Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Acts 20:28-32.

Part II

by Emerson A. Wilson

The Bright And Morning Star
We have studied the dust of the earth, the literal Jew, or fleshly descendants of Abraham. Now, let's see how the stars begin to come forth. Balaam, for reward, decided to go to curse Israel, but every time he would go to curse Israel, he would bless her. Every time he would open his mouth to curse, he would prophesy of the great things which were going to come on Israel. Let's go to Numbers 24:17, to read Balaam's words: I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

When the Holy Spirit came on Balaam, he began to prophesy of a star coming out of Jacob. He first said, "I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh..." In other words, "He is not coming right away, and it will be a long time before I see him." The question may arise, "When will Balaam see Him?" He will not see Him until He comes again, when every eye sees Him. Balaam was a wicked man, and died the death of a wicked man.

Here, my friend, is the beginning of those stars that God gave Abraham a vision of, which would be as countless as the stars in the sky. There had to be a beginning, and here it was. Revelation 22:16 tells us, I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. II Peter 1:19 refers to Him as, We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. Malachi refers to Him as, But unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. Malachi 4:2. ("Sun of righteousness" is the same as a star.) Someone might ask, "Is Jesus Christ that Star that came out of Jacob, who was to be King and reign?" Matthew 2:1,2 tells us, Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

When Balaam prophesied that He would rule over the children of Sheth, the people became confused. All the descendants of Adam were destroyed in the great flood, except the descendants of Sheth (Seth). Noah was a descendant of Sheth. So when Balaam said the "children of Sheth", he was actually referring to all the children of men whom Jesus Christ is going to reign over with that sceptre of righteousness.

So, all the children of Sheth shall be governed by His golden sceptre, or dashed to pieces by His rod of iron. Revelation 2:27 tells us, And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. Anyone who does not submit to His rod of iron (His sceptre) will be dashed to pieces. What is the commission of the Gospel today? And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:15,16.

There is power in His sceptre to save you, but if you disbelieve it and rise up against it, it will destroy you. The Gospel has destroyed more nations than war, bombs, or anything else. Consider the nations in Asia. Go right over into Germany and parts of Europe and Asia where they are in spiritual darkness. Where did that darkness come from? It was there that the first churches were planted.

The Revelation was written to the seven churches in Asia. Why are they in darkness now? Because they refused the Gospel, and the Gospel has become a damming quality to them. This is just what is happening in America today, right in front of our very eyes. Brothers and Sisters, we will not bow to His sceptre; we will not allow Him to reign with His commandments and reign by His Word, so the rod of iron is beating us to pieces as a nation.

A Present Reign
Someone might say, "Brother Wilson, I don't think He does that reigning until the Second Coming." Well, one of the blessings to Abraham's seed is that we can know the truth, Amen? I Corinthians 15:24 tells us, Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. Now let's examine that verse of scripture, shall we? Then cometh the end... When the end of time comes, there will be no more time. That's what "the end" means--that's all there is! Then cometh the end... means there will be no "one thousand years" after "the end". "The end" means just that--"the end". Finished. Over. Done. Now we look at ...when he shall have...: this is Greek in past tense, meaning BEFORE the end comes. ...delivered up the kingdom to God... When "the end" comes, He is going to deliver up the Kingdom.

That is why it is called "the Kingdom of God" or "the Church of God". There is no difference. "The Church of God" is NOT referring to some man's earthly denominational name that has been painted on a marquee (sign) on the front of a building. "The Church" of God is "The Kingdom of God", made up of those who have been blood-bought--redeemed by the blood of the Lamb of God. Jesus Christ is reigning over it now, and when "the end" comes, He is going to deliver it up, NOT "set it up". Before that "end" comes, He will have already put down all rule, authority and power. The last enemy to be destroyed is death, and He will destroy it at His second coming, according to the Apostle Paul.

So, my friend, we are right in the midst of His reign NOW, through the Word of God being preached and the Holy Ghost executing (carrying it out) it. The truth will put down the power of Roman Catholocism and Protestantism. In the light of truth, they do not have one ounce of power. Their power is darkness and deception. Think about that now! The truth will put down ALL power and authority and let Jesus ALONE reign.

My friend, that star which old Balaam saw coming out of Jacob is Christ. Galatians 3:14 tells us, That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. There was a promise made to Abraham which would be fulfilled in his physical seed in the land of Canaan, but the blessing that was to come on all families was the blessing of turning every one of us from our iniquities. The second part of the blessing was that we could receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts and lives.

All The Promises Of God Are In Christ
Galatians 3:16 says to us, Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. Remember, Paul had no New Testament! He was writing through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. He was using the Old Testament to find these truths to set forth for those who followed after he had departed this life (you and me, brothers and sisters!). He was preaching right out of Genesis, Chapter 22, when he said that God did not speak of seeds (in the plural), but of ONE, I said, ONE seed. When He (God) spoke about fleshly promises, He spoke of ONE seed: through Isaac, the literal seed would be blessed. When He spoke about spiritual promises, He spoke about ONE seed: Jesus Christ.

