and we as His servants.

Ephesians 6:8,9

“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters (employers), do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.”

In John’s Gospel, Christ referred to Himself saying, “You call Me Master and you do well.” We are, then, responsible to our Master Who is in Heaven. In Colossians 4 and we have the same illustration that Christ is our Master, and we are His servants.

Colossians 4:1

“MASTERS (capitalized, because it is the first word of the sentence), give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.”

There is one more reference in the human realm concerning husband and wife. I’m want to show that this theme of Abraham calling God his Master, by virtue of his being His servant, also drops down into the human element into man’s relationship with The Lord; and to the husband and his relationship with his wife; so also, then, up into the spiritual with Christ as the spiritual Husband and we in the Body as the spiritual wife or the bride.

Ephesians 5:23,25,31

(23)“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”

(25) “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” See that analogy?

(31)“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”

What Paul says is he is trying to teach something higher than that, as he says that he speaks concerning Christ and the Church. Christ is the Husband and we are the bride. Come back to II Corinthians where Paul is writing to the Gentiles concerning Christ’s bride.

II Corinthians 11:1,2

“WOULD to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband (The Lord Jesus), that I may present you (the Body of Christ) as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

That’s our role as a believer. We are in the Body, which is pictured as the bride of Christ, and He is the Husband. It all goes back to Genesis 15 when Abraham brought in the new term of deity as Master and His relationship with His servant.

Genesis 15:2,3

“And Abram said, `Lord God (Master or Adoni God), what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house (or the manager of my estate) is this Eliezer of Damascus?’ And Abram said, `Behold, to me thou hast given no seed:…'” Remember the Abrahamic Covenant. This Covenant now comes back into Abram’s thinking. And he said, “Now Lord, You have promised me a nation of people, You’ve promised me a land; a kingdom, and I haven’t even got a child!” He said, “Oh wait a minute! I do have an heir born in my house.” Read on:

“…and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.” Who is he referring to? Lot! He’s the only flesh and blood relative he has. God forbid that Lot would have been the one. You know what he was. So what does God say?

Genesis 15:4,5

“And, behold, the word of the Lord (capitalized) came unto him, saying, `This (Lot) shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels (innermost being) shall be thine heir.'” I have used the words `innermost being’ in the Scripture above as most of us don’t like the word from the King James Version. And the heir wasn’t even born yet! How old is Abraham – 80 some years old, and Sarah isn’t far behind him.

“And he brought him forth abroad, and said, `Look now toward heaven, and tell (or count) the stars, if thou be able to number them:’ and he said unto him, `So shall thy seed be.'”

Unbelievable? Of course. They’re way up in years and haven’t even had a child. He says to God, “You’re telling me I’m going to have that many offspring?” In verse 6, however, Abram’s faith comes through and he believed. This is why God had such high esteem for Abram. We already saw that he wasn’t perfect; oh, he pulled some shenanigans. But he was a man of faith, even though it seemed so impossible that he and a wife who had never had children could now be the beginning of a multitude of people.

Genesis 15:6

“And he believed in the Lord (Jehovah); and he (Jehovah) counted it to him for righteousness.”

Come with me to Romans 4. In a couple of our other lessons we spent a lot of time in Romans 4. Let’s review. In verse 1, Paul is using the faith of Abraham as an example of what God is expecting of us today. Remember, Paul writes primarily to the Gentile, but he gets back into the Old Testament economy to show the whole principle of what it is to take God at His word – faith plus nothing added.

Romans 4:1-3

“WHAT shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified (or made right) by works, he hath whereof to glory (he could brag about it); but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it (his believing)was counted (that’s a bookkeeping term) unto him for righteousness.”

Do you see why I left Genesis 15 up to this point? Romans 4:3 is the verse it is referring to. It was put to the account of Abraham for what? Righteousness! Not because he did anything. He didn’t earn it. He believed God. What do I call that? Faith plus nothing … Faith plus nothing! Galatians 5 tells us that as soon as we add something to faith, we cancel the work of the Cross. I’m afraid millions, upon millions of church-going people over the centuries are going to miss Heaven’s glory because that’s exactly what they’ve done.

Romans 4:4,5

“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not (who does nothing for salvation), but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly(what kind of people?), his faith is counted for righteousness.

How many times have you heard someone say, “If I could just straighten up my life, if I could just clean up my act, I’d get it right with God.” But those aren’t the kind of people with whom God can get it right. God has to take that sinner right where he is, and He has to perform the miracle of Salvation. Then, of course, there is going to be a dramatic turnaround. There will be a change in lifestyle. This person is going to be a new creation, but he cannot do it himself. If he tries, then he is not in the area of faith. He has now done something on his own. We have to be so careful that Salvation is totally the work of God. Come with me again to Genesis 15. I wanted to get into what I call Israel’s Deed in this chapter, but I will save that for a full lesson.

Genesis 15:5

“And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.”

There is another instance in Genesis 13 when He first called Abraham. God has just began to deal with this man Abram, making the Abrahamic Covenant, and He now says:

Genesis 13:16

“And I will make thy seed (offspring) as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.”

Remember that ever since we started in Genesis, I have made an analogy that we have the concept of God dealing with earth and Heaven all the way from Genesis 1:1. (In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth.) As we come to Israel’s role, remember that Israel is always God’s earthly people, whereas we of the Church Age are God’s heavenly people. We have to keep those two concepts totally separated. Israel is God’s earthly people; the Church is God’s heavenly people. Now then, when Abraham is promised that his offspring would be as the dust of the earth, what people is He referring to? The earthly. Dust is earthly.

In Genesis 15:5 we don’t have the dust, but another analogy – the stars. What is that referring to? The heavenly. Many people are confused, thinking that when we become a Christian we become a child of Abraham, and we become a Jew. Bless their hearts. They are way out in left field. We become a child of Abraham by virtue of the spiritual connection; that asAbraham was saved by faith plus nothing, we’re saved by faith plus nothing! Never confuse the issue. When we become a child of God we do not become a Jew. A Jew is a Jew. A Gentile is a Gentile. This whole idea of faith plus nothing began with Abraham. That’s our connection. That is why God could tell Abraham that he would have a multitude of spiritual seed as numerous as the stars in the universe. But, the Nation of Israel is likened to the dust of the earth.

42 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 2 - Book 4 - Names of Deity, Most High

42: Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 4 – Names of Deity, Most High: Genesis 14-16

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 4

NAMES OF DEITY, MOST HIGH

Genesis 14-16

If you recall, I began last lesson with an absurd illustration, but I had a reason for my madness. My illustration was that if you had a tremendously expensive, intricately designed Swiss watch, and beside it you had a plain, old, cheap alarm clock, and then you had some well-known, famous jeweler come along and tell you there is no difference in them, it would be absurd to the extreme. I’m going to make my point in this lesson, so stay with me. In our last chapter, we were following the changes of the names of Deity up through Scripture, and were in Genesis 14:18 talking about Melchizedek, the king of Salem, a Gentile community. He was the priest of the Most High God. Israel is not yet on the scene.

