Jer 32:24 A Prayer for Understanding 1/30/2011 §
á God's Methodology (1Sam 2:6-8, Rom 8:28)
#1. Death (Jer 1:10, Jer 32:16-19).
#2. Resurrection (Jer 32:18-21)
#3. But How Are We Doing? (Luke 18:8)
Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of 1Samuel, 1Sam 2:6 (2X). Before we are going to the Prophecy of Jeremiah, I would like to review GodŐs methodology again. God interferes into the kingdom of man, because it is in principle the kingdom of Satan, and without GodŐs interference no one would be saved. Therefore it requires that God exercises His sovereignty over the lives of all mankind, over the wicked as well as over the righteous.
á God's Methodology (1Sam 2:6-8, Rom 8:28)
GodŐs methodology in His program of salvation is summarized in HannahŐs prayer of gratitude, which we find in 1Sam 2:1-10. We read here about GodŐs methodology in His dealings with mankind. This is GodŐs way of saving a people for Himself, whom He chose for Himself from eternity past. We read in 1Sam 2:6-8
1Sa 2:6-8 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORDŐS, and he hath set the world upon them.
These words speak of death and then resurrection, of destruction and then building up, of disaster and then recovery, of making poor and then making rich, of taking the lowest of the earth and elevating them to the highest position possible. God takes poor beggars from the dunghill, which is this earth, and elevates them to the status of princes in the courts of heaven, yea even better: He makes them sons of God, and causes them to inherit the throne of glory; and that is a throne singular, which is the throne of God in the NH&NE. The Lord has established His favorite people, His elect, whom He made the pillars of the earth, and He has set the world upon them. It means that those whom God has lifted up out of the dust and from the dunghill, and has set them among princes, and has set them among the sons of God, that they are the ones who have become the pillars of the earth, and God has set the world upon THEM. This means that God has committed Himself to rule this earth in such a manner that everything in the history of this world becomes subordinate to the spiritual welfare of these pillars, which are the beggars who have been made princes, and are called the sons of God. It means that the worldŐs history is entirely guided by GodŐs providence to revolve around His elect, so Ňthat all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purposeÓ (Rom 8:28) Because of the wickedness of man, this is what God has to do: The Lord first kills and then He makes alive; God must first destroy this wicked body before He can raise us up with a new glorified body. Because of the wickedness of our soul, He must first make us realize how spiritually poor we are before He can give us the riches of Christ; God must first rub our face in the mud, to make us see our own wretched state, before He lifts us up to tell us that all our sins are forgiven. Not everyone will see the hand of God in their life. Not everyone will give God the glory for rubbing their face in the mud. But there are those in whom God regenerates their dead heart, and they will be made willing to give God all the glory. These are the ones whom God has lifted up from their depraved state.
This is the basic principle, death and resurrection, when we see the activity of God in the kingdom of man. We have seen it in God taking a bunch of unruly slaves out of Egypt and making them the most favorite nation in the sight of God. First God made them slaves in Egypt, then He rescues them from their slavery and protects them all the way until they reached the land of Canaan, and then He builds them up to become the most wealthy and most favorite nation on earth under king David and king Solomon. But then they gradually degenerated into a heathen nation worshipping other gods. Now God is applying His methodology of death and resurrection all over again, and this time God is using these historical events as types and figures of Christ and the NT church. This is how we should read and understand the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, and all the Minor Prophets, and we should recognize the eschatological flavor in their NT prophecies. This is the glorious purpose of God. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Jeremiah, Jer 1:10 (2X). For this reason God determined that there is to be death and thereafter resurrection all over the place in the Bible. Let us now first look at:
#1. Death (Jer 1:10, Jer 32:16-19).
