JUST WHO IS ABRAHAM?
BY: CHARLES W. WELLER
THE PROMISE OF GOD TO ABRAM
FROM ABRAM TO ABRAHAM
THE BIRTH OF ISAAC
ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND ABIMELECH
AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK
A WALK OF FAITH IS A WALK IN THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST
Abram was his first name until it was changed to Abraham. The reason for the name change is the message. The Hebrew “Abram” means “exalted father.” But when his name is changed from Abram to Abraham, his nature changes too. Abraham means “father of a multitude” or “chief of multitude.” What caused the change? What did the change mean to him? How did it impact him and affect others? The significance of the change has redemptive qualities for all of us today. For these “things happened to them as an example and they were written for our instruction upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11)
From the best sources available it is believed that Abram’s father was a high official in the court of the Chaldeans. The family was raised in an environment that was not conducive to the religion of the “I AM” because of the multi-gods that were worshipped there. It was Terah, Abram’s father that began the trek from the land of the Chaldeans towards Canaan. (Genesis 11:31)
But Terah went only as far away from the Chaldeans as the area of his deceased child, Haran. Terah died in the land of Haran. (Genesis 11:32) It is hard to pass your familiar surroundings. Terah did not find it difficult to leave the environment of Chaldea, because it did not agree with his faith. But he found it hard to “leave his father/mother” and follow Christ, so to speak. Blood was “thicker” than his faith. It is not that Terah failed in his walk, but rather that in his pausing, death occurred. Change is the way of the Lord. The Lord changes not (Malachi 3:6), but man being conformed to the image of God changes.
It was the death of his father that caused Abram to hear the LORD speak to him. There must come a separation from our father in order for us to become a father ourselves. A man, not a son nor a child, leaves his father. His leaving is premised upon having a “wife.” This man has left his home because he searched over the earth and found a wife. He has found himself! For a man loves his wife as himself, Ephesians 5 states. If a man hates himself, he abuses his wife because in reality she is who he is. A man leaves home when he has found that which complements himself. A complement fills in the holes, the weakness in the vessel. Abram left his father’s tent and married, but he still had not yet become a father.
A son can never leave his father’s house until the son knows what he is to do. A mature son, a firstborn of the father, is according to primogeniture responsible for the whole family’s maintenance. Abram now must provide the spiritual and natural needs of the whole family. It is the weight of family that drives Abram to his knees before God.
So, when God says “Let us make man in our image,” He is talking about fathering an image that would be found in the creation, the natural creation. Jesus Christ was the image, for “All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” (John 1:3) God produced and fathered everything out of Himself. In effect, every tree, fish, water droplet, etc. was a thought (seed) which He placed into His mind (female, womb) conceived and produced in the earth, in the natural image, which we are. Abram was going to learn how to be a spiritual father by learning about God’s nature. Then Abram could create out of himself exactly the very nature He was and God is through his descendants – one of whom was Christ Jesus.
Maturity does not mean physically leaving a home of mom and dad and establishing your own apartment. No, maturity means spiritually leaving a home to become self-sufficient. A son leaves home when he understands that he is one with the Father. Since he and the father are one, life flows and he is able to go out and take on the day!
How many times we have heard it said that a man marries a woman so that she can “mother” him. It is true. But the corollary to that is a woman marries a man so that he can “father” her! A woman does not understand the “father” nature of her husband because of the deep- seated concerns and fears she has. A woman is motivated by security, for the most part. It is difficult for her to breakup housekeeping and move leaving friends, “home” etc. For a man, moving is not a problem because within himself he knows he can find another job. A man in every cell of his body realizes that he can produce life wherever he wants. So job changes, territory changes, etc. are of no consequence to him. The woman needs to recognize this fatherly nature. A true fatherly-natured man will recognize the woman’s need for security and prepare her for the change. However, a man needs to recognize the fatherly-nature in a woman, too.
A son begins to become a father when he moves out of his father’s house, but that does not make him an adult yet. The process has begun. You begin to become a father when you start breaking away. Abram began that move when he married and moved out of his father’s tent, but he was still under the tutelage of his father. The prodigal son was always a son who had not come to maturity. So he took what was his and squandered it, but in the process learned about being a father through what his father revealed to him. Abram did not have to do that. Can you sign the Father’s check? A minor, a person who is not an adult, cannot sign the check. God wants maturity evidenced by those who have left home and are able to stand and eat life out of their own bucket instead of having to be fed. A son still has to be fed by the provider, the father. A father nature provides for himself
When does a man become a father? When he becomes a daddy. We are not talking about having a physical child birthed which makes you a “daddy.” It does not. Many men can create children in the heat of passion but that does not make them a daddy. Many men can be biological fathers, but it takes a real man to become a “daddy.” A father becomes a “daddy” when for the purpose of unity, he lowers himself to the plane of the child in order to communicate to the child. A real “daddy” identifies with the problems a child faces and offers what the child needs.
A father can tell a child one thing but a “daddy” shows relationship with the child. A daddy takes the time to develop a relationship with his child. A daddy tries to think as a child so that the child can enter into a one-on-one relationship with his daddy on the same plane. Three times the word “daddy” is used in scripture. If each of these is studied great truth will be revealed – Mark 14:36, Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6.
A man leaves home because he has the provider nature in himself. The seed must be released from his vessel in the proper way. Not only is man built in a physical way to do this, but the natural is emblematic of the spiritual aspect too. When a man finds a wife he finds a good thing! He has found a place that is receptive to his ideas, his creative powers and is willing to produce the results for him. What a commitment is that complement! Apply this spiritually too. The spiritual man (whether a woman or man naturally) is full of life. This spiritual man must produce life in the feminine – the soul. Abram was now with his father’s death able to begin planting a seed.