Genesis 14:19

“And he blessed him, and said, `Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:‘”

Genesis 14:22

“And Abram said to the king of Sodom, `I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord (that’s all capitals, so Who is that?…Jehovah), the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,

Go, if you will, to Matthew 28. In our last chapter we showed that Jesus definitely referred to Himself as the `I AM,’ or the Jehovah of the Old Testament account. In Matthew 28 He alludes to this title, The Most High, by virtue of what He says in verse 18:

Matthew 28:18

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, `All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.'” He is the possessor of Heaven and earth. He is not only the Jehovah, but He is the El Elyon.

Before we go back to Genesis 14, I want to explain my ridiculous illustration. Repeatedly I will read or hear `so-called’ theologians (I use the term loosely – not all of them, but too many of them) who will refer to the Bible as nothing but a compilation of Jewish myth and legends. I remember reading one who said that all this `stuff’ (as he put it) in the Old Testament began as the ancient Jews sat around their campfire and exchanged stories; that after several generations someone got the idea they should be writing this stuff down. Result? The Old Testament. That’s just as absurd as the illustration I gave you. When seminaries and educated men with degrees who have written their dissertations, make a statement like that, it is just as absurd as the jeweler saying there is no difference between a multi-thousand dollar Swiss watch and a $5.00 alarm clock. It is just as ridiculous.

I remember a few years ago reading that the president of one of our more well-known seminaries made the statement that the account of Moses and the burning bush was just a figment of some good Jew’s imagination. I don’t know that he has ever retracted his statement. That’s absurd! Hopefully, I have shown you how the Bible is so meticulously put together that the theme is never lost. It comes all the way through from start to finish. Everything is in its rightful place. How in the world could 44 men, living over a period of 2000 years, do that without the supernatural? They couldn’t.

What I try to emphasize is that you and I can rest on this Book. It is letter perfect (in the original). I realize that all we have are translations and there have been some slight errors in translation. But God has so brooded over His Word that He hasn’t allowed any gross error to come in, not even in our translations, so that we can rest on this as the inspired God-breathed, Word of God. When we can just believe it without doubting, whether it is the account of the creation, the Flood, the call of Abraham, the Covenant with the Nation of Israel, the Gospel of the Cross, the writings of Paul or the Book of Revelation, what do we say? – It is the Word of God! It is miraculous from start to finish and we have no room for doubt.

Here is another good example of what I am talking about. Clear back in 2000 B.C. when no one in Scripture had any idea of God the Son going to a Roman Cross to purchase mankind’s redemption. Oh, it was there in latent terms as in Genesis 3:15 where the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. Now we know what He was talking about, but they didn’t. Even the writers of Scripture didn’t understand these things. But God so put all these things into His Word, that it fully assures us that He knew everything from start to finish before it ever happened.

In the middle of Genesis 14:18 we find that Melchizedek brought to Abram bread and wine. They certainly used bread in the worship in the tabernacle – the table of shewbread. The wave offering was the sheaf of grain. Another time they would have drink offerings of wine and they would pour that out, but never was bread and wine associated in combination throughout the Old Testament economy. In the Age of Grace, what does the bread and wine speak of? The Lord’s Supper; the Communion Table. The only way we can really identify that is to go back to Matthew’s Gospel where we have The Lord’s Supper. Jesus instituted The Lord’s Supper at the Last Supper, at the Passover.

Matthew 26:20

“Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.”

Matthew 26:26,27

“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, `Take, eat; this is my body.’ And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, `Drink ye all of it;'”

I’d like to ask a question. Did the disciples understand what all of this stood for? They didn’t have the foggiest notion. They followed His directions, but there is no explanation by The Lord Jesus, or even by the writer of this Gospel account, that they had any idea what He was doing. So, we have to wait until we come to the writings of the Apostle Paul. Now we understand what it was all for. Turn with me to I Corinthians, Chapter 11. Here, again, is progressive revelation. The eleven there at the night of the Passover didn’t understand it. Jesus didn’t explain it; it wasn’t time yet. The Lord’s Table of the bread and the cup is a memorial of His death, and on the night of the Last Supper His death hadn’t taken place yet.

I Corinthians 11:23-26

“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, `Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.’ After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, `This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.'” Verse 26 gives us the explanation. “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lords death till he come.'”

This is the purpose of The Lord’s Supper. It is remembering what Christ accomplished on the Cross; that just as in ignominy and shame His Body was broken, the bread is broken. The pouring out of His Blood is, of course, in the cup. Back in Genesis we have the picture of His death, burial and Resurrection, but that’s all. All of this is to reassure us that the Word of God is so true. It is so supernatural. Now back to Genesis 14 to answer the question of who Melchizedek was. The Scripture tells us he was the king of Salem, or the City of Peace which we now know as Jerusalem. He came as the priest of the Most High God.

We learned in our last chapter about the term El Elyon. In the Hebrew the ordinary word elyon means the highest, or the most high. But when it is elevated to the capital, then it equals God’s title of The Most High God. That’s the way so many of these titles of Deity are used. In the ordinary vernacular they are just another Hebrew word out of the Hebrew language. But when it is elevated into the realm of Deity, it becomes something unique and special. Now, Melchizedek. Who was he; what was he? Turn to the Book of Hebrews, which is the only answer we have. Remember as I previously pointed out, this Melchizedek was a Gentile priest insofar as the symbolism is concerned; there was no Israel on the scene. He was a representative of the Most High God, which is the term used for God by the Gentiles. Now then in Hebrews (I’m sure that Paul wrote Hebrews; at least that’s my view) Paul writes:

Hebrews 6:20 – 7:3

“Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. FOR this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God (see how Paul is in perfect accord with the books of Genesis and Daniel, Keeping Melchizedek as priest of the Gentile term for God), who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King (what sets that word apart? It is capitalized) of righteousness (which now sets Him up as Deity), and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent (or genealogy), having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

I know not everyone is going to agree with me, but I maintain that Melchizedek was Jehovah, or God the Son, in a theophany (that’s just a big word that means God appeared in human form). This was God in the Person of Jehovah, the Son, appearing to Abraham in a role that would define our whole New Testament economy. That is, that as Gentiles, we have to have a high priest who is not tied to the Law of Israel. That is why the Scripture points out so clearly that this Melchizedek was not a high priest of Israel, he was a high priest of a Gentile community. Let’s go on. Since he had no genealogy, no beginning or ending, I have to feel that it was Christ appearing to Abraham in human form just for the sake of laying the groundwork for our High Priest – for us as Gentiles.

