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                     - FAITH THAT WORKS BY LOVE-

                       Galatians 5: 6 , Philippians 2:13


Revised 08-16-12 - Rochester

Posted 07-31-2005

COLOR CODE:


RED FONT = THE MOST HOLY KJV BIBLE


BROWN FONT = THE MOST HOLY SHEPHERD’S ROD MESSAGE THROUGH Bro V.T. Houteff.


PURPLE FONT = THE ADDITIONAL CODES ( NEW CODES ), OF THE SHEPHERD’S ROD MESSAGE.


BLUE FONT = THE MOST HOLY SPIRIT OF PROPHECY THROUGH Sister Ellen Gould White.


FUCHCIA FONT = THE MOST PRECIOUS 1888 MESSAGE – {TM 91-92 }.


GREEN FONT = My Own Personal Commentary or the Commentary of Others.


NAVY FONT = Any Other Source of Information, Dictionary, Encyclopedia, Etc.

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NOTE: THE FONT IS CAPITALIZED WHEN SPEAKING OF GOD AND HIS TRUTH.


THE FONT IS ENLARGED AND CAPITALIZED, AT TIMES, TO EMPHASIZE THE POINT.

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                                         - FAITH -

                                 JUSTIFIED BY FAITH  - Romans 5:1

            RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH - Galatians 5:5

                   FAITH COMETH BY HEARING, AND

       HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD - Romans 10:17

        THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH - Romans 1:17

    FOR WE WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT - 2Cor. 5:7

    FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR,

    HE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN - Hebrews 11:1

  WHATSOVER IS NOT OF FAITH IS SIN - Romans 14:23

BUT WITHOUT FAITH, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM  - Hebrews 11:6

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BELOW ARE THE SUBJECTS OF FAITH, JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, AND RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH, AS SEEN THROUGH THE LENS OF THE KJV HOLY BIBLE, GENESIS, CHAPS. 11-25, THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY, BOOK, PATRIARCHS AND PROPHETS, PAGES 125-155, THE 1888 BOOK, LESSONS ON FAITH – PAGES 23-31, THE SHEPHERD’S ROD BOOK, VOL. 2, PAGES 298 – 300.


ALL OF THOSE INSPIRED SOURCES, THEIR CORRESPONDING QUOTES AND REFERENCES ARE POSTED BELOW FOR Your CONVENIENCE.


PLEASE READ CLEAR THROUGH THIS WHOLE SECTION AS, RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH THAT WORKS BY LOVE, IS A MOST VITALLY IMPORTANT SUBJECT FOR SALVATION, AND THESE INSPIRED SOURCES SPELL IT OUT QUITE CLEARLY, WHEN COMBINED WITH PRAYER AND A CLOSE PERSONAL EXPERIENTIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH Your SAVIOUR, BY FAITH THAT WORKS BY LOVE, WHICH IS CHRIST JESUS LIVING AND WORKING IN You BOTH TO WILL AND TO DO OF HIS GOOD PLEASURE! – Philippians 2: 13 and Galatians 5: 6

This is More of a Topical Study and that involves gathering as many “pieces of the Spiritual Puzzle” as you can in order to give as clear as possible a “Picture” of the Principles of Faith.

Also, be aware, as I believe you will see, from reading from THE DIVINE MOST HOLY KJV BIBLE, THE DIVINE MOST HOLY SPIRIT OF PROPHECY, THE DIVINE MOST HOLY 1888 MESSAGE, AND THE DIVINE MOST HOLY SHEPHERD’S ROD MESSAGE, that the subject of Faith, as taught, Primarily from the Examples from Abraham’s Life, are individually treated in the FOUR INSPIRED SOURCES OF TRUTH.

If you Pray and Read and Study Carefully, you will learn VITALLY IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES ON THIS SUBJECT.


Brother Randahl

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Please Note: THE FOLLOWING HOLY SCRIPTURES HAVE VITALLY IMPORTANT STATEMENTS REGARDING FAITH, (IN ADDITION TO THE PRINCIPLES TAUGHT ON THIS SUBJECT, AS SEEN IN THE EXPERIENCE OF ABRAHAM). I realize that there are a lot of HOLY SCRIPTURES posted below, but they have been gathered from THE BIBLE in an effort to aid you in study.

We spend much time on TV, Books, Movies, Etc, but we are reluctant to spend much time on GOD’S WORD. The TV, Books, and Movies, Etc, are enjoyable, and educational, at times, but deal mainly with our secular life and our lifetime here on planet earth, which on the average, runs a little longer than 70 years.

A study of GOD’S WORD AND ITS PRINCIPLES FOR LIVING LIFE NOW AND FOR ETERNITY is not something that we are naturally interested in, at least, to the point of foregoing the earthly pleasures, which are for now, in favor of Spending Dedicated Time in the Study of GOD’S PRINCIPLES WHICH PREPARE Us for life on this planet for this lifetime, as well as for ETERNAL LIFE WITH GOD, WHICH IS………………FOREVER!!! One is a Short Range Study or Pursuit, and THE OTHER IS AN OVERALL LONG RANGE STUDY. Now, I ask you, Which Choice Offers THE GREATEST REWARD?

Brother Randahl

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Hebrews 11.6

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Romans 14.23

And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Romans 10.17

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Galatians 5.5

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

Galatians 5.6

For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Philippians 2.12

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Philippians 2.13

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

John 15.4

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

John 15.5

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

1Corinthians-13.1
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

1Corinthians-13.2
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all
faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

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                                THE HOLY SCRIPTURES ON THE LIFE OF ABRAHAM AND

                                              THE TIE TO RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH

Genesis Chaps 11 through 25

11.1

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

11.2

And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

11.3

And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.

11.4

And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

11.5

And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

11.6

And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

11.7

Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

11.8

So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

11.9

Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

11.10

These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:

11.11

And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.

11.12

And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah:

11.13

And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.

11.14

And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber:

11.15

And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.

11.16

And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg:

11.17

And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters.

11.18

And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu:

11.19

And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters.

11.20

And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug:

11.21

And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters.

11.22

And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor:

11.23

And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.

11.24

And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah:

11.25

And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters.

11.26

And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

11.27

Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.

11.28

And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

11.29

And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.

11.30

But Sarai was barren; she had no child.

11.31

And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.

11.32

And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.

12.1

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee:

12.2

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

12.3

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

12.4

So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

12.5

And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

12.6

And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

12.7

And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

12.8

And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.

12.9

And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.

12.10

And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.

12.11

And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:

12.12

Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.

12.13

Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.

12.14

And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.

12.15

The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.

12.16

And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.

12.17

And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.

12.18

And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?

12.19

Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.

12.20

And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.

13.1

And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.

13.2

And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.

13.3

And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai;

13.4

Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

13.5

And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.

13.6

And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.

13.7

And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.

13.8

And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.

13.9

Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

13.10

And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.

13.11

Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.

13.12

Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.

13.13

But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.

13.14

And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:

13.15

For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

13.16

And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.

13.17

Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.

13.18

Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.

14.1

And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;

14.2

That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.

14.3

All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.

14.4

Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.

14.5

And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim,

14.6

And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto Elparan, which is by the wilderness.

14.7

And they returned, and came to Enmishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezontamar.

14.8

And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim;

14.9

With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five.

14.10

And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.

14.11

And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.

14.12

And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

14.13

And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.

14.14

And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.

14.15

And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.

14.16

And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

14.17

And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale.

14.18

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

14.19

And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:

14.20

And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

14.21

And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.

14.22

And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,

14.23

That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:

14.24

Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.

15.1

After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

15.2

And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

15.3

And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

15.4

And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

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.

15.6

And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for Righteousness.

15.7

And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.

15.8

And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?

15.9

And he said unto him, 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.

15.10

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.

15.11

And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.

15.12

And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

15.13

And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

15.14

And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

15.15

And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.

15.16

But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

15.17

And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.

15.18

In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

15.19

The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,

15.20

And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,

15.21

And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

16.1

Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.

16.2

And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

16.3

And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

16.4

And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.

16.5

And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.

16.6

But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.

16.7

And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.

16.8

And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.

16.9

And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.

16.10

And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

16.11

And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.

16.12

And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.

16.13

And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?

16.14

Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

16.15

And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.

16.16

And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.

17.1

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

17.2

And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

17.3

And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,

17.4

As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.

17.5

Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

17.6

And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

17.7

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

17.8

And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

17.9

And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.

17.10

This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.

17.11

And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.

17.12

And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.

17.13

He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.

17.14

And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.

17.15

And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.

17.16

And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.

17.17

Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?

17.18

And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!

17.19

And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

17.20

And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.

17.21

But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.

17.22

And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.

17.23

And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him.

17.24

And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.

17.25

And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.

17.26

In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son.

17.27

And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.

18.1

And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;

18.2

And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,

18.3

And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:

18.4

Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:

18.5

And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.

18.6

And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.

18.7

And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.

18.8

And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

18.9

And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.

18.10

And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.

18.11

Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

18.12

Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

18.13

And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?

18.14

Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

18.15

Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

18.16

And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.

18.17

And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;

18.18

Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

18.19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

18.20

And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;

18.21

I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

18.22

And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.

18.23

And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

18.24

Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?

18.25

That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

18.26

And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

18.27

And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:

18.28

Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.

18.29

And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty's sake.

18.30

And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.

18.31

And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake.

18.32

And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.

18.33

And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.

19.1

And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;

19.2

And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.

19.3

And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.

19.4

But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:

19.5

And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

19.6

And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,

19.7

And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.

19.8

Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

19.9

And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.

19.10

But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.

19.11

And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

19.12

And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:

19.13

For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.

19.14

And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.

19.15

And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.

19.16

And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

19.17

And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

19.18

And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:

19.19

Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast showed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:

19.20

Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.

