Grace in the Old Testament (continued)

Grace in the Old Testament (continued)

Jan 29, 2013

We just looked at grace in the story of Joseph; let us look at another Old Testament example. In Genesis 32, Jacob is returning to Canaanland after spending over 21 years working for Laban, his father in law. But recall also that ever since the little fracas over the birthright blessing 21 years previously, Esau had vowed to kill Jacob.

So Jacob is quite naturally quite concerned for the safety of himself and his family. In an attempt to assuage the anger of Esau, Jacob sends gifts to Esau. Thereby, he hopes he will “find grace” in Esau’s eyes.

Genesis 32:3 And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom.

4 And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:

5 And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight.

6 And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him.

7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands;

And when Esau and Jacob finally meet—after Jake had sent ahead to Esau a huge number of animals as a present, Esau says to Jacob:

Genesis 33: 8 And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord.

This is clearly a kind of grace which is sought for on the basis of merit and works, isn’t it? It is a legitimate usage of the word “grace,” but it is not the same meaning of grace of the kind which flows from God to us. Jacob gave presents to merit favor with Esau. But all our works are as filthy rags in the sight of YHWH and they merit us nothing. (Isaiah 64:6)

Next, let us go to Deuteronomy chapter 24. Here we will find the same Hebrew word khane, this time translated as favor. It is part of God’s laws on divorce and remarriage. That is a topic about which there is much confusion among Christians. Some say, that according to the NT, no one is allowed to divorce, and if they do, it is certainly a sin.

Others say that you can divorce, but if you remarry, that’s a sin. We did a two lecture study on that topic many years ago and we still have it available. See the end of this post for ordering information.

Deuteronomy 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

Here again, this is man’s usual nature—to find favor or to not find favor; to give grace or withhold grace based on the actions of the other person. The husband did not like the wife’s behavior; hence, this is described as she finds no favor (grace) in his eyes. This is different from God’s grace to us.

We would be remiss if we did not mention Noah in Genesis 6 where it tells how men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and it mentions the cross-breeding going on and how that activity greatly angered God. Then in verse 8 it simply says, as if in contrast with those specific sins,…

Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Incidentally, I dealt at length with the subject of what exactly was going on “in the days of Noah” regarding “cross-breeding,” etc. in my series From Inner Space to Outer Space. See the end of this post for ordering information.

Many theologians speak of God’s grace as sovereign grace. I, too, have noticed in my studies how closely related God’s grace is to His sovereignty. Take this simple statement about Noah. You can argue this both ways, but God’s sovereignty always trumps everything in the final analysis.

In other words, Noah and his family were the only ones saved from death by the flood (and we are not going to discuss the extent of the flood here; that is not the issue at point). So Noah was saved by the grace of God. Saved by grace. THAT is certainly a so-called NT principle and yet here it is in one of the very earliest chapters of the Bible.

But what do I mean by ‘you can argue this both ways?’ I mean it has to do with answering the question: why did Noah find grace? Was it because, as it says in verse 9…

9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

The word just there means righteous. We know that all have sinned (Romans 3:23, 5:12), so it obviously did not mean that Noah was without sin, but perhaps it had reference to him keeping his family line unimpaired from cross-breeding. The word perfect in that verse means unimpaired or without blemish.

So, one side of the argument would be that because of that merit, because of that work of Noah in not mixing his seed, that God saved him, and therefore the grace given to Noah was earned by his own merit. That is arguing it one way.

The other side of the argument, which I favor, is that God’s sovereignty is always the trump card, because even if we allow the preceding statements as true, that Noah chose of his own will to keep his bloodline pure, then we would simply point out that it was God in the first place who caused Noah to desire to keep his family unmixed, and then it was God’s grace which enabled Noah to actually carry out that desire. And thus it was God’s grace in the first place which brought about the result that Noah “found grace in the eyes of YHWH.” God’s sovereign grace always reigns supreme.