Hebrews 7:11a

“If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) “

Beginning with Aaron (the very first high priest of Israel back just before they came out of Egypt), out of what tribe did every priest have to come? – the tribe of Levi. They couldn’t be a priest unless they were of Levi, and Aaron was the first one.

Hebrews 7:11b

“what further need was there that (why did there have to be another priest?) another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?”

What is the answer? We Gentiles couldn’t approach God through a Jewish high priest. We have to have one who represents us Gentiles. That, remember, is what Melchizedek was in 2000 B.C.

Hebrews 7:14-17

“For it is evident that our Lord (The Lord Jesus) sprang out of Juda (not out of the tribe of Levi. He was not eligible to be a priest out the order of Aaron, having come out of the tribe of Judah); of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”

All the way from start to finish we have the connection of the High Priest of the Gentile and The Most High God. The Lord Jesus is not only The Most High, the possessor of Heaven and earth, but He is also the High Priest of the Gentile God so that you and I can rest assured that we have a High Priest interceding for us at the very Throne Room of Heaven itself. Not a high priest after the order of Aaron, but a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek.

On the day of atonement in Leviticus 21, the high priest once a year would take the blood of a sacrificed animal, make his way through the front part of the tabernacle, go in behind the veil, and sprinkle the blood on the Mercy Seat, which was the very presence of God under the Shekinah Glory. Israel’s sins were then covered for that next year. Now that was the role of the high priest on behalf of Israel. Our High Priest had to do the same thing. Go to John’s Gospel, Chapter 20. We cannot get a comprehension of Christ’s role as our High Priest unless we can understand what He has done to fulfill that role. It is Resurrection Sunday morning. Mary Magdalene came to the tomb, saw it was empty, and ran back and told the disciples, who couldn’t believe. Then Peter and John came running. I believe that although verse 9 tells us so much, most people are not enlightened on this. As Peter and John saw all the evidence there at the empty tomb, verses 8 and 9 tell us:

John 20:8,9

“Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they (the Twelve, and Peter and John in particular) knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.”

They had no idea He was going to rise from the dead until they saw proof of it; however, that isn’t the point I want to make. Come down to the account of where Mary saw the tomb was empty. And she said, “Oh, where have they put my Lord?” As she turned, there stood The Lord Jesus, only she didn’t know Him.

John 20:13

“And they (the two angels) say unto her, `Woman, why weepest thou?’ She saith unto them, `Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.'”

John 20:15,16

“Jesus saith unto her, `Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?’ She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, `Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus saith unto her, `Mary.’ She turned herself, and saith unto him, `Rabboni;’ which is to say, Master.”

What do you think Mary wanted to do? Embrace Him! He was alive! But what does He do? He holds her at bay and says:

John 20:17

“Jesus saith unto her, `Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.'” Now back to Hebrews, if you will. Then I think we can put all this together.

Hebrews 9:11

“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come (not after the order of Aaron, remember, but after the order of Melchizedek, the priest of the Gentile name of God), by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building (where is it? – in Heaven);”

Remember what you just read in John; that Jesus, on that Resurrection morning, said to Mary Magdalene, “Don’t touch me until I have ascended to the Father.” This is on Resurrection morning. We’re not talking about the ascension of Acts. This is in John’s Gospel on the Resurrection morning. Why did He have to ascend?

Hebrews 9:12

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in (to the very throne room of Heaven) once into the holy place (the very presence of God, and as He presented His Blood…), having obtained eternal redemption for us.

What role was He fulfilling? – High Priest! Not the high priest of Israel, but the High Priest of all. We don’t have to leave the Jew out insofar as His High Priesthood is concerned because now, as a result of the Cross and the power of His Resurrection, He is the High Priest of all. That, of course, is what Melchizedek represented. Please go back with me to Romans, Chapter 3. I am always stressing that Paul is the one who has received the final part of our progressive revelation, except the Book of Revelation. But Paul brings everything to a head by asking the question:

Romans 3:29

“Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:”

See, nobody is left out. As a result of the work of the Cross, as a result of the work of His presenting His own blood in the very Throne Room of Heaven as our High Priest, everything has been satisfied. Everything is done that had to be done.

41 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 1 - Book 4 - Names of Deity, Most High: Genesis 14-16

41: Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 4 – Names of Deity, Most High: Genesis 14-16

 

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 4

NAMES OF DEITY, MOST HIGH

Genesis 14-16

Please turn with me to Genesis 14 again. For review, we reached where Abraham and Lot had separated. Lot had pitched his tent toward Sodom. Abraham remained up in the central part of what we now know as Israel – up in the highlands. After Lot was settled in Sodom, some kings from other tribes to the east came in and overran Sodom, taking everyone captive with them, and heading north. This is what happened to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abram had enough of his hired help that he could raise a small army out of his own people – 318 men. They pursued these conquerors of Lot and his fellow Sodomites. Abram overcame them, defeated them and took all the spoil. As he is returning to the area of more or less central, or southern Israel in the area where we now know Jerusalem exists, he came across a person the Scripture introduces as the high priest of Salem. The word `Salem’ is the last five letters of the word `Jerusalem.’ So it is the same area today, although it was not a city back in those days. From the area of Jerusalem comes this priest of the Most High God, Melchizedek. He has aroused more questions over the years from my class than anything in Scripture. So we are going to take the time to identify him, and the purpose of his meeting with Abram.

Genesis 14:17,18

“And the king of Sodom went out to meet him, after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the kings dale. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.”

I’m going to give you the most absurd illustration I can think of because I want to make a point. Imagine that we have a beautiful, very expensive Swiss watch laying on a table; as expensive a watch as you can buy. Expensive, not only because of its gold casing, but because of the inner workings. Picture a watch that is so complicated, and is so meticulous in its makeup that the average watchmaker wouldn’t attempt to fiddle with it. Then picture an old $5 Big Ben alarm clock. I don’t even know if they make them anymore; that old, big, round alarm clock which you wind up and sounds like a piece of machinery as it ticks off the minutes. Set them side by side on the table. Now, get a vivid picture of this; the tremendously expensive, exquisite, meticulously made Swiss watch over against this old, cheap $5 alarm clock. Now take your imagination one step further. Let’s assume that some great, famous jeweler who is known for his trade comes along. With all the arrogance at his disposal, and with all the pomp and circumstance he picks up the watch, lays it down and says, “Well. there’s not a nickel’s worth of difference between this watch and this clock.” And you say, “That’s absurd!” It would be! Remember that, we’re going to come back to it.