19.21

And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.

19.22

Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

19.23

The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.

19.24

Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;

19.25

And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

19.26

But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

19.27

And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:

19.28

And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.

19.29

And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.

19.30

And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.

19.31

And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:

19.32

Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

19.33

And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

19.34

And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

19.35

And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

19.36

Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.

19.37

And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.

19.38

And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

20.1

And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.

20.2

And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.

20.3

But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife.

20.4

But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?

20.5

Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.

20.6

And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.

20.7

Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.

20.8

Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid.

20.9

Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done.

20.10

And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?

20.11

And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake.

20.12

And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.

20.13

And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt show unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.

20.14

And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.

20.15

And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee.

20.16

And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved.

20.17

So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children.

20.18

For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.

21.1

And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.

21.2

For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.

21.3

And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.

21.4

And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.

21.5

And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

21.6

And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.

21.7

And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.

21.8

And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.

21.9

And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.

21.10

Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

21.11

And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.

21.12

And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

21.13

And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

21.14

And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

21.15

And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.

21.16

And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.

21.17

And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.

21.18

Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.

21.19

And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.

21.20

And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.

21.21

And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.

21.22

And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest:

21.23

Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.

21.24

And Abraham said, I will swear.

21.25

And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away.

21.26

And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day.

21.27

And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant.

21.28

And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.

21.29

And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves?

21.30

And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.

21.31

Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.

21.32

Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.

21.33

And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.

21.34

And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days.

22.1

And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

22.2

And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

22.3

And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

22.4

Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

22.5

And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

22.6

And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

22.7

And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

22.8

And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

22.9

And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.

22.10

And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

22.11

And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.

22.12

And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

22.13

And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

22.14

And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.

22.15

And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,

22.16

And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:

22.17

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;

22.18

And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

22.19

So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.

22.20

And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor;

22.21

Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram,

22.22

And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel.

22.23

And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother.

22.24

And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah.

23.1

And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah.

23.2

And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.

23.3

And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying,

23.4

I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.

23.5

And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him,

23.6

Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead.

23.7

And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth.

23.8

And he communed with them, saying, If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight; hear me, and entreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar,

23.9

That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath, which is in the end of his field; for as much money as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a buryingplace amongst you.

23.10

And Ephron dwelt among the children of Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, even of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying,

23.11

Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that is therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury thy dead.

23.12

And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land.

23.13

And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, But if thou wilt give it, I pray thee, hear me: I will give thee money for the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there.

23.14

And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him,

23.15

My lord, hearken unto me: the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead.

23.16

And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.

23.17

And the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the borders round about, were made sure

23.18

Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city.

23.19

And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan.

23.20

And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a buryingplace by the sons of Heth.

24.1

And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.

24.2

And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:

24.3

And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:

24.4

But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.

24.5

And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?

24.6

And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.

24.7

The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.

24.8

And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.

24.9

And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.

24.10

And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor.

24.11

And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water.

24.12

And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham.

24.13

Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water:

24.14

And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast showed kindness unto my master.

24.15

And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.

24.16

And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up.

24.17

And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher.

24.18

And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink.

24.19

And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking.

24.20

And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.

24.21

And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.

24.22

And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold;

24.23

And said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in?

24.24

And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor.

24.25

She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in.

24.26

And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD.

24.27

And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren.

24.28

And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother's house these things.

24.29

And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well.

24.30

And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well.

24.31

And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the LORD; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.

24.32

And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men's feet that were with him.

24.33

And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on.

24.34

And he said, I am Abraham's servant.

24.35

And the LORD hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses.

24.36

And Sarah my master's wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath.

24.37

And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell:

24.38

But thou shalt go unto my father's house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son.

24.39

And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me.

24.40

And he said unto me, The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father's house:

24.41

Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath.

24.42

And I came this day unto the well, and said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go:

24.43

Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink;

24.44

And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom the LORD hath appointed out for my master's son.

24.45

And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew water: and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee.

24.46

And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: so I drank, and she made the camels drink also.

24.47

And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands.

24.48

And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter unto his son.

24.49

And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.

24.50

Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.

24.51

Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the LORD hath spoken.

24.52

And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth.

24.53

And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.

24.54

And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master.

24.55

And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go.

24.56

And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the LORD hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.

24.57

And they said, We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth.

24.58

And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.

24.59

And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his men.

24.60

And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.

24.61

And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

24.62

And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the south country.

24.63

And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.

24.64

And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.

24.65

For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a veil, and covered herself.

24.66

And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done.

24.67

And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.

25.1

Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.

25.2

And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.

25.3

And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim.

25.4

And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.

25.5

And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.

25.6

But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.

25.7

And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years.

25.8

Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.

25.9

And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;

25.10

The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.

25.11

And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahairoi.

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                  MORE ON JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH AS SEEN THROUGH:

                  THE DIVINE MOST HOLY SPIRIT OF PROPHECY WRITINGS

                  WHICH IS THE TESTIMONY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

THROUGH HIS DIVINELY APPOINTED AND INSPIRED Messenger and Prophetess, Sister Ellen G. White, as found in Her BOOK, PATRIARCHS AND PROPHETS, pages 125-155, or Chaps. 11, 12, 13 on the Life of Abraham.

Please see Revelation 12:17, 19:10, Heb 1: 1, 2

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                                        Chap. 11 - The Call of Abraham

After the dispersion from Babel idolatry again became well-nigh universal, and the Lord finally left the hardened transgressors to follow their evil ways, while He chose Abraham, of the line of Shem, and made him the keeper of His law for future generations. Abraham had grown up in the midst of superstition and heathenism. Even his father's household, by whom the knowledge of God had been preserved, were yielding to the seductive influences surrounding them, and they "served other gods" than Jehovah. But the true Faith was not to become extinct. God has ever preserved a remnant to serve Him. Adam, Seth, Enoch, Methuselah, Noah, Shem, in unbroken line, had preserved from age to age the precious revealings of His will. The son of Terah became the inheritor of this holy trust. Idolatry invited him on every side, but in vain. Faithful among the Faithless, uncorrupted by the prevailing apostasy, he steadfastly adhered to the worship of the one true God. "The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth." Psalm 145:18. He communicated His will to Abraham, and gave him a distinct knowledge of the requirements of His law and of the salvation that would be accomplished through Christ. {PP 125.1}

There was given to Abraham the promise, especially dear to the people of that age, of a numerous posterity and of national greatness: "I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing." And to this was added the assurance, precious above every other to the inheritor of Faith, that of his line the Redeemer of the world should come: "In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Yet, as the first condition of fulfillment, there was to be a test of Faith; a sacrifice was demanded.

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{PP 125.2}

The message of God came to Abraham, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee." In order that God might qualify him for his great work as the keeper of the sacred oracles, Abraham must be separated from the associations of his early life. The influence of kindred and friends would interfere with the training which the Lord purposed to give His servant. Now that Abraham was, in a special sense, connected with heaven, he must dwell among strangers. His character must be peculiar, differing from all the world. He could not even explain his course of action so as to be understood by his friends. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned, and his motives and actions were not comprehended by his idolatrous kindred. {PP 126.1}

"By Faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went." Hebrews 11:8. Abraham's unquestioning obedience is one of the most striking evidences of Faith to be found in all the Bible. To him, Faith was "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Verse 1. Relying upon the divine promise, without the least outward assurance of its fulfillment, he abandoned home and kindred and native land, and went forth, he knew not whither, to follow where God should lead. "By Faith he became a sojourner in the land of promise, as in a land not his own, dwelling in tents, with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise." Hebrews 11:9, R.V. {PP 126.2}

It was no light test that was thus brought upon Abraham, no small sacrifice that was required of him. There were strong ties to bind him to his country, his kindred, and his home. But he did not hesitate to obey the call. He had no question to ask concerning the land of promise--whether the soil was fertile and the climate healthful; whether the country afforded agreeable surroundings and would afford opportunities for amassing wealth. God has spoken, and His servant must obey; the happiest place on earth for him was the place where God would have him to be. {PP 126.3}

Many are still tested as was Abraham. They do not hear the voice of God speaking directly from the heavens, but He calls them by the teachings of His word and the events of His providence. They may be required to abandon a career that promises wealth and honor, to leave congenial and profitable associations

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and separate from kindred, to enter upon what appears to be only a path of self-denial, hardship, and sacrifice. God has a work for them to do; but a life of ease and the influence of friends and kindred would hinder the development of the very traits essential for its accomplishment. He calls them away from human influences and aid, and leads them to feel the need of His help, and to depend upon Him alone, that He may reveal Himself to them. Who is ready at the call of Providence to renounce cherished plans and familiar associations? Who will accept new duties and enter untried fields, doing God's work with firm and willing heart, for Christ's sake counting his losses gain? He who will do this has the Faith of Abraham, and will share with him that "far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory," with which "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared." 2 Corinthians 4:17; Romans 8:18. {PP 126.4}

The call from heaven first came to Abraham while he dwelt in "Ur of the Chaldees" and in obedience to it he removed to Haran. Thus far his father's family accompanied him, for with their idolatry they united the worship of the true God. Here Abraham remained till the death of Terah. But from his father's grave the divine Voice bade him go forward. His brother Nahor with his household clung to their home and their idols. Besides Sarah, the wife of Abraham, only Lot, the son of Haran long since dead, chose to share the patriarch's, pilgrim life. Yet it was a large company that set out from Mesopotamia. Abraham already possessed extensive flocks and herds, the riches of the East, and he was surrounded by a numerous body of servants and retainers. He was departing from the land of his fathers, never to return, and he took with him all that he had, "their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran." Among these were many led by higher considerations than those of service and self-interest. During their stay in Haran, both Abraham and Sarah had led others to the worship and service of the true God. These attached themselves to the patriarch's household, and accompanied him to the land of promise. "And they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came." {PP 127.1}