Jer 1:10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
Look at the sequence in this verse. Here again we see God's methodology: First to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, and then after that to build, and to plant. Why are death and destruction all around us? It is because God is dealing with a sinful world and with mankind that is groveling in sin. God's methodology is to do away with the trashy stuff of this world, and He will make in its place something far more wonderful. Last week we saw a glimpse of this in Jeremiah, chapter 32. Please turn again to Jeremiah, chapter 32, Jer 32:16 (2X). At this time the Babylonian army had surrounded Jerusalem. That was a certain death. The people of Jerusalem were staring death in the eye, and most of them were killed within the following twelve months. But during this siege of Jerusalem God told Jeremiah to do a very strange thing: Jeremiah had to buy a piece of land. This was land purchase number 6 on our list of seven land purchases. You did not think that I was done with this chapter, did you? Last week I covered only the first 15 verses in this chapter. Let us continue in verse 16. It is the beginning of Jeremiah's prayer for understanding. And so the title for this sermon is A Prayer for Understanding.
Jer 32:16-19 Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the LORD, saying, Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: Thou showest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name, Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:
WOW. That is certain death; do you see that? "God's eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men"; God sees everything. God sees all the wicked recesses in our heart. And "God gives every one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings". That means certain damnation to Hell for every one of us. Or do you think you are an exception? No way! God is absolutely righteous and therefore this penalty must be paid for each and every sin that you and I have committed. This is a reminder to us that we do not say to ourselves: Let's do this once more; Jesus will forgive me anyway. That is the language of someone who is unsaved. That is language of a person who does not fear God. Put a sticker here in Jer 32, and please turn to the Prophecy of Ecclesiastes, Eccl 8:11 (2X).
Now I am especially addressing the young people: If we are going our own way, we may look good in the eyes of our friends, but what kind of friends do we have? Do we know who our friends are? If we have friends who do not fear God, then they are actually enemies of God and they are in the camp of Satan. We do not want friends like that. Would we make friends with Satan? You must be crazy to do that. Therefore, we do not put God to the test. We do not set ourselves up for certain damnation. Moreover, if things are nicely going our way, it does not always mean that everything is all right with God, for God does not punish sin immediately. God says in Eccl 8:11,
Eccl 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil (2X).
Do we realize what God is saying in this verse concerning the character of unsaved man? God does not bring immediate punishment for sin. That is why people do not fear God. Let me illustrate this with an example: I have a sensitive allergy to chocolate. No way will I ever touch chocolate again. Can you see: It is the immediate punishment that keeps me absolutely obedient to stay away from chocolate. But the penalty for sin does not come in this life, but in the life hereafter. "Therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil". Why did God design it this way that punishment for sin is postponed until the life hereafter? God arranged it this way so that we walk by faith, and not by sight. But God's Word is absolutely sure: Retribution for sin must come, and it will come for sure. Please turn again to Jer 32: 19 (2X). God says in Jer 32:19,
Jer 32:19 Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:
Here again, this statement would condemn us all to Hell. That is what we deserve. But God, in His great mercy, has also written the following verse, which speaks of the grace and mercy of God. We read in Jer 32:20,
32:20 Which hast set signs and
wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and in Israel, and
other) men; and hast made
thee a name, as at this day;
When God says "unto this day", God is giving a spiritual truth. Are God's signs and wonders visible in the land of Egypt unto this day? And are they visible in the land of Israel? And are they visible among men anywhere else? What were the signs and wonders that God showed in the land of Egypt? They were the signs and wonders that eventually led to the liberation of the children of Israel out of slavery, which was a powerful picture of the process of salvation for people anywhere in the world. The land of Egypt is a representation of being in bondage to sin and Satan, and to be delivered from sin and Satan is still a miracle. It is the miracle of salvation, which is accomplished through the death of Christ, our Passover Lamb. But just like the Passover Lamb was killed only for a select group of people, so our Passover Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, was crucified only for a select group of people. We can see that clearly in the words God wrote in Matt 1:21, "Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins". Whom did He save from their sins at the cross? He saved all His people, and He saved only His people. If we do not belong to those He saved, then we do not belong to His people. When people say that Matt 1:21 refers to the Jews only, they are spouting nonsense. What they are saying is that I do not belong to His people who were saved at the cross since I am not of Jewish origin. It means that Jesus must have gone twice to the cross, for if the event of the cross that is implied in Matt 1:21 only refers to the Jews, then Christ must have paid for the sins of the Gentile Christians at another cross experience, and that is nonsense. But the plain fact that is repeated throughout the Scriptures is that Christ did not pay for the sins of everyone in the whole world, but only for His elect group of people. Therefore, if I find that God has given me the faith to believe the whole Bible, from cover to cover, and I believe that Christ paid for all my sins on April 3 in the year AD 33, then I am one of GodŐs elect. And then I have also made a beginning of understanding ŇManŐs Ways and GodŐs WaysÓ that they are different ways.