What we have just seen in the case of Noah is an example of the absolute right that God definitively proclaims when he speaks to Moses on Mt. Sinai. I like to visualize this as God arrayed in all His majesty and with unquestionable authority His voice booms out unchallenged—it is the last half of the verse which is pertinent here, where God says:

Exodus 33:19 … and [ I ] will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.

God chooses of His own sovereign free will on whom He will show grace or mercy. It has nothing to do with us insofar as initiating the process of grace or no grace. Whatever we do is a response to God’s choosing.

Noah’s righteousness was a response to the enabling grace of God. We will talk more of enabling grace later. Now let us examine passage in Joshua, chapter 11 to see an example of God purposely withholding and denying grace to an entire nation of people. This passage is a summary of the conquests of the Canaanites by Joshua.

Joshua 11:18 Joshua made war a long time with all those kings.

19 There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: all other they took in battle.

20 For it was of the LORD [YHWH] to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.

Here again, God’s sovereignty reigns supreme. It says that God deliberately hardened the hearts of the Canaanites so that they would go to war against Israel. Consequently, they would not receive the grace of physical salvation, but would instead be killed in war. That was God’s plan and He put it in their hearts to do what they did.

Do you think the Canaanites could have chosen of their own free will to override God’s hardening of their hearts? Not on their life…as history records. God chooses who receives grace. We do not earn it and we do not decide if we obtain it. We simply respond accordingly as God has already chosen before the world began.

I should make note that the word favor there in Joshua 11 is a different Hebrew word. It is also used in Ezra 9. This word is in Hebrew H8467 t@chinnah {pronounced: tekh-in-naw’}. It is used almost always (23 out of 25 times) with the meaning of supplication, or a request for favor; but it is obviously translated correctly as the favor or grace itself in these two occasions of Joshua 11 and Ezra 9.

As you realize, even though we have not looked at grace in the NT yet, (except as Jesus used it in the common Greek vernacular) we have already, in fact, been learning much about the so-called Pauline conception of grace in the NT. We are seeing that Paul did not really invent anything new at all.

These things were hidden below the surface in the OT all along. But it was by God’s grace that Paul was inspired to see these things about grace and bring it to light and to set it forth as the sparkling jewel of Christian doctrine as he did in the books of Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, etc.

In Ezra 9, the prophet is offering a prayer and in it he recounts how they had gone into Babylonian bondage.

Ezra 9: 8 And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

As I said, here the word grace is : H8467 t@chinnah {tekh-in-naw’} and again it is very much in line with the NT theology of grace; it was pure unmerited favor bestowed on the remnant of Judah who were permitted to leave Babylon and return to the land of Judah.

In the next installment in this series, we will begin to examine the meaning of grace in the New Testament. (To be continued.

_______________________________________

CD’s #125 & 126 Divorce and Remarriage, Parts 1 & 2: Many people have rejected God and His Word because they are divorced and remarried, and have been taught that both are sins. Others still attend church, but bear heavy guilt burdens. What does God really say about the subject? You will find the truth from God’s Word is both comforting and reasonable. $12 postpaid. (See ordering information below.)

From Inner Space to Outer Space

UFOs, Evil Spirits and Higher Dimensions

Now at a rock-bottom price!

Are you ready to have your mind and spirit enlightened? Read the synopsis below to get a glimpse of the wide range of topics which Dr. Bruggeman weaves together with Scriptural insights. From Inner Space to Outer Space is abbreviated below as ISOS

CDs 1 & 2: Father’s Golden Earth Landers: This series will encompass a wide variety of topics related to current events and the Bible, to ancient cosmology, mythology and sacred geometry. (Note: Even if you did not do well in math, you will love sacred geometry. CDs #439 & 440, The Phi Portal, is a recommended pre-study.) In Father’s Golden Earth Landers we begin with the common denominators found in Alice in Wonderland, the phi spiral and pentagons, The Matrix movie, and Timothy Leary, the late LSD guru. We discuss the Queen of Sheba’s visit to King Solomon and what responses the essential oil of frankincense triggers in your brain. We learn what medieval and ancient alchemists were really striving for and how it will be accomplished in you. We close with an introduction to the concept of monatomic gold as found in the Scriptures.

