When we concluded Part 5, we were noting the failure and the consequences of Abram and Sarai attempts to fulfill their part in the plan of God their t own (human means) with the involvement of Sarai's hand maid, Hagar. God reiterated His plan and how He (God) would bring it about in His timing.
In accordance with the timing and the provisions (Genesis 18: 13, 14) of God, Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah. This was a key part in the plan of God moving forward. As far as salvation is concerned, the purpose of setting aside a unique family line was to bring forth the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The destruction of the people that God established was the center of attention of the Angelic Conflict.
In keeping with the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 17:2), and in acknowledgement of Isaac’s inclusion and role God’s plan of salvation (Genesis 17:19), Isaac was circumcised on the eighth day of his life.
In doing so, Isaac was identified as being one of God’s chosen people for the dispensation in which he was born into, and with a specific part that he was to play to the unfolding plan of God for entire human race.
In the same way, following one’s spiritual birth (John 3:3), the believers of the Church Age are baptized (identified) as being one of God’s chosen people for the dispensation in which we are born into, and with a specific part (1Cor. 12:18) to play. Our "part" is to participate in the Great Commission (Matt. 28: 19, 20) that proclaims the Gospel Message to unbelievers and teaches Bible Doctrine to those who are born again for the purpose of developing post salvation discipleship.
The circumcision in which Isaac was subjected to was physical in nature and performed without his consent. This ritual did NOT mean that child was "saved", but only that he was a member of the chosen people from whom the Savior would (and did) descend. As a member of God's chosen people, he would be the recipient of both the national divine blessing and divine discipline that his particular generation was experiencing or would experience in the future. It is one's individual FAITH (faith = placing one's FULL trust and confidence) in God and the things of God to the extent that God reveals Himself within the dispensation in which one is placed (John. 3: 6) that determines if one is saved (saved = delivered from an eternity in the lake of fire (Rev. 20: 15) and the being the recipient of eternal life).
Thinking that "all was well" just because one identified himself as a member of the people of God (Luke 3: 8) was a popular, but spiritually deadly error. Thinking that one is "saved" in the times in which we are living just because he/she has identified him/herself as a member of the Christian Community is likewise a spiritually deadly error. One MUST be born again (John 3: 5, 7). Until one IS born again, he/she is spiritually dead. There is NOTHING that ANY alternative religious ritual can accomplish that will result in the Titus 3: 5 regeneration of a spiritually dead spirit. Here in the dispensation of the Church Age, the regeneration of the dead spirit is the work of God that automatically takes place wherever one is, and wherever one is when he/she chooses to BELIEVE in a presentation of the Gospel Message.
Some areas of Christian religion(s) have adopted similar rituals of initiation in which infants, without their consent or knowledge of participation, are baptized in or with water. This practice, however, is contrary to the water baptisms of Scripture, in which those baptized in water, were consenting adults and after they were already saved. (See Doctrine of Baptism).
The command to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy spirit pertains to the proclamation of the Gospel Message and the regeneration (Titus 3:5) of the dead human spirit that is the Work of God and automatically takes place at the moment of salvation. Biblical baptism has to do with i-d-e-n-t-i-f-I-c-a-t-I-o-n, not salvation.
Satan, through religion, misuses this ritual as the means to ensnare recruits into a life of "religious" bondage in which God never designed for Church Age believer. Every stage of the spiritual (vs. religious") life is the result of the conscious and free will choice of the individual SOUL involved.
The baptizing of Church Age believers is spiritual in nature. It is not done by the hands of a human priest, as there are no such "priests" authorized for the Church Age. The re-establishing of an officiating priesthood with physical altars is a unauthorized carry-over" from the Old Testament dispensation. The " royal priesthood ()" of the Church age consists of each and every born again believer. As a "priest", each and every born again believer has direct access to the Throne of God in Heaven, and (should) represent God and the thins of God before Man here on Earth. The last physical altar that God acknowledged was the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Water baptism rituals promoted by "religion" does not erase "original sin", as ALL sin (with the exception of the sin of disbelief) was addressed through and by the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. One if NOT guilty of the sin of disbelief if he/she chooses to BELIEVE in the presentation of the Gospel Message. The sin of disbelief was NOT (by divine design) atoned for by the Lord on the cross. Accordingly, all unbelievers will remain unforgiven and find themselves forever in the lake of fire for all of eternity.
The baptism that the Lord Jesus Christ received by John had NOTHING to do with sin. The baptism that the Lord received i-d-e-n-t-i-f-I-e-d Him with the Work that He was to accomplish. This baptism is NOT the same as the baptism offered by John to his followers, as that baptism i-d-e-n-t-I-f-I-e-d the recipients with John's message of repentance and the need to focus on the (then) coming Messiah.
