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Seeds of Truth - Part 1

Is God interested in every person on our planet with equal concern, or is the Lord only interested in certain groups? The Bible teaches that the God who made us has equal love for all and is not biased or prejudiced.
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There is a prevalent philosophy in the world today that God is a national God and that He is interested only in a certain class, a certain people. One of the great unbelievers of our age has written a book in which he states that God is simply a God of Israelites and that He just isn't interested in the rest of the world. Today in the little time we have, I want to bring before you the fact that God is interested in every person on the face of this earth with an equal love. There is no one toward whom He is biased, or prejudiced.

There have always been just two powers in this world, the power of God seeking to draw men unto Himself, and the power of Satan trying to turn men away from God. From the very beginning we have had these two powers operating against each other.

All through the Old Testament God was just as interested in the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Philistines as He was in Israel. Before Abraham was born the great struggle began between good and evil, between God and Satan, and that great battle has been going on ever since.

During the first eight hundred years after the flood, there was a period of great confusion in the world. In fact, according to all the records we find in archaeological excavations made in the old country, it was a time of vast upheaval. Nations were shifting here and shifting there, and Satan was having a holiday, as it were, during those years. We find very, very few outstanding characters of faith mentioned in the Bible during that period. Four hundred years after the flood in the midst of this time of confusion and conflict, God called Abraham to be the leader of a special family of His here in this world. God began to carry forward a definite program to gather out a group who would be faithful to Him in spite of all the circumstances in this world. Not only do we find Abraham leading out in this, but four hundred years later God called Moses also to be a leader in this special project.

Now, I know that some people are saying, "Well, that proves that God is interested only in Abraham's descendants, the Jews, and He only wanted to bless them and to glorify them in the earth and He was not interested in any other people." But, listen, we are going to show that God worked through the family of Abraham to save all men of all nations. And God used Moses especially to help Him give the truth to millions of others. How was it done?

Please notice that it was Moses who wrote the first five books of the Bible, which we commonly call the Pentateuch. And that part of the Bible given by God, written by Moses, and preserved through the ages, contains the basic philosophy which is unfolded in more detail through the rest of the Scriptures. By the way, for many years the skeptics and higher critics denied that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch. They claimed that no alphabet existed until years after Moses died. The Phoenicians were believed to have invented the original alphabet at a much later date. But now, in fairly recent years, they have actually made archeological discoveries which proves that the alphabet originated in the very place where Moses cared for his father-in-law's sheep for forty years. In the Sinai Peninsula on the walls of some ancient copper mines, they have found the crude original alphabet. It seems to have originated in Sinai and some Phoenician workmen later carried it with them up into their own country where it was discovered first. Moses, who tended sheep in that area for forty years, used that alphabet in writing the wonderful record which is contained in the first five books of the Bible.

Now, the question comes to us, why did God inspire Moses to write the things which he did? Those books contain the story of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. Why did God move Moses to write down the life history of those men? Because, my friends, in the lives of those men we actually have God's divine philosophy in mustard seed form. God wanted to get those principles into the hearts of all people of all nations. Abraham was noted for his faith. God wanted that one idea, that one divine idea of faith, to be put into the hearts of men everywhere that they might learn to be faithful like Abraham. Isaac's life typifies surrender. Jacob was an overcomer. Joseph was noted for his integrity and purity of heart. These were the principles which God wanted to plant into the minds of men. This is why He inspired Moses to write the first five books of the Bible. The basic idea was woven throughout those stories of the patriarchs that no matter where a man is born, no matter what his background might be, he can still overcome his environment and live a victorious life in this world. Abraham came out of dark Babylon, to become the father of the faithful. Joseph is spoken of because he was down in Egypt, the place of great spiritual darkness, and yet even there he was able to overcome and prove his integrity to God. He had power and that is what God wants us to believe today, that no matter where we may be living we may have the power of God to obtain the victory.

Well, God planted those seeds which were contained in the lives of Abraham and the patriarchs. As Moses wrote it down, men began to read it. It was passed along from one generation to another and for 1200 years God allowed that philosophy to grow so that it might take root and spring up and bear fruit in the lives of others. Israel was to be an example of it. Israel was chosen as the nation through whom God would disseminate this wonderful truth to all the world. God wanted that nation of Israel to stand in the midst of darkness to show that He was not asking the impossible, in order to demonstrate that the thing He required was absolutely possible in every life. And so God placed His people at the crossroads of the world. Right there in Palestine, travelers would come from every country and could get a picture of what God wanted them to be and what God wanted them to do.

