The Two Covenants

The Two Covenants

Scripture: Galatians 4:21-31, Genesis 12:1-5, Genesis 21:8-12
Date: 12/03/2011  Lesson: 10
A careful look at Paul's argument about the covenant promise of Isaac and its fulfillment in Christ reveals that the so-called "Old Covenant" was just as much about God's grace as the New one.

The Ten Commandments: Laws of Love and Liberty by Doug Batchelor

The Ten Commandments: Laws of Love and Liberty by Doug Batchelor
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Greetings to each and every one of you who are tuning in and joining - joining each and every one of us here at Sacramento central seventh day adventist church. We are glad that you are a part of our Sabbath school family. There are so many of you from around the world that join us every week as we open up God's word and we study together. And we are so excited that we have such an extended Sabbath school class. There are not many of us here really, but hundreds and thousands around the world that join us every week.

And we hear from many of you because we sing your favorite songs and today is no exception. Pull out your hymnals - those of you at home - and join with us. #33 - Sing a new song to the Lord. This is from kaye, barbara, and nola in australia, charMaine in florida, naomi in grenada, fay keane, and anjuii in jamaica, shirlee in North Carolina, esseline in the netherlands, kenron in Pennsylvania, harold in the Philippines, kevor, cosni, and courine in saint vincent and the grenadines, and the swallow family in trinidad and tobago. #33 - We will sing - what are we singing? - The first, second, and fourth stanzas.

Was that new to many of you? I remember singing that in high school. Our choir did that one and it is different, but it's also very, very pretty. And there are many songs in the hymnal that we don't know and, of course, jolyne always tells you to send those in so go ahead. She will be leading out in a few weeks, I'm sure. So get in The Songs that aren't familiar and we'll learn those.

She likes to do that particularly. This is the cutoff for Christmas requests, so if you're watching this on a television network, today is the day. Send in your Christmas requests and we will be starting to sing those next week. Go to our website - saccentral.org - and click on the 'contact us' link and you can send those in and we will get them and do our best to get through them - as many as possible. Our next song, a child of the king - #468.

And this is from mwanawassa in angola, alexi in argentina, ver in the bahamas, alciro in belize, elias and thoa in California, marek, alina, and aka in england, beth and dale in Georgia, Moses in ghana, gertrude and gerlan in grenada, whitney in guyana, bob and Paula in Idaho, hezron and immanuel in india, maria in jamaica, Christine in Mexico, andy and marci in the netherlands, aleru, stainless, and ubani in nigeria, mr. Jan in norway, Daniel in Oregon, mathew in Pennsylvania, angel in peru, nuchin in the Philippines, rey, judy, gneiss and basie in south africa, louis in switzerland, perla in tennessee, stacy and John in trinidad and tobago, ronald in uganda, and eufort and aning in the united arab emirates. #468 - A child of the King - and we will sing the first, second, and fourth stanzas. Father in Heaven, we are so incredibly thankful and grateful this morning, that we are a child of the King. You are the King of the universe and you are interested, intimately, in each and every one of our lives.

And we thank you so much for that. We thank you for not being too busy that you forget about your stray little children. And father, I just pray that we will all be ready to spend eternity in the beautiful city, the new earth that you have prepared for us. Father, may we each be ready and may we tell our friends, our family, and those we don't know that you are coming back very very soon. We thank you in Jesus' Name, amen.

Our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our senior pastor here at Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Thank you very much debbie and our musicians. I'm getting more senior all the time. Happy Sabbath. Good to see each of you here this morning.

I want to welcome those who are here studying with us at Sacramento central and we have some visitors here, we have our regular members here, we have some who are watching online right now, who are visitors, and we have members who are watching online. Central sort of helps to nurture and host a number of seventh day adventist Christians that are scattered all over the globe, that do not have a local church that they can really connect with. And so I want to greet those who are some of our extended family and welcome you. In a moment we'll be getting to our Sabbath school lesson for today - I've got a very important announcement to make that I want to share - I want to share it on Sabbath school now knowing that these programs broadcast about three weeks from the time when they're actually recorded. You know, part of Sabbath school time is to be really dealing with evangelism of the people.

We talk about how we can win souls. There is sort of a - there's a dark secret that most Christians don't like to think about and it's this: three-quarters of professed Christians are not in church. And it seems like, in many churches, as fast as people come in the church front door during outreach and evangelism, another group seems to be going out the back door. And if I was to ask you for a show of hands right now - why don't you participate with me, okay? Show me your hands. How many of you know somebody, friend, family, or neighbor that used to go to church that doesn't now.