The (water) baptism of early converts to the Church was NOT to address sin. Such baptisms involved converts who were ADULTS and who had already been saved. Such baptisms i-d-e-n-t-I-f-I-e-d them as members of a local group of believers, but was NOT what saved them. They were already saved.
It is important to note that there are several different forms of "baptism" noted in Scripture, and that each one had/has a specific purpose.
The "ONE (Ephesians 4:5)" form of baptism that is related to salvation of Church Age believers is the one that is the Work of God (Titus 3:5) that automatically takes place at the moment of salvation.
Salvation takes place as of the split second that one knowingly chooses to believe (John 3: 18) in God, to the extent that God reveals Himself to each soul, with the Gospel Message being the ultimate and complete means of revelation. While believing in a presentation of the TRUE Gospel results in one being forever assured of his/her salvation, disbelieving in a presentation of the true Gospel Message assures one of an eternity in Hell, or what the Bible calls the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15).
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With the disclosure of the part that Isaac would play (Gen.17:21), The plan of God was becoming more defined. Since it was through the family line of Isaac that our Lord’s humanity was to come, the spiritual combat of the angelic conflict would now call for an attack on that part of God’s plan, as well as to continue to promote false religious alternatives that Satan offers to the human race at large.
Satan and the Ephesians 6:12 forces use the followers of false religions as tools in his/their hands to oppose the forward progress of all believers in each dispensation of the plan of God.
Abraham, now having received the promised heir, would be put through an event that would teach both Abraham and the observing beings in the spiritual realm, the inevitability of the fulfillment of the plan of God, no matter what events would come against it.
Initially, it had to appear the God was arranging for the very means to terminate His own stated plan for the life and purpose of Isaac, calling for the (fatal) sacrifice of Isaac on an altar that Abraham was instructed to build (Genesis 22:2).
"And He (God) said (to Abraham), "Take now your son, your only son (that he and Sarah produced), who you love , Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him (Isaac) there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you (Gen. 22: 2 NASB italics mine)."
In the time period at hand, Burnt offerings involving animals were tied down to the altar, sliced open at the neck allowing its blood to flow on the altar, and then the bodily remains were burned up as the wood on which the sacrifice was laid was set on fire. There was nothing ambiguous about the instructions that Abraham received.
Satan was undoubtedly baffled as to what this event was meant to accomplish. He likely rationalized that he had nothing to lose by allowing it to unfold.
Abraham’s faith was put to the test. He had already been told what part Isaac was to play in the plan of God, but Abraham was now challenged to go along with what appeared to be totally contrary to Isaac's calling, as far as human logic could rationalize.
Keep in mind that God knows the future as well as the past, and what God knew at the time was that when the moment came, He would provide an animal for the sacrifice, and that His stated plan for Isaac was going to go forward.
Because Abraham (and we) was not privy to knowledge of the future, he (and we) was going to be put in a situations where he was going to challenged to do something that did NOT make sense.
I am sure that Abraham had to be confused when he was initially called upon to make a human sacrifice to the God of the Bible, but making human sacrifices was popular within the false religious practices of his day.
Even if God were to later provide another heir to be the means of eventually bringing about the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ, it would have meant that God’s stated plan involving Isaac had failed.
The only way that Abraham was able to bring himself to be in a position to do such a thing would have been for him to believe that if Isaac was slain, that God would raise him from the dead. One way or another, if God was going to be true to His Word, then Isaac was going to walk away from this scenario alive and well!
We are told of the great faith that Abraham had, but what is often over-looked is the faith of Isaac. Enroute to the place of sacrifice, Isaac noted that they had not brought along any animals to sacrifice (Gen. 22: 7). Abraham's only response to Isaac's inquiry was that God would supply it (Gen. 22: 8).
After preparing the altar, Scripture records that Abraham bound Isaac and placed him (Isaac) on top of the stacked wood. Abraham took out his knife and was about to slay Isaac when the Lord intervened and provided Abraham with a ram that was entangled in nearby thicket. Scripture does not report ANY resistance on the part of Isaac. How much of the plan of God had Isaac been informed of, we do not know. But upon being bound and placed on the wood, he had to have known that it was he that was about to sacrificed. Rather or not Isaac believed he would spared, or brought back to life if Abraham went through with it, we do not know. Either way, as Abraham was about to slay Isaac (Gen. 22: 10), it had to be a moment of great testing for he faith of Isaac.
The life of Isaac was preserved and he went on to become the father of Jacob. Through Jacob, who later renamed Israel, came the sons through whom the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel would descend. There would be many internal struggles, conflicts, and conspiracies within the house of Jacob, as well as outside forces that, with the endorsement of the devil, threaten the continuation of God's plan of salvation.
In the course of these events, Satan would make use of each and every opportunity to oppress the chosen the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) in order to thwart the plan of God. If he (the devil) could eliminate the family line of Isaac, this would mean victory for the devil in the Angelic Conflict, as without them, the prophesied humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ could not be produced.
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