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Logo of Talking Points, 2nd Quarter 2021: The Promise, God's Everlasting Covenant

04 An Everlasting Covenant

Mark Howard Kameron DeVasher
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  • April 14, 2021
    9:00 AM
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I'm Cameron evasion and I'm Mark Howard and this is talking points we are still on our 2nd quarter of the year this time lesson for an everlasting covenant of course we're looking at the Covenant God's everlasting covenant in fact that's the title The promise of God's everlasting covenant and this is the whole topic for this week is an everlasting covenant so we're going to see how that plays out Pastor Howard what are we kind of covering this week was that I mean you know it's interesting I don't know where this week's title came from because if you go over it I don't see it drawn from a specific date and the weeks like that we get a glance on Saturday afternoon says What is the name of God What does it mean what was the significance of the names God used to identify himself to Abraham what names to be used to identify himself why did God change Abram's name to Abraham and what if that talks about the everlasting covenant so I don't know if this just does through the title it is like you ever have one of those sermons where you don't know exactly what you're going to preach a pastor told me this years ago actually it was all a person who is there by the word who said. Whenever I don't know what I'm going to speak on the boat and secretaries waiting I just give them the title special message. That's what everybody think of it is what this they are telling me about the covenants Ok And it is the everlasting covenant they were so anyway Ok well that we could a glance that you just mentioned at the bottom of Saturday afternoons that's out of the introduction to basically what's going to cover this week all the names of God in the significance of those pieces and parts of the Covenant Yeah Ok so then let's have a word of prayer and then you could walk us through from that springboard into the specifics talking points of this week Ok let's break that Heavenly Father thank you so much for another opportunity to study your word thank you for these lessons thank you for the scripture of course that these lessons are merely a study guide to and help us to be students of that word help us to be knowing familiar with but transformed by it so we can be members of your kingdom for prayer in Jesus' name amen. Amen. All right well our viewers are familiar with we talked about this many times that typically Sabbath afternoon doesn't have a lot of content for the lesson itself right kind of a diving board into a lesson Friday is a summary so really you have Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday and interesting really this lesson spends Sunday Monday and Tuesday all on names and then Wednesday Thursday on the covenant so is it let's get this again your 7 afternoon is a introductory thing is it really substantively connected then you have Friday is usually a review you have 4 days I mean 5 days left Sunday and it's the right of those days 3 of those are devoted to the Navy got out of the 5 subs and yesterday is the week 3 of them are going to the naming thing I'm saying that to say we're not going to give it that same proportion of Ok I just wouldn't spend that much segment I'll talk about why so Point number 2 talking point number one this week is that Bible names can communicate important truths that are almost as vague as I can make it because I think some people attach too much significant names they almost make it like a puzzle and this mystic whatever reading it but there is some significance survival names are going to talk about that yeah Ok Ok. And the lesson brings those things out number 2 God always takes the initiative and we see that in the covenants and the broader theme of salvation which I just think is a key thing to understand bears repeating even though you talk about it before and then finally number 3 we are here's one of those talking points that I have specifically worded it this way to stir up the pure minds of the saints we are justified by works and not by faith only oh. Just before somebody calls me a heretic you'll notice if you have the outline that that is in quotes because it's a direct quote from scripture not take. And out of context. Well we're definitely going to spend some time in that when and if you look at the overlay as we've got to mention the bulk of it is going to be the names of God stuff even those good material there is going to be probably weighted on the I guess it and I should have I should have put I messed this up and I've got to correct your handout So the Bible names in Sunday Monday Tuesday Ok God always takes initiative Wednesdays where do you get from and then just by works not by faith only have drawn from Thursday and Friday Ok well let's go right into it in number one part one of my Bible names can communicate important truth and it starts going through the names of God by Yes just a human names that goes God's names. Ok so I want to refer our of viewers to Sunday's lesson 3rd paragraph down it says when God 1st entered into a covenant relationship with a broom he made himself known to the patriarch under the name of y h w h pronounced to Yup way and translated as l o r d in capitals in the King James version also