That's everybody, right? You know what that means? There are a whole lot of wandering sheep out there. Now when you think about doing evangelism, we often think about catching fresh fish. And you say well, they already heard the message and they've gotten discouraged or they're not coming now, and so let's go after somebody else. But wouldn't it be productive to strategically try to reclaim many of those wandering sheep? Didn't the shepherd do that? When the woman lost her precious coin - one out of ten - she went sweeping and searching until she found it. And I think sometimes we catch the fish and once we catch them we sort of leave them for the seagulls to carry off and we just go back for more.

And so, I've been convicted by this. You know, I read some statistics that - a survey in 2008 - a southern baptist conference reported that they had about 16 million-plus members on their books and only 37% actually attended church. In 2009 the lutherans reported million-plus members on the books. Only 28% actually attended church. How many of us know churches that will have a plaque that says, you know, we've got 1000 members, but Sabbath morning you find 200 - or something like that.

And it's really kind of shameful. And I think that we really need to do something strategic, prayerful to try to reclaim these missing members. And so, I've been praying about this and we've been talking at Amazing Facts and - actually I was having lunch with our general conference president, elder wilson, about a month or so ago and said, 'we would love to do a program where we just take a weekend and really talk about the four main reasons that people leave church.' You know there's - pretty much you can interview people who have left and it's been done many times in many denominations. You know the main three or four reasons that people leave church - one is they get too busy with life and they just get distracted and they sort of drift away - it's called backsliding, they slide out. Others have conflict.

There is some dispute, the pastor says something to hurt them or one of the other leaders in the church, or one of the members - there's some conflict or misunderstanding and their feelings are hurt and they say, 'well, I'm just not going to go anymore.' They stay away a little while and then it gets easier and they just stop coming because someone hurt them. Others are challenged, maybe by some doctrine, or they don't understand something, or there's one particular doctrine that offends them and that's the reason that they go away. And then others, and this is a big category, they don't understand how important it is that you worship collectively with a church family. They think, 'oh yeah, I'm a Christian, I'm spiritual.' And they'll fill out the survey and say, 'yeah.' But they don't ever go because they think 'well, I'm spiritual. I stay at home and I worship God my own way.

' And they don't understand the importance of being connected with a church. And so we're going to put together four programs - elder wilson's invited us to use the general conference auditorium - and in January - it's just a couple of months away, January through 15, Amazing Facts will be broadcasting in partnership with the hope channel, all over the world, a special program called, 'reclaim your faith.' And the idea is every member can be involved if we know anybody - and you just told me you do - that slipped away. What if you had a program? They might not go to church, but would they come to your home? You can watch it on the hope channel, which is also on direct tv. Invite them to your home for some juice and cookies or soup and bread or something and say, 'I just want you to watch this one program with me. And just come on over.

Take a look. It's not as intimidating as a church. It's sort of a bridge. So this is a special program. We want to start 2012 trying to call some of these missing members back.

And will you pray for that? That's one of the key ingredients is that we pray. So when did I say that was happening? January 13 through 15. We'll be broadcasting from the Washington area - the general conference worship room. There'll be - for those who are in the area, you're welcome to come. It will be a live audience and we just want you to pray for that.

This is something I think everybody at Sabbath school can participate in. Just one weekend to try and reclaim people. Amen? All right. Well, I'll say more about that in following weeks, but we just sort of wanted to introduce that right now. Our lesson for today is dealing with - we're still in the Gospel in Galatians.

Our goal has been to read through the entire book of Galatians by the time we're done and I think we're on track. And today we'll be dealing with lesson #10. Now, there's a memory verse that's from Galatians 4:26. Galatians 4:26. And I invite you here in the class to say it out loud with me.

You can also do it if you are watching on t.v. Or online. Are you ready? "But the Jerusalem that is above is free and she is our mother." Or as it says, 'mother of us all.' And we'll get to what that means in just a moment. But, before we do, we're going to read through our study that's assigned for today, which is Galatians 4, verses 21 through 31. So, if you have your Bibles, if you would just follow along with me, I'll read Galatians chapter , verses 21 through 31 - we've got ten verses here.

And, by the way, a lot of scholars agree that this is probably - Galatians can be a difficult book and this is probably the passage in Galatians that is among the most difficult. So we'll be praying as we go. Galatians 4:21. "Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh and he of the free woman, through promise, which things are symbolic.

" - Or an allegory - "for these are the two covenants, the one from Mount Sinai, which gives birth to bondage, which is hagar for this hagar is Mount Sinai in arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem, which now is, and is in bondage with her children, but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, rejoice, o barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who do not travail! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband. Now we, brethren," - by the way, that's a quote from Isaiah 54:1 - "now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted he that was born according to the Spirit, even so it now is. Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? 'Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for The Son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with The Son of the freewoman.

