BIBLE STUDY SERIES #443, 444 and 445

21 May, 2000

SATANIC STRATEGY - PART XIII

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our ongoing series of Bible Studies, which began with the Call by The Almighty God to Abram in Ur of the Chaldees, in Genesis 12, has taken us through the sequence of subsequent Biblical passages which relate the family history of the generations of the Patriarchs and tribes of his progeny as they entered Egypt, and later emerged through The Exodus into Sinai, heading eventually towards their Promised Land, guided by Moses and under the direction of The Almighty God.

Consideration of the Levitical cities of refuge which were to be appointed in The Promised Land brought up a discussion regarding guilt, and hence a discussion of Satan, himself, whose name means "the adversary" or "the accuser." Satan has great aspirations, and a comprehensive knowledge of God's Law, which he seeks to use in evading his forthcoming Day of Judgment.

As we have explained on former Studies in this particular sequence, in order to accomplish this, Satan has drafted a legal plan as the basis of the strategy which he is following in seeking this evasion. Realising that the charges against him include using lies and murder, he is limited to one main legal strategy. He must cause God, The Judge to withdraw from the seat of Judgment, a legal possibility which might occur should God have undertaken an unconditional commitment to some portion of mankind which He cannot fulfil. The Bible holds many such unconditional commitments of The Almighty, and all such statements will, in consequence, be subject to Satanic interference and attack in his attempts to evade his fate. Should God fail to fulfil in its entirety any single such commitment to any part of mankind, God will have told a lie. If God fails to bring everything to pass as He has stated, He cannot thereafter retain the moral authority to judge another on the same charge. Satan is desperately assailing all facets of that legal possibility within the worldly field of operations which yet, for a limited time, is still assigned under his power. He seeks to ruin at least one of God's unfolding steps leading to the forthcoming establishment of the Kingdom of God upon the earth.

On our last Bible Study, we had been observing some truths regarding Satan's campaign against God's promise to write His Law on the hearts of His Israel people. Today, I want to have a look at the attack which Satan has underway against the protected national preserves of lands which are to form the seed-bed training grounds for inculcating God's Laws among His people, and thus to establish a basis from which others can observe and learn their beneficial outworking in society and the nation at large. By way of an introductory thought I might begin this portion of study by asking a simple question. Why was Abram called out from among his friends and neighbours, from his flourishing city in a rich land? Why was he called to go to another land, wherein he would be a sojourner and pilgrim? The answer is contained in a short passage found in Hebrews 11:8-16. Let us read verses 8, 15 and 16:

8. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

15. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
16. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

In speaking of the promise of a domain to the descendants of Israel wherein they will not be troubled while they learn and apply God's Laws, we must first remind ourselves of the fact that God's covenanted promises are specifically destined to have their outworking down through the subsequent millennia of history in a particular, and identifiable, line of racial descendants. This progeny is to descend out of the loins of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and his wives, and notably through the descent of the birthright tribes which descend from Joseph. Recall that the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh hold the legal title to the name of Israel, granted to them by Jacob's crossed-hands blessing recorded in Genesis 48:16. Jacob had spoken the words "The angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads, and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth." Recall that the promises containing that entitlement to the name of "Israel" are to the birthright people, and are definitely to a continuing literal fleshly seed which will, if God's covenant has its fulfilment, be identifiably members of those sons of Joseph even to the Second Advent and beyond, for it is specifically those descendants, along with the rest of the Tribes of Jacob over which Jesus Christ is to reign as King, as seen in the angelic prophecy to Mary found in Luke 1:32.

This being the case, Satan will attempt to eradicate that identification in the same fashion as the women of Midian, who were of non-Israel descent, attempted it back at the time when Israel was in Sinai, through their miscegenating allure, which was designed to draw Israel to idol worship, and also to blur the identity of that genealogical progeny, but more particularly, to cause them to sin by breaking God's Laws and thus to incur God's own imposition of the death penalty for this act. God has given LAWS which are to be obeyed by mankind starting with The House of God i.e. Israel. If men are knowingly and rebelliously disobedient, starting with that House of God (Israel), such men must eventually receive the full punishment for the same, i.e. Death. All Mankind must eventually follow, and face the same just judgment. Here, we must observe the merciful provisions which The Almighty has also enfolded within His Law Code., but that topic can become a subject within an entire Bible study on its own, so we shall only have time to start it towards the end of today's Study.