in the New King James version I didn't go through and check all the a number of versions when you look elsewhere it is in all capitals what you have behind that is what scholars call the Tetra gram Aton that's just Greek for 4 letters because when they wrote when they wrote in the Hebrew Bible when they wrote down the name of God They considered it so sacred they excluded the valves so all you have is y.h.w.h. now the lesson says it's pronounced ya way and I take a little I don't want to say take issue with that but you just need to understand that this is going to be a debate into the Lord comes I'm going to tell you is it printed y.h.w.h. Now 1st of all it doesn't have l. So you have to add in the Bells and that's conjecture because we don't have a definite on how to do that and then you have to ask yourself is the why I pronounce you. In is the w. present and then you add the valves and you come up with ya way or is the wire pronounced just n. is the w. pronounce vote and you have the bells and come up with Jeff. Now Jehovah's Witnesses say there's only one proper name for God Mr Hope they take it from the same place so my point is there is there's. Contention in there always will be because all we have is the 4 letters Well we've talked about this before too and I don't want to jump ahead of anything there's a lesson here but when we talk about the name of God Remember when he talked about when God was asked to reveal His glory and he said Oh my goodness and my main in front of you yet proclaim I am well he doesn't say syllables and consonants and vowels and those guys he talks about his character is good as that the significance of the name of God is not the lettering or the prosecution it's what it means a significant was and I've had this discussion with some of our Jehovah's Witness brothers and sisters if it was this If that was the significance why didn't God just include the valves Yeah I mean that which is revealed is for us in our children if God didn't reveal it like this is so important in the name of God as the significant things what I'm saying is like I can tell you what the cool thing so they take away from this and I think the lesson makes this point when God explains his name and to Moses and Moses says what do I tell the people who do I tell them sent me he says I am that I am or I am who I am when you read in Exodus Chapter 3 and Jesus brings this out in the Gospels where I am the way I am the truth I am the life I am the door I am the I Am i am i am and even when the religious leaders came to him and he said your father Abraham saw my day and they said how can it how could you say that you're only you haven't been 30 years old and out of the day and he says Before Abraham was I am invokes that name the name I am is an ever present name it's not past tense is not future tense is ever present and I think the point the the lesson applies because it doesn't just go with the Yahoo a name but on Monday it goes with the name El Shaddai and if we go through Scripture God goes by many names wonderful counselor mighty God Everlasting husband we gone on that. When God chooses the new. Aim to identify him self within a given situation it's generally tied to what qualities he's bringing into that situation best particular to the circumstance ever present God speaking in a situation where you need an ever present God or El Shaddai and this is another one where the word is is drawn from its genesis transit is God Almighty and it speaks to the might in the power of God So God promising to able to Abraham a man who is aging and his wife is barren and you're going to be great nation and I don't even have kids yet then talking about the all powerful Mr God Well I don't want to skip ahead to next week's book if you'll foreshadowing in next lesson there's going to have a date talking about where God says I am your shield Well again that's I am and what he needed to hear at that time was the protecting power of God and the he's going to be the one sustaining him through all this so again to your point that God when He speaks there's not just a single name that he says this is the all the in Dalby all mean but this is like conveying the eternal quality of the protective quo the redeeming quality of the kwacha they are whatever and God speaks to us and the blessing brings this out of this lesson in relatable terms he wants to be in relationship with us we ties it to the circumstance of the audience that's read in so my talking point here that the Bible names can communicate important issues I don't want to type too much importance then because before I ever studied names in the Bible I still learned a lot and got a lot of inspiration and hope out of the Bible so sometimes I know you don't understand all this but it is helpful to share know that that element of things and then you when you look at names in the Bible it doesn't the lesson doesn't just stop with the names of God but it goes on talks about name changes Abrams name was name change right Abraham and in fact before I go there I want to bring up on Sundays lesson it brings this point at the bottom of the page the last paragraph on Sunday before you get into the shaded area it says Yeah way is also God's. Personal Name. The identification of Yahweh as one who brought a broom out of Earth 1st to the now from God's covenant with him it cetera in so it just speaks to even how God identifies himself with Avram is speaking to the personal