The place where they first tarried was Shechem. Under the shade of the oaks of Moreh, in a wide, grassy valley, with its olive groves and gushing springs, between Mount Ebal on the

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one side and Mount Gerizim on the other, Abraham made his encampment. It was a fair and goodly country that the patriarch had entered--"a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey." Deuteronomy 8:7, 8. But to the worshiper of Jehovah, a heavy shadow rested upon wooded hill and fruitful plain. "The Canaanite was then in the land." Abraham had reached the goal of his hopes to find a country occupied by an alien race and overspread with idolatry. In the groves were set up the altars of false gods, and human sacrifices were offered upon the neighboring heights. While he clung to the divine promise, it was not without distressful forebodings that he pitched his tent. Then "the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land." His Faith was strengthened by this assurance that the divine presence was with him, that he was not left to the mercy of the wicked. "And there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him." Still a wayfarer, he soon removed to a spot near Bethel, and again erected an altar, and called upon the name of the Lord. {PP 127.2}

Abraham, "the friend of God," set us a worthy example. His was a life of prayer. Wherever he pitched his tent, close beside it was set up his altar, calling all within his encampment to the morning and evening sacrifice. When his tent was removed, the altar remained. In following years, there were those among the roving Canaanites who received instruction from Abraham; and whenever one of these came to that altar, he knew who had been there before him; and when he had pitched his tent, he repaired the altar, and there worshiped the living God. {PP 128.1}

Abraham continued to journey southward, and again his Faith was tested. The heavens withheld their rain, the brooks ceased to flow in the valleys, and the grass withered on the plains. The flocks and herds found no pasture, and starvation threatened the whole encampment. Did not the patriarch now question the leadings of Providence? Did he not look back with longing to the plenty of the Chaldean plains? All were eagerly watching to see what Abraham would do, as trouble after trouble came upon him. So long as his confidence appeared unshaken, they felt that there was hope; they were assured that God was his Friend, and that He was still guiding him.

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{PP 128.2}

Abraham could not explain the leadings of Providence; he had not realized his expectations; but he held fast the promise, "I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing." With earnest prayer he considered how to preserve the life of his people and his flocks, but he would not allow circumstances to shake his Faith in God's word. To escape the famine he went down into Egypt. He did not forsake Canaan, or in his extremity turn back to the Chaldean land from which he came, where there was no scarcity of bread; but he sought a temporary refuge as near as possible to the Land of Promise, intending shortly to return where God had placed him. {PP 129.1}

The Lord in His providence had brought this trial upon Abraham to teach him lessons of submission, patience, and Faith--lessons that were to be placed on record for the benefit of all who should afterward be called to endure affliction. God leads His children by a way that they know not, but He does not forget or cast off those who put their trust in Him. He permitted affliction to come upon Job, but He did not forsake him. He allowed the beloved John to be exiled to lonely Patmos, but the Son of God met him there, and his vision was filled with scenes of immortal glory. God permits trials to assail His people, that by their constancy and obedience they themselves may be spiritually enriched, and that their example may be a source of strength to others. "I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil." Jeremiah 29:11. The very trials that task our Faith most severely and make it seem that God has forsaken us, are to lead us closer to Christ, that we may lay all our burdens at His feet and experience the peace which He will give us in exchange. {PP 129.2}

God has always tried His people in the furnace of affliction. It is in the heat of the furnace that the dross is separated from the true gold of the Christian character. Jesus watches the test; He knows what is needed to purify the precious metal, that it may reflect the radiance of His love. It is by close, testing trials that God disciplines His servants. He sees that some have powers which may be used in the advancement of His work, and He puts these persons upon trial; in His providence He brings them into positions that test their character and reveal defects and weaknesses that have been hidden from their own knowledge. He

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gives them opportunity to correct these defects and to fit themselves for His service. He shows them their own weakness, and teaches them to lean upon Him; for He is their only help and safeguard. Thus His object is attained. They are educated, trained, and disciplined, prepared to fulfill the grand purpose for which their powers were given them. When God calls them to action, they are ready, and heavenly angels can unite with them in the work to be accomplished on the earth. {PP 129.3}

During his stay in Egypt, Abraham gave evidence that he was not free from human weakness and imperfection. In concealing the fact that Sarah was his wife, he betrayed a distrust of the divine care, a lack of that lofty Faith and courage so often and nobly exemplified in his life. Sarah was fair to look upon, and he doubted not that the dusky Egyptians would covet the beautiful stranger, and that in order to secure her, they would not scruple to slay her husband. He reasoned that he was not guilty of falsehood in representing Sarah as his sister, for she was the daughter of his father, though not of his mother. But this concealment of the real relation between them was deception. No deviation from strict integrity can meet God's approval. Through Abraham's lack of Faith, Sarah was placed in great peril. The king of Egypt, being informed of her beauty, caused her to be taken to his palace, intending to make her his wife. But the Lord, in His great mercy, protected Sarah by sending judgments upon the royal household. By this means the monarch learned the truth in the matter, and, indignant at the deception practiced upon him, he reproved Abraham and restored to him his wife, saying, "What is this that thou hast done unto me? . . . Why saidst thou, She is my sister? So I might have taken her to me to wife. Now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way." {PP 130.1}

Abraham had been greatly favored by the king; even now Pharaoh would permit no harm to be done him or his company, but ordered a guard to conduct them in safety out of his dominions. At this time laws were made prohibiting the Egyptians from intercourse with foreign shepherds in any such familiarity as eating or drinking with them. Pharaoh's dismissal of Abraham was kind and generous; but he bade him leave Egypt, for he dared not permit him to remain. He had ignorantly been about to do him a serious injury, but God had interposed, and

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saved the monarch from committing so great a sin. Pharaoh saw in this stranger a man whom the God of heaven honored, and he feared to have in his kingdom one who was so evidently under divine favor. Should Abraham remain in Egypt, his increasing wealth and honor would be likely to excite the envy or covetousness of the Egyptians, and some injury might be done him, for which the monarch would be held responsible, and which might again bring judgments upon the royal house. {PP 130.2}

The warning that had been given to Pharaoh proved a protection to Abraham in his after-intercourse with heathen peoples; for the matter could not be kept secret, and it was seen that the God whom Abraham worshiped would protect His servant, and that any injury done him would be avenged. It is a dangerous thing to wrong one of the children of the King of heaven. The psalmist refers to this chapter in Abraham's experience when he says, in speaking of the chosen people, that God "reproved kings for their sakes; saying, Touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm." Psalm 105:14, 15. {PP 131.1}

There is an interesting similarity between Abraham's experience in Egypt and that of his posterity, centuries later. Both went down into Egypt on account of a famine, and both sojourned there. Through the manifestation of divine judgments in their behalf, the fear of them fell upon the Egyptians; and, enriched by the gifts of the heathen, they went out with great substance. {PP 131.2}

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                                            Chap. 12 - Abraham in Canaan

Abraham returned to Canaan "very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold." Lot was still with him, and again they came to Bethel, and pitched their tents by the altar which they had before erected. They soon found that increased possessions brought increased trouble. In the midst of hardships and trials they had dwelt together in harmony, but in their prosperity there was danger of strife between them. The pasturage was not sufficient for the flocks and herds of both, and the frequent disputes among the herdsmen were brought for settlement to their masters. It was evident that they must separate. Abraham was Lot's senior in years, and his superior in relation, in wealth, and in position; yet he was the first to propose plans for preserving peace. Although the whole land had been given him by God Himself, he courteously waived this right. {PP 132.1}

"Let there be no strife," he said, "between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left." {PP 132.2}

Here the noble, unselfish spirit of Abraham was displayed. How many under similar circumstances would, at all hazards, cling to their individual rights and preferences! How many households have thus been rent asunder! How many churches have been divided, making the cause of truth a byword and a reproach among the wicked! "Let there be no strife between me and thee," said Abraham, "for we be brethren;" not only by natural relationship, but as worshipers of the true God. The children of God the world over are one family, and the same spirit of love and conciliation should govern them. "Be kindly

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affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another" (Romans 12:10), is the teaching of our Saviour. The cultivation of a uniform courtesy, a willingness to do to others as we would wish them to do to us, would annihilate half the ills of life. The spirit of self-aggrandizement is the spirit of Satan; but the heart in which the love of Christ is cherished, will possess that charity which seeketh not her own. Such will heed the divine injunction, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." Philippians 2:4. {PP 132.3}

Although Lot owed his prosperity to his connection with Abraham, he manifested no gratitude to his benefactor. Courtesy would have dictated that he yield the choice to Abraham, but instead of this he selfishly endeavored to grasp all its advantages. He "lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, . . . even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar." The most fertile region in all Palestine was the Jordan Valley, reminding the beholders of the lost Paradise and equaling the beauty and productiveness of the Nile-enriched plains they had so lately left. There were cities also, wealthy and beautiful, inviting to profitable traffic in their crowded marts. Dazzled with visions of worldly gain, Lot overlooked the moral and spiritual evils that would be encountered there. The inhabitants of the plain were "sinners before the Lord exceedingly;" but of this he was ignorant, or, knowing, gave it but little weight. He "chose him all the plain of Jordan," and "pitched his tent toward Sodom." How little did he foresee the terrible results of that selfish choice! {PP 133.1}

After the separation from Lot, Abraham again received from the Lord a promise of the whole country. Soon after this he removed to Hebron, pitching his tent under the oaks of Mamre and erecting beside it an altar to the Lord. In the free air of those upland plains, with their olive groves and vineyards, their fields of waving grain, and the wide pasture grounds of the encircling hills, he dwelt, well content with his simple, patriarchal life, and leaving to Lot the perilous luxury of the vale of Sodom. {PP 133.2}