Friends, let me ask this question today. Suppose Israel had been faithful in living out the message that they had received from God? My friends, it is beyond our imagination, the thing that could have been accomplished if Israel had been faithful to God. But they were not faithful. They turned aside from the divine plan. They did not represent the truth that God wanted them to represent before the world and prophets had to come along all through the Old Testament trying to bring them back into line. I think of Isaiah, the gospel prophet. I think of Jeremiah, the weeping prophet. Oh, how those men labored and wept and prayed to get God's people to harmonize with His plan so that other nations would also see the truth, and how many times the Israelites failed God!

I think of the history of Israel during Isaiah's days. Isaiah was one of the great prophets of the Old Testament, and in his day Jereboam was the king of Israel. It was under Jereboam's rule that the Israelites managed to throw off the yoke of the Assyrians. Their lives had been oppressed very much by the Assyrians, but the Israelites finally became a free and independent nation. Now they had a wonderful opportunity to go out to their neighbors and tell them about the great God of heaven. But, do you know what the Israelites did during this time when they should have been evangelizing their neighbors? It was then that they went out and began to fight against the Assyrians and against the Egyptians and the Moabites and all the others. They became selfish and greedy for power and territory. They extended their rule all the way from the borders of Egypt, way up past the borders of the Assyrians.

Now, listen friends, at that very time, when the Israelites were not taking advantage of their opportunity to tell these people about the true and living God, over in the land of Assyria there was a movement to actually seek after the God of Israel. Excavations reveal that in those days a certain queen was ruling in the land of Assyria. Her name was Sameramus and she was interested in a monotheistic religion. She wanted her people to worship only one God instead of many. She started an active campaign to turn the minds of the Assyrian people to worship one God and one only. But when this was going on in Assyria, the Israelites were waging wars against their neighbors. They were not going over to tell the Assyrians things they were seeking after. Well, what happened? God did not let down the Assyrians. When the nation of Israel refused to go and evangelize, He called a certain man by the name of Jonah and said, "You go over to Nineveh which is the chief city of Assyria and you preach the gospel to them. You tell them about My kingdom and about My government." Well, Jonah finally went there and preached, and the record is that the whole city turned to the true and living God. They were already conditioned to accept monotheism. My dear friends, Israel failed God, but God did not fail. I want to tell you today that if we do not give the message, He will raise up somebody else to do it. God is not straightened for workers, He will get somebody else to do the work if we don't do it. But He gives us today the marvelous opportunity of being channels of blessing. He has called us to be instruments in His hands, of passing along the wonderful word and the good news of salvation. If we do not do it ourselves, God will raise up others who will do it for Him, and we will be the losers. The Israelites refused to fulfill their responsibilities even though they were placed in the very center of earth's population where they had every opportunity of telling the nations about the God of heaven.

Now we come to the time between Malachi and Matthew which is called the Inter-testamental period, 400 years between the Old Testament and the New Testament in which the world should have been made ready for the coming of Jesus. But what did the Israelites do during this period when they should have been proclaiming the fact that the Messiah was about to come? That is a period of dark despair in the history of Israel. God's people, instead of proclaiming the message, began to join with the Greeks who were ruling the world at that time, and they became Hellenized, so history tells us. That means they became Grecianized. They seemed to forget all about their divine responsibility. They even changed the names of their children from the God of Israel to the Greek gods. They began to build great gymnasiums right beside the temples, and to exercise, and take part in the athletics of the Greeks. They forgot all about their obligation to tell the world that Jesus, the Messiah, would soon come. This 400 years between Malachi and Matthew is one of the most disappointing in the history of the Jews. They quarreled and fought among themselves and failed utterly to prepare for the greatest event to which their own Scriptures pointed forward, to the birth of the Messiah.

How many people were ready when Jesus came? How many people were looking for Him when the Savior of the world was born? Only four, five or six at the most. Simeon, a prophet; Anna, a prophetess; a few shepherds out on the hillside; a few wise men who had come from afar because they had been searching the Scriptures for themselves. But dear friends, the whole world should have known that it was time for Jesus to appear. The Jews should have gone forth to share their knowledge of the prophecies. The Hebrew Scriptures revealed the exact time for the Messiah to be born, and even the name of the Judean town which would be his birthplace. But they were not studying for themselves. They did not even recognize the time of their own visitation. This is why only a few people of very humble station were waiting and ready to welcome Jesus when He was born.

The very heart of the gospel story involves your victory over sin and the devil. God is seeking for a people who will learn the wonderful secret of victory through Christ. It is not so much what your strength and effort can produce, but rather what He can do for you and in you. Those principles of faith demonstrated by Abraham must be planted in your life. The purity of Joseph and the victory of Jacob must be experienced by each one of us. We learn how real and practical it is by studying the lives of the Patriarchs. But it is only by looking to Jesus that we find the actual strength to do it. He came, lived, died, and rose again to assure us of the same victory, through faith in Him.

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