' So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free." All right, now, that's a deep passage. Let's go into it. And there's a number of verses we're going to consider. We have some microphones. Let me just check.

We've got one there and poncho's got one there. All right. Two covenants under the first section. Now, when we talk about the two covenants, and this is something addressed in our passage today, typically in the evangelical world there is an idea that the old covenant is the ten commandments and you got saved, back then, by keeping the Ten Commandments. And the new covenant is grace and we're saved by virtue of grace and there's no element of obedience connected with that.

Old dispensation you were saved by works. New dispensation you're saved by faith and grace. That's rubbish. Nobody in the old testament was saved by works. Nobody in heaven is going to say, 'I'm here because I worked hard.

' Everybody is saved by faith. Abel will be in heaven because he offered a lamb. He was saved by the blood of the lamb through faith in the blood of the lamb, which pointed forward to Christ. That's what will save him. And, in the same way, everybody now is saved by looking back to the cross.

The people in the old testament were saved by looking forward to the cross. We are all saved by faith in the cross. The difference between the old and the new covenant is that the old covenant was based upon flawed promises. And I'll get to that in just a moment. We've got some verses we're going to read here.

Matter of fact, I'll first see if I can do a little location. Who has Exodus 24:7? We gave out some slips with some verses on them. Does somebody have Exodus 24:7? Couldn't see - oh there you are. We're not going to read it yet, but I want to just locate you there. So we'll get set up for that and then I'm going to read Deuteronomy 4:13.

"And he declared to you his covenant that he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone." Are the Ten Commandments the old covenant? Not really. They are the content of the old covenant, because a covenant is an agreement. And so, in the covenant, in the agreement, were the Ten Commandments. Obedience to the ten commandments was part of the old covenant. The covenant is a promise, but the Ten Commandments is not the promise.

The promise was - and you find this in Exodus 19:8. God speaks the Ten Commandments, and says - Exodus 19:8 - "and the people answered together and said, 'all that the Lord has spoken we will do.' And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord. Isn't that interesting? It's like Moses is being a mediator. Some of you remember those stoves - you may still have one - that's got the knobs for the little heaters on the top and that usually have - or used to have three settings. They had high, they had low, and they had what? Medium.

A mediator means someone who goes between and Moses was a mediator of a better covenant. Or rather, Jesus is called the mediator of the better covenant. Moses was the mediator of the old covenant. He heard the people then he goes to the Lord. Now, did Moses go to the Lord because the Lord because the Lord said, 'all right Moses, what did they say?' Did God know what they said? But he's really, he's sort of serving like - going between two parties to reach an agreement.

Kind of like an attorney or an advocate does. In that way Christ is our advocate and Moses was a type of that. Now, read for me Exodus 24:7. Exodus 24:7. "And he took the book of the covenant and read in the audience of the people and they said, 'all that the Lord hath said we will do - will we do, and be obedient.

" All right, here again they're making a promise. But now it says 'the book of the covenant.' A minute ago it said the ten commandments, now it says 'the book.' Is the Ten Commandments ever called a book? Or was there another book of laws also connected with it? So there was a whole package in the first covenant. God said, 'look, I'll be your God. You're my people. You need to obey me.

' And so, the Ten Commandments, and then there's the book of the law, this was all part of the covenant, but the covenant was really the promise of the people, because you look in - matter of fact, I want someone to look this up for me. Hebrews 8, verse 6. We gave this to somebody. Where's it at? Over here? All right, let's get set up for that. Hebrews 8:6.

But before we get that, where do you first find the old covenant? In the new testament or the old testament? I'm sorry, where do you first find the new covenant? New testament or old testament? The first time you find the new covenant is in the old testament. If you look here in Jeremiah :31 this is the new covenant. Here it is. Are you ready? Jeremiah 31:31. Easy to remember that.

"Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that I'll make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of judah." I always like to stop here and emphasize this - and I know I just went over these verses in our doctrines that divide program that we did, but does God ever make a covenant with the gentiles? The only covenant that God makes to save gentiles is by grafting them into the covenant of Israel. The new covenant is not made with gentiles. The new covenant is made with Israel. Now, we become spiritual Israel if we are Christ's and we're Abraham's seed. We're all grafted into - all the promises made in the old testament belong to us as well it's not just for jews.

"I will make a new covenant" - new covenant, there it is - "with the house of Israel and the house of judah. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, which covenant they broke. So, how long was the old covenant in effect? About 40 days. People think the old covenant ended when Jesus died. The old covenant ended when Moses threw the rocks out of his hand.