Abraham was honored by the surrounding nations as a mighty prince and a wise and able chief. He did not shut away his influence from his neighbors. His life and character, in their marked contrast with those of the worshipers of idols, exerted a

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telling influence in favor of the true Faith. His allegiance to God was unswerving, while his affability and benevolence inspired confidence and friendship and his unaffected greatness commanded respect and honor. {PP 133.3}

His religion was not held as a precious treasure to be jealously guarded and enjoyed solely by the possessor. True religion cannot be thus held, for such a spirit is contrary to the principles of the gospel. While Christ is dwelling in the heart it is impossible to conceal the light of His presence, or for that light to grow dim. On the contrary, it will grow brighter and brighter as day by day the mists of selfishness and sin that envelop the soul are dispelled by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. {PP 134.1}

The people of God are His representatives upon the earth, and He intends that they shall be lights in the moral darkness of this world. Scattered all over the country, in the towns, cities, and villages, they are God's witnesses, the channels through which He will communicate to an unbelieving world the knowledge of His will and the wonders of His grace. It is His plan that all who are partakers of the great salvation shall be missionaries for Him. The piety of the Christian constitutes the standard by which worldlings judge the gospel. Trials patiently borne, blessings gratefully received, meekness, kindness, mercy, and love, habitually exhibited, are the lights that shine forth in the character before the world, revealing the contrast with the darkness that comes of the selfishness of the natural heart. {PP 134.2}

Rich in Faith, noble in generosity, unfaltering in obedience, and humble in the simplicity of his pilgrim life, Abraham was also wise in diplomacy and brave and skillful in war. Notwithstanding he was known as the teacher of a new religion, three royal brothers, rulers of the Amorite plains in which he dwelt, manifested their friendship by inviting him to enter into an alliance with them for greater security; for the country was filled with violence and oppression. An occasion soon arose for him to avail himself of this alliance. {PP 134.3}

Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, had invaded Canaan fourteen years before, and made it tributary to him. Several of the princes now revolted, and the Elamite king, with four allies, again marched into the country to reduce them to submission. Five kings of Canaan joined their forces and met the invaders in the vale of Siddim, but only to be completely overthrown. A large

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part of the army was cut to pieces, and those who escaped fled for safety to the mountains. The victors plundered the cities of the plain and departed with rich spoil and many captives, among whom were Lot and his family. {PP 134.4}

Abraham, dwelling in peace in the oak groves at Mamre, learned from one of the fugitives the story of the battle and the calamity that had befallen his nephew. He had cherished no unkind memory of Lot's ingratitude. All his affection for him was awakened, and he determined that he should be rescued. Seeking, first of all, divine counsel, Abraham prepared for war. From his own encampment he summoned three hundred and eighteen trained servants, men trained in the fear of God, in the service of their master, and in the practice of arms. His confederates, Mamre, Eschol, and Aner, joined him with their bands, and together they started in pursuit of the invaders. The Elamites and their allies had encamped at Dan, on the northern border of Canaan. Flushed with victory, and having no fear of an assault from their vanquished foes, they had given themselves up to reveling. The patriarch divided his force so as to approach from different directions, and came upon the encampment by night. His attack, so vigorous and unexpected, resulted in speedy victory. The king of Elam was slain and his panic-stricken forces were utterly routed. Lot and his family, with all the prisoners and their goods, were recovered, and a rich booty fell into the hands of the victors. To Abraham, under God, the triumph was due. The worshiper of Jehovah had not only rendered a great service to the country, but had proved himself a man of valor. It was seen that Righteousness is not cowardice, and that Abraham's religion made him courageous in maintaining the right and defending the oppressed. His heroic act gave him a widespread influence among the surrounding tribes. On his return, the king of Sodom came out with his retinue to honor the conqueror. He bade him take the goods, begging only that the prisoners should be restored. By the usage of war, the spoils belonged to the conquerors; but Abraham had undertaken this expedition with no purpose of gain, and he refused to take advantage of the unfortunate, only stipulating that his confederates should receive the portion to which they were entitled. {PP 135.1}

Few, if subjected to such a test, would have shown themselves as noble as did Abraham. Few would have resisted the temptation

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to secure so rich a booty. His example is a rebuke to self-seeking, mercenary spirits. Abraham regarded the claims of justice and humanity. His conduct illustrates the inspired maxim, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Leviticus 19:18, "I have lifted up my hand," he said, "unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take from a thread even to a shoe latchet, and that I will not take anything that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich." He would give them no occasion to think that he had engaged in warfare for the sake of gain, or to attribute his prosperity to their gifts or favor. God had promised to bless Abraham, and to Him the glory should be ascribed. {PP 135.2}

Another who came out to welcome the victorious patriarch was Melchizedek, king of Salem, who brought forth bread and wine for the refreshment of his army. As "priest of the most high God," he pronounced a blessing upon Abraham, and gave thanks to the Lord, who had wrought so great a deliverance by his servant. And Abraham "gave him tithes of all." {PP 136.1}

Abraham gladly returned to his tents and his flocks, but his mind was disturbed by harassing thoughts. He had been a man of peace, so far as possible shunning enmity and strife; and with horror he recalled the scene of carnage he had witnessed. But the nations whose forces he had defeated would doubtless renew the invasion of Canaan, and make him the special object of their vengeance. Becoming thus involved in national quarrels, the peaceful quiet of his life would be broken. Furthermore, he had not entered upon the possession of Canaan, nor could he now hope for an heir, to whom the promise might be fulfilled. {PP 136.2}

In a vision of the night the divine Voice was again heard. "Fear not, Abram," were the words of the Prince of princes; "I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward." But his mind was so oppressed by forebodings that he could not now grasp the promise with unquestioning confidence as heretofore. He prayed for some tangible evidence that it would be fulfilled. And how was the covenant promise to be realized, while the gift of a son was withheld? "What wilt thou give me," he said, "seeing I go childless?" "And, lo, one born in my house is mine heir." He proposed to make his trusty servant Eliezer his son by adoption, and the inheritor of his possessions. But he was assured that a

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child of his own was to be his heir. Then he was led outside his tent, and told to look up to the unnumbered stars glittering in the heavens; and as he did so, the words were spoken, "So shall thy seed be." "Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for Righteousness." Romans 4:3. {PP 136.3}

Still the patriarch begged for some visible token as a confirmation of his Faith and as an evidence to after-generations that God's gracious purposes toward them would be accomplished. The Lord condescended to enter into a covenant with His servant, employing such forms as were customary among men for the ratification of a solemn engagement. By divine direction, Abraham sacrificed a heifer, a she-goat, and a ram, each three years old, dividing the bodies and laying the pieces a little distance apart. To these he added a turtledove and a young pigeon, which, however, were not divided. This being done, he reverently passed between the parts of the sacrifice, making a solemn vow to God of perpetual obedience. Watchful and steadfast, he remained beside the carcasses till the going down of the sun, to guard them from being defiled or devoured by birds of prey. About sunset he sank into a deep sleep; and, "lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him." And the voice of God was heard, bidding him not to expect immediate possession of the Promised Land, and pointing forward to the sufferings of his posterity before their establishment in Canaan. The plan of redemption was here opened to him, in the death of Christ, the great sacrifice, and His coming in glory. Abraham saw also the earth restored to its Eden beauty, to be given him for an everlasting possession, as the final and complete fulfillment of the promise. {PP 137.1}

As a pledge of this covenant of God with men, a smoking furnace and a burning lamp, symbols of the divine presence, passed between the severed victims, totally consuming them. And again a voice was heard by Abraham, confirming the gift of the land of Canaan to his descendants, "from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates." {PP 137.2}

When Abraham had been nearly twenty-five years in Canaan, the Lord appeared unto him, and said, "I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect." In awe, the patriarch fell upon his face, and the message continued: "Behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations." In

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token of the fulfillment of this covenant, his name, heretofore called Abram, was changed to Abraham, which signifies, "father of a great multitude." Sarai's name became Sarah--"princess;" for, said the divine Voice, "she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her." {PP 137.3}

At this time the rite of circumcision was given to Abraham as "a seal of the Righteousness of the Faith which he had yet being uncircumcised." Romans 4:11. It was to be observed by the patriarch and his descendants as a token that they were devoted to the service of God and thus separated from idolaters, and that God accepted them as His peculiar treasure. By this rite they were pledged to fulfill, on their part, the conditions of the covenant made with Abraham. They were not to contract marriages with the heathen; for by so doing they would lose their reverence for God and His holy law; they would be tempted to engage in the sinful practices of other nations, and would be seduced into idolatry. {PP 138.1}

God conferred great honor upon Abraham. Angels of heaven walked and talked with him as friend with friend. When judgments were about to be visited upon Sodom, the fact was not hidden from him, and he became an intercessor with God for sinners. His interview with the angels presents also a beautiful example of hospitality. {PP 138.2}

In the hot summer noontide the patriarch was sitting in his tent door, looking out over the quiet landscape, when he saw in the distance three travelers approaching. Before reaching his tent, the strangers halted, as if consulting as to their course. Without waiting for them to solicit favors, Abraham rose quickly, and as they were apparently turning in another direction, he hastened after them, and with the utmost courtesy urged them to honor him by tarrying for refreshment. With his own hands he brought water that they might wash the dust of travel from their feet. He himself selected their food, and while they were at rest under the cooling shade, an entertainment was made ready, and he stood respectfully beside them while they partook of his hospitality. This act of courtesy God regarded of sufficient importance to record in His word; and a thousand years later it was referred to by an inspired apostle: "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Hebrews 13:2. {PP 138.3}