The Hebrew word for “father’ is [‘ab’] pronounced “awb.” The meaning is manifold and includes the following: (1) father of an individual, (2) of God as a father of his people, (3) head or founder of a household, group, family or clan, a patriarch (4) ancestor, (5) grandfather, forefathers, (6) originator of a class, profession, or art (7) producer or generator of benevolence and protection, (8) ruler or chief.
One who is called to the image of God is to be a father, and in time a grandfather and eventually a patriarch. A patriarch is one who is of the family (patri) and a ruler (arch). Abraham was called to be the father of nations. This was a spiritual word that has to be fulfilled in the natural. For all of God’s word became flesh – Jesus. So now, even the word proclaimed to Abraham became flesh – Isaac.
Abraham was 135 years old when he took over the family reins. (Genesis 11:26, 32) He presided over his family for 40 years when he died at 175. Throughout scripture we find that forty is the number of testing, especially for a group: 40 years in the wilderness; 40 days of Christ in the wilderness in order to bring His people forth; appearing to many for forty days from the resurrection of Christ until His ascension.
Abraham led his family into the Promised Land; established them as sojourners in the land but not inhabitants because he saw something far greater. “By faith Abraham when he was called obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going, by faith he lived in an alien land of promise, as in a foreign land…. for he was looking for the city, which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God…” (Hebrews 11:8-10) He led the whole family into the place where God wanted them to be “sojourners” and not “settlers.” There is no settling in God or we die like Terah. Abram learned that from his father’s experience. The key in this life, as Abram tried to share with his family, is when you are in the will of God do not become settled in the outer manifestation of the will. The outer manifestation is the physical land, home, surroundings, etc. We should be settled in God and the outer, physical surroundings do not matter.
Abram was not looking to the natural plane at all. Even as he traversed what was to be the literal home of the Hebrew people, he was not interested. His eye was keen on the Spirit. His eye was on the finish line – the city whose foundation was God. Abram was not concerned with anything else, and even though he made some mistakes in his walk, his eyesight was never removed from the ultimate goal.
I believe that Abram saw what John explains in John 14:2-3, 23 which states: “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am there you may be also…If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him and We will come to him and make Our abode in him.” Abram knew that the land that God was leading him in was a type and shadow of a spiritual realm. Abraham knew that his own body was a dwelling place of God and no literal house of worship was needed, as the Hebrews built later in Jerusalem. Abram knew that God had called him to be part of the Father’s house.
The phrase “Father’s house” speaks to us of a corporate expression, even as the church, the body of Christ, is the corporate expression of God in the earth. We, you and I, are individual body parts, members, of the corporate expression. The “Father’s house” is made up of those individual members who have progressed in their walk from salvation (Jesus experience, feast of Passover) to the baptism of the Spirit (Holy Spirit experience, feast of Pentecost) into union (Father, feast of Tabernacles)
But what does it mean that there are many dwelling places in the Father’s house? It surely does not mean there is this huge house in heaven (sky) so big that it has thousands of houses within it. No, my friend, this is a spiritually discerned word. If you are in Christ and I am in Christ, then we can have fellowship one with another. (1 John 1:7) If your abode is in Christ as is mine, we can flow into one another’s spirit for it is the self-same Spirit that is in us. When Christ Jesus and the Father make their abode in me, as they have in you, then if we are spiritual, we can flow through each other and together even though separated by miles. Even Jesus said He and the Father were One, meaning that their Spirits were united.
Let me give an example. In 1987 when I went to Kenya, I personally knew only one native brother there and I was unable to see him. One full day I was in a land that spoke Swahili; the TV if there was one was Swahili; the radio I listened to was in Swahili; and the paper was in Swahili. I could not communicate as I waited for this brother to come. I was depressed in a foreign land. But at the same time, in the USA four brothers who did not know that I was in Kenya called my wife, Joyce, and told her that they felt a need in me and were sending encouragement. These men were living in my house and I in theirs as we were in the Father’s house!
So, Abram was a sojourner. He was not looking for a natural fulfillment of God’s plan but was rather looking for God’s fulfillment in his own family, the true house of the Lord. Abram, as we mentioned before means “father.” He was about to father some right into this realm, a full birth if you will. Let us consider some other matters first.
A son leaves home because certain things have been worked out in his life. First, a son leaves his mother’s tent when he is weaned, but remains in the father’s tent. The importance of weaning is that the son leaves the milk realm and begins to eat meat at the father’s table. Paul admonishes us that we should have left the milk long ago. (1Corinthians 3:2, Hebrews 5:12-13) The son remains with his father until the son has reached maturity. But what is maturity? Abram remained in Terah’s tent until either his father’s death or until he had found a wife. As the scripture shows, Abram had a wife, Sarai. A son does not leave a father’s tent until he knows his calling is to be a father!
Secondly, the son leaves his father and mother to cleave unto his wife. The son knows he is to produce life in his own image. Abram knew that he was to produce a seed in the image of his vision. As we see later he tried to fulfill that carnally but God’s grace was sufficient to even bless that which was carnally produced in an effort to produce life!
Thirdly, the son, Abram, has to see his wife as himself. The two must become one in order to produce life. They had to be in agreement and there had to be no division, no separate vision – just one eye that is the light. “The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light.” Matthew 6:22 The son had to leave the presence of the father in order to become a father himself. Abram did just that.