God's promises concerning literal seed from the loins of the Patriarchs cannot apply to those who are not identifiably of the literal descent, or God will have lied to those receiving His word; a word which was given by the certification of His Own Name. Note that the very designation of Abraham as a "Patriarch" is using the word which means, descent from the same "father-ruler" of the Tribal entity. The dictionary shows that the word is derived from "pater, father, arche, rule."

Satan will not only attempt to miscegenate the remnant of Israel so that the promises to their ancestors cannot be fulfilled, but will seek to obliterate the promised haven within which Israel is to renew its strength, and its dedication to The Law of The LORD. Satan will attempt to merge Israel lands into a One-World Government with the observance of Anti-Christian Laws, imposed on the pretext that to observe The Law of The LORD will impose a "religion" which is against that chosen by a flood of those adhering to one or another of alien faiths which conflict in belief and practice, and which will be imported for this very objective.

The reasons offered in order to persuade all of mankind to bend to the will of the elitist planners will seem exceedingly reasonable. Let us pass laws for the responsible governance of the ecology of the entire earth, the entire sea, the entire atmosphere, and so forth, without regard for petty national boundaries. This will be done having the most laudable publicized objectives: "for preservation of obscure or endangered species", "for maintenance of traffic standards to avoid spills of pollutants", "to preserve the upper atmosphere ozone shield", "to prevent lethal atomic radiation", "to create a world administration and a world court to apply humanist, scientific standards of morality", and so forth. Perhaps some will consider that this has already been implemented. The underlying mine which is buried beneath such legislation is not in the themes presented to the public. Adam was, after all, given the dominion and responsibility of supervising the whole of the earth's ecology in Genesis 1:26, and God's Kingdom is designed to become the world's court as in Matthew 25:32, but rather in the substitution of an human elitist authority of limited knowledge and wisdom to make new laws, outside of those which the omniscient and omnipotent God imparted, and so, one which thus whispers "rebellion."

Such moves must bring the Second Advent even nearer, for Jesus Christ, speaking of the day when He is to return, asked the question in Luke 18:8 "Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" The New King James has a slight variance in the wording, with the question "will he really find faith on the earth?" Thus, one of the marks which is granted to His faithful remnant of followers by The Lord Jesus Christ, which is given to us in order to act as warning signals of the very near approach of His Return in the Second Advent, is that of a loss of faith. It involves a loss of faith in respect of God's ability to deliver on every one of His mighty promises. That return will be one which Scripture describes in powerful terms, and it is the very dismissal of God's Word itself which is a mark of that end-time; the last silent moments which act as a dramatic prelude to the onset of God's Kingdom in the fullness of its power.

God has stated that Israel is to be the stone kingdom which smashes the Babylonian image, symbolic of a succession of worldly governments; a stone which eventually fills the whole earth, forming the Kingdom of God upon the earth, (Daniel 2:35) as it is in Heaven. Israel is His House of God, at which "Judgment must begin."

Perhaps this would be a good point at which to stop for today. Let us ponder what has thus far been considered, as we move to the next Bible Studies.

28 May, 2000

SATANIC STRATEGY - PART XIV

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our ongoing series of Bible Studies, which began with the Call by The Almighty God to Abram in Ur of the Chaldees, in Genesis 12, has taken us through the sequence of subsequent Biblical passages which relate the family history of the generations of the Patriarchs and tribes of his progeny as they entered Egypt, and later emerged through The Exodus into Sinai, heading eventually towards their Promised Land, under Moses and by the direction of The Almighty God.

Consideration of the forthcoming designation of Levitical cities of refuge which were to be appointed in The Promised Land brought up a digression regarding guilt, and hence a discussion of the Strategy being followed by Satan, himself, whose very name means "the adversary" or "the accuser." Satan knows that God always obeys His Own Laws, even to the point of granting a stipulated period of time for evildoers to repent.

Satan is termed the "prince of this world" in John 12:31, 14:30 and 16:11, and Luke 4:6 reveals his present power in the words spoken in the Temptation before Christ "All this power (all the kingdoms of the world) and the glory of them." Satan and his followers are like the evil vineyard workers in Christ's parable of the householder in Matthew 21:33-45. You may remember the story. An householder lets out his vineyard to husbandmen before travelling to a distant country and sends representatives back to receive the income from his vineyard. These servants and the son of the householder, are mistreated or killed by the evil husbandmen, but while the householder is still absent, they can continue to occupy the vineyard. Satan, likewise, although he has been responsible for inducing the Fall of Adam and Eve, and the subsequent development of the poison of evil rebellion against God's Laws throughout humanity, yet for the present, holds a legal right to dominion in the earthly realm, which he can continue to mis-rule until Christ's Second Advent.

