Sunday, December 21, 2014

"The God of Israel IS God!"

Day #359:  Daily Bible Reading Plan - December 22nd

Scripture Reading:  Deuteronomy 32 - 34 ...

Since there is only one God who created all things, there can be only one true God!  That God is the God of Israel.  I'm sure I would get some arguments from others, but it really doesn't matter.  History confirms that the God of Israel IS God ... the ONLY God, our Creator.  You might think that people would want to get all the facts before deciding what "god" to believe in, or if they should believe at all. A growing number of people have decided, on the basis of much false information, that the universe formed by accident and that mankind is the result of some strange twist of fate.  That means we are nothing special, that earth is nothing special, that there is no purpose in life, that you can do whatever you want, that neither life nor death have any real meaning.  That's just the way it is ... if you choose to believe there is no GOD, no Creator.

But once you realize the absurdity of that position, the question becomes who IS God?  Let me narrow it down:  there are only THREE "religions" in the world that believe there is ONE God and that He is the Creator ... they are Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  I list them in that order because that is the order in which they came into existence.  Since Darwin's foolish attempt to explain the origin of mankind through evolution in the mid-1800's, mankind has been on a quest to determine our own fate.  Thus the expeditions into space and the science experiments like the "super-collider," which attempt to re-create the moment when life came into existence.  Are you following me thus far?  When you refuse to accept the truth, you become desperate to prove some other theory, no matter how absurd it might be.

When I say history confirms that the God of Israel is the one true God, it is really pretty simple.  As I said, there can only be one Creator.  HISTORY tells us that the first civilizations are approximately 5500 years old ... that's right ... not a billion or a million years old, but five thousand, five hundred years.  Check it out!  There is no recorded history before that time.  I remember listening to someone ask a very simple question about our origins and when dinosaurs existed.  People seem to be very curious about dinosaurs.  The answer that was given by a creation scientist was so simple that even children could understand it.  Pictures of dinosaurs discovered in caves from the Chinese dynasties match skeletons and re-creations of dinosaurs.  Presumably the pictures were drawn by PEOPLE, so how did they know what dinosaurs looked like?  They must have lived at the same time!!  And that's precisely what the Bible, the book that also tells us where we came from, says.

So what does this have to do with Deuteronomy and Israel and Moses?  With our reading today we come to the end of the "Pentateuch" (five books), the "Book of the Law," the books of Moses.  In these five books you find the history of mankind from creation up until approximately 1400 B.C. - some 3400 years ago.  These books lead to one conclusion:  the God who created the world and who destroyed all of mankind except for Noah and his family in a global flood (there's more evidence of a global flood than you could possibly imagine), is the God who after the flood revealed Himself to a man named Abram (father of a nation), whose name was later changed to Abraham (father of nations).  Virtually every ancient culture had its "flood story."  ("Ancient" meaning more than 2500 years ago).  Why?  Because all the people on earth descended from Noah and his three sons and their wives!

Here's another interesting point:  of the three religions that teach that there is but one God, ALL three trace their heritage back to Abraham:  Jews, Christians and Muslims.  So how do we pick which one is right?  History.  Genesis explains that God made His covenant with Abraham and then passed His promises down to Isaac and then to Jacob.  Ishmael, from whom the Arab nations descended, was the son of Abraham through Sarah's servant, Hagar.  God's covenant was not made with Ishmael, but with Isaac.  The nation of Israel came from Jacob's twelve sons.  God had promised Abraham that He would make a great nation from his descendants - through Isaac and then Jacob.  So when Moses writes in Chapter 32, verse 9:  "The LORD's portion is His people, Jacob His allotted inheritance," that is a significant piece of history.

You must also realize that ISLAM did not exist until more that 2700 years AFTER God made His promises to Abraham.  The self-proclaimed prophet, Mohammed, started this religion only 1400 years ago, while God made His promises to Abraham more than 4,000 years ago!!!  In the meantime, the Old Testament records God's dealing with Israel and His promise to send a Savior through the line of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Judah.  JESUS, then, is the promised "Seed" of Abraham, which is why the New Testament begins by saying in Matthew 1:  "A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:  Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers ... " - all the way to verse 16:  "... and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born JESUS, who is called the Christ."