Abram had to understand the nature of a father before he could become one, and therefore he studied his father so that he could continue and exceed what his father accomplished. Every child should exceed his parents in the faith. We find this pattern is true with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Each one takes the truth of the other to another level within their own personalities. Each one builds on what the other has started. God said: “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.“ (Matthew 22:32) The truth being stated there is that these men were alive in the nature of God, sojourners in the land, sons of God. (Romans 8:19) Abram built on his father’s leading, and he passed it on to Isaac.
Since God states equates these three, as the same, as all living, even though it has been thousands of years since their physical life, there must be a great importance to the statement. These men entered into Tabernacles, the third feast, as an experience. “In my Father’s house” of John 14 implies that these three were in the same house, the same realm spiritually. We find this to be literally true in Genesis 22 where twice it is stated that Abraham and Isaac walked together. In the normal state of affairs, they would walk together up the mountain. But within the context of the chapter and their experience in the same circumstance, it was also speaking of a spiritual walk together.
Abram was not settling down even though he was in a Promised Land. No he was a sojourner. The natural had no place for him since he was looking in the realm of the spirit. Even though he walked on the literal land of fulfillment, it was of no importance. It was important to Lot. Lot received the literal fulfillment and the result was a detriment to his spiritual growth. Abram knew he could produce life in the mountain as we all as on the plain. His life was the spiritual kingdom.
THE PROMISE OF GOD TO ABRAM
Promise of God to Abram “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house to the land which I will show you. And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-2 NASV
What a great word we see that comes to him in Genesis 12. Like most of us, when we hear a word of prophecy given over us, we are excited by the blessings of it and on some occasions do not hear the full brunt of the word spoken. We hear the “good things” and concentrate on them rather than the “things to be worked out.”
He rejoiced in the word that states he would be the father of a nation of nations, which is what Abraham means. The prophecy given him spoke of the nature he would have and was given as an encouragement for the changes necessary to fulfill it. Abram was not settling down even though he was in the Promised Land. No, he was a sojourner. The natural land had no place for him since he was living and looking in the realm of the Spirit. Abram saw afar the coming of Christ and His purpose including the resurrection. The disciples did not even understand the resurrection nor believe Jesus would resurrect. (Luke 24:27,41, 45) Abram knew God so well and walked in His nature so much that he even knew his own son was a type of Christ!
For if you read the first verse of the prophecy (12:1), you will find that he was to leave his family, his country, his kin etc. But like most of us he focused on the good things, and let God work the rest out in his life. Of course the rest that was worked out was the removal of his father, the necessity of leaving his country and the separation from Lot his cousin which all of this was quite a separation unto the Lord.
Abram was able to walk the life out because he lived in the Spirit and not in the flesh. He gave no place to the flesh. (Ephesians 4:27) While some may teach that you cannot be perfect, 1 John 5:18 states that HE keeps us from the evil one. How? We must walk after the Spirit and not the flesh, as Abram did. He realized his life was hid in God.
There are so many points of Abram’s life that I admire and seek to walk after. I am sure you admire him too. Perhaps we should consider some of these spiritual truths found worked out in his life. He followed his father as far as Terah went. He remained faithful in his father’s walk, as we have discussed. When he married, he left his father’s tent, which was a part of the preparation for becoming Abraham instead of Abram. It was this time of setting up his own household that gave him insights to his responsibilities. He learned that he had to give his life for his wife, even as Christ gave his life for the church. (Ephesians 5:25)
As he proceeded west with his extended family (mother, Lot, servants etc.), he entered into the Land that Israel would inherit. Seeing beautiful valleys and barren mountaintops, he paused in the lush valleys. The valley was important to Lot. Abram was not concerned with either the mountains or the plains. But Lot, not having the vision of Abram, sought the lush valley not counting the cost. As we know it later cost Lot his household.
Lot received the literal fulfillment of the promise to Abram and the result was a detriment to his spiritual growth. Abram knew he could produce life in the mountain as we all as on the plain. His life was the spiritual kingdom. Abram had no desire for anything on the natural plane. He sought only the kingdom of God and therefore had all things on the natural plane. He was not concerned about natural needs because he knew if he sought the spiritual all other things would be added without question.
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.” He did not have to claim it or name it or command it from God. Prosperity was not a concern with him – as it is with a carnal Christian. He knew if he sought the will of God all natural things would be added to him.
Abram inherited the mountains as default. The top of any high mountain is barren. Perhaps there is some tundra, but there are no trees, only snow. “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow?” Job 38:22 states. For the truth of the snow is salvation. On the plain one can make his own way which leads to destruction, but the mountain of the snow lead us to One higher who cleanses us from our sin and makes us white as snow. (Isaiah 1:18) By allowing God to sift Lot from him and not trying to help God fulfill the prophecy, Abram walked the path God prepared.
The land that Abram found was within himself, the very earth that he was made of. Lot looked for an external kingdom. In such Lot found his end. But Abram realized he was the creation of God and that the kingdom of God was within. God states in Genesis 12 that Abram would be a “blessing.” How can one be a blessing? It is only when we realize that it is He who is manifesting through us, that we become the blessing. It is only when we realize that the Lord and we are one – in answer to the Lord’s Prayer in John 17:11, 21 that we become the blessing.
Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran with Lot. At Shechem he built an altar to God because God told him the land would be for his descendants. But the location was not one where he worshipped. The altar was an honor of God’s word for his descendants. But Abram went further and further! He went to the mountain and built an altar there to call upon the name of the Lord. He did not settle for what his descendants would receive but sought more from God. He was a pioneer, a Kit Carson, a Columbus, etc.
