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From: email@example.com Sent: Friday, August 01, 1997 12:29 AM To: Hebraic Heritage Newsgroup Subject: Re: Righteousness and God's Covenant with Abraham From: Lenora Strickland To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: The Ten Virgins From Lenora: **************** We must not confuse Position with Condition. Those who are born again have Christ's imputed righteousness. From Eddie: ************** This is true. The word "righteousness" actually means "being in right standing with God". When we accept Yeshua/Jesus as Messiah, we have imputed righteousness or "right-standing with God". This imputed righteousness is otherwise known as salvation. In Romans 5:17 it is written: "For if by one man's offense death reigned by one: much more they which receive the abundance of grace (salvation) and of the GIFT of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ" From Lenora: **************** Our condition changes; some days we are less sinful than others. From Eddie: *************** This is true also. AFTER we have the imputed righteousness by accepting Yeshua/Jesus as Messiah, our walk in Messiah is a PROCESS of growing in Messiah and struggling to overcome being CONTROLLED by the sin nature in our lives. From Lenora: **************** But, Praise God, the Word says "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." (Phil. 1:6). From Eddie: ************** The completion of the work (which is NOT salvation) but is growing in spiritual maturity and become more and more Christ-like in our faith is CONDITIONAL upon us yielding to the Ruach HaKodesh / Holy Spirit to lead and direct our lives and upon our willingness to study God's Word, pray etc. Later in the book of Philippians, Paul writes in Philippians 3:10-15 it is written: "That I may know him (Yeshua/Jesus) and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings and being made conformable unto his death. If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained either were already PERFECT (5048 = telioo from 5046 = telios = "complete or whole or SPIRITUALLY MATURE): but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which I am apprehended of Christ Jesus ... I PRESS TOWARD THE MARK for the PRIZE of the HIGH CALLING of God in Christ Jesus. Let US therefore, as many as be PERFECT (5046 = telios = "complete or whole or SPIRITUALLY MATURE) BE THUS MINDED ..." In Ephesians 4:11-15 it is written: "And he gave some, apostles, and some, prophets and some evangelists and some, pastors and teachers: for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a PERFECT (5046 = telios = complete, whole or SPIRITUAL MATURE), unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ ... but speaking the truth in love may GROW UP into him in ALL things, which is the head, even Christ" In Hebrews 5:12-14 it is written: "For when the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God: and are become such as need of MILK and NOT of strong meat. For every one that uses MILK is UNSKILLFUL in the word of righteousness: for he is a BABE (in Messiah but still in Messiah). But strong meat belongs to them that are of FULL AGE (5046 = telios = "complete, whole or SPIRITUALLY MATURE) even those who REASON OF USE ... " Therefore, imputed righteous is a FREE gift. However, growing in spiritual maturity as represented by the scriptures above is a PROCESS and is CONDITIONAL upon us "hungering" and "thirsting" for a deeper and deeper walk with God ( Matthew 5:6) From Lenora: **************** Also, the Abrahamic Covenant was not conditional on anything Abraham might or might not do. God did not say, Abraham, if you will, then I will. From Eddie: ************** This is not true. God fulfilling the promise was UNCONDITIONAL but those who would receive the unconditional promise was CONDITIONAL upon OBEDIANCE. First, the PROMISE was UNCONDITIONAL. In Hebrews 6:13-18 it is written: "For when GOD MADE PROMISE to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself, saying, surely blessing I will bless the and multiplying I will multiply thee ... for men verily swear by the greater and an oath for confirmation is to them and end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us" So, GOD fulfilling the promise was UNCONDITIONAL. He swore by Himself that HE would fulfill it. However, those who RECEIVED the unconditional promise RECEIVE the promise based upon it being CONDITIONAL upon obediance. This promise was made to Abraham and his seed. In Genesis 17:7-8 it is written: "And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generation for an EVERLASTING covenant to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee and to thy seed after thee, THE LAND wherein thou art a stranger, ALL THE LAND OF CANAAN ..." This became CONDITIONAL upon obedience (to God's TORAH). First, God made a conditional promise to Abraham in Genesis 17:1 as it is written: "... I am almighty God, walk before me, and be thou PERFECT (8549 = Tamim = SPIRITUALLY MATURE) AND I will make my covenant between me and thee ..." The establishment of the covenant was CONDITIONAL upon Abraham being PERFECT (8549 = Tamim = Spiritually mature). The corresponding HEBREW word to the GREEK word mentioned above (TELIOS = 5046) is the Hebrew word (8549 = TAMIM). In Exodus 12:5, the word (TAMIM = 8549 is translated as WITHOUT BLEMISH) as it is written: "Your lamb shall be WITHOUT BLEMISH (8549 = Tamim) ..." The Bride of Messiah is "without blemish" (SPIRITUALLY MATURE) (Ephesians 5:26-27) In Psalm 119:1, (8549 = TAMIM is translated as UNDEFILED) as it is written: "Blessed are the UNDEFILED (8549 = TAMIM) in the way who walk in the TORAH of the Lord ..." So, when God told Abraham in Genesis 17:1, " ... be PERFECT (8549 = Tamim = Spiritually Mature) AND I will make my covenant with you ...", this was CONDITIONAL. In Genesis 15:18-21, this PROMISE was a LAND from the Nile to the Euphrates as it is