CHRISTIANITY is the FULFILLMENT of true biblical Judaism!!!!  So of the three religions that teach there is only one God, TWO of them are the same religion (though some of the Jews do not yet acknowledge that Jesus IS the Christ ... many - a growing number, do!).  And Islam came some 2700-2800 years LATER (more than 600 years after Jesus, the Christ, was on the earth!).  Who are you going to believe?  WHAT are you going to believe?  That makes Christianity the ONLY true religion and the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the only true God!  Now you might expect that if the God of Israel is God, that all would go well with Israel, and God DID bless them in amazing ways - in spite of their rebellion and idolatry.  You see, ALL men are sinners who deserve God's judgment.  That's why God promised to send a Savior who would crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15) ... a Savior who would make "atonement" ("payment") for our sins.

Islam knows nothing of such a payment.  Judaism, through its sacrifices and ceremonies, first at the tabernacle and then at the temple, pointed to the need for the perfect sacrifice, the perfect atonement to be made.  God told Moses to write a song that would chastise the people of Israel and point out their stubbornness and their sin and point them to the coming Savior.  God had predicted their rebellion, for He knows the heart of man.  "They are a nation without sense, there is no discernment in them.  If only they were wise and would understand and discern what their end will be" (32:28-29).  God says, "There is no god besides Me.  I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of My hand" (32:39).

Yet listen to these words of hope:  "Rejoice, O nations, with His people, for He will avenge the blood of His servants; He will take vengeance on His enemies and make atonement for His land and people" (32:43).  And the rest of the Bible is God's story of redemption for those who are His, whom He has chosen from Israel and from the nations ... the remnant, His elect, His chosen ones.  The last written words of Moses are found in 33:28-29:  "So Israel will live in safety alone; Jacob's spring is secure in a land of grain and new wine, where the heavens drop dew.  Blessed are you, O Israel!  Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD?  He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword." 

Then God told Moses to climb Mount Nebo and to look over the land that He was giving to Israel.  God said, "This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, 'I will give it to your descendants.'" (34:4).  Moses was gathered to his fathers and in reality went to a better promised land - into the spiritual realm.  We see Moses appear with Elijah on the mountaintop as Jesus is "transfigured" before some of His disciples.  What many consider to be only "Bible stories," bring together history and science and religion because all of these are joined together by one thing, one truth, one person ... the One true God ... ISRAEL's God.

The rest of the Bible is also HIS-story!  He has saved a remnant from the physical descendants of Israel through faith in the Messiah, the Christ, Jesus, and He is in the process of saving a remnant from all the nations through faith in the Messiah, the Christ, Jesus.  Jesus said, "I will build My Church," and the word for "church" is "ekklesia," literally, "called-out ones."  We who believe have been called by the one true God and united with those who believe from the Jews into one body.  And our God IS Israel's God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  HE is God ... there is no other!!

Believe in Him today.  Read His Word.  Consider these things and be amazed at the unity of history and all that the Bible teaches.  Pray for wisdom and the Spirit of God will give it to you.  Jesus Christ, the One descended from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Judah, through the line of David, has fulfilled the numerous prophecies given over hundreds, even thousands of years, and He IS the Christ, the Son of the Living God.  He came to earth to go to the cross, to BE the perfect sacrifice, "to make atonement for His land and His people" (32:43).  Trust in Him today, believe what you find in the Word of this one true God, written by His messengers, and discover the love, mercy and grace of the God to whom we are all accountable.  Jesus IS the Way and the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father except through faith in Him.  Believe in Him today and His Spirit will confirm to your spirit that the God of Israel IS God!!

"O Lord my God, I believe and confess that YOU alone are God; there is no other.  I thank You for revealing Yourself through Your Word and in Your Son Jesus Christ.  I praise You for opening my eyes and my heart by Your Spirit so that I may know You and love You and serve You, finding meaning and purpose in life ... and in death!  To You I give my praise ... to You I give my life ... in the name that is above every name ... in the name of Jesus, Amen"

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