We find when he returned from Egypt, the first thing that he did was to go to the altar he built and praise God. (Genesis 13:4) In time, however, the flocks of Lot and Abram were too large and there came strife between them. This is God working here. Remember the prophecy that Lot had to be separated (kin)? So God stirred up the herdsman to fight among themselves. If we are to be fathers like Abram, we must be willing to be separated from our kin (fellow Christians) for a time. This separation unto God brings us into a deeper relationship with God. The result is that Abram can later save Lot (Genesis 14:12), that is, save Lot from his own carnal concepts of a prosperous place. There is a time of coming before God so that we can mature in His nature. Other brethren may go after prosperity Lot sought the glory of the lower plane. (Genesis 13:10-11) While the brethren rejoice in the blessing of the natural plane, which they shall lose (14:12), God is preparing a people, an Abram company, for the deliverance of Lot. This group (sons of God – Romans 8:19-20) will deliver all creation (see our booklet Sons of God).
Many have felt and taught that Abram lied twice to two kings about Sarai. He said she was his sister. He did it once before his name change in Genesis 12:10 and once after his name change in Genesis 20:1. Also Abram used this relationship to place the fear of God in nations. (Genesis 20:11) There was godly wisdom in what he did and God supported. (Genesis 20:2-8) Wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. (Matthew 10:16)
Even though the Lord promised Abram that he would have a son in whom all the nations would be blessed, Abram realized in the natural order of things he was getting old. For 11 years he had been traveling in the Land given to his descendants, now at 86 his eyesight (spiritual) turned to the outer man and refused to believe the inner man. Abram, this man of faith had a weak moment. He took the plan of God into his own hands, after seeing God move for him when he left things alone.
Now, this son he produced, Ishmael, was blessed of God because of who Abram was. These descendants are blessed even today. What Abram did in the flesh God blessed because of the relationship Abram had with God. But this son could not inherit because he was the product of a mixed seed – spirit and flesh. God’s seed takes two pure vessels to produce the son of deliverance – Spirit and Soul (Abraham and Sarah). The Moslems are not descendants from Abraham, the man of faith but from Abram.
We note that Abram was 99 when he received the word of the Lord that the Lord would produce the seed through him. (Genesis 17:1) It was 13 years from his action of the flesh (thirteen is the number of rebellion in Scripture). It is the Lord that does the work through us, not we ourselves lest we would boast. The Lord shall be glorified in His saints (2 Thessalonians 1:10) because He does the work. Perhaps, you remember the parable of the sheep where 99 were secure but one was lost, and the Lord Jesus sought out that one to complete the flock. The 99 did not complain while Jesus went away looking for the one who was lost. The 99 continued on in the field. Abram continued on until the Father produced the one that was lost inside of him. He knew that the promise of the Father was pure and undefiled.
Genesis 17:1 also states that Abram was to walk blameless before God. There are two key words here: walk and blameless. Walk is a verb that is an action verb. Abram was to manifest this lifestyle by walking it out in his life. He was to live it. Many people seek out a man of God to learn his wisdom. Some go to great lengths to find the spiritual man, even to the mountains of Tibet! But the truth lies not in the man’s wisdom but the testimony of the life manifested. It is the family that Abram produced that is his testimony! Think upon that. There is no greater testimony than to produce a family that follows God and exceeds your walk, as Isaac did. He obviously taught his son well, which is a time consuming effort that requires the laying down of one’s life for a child, setting aside the selfish desires that you wish. Not a common effort in the USA today since parents consider their own desires more important than that of raising a child.
The second word which we find is “blameless.” This means Abram had to walk perfect before God. This is not a hard thing to do, although the church system has preached that you can’t be perfect. If you are in the fallen, Adamic nature, you cannot be perfect – especially if you identify with that. But if you recognize your position in Christ, Who cleanses us from all sin and keeps us from sin (1 John 5:18), you will walk a perfect life. IF one stays in the nature of Christ, stays covered by the blood, then he/she is perfect. Abram did that. He walked in what he knew. He did not try to walk in what he did not understand! He walked in all he knew and experienced.
FROM ABRAM TO ABRAHAM
We note in Genesis 18:1 that three men came to him. This is called a theophany because this is Father, Son and Holy Spirit appearing to Abraham. In verse 22 we find two of the men go to Sodom. In 19:1 we find that two angels are at Sodom. Men are angels! Our booklet on angels explains this.
The significance of this part of Abraham’s life is that he is barren and unable to produce life on the natural plane. It is only when we come to the end of ourselves that God can move within us. Most of Christian religion is based upon the law and works which is barren and unfruitful. Paul exclaims that the Galatians who had begun in the Spirit were foolish because they sought to please God by fulfilling things through the means of the flesh. (Galatians 3) When Abraham entered into his rest, into the true Sabbath that is spiritual, God moved. Paul writes in Hebrews 4:10 that some have entered into their rest. This is a cessation from the efforts of the arm of flesh.
Sabbath living, the Lord’s Day, is not a time but a realm of the Spirit. John saw the Lord on the Lord’s Day, Revelation 1:10 states. If he saw it did we miss it? No. For the Lord’s Day, the Sabbath, is a realm of spiritual maturity wherein the believer has no self-effort nor desire to produce anything for God. Abraham entered into that rest. When He could not physically or emotionally or mentally produce in his own effort, then God would act. Abraham stood still and saw the salvation of God. Salvation only comes when we stop.