Let's read Genesis 22:17,18, shall we? That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. Now we can see that He is talking about a blessing for all nations there.

When He promised the seed that would bless all nations, He was speaking of Christ. He was not speaking of any of Abraham's fleshly descendants, but of Christ, Who would come out of Abraham's loins, or out of the lineage of Abraham. Paul said in II Corinthians 1:20, For ALL the promises of God in HIM are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Who was the "HIM" that verse referred to? Jesus Christ!

Now where do we come in? We come over to a New Testament where every promise is in Christ. HE IS THE SEED. The promise was to be given to THE SEED, and every promise now is in (through) Christ. I repeat, ALL THE PROMISES OF GOD ARE NOW IN CHRIST.

There are so many unlearned, yet "educated" folks in high positions of our churches today who expound that the Bible is confusing. It's not at all confusing. It bears itself out, time after time after time after time, ad infinitum. For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. And then we have Christ's own words, when He said, "No man cometh unto the Father but by ME". There is NO way to obtain the promises of God without going through Jesus Christ. You CANNOT get to The Father without going through The Son. Glory to His Name!

You can see how futile it is for people fastened in unbelief, as is the literal Jewish nation, who rejects Christ, to try to claim the promises of Christ. There is NO promise for the literal Jew, and there is NO promise for you or me when we reject Christ. EVERY promise is IN Him: He IS THE SEED that God was talking about to Abraham. Galatians 3:29 says to us, And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Get it now? So there was a promise made for us, THROUGH Christ.

There was a promise made to Abraham's fleshly seed for fleshly blessings, but there was also a promise made to Abraham which we would receive through Jesus Christ. We cannot receive it any other way! Brother, the promises made through the old covenant have been made void, cancelled out, and finished. God has brought a New Testament, a new covenant, and He has put everything in Jesus' hands. How many promises you have fulfilled in your life rests on how much you love Jesus and how much room you make for Jesus in your life! Blessing does not rest on who you are, where you have been, or what you are doing--it all rests in Jesus ALONE.

God's Law For New Life
We found that there is ONE seed, Jesus Christ, but that one seed was to be multiplied as the stars--uncountable. Christ is the star that was to come out of Jacob; He was the one seed that the promises of God were given through, yet God said that He would multiply that one seed as the stars. How does He do it? And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. John 12:20-24. Now there were some Gentiles who came in with the Jews. These Gentiles were outcasts--the promise at that particular time was only to the Jewish nation, but they wanted to see Jesus, you understand. Jesus then began to give us a biblical picture of how that "one star" was to be multiplied. In so many words, He was saying, "I am the ONLY star. I am THE star out of Jacob, and if I keep on living, there will continue to be only ONE star, but if I fall in the ground and die, it will bring forth much fruit."

He was teaching them God's law for new life. We have those who teach that if you repent, or are born again, in some way later in your experience, you have to die out to the old man and get sanctified. God's law of new life, however, says that there first has to be a death BEFORE there can be any new life. Brothers and Sisters, the "old man" (woman) has to be crucified (die) FIRST! That must happen BEFORE there can be a new life. When you come to Christ in Bible repentance, there has to be a FULL commitment of your life. You will never arise to greater life in Christ until there has been a death.

What happens when you put a corn of wheat in the ground? It has to die. It does not die completely, even as Jesus did not, but it dies out to the "seed life". If it does not die out to the "seed life", it will never burst forth into a greater life. Where it was only one seed when it was put into the earth, when it dies out to the "seed" phase of its life, it bursts forth with a blade and full grain with twenty-five or thirty corns of wheat.

What was the lesson Jesus wanted us to get from this? All we have to do is to read the next verse: He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. John 12:25. How can we find eternal life in Jesus Christ? By being willing to die out to the old, selfish, worldly life that we were living. We must be willing to turn from it, turn loose of it, lose sight of it, and forget about it, to burst forth into a new life in Christ. That law of life holds true all through the Bible.

Someone may say, "I don't believe it." Now, everybody would like to have immortality, one supposes, but there is not a way in the world to have [fleshly] immortality but to die and go down into the earth. Thank God, when Jesus splits the eastern sky, you will come forth with a new and glorious body. It is God's law of life. There can be no greater life without a death. Paul, in the 6th chapter of Romans, taught the very same thing: that you have to be buried with Christ (in baptism), into His death, before you can rise to walk in newness of life.

So, how was the star to be multiplied? Here is the secret: if Jesus had kept on living, He would have abode alone. There would have been only ONE Son of God. He was God's only BEGOTTEN Son, but because He was willing to go to the cross and die for you and me, and then go into the grave and be buried, He came out and ascended unto the Father.