Satan has a comprehensive knowledge of that divine Law, which he will have to use in his attempt to evade his forthcoming Day of Judgment. As we have explained on former Studies in this particular sequence, in order to accomplish this evasion, Satan has drafted a legal plan which he is following in seeking to escape the consequences of his mis-rule. As the charges against him will include Satan's use of lies and murder in his regime of mis-rule, he is limited to one main line of legal strategy. He must cause God, The Judge, to withdraw from His seat of Judgment. A judge who is guilty of the same offence as that for which the defendant is being tried can not retain the moral authority to pass judgment upon the accused. This principle forms Satan's only legal avenue of escape, and he is exerting every effort in seeking to create such an impasse in the courts of heaven by creating destructive havoc within the earthly realm which still groans beneath his bondage.

God has made many commitments to various portions of mankind, who live in the earthly domain wherein, for a limited period, Satan can yet influence people and events. Various unconditional commitments of The LORD are recorded throughout the Scriptures, and these are, in most cases related to the unfolding development of the Kingdom of God upon the earth, and all such statements of Godly commitment will, in consequence, be subject to Satanic interference and attack in his attempts to evade his fate.

We have considered the attempts by Satan to disrupt the descent of the Davidic Monarchy, necessary to preserve the throne until Christ receives it at His Second Advent as promised by the angel in The Annunciation, found in Luke 1:32.

We have considered how the multitudes who are to descend from the loins of the Patriarchs are being whittled down through countless ways, in war, and by disease, by multicult entanglements which cause God's fury to turn upon those who derive pleasure therein, by death in the womb, and death by careless accident, and by all the varied causes which strike His nation down. Death can come in many forms and Satan is pleased to find every deadly theme which serves his purposes.

The third aspect of the Kingdom is the Divine Law, which must be transmitted from each generation to the next, and we have noted how Satan has, so to speak, declared God's Laws forbidden and banned from all officialdom in every land, in matters of government legislation and the courts, in schools and in the work-place, and in the propaganda which upholds the "politically correct", but demeans and attempts to inhibit those who love The LORD. Likewise, we have seen how Satan has managed to destroy belief in the trustworthiness of God, and in His Law as a principle of Life, amidst the hearts of multitudes in the exalted halls of academic systems wherein the veracity and logical perfection, of God's Law is demeaned, especially among the young. God's Law must be written on the hearts of His people, or else God has failed to implement His pledged word.

We have seen how the preservation of sacred protected areas for the development and cultivation of God's Kingdom principles is being steadily eroded with the disappearance of national boundaries and the inculcating of the theme of one world without borders (an anti-Christian one world, be it noted), among school-age youth. In speaking of the promise of a domain to the descendants of Israel wherein they will not be troubled while they learn and apply God's Laws, we must again remind ourselves of the fact that God's covenanted promises are specifically destined to have their outworking down through the subsequent millennia of history in a particular, and identifiable, line of racial descendants of the Biblical Patriarchs, so these, in particular, will receive special attention by Satanic forces as the age draws to its climax. Prophecy indicates that it is only by God's Grace that the dwindling numbers of a remnant will be preserved, but, like the endangered species dear to the hearts of ecologists, God has undertaken to preserve sufficient for His purposes.

This being the case, Satan will attempt to eradicate that identifiable line of tribal descent with increasing fury as he sees his own window of opportunity closing with the signs of Christ's impending return. God has stated that Israel is to be the stone kingdom which smashes the Babylonian image, symbolic of a succession of worldly governments; a stone which eventually fills the whole earth, forming the Kingdom of God upon the earth, (Daniel 2:35) as it is in Heaven. Israel is the focal centre of His House of God, at which "Judgment must begin."

God's Law requires that sinners who stand accused of a variety of sins must suffer death, and the question then arises "How can God bring to pass His mighty Plan if He sees the whole of humanity in one way or another engulfed in transgressions of His Law for which transgressions the wages would be death?" There is only one way, and it is through the principle of substitutionary death coupled with the resurrection of the sinless Lamb of God, which Revelation 13:8 reveals to us.