In verse 18 of Chapter 14 that Melchizedek was the priest of Whom? The most High! Since Genesis 1:1 you’ve never seen that term used before, have you? Remember that the Bible is a progressive revelation. Go back with me to Genesis Chapter 1. All the way through this Chapter we have the three-letter word, `God.’ `God’ did this and `God’ said that. That’s the only term of Deity we find throughout the whole chapter. Suddenly, in Genesis 2:4 we come to a different term of Deity. It’s no longer just `God’, but The `LORD God.’ Be careful as you look at the word `LORD;’ it is all capitalized. Be aware of this as you go through Scripture as there it a lot depending on this. Beginning back in Chapter 1, the God of that Chapter is known in the Hebrew as `Elohim.’ When we were in Genesis 1, we equated El Elohim with the Trinity of God The Father, God The Son, and God The Holy Spirit.

El Elohim is a plural word in the Hebrew. It had to be plural to envelop all three Persons of the Godhead. In Chapter 2, the term is no longer just `God.’ but `LORD God,’ all capitalized. It would still be Elohim, or as Chapter 1 would call Him, `God.’ Now, Who is The Lord God? We have equated it before as `He is Jehovah.’ And Jehovah is God the Son. All of this is for a purpose. After the first chapter of the restoration of creation, man now fills the scene. God knows there will have to be a plan of redemption (because God knows what man is going to do); but not only a plan of redemption, but also a Person of the Godhead Who could continue to communicate with His created beings. Remember in those earlier chapters when we were in John’s Gospel.

John 1:1 & 14a

“IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

“And the Word was made flesh…”

That all refers to God the Son, Who now is fulfilling the role of the plan of redemption, and His name becomes Jehovah. LORD and Jehovah are always synonymous. Throughout the Scripture we find that even though Jehovah is the God of all, we see that Abraham addresses Him as Jehovah, The Most High (even in Genesis, Chapter 14). Yet, we must separate them in order to see what the Bible is saying. After Genesis Chapter 2 and God deals with the whole human race in the person of Jehovah, or The Lord, the terminology is always now – The LORD, The LORD. Abraham appears in Genesis Chapter 12, Jehovah then becomes intrinsically the God of Abraham, or the Person of the Godhead Who is particularly dealing with the Nation of Israel. So, when the Bible says, `the God of Abraham,’ and `the God of Isaac,’ Who is it referring to? Jehovah! Remember, too, He is still God the Son. Continuing in Genesis we find Jehovah becomes everything the Nation of Israel could hope for in all of their physical and spiritual needs.

Turn to Genesis, Chapter 22. We find that Abraham is acquainted with Jehovah with an extra name behind Him. In this case it is Jehovah-Jireh. We’ve never seen that before. Jehovah-Jireh was the God who provided the sacrifice when He spared Isaac. You remember the story how God stayed Abraham’s hand and kept him from sacrificing Isaac. What did Abraham see in the thicket when he turned around? … the ram! So, Abraham called Him Jehovah-Jireh because Jehovah provided the sacrifice. Study that whole chapter.

As Israel comes out of Egypt under Moses, the first thing God promises them (Israel) is that if they will be obedient He will be their healing. You’ll find that as Jehovah-ropheka, Who would be their Healer. This would be predominately in the physical area; as He said, “None of these diseases that were in Egypt will come upon you.” So He became their Healer; however, it is implied for the spiritual as well. We find that in Exodus, Chapter 15. In Exodus, Chapter 17, we find the term Jehovah-Nissi. Israel has finally come up against their first opposition – the Amalekites. Having left Egypt they were on their way to Sinai, and were fighting the Amalekites. As long as Moses held his arms up, the battle went for Israel. As soon as they came down, the battle went against Israel. Who came to his aid? Aaron and Hur held his arms up until the battle was won. When it was over they declared that God was their Jehovah-Nissi. He was their banner. I guess today we could say He was their flag. He was the very One who gave them the emotional uplift. He was the One who kept them pressing on.

As we continue in Scripture we come to the term Jehovah-Shalom, which in Hebrew is peace. That is given to Gideon in Judges, Chapter 6. Again, Israel has now come to a point of decline. They have gone after false gods – and the Midianites from the east are overrunning their crops, and taking their children captive. So Israel began to cry to Jehovah for help. You know He raised up Gideon. He told Gideon the only way to achieve peace was to turn back to Jehovah and defeat the Midianites with His help; then, indeed, they could have `Shalom,’ and `peace.’ In Psalms 23, the word is `roi.’ – Hebrew for shepherd. You know the verse: “The Lord is my Shepherd.” In the Hebrew it is Jehovah-roi; I am your Shepherd. Again, it is an intrinsic need of the Nation of Israel.

We come to two more: Jehovah-tsidkenu – He is their Righteousness. They had none without Him. He would one day be all the righteousness Israel would need as He would set up His kingdom. Study Jeremiah 23. You’ll see these as you read that particular chapter and setting. The final one of the seven is that He would be Jehovah-shammah. This has reference to when He sets up His kingdom, He will be present. You’ll find that in Ezekiel 48. God does everything in sevens, doesn’t He? Seven distinct needs of Israel all fulfilled by a seven-fold operation of Jehovah:

Jehovah-Jireh Jehovah-ropheka Jehovah-Nissi

Jehovah-shalom Jehovah-tsidkenu Jehovah-roi

Jehovah-shammah

In the Gospel of John, there are again seven instances of Jesus using the `I Am.’ Remember, Jehovah stands for the I Am:

I Am your Provider I Am your Healing I Am your Banner

I Am your Peace I Am your Righteousness I Am your Shepherd

I Am present

Jesus uses the same `I Am’ seven times in the Gospel of John. I won’t tell you where they are but I’ll give you a little hint. I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life. (I’ll call that `one’ I Am.) I Am the Bread of Life. I Am the True Vine. I Am the Resurrection and so forth. You’ll see that again seven times, even as He fulfills the need in Israel, Jesus speaks of fulfilling those same types of seven things. Then, eight in Scripture always speaks of the finality after the seven of completion. You’ll find the eighth one in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 22. Close to the end you have the final `I Am.’ I Am Alpha and Omega, the Bright and Morning Star. When do you see the morning? In the Book of Revelation, it is the dawning of the eternal day. Chapters 21 and 22 are dealing with eternal things. You can follow this from Genesis all the way through the Old Testament. Jesus picks it up in the New Testament and then it finally ends at the dawn of eternity, the Bright and Morning Star. Let’s go back to Exodus, Chapter 3 where Moses is at the burning bush. I’m trying to build the basics for explaining my ridiculous illustration at the beginning of the lesson.

Exodus 3:13,14

“And Moses said unto God, `Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?'” Moses could anticipate their asking what His name was because in Egypt every god had a name. Moses was correct – “Yes, they will ask me Who this God is You’re talking about and what His name is.”

“And God said unto Moses, `I AM THAT I AM:’ and he said, `Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.'” See the `I Am’ again – the `Jehovah’ – `I Am That I Am?’ Turn to John’s Gospel Chapter 8. The Jews have been trying to get Jesus in a corner, trying to trick Him to prove He was an imposter, a blasphemer, and not Who He said He was.