relationship government wants to have a room so you've got that element of things in the names of God used in Scripture Perth and then then the human names sometimes you've got the names like Jacob who's me whose name means us a planter because of how he was born this is going to he's a zealot so you know it. But then the name changed to Israel or Abraham Abrams change name change Abraham. Everlasting Father to father of a multitude like the name change the promise was included in the name change so there's an element of things as well that the lesson highlights that sometimes God has brought about or given a person a name change a New Testament think speaks about that even if these are coveted term because all that is inside the covenant so God identifies himself at different times as with a different name but maybe highlighting a different aspect of the covenant you know deal and then when it becomes a poor him that's a covenantal change you know you think of Jacob Israel that's inside of this covenant so we're modifying not the terms of the covenants but. I don't know if the how you want to explain it but God speaks to people at different times in their experience with the Covenant and addresses them differently as they progress or as their transformation and that transformation of character is one of the very core elements of the covenants That's right and this name change is an indicator of that transformation if you do a study your names in the Bible you'll find they're linked to character serious tics personal character and you know Sunday's lesson or Tuesday's lesson rather makes an interesting point 3rd paragraph about halfway through well 30 to 2 thirds of the way through says in the same way by giving people certain names or changing their names it seems possible to influence how they would view themselves and doesn't influence how they would act it talks about sometimes you call somebody stupid enough or other and they start think of themselves that way so part of the name change maybe God trying to inspire hope in a person that I've created you to be more than what you are which is not a powerful idea so yeah well we talked about even getting into he did change your name but he's he's down in the threshing floor hiding to the end of it is that like the man of valor you know or your god he's like you he's like no that's you God God is that way absolutely So you know some helpful things in studying. Names of scripture as you're going through your study they can bring out you know some real gems and now moving to the 2nd point God takes always takes the initiative in Wednesday's lesson it talks about the 3 covenant stages and this is one of those things where. I'm just giving my opinion here this comes from Dr hostle I can understand and appreciate it he talks about how the covenant was given to Abraham in stages 1st Genesis 12 then Genesis 15 then Genesis 17. I have never even thought of it in those terms as much as I've known the story and it hasn't diminished my appreciation of the covenant so it's another way of looking at it I think there's a couple of things about it he sure one of the things that you see in it is a progression of Abraham's growth right God 1st comes to it and we're going to talk about that in the story so as we review the story of Abraham but in those 3 stages when God 1st appeared in Genesis 12 and then again God appeared to him in Genesis 15 and then again in Genesis 17. And of course God appeared to me again when he asked him to. Isaac but. There are 3 qualities in each one of those experiences it's brought out in the middle of Wednesday's lesson and I also put it in the outline 3 steps in each one of those appearances the stages the 1st is the approach of God to man in every one of those steps God approaches a broom and then the call to human obedience God calls into obedience and then the divine promise I will do thus and so for you and take away to me personally and I just this is in my own Christian experience it was one of the most important things for me to learn because. That important thing is that God takes the initiative when I 1st became a Christian I had the idea and I think this is just part of the carnal heart that it's natural for us for fallen humanity you think you've got to work your way to heaven or earn your earn your way into God's favor and you've got to take the initiative like Ok God Look here I am and I'm going to start I know I've been living a better life I'm a start doing good stuff and hopefully you recognize me down here and then there's this mindset that I've got to get his attention we see. The profits of bail right now the answer on the all where they try to do the trade is because attention and you'll find that every pagan religion as well as pagan ised Christianity mercy does that if it. Man takes the initiative you have got to get your Gods attention and that's why when Elijah you notice when he provoked the prophets of bail he said maybe you're gonna sleep maybe and maybe guys only make a shout louder do you notice how they didn't respond No they did they were doing it they didn't say what do you mean our God loves us are going to get their way no he's got a good idea exactly and that's when they went even further start cutting themselves a screen to developing it so that's a mindset and false religion the only religion where that God takes the initiative is Bible Christianity and it's a powerful thing like before we ever