Galatians 4:6,7 tells us, And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. How did we become "Sons of God"? Christ adopted us! (But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Galatians 4:4,5.) Most of us are Gentiles, but God adopted us through Jesus Christ. Because we ARE sons, He sent the Spirit of His Son into our heart whereby we cry, "Abba, Father."

The Flesh Profiteth Nothing
We become stars as Daniel said: And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. Daniel 12:3. Daniel was not talking about Jupiter and the physical stars, because those stars are NOT going to shine forever! There is a day coming when they are going to fall. The heavens are going to be on fire, and those planets will melt with fervent heat. The soul, however, who is sold out to God and becomes a star through Jesus Christ, will shine forever and ever, throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity.

It is not Abraham's flesh that we need, but Abraham's FAITH. Abraham's faith gives us an inheritance in the NEW covenant. Paul made it plain that we must have the FAITH of Abraham, that the flesh amounts to nothing. Jesus taught the literal Jews, face to face, that the flesh profiteth nothing. Nicodemus was a master in Israel, one of Abraham's seed after the flesh, who expected all the promises to fall on him. Jesus told him, ...Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3:5-7.

John the Baptist realized that the flesh profiteth nothing. When the group of hypocrites came to hear him preach and lined up to be baptized, he said to them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Luke 3:7-9. My friend, the flesh profiteth nothing. The fact that they were Abraham's seed of the flesh gained them nothing with God. Why? God was making a deeper move through Jesus Christ, and the thing that brings us into it is Abraham's FAITH, not his flesh.

Someone may still feel, "I think if the Jews just hold out, they will make it all right." Friend, NO ONE can "be all right" by merely "holding out". The only salvation there is in "holding out" is through salvation in Jesus Christ. You can find the closing picture in the 16th Chapter of Luke. It tells of the rich man who was a Jew. We know he was a Jew because he called Abraham, "Father Abraham". He was born of Abraham's flesh, but he let his wealth get hold of him. A good man of God lay at his gates, and I am sure if he was a Christian, he didn't keep his mouth shut. The rich man rejected him, and would not give him even a crumb from his table.

Both of the men died, and in hell, the rich man "lifted up his eyes". If you think a "literal Jew" cannot go to hell, there's your contradictary evidence. Culture does not save. Heritage does not save. Pedigree does not save. The ONLY thing that saves is salvation through Jesus Christ. In hell, the rich man lifted up his eyes to Abraham, begging for him to send Lazarus with a few drops of water, but he would not do it. (He could not do it, for there is a "gulf fixed between the two".) Then he begged Abraham to send a missionary to his brethren, who again, were also Abraham's seed in the flesh, so that they could see this truth--that being Abraham's seed of the flesh does not do any good! Being of Abraham's FLESH is of NO VALUE whatsoever!

The Bondwoman And The Freewoman
Paul sets forth a lesson that ought to clear this thing up, once and for all. Let's read Galatians 4:22-26:

For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

The son who was born to the bondwoman was named Ishmael. The son born to the freewoman (Sarah), was Isaac.

Here, Paul took the two sons to show us the two covenants. God gave one covenant from Mount Sanai for the fleshly descendants of Abraham (the descendants of Ishmael), and the Bible says there is bondage even until now. Then He had Sarah bring forth, by miraculous birth, a son named Isaac. That is a picture of the new Jerusalem, or the New Testament Jerusalem. That new Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22) is the Church of the Firstborn--she is free and is the mother of all who know Jesus Christ as their personal savior and lord.

Let us continue reading there in Galatians 4. Let's look at verses 27-31:

For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

We need to remember that the judgments of God are just as sure as are His promises! What happened to Ishmael? My friend, because he persecuted Isaac, who was the child of promise, God told Abraham to drive him out. Paul brought us up to date on Israel's history. What has happened to the literal Jew? What has happened to those people who were given a covenant in Mount Sanai, who were born of the bondwoman? The Word said to cast out the bondwoman and her son. God cast them out. The casting out of the bondwoman and her son, literal Israel, is final.

Spiritual Blessings--For Jew AND Gentile
Paul declared that God will never deal with natural, or fleshly, Israel again, as a nation. He now deals with ALL people as individuals. ALL PEOPLE, EVERYWHERE, ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS. Romans 1:16 tells us, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. ("Greek" is translated from Hellen which means "a Greek-speaking person, especially a non-Jew--a Gentile".) I would say that God is having great mercy on the Jews. Jesus came to His own FIRST. He was of Jewish descent, out of Abraham's loins. He came to fleshly (literal) Israel, and He would not allow His disciples to go anywhere but to the "house of Israel". He came to the Jews FIRST, but they "received Him not"--they rejected Him, nailed Him to a cross, and refused (even until now) to believe in Him.

