"Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: For the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land." ( Hosea 4:1 )
Due to this lack of knowledge, man is on the brink of destruction, because of his transgression against God. The ability to think, and to know good from evil is the only thing that separates man from beast. Man has taken this gift from God for granted, and has chosen evil over good.
Let us take a look through the scriptures, and see what has befallen man because of his lack of knowledge of the word of God. In this lesson, we will touch on some important issues to help you to understand God's relationship with man, and man's duty towards God. We'll look at the children of Israel and see for what purpose they became the chosen people of God. We'll start our search through the scriptures at ( Genesis 25:19-26) with the birth of Jacob who is the father of the children of Israel.
Born unto Isaac, (the son of Abraham) were twin boys. The eldest named Esau, who is to serve the younger named Jacob. Also, we see where these boys are two nations, and two manner of people. (Reasoning will let us know that the boys were fraternal twins, not identical). (Continue at Genesis 32:28) We'll see where Jacob's name was changed to Israel, thus making his seed after him the children of Israel. Twelve sons were born unto Israel; (Genesis 35:22-26) Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher; thus we have the Twelve Tribes of Israel, whose seed is the chosen people of God.
"Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, you only have I known of all the families of the earth: Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities." (Amos 3:1-2)
For what purpose did the Lord choose the children of Israel? (Exodus 19: 1-6) Let's look at the 5th & 6th vs.; "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: (6th vs.) and ye shall be unto me a Kingdom of Priest, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel."
What is the covenant that the Lord made with his people? (Deuteronomy 29: 10-15) "Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel, (11th vs.) your little ones, your wives and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water: (12th vs.) That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the Lord thy God, and into his oath, which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day: (13th vs.) That he may establish thee this day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. (14th vs.) Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; (15th vs.) but with him that standeth here with us this day before the Lord our God, and also with him that is not with us this day:
What is the law that the people of God are to observe? (Exodus 20: 1-23) The Ten Commandments, God descended from heaven and spoke his commandments face to face with his people.
Is this law for the children of Israel only? No. (Leviticus 24: 22) "ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: For I am the Lord your God."
How can one who is not of the lineage of Israel, become partakers of the covenant of God? (Ephesians 2:11-22) Let's look at the 11th through 13th verses. "Wherefore remember, that ye being in the time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called uncircumcision by that which is called the circumcision in the flesh made by hands; (12th vs.) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: (13th vs.) But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ."
What transgressions did the people do, to turn away the Lord from them? (Judges 2:11-13) "And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Ba'-a-lim:
(12th vs.) And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger. (13th vs.) And they forsook the Lord, and served Ba'-al and Ash'-ta-roth."
What happened to the people of God for their transgressions? (Judges 2:14-15) "And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. (15th vs.) Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn unto them: And they were greatly distressed." Also let's look at (Hosea 4:6-7) " My people are destroyed for lack ofknowledge: Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me. Seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (7th vs.) As they increased, so they sinned against me; therefore I will change their glory into shame."
How can the people of God rectify their transgressions? (Hosea 5:15) "I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face: In their affliction they will seek me early." Also (Acts 2:36-40) "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. (37th vs.) Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the Apostles, men and brethren, what shall we do? (38th vs.) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be Baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the Remission of Sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (39th vs.) For the promise is unto you, and to your children and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (40th vs.) And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, save yourselves from this untoward generation."
Who can save the people of God? (Acts 4:10-12) "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the nameof Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. (11th vs.) This is the stone that was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. (12th vs.) Neither is theresalvation in any other: For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
What is the purpose of man? (Ecclesiastes 12:13) "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keephis commandments: For this is the whole duty of man." Also (Deuteronomy 10:12-17) "and now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul. (13th vs.) To keep the commandments of the Lord and his statues, which I command thee this day for thy good?
(14th vs.) Behold the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord's thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is, (15th vs.) Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day. (16th vs.) Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart and be no more stiffnecked. (17th vs.) For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward."
Where does true knowledge come from? (1John 2:21-27) "I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. (22nd vs.) Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is an Anti-Christ, that denieth the Father and the Son. (23rd vs.) Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. (24th vs.) Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. (25th vs.) And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. (26th vs.) These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. (27th vs.) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, ye shall abide in him." Also read (1 Corinthians 2:1-16), let's just look at a few verses in this chapter. (5th vs.) "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (6th vs.) Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: Yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought. (7th vs.) But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory. (8th vs.) Which none of the princes of this world knew: For had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."
Man has treaded the word of God underfoot, and has tried to make the Bible just another book. (God forbid) That, which is evil, is called good, and that which is good is called evil. The scripture warns us against this, and says, "woe unto them that do this." The commandments have been changed, so have the times and laws. Man has twisted God's word to justify his carnal desires, and to exalt himself. Take heed to the scriptures, (II Corinthians 13:5) "examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith: Prove your ownselves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be Reprobates." Also (Ephesians 4:4-6) "there is one body, and one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling: (5th vs.) one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6th vs.) one God, and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Last of all, look at (James 2:19)" thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: The devils also believe, and tremble." Jesus gave us this invitation in (St. Matthew 11:28-30) "come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29th vs.) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; And ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30th vs.) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Grace and peace unto all that believe and serve Christ. In Jesus name, A-men.