What is the meaning of the "stretched out arm" of God? We have already seen this expression in verse 17,
Jer 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! Behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:
And again God uses this expression in verse 21,
Jer 32:21 And hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror;
What has this "stretched out arm" of God to do with the signs and wonders that the Lord did in the land of Egypt? Did you know that God uses this expression throughout the OT 15 times? And in all 15 verses where the "stretched out arm" appears, the same two Hebrew words are used, and the same tenses are used for the verb "to stretch out". In all 15 instances it refers to the actions of a sovereign Creator who creates and redeems whom He will. Primarily redemption is in view. For ex the first time the "stretched out arm" appears in the Bible is in Ex 6:6,
Ex 6:6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:
God promised here to Moses that God would redeem the children of Israel out of Egypt "with a stretched out arm". We know from the NT that God did not redeem them in their soul at that time, because most of them died in the wilderness in unbelief. We read this in Heb 3:7-19. Only a remnant was redeemed in their soul. Nevertheless, the exodus of the children of Israel out of Egypt was a marvelous picture of how God sovereignly redeems those on whom He will have mercy. Perhaps you remember that God uses this expression also in Deut 5:15. We read in:
Deut 5:15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day.
Here we see that the Sabbath day is connected with the deliverance of the children of Israel out of Egypt through the "stretched out arm" of God. Does God have arms that He can stretch out? No! The Lord Jesus said in John 4:24, ŇGod is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.Ó God does not have arms, but the Lord Jesus has arms. Therefore, God shows us here that this passage is a picture of our deliverance from sin and Satan through the redeeming action of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. Therefore, the OT Sabbath was a picture of the rest that we have in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. And indeed, all 15 instances of the "stretched out arm" of God in the OT have to do with the redemption that we receive in Christ. The "stretched out arm" in the OT is pointing to the stretched out arms of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross when He suffered and died to pay for the sins of His people. But God did not leave it there. God decreed that after death there must also be resurrection. We read in Jer 32:18-21,
#2. Resurrection (Jer 32:18-21)
Jer 32:18-21 Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name, Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings: Which hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and in Israel, and among other men; and hast made thee a name, as at this day; And hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror;
All throughout this prayer of Jeremiah we see the methodology of God to bring death and destruction, followed by resurrection and restoration. God is cutting away those parts in the body that are corrupted by gangrene and sin so that the healthy part of the body may live, and be freed from the bondage to sin and Satan. For example, when God says in Jer 32:18, "Thou recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them", that means death to those children. Do we realize that? The fathers stray into a false gospel and drag with them their children into the fires of Hell. That is normally what comes to pass, but not always. God has mercy on some, and therefore God will sometimes break that cycle. That is why the remainder of verse 18 says: "The Great, the Mighty God, Jehovah of hosts, is his name". The meaning of the name Jehovah is "the unchanging, eternal, self-existent God, "the "I am that I am, "a Covenant-keeping God". And that means life. If God keeps His oath to those whom He has written in His Covenant before the foundation of the world, then they are the ones who shall escape the fires of Hell. Again we see the methodology of God in verse 19, where God says:
"To give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings". That means a certain death to every one, including those who are in God's Covenant. Who then can be saved? The only way God can take His people into God's holy heaven is by sending the Lord Jesus Christ to earth, to impute the guilt of the sins of those whose names are written in God's Covenant, and to die in their place on the cross. God's lovingkindness and God's mercy for His people are on display at the cross. The death of Christ means eternal life to all those for whom He came, to die vicariously for the guilt of their sins on the cross. And that is reflected in verses 20 and 21 where God's redemption is on display through signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, which were types and figures of His redemption at the cross.