Abraham had seen in his guests only three tired wayfarers,

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little thinking that among them was One whom he might worship without sin. But the true character of the heavenly messengers was now revealed. Though they were on their way as ministers of wrath, yet to Abraham, the man of Faith, they spoke first of blessings. Though God is strict to mark iniquity and to punish transgression, He takes no delight in vengeance. The work of destruction is a "strange work" to Him who is infinite in love. {PP 138.4}

"The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him." Psalm 25:14. Abraham had honored God, and the Lord honored him, taking him into His counsels, and revealing to him His purposes. "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?" said the Lord. "The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous, I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know." God knew well the measure of Sodom's guilt; but He expressed Himself after the manner of men, that the justice of His dealings might be understood. Before bringing judgment upon the transgressors He would go Himself, to institute an examination of their course; if they had not passed the limits of divine mercy, He would still grant them space for repentance. {PP 139.1}

Two of the heavenly messengers departed, leaving Abraham alone with Him whom he now knew to be the Son of God. And the man of Faith pleaded for the inhabitants of Sodom. Once he had saved them by his sword, now he endeavored to save them by prayer. Lot and his household were still dwellers there; and the unselfish love that prompted Abraham to their rescue from the Elamites, now sought to save them, if it were God's will, from the storm of divine judgment. {PP 139.2}

With deep reverence and humility he urged his plea: "I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes." There was no self-confidence, no boasting of his own Righteousness. He did not claim favor on the ground of his obedience, or of the sacrifices he had made in doing God's will. Himself a sinner, he pleaded in the sinner's behalf. Such a spirit all who approach God should possess. Yet Abraham manifested the confidence of a child pleading with a loved father. He came close to the heavenly Messenger, and fervently urged his petition. Though Lot had become a dweller in Sodom, he did not partake in the iniquity of its inhabitants. Abraham thought that in that populous city there must be other worshipers of the true God.

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And in view of this he pleaded, "That be far from Thee, to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: . . . that be far from Thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Abraham asked not once merely, but many times. Waxing bolder as his requests were granted, he continued until he gained the assurance that if even ten righteous persons could be found in it, the city would be spared. {PP 139.3}

Love for perishing souls inspired Abraham's prayer. While he loathed the sins of that corrupt city, he desired that the sinners might be saved. His deep interest for Sodom shows the anxiety that we should feel for the impenitent. We should cherish hatred of sin, but pity and love for the sinner. All around us are souls going down to ruin as hopeless, as terrible, as that which befell Sodom. Every day the probation of some is closing. Every hour some are passing beyond the reach of mercy. And where are the voices of warning and entreaty to bid the sinner flee from this fearful doom? Where are the hands stretched out to draw him back from death? Where are those who with humility and persevering Faith are pleading with God for him? {PP 140.1}

The spirit of Abraham was the spirit of Christ. The Son of God is Himself the great Intercessor in the sinner's behalf. He who has paid the price for its redemption knows the worth of the human soul. With an antagonism to evil such as can exist only in a nature spotlessly pure, Christ manifested toward the sinner a love which infinite goodness alone could conceive. In the agonies of the crucifixion, Himself burdened with the awful weight of the sins of the whole world, He prayed for His revilers and murderers, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34. {PP 140.2}

Of Abraham it is written that "he was called the friend of God," "the father of all them that believe." James 2:23; Romans 4:11. The testimony of God concerning this Faithful patriarch is, "Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws." And again, "I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him." It was a high honor to which Abraham was called, that of being the father of the people who for centuries were the guardians and preservers of the truth of God for the

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world--of that people through whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed in the advent of the promised Messiah. But He who called the patriarch judged him worthy. It is God that speaks. He who understands the thoughts afar off, and places the right estimate upon men, says, "I know him." There would be on the part of Abraham no betraying of the truth for selfish purposes. He would keep the law and deal justly and righteously. And he would not only fear the Lord himself, but would cultivate religion in his home. He would instruct his family in Righteousness. The law of God would be the rule in his household. {PP 140.3}

Abraham's household comprised more than a thousand souls. Those who were led by his teachings to worship the one God, found a home in his encampment; and here, as in a school, they received such instruction as would prepare them to be representatives of the true Faith. Thus a great responsibility rested upon him. He was training heads of families, and his methods of government would be carried out in the households over which they should preside. {PP 141.1}

In early times the father was the ruler and priest of his own family, and he exercised authority over his children, even after they had families of their own. His descendants were taught to look up to him as their head, in both religious and secular matters. This patriarchal system of government Abraham endeavored to perpetuate, as it tended to preserve the knowledge of God. It was necessary to bind the members of the household together, in order to build up a barrier against the idolatry that had become so widespread and so deep-seated. Abraham sought by every means in his power to guard the inmates of his encampment against mingling with the heathen and witnessing their idolatrous practices, for he knew that familiarity with evil would insensibly corrupt the principles. The greatest care was exercised to shut out every form of false religion and to impress the mind with the majesty and glory of the living God as the true object of worship. {PP 141.2}

It was a wise arrangement, which God Himself had made, to cut off His people, so far as possible, from connection with the heathen, making them a people dwelling alone, and not reckoned among the nations. He had separated Abraham from his idolatrous kindred, that the patriarch might train and educate his family apart from the seductive influences which would have surrounded

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them in Mesopotamia, and that the true Faith might be preserved in its purity by his descendants from generation to generation. {PP 141.3}

Abraham's affection for his children and his household led him to guard their religious Faith, to impart to them a knowledge of the divine statutes, as the most precious legacy he could transmit to them, and through them to the world. All were taught that they were under the rule of the God of heaven. There was to be no oppression on the part of parents and no disobedience on the part of children. God's law had appointed to each his duties, and only in obedience to it could any secure happiness or prosperity. {PP 142.1}

His own example, the silent influence of his daily life, was a constant lesson. The unswerving integrity, the benevolence and unselfish courtesy, which had won the admiration of kings, were displayed in the home. There was a fragrance about the life, a nobility and loveliness of character, which revealed to all that he was connected with Heaven. He did not neglect the soul of the humblest servant. In his household there was not one law for the master and another for the servant; a royal way for the rich and another for the poor. All were treated with justice and compassion, as inheritors with him of the grace of life. {PP 142.2}

"He will command his . . . household." There would be no sinful neglect to restrain the evil propensities of his children, no weak, unwise, indulgent favoritism; no yielding of his conviction of duty to the claims of mistaken affection. Abraham would not only give right instruction, but he would maintain the authority of just and righteous laws. {PP 142.3}

How few there are in our day who follow this example! On the part of too many parents there is a blind and selfish sentimentalism, miscalled love, which is manifested in leaving children, with their unformed judgment and undisciplined passions, to the control of their own will. This is the veriest cruelty to the youth and a great wrong to the world. Parental indulgence causes disorder in families and in society. It confirms in the young the desire to follow inclination, instead of submitting to the divine requirements. Thus they grow up with a heart averse to doing God's will, and they transmit their irreligious, insubordinate spirit to their children and children's children. Like Abraham, parents should command their households after them. Let obedience to

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parental authority be taught and enforced as the first step in obedience to the authority of God. {PP 142.4}

The light esteem in which the law of God is held, even by religious leaders, has been productive of great evil. The teaching which has become so widespread, that the divine statutes are no longer binding upon men, is the same as idolatry in its effect upon the morals of the people. Those who seek to lessen the claims of God's holy law are striking directly at the foundation of the government of families and nations. Religious parents, failing to walk in His statutes, do not command their household to keep the way of the Lord. The law of God is not made the rule of life. The children, as they make homes of their own, feel under no obligation to teach their children what they themselves have never been taught. And this is why there are so many godless families; this is why depravity is so deep and widespread. {PP 143.1}

Not until parents themselves walk in the law of the Lord with perfect hearts will they be prepared to command their children after them. A reformation in this respect is needed--a reformation which shall be deep and broad. Parents need to reform; ministers need to reform; they need God in their households. If they would see a different state of things, they must bring His word into their families and must make it their counselor. They must teach their children that it is the voice of God addressed to them, and is to be implicitly obeyed. They should patiently instruct their children, kindly and untiringly teach them how to live in order to please God. The children of such a household are prepared to meet the sophistries of infidelity. They have accepted the Bible as the basis of their Faith, and they have a foundation that cannot be swept away by the incoming tide of skepticism. {PP 143.2}

In too many households prayer is neglected. Parents feel that they have no time for morning and evening worship. They cannot spare a few moments to be spent in thanksgiving to God for His abundant mercies--for the blessed sunshine and the showers of rain, which cause vegetation to flourish, and for the guardianship of holy angels. They have no time to offer prayer for divine help and guidance and for the abiding presence of Jesus in the household. They go forth to labor as the ox or the horse goes, without one thought of God or heaven. They have souls so precious that rather than permit them to be hopelessly lost, the Son of God gave His life to ransom them; but they have little more

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appreciation of His great goodness than have the beasts that perish. {PP 143.3}

Like the patriarchs of old, those who profess to love God should erect an altar to the Lord wherever they pitch their tent. If ever there was a time when every house should be a house of prayer, it is now. Fathers and mothers should often lift up their hearts to God in humble supplication for themselves and their children. Let the father, as priest of the household, lay upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice, while the wife and children unite in prayer and praise. In such a household Jesus will love to tarry. {PP 144.1}

From every Christian home a holy light should shine forth. Love should be revealed in action. It should flow out in all home intercourse, showing itself in thoughtful kindness, in gentle, unselfish courtesy. There are homes where this principle is carried out--homes where God is worshiped and truest love reigns. From these homes morning and evening prayer ascends to God as sweet incense, and His mercies and blessings descend upon the suppliants like the morning dew. {PP 144.2}

