BORN UNDER CONTRACT
Imagine yourself being born, and when you took your first breath, you found yourself under a binding legal obligation emanating from your ancestors which you cannot, in any way, annul. As a matter of fact, if you are a member of a certain group of people, you have several contracts by which you must abide which will affect every major phase and all the decisions of your life. There is only one group of people in the entire world who are born with this obligation on their physical, mental and spiritual beings. And, as much as anyone might want to find a way to disengage himself from the provisions of these contracts, he finds himself entirely helpless to do so. He cannot decide he doesn’t want to be under the terms of these contracts, nor can others who are not under them decide they want to be included therein. If you have been designated a party under the terms, you really have no choice in the matter but to comply. It is not open for invitation, and you don’t have an option. If one does not comply with the terms of the accord, every means will be applied to bring him back into compliance with that Covenant. One cannot plead ignorance to the existence of these contracts as ignorance is no excuse. Because these binding contracts play such an important role in our lives, it will be the object here to explain them and the penalties incurred for not keeping the terms as prescribed. It is my hope here to show how futile it is to fight these conditions under which we find ourselves obligated from the time of our birth. 1st Corinthians 6:19-20, says in part:
"... and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price ..."
But, with this passage, we are getting much too far ahead of our story; for we must go back to the beginning to get the concept of what all of this is about.
PREAMBLE TO THE CONTRACT
While it was not the contract or Covenant in itself, the intention to give it is foreshadowed in Genesis 13:16. The recipients of this proposed covenant were to be exclusively Abram (Abraham) and his descendants:
"And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth,
It is paramount we should observe, in Yahweh calling Abraham, He dealt with one individual and his family. (I will be using the Tetragrammaton throughout, including quotes.) In other words, Yahweh was the party of the first part, and Abraham and his family were the party of the second part. In this passage, the parties of the Covenant contract were established. Nowhere are we told Yahweh ever made a covenant with any other people. It should be noted Yahweh chose Abraham, not the other way around. It was Yahweh who was calling the terms of the contract. In subsequent covenants, the definition of Abraham’s immediate family seed would be narrowed down and clarified. When we examine Scripture, this Covenant is definitely speaking of Abraham’s descendants through Isaac and Jacob; not Hagar, Ishmael, Keturah or Esau.
YAHWEH’S PRIMARY COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM
This contract is spelled out more fully in Genesis 15:5:
"And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be."
Before receiving this promise from Yahweh, Abraham asked how this thing could be, for his only legal heir was his servant Eliezer of Damascus. Whereupon, Yahweh declared Eliezer would not be Abraham’s heir, but his own flesh and blood. Like with all contracts, there are two or more parties involved; but the conditions set forth in this one are quite unusual. At this point, all that was left was to finalize the agreement as described in Genesis 15:9-10:
"9 And he (Yahweh) said unto him (Abram), Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. 10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not."
This legal process is described in the Believer’s Bible Commentary by William MacDonald, page 53, where he quotes a footnote from David Baron’s The New Order of the Priesthood, pages 9-10:
"According to the ancient Eastern manner of making a covenant, both the contracting parties passed through the divided pieces of the slain animals, thus symbolically attesting that they pledged their very lives to the fulfillment of the engagement they made (see Jeremiah 34:18, 19). Now in Genesis 15, Yahweh alone, whose presence was symbolized by the smoking furnace and lamp of fire, passed through the midst of the pieces of the slain animals, while Abram was simply a spectator of this wonderful exhibition of Yahweh’s free grace."
There is a very similar comment in The Wycliffe Bible Commentary; page 21, comparable to David Baron’s quotation above and essentially says the same thing. Again, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown makes a very similar observation concerning this passage in their Commentary On The Whole Bible, page 27, of which I will quote only one sentence: "The patriarch did not pass between the sacrifice and the reason was that in this transaction he was bound to nothing."
When Yahweh made this Covenant with Abram, Yahweh put Abram into a half-conscious trance so he could witness the event, but not be an active participant. Normally, each party in the contract was required by law to walk between the divided carcasses. It was saying, in effect: "So let it be done to me as these divided animals if I keep not the terms of this contract." In this particular contract, Yahweh walked alone between the slain animals, thus making it a one-way (unilateral) compact; Yahweh promising everything, with nothing being required of Abram. Thus, all the obligations of the agreement were placed solely upon Yahweh. This signified that it was an unconditional Covenant dependent for fulfillment upon Yahweh alone. Rousas John Rushdoony, in his book The Institutes of Biblical Law, couldn’t be more mistaken when he said, page 44: "Abraham was required to pass between the divided pieces of slain animals ..." This is just the opposite of what really happened, for Yahweh walked this path by Himself. We have to consider: if Yahweh hasn’t literally fulfilled this promise of "many seed" by this time, He is not faithful to His Word. If He has kept His Word, then somewhere in the world today there must be a people so numerous they would be impossible to count.