even wanted to be saved God took the initiative save in this why Paul says a moment how much more now that you have any desire to be saved can you have confidence that God will save you so that's a beautiful thing so in all these areas of the Covenant whether it's way back with in the very beginning that I will put in the right or of his you know no as we talk about that's right now Abraham Isaac Jacob the whole lineage of the children of his ro it's always the Lord said to him the Lord came to when the Lord appeared so it doesn't say like and they put on some special thing and a big you know called the lord down and he was broke as the Lord is the one taking the initiative in setting forth you know here the approach to man it's always never man of God is always God a man and the 2nd is true the call to human obedience man's response to that is like I've got an idea how about I pledge my will be no God like and the 2nd thing I'm going to do is call you to a great c.e.o. So back we have one of man's ideas coming up in the go exactly God It's always a bad idea and what's interesting is even when God made the covenant with Israel and they broke the covenant it wasn't them said sorry we broke it what do we do God took the initiative to come to seek them out just like Adam and Eve in the garden where are you was. And I'm looking for God Oh ways God takes the initiative and the importance in that for us to understand is never feel that you are too far from God like well I've got a God is taking the initiative if you're even thinking that like I'm thinking. There's nothing in the carnal heart that even desires go right the fact so you feel you could be in trouble tells you that a lot of you are going to Hartington or not you know positive terms of wanting to have a relationship with him one is an evidence that God has taken that initial. So that's that's at the foundation of Christianity that God always takes initiative now that kind of will flow into our last I think point and probably take the most time with this here are we I'm sorry we are justified by works and not by faith only now that comes from the Book of James which as not in the lesson I want to read it because it the context of that that text is in the story that we're talking about with a very well in as we're looking this up and James. You mentioned the point that this could seem like not just potentially controversial it could be like catastrophic Lee So not seen him we know that this passage and let's look at the pabulum think of it if you took those little quotes off and you just said like like it was your word people say that's the that is textbook legalism they'd be calling the g.c. and me and saying I get this guy but because his script is in verse James Chapter 2 verse 24 yes 24 go ahead and says You see even which precludes we have to look at what we're seeing to understand this but the take away is you see then that a man is justified by works and not by faith only. So in order to get to vet concluding statement you can to understand what he was trying to say about it and so he builds on the story of Abraham and of course he's building on his audiences understanding of it so far to our the audience to doesn't understand as much of the story just a quick run through We've already looked at a number of these things in the lesson in Genesis 12 God gave the 1st Abrams the 1st call I guess early kill the night now so he's 5 years old go up from your I told you says I'm going to make you a great nation great Ok and incidentally his wife is barren at the time can't have kids but that's it's earlier on you 75 now you're just a kid if a kid 10 years later the Bible tells us you come down to Genesis Chapter 15 and Abrams still doesn't have no God It acts like nothing you know I made the promise it still stands were 10 years later there goes says hey come outside look at all the stars your descendants are going to be like the stars is nothing skipped a beat in there is like Lord listen it's been 10 years and the only person I even have in my house that I could call a kid is a slave and he's really not my kid how am I going to be great which is interesting because why would he even bring that name up he's already been thinking of a backup plan yeah like well I guess it technically a loophole we could make it really binding so that but it's not really a such and it's oh so he's already got those it's been 3 years he's got those thoughts of doubt he's making his backup plan that's right it's like no this is going to be like I said and then of course they were Abrams like well how am I going to know how do I know this is from you and God says I don't know you're going to fulfill this and so what the Lord does and this is puzzling for to me for quite a while just not understanding the ancient customs and we touched on it already I think a talking point that it was customary in those days when people made covenants to take 8 and a sacrificial animal can cut it in half from head to tail in 2 parts in a walk between the pieces both people entering into the covenant and what you were doing was you were pledging your own self to be cut in half. In the event that you didn't fulfill your end of the deal and so God condescends to enter into this humanistic is she covenant with Abraham I don't know that if that's a word or not but it's definitely a striking illustration of the solemnity and significance of this he's like I'm serious I'm this is here I'm