A well-ordered Christian household is a powerful argument in favor of the reality of the Christian religion--an argument that the infidel cannot gainsay. All can see that there is an influence at work in the family that affects the children, and that the God of Abraham is with them. If the homes of professed Christians had a right religious mold, they would exert a mighty influence for good. They would indeed be the "light of the world." The God of heaven speaks to every Faithful parent in the words addressed to Abraham: "I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him." {PP 144.3}

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                                           Chap. 13 - The Test of Faith

Abraham had accepted without question the promise of a son, but he did not wait for God to fulfill His word in His own time and way. A delay was permitted, to test his Faith in the power of God; but he failed to endure the trial. Thinking it impossible that a child should be given her in her old age, Sarah suggested, as a plan by which the divine purpose might be fulfilled, that one of her handmaidens should be taken by Abraham as a secondary wife. Polygamy had become so widespread that it had ceased to be regarded as a sin, but it was no less a violation of the law of God, and was fatal to the sacredness and peace of the family relation. Abraham's marriage with Hagar resulted in evil, not only to his own household, but to future generations. {PP 145.1}

Flattered with the honor of her new position as Abraham's wife, and hoping to be the mother of the great nation to descend from him, Hagar became proud and boastful, and treated her mistress with contempt. Mutual jealousies disturbed the peace of the once happy home. Forced to listen to the complaints of both, Abraham vainly endeavored to restore harmony. Though it was at Sarah's earnest entreaty that he had married Hagar, she now reproached him as the one at fault. She desired to banish her rival; but Abraham refused to permit this; for Hagar was to be the mother of his child, as he fondly hoped, the son of promise. She was Sarah's servant, however, and he still left her to the control of her mistress. Hagar's haughty spirit would not brook the harshness which her insolence had provoked. "When Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face." {PP 145.2}

She made her way to the desert, and as she rested beside a fountain, lonely and friendless, an angel of the Lord, in human form, appeared to her. Addressing her as "Hagar, Sarai's maid," to remind her of her position and her duty, he bade her, "Return

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to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands." Yet with the reproof there were mingled words of comfort. "The Lord hath heard thy affliction." "I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude." And as a perpetual reminder of His mercy, she was bidden to call her child Ishmael, "God shall hear." {PP 145.3}

When Abraham was nearly one hundred years old, the promise of a son was repeated to him, with the assurance that the future heir should be the child of Sarah. But Abraham did not yet understand the promise. His mind at once turned to Ishmael, clinging to the belief that through him God's gracious purposes were to be accomplished. In his affection for his son he exclaimed, "O that Ishmael might live before Thee!" Again the promise was given, in words that could not be mistaken: "Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish My covenant with him." Yet God was not unmindful of the father's prayer. "As for Ishmael," He said, "I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, . . . and I will make him a great nation." {PP 146.1}

The birth of Isaac, bringing, after a lifelong waiting, the fulfillment of their dearest hopes, filled the tents of Abraham and Sarah with gladness. But to Hagar this event was the overthrow of her fondly cherished ambitions. Ishmael, now a youth, had been regarded by all in the encampment as the heir of Abraham's wealth and the inheritor of the blessings promised to his descendants. Now he was suddenly set aside; and in their disappointment, mother and son hated the child of Sarah. The general rejoicing increased their jealousy, until Ishmael dared openly to mock the heir of God's promise. Sarah saw in Ishmael's turbulent disposition a perpetual source of discord, and she appealed to Abraham, urging that Hagar and Ishmael be sent away from the encampment. The patriarch was thrown into great distress. How could he banish Ishmael his son, still dearly beloved? In his perplexity he pleaded for divine guidance. The Lord, through a holy angel, directed him to grant Sarah's desire; his love for Ishmael or Hagar ought not to stand in the way, for only thus could he restore harmony and happiness to his family. And the angel gave him the consoling promise that though separated from his father's home, Ishmael should not be forsaken by God; his life should be preserved, and he should become the father of a great

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nation. Abraham obeyed the angel's word, but it was not without keen suffering. The father's heart was heavy with unspoken grief as he sent away Hagar and his son. {PP 146.2}

The instruction given to Abraham touching the sacredness of the marriage relation was to be a lesson for all ages. It declares that the rights and happiness of this relation are to be carefully guarded, even at a great sacrifice. Sarah was the only true wife of Abraham. Her rights as a wife and mother no other person was entitled to share. She reverenced her husband, and in this she is presented in the New Testament as a worthy example. But she was unwilling that Abraham's affections should be given to another, and the Lord did not reprove her for requiring the banishment of her rival. Both Abraham and Sarah distrusted the power of God, and it was this error that led to the marriage with Hagar. {PP 147.1}

God had called Abraham to be the father of the Faithful, and his life was to stand as an example of Faith to succeeding generations. But his Faith had not been perfect. He had shown distrust of God in concealing the fact that Sarah was his wife, and again in his marriage with Hagar. That he might reach the highest standard, God subjected him to another test, the closest which man was ever called to endure. In a vision of the night he was directed to repair to the land of Moriah, and there offer up his son as a burnt offering upon a mountain that should be shown him. {PP 147.2}

At the time of receiving this command, Abraham had reached the age of a hundred and twenty years. He was regarded as an old man, even in his generation. In his earlier years he had been strong to endure hardship and to brave danger, but now the ardor of his youth had passed away. One in the vigor of manhood may with courage meet difficulties and afflictions that would cause his heart to fail later in life, when his feet are faltering toward the grave. But God had reserved His last, most trying test for Abraham until the burden of years was heavy upon him, and he longed for rest from anxiety and toil. {PP 147.3}

The patriarch was dwelling at Beersheba, surrounded by prosperity and honor. He was very rich, and was honored as a mighty prince by the rulers of the land. Thousands of sheep and cattle covered the plains that spread out beyond his encampment. On every side were the tents of his retainers, the home of hundreds of Faithful servants. The son of promise had grown up to manhood by his side. Heaven seemed to have crowned with its

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blessing a life of sacrifice in patient endurance of hope deferred. {PP 147.4}

In the obedience of Faith, Abraham had forsaken his native country--had turned away from the graves of his fathers and the home of his kindred. He had wandered as a stranger in the land of his inheritance. He had waited long for the birth of the promised heir. At the command of God he had sent away his son Ishmael. And now, when the child so long desired was entering upon manhood, and the patriarch seemed able to discern the fruition of his hopes, a trial greater than all others was before him. {PP 148.1}

The command was expressed in words that must have wrung with anguish that father's heart: "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, . . . and offer him there for a burnt offering." Isaac was the light of his home, the solace of his old age, above all else the inheritor of the promised blessing. The loss of such a son by accident or disease would have been heart rending to the fond father; it would have bowed down his whitened head with grief; but he was commanded to shed the blood of that son with his own hand. It seemed to him a fearful impossibility. {PP 148.2}

Satan was at hand to suggest that he must be deceived, for the divine law commands, "Thou shalt not kill," and God would not require what He had once forbidden. Going outside his tent, Abraham looked up to the calm brightness of the unclouded heavens, and recalled the promise made nearly fifty years before, that his seed should be innumerable as the stars. If this promise was to be fulfilled through Isaac, how could he be put to death? Abraham was tempted to believe that he might be under a delusion. In his doubt and anguish he bowed upon the earth, and prayed, as he had never prayed before, for some confirmation of the command if he must perform this terrible duty. He remembered the angels sent to reveal to him God's purpose to destroy Sodom, and who bore to him the promise of this same son Isaac, and he went to the place where he had several times met the heavenly messengers, hoping to meet them again, and receive some further direction; but none came to his relief. Darkness seemed to shut him in; but the command of God was sounding in his ears, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest." That command must be obeyed, and he dared not delay. Day was approaching, and he must be on his journey. {PP 148.3}

Returning to his tent, he went to the place where Isaac lay sleeping the deep, untroubled sleep of youth and innocence. For

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a moment the father looked upon the dear face of his son, then turned tremblingly away. He went to the side of Sarah, who was also sleeping. Should he awaken her, that she might once more embrace her child? Should he tell her of God's requirement? He longed to unburden his heart to her, and share with her this terrible responsibility; but he was restrained by the fear that she might hinder him. Isaac was her joy and pride; her life was bound up in him, and the mother's love might refuse the sacrifice. {PP 148.4}

Abraham at last summoned his son, telling him of the command to offer sacrifice upon a distant mountain. Isaac had often gone with his father to worship at some one of the various altars that marked his wanderings, and this summons excited no surprise. The preparations for the journey were quickly completed. The wood was made ready and put upon the ass, and with two menservants they set forth. {PP 151.1}

Side by side the father and the son journeyed in silence. The patriarch, pondering his heavy secret, had no heart for words. His thoughts were of the proud, fond mother, and the day when he should return to her alone. Well he knew that the knife would pierce her heart when it took the life of her son. {PP 151.2}

That day--the longest that Abraham had ever experienced--dragged slowly to its close. While his son and the young men were sleeping, he spent the night in prayer, still hoping that some heavenly messenger might come to say that the trial was enough, that the youth might return unharmed to his mother. But no relief came to his tortured soul. Another long day, another night of humiliation and prayer, while ever the command that was to leave him childless was ringing in his ears. Satan was near to whisper doubts and unbelief, but Abraham resisted his suggestions. As they were about to begin the journey of the third day, the patriarch, looking northward, saw the promised sign, a cloud of glory hovering over Mount Moriah, and he knew that the voice which had spoken to him was from heaven. {PP 151.3}

Even now he did not murmur against God, but strengthened his soul by dwelling upon the evidences of the Lord's goodness and Faithfulness. This son had been unexpectedly given; and had not He who bestowed the precious gift a right to recall His own? Then Faith repeated the promise, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called"--a seed numberless as the grains of sand upon the shore. Isaac was the child of a miracle, and could not the power that