But Christ did not remain dead. God raised Him from the dead, and showed us that He did raise Him from the dead to give us the evidence that Christ was successful in paying for our sins. And as Christ was raised from the dead, so we will be raised on the day of our rapture with new glorified bodies wherein dwells only righteousness.
This is what we are celebrating in the Lord's Supper ceremony. On the one hand, the Lord's Supper is an extension of the Passover meal that God established in the land of Egypt, which meant death to the Egyptians, and it meant death to the Passover Lamb, but it meant life to the children of Israel. The Passover, celebrated annually in the OT, was a sign that was looking forward to the coming of Christ.
On the other hand, the Lord's Supper is a sign that is looking back to the fact that Christ has come, and has given His life in our place, and was raised from the dead because He was successful in atoning for our sins. Moreover, the Lord's Supper is also sign looking forward to the great wedding feast we will enjoy when we will have arrived in the NH&NE to be with our resurrected Lord forever. But we have not finished Jeremiah's prayer.
Jeremiah sees the death and destruction that is coming soon upon the city of Jerusalem. He says:
Jer 32:24-25 Behold the mounts, they are come unto the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, that fight against it, because of the sword, and of the famine, and of the pestilence: and what thou hast spoken is come to pass; and, behold, thou seest it. And thou hast said unto me, O Lord GOD, Buy thee the field for money, and take witnesses; for the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.
Paraphrased, Jeremiah said: "Lord, You promised You would give us the land of Canaan. It is a land flowing with milk and honey, and it is a land that is a representation of the Kingdom of God. You have performed exactly what You have promised. But because of the idolatry of the nations of Israel and Judah You have brought judgment on us exactly as You have promised. Lord, You told us that this city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians. Lord, You can see that they are ready to take the city. Then why should I buy the land in Anathoth for 17 shekels of silver? For what purpose?" Here comes the answer from God in verses 26 and 27,
Jer 32:26 Ś Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying,
Jer 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?
God is explaining His methodology. Paraphrased, God says: "Indeed, this is the nation that I put My name on, and now I am going to destroy it, because they are not My people any more. I am going to start all over again. Jeremiah, do you remember those words I told you to write in Jer 31:33?" Please turn back one page to Jer 31:33,
Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Yes, this will be the characteristic of My people: "I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God". I, the God of the Bible, will be their God, and they will be faithful to Me. But when near the end of time they will believe the Bible, and they also believe that something else in addition to the Bible is of divine origin, then they are worshipping another god, but I will not be their God. Then I will give them into the hands of the Babylonians, a people whose tongue they cannot understand, like I am doing at the present. And what do we observe today in the churches? Indeed the NT Church has taken on the name of Christ; they call themselves Christians. They say that they believe the Bible only. But they believe that they have additional divine revelations from God through dreams, or from visions, or from angel visitations, or from tongues, which means that they are not My people any more, and I am not their God. Therefore I will give them over into the hands of a people whose tongue they cannot understand, the nation of Babylon, and they will be part of the nation of Babylon. And this is presently the great apostasy in the churches that have fallen for the lie of the charismatic Gospel. What is that lie? It is the lie that God is still bringing divine messages today in dreams, and visions, and angel visitations, and in tongues. Clearly, they have abandoned what God says in Rev 22:18-19.