CDs 3 & 4: Science, Miracles and the New Age Movement: The properties of monatomic gold seem miraculous: levitation, invisibility, increased psychic phenomena et al., but is it “merely” science? We embark upon a discussion of astrology and numerology vis à vis the Bible. Can you define “New Age?” The Bible speaks of it; it’s called Tabernacles. We provide an extended discussion of the properties of vibration and resonant frequency, of fractals and recursive waves, all as a prelude to understanding how the attitude of our hearts govern our entrance into the portal of the kingdom of heaven. And how the burning bush was not consumed, and how the three Hebrews were not consumed in the fiery furnace, and how Jesus could walk on water and appear in the upper room, and more.

CDs 5 & 6: Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Leonardo Da Vinci and UFOs: (CDs #292 & 293, Holy Grail, Holy Bible, is a strongly recommended pre-study [$10 ppd]. It anticipated The Da Vinci Code by years!) CD 5 presents the Grail myths as presented in works ancient and modern. Now comes a best-seller, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, which purports to tell the “real story” of Jesus and the Magdalene: that they were married, that they had a child who was the founder of the Frankish Merovingian dynasty, that offspring of our Lord survive to this day and how secret societies (The Knights Templar, the Rosicrucians, Freemasons, and the Priory of Sion) have all played roles in preserving the secret of the Grail. Part 2 is an introduction to the subject of UFOs and how Spielberg’s movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind sows confusion. I give my own experiences with UFOs. These two lectures set the stage to ultimately demonstrate how the Grail tales connect with the whole broad area of UFOs.

CDs 7 & 8: The Secret History of Nazi UFOs: This lecture presents evidence that German scientists had developed highly advanced flying craft before and during WW II. Not only do we show photos of their designs from the 1940’s for what we recognize as the modern Stealth fighter-bomber, but with the inventiveness of Viktor Schauberger, the Nazis developed what we call “flying saucers.” Also discussed is the evidence which indicates that Hitler may have faked his death and fled to secret bases in Antarctica. Sounds preposterous, but many very high officials in Allied governments were evidently convinced of its truth. We show what all this has to do with the Bible and how it is preparatory to understanding the coming lectures in this series. Because this lecture utilizes a number of books, photos and illustrations, it is also available in DVD format. See D-110. [Note: This DVD is included in this offer.]

CDs 9 & 10: UFOs and the Nephilim: The Nephilim are the “giants” of Genesis 6. This lecture uses both visual illustrations and “hands-on” demonstrations to discuss the electromagnetic spectrum and how it might relate to UFOs and the demonic realm. We also provide supporting data for the Nazi-UFO connection from, The Hunt for Zero Point by Janes’ Defence Weekly Aviation Editor Nick Cook. This lecture is also available in DVD (see D-111). [Note: This DVD is included in this offer.]

CDs 11 & 12: The Sons of God and the Nephilim Unmasked: This commences an in-depth analysis of Genesis 6 concerning who the “sons of God” were. Were they men? Or were they “fallen angels” who mated with earth women and produced the “giants?” Is this connected to Jesus’ warning that the days of His second coming would be “as in the days of Noah?”

CDs 13 & 14: Hot on the Trail of More Nephilim Giants: What two great sins brought about the Flood and were again extant in Lot’s Sodom? Fallacies of the Sethite theory. More on the UFO angelic interbreeding with earth women, finding the nephilim under different names, and tracing giants throughout the world and throughout history right up until today.