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gave him life restore it? Looking beyond that which was seen, Abraham grasped the divine word, "accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead." Hebrews 11:19. {PP 151.4}

Yet none but God could understand how great was the father's sacrifice in yielding up his son to death; Abraham desired that none but God should witness the parting scene. He bade his servants remain behind, saying, "I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you." The wood was laid upon Isaac, the one to be offered, the father took the knife and the fire, and together they ascended toward the mountain summit, the young man silently wondering whence, so far from folds and flocks, the offering was to come. At last he spoke, "My father," "behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" Oh, what a test was this! How the endearing words, "my father," pierced Abraham's heart! Not yet--he could not tell him now. "My son," he said, "God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering." {PP 152.1}

At the appointed place they built the altar and laid the wood upon it. Then, with trembling voice, Abraham unfolded to his son the divine message. It was with terror and amazement that Isaac learned his fate, but he offered no resistance. He could have escaped his doom, had he chosen to do so; the grief-stricken old man, exhausted with the struggle of those three terrible days, could not have opposed the will of the vigorous youth. But Isaac had been trained from childhood to ready, trusting obedience, and as the purpose of God was opened before him, he yielded a willing submission. He was a sharer in Abraham's Faith, and he felt that he was honored in being called to give his life as an offering to God. He tenderly seeks to lighten the father's grief, and encourages his nerveless hands to bind the cords that confine him to the altar. {PP 152.2}

And now the last words of love are spoken, the last tears are shed, the last embrace is

given. The father lifts the knife to slay his son, when suddenly his arm is stayed. An angel of God calls to the patriarch out of heaven, "Abraham, Abraham!" He quickly answers, "Here am I," And again the voice is heard, "Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from Me."

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{PP 152.3}

Then Abraham saw "a ram caught in a thicket," and quickly bringing the new victim, he offered it "in the stead of his son." In his joy and gratitude Abraham gave a new name to the sacred spot--"Jehovah-jireh," "the Lord will provide." {PP 153.1}

On Mount Moriah, God again renewed His covenant, confirming with a solemn oath the blessing to Abraham and to his seed through all coming generations: "By myself have I sworn, saith Jehovah, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, 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 seashore; 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." {PP 153.2}

Abraham's great act of Faith stands like a pillar of light, illuminating the pathway of God's servants in all succeeding ages. Abraham did not seek to excuse himself from doing the will of God. During that three days' journey he had sufficient time to reason, and to doubt God, if he was disposed to doubt. He might have reasoned that the slaying of his son would cause him to be looked upon as a murderer, a second Cain; that it would cause his teaching to be rejected and despised; and thus destroy his power to do good to his fellow men. He might have pleaded that age should excuse him from obedience. But the patriarch did not take refuge in any of these excuses. Abraham was human; his passions and attachments were like ours; but he did not stop to question how the promise could be fulfilled if Isaac should be slain. He did not stay to reason with his aching heart. He knew that God is just and righteous in all His requirements, and he obeyed the command to the very letter. {PP 153.3}

"Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for Righteousness: and he was called the friend of God." James 2:23. And Paul says, "They which are of Faith, the same are the children of Abraham." Galatians 3:7. But Abraham's Faith was made manifest by his works. "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how Faith wrought with his works, and by works was Faith made perfect?" James 2:21, 22. There are many who fail to understand the relation of Faith and works. They say, "Only believe in Christ, and you are safe. You have nothing to do with keeping

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the law." But genuine Faith will be manifest in obedience. Said Christ to the unbelieving Jews, "If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham." John 8:39. And concerning the father of the Faithful the Lord declares, "Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws." Genesis 26:5. Says the apostle James, "Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." James 2:17. And John, who dwells so fully upon love, tells us, "This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments." 1 John 5:3. {PP 153.4}

Through type and promise God "preached before the gospel unto Abraham." Galatians 3:8. And the patriarch's Faith was fixed upon the Redeemer to come. Said Christ to the Jews. "Your father Abraham rejoiced that he should see My day; and he saw it, and was glad." John 8:56, R.V., margin. The ram offered in the place of Isaac represented the Son of God, who was to be sacrificed in our stead. When man was doomed to death by transgression of the law of God, the Father, looking upon His Son, said to the sinner, "Live: I have found a ransom." {PP 154.1}

It was to impress Abraham's mind with the reality of the gospel, as well as to test his Faith, that God commanded him to slay his son. The agony which he endured during the dark days of that fearful trial was permitted that he might understand from his own experience something of the greatness of the sacrifice made by the infinite God for man's redemption. No other test could have caused Abraham such torture of soul as did the offering of his son. God gave His Son to a death of agony and shame. The angels who witnessed the humiliation and soul anguish of the Son of God were not permitted to interpose, as in the case of Isaac. There was no voice to cry, "It is enough." To save the fallen race, the King of glory yielded up His life. What stronger proof can be given of the infinite compassion and love of God? "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?" Romans 8:32. {PP 154.2}

The sacrifice required of Abraham was not alone for his own good, nor solely for the benefit of succeeding generations; but it was also for the instruction of the sinless intelligences of heaven and of other worlds. The field of the controversy between Christ and Satan--the field on which the plan of redemption is wrought out--is the lesson book of the universe. Because Abraham had

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shown a lack of Faith in God's promises, Satan had accused him before the angels and before God of having failed to comply with the conditions of the covenant, and as unworthy of its blessings. God desired to prove the loyalty of His servant before all heaven, to demonstrate that nothing less than perfect obedience can be accepted, and to open more fully before them the plan of salvation. {PP 154.3}

Heavenly beings were witnesses of the scene as the Faith of Abraham and the submission of Isaac were tested. The trial was far more severe than that which had been brought upon Adam. Compliance with the prohibition laid upon our first parents involved no suffering, but the command to Abraham demanded the most agonizing sacrifice. All heaven beheld with wonder and admiration Abraham's unfaltering obedience. All heaven applauded his fidelity. Satan's accusations were shown to be false. God declared to His servant, "Now I know that thou fearest God [notwithstanding Satan's charges], seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from Me." God's covenant, confirmed to Abraham by an oath before the intelligences of other worlds, testified that obedience will be rewarded. {PP 155.1}

It had been difficult even for the angels to grasp the mystery of redemption--to comprehend that the Commander of heaven, the Son of God, must die for guilty man. When the command was given to Abraham to offer up his son, the interest of all heavenly beings was enlisted. With intense earnestness they watched each step in the fulfillment of this command. When to Isaac's question, "Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" Abraham made answer, "God will provide Himself a lamb;" and when the father's hand was stayed as he was about to slay his son, and the ram which God had provided was offered in the place of Isaac--then light was shed upon the mystery of redemption, and even the angels understood more clearly the wonderful provision that God had made for man's salvation. 1 Peter 1:12. {PP 155.2}

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             MORE ON RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH FROM THE FOLLOWING:

07-31-2005

1888 BOOK, LESSONS ON FAITH,

by Elders A.T. Jones, and E. J. Waggoner

Faith is the depending upon the word of God only, and expecting that word only to do what the word says.

Justification by Faith, then, is justification by depending upon the word of God only and expecting that word only to accomplish it.

Justification by Faith is Righteousness by Faith, for justification is the being declared righteous.

Faith comes by the word of God. Justification by Faith, then, is justification that comes by the word of God. Righteousness by Faith is Righteousness that comes by the word of God.

The word of God is self-fulfilling, for in creating all things, "he spake and it was." And when He was on earth, He stilled the raging sea, cleansed the lepers, healed the sick, raised the dead, and forgave sins, all by His word: there, too, "he spake, and it was."

Now the same One who, in creating, "spake, and it was", the same One who said, "Let there be light, and there was light," the same One who on earth spoke "the word only," and the sick were healed, the lepers were cleansed, and the dead lived—this same One speaks the Righteousness of God unto and upon all that believe.

For though all have sinned and come short of the Righteousness of God, yet we are "justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth . . . to declare his Righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God."

In creating all things in the beginning, God set forth Christ to declare the word which should cause all things to exist. Christ did speak the word only, and all things were. And in redemption, which is creation over again, God set forth Christ to declare the word of Righteousness. And when Christ speaks the word only, it is so. His word, whether in creating or in redeeming, is the same.

"The worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." Once there were no worlds, nor was there any of the material which now composes the worlds. God set forth Christ to declare the word which should produce the worlds, and the very material of which they should be composed.

"He spake, and it was." Before He spoke, there were no worlds; after He spoke, the worlds were there. Thus the word of God spoken by Jesus Christ is able to cause that to exist which has no existence before the word is spoken, and which, except for that word, never could have existence.

In this same way precisely it is in man’s life. In man’s life there is no Righteousness. In man there is no Righteousness from which Righteousness can appear in his life. But God has set forth Christ to declare Righteousness unto and upon man. Christ has spoken the word only, and in the darkened void of man’s life there is Righteousness to everyone who will receive it. Where, before the word is received, there was neither Righteousness nor anything which could possibly produce Righteousness, after the word is received, there is perfect Righteousness and the very Fountain from which it springs. The word of God received by Faith—that is, the word of God expected to do what that word says and depended upon to do what it says—produces Righteousness in the man and in the life where there never was any before; precisely as, in the original creation, the word of God produced worlds where there never were any worlds before. He has spoken, and it is so to everyone that believeth: that is, to every one that receiveth. The word itself produces it.

"Therefore being justified (made righteous) by Faith (by expecting and depending upon the word of God only) we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Rom. 5:1. That is so, bless the Lord! And feeding upon this blessed thing is cultivating Faith.