We can know for a certainty this unconditional Covenant by Yahweh was directed only toward the descendants Isaac and Jacob-Israel, for it is recorded in verses 13-14, where it refers to Israel’s sojourn in Egypt. None of Abraham’s other children fit this criteria, so, we are assured beyond all doubt, this Covenant was for Israel, and Israel only. Therefore, all of Abraham’s full-blooded descendants through Isaac and Jacob fall under this contract, which is a covenant in perpetuity. This Covenant Yahweh signed, sealed and witnessed with Abram, his friend. Once ratified, it could not be abrogated; it was to be in effect forever.
COVENANT REASSURED (Genesis 17:4-7)
Thirteen years later, Yahweh reappeared to Abram with a reassurance, a challenge and a richer promise. This restatement, like the first promise, was to his seed through Isaac and Jacob; not to the Ishmaelites or Edomites or some kind of spiritual church or a process of spiritual adoption.
"4 As for me, behold, my covenant
ABRAHAMIC COVENANT CONFIRMED
In Genesis 22:15-18, Yahweh made a second declaration of His Covenant with Abraham after Isaac was offered on the altar. This passage reads as follows:
"15 And the angel of Yahweh called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith Yahweh, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only
For comment on this second ratification of the contract, I will quote from Howard B. Rand’s Primo-genesis, page 82:
"Abraham turned and saw a ram caught in the thicket, which he substituted for Isaac upon the altar and offered a burnt-offering to Yahweh. But Isaac had been laid upon the altar and, according to the law, anything that touches the altar becomes from that time forward separated unto Yahweh. It cannot be taken back again by him who has laid it there. By this act Abraham dedicated Isaac [and his seed] to the service of Yahweh." [Romans 9:7; Galatians 4:28, 29]
At that very moment, Isaac and his offspring became the personal property of Yahweh. By the act of placing Isaac on the altar, Yahweh was now in a legal position to bless or chastise Isaac and his progeny (less Esau) in any manner necessary in order to keep them under the terms of the Covenant. Not only this, but Isaac’s offspring would inherit the strategic sea-gates of the world; Suez, Gibraltar, Aden, Singapore, Malacca, Cape of Good Hope, Falklands, Dover and Panama. Though some gates may be lost for a while, they will be returned to Isaac’s sons. (Genesis 22:17)
A RACE DEDICATED
Again, for more comment on this second ratification of this contract, I will quote from Howard B. Rand’s Primo-genesis, page 82:
"Through Isaac an entire race was dedicated to Yahweh’s service, for from that day forward Isaac’s seed became Yahweh’s. In the utterances of the prophets and throughout the whole Bible, in the story it tells, this fact is fully set forth. Failure to recognize the fact that a race has been dedicated to serve has prevented thousands from understanding the statements concerning a servant people who would become witnesses to Yahweh’s glory throughout the ages. As the story unfolds, the significance of the history of this race — today represented in the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples — will become more apparent. The knowledge of their activities, as they fulfill ancient prophecies, will further establish the accuracy of the Bible story."
COVENANT CONFIRMED WITH JACOB
Upon realizing he had lost his birthright, Esau threatened to kill Jacob as soon as his father Isaac had died. Rebekah, hearing of this, sent Jacob to his uncle Laban at Padanaram until Esau’s anger abated, and also to seek a wife as charged by Isaac. On his journey, one evening having no bed, he placed his head on a stone to rest. Entering sleep, Yahweh appeared to him in a vision. In his dream, Jacob saw a ladder which reached from earth to heaven with angels ascending and descending. At the top of the stairs was Yahweh Almighty Himself. Yahweh said to Jacob, Genesis 28:13-15:
"13 ... I am Yahweh the Mighty One of Abraham thy father, and the Mighty One of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed. 14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the [Israel] families of the earth be blessed [i.e., Mark 7:27-28]. 15 And, behold, I
Awakening in the morning, Jacob knew he had been in the presence of Yahweh. He then took the stone he had used as a pillow, set it up as a pillar and consecrated it as "Bethel", the House of The Almighty. Therefore, the STONE bore the holy anointing of Yahweh. To claim that Palestine alone was to be the place of the covenanted expansion promised to Jacob and his seed is to fail to recognize that Jacob was in Palestine when told his seed would spread abroad in all directions of the compass. For anyone still under the allusion that Palestine is the only "promised land" should research this passage again. Jacob then vowed a vow: (1) If Yahweh would be with him and keep him in the way he went, (2) If Yahweh would provide bread to eat and raiment to wear, (3) If Yahweh would bring him back home in peace, (4) Then shall Yahweh be his El, (5) This pillar which he set up shall be the House of El, and (6) In all his increase he would give Yahweh a tenth. Question: Was Jacob just speaking for himself on the six items above, or speaking for all of his progeny?