Forty days it lasted. They broke their promise, right? People have this idea that the old covenant was from the time of Jesus backward to Moses at the mountain. They didn't keep the old covenant very long. "Which covenant they broke." It says it right there. When I brought them out of Egypt.

They broke it. That generation broke it. "Although I was a husband to them, says the Lord this shall be the covenant that I will make" - he's now looking ahead - "with the house of Israel; after those days, says the Lord, I'll put my law in their inward parts and I'll write them in their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people. And they will teach no man every man his neighbor saying," - or his brother - "saying, 'know the Lord: for they'll all know me, from the least of them to the greatest says the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more.

" So the old covenant is based on the promise of the people, 'all the Lord has said we will' - notice - 'we will do.' The new covenant, God says, 'I will.' Now, do you notice the difference there? Big difference. Old covenant is they were trusting in themselves and their works. New covenant they're trusting in the promises of God. It's what he will do. But, did the old covenant have laws connected with it? Ten commandment law, right? And there were some other laws.

Does the new covenant have laws connected with it? He says, 'I'll write my law.' So the law is still there. Since he does not specify which laws are in the new covenant, then how do you figure out which laws he's talking about? You must assume that it's at least the Ten Commandments, because that was written in stone by his voice and his finger, so the Ten Commandments is part of that law but then Jesus expands on that, just as Moses expanded on the ten with some of the old testaments ceremonies and so forth. "I will write my law in their inward parts.' All right. Now Hebrews - I didn't forget you jan - Hebrews 8, verse 6. I want you to read that for me.

"But now he has ordained a more excEllent ministry inasmuch as he is also mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises." Another difference between the old covenant and new covenant, the mediator is not Moses, the mediator is Jesus. The high priest is not aaron, the high priest is Jesus. The lamb is not some bleating goat or sheep, it's Jesus. It's not the blood - it's better blood - it's not the blood of goats and oxen and sheep, it's the blood of Jesus. And it's telling us it's made on better promises.

It's not the promises of the people, it's the promise of Jesus - 'I will put my law on their hearts.' So, understanding this is foundational to understanding Galatians. That they're talking about the new covenant and the old covenant - one is by flesh and one is by spirit. All right, now let's re-read Galatians 4, verses 21 to 23 and look at it more closely. "Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?" Now, verse 22. "For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondmaid" - what was her name? Hagar.

And where did she come from? She came from Egypt. Where were the children of Israel enslaved? Egypt. When did Abraham pick her up? I don't mean to say it that way. Where did the family get her as a slave? Do you remember when Abraham went down to Egypt during a famine and he lied about Sarah. Instead of trusting that God would provide he said, 'well, you're beautiful, they're probably going to bang me over the head and take you.

' Part of their hareem. And he said, 'just say you're my sister.' And so, that went around for awhile and pretty soon pharaoh found out - all these plagues came on the Egyptians because pharaoh had taken Sarah into his household. He hadn't touched her yet. And all these plagues came, which is an allegory of what happened to Abraham's descendents when they went down because of a famine in the days of Jacob, the pharaoh took the bride of God - Israel - and all these plagues came on them. And the pharaoh sent them out with great riches.

Abraham, when finally the pharaohs said, 'why did you say she's your sister when she's really your wife?' He sent him out and he gave him gifts when he sent him out. It's believed that among the gifts and the riches, he gave them slaves. That was common back then - hagar was one of the slaves he gave to Sarah as a maid. And so, when Sarah was having problems conceiving, because she's past the age, she says, 'look Abraham, I see you walking around the house and you're kind of looking depressed and I know you want a son and let's solve this problem. I know God promised you to have a son, but maybe we're supposed to help him with this promise.

We need to do our part. And so, here, take my handmaid. Let's just pretend that it's me and if she has the baby on my knees then it'll almost be the same thing. She'll be a surrogate." Well, that didn't work very well. All kinds of strife came into the family.

Matter of fact, the strife from that decision is seen all over the world today with the conflict between Christianity, judaism, and islam. That decision that Sarah made - talk about long-lasting impact. So, what does it mean when it tells us that he had one son by the bondwoman and one son by the free? It says, "The Son of the bondwoman was born after the flesh." How was ishmael born after the flesh? Well a couple of ways. One is it was a perfectly normal thing. In other words, hagar was young - she was fertile.

Sarah was not. She had passed the time of bearing children. There was nothing miraculous. It was a biological normality for - keep in mind Abraham - it wasn't he that had the problem bearing children, because even after hagar died and Sarah died, he took another wife called katura and had a gaggle of kids with her. So men, typically, if they're healthy, are virile their whole lives.