RH Jan. 17, 1899

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"The knowledge of what the Scripture means when urging upon us the necessity of cultivating Faith is more important than any other knowledge that can be obtained."

Faith is the expecting the word of God to do the thing which that word speaks and the depending upon the word only to accomplish the thing which that word speaks.

Abraham is the father of all them which be of Faith. The record of Abraham, then, gives instruction in Faith—what it is and what it does for him who has it.

What shall we say, then, that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the Faith, has found?

What saith the Scripture?

When Abram was more than eighty years old and Sarai his wife was old and he had no child, God "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."

And Abram "believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for Righteousness." Gen. 15:5,6. Abram accepted the word of God and expected by the word what the word said. And in that he was right.

Sarai, however, did not put her expectation upon the word of God only. She resorted to a device of her own to bring forth seed. She said to him, "The Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her." Gen. 16:2.

Abram, for the moment, swerved from the perfect integrity of Faith. Instead of holding fast his expectation and dependence upon the word of God only, he "harkened to the voice of Sarai."

Accordingly, a child was born, but the whole matter proved to be so unsatisfactory to Sarai that she repudiated her own arrangement. And God showed His repudiation of it by totally ignoring the fact that any child had been born. He changed Abram’s name to Abraham and continued to talk about making him the father of nations through the seed promised and of making his covenant with Abraham and the seed that was promised. He also changed Sarai’s name to Sarah, because she should "be a mother of nations" through the promised seed.

Abraham noticed this total ignoring of the child that had been born and called the Lord’s attention to it, saying, "O, that Ishmael might live before thee!"

But "God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed, and thou shalt call his name Isaac, and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant and with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year." Gen. 17:15-21.

By all this both Abram and Sarai were taught that, in carrying out the promise, the fulfilling of the word of God, nothing would answer but dependence upon that word only. Sarai learned that her device brought only trouble and perplexity and delayed the fulfillment of the promise. Abram learned that in harkening to the voice of Sarai, he had missed the word of God, and that now he must abandon that whole scheme and turn again to the word of God only.

But now Abraham was ninety-nine years old and Sarah was eighty-nine. And, if anything, this seemed to put farther off than ever the fulfillment of the word and called for a deeper dependence upon the word of God—a greater Faith than before.

It was perfectly plain that now there was no possibility of dependence upon anything whatever, but the naked word only; they were shut up absolutely to this for the accomplishment of what the word said. All works, devices, plans, and efforts of their own were excluded, and they were shut up to Faith alone—shut up to the word alone and to absolute dependence upon that word only for the accomplishment of what that word said.

And now that the way was clear for "the word only" to work, that word did work, effectually, and the promised "seed" was born. And so "through Faith," through helpless, total dependence upon the word only—"Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him Faithful who had promised."

And "therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the seashore innumerable." Heb. 11:12.

And thus was fulfilled the word spoken to Abram, when God "brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them. . . . So shall thy seed be."

This is a divine lesson in Faith. And this is what the Scripture means when urging upon us the necessity of cultivating Faith. For this was imputed to Abraham for Righteousness, even the Righteousness of God, which is by Faith.

Yet "it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him, but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered for our offenses and was raised again for our justification." Rom. 4:23-25.

And all "they which be of Faith are blessed with Faithful Abraham." All they who, excluding—yea, repudiating—all works, plans, devices, and efforts, of their own, depend in utter helplessness upon the word of God only to accomplish what that word says—these are they which be of Faith and are blessed with Faithful Abraham with the Righteousness of God.

O, "understanding how to exercise Faith: this is the science of the gospel"! And the science of the gospel is the science of sciences. Who would not strain every nerve to understand it?

RH Jan. 24, 1899

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When Abraham and Sarah had cleared themselves of all the scheme of unbelief which had produced Ishmael and had stood upon Faith alone—dependence on the word of God alone—Isaac, the true child of the promise, was born.

In harkening to the voice of Sarai (Gen. 16:1), Abram had swerved from the line of strict integrity to the word of God, from the strictness of true Faith, and now that he had returned to the word only, to true Faith, he must be tested before it could be certainly said of him that his Faith was counted for Righteousness.

He had trusted the naked word of God as against Ishmael and had obtained Isaac, the true child of the promise of God. And now, having obtained Isaac, the question must be determined whether he would trust the naked word of God as against even Isaac himself.

Accordingly, God said to Abraham, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."

Abraham had received Isaac from God by trusting the word of God only. Isaac alone was the seed promised by the word of the Lord. After Isaac was born, God had confirmed the word by declaring, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called." Gen. 21:12. And now came the word of God, Take thy son, thine only son Isaac, and offer him for a burnt offering.

God had declared to Abraham, Thy seed shall be as th stars of heaven for multitude. "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." "In Isaac shall thy seed be called," and now, Offer Isaac for a burnt offering!

But, if Isaac is offered for a burnt offering, if Isaac is burned up, what will become of the promise of the blessing of all nations in him? What will become of the promise, Thy seed shall be as the stars of heaven innumerable? Yet there stood the word, Offer Isaac for a burnt offering. Abraham had trusted the word of God only, as against Ishmael, but this is more than trusting the word of God as against Isaac—it is trusting the word of God as against the word of God!

And Abraham did it, hoping against hope. God had said: Thy seed shall be as the stars of heaven; In Isaac shall thy seed be called. Offer Isaac for a burnt offering. Abraham did not insist that God should "harmonize these passages." It was all sufficient for him to know that the statements were all the word of God. Knowing this, he would trust that word, would follow that word, and would let the Lord "harmonize these passages," or "explain these texts," if any such thing were needed.

Said Abraham: God has said, Offer Isaac for a burnt offering. That I will do. God has said, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called." And, Thy seed shall be as the stars of heaven for multitude. I interfered once in the promise and hindered it till I repudiated all that I had done and came back to the word only. Then, by a miracle, God gave me Isaac, the promised seed. Now He says, Offer Isaac, the promised seed, for a burnt offering. I will do it. By a miracle God gave him at the first, and by a miracle God can restore him. Yet when I shall have offered him for a burnt offering, he will be dead, and the only miracle that can then restore him is a miracle that will bring him back from the dead. But God is able to do even that, and He will do it, for His word is spoken, Thy seed shall be as the stars of heaven for multitude, and In Isaac shall thy seed be called. And even the bringing back of Isaac from the dead will be to God no more than He has already done, for, as to offspring, both my body and Sarah’s were as good as dead, and yet God brought forth Isaac from us. He can raise Isaac from the dead, and He will. Bless the Lord!

It was settled. He arose and took his servants and Isaac and went three days’ journey "unto the place of which God had told him." And when on the third day he "saw the place afar off," "Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship and come again to you." Gen. 22:5. Who will go? "I and the lad will go." And who will come again? "I and the lad will go . . . and come again to you." Abraham expected to have Isaac come back with him as certainly as that he went with him.

Abraham expected to offer Isaac for a burnt offering and expected then to see Isaac rise from the ashes and go back with him. For the word of God had gone forth, In Isaac shall thy seed be called, and, Thy seed shall be as the stars of heaven for multitude. And Abraham would trust that word only, that it could never fail. Heb. 11:17-19.

THIS IS FAITH. And thus "the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for Righteousness." James 2:23. But yet above this, "It was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him, but for us also to whom it shall be imputed; if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offenses and was raised again for our justification." Rom. 4:23-25.

To trust the word of God only, to depend upon the word of God only, to depend upon the word of God, even as against the word of God—this is FAITH. This is the Faith which brings the Righteousness of God.

This is what it is to exercise Faith. This is "what the Scripture means when urging upon us the necessity of exercising Faith. And "understanding how to exercise Faith," this is the science of the gospel. And the science of the gospel is the science of sciences.

RH Jan. 31, 1899

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                                THE DIVINE MOST HOLY SHEPHERD'S ROD MESSAGE

                                                  THROUGH Brother Victor T. Houteff

                                                          SHEPHERD'S ROD VOL. 2

                                                    Justification By Faith; What Is It?

All the blessings written in the preceding chapters are apprehended in the following

Though this most important subject is the simplest of all Biblical truths, it has been widely confused, and largely misunderstood. The example of one man's experience in the things of God and his justification by Faith, should clear the widespread confusion, and remove the veil which has been drawn over the eyes of the Faithful. "To that also which is of the Faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all. (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations), before Him Whom he believed, even God, Who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were." (Rom. 4:16, 17.)

When the method pursued by Abraham is followed, then, and then only, can any one of us be justified, there is no other way. "And if ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Gal. 3:29.) "If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham." (John 8:39.) Let us take notice of Abraham's Faith, experience and justification. "Harken to me, ye that follow after Righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father." (Isa. 51:1,2.)

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In the following it will be noticed that Abraham responded without hesitation to all God commanded him to do: "Now the Lord said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee.... So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him.... And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him." (Gen. 12:1, 4, 7.) "And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the Lord." (Gen. 13:14-18.)

"And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.... And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him." (Gen. 17:9, 10, 23.)

"And God said unto Abraham Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away." (Gen. 21:12, 14.) "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And He said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.... And Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac

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his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.... And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing will I bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of 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." (Gen. 22:1-3, 9-12, 15-18.)

was called the friend of God." (James 2:23.) By simply doing the things that God asked of him he obtained this record: "Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 26:5, 4.) Having childlike Faith in the Word, and doing all God has said, is the only sanctification and Righteousness that is Christ's. Such are the children of Abraham, and to them is the promise. They openly declare that the blood of Christ has the power to save them from the bondage of sin, and from the condemnation of the law. They shall inherit the land for ever and ever. These are the Israel of God. There are no others, and this only is Righteousness and sanctification by Faith.

End of Book.

Shepherd's Rod book, Vol. 2

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