Then the day or the time of the Gentile was fulfilled. It was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost. From the Day of Pentecost on, the time of the Gentile came in. Now, my friends, there is NO difference between Jew and Greek. The Gospel is the power of God unto every ONE that believeth. The Jew does not need to move from New York to the country of Israel--he only needs to move from unbelief to belief! He can get the blessings of God just as well in New York City as he can in Miami, Florida or Sydney, Australia or London, England or Jerusalem!

The message of God is to INDIVIDUALS now: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Please note that it says to EVERY ONE, not every nation. Every one as individuals.

So the Gospel is the everlasting covenant. We learned in the previous message that the Gospel was first preached to Abraham when he was a heathen, before he ever became a Jew. This shows us that the Gospel was for the Gentile, the heathen, as well as the Jew. The Gospel is preached just as it was preached to Abraham long before the Mosaic Law was given to Moses for the people, or before a literal Israel ever heard of a promised land.

The Gospel brings a spiritual blessing. Turn to Ephesians 1:3 and read with me: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. I am hard on preachers who are making themselves millionaires by promising people fleshly blessings if they will just sign a card and send it in with their money as "seed faith". They promise that God will get them a new Cadillac, a home with a three-car garage, and pay off all their debts.

In Jesus Christ, the new seed, however, He has promised to bless us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. The second chapter of Ephesians tells us what/where that heavenly place is: that is where "the Church" is! She has never left that heavenly place in the truest sense. I realize that she was carried into the wilderness, and there was a falling away among "the Church", but brothers and sisters in Christ, those of the TRUE church stay in communion with God.

Now He has blessed us with spiritual blessings. Someone may say, "Don't you think He will supply physical needs?" Yes, sir, He will and does! Matthew 6:33 tells us, But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. God is interested, most of all, that you and I be spiritual, living a true Christ-like life, true to God, honoring His Word and His Spirit, and walking in the light of His conmmandments. When God can look on a person who is doing that, there is no telling what kind of blessings He will pour out on them!

Jews Of The New Covenant
We want you to know who the Jews are now. They are SPIRITUAL Jews. For he is NOT a Jew, which is one OUTWARDLY; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But HE IS A JEW, WHICH IS ONE INWARDLY; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Romans 2:28,29. They are Jews of the NEW covenant. They have circumcision the same as the old did, but their circumcision is not a ritual of flesh, but a circumcision of the heart. When you are truly born again, when God takes out the old heart and puts in a new one, you receive that spiritual circumcision of the heart and become a spiritual Jew of the New Testament.

The spiritual seed is going to far outnumber the physical seed. Folks nowadays say, "There are not so many in 'the Church'." After John had been banished to the Isle of Patmos, he was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day. The Lord appeared to him and gave him a picture of the reign of "the Church". He gave him a vision of the saints, those who make up the true Church, the new Jerusalem. John wrote, And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands. Revelation 5:11. After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. Revelation 7:9. "Which no man could number..."? Is that "as the stars in the sky"? This is exactly what God told Abraham of the people of God through the new covenant. I am glad that I am one of them, aren't you? Amen!

Friend, we need to know the truth. One of the best things you can do when you pick up a book or booklet or hear someone talking on the radio or tv about these things, and it is contrary to the truth of the Word of God, is to throw the trash in the trash! Get rid of that book or booklet--turn off that radio or tv! You are only asking for CONFUSION when you allow the devil to entertain your minds with something that will make you question the truth of God's Word. God's Word will keep us straight. It will keep us in the right pathway. Oh, what a privilege!

Are you enjoying the promises which God gave Abraham through the seed, Jesus Christ? What did He promise to do? Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. Acts 3:26. He promised to turn you from your iniquities and set you free from them. Martin Luther and other reformers were the first to teach that God saves man IN sin, and the Lutherans still believe and follow it. It was 200 years later before Jacob Arminius was the first to grasp the true meaning in the Bible--that the Lamb of God TAKES AWAY sin. Jesus saves His people, not IN their sins, but FROM their sins! That is holiness defined! Not living IN sin, but being set from FROM sin!

Now the great blessings that were to come on all families through Abraham are, first, that we could be TURNED FROM ALL our iniquities. Then secondly, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Galatians 3:14). These are the blessings that were to come on us through Jesus Christ. Friend, if you have these blessings today, you do not need too many more. There is a blessedness when you have this experience which makes you feel certain that God is going to take care of you.

Paul said in Romans 8:32, He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? In other words, he was setting an equation before us: when God gave us the Pearl of Great Price, Heaven's greatest gift, do you think it costs Him too much to give us a cheap box to put it in? That is what earthly blessings are beside spiritual blessings. If you have the Pearl of Great Price, the seed of Abraham in your heart and life today, you are rich! rich! rich! You are blessed beyond all others!




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