CDs 15 & 16: From the Nephilim to the Anunnaki: We go back to the Garden of Eden. Is Zecharia Sitchin on to something in his contention that the “gods” (the Anunnaki of the ancient Sumerian civilization) who formed Adam and Eve were colonists from space, from “Planet X,” from Nibiru-Marduk? We examine the key points of Sitchin’s The 12th Planet and related theories. We offer cautions to listeners about sharing this series with novices.

CDs 17 & 18: From the Anunnaki to the Grail Kings: Are UFOs and the Anunnaki connected with Jesus? How the dual seedline doctrine ties in. A study of the works of Sir Laurence Gardner, including Genesis of the Grail Kings, helps us to understand the tie-in, plus an analysis of the Hebrew word “shem.” Was it really a “highward fire stone” as in a rocket ship or UFO conveying a person into outer space? Or did highward refer to monoatomic high-spin elements which convey a person into inner space, i.e., moving into other realms of consciousness, other dimensions? We are on the verge of greatly increased longevity. We discuss a newly-identified enzyme called telomerase which seems to govern our life spans.

CDs 19 & 20: Stargates and the Hyperdimensionality of God: In this concluding two-hour lecture, we bring together all key topics from the whole series and open new vistas of the realities that await us in God’s universe. We provide the latest discoveries from biology, physics and astrophysics and show how they relate to the Bible. We use a large number of visual aids and overhead transparencies to help understand the concepts of intergalactic travel, wormholes and stargates, time dilation related to creationism, how higher dimensions of space can relate to miracles in the Bible, and much, much more. (Available as D-114). [Note: This DVD is included in this offer.]

A Few Listeners’ Comments:

● “[ISOS] was like a really good book that you don’t want to end, but can’t put it down either. How incredible! But it really explains so many things that are either hard to understand—or impossible to understand without this knowledge in the back of one’s mind. Looking forward to more knowledge in your next series.”

● “You have brought out into the open many things that I have been interested in for many years (UFOs, psychic phenomena, teleportation, etc.), but I have never heard any Bible teacher tackle them and bring them all together in the logical and detailed way that you have. It’s awesome!”

● “I am sharing your [ISOS CDs] with a guy at work who is just ‘eating them up.’ I know this will help open the door for him now to hear other marvelous truths from the Bible.”

● “At one point in the [ISOS] series, I was afraid you were going down the wrong path, but after hearing it all, I just want to compliment you. You have brought it all together so wonderfully. I can see how it all fits in with God’s fantastic plan.”

● “Thanks to your series, my appreciation of just how big God is, and of the marvelous wonders of His creation—it has increased immensely! Thank you so much!”

● “Thanks for the CDs! Your teachings water my roots. Nick Cook’s book on Zero Point was great, and your discussion of hyper-dimensionality likewise! When the disciple is ready, the teacher appears.”

The set includes lectures on 20 CDs, of which nearly six hours were put on three DVDs, plus several charts. They are conveniently packaged in an attractive album. $59 postpaid, a huge savings over ordering the items separately.

Ordering Information

From Inner Space to Outer Space (A-119). 20 CDs and 3 DVDs

Please send me ______ set(s) at $59 ea. = $ _________. Additional gift (optional) of $ ________ is also enclosed. Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery. For quicker service, mark your envelope “Priority” and include $7 for priority postage.

You can order either of two ways:

(1) Postal mail. Send your order to Stone Kingdom Ministries, PO Box 5695, Asheville, NC 28813.

Or, (2) since our online store is currently down pending a new framework, you can send me an email with your request (feed.back@StoneKingdom.org) and make an online donation to pay for it.

Or even simpler, skip the email, and when you make the donation, PayPal allows for you to make a comment or leave instructions. You can simply make your request for the item(s) there in the comment/instructions box. The PayPal Donate button is in the left column of our homepage; click here.

Name: ____________________________________Ph
_____________________

Address: _______________________________________________________

City/State/Zip: ____________________________Email____________________________

January 2013



Tags:
Category: Teaching

Loading Conversation