Is that possible? Are there people who know what God has said, but do not obey Him? Look at the examples of the nations of Israel and Judah. They knew what God has said. But they believed that God's warnings were not to be taken seriously. They came into the land of Canaan and possessed it but obeyed Him not. God says in Jer 32:23,
Jer 32:23 And they came in, and possessed it; but they obeyed not thy voice, neither walked in thy law; they have done nothing of all that thou commandedst them to do: therefore thou hast caused all this evil to come upon them.
Why did they rebel? What does God say about rebellion? GodŐs message to Moses was written in Deut 31:27,
De 31:27 For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death?
And so, God prophesied that the nation of Israel would be in rebellion against Him. And God is not very kind to those who make it a habit to be in rebellion against His authority. God says in 1Sam 15:23,
1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee.
Again, God is not very kind to those who rebel or teach rebellion. We read in Jer 28:16,
Jer 28:16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD.
These were GodŐs words to Hananaiah, who proclaimed himself to be a prophet, but he lied. The Lord did not send him. This in itself did not earn him the wrath of God, but the fact that he taught rebellion against the Lord is what earned him truly the wrath of God. Today we know people who teach rebellion against God by proclaiming that they should abandon the church, the organization which Christ established. Now we know that the NT church is not a perfect organization. When the apostle Paul returned to Jerusalem from his third missionary journey that church asked him to perform the Nazarite Vow as described in the Law of Moses. That was an evil request, since the ceremonial law was abolished at the cross. Paul knew it was an evil request, and Paul agreed to do it for the sake of appeasing the Jews. But God intervened, and God did not allow him to complete the ceremony. But God did not recommend anywhere that truly saved Christians should abandon the Jerusalem church. And when we dig through Rev 2 and 3 in the messages to the seven churches of Asia Minor, we do not find anywhere the advice to abandon any of those seven churches, even though five of the seven were in some advanced state of degeneration. And thus it is a grievous sin to rebel against GodŐs authority. God stated His anger on rebellion in Rom 13:1,
Ro 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are
ordained of God.
Likewise in Jude 9 the Lord Jesus disputed with the devil about the body of Moses, but he did not bring against him a railing accusation, for the devil was at that time still an appointee of God.
#3. But How Are We Doing? (Luke 18:8)
We do not have to look very far. Here in America we live in a culture where teenage rebellion is tolerated to a great extent, and it is even expected. Nothing of that sort was known at that time in Indonesia where I grew up. Today we can search among the native tribes in South America where there is no such thing as teenage rebellion, for these native tribes have not yet been brainwashed by the secular media. The sons enter into the profession that their fathers and their forefathers have prepared without hesitation or rebellion, for that is not their culture. It is not a law of nature that teenagers must rebel against their parents. But the fact that it occurs, does that not indicate that we, the parents, have been neglecting our duties as parents, to bring up our children in the fear and knowledge of the Lord? The Bible has a great deal to say about raising children, but do we as parents use the Bible as our guide? Do we really believe the Bible, that these cute little children of ours came into the world as servants of Satan, and that they are in need of salvation? Do we have our responsibility as parents constantly in focus? And where does the sovereignty of God fit in. Let us remember the principle that God works out His plans through the sins of man. God works out His plans of election and reprobation through the actions of man. Quite often a person who is among the elect has been brought up in a God-fearing home, and a person who is among the reprobates has been brought up in a home where the parents neglected to raise their children in the fear and nurture of the Lord. But that is not always the case. God, in His mercy, may break into the cycle and save a man for which there was no hope at all. The Lord Jesus in Luke 18:8 asked the question, ŇNevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?Ó It is a rhetorical question. The answer is No! Not much. In other words, as we approach the end of time we should expect that the Lord will not save as abundantly as He has done before, and the Lord is not going to give as many people understanding as He has done before. From Luke 18:8 and other passages it is clear that it is GodŐs plan to save fewer and fewer people as we approach the end of time. This is not very well known and there is not much preaching about it, because people do not like to talk about the fact that churches are going more and more apostate. For example, the Lord Jesus said eight times in the NT, "He that hath an ear, let him hear." Now, is that not a peculiar statement? Is it not logical that everyone has two ears? But these statements prove eight times that we must hear the spiritual meaning of the passage in question. These statements prove eight times that the Bible is a spiritual Book, and that we must train ourselves to find the spiritual meaning throughout the Bible, and that we must learn to do that without falling into error. Churches have increasingly recommended that we must interpret the Bible only literally and historically. But in doing so they have gradually closed off any understanding of passages that require absolutely that we look for a spiritual meaning. And when the Lord says, ŇHe that hath an ear, let him hearÓ there is no other way than to search for a spiritual meaning that harmonizes with the rest of the Bible. And that is the test: It must harmonize with the rest of the Bible.