John 8:52-57

“Then said the Jews unto him, `Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?’ Jesus answered, `If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye (remember He is talking to the religious leaders of Israel) have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.'” Watch this next verse: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.”Then the Jews clearly realized that He was claiming to be the very God of Abraham, the I AM, and it infuriated them! “Then said the Jews unto him, `Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?'”

Now, Who is He claiming? He’s Jehovah! He’s the same I AM Who has been eternally existent. I want to make my point on my illustration before we close this chapter. Go back to Genesis 14, where we have another term of Deity. Only now instead of LORD God or Elohim, it’s The Most High. We haven’t seen this before, but this Melchizedek is the priest of The Most High, and is the king of Salem. Israel is not yet on the scene. She has been promised in the Abrahamic Covenant, but as yet, there is no Israel. So who are the people dwelling in the area of Salem? Non-Jews, or Gentiles. So this term Most High God is always associated in Scripture with the Gentile as opposed to being associated with Israel. Turn with me now to Deuteronomy, and let me make a point.

Deuteronomy 32:7-9

“Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. When the Most High divided to the nations(plural – not Israel, but to the Gentile nations) their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lords portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.”

I’m trying to point out the term `Most High’ is applying to whom? The non-Jew; the Gentile world! Go to the Book of Daniel. Daniel is a book of prophecy concerning the Gentile nations. You can almost anticipate what I am going to tell you. The constant reference to God in Daniel is The Most High. Here are a couple of examples, concerning king Nebuchadnezzar – Daniel is speaking.

Daniel 4:17a

“This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men (not Jehovah – the Most High)…”

Daniel 4:24a

“This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High,…” Now come over to Chapter 5.

Daniel 5:18a

“O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom (Gentiles)…”

What I want you to understand is that as Jehovah is intrinsically and primarily the name of God with regard to Israel and redemption; this term Most High (which in the Hebrew is El Elyon) is applying to the non-Jew, or the Gentile world. We’re not going to have time to explain any more in this lesson. So, in the next chapter, I will be explaining my absurd illustration.

40 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 4 - Book 4 - Abraham, Lot, and Melchizedek

40: Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 4 – Abraham, Lot, and Melchizedek: Genesis 12-14

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 4

ABRAHAM, LOT AND MELCHIZEDEK

Genesis 12-14

Genesis Chapter 12. We’re going to leave the Abrahamic Covenant for awhile, and move on ahead into the very life and travels of the man. Everything will move ahead now to the bringing about of the fulfillment of this Covenant. The Nation of Israel will have to come on the scene. They will have to get the land. Later they will have the beginning of the kingly line with the appearance of David.

Genesis 12:4

“So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him (remember that Lot was his nephew): and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.”

Haran was in Syria, a few miles northeast of present day Damascus. So Abram, Sarai, Lot and all their flocks came down into Canaan, presently known as the Promised Land, or the Land of Israel.

Genesis 12:5,6

“And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brothers son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.”

The Canaanite was the offspring of Ham, the second son of Noah, and Canaan was the son of Ham. The curse was placed on that particular individual. So the Canaanites are going to be a wicked, ungodly people from the very time that Abraham comes into their midst, until finally they are more or less destroyed when Joshua and the children of Israel come in some 400 years later. Remember, however, that the Canaanite is in the Promised Land, and Abram is going to have to move in as a nomad.

Genesis 12:7,8a

“And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, `Unto thy seed will I give this land:’ and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him. And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Beth-el,…”

Look at the map across the page to help you see where the places are. Notice the Mediterranean Sea coast, and locate Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee, the River Jordan, and the Dead Sea.

Abraham has come from Syria (up in Haran) and has made his way down into Canaan, and somewhere around (I’m going to guess) about 20 miles north of Jerusalem, we find Beth-el. If you recall from our study in Genesis 1, `el’ are the first two letters of `Elohim.’ So, they are in reference to God. `Beth’ simply means `house.’ So Beth-el is what Abram called the House of God.

Genesis 12:8,9

“…and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.” He doesn’t stay there. He’s nomadic.

“And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.”

Time goes by as he goes southward. Many times God used famine in the Old Testament to discipline as well as, I think, a vehicle to force people to go where He wanted them. A famine is in the Land of Canaan and Abram went down into Egypt. Some things help in over-all Bible study. I think we can call that `nomenclature.’ But in Scripture, Egypt is always a picture of the world. That’s why Israel was always instructed to stay in the Land of Promise and not to go to Egypt. These things in the Old Testament are living examples of New Testament doctrine, or teaching.

The same holds true today. As a believer, as a child of God, we are constantly admonished by the Apostle Paul that we are to separate ourselves from the world. Egypt was a picture of the world, so God had implicitly instructed them to stay in the Land of Promise and not to go down into Egypt. But, Abram’s faith probably weakened a little bit, and famine came in. First thing you know, where is he? Down in Egypt. But he gets in trouble. Just like a believer who goes into the world, it isn’t very long until he is in trouble. Had God depicted these great Biblical characters as sinless, the epitome of righteousness without any mistakes, how would that make us feel? We’d be hopeless. But, the Bible doesn’t do that. They were just as human as we are; they failed like we do, and it all shows that a merciful God is always ready to restore. In verse 11, we see this great man of faith, Abram, fail miserably.

Genesis 12:11-13

“And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt (he’s approaching the border), that he said unto Sarai his wife, `Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.'” Has the human race changed much? No.

“Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.”

Abram wasn’t a total liar because she was a half sister, but the man is certainly anything but honorable here. So he says, “Lest they kill me in order to have you, just simply say you’re my sister and they can take you and I’ll go my way.” Imagine that!

Genesis 12:14-17

“And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaohs house (becoming part of his harem). And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels. And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife.”

In the Old Testament days God dealt more directly than He does today. In fact, I was thinking the other day as I was getting ready for this lesson, there is a good book by Sir Robert Anderson entitled: The Silence of God. It is rather hard to comprehend. It is written in Old English, more or less. It seems like an odd title, but Sir Robert Anderson was a Bible scholar as well as the head of Scotland Yard. He must have been a layman. But, he was a tremendous Bible scholar. In his book, he draws this analogy of God constantly dealing in an intrinsic way with the Old Testament characters. But when we get to our Age of Grace, God is comparatively silent because we have The Book. God doesn’t have to talk to us audibly. God doesn’t have to appear to us in the miraculous. I always have to qualify that. That doesn’t mean that I don’t believe God cannot miraculously answer our prayers. Sir Robert Anderson makes a point of the fact that in this Age of Grace it is as if God is silent, compared to His dealing in the Old Testament, .