It's women that have the clock. And so, Abraham - it wasn't the thing for him - that was normal. That was after the flesh. The other reason it was after the flesh - it was based on their works. Instead of trusting in the promise of God and the Spirit of God to work a miracle, they were trusting in their own works.

So you've got one that is based on the flesh and then you've got one that is based on the Spirit. Do you see the difference? The Bible has a lot to say about the Spirit and the flesh. You have these - this conflict between the two. If you look in 1 Corinthians 3, verse 1, "and i, brethren, could not speak unto you as spiritual, but as carnal, even as unto babes in Christ." You've got - now, what does the word carne mean in spanish? Carne? It means meat. You've heard of chili con carne? That means chili with meat and if you're a vegetarian and you order you want to say, 'sin carne.

' That means without - it doesn't mean with sin, it means without. Without meat. And so, carne means flesh and so you've got the carnal mind or the fleshly, earthly, physical way of doing things and you've got the Spiritual mind. When Abraham and Sarah conspired and said, 'we're going to help God have a baby. Here, take my slave.

' That was a carnal decision. That was trusting in their works. It was not trusting in the promise of God. We all feel the battle between the Spirit and the flesh. Matter of fact, that's the battle we fight every day.

We've got these bodies - and don't think once you accept Christ that goes away. Did Jesus feel the battle? When he was in the wilderness? That great temptation - he was hungry. He had the power to turn those rocks into loaves of bread. And there was a struggle. It's no temptation if there's no struggle.

So, Jesus felt the struggle when he was on the cross. Did he say 'I thirst'? He wasn't talking about his spirit thirsting necessarily, he was talking about he was plain old thirsty - his flesh. So all of us have these desires of the flesh, but this is one area where we need to remind ourselves. Humans are made in the image of God and in the world, one of the dangers of the teaching of evolution - it basically says 'you are an animal and so anything you feel as an animal is a desire that God has given you, you should just surrender to it because you're just an animal.' And - have you heard of that mind set? Matter of fact, I've got my own theory that one of the strongest reasons for the theory of evolution is that it helps justify the degenerate natures of man by just saying, 'it's all happened by accident and we are just highly evolved animals and so all of these animal desires and things that you think and the violence." And it's just a way to sort of excuse the behavior. But we are not just animals.

We are made in the image of God. And there's something about man's brain where we've got the cerebrum and the cerebellum and we're supposed to be ruled by the frontal lobes. The higher powers are supposed to govern and subdue the lower powers. And it's a struggle that we all feel because it's all in the same head. But we are to be governed by the spirit and not by the flesh.

And so this is something you'll see - you read about it in Romans. For instance, Romans 7, verse 14. "For we know the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin." Romans 8:12. Does that mean we need to just give up? No. Listen to what he says here.

Romans 8, verses 1 and 2 - not 12. Romans 8:1, 2. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not" - what do those in Christ Jesus do? They do not walk after the flesh - a walk means your pattern, your behavior, your direction. "They do not walk after the flesh but after the Spirit." It's one as opposed to the other. "They do not walk after the flesh but after the Spirit.

" Verse 2. "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." You've probably heard it said before that we all have these two natures inside. It's almost like two animals that are at war. And I don't remember if it was dwight moody or billy Sunday that used to use the illustration that said, 'if you take two dogs and you're going to fight those dogs against each other and they're the same size, same breed, same age, and you put one in one backyard and feed him the best of dog food and pet him and comb him and exercise him and give him plenty of water to drink, and then you chain the other dog in another backyard where his neck is tied five inches away from a post and don't give him anything to eat or drink or exercise for a week. Starve him.

And then you put those two dogs in the same backyard to fight - male dogs often do that, they're territorial. Which dog is going to win? The one that you've cared for is the one that wins when the fight comes. You have two natures and we are making decisions every day which nature to care for. If we are feeding the Spiritual nature, if we are caring and grooming for Christ in you. If you're reading the word, if you're spending time in prayer, if you're sharing your faith - and those three great disciplines of the Christian life that you find in the holy place of the sanctuary.

The light, the bread, the altar of incense. Which is prayer, the word of God, and witnessing - letting your light shine. If every Christian is involved in those things - and then at the same time, we are subduing - Paul says, 'you wrestle against the desires and the things of the flesh.' We're not feeding our carnal nature with - first of all there's food you can eat that is not good for you spiritually. Just - and then there's mental food, programs and things that a person can watch. And you know you - just even music.