In studying Jer 32 the question continually came up in my mind: "Who are His people?" How do we know if we belong to His people? How do we know if we are saved? Actually God is very clear about that. God has stated it in the previous chapter, as I have read to you from Jer 31:33, that He is the one who puts the love for His Word in our hearts. If we find that we have the love for His Word in our hearts, then God put it there.
God says it again in Jer 32:38-40. Let us jump ahead to that passage, Jer 31:38-40 (2X),
Jer 32:38-40 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
Does this passage teach us that God will give us a new heart, or a new soul? The answer is NO! We have a soul with which we were born, but that soul is spiritually dead. When God the Holy Spirit regenerates our soul, He makes our soul alive, so that we can believe that Christ died for our sins, and understand the spiritual aspects of the Word of God. He does not give us a new soul, or a new heart, but He puts a new spirit within us to make us act and think and speak as if we have the spirit of Christ within us. For example, when the Lord says that John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah, He did not say that the soul of Elijah was reincarnated in John the Baptist, but that John acted, and thought, and spoke as if the spirit of Elijah was within him.
You see, Jer 32:38-40 teaches us that God has to give us that new heart, or new spirit. Only then will we be His people, and only then will we fear Him forever. And God has to give our children a new heart, for they are born with a heart that runs after Satan. Only then will they fear God. But God has to do it.
Let us see if we can summarize this briefly. This sermon was about death and resurrection. Only when we have spiritually died with Christ and in Christ can we be resurrected to a new life with Christ and in Christ. But this speaks of a spiritual resurrection. How does that fit into the total equation?
When Adam sinned He died spiritually and instantly, and his physical death 930 years later was the sign that he had come under condemnation body and soul. Since Adam was our federal head, we died also spiritually when Adam died, and that is why we came into the world with a soul that was dead in trespasses and sins. This is our human side, where we all are part of one human organism with Adam as our federal head. But there is another organism, a spiritual organism with Christ as the federal head, consisting of a much smaller group of people, whom God chose out of this miserable mess of mankind, and God placed the names of the people in this second organism in the mind of God the Son. Keep in mind that these people were already dead in their soul. But because we were in Christ (Eph 1:4), we can say that we died with Christ when He died, and we were buried with Christ when He was buried, and we rose with Christ when He rose from the grave. It means that God declared that our soul was no longer dead in trespasses and sins at the time that Christ rose from the grave, 2000 years ago. God says in Rom 4:25 that Christ was raised for our justification. But then in this century God put a new spirit within us, which does not mean that He gave us a new soul, but that He made us born again, or born from above. This is called the first resurrection, for eternal life begins when we are born again. On them the second death hath no power. What is the first death? The first death is when our body dies and we are put in the grave. The second death is when all the unsaved will stand before the judgment throne of Christ, and then they will be cast into the lake of fire, which is a fire that shall not be quenched. And God says, ŇI will then usher in a NH&NE where only righteousness dwells.Ó
AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.