Think about that. We just don’t expect angels to appear. I told someone at a class one night, “If all of a sudden on my way home at 11:00 at night I’d see a bunch of angels on the highway, do you think I could take it? I know I couldn’t. I don’t think you could either!” What if all of a sudden God would just appear as He did back in the Old Testament? It would crack us up. We’re not prepared for that. And God doesn’t expect us to be. Indeed, God is silent today compared to the days we are reading about. Here, God even appeared to pagan Pharaoh and revealed to him that, “This lady out there is not what you think she is. She is a man’s wife.”

Genesis 12:18,19

“And Pharaoh called Abram and said, `What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife (God told him, but Abram had not)? Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.'”

You know what we call that today? Deportation! Abram was deported. He was just simply sent out of Egypt. He should have been embarrassed. He should have felt like two cents and maybe he did. What is the lesson? Well, God had told the man to stay in the Land of Promise and He would bless him. But you see, things got tough, he got a little hungry and he goes down to the world. I want you to remember who is with Abram besides Sarai: the young man, Lot. There was an old World War I song (not that I lived that long ago, but I remember the music from it). It was called, “How’re Ya Gonna Keep `Em Down On The Farm After They’ve Seen Paris?” Keep that in mind when we look at the life of Lot. We smile, but really it was a sad commentary. This also was Abraham’s fault. He should have never exposed Lot to the world of Egypt and he is going to reap the consequences in short order. Let’s move on:

Genesis 13:1

“AND Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.”

To the south of Canaan, almost due east and still in the land of Canaan, is the desert city of Beersheba which is still there. Today, it is a thriving university city. When we were there in `75, it was a city of 300,000. Beersheba is probably a half million people by now. Beersheba of the Bible is the same Beersheba that is there today, at least in the same environment. It’s down in the Negev part of the desert. Abraham’s household goes from Beersheba up north and back, sojourning up and down that land of Canaan.

Genesis 13:2

“And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.”

My closing comment of three or four chapters ago was that Israel is the earthly people with earthly promises; the Church a heavenly people with heavenly promises. Nowhere in our Church Age doctrine are we promised that simply because we are obedient to God and faithful in all the things He expects, that God will reward us financially and materially. That is not part of our New Testament teaching. Now if God sees fit, that’s fine. I can show you two references of Paul where it is absolutely apropos to establish an estate, and have something for the children. There is nothing wrong with that. Paul also says that a person who doesn’t provide for his family, and probably help the kids along, is worse than an infidel.

Don’t think that when I say there are no material promises connected with the Church Age, it doesn’t mean that we can’t be successful and you can’t work hard to get ahead. But, there is no promise in the New Testament that God will reward us materially for our spiritual effort. But, in the Old Testament that was part and parcel of it. The more obedient they were, the more God blessed them with physical and material things. Abram was one. He was immensely wealthy. God rewarded him. We’ll soon look at Jacob and how he came out of Syria after 20 years with Laban with flocks and herds to no end. And what did Job have? – flocks and herds by the thousands. All of this is intrinsic to understanding the Old Testament economy. If they were obedient, God blessed them materially. They had no concept of a heavenly connection other than that was where God was. They were an earthly people with earthly promises.

Genesis 13:3,4

“And he went on his journeys from the south even to Beth-el, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-el and Hai; Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the Lord.”

I think that there is also an interesting parallel. Abram, weak in faith, ends up down in the world. After he is embarrassed in that worldly environment he finds his way back to the place of his beginning, insofar as his walk and his worship are concerned. What’s the parallel? Well, for a believer, the same thing. We may get down and be enticed by the world, but there is only one way back into fellowship and where is it? Where we began, at the foot of the Cross. I’m not maintaining you have to have Salvation over again, but the Cross is always the place of a new beginning. So Abram comes back to Beth-el and gets straightened out, getting right with The Lord.

Genesis 13:5,6

“And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.”

There was a lot of strife … arguments. “Are you going to get that pasture or am I?” Human nature has not changed one iota. So finally Abraham, the more godly of the two, said to Lot:

Genesis 13:8,9

“And Abram said unto Lot, `Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.'”

Now the monkey’s on Lot’s back. Abram says, “It’s up to you.” Lot had been to Egypt, and had seen all the things of a material Egypt.

Genesis 13:10a

“And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan,..”

Before Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, this beautiful Jordan Valley and all the way down to the environs of what is now the Dead Sea, was a beautiful valley. It wasn’t the barren rock and desert that it is now as a result of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. But it was beautiful and what does it say?

Genesis 13:10b

“…that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.”

In other words, if ever there was an area on earth that was close to the Garden of Eden, it was this Jordan valley. Lot looked at it and said, “That’s for me. So he tells uncle Abram, “I’ll take the valley,” and Abram said, `Then I’ll stay in the mountains.” So they parted.

Genesis 13:11,12

“Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan (amongst these ungodly, immoral Canaanites), and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent (what’s the nest word?) toward Sodom.”

Note that he doesn’t jump into Sodom with both feet all at once. It is just like sin in the life of every one of us. It doesn’t just all of a sudden engulf us. What happens? Oh, we play with it, we toy with it, it toys with us. Then we just start slipping and slipping, and the first thing we know it has got us. So it did with Lot. Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom. He didn’t just go there immediately, but where did he end up? In Sodom. He wasn’t just a resident of Sodom, but he was one of the city fathers. He was one of the `big wheels.’

Genesis 13:14,15

“And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, `Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:'” We want to remember that down the center of the land of Canaan are mountains. From this mountain view, God could literally tell Abram, “Look in all four directions, I’m going to give it all to you.”

“For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.”

The word `forever’ in Scripture means time without end. Again, if only our world leaders would believe the Word of God. The land of Israel belongs to the Jew. I always stress I am not a Jew. I’ve only really known one, I guess, in all my life. The reason I have this feeling toward the Jew is because of what The Book says. This land was given to the Jew and it is theirs forever. Now God again promises:

Genesis 13:16-18

“And I will make thy seed (offspring)as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the Lord.”

Let’s look at the illustration on page 30 again. Hebron is about five or six miles south of Jerusalem. Israel is small and everything is so close. Beth-el is only about twenty miles north of Jerusalem, and now Hebron is about six miles. Off to the southwest about five miles is Bethlehem. Then on down to Beersheba is probably only another forty miles. Then up to Samaria and Nazareth. They’re all packed in there close together. There isn’t that mileage that we are accustomed to here in America. In Chapter 14 word comes to Abram that some kings from the north and the east have come down, defeated the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, and have taken all the people captive. Abram got interested because that involved Lot and his family, so he put together a small army out of his hired servants, and pursued this conquering king from the north who had overrun Sodom and Gomorrah, and who had Lot and his family with him. Go down to verse 14:

Genesis 14:14

“And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive (we know it wasn’t a brother, but a nephew), he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan (which is up in northern Canaan).”