It is important to note that when Abraham stopped being in the flesh his name changed. This time also corresponds to when Lot’s fullness of the flesh being made manifest. Lot desired the lower plane, rejoiced in its pleasures and raised his family in the realm of prosperity. This very failure to discern spiritually cost him all that he had, even his wife – in reality himself. For the wife represents the soul nature.
Yet, because Abraham chose the high rocky road, he was well able to be the servant of the Lord and lower himself. As Abraham humbled himself in the hands of His Mighty God, the work wrought in Abraham helped release Lot. The church that realm of Pentecost, which has Ananias and Sapphira in it (Acts 5:1) is full of the flesh. Even in 1 Corinthians Paul writes to the Spirit-filled church that they are carnal in spite of the gifts of the Spirit. Lot is the symbol of that church. But within the church is an Abrahamic group to be birthed out of it (Rev.12) who are the sons of God (Romans 8:19-20) who shall deliver (Obadiah 21) those bound by the arm of the flesh.
Deliverance comes not because of Abraham’s great abilities. No. Deliverance comes because Abraham has personally gone to the cross. Abraham has had the dealings of God in his life. These dealings remove the vestiges of self-righteousness. Those who have the Son worked into their life have the Adamic nature removed. This is not done for their sake nor for their good but for the sake of others.
Polycarp, an early Christian of the first century, was burned at the stake. Some information is available that purports that he asked not to be tied to the stake, since God had shown him by a vision his method of death. He told the Roman guard that the God who led him to the fire was well able to keep him in the fire. Many of the early Christians thought it an honor to suffer for Christ because then their identification with Him was not only a spiritual matter but even complete in the physical. I am sure such faith was learned also from the example of Abraham.
All the families of the earth are to be blessed through Abraham. All the families. How is that? The righteous preserves the earth from destruction because the faithful are the salt of the earth. It is the Christian who upholds the family structure of society. It is the Christian who exhibits the honorable lifestyle that is sought after, even though the debauchery of life is held up as the example.
Righteousness exalts a nation. (Proverbs 14:34) Abraham was a father of nations. In him the nations of the earth would be called. There is a people even this day that God works through who follow after the nature of Abraham and seek to produce a spiritual nation (2 Peter 1:9) in the earth today. It is this remnant seed that produces the deliverance
THE BIRTH OF ISAAC
First, we must note that Isaac was born contrary to nature. Abraham and Sarah were too old. Abraham was 100 (Genesis 21:5) when Isaac was born. One hundred is the number of election, deliverance. Abraham was 99 when Sarah conceived. God has the 99 sheep, but goes out for that one more to bring the election to completeness. The nations are called (not some nations, all nations) in Abraham. This is a type and shadow of Christ in Psalm 22 that states the work of the cross and refers to Jesus. Reading Psalm 22:27, 29: “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn unto the Lord…All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him…” Note the word “all.” Jesus’ work of the cross saves all in the eons of time; nary a one will be lost and death will be swallowed up in victory. (1 Corinthians 15: 55-57) As in Adam all died, so in Christ shall all be made alive through the victory of the cross. (1 Corinthians 15:22) The symbolism of the 99 and the 1 equaling 100 cannot be lost on Abraham. He is a type of such a faith at age 100. When all flesh is ended, the son of promise is born, Isaac.
Our message, Who is Isaac?, deals with Isaac very thoroughly, but now we wish to review Abraham life in relationship to Isaac. Genesis 22:4 states that Isaac was circumcised. It is important to note that Abraham was circumcised and his whole house in Genesis 17:24. Abraham realized that Ishmael, himself and all that was his had to have the flesh cut away. Deuteronomy 10:16 states that we must circumcise the foreskin of our heart. Men’s hearts shall fail them in the last days. Why? Because they have not circumcised their own hearts. Only after Abraham had circumcised himself could he produce life.
Abraham circumcised Isaac in grace (the law was not yet). This means it was done willingly and not as a requirement. It was done out of holiness before God and a desire to please. No law pleases God because it is a requirement. A father only does to his son what he has done to himself. Jesus laid down His life for us, and so we must pick up our cross and follow Him. Abraham and Isaac are such a type.
The circumcision was done on the eighth day because in the Scriptures eight is the number of a new day, a new beginning, a new order. There are many types and shadows in Scripture. The number of fallen man is 666 Revelation states. Every letter in Greek is a number. Jesus in Greek totals 888. A new beginning is spirit (8), soul (8) and body (8).
In Genesis 21:8, we find that there was a day of weaning for Isaac. He leaves his mother’s house in order to spend time with his father. Isaac has to learn to pattern after the nature of His father, even as Jesus grew in stature and wisdom (Luke 2:52) seeking after His Father. (Luke 2:49) If you and I wish to grow into the nature of the Father, we must pattern ourselves after Abraham. Abraham knew when it was time to wean the babe Isaac from his mother. There is a time that a mature ministry will cause the child to leave the breast milk of its mother and begin in the Father’s house to come to maturity. (1Cor. 3:2, Hebrews 5:12)
A great feast was made. It was the time of the son’s identification with the Father to learn the ways of grace. Galatians brings out a son is a son from childhood but is under guardians until maturity when he learns how to walk by faith which he learned in the father’s house. (Galatians 4:2) Isaac was to learn of the Father, Abraham. We note that Isaac was mocked at his weaning (21:9) by Ishmael. The flesh always laughs at the hand and ways of God. The weaning of Isaac is the final removal of Ishmael from the family of Abraham. When the fullness of the son comes into your life, Ishmael no longer reigns. (See John1:16, Ephesians 1:23, 3:19, Colossians 1:19, 2:19.) We are dead to Adam (Ishmael) through Christ and alive unto God. We have received of His fullness. We must just walk in it. Why else would Matthew 5:48 declare: “Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” The Greek “perfect” means mature.