written: "In the same day, the Lord made a COVENANT with ABRAM, saying, unto thy SEED have I given this LAND, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates ..." From Abraham, this promise was based to Isaac. In Genesis 26:1-3 it is written: "And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And ISAAC went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go NOT DOWN INTO EGYPT; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of; Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee and will bless thee for unto thee and unto thy seed I will give all these countries, and I WILL PERFORM THE OATH WHICH I SWARE UNTO ABRAHAM THY FATHER" Notice that the fulfillment of the promise was CONDITIONAL upon Isaac NOT going to Egypt. Did Isaac go to Egypt? Yes. Did God fulfill the promise in Isaac's lifetime? No. The promise was passed from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob. Jacob had 12 sons who became the head of the twelve tribes of Israel. The children of Israel went to Egypt. God called Moses BECAUSE OF HIS COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM (Exodus 2:23-24). In Exodus 19, God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to Mount Sinai. Then God spoke these words to the HOUSE OF JACOB (the descendants of Abraham) in Exodus 19:5-6 as it is written: "Now therefore, IF YOU WILL OBEY MY VOICE and KEEP MY COVENANT (the covenant that God made with Abraham as God is speaking to the descendants of Abraham) THEN you call be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine. And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation ..." The children of Israel broke the covenant that God was now making with Abraham's descendants. God told Isaac that He was going to fulfill His promise to Abraham BECAUSE ABRAHAM KEPT the TORAH of God. In Genesis 26:4-5 it is written: "And I will make thy seed to multiply as the STARS OF HEAVEN (Genesis 15:5) and I will give thy seed all these countries: and in thy seed shall ALL THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH be blessed BECAUSE Abraham OBEYED MY VOICE, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes and my TORAH" So, what was the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham based upon? Keeping His TORAH! That is why God reiterated this covenant with the descendants of Abraham at Mount Sinai and promised them the blessings of Abraham IF they would keep His Torah. In Galatians 3:16,29 the promises of Abraham are given to the believer in Yeshua/Jesus as Messiah. Has God fulfilled His promise to Abraham yet? No! Why not? Because Christianity is NOT obedient to the TORAH of God but has called the Torah "a strange thing". In Hosea 8:12 it is written: "I have written to him the GREAT THINGS OF MY TORAH, but they were counted as a strange thing" In Isaiah 42:21 it is written: "The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness sake: he will MAGNIFY the TORAH and make it HONORABLE" In Isaiah 51:1-2, 4, 7 it is written: "Hearken unto me you that FOLLOW AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS, ye that SEEK THE LORD ... LOOK UNTO ABRAHAM YOUR FATHER ... hearken unto me, my people and GIVE EAR unto me, O my nation, for a TORAH shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment (of the Torah) to rest for a LIGHT OF THE PEOPLE ... hearken unto me, ye that KNOW RIGHTEOUSNESS, the people whose HEART is my TORAH ..." So, receiving the PROMISE that God UNCONDITIONALLY made to Abraham was CONDITIONALLY RECEIVED based upon OBEDIANCE to God's TORAH. Salvation is IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS and is a FREE gift but receiving the FULLNESS of the promise that God made to Abraham is CONDITIONAL upon the believer striving to walk in SPIRITUAL MATURITTY and as Paul writes "PRESSING TOWARD THE MARK OF THE HIGH CALLING OF GOD ..." I discuss these principles in my book, "Who is the Bride of Christ?". So, Lenora you have stated SOME truths but you have not presented the Biblical balanced perspective on the subject as I have attempted to show. From Lenora: **************** God said I will make you a great nation. Abraham was promised land, numerous descendants, and redemption or stated another way a future land, a Messianic rule, and spiritual blessings. From Eddie: *************** This has always been CONDITIONAL upon obedience to the Torah. In Joshua 1:1, 4, 8 it is written: "Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass that the Lord spake unto JOSHUA the son of Nun, Moses minister saying ... From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites (Genesis 15:18) ... this book of the TORAH shall not depart out of your mouth but you shall meditate upon it day and night ... THEN thou shalt make thy way prosperous and THEN thou shalt have good success ..." The children of Israel NEVER conquered the ENTIRE promised land of Canaan let alone from the Nile to the Euphrates. Why? This is the progressive story in the OT. The people failed to obey the Torah of God. Therefore, the fulfillment of the promised need to be DELAYED. Yeshua/Jesus later came and enable the people who strayed to come back and embrace the covenant that God made with Abraham but shortly after Yeshua/Jesus was resurrected the "church fathers" began to lead the followers of Yeshua/Jesus away from the TORAH. Therefore, the promise that God made to Abraham has been delayed for another 2,000 years. Now, the Ruach HaKodesh / Holy Spirit is ONCE AGAIN giving God's people ALL OVER THE WORLD, a love for the Jewish people, the land of Israel and a rediscovering of our Hebraic/Jewish roots and the desire to OBEY THE TORAH. Do you think that we will FINALLY embrace and obey the Torah so that God can fulfill His promise to Abraham ??? That is where the Spirit of God is taking us. Eddie Chumney ******************************************************************************
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