Pastor Roger Anghis
April 8, 2012
2 Peter 1:4 “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
The promises of God have been talked about for centuries without there being a consensus in the church, as a whole, as to what those promises really are and who they are for. Some have claimed that the promises in the Old Testament are only for the Jews. And there are no promises of that nature in the New Testament, so the church is not included in those promises. My response is; I am amazed that people with a Bible can come to that type of conclusion. Unfortunately most people get this concept from the preacher. That is what is so amazing. I found that when I started to study the Word myself, I found all sorts of contradictions between some preachers and the Bible.
I have found it best to believe the Bible over a man, you’ll get a whole lot further believing God.
To begin our study on the Promises of God we have to clarify a few undisputable facts. The first item that we need to clarify is, do the promises to the nation of Israel belong only to the nation of Israel or do they belong to the church as well? We will detail the promises a little later, but as far as who they are for, lets look at what the Holy Spirit had Paul rite to the church in Galatia: Galatians 3:13 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
(14) That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” The blessings of Abraham are the Promises of God. The book of Deuteronomy chapter 28 lists the blessing and the curse. If Christ redeemed us from the curse that only leaves the blessings or the Promises of God. But this is the problem with a lot of believers, that’s Old Testament and not meant for the modern church. If that is the truth, then can we find that in scripture? No. That can not be found in scripture. But there is something that can be found in scripture that does address this issue and settles it: Genesis 17:7 “I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.”
Some will say that this proves that the Promises of God are only for the nation of Israel. All this does is verify that there are Promises AND that they are for all time. Now if we look again at the letter to the church in Galatia we will see that the Holy Spirit had Paul confirm that these Promises are for all believers, Jew and Gentile alike: Galatians 3:29“And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” If we are Abrahams ‘seed’ then all things promised to him we have all the right in the world to say ‘Me Too!!!”.
One of the stigmas that the church is dealing with now is they can’t seem to get out of the physical realm. “How can I be ‘Abraham's seed’ when I’m not Jewish?” They have forgotten that the real ‘you’ is spirit. There is no nationality to spirit. The nationality is only in the physical realm. This truth must be realized by the Body of Christ before we can begin to fully understand and partake of the promises. The other thing that we have to realize is the Promises that have been made to the church body have to be received and walked in by the individuals of the church or the Promises will be of no avail.
The Holy Spirit did make a point of letting us know that there was no difference between the promises made to the patriarchs and the church. In Genesis 28:15 we see that a promise originally given by God to Jacob is also for all Christians: “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” After the nation of Israel left Egypt and were ready to go into the promised land, God promised Joshua the same thing; Joshua 1:5 ”There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” The writer of Hebrews reaffirms this promise to the modern day church: Hebrews 13:5 “. . . for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” The writer goes on to affirm that God is the one that we are to put our trust in and depend on: Hebrews 13:6 “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” This is the same promise that David wrote about: Psalm 56:11 “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.”
From these scriptures we can see that all the promises that were given to the nation of Israel have also been given to the modern day church. But our promises go even further. And it is no surprise that the Old Testament prophets new about it before we did: Jeremiah 31:31
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
(32) Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
(33) But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
(34) And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
One thing that we must notice in the Word is that God always does things better than the last time. When He restores someone, it’s always to a better position then they had before. When He restored the nation of Israel after 430 years of bondage, they walked out with all the wealth of Egypt. From slavery to wealthy master overnight. In 2 Kings you can read the story about how the Syrian army laid siege to Samaria. They ran out of food and had gone as far as cannibalism and in just a matter of a few hours they had all the wealth of the Syrian army and the siege was over and their restoration put them in a better position than they were before. This is what the writer of Hebrews tells us in chapter 8. Hebrews 8:6 ”But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” What we have is the best of the Old Covenant combined with even better promises of the New Covenant. God is always going one step further than necessary.
Sometimes we act as if the believer is the only one that has Promises from God. The wicked and the backslider have Promises that are as important to them as our Promises are to us.
Isaiah 55:7 “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
Hosea 11:7 “And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.
(8) How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.
(9) I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city”.