We note with Ishmael’s leaving (21:19) that he takes water with him but runs out. The difference between the child of the flesh and the son of the spirit is found where Isaac digs three wells. (26:18-23) He finds life and has life in himself. But Ishmael has no life in himself. He drinks the water but has none within his vessel nor knows how to get it. Water, of course, represents the life of the Spirit.
ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND ABIMELEC
The birth of Isaac caused Abimelech, King of the Philistines to beg Abraham. Abimelech sought to have peace with Abraham because he recognized that this son, Isaac, was the seed who would fulfill Abraham’s call. Abimelech knew this was a son of the Spirit and not the son of the flesh, Ishmael. Abimelech made Abraham swear that there would be no harm to all his posterity. But Abraham complained that Abimelech took his wells. He gave Abimelech’s sheep as a testimony that it was his well, not Abimelech. The two agreed. But one forgot.
In Genesis 26:12 we find that the Lord blessed Isaac. But Abimelech asked him to leave the area. Isaac dug wells. But Abimelech broke his promise to Abraham and contended with Isaac over three wells at Esek, Sitnah and Rehoboth. Our booklet “Who is Isaac” covers this in detail. However, the point is that Abimelech broke the covenant with Abraham and eventually David destroyed the power of the Philistines.
The key is that Isaac, the son of the promise, did not even confront Abimelech. For Isaac stated “The Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” Issac walked in the faith of his father and the Lord stated to him: ” … do not fear…I will bless…for the sake of My servant of Abraham.” When Isaac met Lord, he dug a well. He knew in whom he believed and where the life of God was. He did not contend with Abimelech, for his father had told him of the covenant. There was no need for contention. Isaac walked in the life of the Spirit because of what his father had established for him. God has established the kingdom for Jesus, and Isaac as a type walked in it. Even so the same has been established for us. Let us walk since we have been translated into the dear kingdom of His Son. (Colossians 1:13) The pattern established by Abraham and manifested by Jesus is for us to live and move and have our being in. We can walk in the feast of Tabernacles, that third experience after salvation and the baptism of the Spirit. We can have victory and live in it.
We note in Genesis 22:6 and 22:8 that it states Abraham and Isaac “walked on together.” This is a powerful statement. Father and Son were in agreement. The father had a plan for the son and the son was willingly obedient to the plan of the father. How we must be obedient to our Father even as Isaac was to Abraham. But there is even more. Abraham was a type of who we should be! Paul writes that there are many tutors, but there was a great need for fathers. (1 Corinthians 4:15) We have much to learn about being a father.
AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK
The understanding needed to become a father is to realize that you are full of life. The fallen Adamic nature always seeks to take unto itself because it comes from “lack.” Adam is empty of life and seeks to find life in pleasure, wealth, things etc. The accumulation of all these or any of these things does not produce life because it is an external item. Life is not something that you can gather to yourself. The void of the earth (Genesis 1:1-2) means it is empty. A womb has no life within itself. But when God speaks, Light enters the void, the darkness and creates.
Abraham had entered into the realm of life. When one finds the Lord within himself, the One and only Savior, Jesus Christ, then life begins. Yet, that does not mean you are a father. Some are still on the milk of life (salvation – Passover plane) others have matured somewhat and realize the power of life (Baptism of the Spirit – Pentecost plane) but the power energizes the flesh. It takes the third experience – union (Tabernacles) to enter into Fatherhood.
We find in Genesis 14 that Abraham defeated the kings who had captured his nephew, Lot. He set him free and gathered all the spoils. On his return he met Melchizedek, King of Salem (means peace). The Ministry of Melchizedek, a small booklet that we have published deals in detail with the ministry of this man. But we want to note the way in which Abraham approaches this man of God.
Melchizedek comes forward offering to Abraham bread and wine. These two things represent the body of Christ (bread) and the blood of Christ (wine). Melchizedek was the priest of the Most High God and obviously spiritually understood the ministry of Christ before His manifestation. Melchizedek comes offering life to Abraham. But we note that Abraham comes offering to Melchizedek a tenth of all his spoils. Abraham understood the nature of God. Abraham was a giver of life even as God was. Melchizedek came giving life to Abraham and is met by Abraham who, knowing the nature of his father, gives life through an offering to Melchizedek. Most people would fall down and worship the emissary of God if not at least be fearful. But Abraham met Melchizedek as an equal which suggests Abraham knew in whom he believed and identified himself with the One in whom he believed.
Abraham gave life no matter where he went. He let Lot choose the best land. As a result Abraham took the mountains and was blessed in spite of a rocky, craggy land. Abraham gave away his half-sister, twice, and was blessed manifoldly in return. Abraham gave away his only son as a sacrifice. Abraham knew that the realm of life has no regard for anything on the natural plane. He was after the order of Melchizedek because of the nature he was. What man would not receive from Melchizedek? Every man would. But only one man, Abraham, came to Melchizedek on the same plane as Melchizedek. Abraham came to give since that was his nature, even the nature of God.