There's music that is carnal music. Do we know that? And so, all these things that you could do that would just strengthen and fortify the carnal nature - then when the battle comes, you're deciding way ahead of time how long that battle's going to be, how fierce it's going to be, and who's going to win, by what nature we are choosing to feed. Now, it's only by the grace of God. We need Jesus to intervene in our lives and give us grace to make the right little choices about feeding the right nature. But he has given us a mind and he's given us the ability to make those choices.

All right, so you've got this battle between the Spirit and the flesh. I've got a couple more verses on that. Romans 8 - I think someone's going to read verses 4 to 6 for us. Who has that? Mike? Let's get you a microphone. Right up here.

"That is the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Amen. Now, doesn't that say exactly what we just talked about? With the two dogs at war? We have to decide, do we want to be carnally minded or spiritually minded? If we're going to be spiritually minded, set your mind upon the things of the Spirit. Friends, now I wish I had a big bell I could ring right now because I'd ring it.

I'd say, 'all right, attention everybody.' We just talked about the essence of Christianity. Do you want to have a revival in your life? You're not going to find it at the drug store. If you have a revival in your life, it's not some pill that you take. If you want a revival in your life, set your mind on the things of the Spirit. Now, can I be specific with you? You know, sometimes the Lord wants us to be specific.

When Jesus met with the woman at the well, as long as she was talking with him about where they were supposed to pray and on which mountain they were supposed to worship, and that kind of stuff, she was happy to talk to him. But then he said, 'go call your husband.' And boy, the whole tone changed. He wanted to reveal himself to her, but he said, 'before I reveal myself to you, you've got to deal with something going on in your life.' He said, 'go call your husband. 'Uh...oh...uh...can't we go back and talk about the living water again?' She finally 'fessed up after he said, 'the man you're living with you're not married to.' So, if we're going to talk about setting our minds on the things of the Spirit, the typical programming that the average Christian watches on television, is it spiritual? I mean, I hope you're watching abn and hope channel and that's your only programming is Christian programming. But I know better.

And, if we're filling our minds - and you know, it's not that you need to all throw away your t.v. Some of us would probably be well to do that. And, keep in mind, we produce t.v. Programs, we're doing it at this moment. But you're better off chopping off your foot and your hand and plucking out your eye and going to heaven than saying, 'well, in order for me to keep my Christian programming I've also got to watch all this other junk.

' And it's destroying you spiritually. But if I was to say, 'here's an area that I think is absolutely strangling the Spiritual vitality of Christians, especially in North America, it's just the tsunami of carnal programming that we watch and listen to and read and we wonder why we're not closer to the Lord. To be carnally minded is death. You have to consciously choose that, 'I am not going to be taking those things into my mind. And it's something you've got to decide every day - 'to make a covenant with your eyes', as job said.

Whether it's a billboard on the freeway. It might even been an advertisement in a good magazine or on a television program. I mean, some stuff is so despicable out there. We're living in sodom and gomorrah. And so you're just surrounded by it.

Unless you admit that and say, 'I've to to really - I've got to make a herculean effort to set my mind on the things of the Spirit.' 'Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed.' How? By the renewing of your mind. How? By choosing what you listen to, what you watch, what you read, what you talk about. And we can become Christ like by feeding our souls on that which is good. Isaiah said, 'why do you eat that which is not bread?' Spiritual bread. 'Eat that which is good and delight yourself in the Lord.

' All right, well, where was i? All right, let's go back to Galatians 4, verse 24. "Which things are an allegory, a symbol." Now, I've got to stop there, just because Pastor Doug - this is very important to me personally - if any of you know me, I love - and I get this from Paul - I love seeing the different spiritual allegories that you find in the Bible. The places where Moses is a type of Christ or David or Joseph are types of Christ. And you've got these different stories that are allegories in the Bible. Well, I didn't make that up.

Really, Paul and the other Bible writers, they looked for these allegories in the old testament stories. So here - one I never would have spotted if Paul hadn't said something - here Paul is saying the living experience of Abraham, hagar, Sarah is an allegory of salvation. So I think that's important for us to know that there are some allegories in the stories of the old testament that teach us about salvation. An example would be the children of Israel being saved by Moses from the slavery of Egypt and brought to the promised land is an allegory of salvation. Did it historically really happen? But that experience also, in itself, is a lesson - it's a symbol of how God saves us from the slavery to the devil, brings us through that wilderness where he teaches and sanctifies us, leads us into the promised land.