Down the centuries from the Wilderness encampment at Sinai onwards, Israel was taught the significance of a sacrificial substitutionary provision for the covering, and the removal of Sin. Throughout the era of the Old Testament, the theme saw countless sacrifices of animals and birds, all of which formed one magnificent teaching aid pointing into the future, and made to the end that the sacrifice on Golgotha, when it at last occurred, would be distinctly understood and its provision of the door of escape, to which the bloodied lintels and door posts of the Passover in Egypt were to provide the early visionary outline, taken by God's people. Isaiah 53 sketched the scene prophetically, enhancing the words spoken by God to Eve in Eden. Satan would try his master-stroke in the death of The Son of Man, only to find that Resurrection was God's magnificent answer to the worst that Satan could manage, while the Tabernacle theme and ritual of centuries past as sketched in Hebrews 9, would assist His people to understand. Let us end today's meditation by reading Hebrews 9:22-28:

22. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
23. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
24. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
25. Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
26. For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Perhaps this would be a good point at which to stop for today. Let us ponder what has thus far been considered, as we move to the next Bible Studies in the days ahead.

4 June, 2000

PRESERVING TRIBAL IDENTITY

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our ongoing series of Bible Studies, which began with the Call by The Almighty God to Abram in Ur of the Chaldees, in Genesis 12, has taken us through the sequence of subsequent Biblical passages which relate the family history of the generations of the Patriarchs and tribes of his progeny as they entered Egypt, and later emerged through The Exodus into Sinai, heading eventually towards their Promised Land, under Moses and by the direction of The Almighty God.

Consideration of the forthcoming designation of Levitical cities of refuge which were to be appointed in The Promised Land brought up a digression regarding guilt, and hence a discussion of the Strategy being followed by Satan, himself, whose very name means "the adversary" or "the accuser." Satan knows that God always obeys His Own Laws, even to the point of granting a stipulated period of time for evildoers to repent and we digressed for a period of several months in order to examine the implications of that insight with regard to the legal entanglements with which Satan has sought to evade his ultimate fate before God's Judgment Throne.

Today, we must revert to the main theme of our studies, namely the preparation of the Tribes of Israel, yet under the command of the aged Moses, to settle their Tribal affairs and reassess the Laws with which The Almighty has equipped the nation, prior to forcing an entry into the land to which God had promised to bring them. Some sixteen weeks ago, we had left Israel, at the account found in Numbers 35, wherein God's Laws concerning punishment for murder and similar matters were being given a review by Moses, before the challenges of the tasks yet before them were undertaken.

Today, we will be seeking the lessons which are reserved for the reader in Numbers 36, a chapter of only thirteen verses, but these verses, though they may seem somewhat dated to the historic period when they were first given, may yet hold some elements which bear upon our lives, even today. We shall begin by reading a few verses, and then digress to pick up the background which gives rise to what follows. The scene is the encampment of Israel in the Plains of Moab, which lie to the east of the Jordan River, and north of the Arnon River and beyond that boundary, the more southerly parts of the land of Moab which were still occupied by the nation of Moab at this time. Moab had, you may remember, been driven out of the land of north Moab, which still bore the name "Plains of Moab" by the Amorites, and these, in turn, had been ejected by the Israelites, so that Israel did not feel under any obligation whatsoever in the time of Jephthah, centuries later, to yield up any of that land north of the Arnon River to the Moabites who had been dispossessed those many years before.

The Tribes of Israel were a more youthful and battle-hardened nation than the generation of their parents which had been led out of Egypt in The Exodus to an appointed meeting with Yahweh, the God of Israel, to whom they owed their freedom from bondage. This younger generation was probably made of sterner stuff, and it had become more accustomed to hearing of The Law of The LORD by the words of Moses. The names of individual tribes and tribal sub-families will, perhaps, need a slight review as we come upon them in the narrative, but we shall try to keep it straight-forward as we progress. We shall begin our Scripture passage at Numbers 36:1:

1. And the chief fathers of the families of the children of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of the sons of Joseph, came near, and spake before Moses, and before the princes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel:
2. And they said, The LORD commanded my lord to give the land for an inheritance by lot to the children of Israel: and my lord was commanded by the LORD to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother unto his daughters.