not just saying words here so God. You know affirms that covenant promise to Abraham in Genesis is seen Well then you come into Genesis 16 and Sarah's Abraham's wife Sarah I swear I don't know if she Sarah see Sarah is just right because that didn't happen those who haven't seen and says hey I've got an idea Listen God said it would be your child not necessarily my child and concoct his plan with a slave girl so that Abrams would go into her slave girl Hagar impregnate her or have a child and then that would be the child of promise him so they do in the child Ishmael and Ishmael is born and God comes back to a broom but not going to male is a sort not is not an infant or toddler or even yet he's at least you know entering his teenage years ago and so about the time he would start like Alright it's time to be a man in accountable and now we're going to give the inheritance over and God then shows up in Genesis 17 by the way exactly the same and it's interesting the program going to give the child just this 15 he's looking for that like non air loophole with Ellie yet or just the 16 he's like well how do we do a half son what if we didn't you know. Have promised child needs like no that's only have faith there's no faith right these shows up things that I told you it's going to be your child I've said this when the Bears are going to I'm going to make a great nation not through well you know it's interesting that when he does show up he doesn't go into that yet he just says Abraham here again Abraham here again to tell you you're going to be Father great nation only now it was like no that because Ishmael and then God started talking about this and it's very evident halfway through the conversation no law. Or did Ishmael may have before you like we've worked well interestingly interestingly is when the Lord Institute's circumcision that's exact and then he's like oh I can't I can't he's like none of that oh you've clearly demonstrated a lack of faith in every way you've tried to come up with some out he's like I need to give a side in the flesh and this is directly related to you know the procreation promise that I made actually right and it begs the please let Ishmael we've already got us here and you wonder about circumcision it's like why would anybody want to talk to them you know I need to go over that about my daughter's like I don't talk about her gives it back but there is a reason that it was associated with this hard process not a process of it had directly to do You were told in both Scripture and in the writings of l. no one that circumcision was not God's initial plan right and so it will talk about circumcision in the New Testament they're like what has to be we've got to have circumcision and then in the New Testament church they realise that it got was talking to a broom way before he was circumcised in fact just as well there's no mention of it in the beginning of it and so it can go away in the New Testament because it wasn't part of the ordinal ideal anyway that's right it's fascinating but so God gives a broom this and reiterates the promise yes Abrams argues for Ishmael but the point is Ishmael was man's attempt to fulfil God's promise which has huge significance in this whole in the way just picks it up we don't have time to go to his role uses that as a metaphor for faith versus work that's exactly right and so he gives the right of circumcision makes a promise again has to do a very difficult thing and that is he has to send Ishmael away to and the context of that story and then Isaac is born and then the final test is that God After everything in his whole life his whole call from God Everything culminated now in Isaac and Isaac is all that's left and then God says I want to sacrifice some of this crazy and so Abraham unquestioningly obeys Now we come back to James 2 and this. Is where this is so absolutely powerful James in this is the context James is talking in he says in verse 21 was not Abraham our father justified by works notice he specifically he specifies a time when this happened. Was he not despite their works when he offered his son on the altar now he's about to Paul a quote. Where the scripture in Genesis says that Abraham was justified by faith he believed the Lord it was kind of him as right in Genesis 15 when guys showed him all the stars and it says Abraham was justified but it James acknowledges that yes but you know all he says is was he not justified by word after word so in other words the works don't take the place of the faith experience he already had notice where James goes was not even him our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar do you see that faith was working together with his works him by work space was made perfect and the scripture was fulfilled which Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness and he was called the friend of God then that made us just by the works not if they don't in Genesis 15 the promise is proclaimed in Genesis 5th $22.00 according to James the promise is fulfilled that's right the idea being because in Genesis Chapter $22.00 verse 12 after he is willing to sacrifice Isaac the Lord says Do not lay a hand on the lad or do anything to him for now I know that you fear God since you have not withheld your son your only son from me and so James takes that and says he was accounted as righteous earlier on but there were still a growth in grace until he can stand and actually fulfill the