That number gives you a picture of how big Abram’s estate really was. He had that many hired servants who were fit to be men of war. If you want to figure the number of Israelites coming out of Egypt, you just sit down with pen and paper some evening and figure out how many people totally it takes to end up with 600,000 unmarried young men, who are between the ages of 21 and 26. You’ll very easily come up with anything from 3 to 7 million people who came out of Egypt. That figure shocks a lot of people, but we’ll repeat it again when we get to Exodus. Anyway, Abram had enough hired servants to come up with 318 of military age; in other words, they were able to handle the sword.

Genesis 14:15,16

“And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them (utterly defeated them), and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus (see how far north he has gone). And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.” He brings them all safely back. He utterly defeats the invading kings.

Now, I want to give you just a little bit of a tidbit for our next study. That comes in at verse 17. This will be the next thing we are going to cover. That tremendous individual who has aroused so much discussion, if not controversy, Melchizedek. You have all heard of him.

Genesis 14:17,18

“And the king of Sodom went out to meet him, after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the kings dale. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

Look at the word `Salem.’ What is the word today? Jerusalem! Salem means `peace.’ This Melchizedek was the King of the little village then known as Salem, which is Jerusalem in our reckoning. We’re going to pick up that verse in the next chapter, but I’d like for you to be thinking about a few things. The bread and wine leap all the way to Paul’s writing when he gives instructions for The Lord’s Supper. How God has everything in mind! The other thing which is brought out here is that the Hebrew term for `the most high God’ is `the God of the Gentiles’; not that He is a separate God, but the name `El Elyon.’

39 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 3 - Book 4 - Abraham, Lot, and Melchizedek

39: Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 4 – Abraham, Lot, and Melchizedek: Genesis 12-14

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 4

ABRAHAM, LOT AND MELCHIZEDEK

Genesis 12-14

In our last lesson we looked at the genealogy Christ in the New Testament. Chapter 1 of Matthew only went back as far as Abraham, as Matthew depicts Him as the King. As we have discussed, the Abrahamic Covenant has within it, in a latent form, the promise of a nation of people who would be located in the geographical area of land over which God would provide the government in the Person of the Messiah, the Son of God, Israel’s King. I want to carry this `king’ aspect of the government all the way into the New Testament so you can see God has been continuously, ever since Genesis Chapter 12, moving the Nation of Israel forward to the time when the King makes His appearance.

In Exodus, where Israel receives the Law, we’ll find the reason was to prepare the nation for the fruition of this Covenant. She had to be a prepared people. God chose the system of Law to teach them. That’s why Paul calls it a `schoolmaster’ in the Book of Galatians; a tutor to prepare Israel for a role some time in the future. In light of the third part of the Covenant, the government/king, our New Testament introduces Him genealogically to prove He is the rightful heir to the throne of David over which the King of Kings would rule the kingdom. To review, let’s read:

Matthew 1:1

“THE book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

That’s as far as it goes because that is as much as this genealogy is going to concern itself. This one is going to prove that He is the rightful heir to the throne of David by being a son of David; that is, genealogically down through the family tree. Then we looked briefly at Luke, Chapter 3, which is the genealogy of Mary, and which takes us all the way back to Adam.

Luke 3:38

“Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.”

Even though Joseph was not the physical father of Christ, he was the legal father. Going all the way back to Abraham, coming up to David, and then Solomon, you’ll see that at Solomon there’s a fork in the family tree. One line will come down and form the genealogy of Mary; the other line forms the genealogy of Joseph. The reason Scripture records this is to prove that Christ was the rightful heir to David’s throne by virtue of the bloodline of Mary. Remember, the seed of the woman was spoken of back in Genesis, Chapter 3, and was kept insulated from the curse. There was no sin nature in the seed of the woman as it came all the way down through human history to Mary, so that Mary could conceive of God and still have a child whose blood was Divine; not sinful, not with an Adamic nature in it, because there was no earthly father. We pointed out that the circulatory or blood system of every fetus born of a woman comes from the man and not from the mother.

The virgin birth fits so beautifully physiologically and scientifically, in that the blood system of Christ originated with God, who was the Father, but He was human because He was born of the ovum, or the egg, or the seed of the woman. Consequently, these two genealogies follow all the way down from David to Christ, Joseph proving that he was in the line because he was the legal father of Christ even though he wasn’t the physical father. Mary, of course, was the physical mother. So the genealogies, which ended at Christ, both go back to King David. David, in turn, goes back to Abraham. In closing the last chapter, we looked at Chapter 2 of Matthew:

Matthew 2:1,2

“NOW when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, `Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.'”

It doesn’t say three. We don’t know how many there were. We don’t really know who the wise men were or where they came from. But evidently God revealed to them that the promised King of Israel was now on the scene. This came from all the Old Testament prophecies that He would be born. Let’s stay in Matthew, going to Chapter 21, where we come to the Crucifixion.

Matthew 21:1-3

“AND when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem (that is Jesus and the Twelve), and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass (or little donkey) tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, `The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them (in other words, He won’t give you an argument).'”

This is referred to twice in the Old Testament: that Christ would come into Jerusalem as Israel’s King; not riding upon the white steed of Roman emperors and generals, but upon a donkey – and not even a full grown donkey, but the unbroken colt of one. Now it’s time for it to be fulfilled, so Jesus tells the Twelve, “There’s the village. Go and get that little colt.”

Matthew 21:4

“All this was done, that it might be fulfilled (because the Old Testament said it would happen, and it had to happen, and it did happen) which was spoken by the prophet, saying…”

So there’s that constant thought of the King – the King – the King. I imagine when I emphasize this, most people think I’m out in left field. Paul says in Timothy that this is a faithful saying, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. That is true, but The Bible is a progressive revelation. Everything is chronologically unfolding so there is no mention in the Old Testament of a statement like Paul’s (that He came into the world to save sinners). Instead, the whole emphasis is that He is going to come to fulfill this Abrahamic Covenant, and He is going to be the King. Now we’re going to add something to this Old Testament format. As parallel, I can possibly draw two lines. We have two thoughts coming through the Old Testament. The one, as we have been seeing for the last two or three lessons, would be the coming of a King and his kingdom. Running parallel with all of those verses is another theme of a suffering Savior. Most of you know Isaiah 53:

Isaiah 53:7b

“…he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”

Absolutely that was also promised. There had to be a suffering Savior because, as we mentioned in our last chapter, when Nicodemus began to ask questions concerning the kingdom, what did Jesus tell him? … `Except a man be born again he cannot enter the kingdom.’ There will be no unbelievers in that kingdom. So there had to be a Salvation. Turn with me to Luke’s Gospel Chapter 1. Every once in awhile, someone will say, “Les, are you telling me that this is going to be a political kingdom? I always though it was going to be a spiritual one.” I don’t like the word political as politics always smack of something less than honorable, and this kingdom is not going to be anything but honorable. However, if that’s the word that’s needed to emphasize that it’s going to be a literal kingdom with a literal king and a literal government, I’ll use the term, “It’s going to be a political kingdom.”