COVENANT REAFFIRMATION TO JACOB
After spending many years in the land of Haran, Jacob collected all the numerous possessions he had acquired, along with his wives and children, and quietly left the house of Laban. On his return to the land of his fathers, the angels of Yahweh came to meet him. And, he called the place Mahanaim, which means "two hosts" or "camps." While contemplating meeting Esau, who years before had threatened to kill him, Jacob separated himself from his family by sending them across the brook Jabbok, where he stayed alone and prayed for Yahweh’s help. Jacob, being alone, perceived being touched by a man, actually an angel messenger, with whom he wrestled all night until morning. Being frightened to face Esau, Jacob would not let go of the angel of Yahweh until he blessed him. Not being able to overcome Jacob, the angel touched him on his thigh, which in turn came out of joint. Jacob admitting his name meant supplanter, the angel said: ("Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with Yahweh and prevailed"), Genesis 32:12, 28:
"12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude ... 28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with Yahweh and with men, and hast prevailed."
Following this, Jacob and Esau made a precarious, short-lived reconciliation. Upon Jacob journeying on to Bethel, Yahweh renewed His Covenant with him. It was not a new covenant, but the same Covenant He had made with Abraham and Isaac before him, Genesis 35:11:
"And Yahweh said unto him (Jacob), I am Yahweh Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins."
YAHWEH’S CHOSEN PEOPLE
From the foregoing, it should be quite obvious Yahweh does have a "chosen people." As a matter of fact, Yahweh chose his people, and in no way can one choose Him. They may choose to serve Him, but cannot choose Him personally. For, He has already made the choice of choosing us, and we have no say in the matter. To back up this statement, I will quote Deuteronomy 7:6:
For more witnesses that this is speaking of Israel only, let’s consider the following passages:
Isaiah 41:8: "But thou Israel
Isaiah 43:10: "Yeare my witnesses, saith Yahweh, and my servant whom I have chosen ..."
Isaiah 44:1-2: "1 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel whom I have chosen: 2 Thus saith Yahweh that made thee, and formed thee from the womb,which will help thee; Fear not O Jacob my servant; and thou Jesurun whom I have chosen."
FALSE DOCTRINE OF BEING BORN AGAIN
While it is not our desire to ridicule anyone’s prayer to Yahweh for repentance such as found in 2nd Chronicles 7:14, or any effort one might put forth to amend one’s ways, but the doctrine of being "born again" cannot be found in Scripture. I am sure many might be quick to quote John 3:3 where it says: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of Yahweh." Actually, this passage does not say "born again", but "born from above." You’ll have to admit there is a world of difference between being born again and being born from above. Being born from above simply does not imply being born again. You can check almost any Bible commentary and it will confirm "born from above" is a correct rendering. It may also be rendered "from the beginning." It was Nicodemus only who didn’t understand this, and churches, as a whole, have taken the same position he did. While the churches do not go to the extent of saying one must reenter one’s mother’s womb, they take another erroneous position. Nominal churchianity takes the position: if a person, (and he can be from any race) chooses Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and believes on Him, he can enter the Kingdom, and somehow this new candidate is regenerated or "born again" of the Spirit. That this passage should have been translated "born from above" is illustrated in Matthew Pool’s A Commentary On The Holy Bible, volume 3, page 290:
"The word translated ‘again’ is
Comparing verse 3 to 31, we can plainly see it should have been translated "from above" as it uses the same Greek word #509:
John 3:31: "He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthy, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all."