Faith should produce in us the fruit of life. Faith is the seed that causes spiritual life to be made manifest in the person. It is obvious that Abraham had entered into the relationship with the Father that permitted him to come boldly to the throne of grace. Abram had his name changed to Abraham after he met the Lord in a deep way. In Genesis 17 we find that God states: “No longer shall your name be called Abram but your name shall be called Abraham; for I will make you a father of a multitude of nations.” God and Abram already had a relationship. Abram knew God’s way. It was a deep commitment because in 17:10-11 we find that Abram circumcises himself and the rest of his household. He was no longer going to produce Ishmaels in his life!
As Paul states we are to leave the elementary doctrines of the faith. (Hebrews 6) “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery… for you were called to freedom…if you are led by the spirit you are not under the Law…” (Galatians 5:1, 13, 18) Abraham did circumcision in freedom, but the Jews made it a law done on the eighth day after birth to each male. It was to have a spiritual significance but became a ritual. The struggle that Paul writes about in Galatians 5 is the futility of natural circumcision. Carnal men took the life that Abraham had and lowered it, corrupted it, killed it by making it a law, ritual and religion.
The circumcision that Abraham had done to himself and his whole household was a testimony that he was committed to living in the realm of life, the realm of the fullness of the spirit. He gave no place to the flesh after this experience. Hear that?! Abraham never again produced anything in his life after this name change because he circumcised the vessel that was a symbol of life giving. Abraham realized that the walk of faith/grace has no relationship with the Law, rituals, and traditions. Any legalistic requirement in your Christian walk is not of grace. As Paul states it is another gospel. A holy, pure life of faith can be lived, manifested without any legalistic do’s and don’ts. The Law is for conviction of sinners, but grace is for those in Christ as Abraham was. The remaining chapters of Genesis report no failures in Abraham’s walk from then on.
Abraham was to be the father of “many nations.” God stated this to him after Ishmael’s birth. Ishmael spiritually is not considered one of the nations that Abraham fathered. The Moslems who trace their ancestry to Abraham are in error. They actually trace their ancestry to Abram. They are not part of the promise of Abraham. This means that Isaac was just the first fruit (one nation) of the harvest (nations) to come. All the nations to come are called in Christ. It is up to the Christians to become fathers, even as Abraham was their father. The walk of faith is to produce a father in you.
Current teachings in the church suggest that we cannot be perfect (Greek meaning is mature) until we get to heaven. Has anyone considered 1 John 3:6,9, 5:18, Galatians 2:20? Every week in the churches there is a tendency to proclaim their sin nature and ask forgiveness rather than identifying with the nature of Christ that they already have. This poor vision of the body of Christ keeps them from fulfilling the call of God to be fathers and walk by faith. To walk by faith requires to know who you are, where you are going, what is being accomplished. Abraham knew all these things. So should we in our walk. This creates an authority in you because you identify with Christ.
In Genesis 18:17, 19 God states: “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do…. I have chosen him in order that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice; in order that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.” Because of the faith of Abraham, because of the righteousness of Abraham, God yielded to Abraham’s questioning the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God agreed that if there were not 50 but even only 10 righteous, he would spare the cities. Those who walk by faith and relationship with God are well able to stand in the gap for others. Even Moses did the same for Israel. (Deuteronomy 9:25-29) God will not hide what He is going to do from those who live by faith in grace.
A WALK OF FAITH IS A WALK IN THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST
Paul writes in Colossians 1:19 in the Amplified Translation: “It has pleased [the Father] that all the divine fullness – sum total of the divine perfection, power and attributes – should dwell in Him permanently.” To make sure that the saints understood this completely Paul reiterates the same in Colossians 2:9 in the Amplified Translation: “For in Him the whole fullness of deity (Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form.” Twice we see that Jesus had within His flesh the fullness of God.
The fullness of God can dwell within a man and the man not know it too. (John1:4-5) It is a difficult situation for a person to experientially know it is possible to live in faith and grace. Abraham was called a man of faith because he appropriated the unknown. He accepted the inexperienced as experienced. “By faith…he went out…By faith he lived as an alien…” (NAS) Hebrews 11:8-9. The Christian church as a whole has not appropriated living in perfection, maturity. It has been taught for years that we must wait until we get to heaven or until we die to receive perfection. This is a lie.
Living in an active grace, a realm of spiritual life, removes all barriers of legalistic concepts, the Law of the Ten Commandments, rituals and traditions. Grace living is, for lack of better terminology, above the law, a higher righteousness. Abraham by faith appropriated what Jesus did unto himself.
Jesus was the divine fullness in the flesh. John 1:16 in the Amplified Bible states: “For out of His fullness (abundance) we all received, – all had a share and we were all supplied with – one grace after another….” When we received Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we did not receive some of Him, some of His nature, some of His holiness. We received all of Him. Whether we believe this or not, it remains true. But there is even more depth to this. Consider Ephesians 3:19 in the Amplified Translation: “[That you may really come] to know practically, through experience for yourselves, the body of Christ, which surpasses mere knowledge (without experience); that you may be filled (through all your being) unto all the fullness of God, that is, may have the richest measure of divine presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself.” How many times in this verse are the words “whole” or “filled” used?
We not only receive Christ into us as He makes His kingdom real in us, but when we receive Him, we receive the very fullness that He had into us. The result is that we are filled with the fullness of God. The fallen Adamic nature, that religious nature of the Pharisees which indwells many saints and ministers, denies that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. (1 John 4:2-3) For the kingdom of God is within. (Luke 17:21, John 14:23) Jesus has come in our flesh and we know it because we have experienced it at salvation (Passover), Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of 1 Corinthians 12 (Pentecost) and some have experienced Him in union (Tabernacles), the third experience of the faith.