Now, Luke Chapter 1 verse 64. Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, was a priest working at the Temple serving. He had been stricken dumb, and at the birth of John when they asked his mother what they were going to name the baby, instead of using a family name she said, “His name will be John.” They were all amazed that they had never heard that before, so they asked Zacharias what the child’s name should be. He told them to get him a writing pad and he, too, wrote the name John. All the people were amazed because this was a miracle in the works. The Scripture then says:

Luke 1:64-67

“And his mouth was opened immediately (he got his speech back), and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, `What manner of child shall this be(remember, we are not talking about Christ, but about John the Baptist here)!’ And the hand of the Lord was with him. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,…” Watch verse 67 carefully:

Before you go any further, you must ask yourself a question. If someone is filled with the Holy Spirit as they were in those days, does he speak wishful thinking? No! What Zacharias is going to utter is prompted by the Holy Spirit Who has filled him. This is not just a bunch of wishful thinking from a nationalistic, patriotic, religious Jew. But now look what Zacharias is prompted to say.

Luke 1:68a,69

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel;…” Of whom? See what the Book says. Many people just glance over that and figure God belongs to everybody. Well, He does, but in instances we have to remember it’s The Lord God dealing with Israel.) ,… “for He hath visited and redeemed His people.” What does redemption speak of? Salvation! So here is the salvation of Israel being offered.

“And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;”

See how Jewish all of this is? No Gentile belonged to the House of David. This was uniquely Jewish ground, and Zacharias is speaking on Jewish ground because he is speaking in fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant. Israel is a nation, Israel is in the land, and what does Israel still need? That promised government – that King. Now Zacharias, by inspiration, is telling us it’s about to happen:

Luke 1:70,71b

“As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets (Old Testament), which have been since the world (“age” is a better word) began: That we should be saved from our enemies,…”

Who were Israel’s enemies? The Arabs, then, like they are now. The Egyptians were always enemies of Israel, along with the Syrians and other various Mediterranean nations. This is what he has reference to. “Oh that we can be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all that hate us (the Jew/Israel).”

Luke 1:72,73

“To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,”

Do you see what I’m talking about and why I started back in Genesis with the Abrahamic Covenant? It just keeps coming, coming and coming, and here it is in the New Testament. For this reason I have learned in my twenty years of teaching that we have to throw off the brainwashing we have all been under that the Bible is divided at the Old and the New Testaments. If you possibly can, throw that thinking off and realize that the first four Books, and even a part of the Book of Acts, are still really more Old Testament than New. These Books are extensions of all the Old Testament promises which looked forward to the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant. In our next Scripture reference you’ll see what I’m talking about when I say, “even into the Book of Acts.” All of this again goes back to what I said in the last chapter. The main reason we have so much confusion in Christendom is because people refuse to see the difference between God dealing with Israel on the basis of the Covenants, and His dealing with us Gentiles on the basis of His Grace. All of this is going to come in, Zacharias can see, because God made that Covenant with Abraham. Verse 74 tells us what that Covenant guaranteed.

Luke 1:74

“That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear,”

Look at Israel today. Isn’t this what she wants? Every Middle East nation has a vowed statement within their government that they’ll not rest until Israel is driven into the sea. What were the words Saddam Hussein used at the height of the Gulf War? – “We’re going to incinerate them.” And the Palestinians whooped and hollered when they heard it. Why? Because they all want Israel destroyed. It’s never been any different. Zacharias knew this and said, “Now we’re finally going to be released from this fear; we’re going to have the tranquility and peace that the Covenant promised.”

Luke 1:75,76

“In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.” Now what does that indicate? … That this government is not going to be part and parcel of the world system, but is going to be a heavenly government. It’s going to be ruled by the God of Heaven. The King of Kings, The Lord of Lords. And Zacharias could see that it was coming; that it was just around the corner.

“And thou, child (John the Baptist), shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;”

The word really implied here, not used here but in other places, is the word `herald.’ John the Baptist was a herald. In ancient history a herald would come in maybe a day or two before a great emperor or the leader of an empire, and he would simply begin at one end of the city and would, like a trumpet, announce the coming of his emperor. He would never go back and retrace his steps. He would announce it as he would go through the city, and that was it. It was a one-time heralding. Some have made an illusion that this is where we have really lost sight of propagating the Gospel. I know many foreign mission boards decry the fact that 90% of God’s servants are proclaiming the Word of God to only 6% of the world’s people. What do they say? Most Christian workers are laboring here in America. Ninety some percent of all the preachers and missionaries of the world labor right here in America, who is only 6% of the world’s population. Well, we’re not even heralding the Gospel to the nations of the world who have never heard. We know there are millions out there who have yet never heard, and we’re probably being remiss. Anyway, John the Baptist was going to be a herald, an announcer of the King. Read on:

Luke 1:77-79

“To give knowledge of salvation unto his people (His people at this point are still Jew only) by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Zacharias had it straight, and he should have. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. Let’s turn to one more Scripture in the New Testament portion that deals with this Abrahamic Covenant. Believe it or not, it goes all the way into the Book of Acts. Turn to Acts 2:22 to the great Pentecostal sermon by Peter. Again, most people just don’t stop to realize who Peter is talking to. I’m again giving you little shots at Acts. It’ll be a long time before we get down to a verse by verse study of the Book of Acts.

Acts 2:22a

“Ye men of Israel,…” Does that include Gentiles? Not as I understand language.

Acts 2:36a

“Therefore let all the house of Israel…” Who is that then? That’s Jew Only! It doesn’t include Gentile.

Now let’s go to Chapter 3. Peter is preaching his second sermon in the Book of Acts. Remember, this is just shortly after Pentecost – 50 days after the ascension. Come all the way down to verse 20 where Peter is announcing that if Israel would repent and believe Who Jesus really was, that He would come back and set up His kingdom.

Acts 3:20,21

“And he (God) shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” God is sending Jesus to be what? Their King! He has been crucified now, so He can now rightfully be their King. This isn’t an afterthought or an accidentally.

Acts 3:24,25

“Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.” They told prophetically of what days? The appearance of the King, His Crucifixion, His Resurrection, His ascension, but His soon return. Remember, the Bible writers all thought it was going to happen right in order. Read on:

“Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto (what’s the next word?) Abraham…”

What is Peter claiming? Abrahamic Covenant! Peter is still claiming no more than the promises of this Covenant. They are already the nation, they are already in the land, but they want the King. They couldn’t have the King unless Israel repented to the last person. Everyone had to, and then Christ could have come and set up His kingdom and Israel could have been the missionary force; Israel could have been the evangelist. But what did Israel do with it? They continued to reject it so that God, not by accident or not as an afterthought, but in His foreknowledge said, `I’ll go another way.’ And He went to the Gentiles with the Gospel of grace. But you see that Peter is still on Covenant ground.