At this point we might just review what had happened to bring those daughters of Zelophehad to prominence. You may remember that, when discussing the variance between the laws of inheritance by a woman in Israel from the laws in general use at that time, we had indicated that the daughters of Zelophehad had made a presentation before Moses and the elders of Israel, found recorded in Numbers 27. In this presentation they had placed before the assembly the situation in their case. As their father had died leaving no male heirs, to inherit his estate, they desired that his inheritance be given to themselves. As they had expressed the matter, "Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father." The request of these five daughters, it seems, was not in line with the customary practice at the time, for it required a special appeal to The LORD for a ruling on the case. The Law which was handed down at this time by God gave the right of inheritance to the female line if no son was present to gain the inheritance, and we might view the "judgment" which was handed down as an important step in the development of Common Law in Israel lands today.

This law was to come into great importance with regard to the inheritance of the Throne descended from King David, by the daughters of King Zedekiah many centuries later, and it insured that the Davidic line of monarchy would not be extinguished by Nebuchadnezzar. That King had executed all of King Zedekiah's sons before putting out the father's eyes and taking him in fetters to Babylon and prison. Nebuchadnezzar had overlooked this Israelitish law, which permitted the king's daughters to become the Seed-Royal in the place of their brothers who had been executed. So the law, though it might seem obscure, was to prove exceedingly important in time to come, and even down to the present time its importance is seen in its application to the further descent of monarchy in the British Isles and the other Israel lands of North-Western Europe.

Now we read the thrust of the complaint which others of their tribe were raising before the assembly. These "chief fathers of the families of the children of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of the sons of Joseph" are concerned enough to make an issue of the ramifications of the law granting Zelophehad's daughters an inheritance. In order to understand their concern we must remember that the Tribes had held to their encampment allotments about the Tabernacle, designated in the same geographical position at each stop on the forty-years wandering in the wilderness of Sinai, in strict apportionments so that those who encamped shoulder to shoulder in the defence perimeter would be of like mind and of closest blood relationship, and less likely to allow inter-tribal strife within the camp to weaken the overall strength of the nation. (The tribes came of four different wives of Jacob, you will remember, and they were prone to natural inter-tribal feelings of pride, envy, and claims to preeminence on one count or another. Having as yet no territory to call their own beyond the Jordan River, they were becoming anxious concerning their territorial claims once they had entered that land.) Let us hear their complaint, concerning those daughters, descended from the tribe of Manasseh, as recorded from verse 3:

3. And if they be married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children of Israel, then shall their inheritance be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and shall be put to the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they are received: so shall it be taken from the lot of our inheritance.
4. And when the jubile of the children of Israel shall be, then shall their inheritance be put unto the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they are received: so shall their inheritance be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers.

Mention of the Jubilee brings up another point. The Law of The LORD stated that at certain cyclic periods, after every forty-nine years, the blowing of the ram's horn announced a Jubilee. All debts were remitted, property reverted to its original owners, and Hebrews who had been enslaved for debt were released. Thus the poor who had lost their lands could reclaim them regardless of the temporary financial dealings in sales which would amount to a rental of land today, which could not be made permanent except in the case of city lots belonging to Levites who held no tribal allotments in the sense which other tribes could claim.

5. And Moses commanded the children of Israel according to the word of the LORD, saying, The tribe of the sons of Joseph hath said well.
6. This is the thing which the LORD doth command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, Let them marry to whom they think best; only to the family of the tribe of their father shall they marry.
7. So shall not the inheritance of the children of Israel remove from tribe to tribe: for every one of the children of Israel shall keep himself to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers.
8. And every daughter, that possesseth an inheritance in any tribe of the children of Israel, shall be wife unto one of the family of the tribe of her father, that the children of Israel may enjoy every man the inheritance of his fathers.
9. Neither shall the inheritance remove from one tribe to another tribe; but every one of the tribes of the children of Israel shall keep himself to his own inheritance.
10. Even as the LORD commanded Moses, so did the daughters of Zelophehad:
11. For Mahlah, Tirzah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married unto their father's brothers' sons:
12. And they were married into the families of the sons of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained in the tribe of the family of their father.
13. These are the commandments and the judgments, which the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses unto the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.

On our next study, we shall make closing comments on the Book of Numbers, and move ahead into the Book of Deuteronomy, the fifth Book of Moses.

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