Abraham had ceased from fleshly efforts. Leviticus 23:27-31 states: “…you shall humble your souls (minds) and present an offering by fire to the Lord…If there be any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people…any person who does any work on this day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You shall do no work at all.” The feast of Tabernacles required a setting aside of the carnal mind, carnal efforts for the atonement of Christ to take effect. Work is an effort of the flesh – the Law, rituals, traditions. It is self- effort to be holy. But Abraham had appropriated by faith the ability to live in grace. Grace is a powerful realm to live in. Charles Swindoll’s book on grace gives a great perspective on the realm of Grace living. There is a place wherein the righteous can come to perfection – living in, knowing, that they are in Christ.
One humbles one’s soul by casting it into the fire – our God is a consuming fire. (Deuteronomy 4:24, Hebrews 12:29) The Adamic soul that fallen nature of Adam, must die. The soul that sins shall surely die Ezekiel 18:4 states. Adam died a long time ago – even the Adam nature in you. But it is the Christ nature, the nature of Jesus, who is arising, resurrecting out of your being. When you became saved it is God and only God from here on it that controls. There is only one power – it is God. Abraham entered into that realm by grace and faith. Based upon his walk, his walk in the fullness of Christ who he appropriated, he lived a righteous life. Ask any Christian today if they are righteous and they will probably tell you “no.” It is because they identify with the fallen nature rather than with the Lord. Abraham’s identification was with God. He did not even recognize anything else in himself. One has to believe that you are in order to become – what you really are.
Jesus had the fullness in Him as the scriptures quoted clearly state. As Colossians 3:3 states: “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Who is dead? The old fallen nature, that Adamic flesh, that carnal mind is dead. Who is our life? Who is the only life we have after we are saved? It is the Lord Jesus only. We no longer exist as Paul so succinctly states in Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Abraham understood that his life was God’s life and the life he lived was by faith, as Paul expresses. Is this blasphemous? I think not. It is identification with God, the very thing that caused the religious leaders to kill Jesus will cause religious people to kill you! We are to find our identification with Him. It is no longer you that live, but Christ in you. Who receives the glory? God. For it is God seen within your vessel. Abraham was an ambassador, an alien to this world, who manifested the nature of God. He manifested it here – not in heaven. We who have the knowledge of Jesus Christ, who are His workmanship, created IN Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10), are to manifest Him.
When Jesus came to John the Baptist to be baptized, John initially refused. Jesus said it had to be so to fulfill all righteousness. For 30 years Jesus had lived under the Law of the Old Testament and fulfilled it (Matthew 5:17) But Jesus came to repent! He came to repent of the Law. For the law convicts of sin and He was sinless. He came to be washed clean of that order so that He could come forth in GRACE. When Jesus arose from the river Jordan, God said He was well pleased with His Son. Jesus immediately went forth into the wilderness, led of the Spirit to be tempted of the Devil (the LAW), the accuser of the brethren. (Revelation 12:10, John 5:45) The Law sought to bring Jesus back into bondage but He stood firm in the knowledge that He was GRACE personified.
We, as Philippians 3:9 states, are “found IN him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith…” When we realize we are in Him, we are not in the law which has its own kind of righteousness. We are in faith, righteousness and cannot be judged by the LAW as the LAW did not judge Jesus – although they tried to bring Him down to that level. Abraham walked in that realm. He didn’t need the LAW to fulfill the nature of God. In fact, the law cannot and will not ever fulfill the nature of Christ.
“But of him are ye IN Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption,” 1 Corinthians 1:30. When one walks as Abraham did, you walk in the knowledge of the nature of who you are. You live in the attributes of who you are. You become the righteousness of God in Christ, You become the sanctification of Christ. Don’t believe it? Does not Paul state that the unsaved spouse is sanctified by the believing spouse? (1Corinthians 7:14) It is not your own “sanctification” is it? No. It is the Lord’s. But Paul states you sanctify. How is that? Because you are in Christ, and as Christ to the spouse, you are the light of the world. The same truth follows in every facet of your life. Abraham knew this and walked in it. You can too when you experience the third feast, the feast of Tabernacles (must have the other two experiences first – salvation and baptism of the Spirit).
“For we are his workmanship, CREATED IN Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we SHOULD WALK in them,” states Ephesians 2:10. We are to walk out the manifestation of Christ. Jesus finished the work of the Father. He glorified the Father before He was crucified. (John 17:4) How? He manifested the name of the Father. (vs.5) That is to say Jesus revealed the nature of God – gentleness, kindness, etc. against such there is NO LAW. (Galatians 5:23) The very nature, the only nature that we have by faith, is Christ’s nature. It is His nature that causes us to fulfill “unto good works.” It is His nature that creates the good works. The LAW creates dead works. You cannot do anything for Christ – that is the LAW working, the carnal mind. It is only Christ that pleases the Father. Abraham pleased God. He walked by faith. He appropriated that which he did not know nor could know in the fallen Adamic nature. He appropriated as his own the nature of Christ.
How much easier it is for us than it was for Abraham to live in the nature of Christ. How so? We are the workmanship created in Christ Jesus as we quoted. We can live in the reality that Abraham had to reach out for by faith.
An old friend, Luther Fackler, now deceased, was a pastor of our Lutheran college. He once told me an acronym for “faith.” As I close this brief message consider the truth he expressed.
F = Forsaking
A = All
I = I
T = Take
H = Him
ABRAHAM-JUST WHO IS HE [Charles W. Weller] 1