It's really history, but it's a symbol. Its' an allegory. "These things are allegories, are of the two covenants. For the one from Mount Sinai that genders bondage, which is hagar." Here it says, 'agar.' "For this hagar is Mount Sinai in arabia." I'm just going to pause here - a little trivia. You know, most people believe that the traditional location for Mount Sinai is in the sinai peninsula, which is a little triangular peninsula separating Egypt and Israel, but here, Paul distinctly says that sinai is in arabia, and a lot of scholars think it actually was arabia.

That the little spit of water that they crossed to get to the sinai peninsula was not the obstacle. They got trapped in the sinai peninsula by the Egyptians and they had to cross what was then called the red sea - a gulf between that and arabia. Another reason for this - how long did it take Elijah to get from Carmel to Mount Sinai? When he was eating that angel food, how long did he go on the strength of that food. Days and 40 nights. And where did he go? Mount Sinai.

It doesn't take 40 days and 40 nights to get from the land of Israel to the sinai peninsula. There are some mountains that are actually fenced off by saudi arabia in the arabian peninsula that many believe are the real Mount Sinai. But, you know, like I said, that's just trivia, I thought you might want to know. "And it answers to Jerusalem, which now is and in bondage with their children." Why did Paul say Jerusalem that now is? When Paul wrote, was Jerusalem free? When Paul wrote Galatians, what was the condition of Jerusalem and the people? The children of Jerusalem? They were enslaved by the Romans. So he's basically saying, 'they're enslaved doubly.

He said 'that Mount Sinai is like the earthly Mount Zion right now.' The children of Israel were enslaved to their promise that was failing and now they're enslaved to the Romans, they don't have freedom, but the promise we're looking for is not the earthly promise, whether it's Mount Sinai or Mount Zion, or Jerusalem or mount moriah, same thing. Mount Zion and mount moriah are the same. But he's saying it's the mountain of the Lord above. The new Jerusalem that's going to come down out of heaven. It says, 'now she's in bondage with her children.

' And then read in verse - in Galatians 4, verse 26. "But Jerusalem, which is above, is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, 'rejoice thou' - when he says mother of us all, who are the all that he's talking about? Does the Jerusalem above - do you have to be a jew to go in the gates? When it says mother of us all who is Paul writing to in this letter? He's talking to galatian Christians who are sort of being hassled by some of the Jewish converts that they had to be circumcised and keep the ceremonial laws, right? So he's reminding the galatian converts that were gentiles that the Jerusalem above is for all of us. It's not a city that is just a holy city for physical, literal jews. It is the holy city for all spiritual jews.

'The Jerusalem that is above is mother of us all.' And then he quotes something, "for it is written, 'rejoice thou barren that bearest not. Break forth and cry thou that travailest not: for the desolate has many more children than she that hath a husband.'" Now, I think I've got enough time to talk about this. Someone look up for me 1 Samuel - I think I gave it out - Samuel 2, verse 5 - did I give that to anybody? 1 Samuel 2, verse 5. "They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased; so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble." There is an interesting lesson in the Bible about barren women bearing. Now, I can think of, and you've heard me say this before, usually around Christmas I start talking about it, there are seven miracle births in the Bible of women who were barren that bore.

Can you name them with me? Oh, pick one. All right, Sarah - and what was Sarah's son's name? Isaac. Hannah - and her son was? Samuel. Rachel was barren and her son was? First son - Joseph. Did I hear someone say sampson? Well let me say it, miNoah's wife.

We don't know her name. Her son was sampson. Was she barren? That's what it says. The shunamite woman. Remember, she was barren.

Elijah prayed for her - miracle - she had a son. Then you've got elizabeth, in the new testament, that was barren. And we left one out and that's rebeccah. Remember? Rebeccah was married for 20 years with Isaac and they couldn't have any children. He prayed and she finally had twins, which always reminds us to watch what you pray for.

Every one of those seven children ended up becoming a type of Christ. Think about it for a second. Was Isaac a type of Christ? Yes. When he goes up the mountain to the place of sacrifice with his father - and he's a willing sacrifice - and he's got the wood on his back. Did God's son go up a mountain with wood on his back and become a willing sacrifice? The beloved son of The Father? Then you've got Jacob.

Is he a type of Christ? Yeah, the fact that he is the father of the 12 patriarchs and Jesus, through the 12 apostles, sends out his church. You've got - rachel has Joseph. Is Joseph a type of Christ? How? How not? In every way Joseph is a type of Christ. He forgives his brethren that sell him for the price of a slave. They take his garment covered with blood and present it to the father to cover their sin.

He feeds the whole world with bread. I mean it's just on and on that you could talk about the types of Christ in Joseph. And then you've got the shunamite woman. I wish we knew her name, she appears several times. This shunamite - by the way, were all of these women jews? Not this one.