Does God really mean what He says? Will He show mercy and He will show grace to those who will turn to Him. Ever hear the statement; ‘God’s going to get you for that.’ The only way He’ll ‘get you’ is if you never repent for what you did. His will is to have all men saved: 1 Timothy 2:4 ”Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” He doesn’t want anyone to go to hell. Many times the nation of Israel backslid and many times God called them back to Him and they heeded the call and He withheld His judgment and began to bless them again.
Hosea 14:4 “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.”
There will be those who will have a hard time with anything that comes out of the Old Testament as being for the church today I feel that I need to clarify something that the Holy Spirit had Paul right to Timothy: 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” When you think about it, what do you think the Apostles used to teach, not only the Jews, but the Gentiles, about Jesus?
They proved who He was and what He did with scripture. I’ve even had some people who claim to know the Bible say that they used the New Testament, but the New Testament was not fully written until 70 A.D. There was no New Testament in the early days and was not compiled into its present form until 200 A.D. So if the church was birthed and grew using the Old Testament scripture, then anything in there is for us too.
We need to fully understand just what the promises are. What areas of our life do the promises of God cover? When we accept Christ as our Savior, we receive salvation. This salvation is not just eternal salvation in the sweet bye and bye. David spoke many times of the salvation of the Lord. The Hebrew word for salvation means: Welfare, prosperity, deliverance, victory, rescue, safety. The Greek word for salvation means pretty much the same thing but adds a different dimension to this far reaching Promise: Deliverance, preservation, safety, present salvation, future salvation, restoration of health, restoration of finances, restoration of family, restoration of mind. The Hebrew word that is used for greeting and salutation is ‘shalom’ which means nothing missing and nothing broken. One of God’s intended blessings is for us to NEVER be missing anything or have anything broken. Anytime the enemy attacks us we have the power and ability to completely overcome the attack, coming out on the other side better than we were before the attack. 1 John 5:4 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
Deuteronomy chapters 6,7,8 Promise us land and buildings. Chapter 28 Promises us that the empowerment to prosper will come on us and overtake us. Joshua Promises us land, strength, favor, greater victories in the midst of greater odds. The Book of Ester tells us that we will experience prominence and preferential treatment, petitions granted even by ungodly civil authorities, and rules and regulations changed or reversed to our advantage. Psalm tells us that we have favor surrounding us, deliverance from our enemies, prosperity, and protection, just to name a few. Isaiah promises us that God will speak to us concerning our direction, that He will be with us in times of trouble and that we will, because of Him, go through the hard times and come out unscathed, He will give us secret treasures, He will give you the words to say when the time comes for you to be a comfort to someone.
There are Promises for the believers that when the enemy attacks, it will be no greater of an attack than what you can handle: 1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” The Message translation explains it this way: 1 Corinthians 10:13 ”No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.” This is a very encouraging Promise. Bottom line is, God has equipped you with what ever it is you need to overcome the attack. God has given us the Blood of Jesus and the Name of Jesus. The Name that every knee must bow to. 2 Peter 2:9 “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the Day of Judgment to be punished:” The Message says this: 2 Peter 2:9 “So God knows how to rescue the godly from evil trials. And he knows how to hold the feet of the wicked to the fire until Judgment Day.”
Are overcome with the guilt of sin? God has Promised you a way to be victorious over both the sin AND the guilt: Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” The Amplified tells us this: Matthew 11:28
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] (29) Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest ( relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.”
Have you been told that some are given special gifts for the Body, but those special gifts are only for special people? James 4:2 says that “we have not because we ask not.” Don’t let anybody tell you that will only use the people He wants to use. The truth is God only uses the people that are willing to be used by God. James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
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If you have children, God has made promises to you concerning their welfare. Isaiah 44:3 “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:” Isaiah 54:13 “And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” This is just two of the many Promises we have for our children.
It is almost impossible to count all the blessings and promises that God has set out for us. All we have to do is believe and receive. Through these studies you will learn how believe that these Promises are for you and how to receive the promises.
© 2012 Roger Anghis - All Rights Reserved
Pastor Roger Anghis is the Founder of RestoreFreeSpeech.org, an organization designed to draw attention to the need of returning free speech rights to churches that was restricted in 1954.
President of The Damascus Project, TheDamascusProject.org, which has a stated purpose of teaching pastors and lay people the need of the churches involvement in the political arena and to teach the historical role of Christianity in the politics of the United States. Married-37 years, 3 children, three grandchildren.
Web site: RestoreFreeSpeech.org