Now that we can understand that the expression "born again" is a mistranslation, let’s take a better look at this passage found in John 3:1-21. What we have here is a man of the Pharisee sect by the name of Nicodemus coming to the Messiah by night to inquire more concerning the kingdom of Yahweh. No doubt, Nicodemus was a good man and a true Israelite, for he defended Yahshua at his trial, John 7:50-51, and attended, with Joseph of Arimathaea at His burial, John 19:38-40. This was part of the conversation our Anointed One had with him, John 3:3-7:
"3 Yahshua answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of Yahweh. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Yahshua answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and
What we have in this passage is a paraphrase, which is defined in the dictionary as a restatement of the meaning of a passage in different words. In other words, the secondary statement is a restatement using different words to help define the meaning of the primary statement. A paraphrase is two parallel statements saying the same thing, but in different words. Actually, what we have in this passage are three statements in parallel. Now that we know what a paraphrase is, let’s examine the (1) primary, (2) secondary, and (3) the third-parallel statements of this passage. In verse 3, the expression "Except a man be born from above" implies an additional birth other than a physical birth. So the first statement suggests a natural birth, plus a birth "from above." Being a paraphrase, the secondary statement must repeat the same message, but with different words. In the secondary statement of verse 5, it speaks of water and spirit. In the third-parallel statement of verse 6, it speaks of flesh and spirit. Therefore, the physical birth implied in verse 3 is the same as the water and flesh of verses 5 and 6, and the "born from above" of verse 3 is the same as the Spirit and spirit of verses 5 and 6. The parallel is: (1) natural birthð water ð flesh (2) born from above ð Spirit ð spirit. In other words, the natural birth of verse 3 is the same as water and flesh, and the "born from above" of verse 3 is the same as Spirit and spirit. Once we understand the parallel of the natural birth, we soon understand the water surrounding the child breaking and producing a body of flesh. When we further understand the "born from above", we then comprehend a birth of the Spirit by the Spirit [of Yahweh].
Some say the Spirit-birth happened in preexistence, which may have some merit. Whether or not such a thing is true, we can be sure the Spirit-birth happened when Yahweh breathed the breath of life into Adam. Therefore, Adam became a spirit-man (living soul), and the father of a race of spirit-men and spirit-women. Throughout the Bible, it differentiates between earth-men and spirit-men. The Adam-man was the only race born with the Spirit of Yahweh. The other races are born of the flesh, but not the Spirit. Once we understand this, we can comprehend such verses as 1st Corinthians 2:14, which reads:
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of Yahweh: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know
The next important statement made by the Messiah to Nicodemus is recorded in John 3:10 when He said to him:
"Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?"
This should give us a pretty good idea that what Yahshua told Nicodemus he ought to have known, can be found somewhere in the Old Testament. It is also possible the "Spirit" spoken of in John 3:2-8 may have significance overlooked by many. While we know it is true concerning Adam being a spirit-man, this passage may be speaking of something beyond this in scope. Let’s take a look at Ezekiel 36:26-27:
"26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do
It should be noted in the passage just quoted, that it is directed only to Israelites, for they alone received the statutes and judgments. With all of this, it should become quite clear what is meant by being "born from above." It should be quite obvious, when it is speaking of the "water"; it is speaking of the natural birth process and not baptism. It should also be quite evident, that the being "born again" doctrine taught in the mainstream churches is not at all the Spirit-birth taught in Scripture.
Nicodemus, hearing word rumored about concerning the Messiah’s teaching of the Kingdom, decided to investigate the matter with Yahshua Himself. We have to imagine poor, old Nicodemus when he misunderstood he might have to reenter his mother’s womb to gain entrance thereto. What a strange way to enter the Kingdom of Yahweh he must have thought. He was probably familiar with the usual civil laws for entering a country by the right of birth in an earthly kingdom. But, to enter the Kingdom of Yahweh, he finds he must enter by the right of the Spirit-birth breathed by Yahweh. He was informed: "... the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of Yahweh" (1st Corinthians. 2:14). In Nicodemus’ eyes, the Messiah introduced a whole new (but really old) concept of the Kingdom of Yahweh (John 3:6) of flesh and spirit. Every Adamite has two births: one from earth, one from above; one of his body and one of his spirit. Without the first, he cannot enjoy the earth; without the last, he cannot see or enjoy the Kingdom of Yahweh. The one is visible; the second is invisible. [Galatians 4:28-31]
THE INVISIBLE KINGDOM
After Messiah explained to Nicodemus both the physical and spirit dimensions of the Kingdom, in John 3:8, He goes on to compare the Spirit to the phenomenon of the wind:
"The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."
While the wind blows in a variety of directions, and we can hear its sound, perceive its operation in the motion of the trees and even feel its touch, we cannot discern the air itself. The motion of the wind is imperceptible, but we can gauge it by its risings, fallings and changes of directions. We can only know that it exists by the effects which it produces. Like natural birth, the Spirit reproduces, by the law "after its kind." Miscegenation, therefore, brings death to the Spirit. In Scripture, both in Greek and Hebrew, the words "spirit" and "breathed" are constantly brought together. Therefore, inasmuch as Yahweh breathed into Adam His breath of life, they are both of the same Spirit.
Because the Kingdom is invisible, Yahshua said, Luke 17:20: "The Kingdom of Yahweh cometh not with observation." Truly, the Kingdom must be reunited with the Covenant, for we are His legally from the first breath!
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