She has a boy - we don't know his name, but he's out in the field working with his father. He dies and he is resurrected. Well that's a pretty powerful type of Christ. Not too many resurrections of miracle sons in the Bible. Then you've got hannah - has who? Samuel.

Was Samuel a type of Christ? He was a judge, he was a prophet. He was a priest. And spirit filled. He delivered the people from their enemies the philistines. Sampson.

Is he a type of Christ? Yeah, of course, in spite of all of his failures - just about all of them had failures too - sampson's final act was one of surrender. He stretches out his arms and lays his life down to defeat God's enemies, which is what Jesus did. He was a - also like Jesus, sampson really, he died alone. You know, Christ did not die in a group attack or something. And then you've got elizabeth has John the baptist.

Is he a type of Christ. Yeah he is - he's a forerunner called the greatest of the prophets. And so all of these - it says the barren has born seven. I think that's interesting. And these are just some of the symbols that you find in the Bible.

Ooh, we're running out of time. Ishmael was born according to the regular course of nature, his parents both being of proper age so that there was nothing uncommon about it. He is born of the flesh. I'm under the section of Abraham, Sarah, and hagar. And God had told Abraham - if you look in Genesis 17, verses -20, God had made a promise to Abraham.

"God said: 'no, Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you will call his name Isaac; and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. And as for ishmael, I've heard you. Behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly and he will beget twelve princes, and I'll make him a great nation." Now isn't it interesting that through the descendants of Isaac, Jacob has 12 princes. But what does God say is going to happen through ishmael? He also has 12 princes too. It's an interesting number.

Then you get to the new testament and Christ has apostles. And you get to Revelation and you get the 144,000. But you've almost got two opposing bloodlines here that were going to grow into a great people. One is of the Spirit and one is of the flesh. And today there's a great battle between those two peoples.

There's a lot of tension anyway. And then if you look in verses - Galatians chapter 4, verses -31, ishmael and Isaac today. "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the spirit," - all right, let me stop. What is Paul talking about? Do you remember what happened - can you imagine being ishmael? Abraham is very wealthy, very powerful.

You come along now - yes your mother is a second wife, but you're the only son. And everything that Abraham has, you are going to receive. And you know that and you - 13 years old and you're feeling your oats and you're feeling pretty good and then out of nowhere his first old wife at years of age has a baby. And everybody starts running to the tent and they all start singing and they start carrying on because Sarah's had this baby and you're kind of on the outside, and they're having a party finally and their going to circumcise this new baby - this promise - this son of promise. How would you feel as ishmael? Would you start feeling - if you're normal - a little bit like you're being passed by? You were supposed to be the firstborn, but now, because your mom is a slave, the inheritance is going to the second born.

You probably wouldn't be too happy unless you're like jonathan and you're really spirit filled. You know, jonathan was willing for David to take his throne. You've got to be really spirit filled to think that way. And hagar and ishmael started to mock Isaac. That's where he's talking about 'as the one who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit.

"Nevertheless, what does the Scripture say?" God told Abraham, "cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with The Son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free." When Paul started preaching and when the Jewish believers started to insist that the gentiles were keeping all of the ceremonial laws, eventually it got so bad Paul, at one point had to say, 'your house is left unto you desolate seeing that you judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo we turn to the gentiles.' We are walking away from those of you who insist on mixing the two and we're going to go to those who want the pure Gospel. And there was like a parting of the ways. So, when it talks about the barren has born seven, the gentiles, who the jews thought had no inheritance at all in Christ, by the time of Paul, before Paul died, there were more gentile believers in Christ than there were physical jews in the world. And it was shocking them that now the emphasis of those who were accepting the promises of Abraham had passed up the Jewish nation.

The barren has born seven. That is was going to this whole new race of spiritual Israel. Now, of course, literal Israel was also - they could be grafted in, they could accept all the promises. But not if they insisted on mixing it with salvation by works. That's why he said, 'cast out the bondwoman.

' And so, it was this big surprise that the second born was ending up with the inheritance, rather than the first born. The gentiles were going to get it - they came later - instead of the jews. Talking about nations now, not people. Everybody could be saved today, right. We're talking about Paul's language and nations.

So - oh I ran out of time. By the way friends, we do have a website that has more information that you can study on this if you go to the website tencommandmentfacts.com. New website if you've not seen it - tencommandmentfacts.com. You'll see more information on the covenants there that I think will enhance your study. Thank you for joining us today.

Time is up. God willing we'll be studying together next week. If you've missed any of our Amazing Facts programs, visit our website at amazingfacts.org. There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs, including amazing facts presents. One location, so many possibilities.

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