promise with his actions he had to choose and that's right so 1st of all the lesson makes a great point on Thursday this what the lesson is talking about Thursday when it talks about Covenant obligations I just used this loaded James text to get us thinking a little further about it but the lesson says. The 1st 2 paragraphs as we have seen so far the covenant is always a common. The grace of God doing for us what we could never do for ourselves so it was with Abraham no different there is no exception he says in the covenant of the lesson says in the covenant with Abraham in his grace God had chosen Abraham as his instrument to assist in the proclaiming the plan of salvation of the world God's fulfillment of His covenant promises was however a link to Abraham's willingness to do righteously in to obey Him by faith without obedience on Abraham's part God could not use him and so the point is and I think you know the Bible tells us by grace you have been saved but it says by grace you've been saved through faith. Not of use not of works as any man should boast a center faith has to work with the grace of God And so I noted here in our lesson that it is the grace of God that invites us is the grace of God that initiate a faith response in us is the grace of God that empowers obedience and in finding the grace of God to fulfills to us God's promises but God's grace will never substitute a for our choice if we say this all the time God is not going to force us to obey him so as much as in His grace God takes the initiative and everything else and James this point in the lessons point and the point that we need to get clear is unless we choose to obey that's our faith response right the covenant can't be fulfilled to us. To put it this way says while works aren't the cause of our salvation they are the necessary condition of salvation right that that God doesn't say all right you work your way up and when you're good enough I'll take you he says I'm promise that I pledge to take you but it's going to be a partnership and you have to step out in faith and not just have faith but it's your size right and this is such an important topic there's a statement here that I included just a piece of great controversy for 25 it says element since through the grace of God speaking of the people last days through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle of the evil and I mean I've heard the bill his own wife she's all she doesn't understand it says by the grace of God plus their works that's not what she's saying her point is the same thing James is saying is James then that that this whole story conveys to us that Megan has to have response God's not going to force man's response and the reason I say that is if you're reading the Bible and you read a passage like this in James in it in you want to throw it out and you read a passage like this and a quick quote like this by Ellen White and the grave and you don't and you going to throw it out because it doesn't fit with your idea of justification by faith you've got a faulty idea of just weak. If you may if Scripture doesn't come in hurry of scripture challenges your justification by faith picture you don't have to just picture a minute well that goes with almost any other thing to only get active because I've had some dealings in recent times where people have said like I know Scripture says but I think you know if you're going to the point that inspiration needs to be corrected by your understanding it's your understanding that's off mercy but a proper understanding of this will show that it's always God's grace even as we need to respond to it it's God's grace that gives us the ability to respond to them having said all that there's a fact if that's not going to isolate me why don't you read that 2nd mind character personality there yeah 691 says as soon as we incline our will to harmonize with God's Will the grace of Christ stands to co-operate with the human nature but it will not be the substitute to do our work independent of our resolving and decidedly acting this is another way of saying God not going to force us right therefore it is not the abundance of light or evidence piled upon evidence that will convert the soul it is only the human agent accepting the light arousing the energies of the Will realizing and acknowledging that which he knows is righteousness and truth and thus cooperating with the heavenly ministrations appointed to God in the saving result powerful statement in testing so our summary says on Friday God called Abraham into a special relationship with him he used his personal name ya way to die speaking of His power one that relationship that would reveal the plan of salvation to the world through Abraham we're going to see more of that as we go on throughout our powerful stuff this week. This is a great local sad was cool discussions and I say that word well we're going to. Leave it at that but before we go let's have a word prayer evilly Father thank you again so much for the opportunity to study thank you for your word and fake you for its application in our lives today help this Lord not to be mere theory but help us to really put into practice these lessons that you've taught us today. So Lord please help us to continue that covenant experience even though we can be your people and soon and very soon be part of your kingdom of heaven for praying in Jesus' name amen.

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