Okay, good morning. Good morning, good morning, good morning. Are you okay? Are you excited? Come on, come on, come on, huh? God is here to meet with us. As we’ll talk about it today, but I think only Pauline would know this, but I’m going to pray that in Jesus, right now, we have two selves, versions of selves that we’re carrying with us right now.
So I’m going to ask that in Jesus’ name, your spirit person come forth. Amen? Yeah, so right now, whatever you’re feeling, you have to identify which version of me am I feeling this right now? But when we come to the house of the Lord, right, you have to speak to yourself in Jesus’ name, the spirit you must come forth to meet Jesus, amen?
Yeah, so don’t get tricked by whatever you’re feeling right now. You could be tired, you could be bored, you could be depressed, and that’s not you, okay? That is not you, and that is not me. And as we’ll see in Genesis chapter 16 today, Jesus says, cast that part out, right? Banish that part of you, because that must submit to the spirit person that you are, amen?
That’s the message today. So I wanted to just bring it forth to you, that God has a message for you and me to let us know that we don’t live according to the other self, amen? Today is Genesis chapter 16, so let’s turn to that chapter. It’d be great just getting the habit of reading together the Bible, because at the end of the day, my words or anyone’s words don’t mean anything, except God’s word.
So just getting into a habit of reading and declaring God’s word, I think, is going to allow us that our spirit person to hear and to receive life and be awakened, amen? Yeah, so let’s have whoever wants to volunteer. Genesis chapter 16, there are 15 verses, so just five verses each. Good job. Yeah, thank you for finishing off with that last sentence, last verse.
Okay, so this is Hagar’s story, as you know in Genesis chapter 16, and once again, kind of we’re going through Genesis and how our gospel salvation through Jesus Christ is all in Genesis, and that God is painting this picture of gospel story all in Genesis, through people, through stories, through picking of the right stories to tell, God is painting a clear picture, and that’s why we believe in the New Testament, because Jesus, it’s all in here, amen?
And so we’re unfolding that story here. So God is painting through Genesis what God is planning to do, the salvation work of Jesus Christ. Now, I want to just summarize the points from Genesis chapter 16 before us kind of going into some parts of this. So essentially, the point that I wanted to make is that we, all of us, we have a flesh, our flesh self, what we call sometimes outer self.
This is our fallen self, and this is the result of having eaten from the tree of the good and evil, right? That happens in Genesis chapter three. And this self is also sometimes called our slave self. This is also our cursed self, and this is our dying self, right? And but as we see in Genesis 15, by God’s unilateral covenant with Abraham, God is going to give us through his promise and his work alone, a new self, amen?
So the contrast that we see, as we’ll see from Ishmael and to Isaac illustrates this, that through God’s work, he’s going to set us free, us, we, this self, and he’s going to give us a new birth, a new creation, and that’s his plan, a new nature, the spirit that enters into us, and that he’s going to give us freedom to no longer choose and live according to this cursed slave flesh self, version of us, but now he’s going to give us through Jesus Christ, freedom to live according to the newborn, new creation self, and that kingdom of God is an inheritance.
It’s something that we inherit. It’s not something we can earn through our work, but just because of our status as the son, the kingdom of God is something that we inherit through his work as son and daughter, sons and daughters of God. This new creation self is going to be the one that’s going to be inheriting, quote, the promised land that God gives to Abraham.
Amen. So what does Ishmael, who gets introduced here in Genesis chapter 16, represent? Ishmael, as we’ll see, will represent our outer self. It represents our fleshly self, the former self, before our new creation will come through Jesus Christ. So what’s the result of this fleshly outer self? We see that there’s always going to be a contention, right?
It results in contention, it results in strife, and only the new self will give us the fruit of the spirit. So Ishmael and our flesh self represents the fruit of the having eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now, no matter how much we outer self, our fleshly self, our Ishmael is going to strive, the slave, the Bible says, will not inherit and cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
Only the born again self, which makes us sons and daughters of God, this will inherit the promised land, which is part of the covenantal promise. The promise is with our new born again self. So in Genesis 15, the previous chapter, what happens is God makes a covenant with Abraham, and as a way to seal this, there is a ceremony of cutting animals, kind of cutting animals in half, and to establish a covenant, you have to walk through the cut and killed animals, and this establishes the covenant.
Now, why do you cut animals in half? We talked about that, and this cutting, the word cutting that happens, is the same word as circumcision, right? Same root word to cut, and this establishes what it means is death. If you don’t keep this promise, you’re going to die. That’s what it means. But as we saw in Genesis 15, only God walks through this, even though he makes a covenantal promise with Abraham, Abraham doesn’t walk through it.
Only God walks through it. What happens? This cutting, if you don’t keep this covenant, you will die. There’s a curse if you break this covenant. But as we see in Genesis 15, God says, I alone will keep this covenant for me and also for you, Abraham, and his descendants. And as we see this covenant, this quote, circumcision happens because Jesus gets cut.
Jesus is the one who receives the true circumcision of the flesh, and because of Jesus’ death, he takes the curse of breaking this covenant upon himself, and because of that, the covenant is alive. So as soon as this covenant is made in Genesis 15, we see that in Genesis 16, that Abraham can’t keep this covenant immediately, right?
He comes up with a fleshly way, a human response to God’s covenant in trying to keep this promise by coming up with a way to have descendants, right? So what God does in Genesis 15, He promises you’re going to have a lot of descendants, and you’re going to have this bunch of land, the promised land. Those are His promises.
So Abraham in his own way wants to respond to this. Ten years later, no kids. How are you going to keep this promise? I’m going to respond and try to come up with a way to fulfill this. But as we know in John chapter 1, verse 12 to 13, it says, you know, as John is describing Jesus, but to all who did receive Him, meaning Christ, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
So this is a response of will of man, will of the flesh, right? To receive this promise. And John says, no, it’s only by God’s work, God’s plan, and God’s will, right? We will be born again, exclusively God’s work and His grace. Now, who are these descendants of Abraham that God promises in Genesis 15? It turns out that these descendants, as described, now we’re going to look at two passages today, which is Galatians and 1 Corinthians 15, which describes this exact chapter 16, explains it for us so that we don’t have to interpret it.
It’s spiritually interpreted on R.B.F. It says that the actual descendants of Abraham that’s promised in Genesis 15 are those who believe in faith, right? We are the real descendants of Abraham. And this land that gets promised in Genesis 15 is also the promised land. And the Hebrews shows us, none of them actually receive this physical land because the physical land is a pointer and assigned to our heavenly home, amen?
So that spiritual interpretation is done for us in the New Testament. So these are just signs pointing to what’s invisible right now in heaven. So the promised land is a pointer to our invisible promised land, which is in heaven, and including us, when we were born again, the descendant that God is talking about is also a pointer to our heavenly self.
That’s invisible to us right now, the new created self. And that is explained as we’ll read in Galatians. And that’s the spiritual meaning of it. And we also have a home and a promised land, heavenly home. We also have a heavenly church, Hebrews says, that this church on earth is only a shadow of the true tabernacle that’s up there.
And who’s the pastor of that church? Hebrews says, there’s only one, and that’s Jesus Christ. And we belong to that church. So what matters is for all of us to not belong to just an earthly church, right? Clearly what God wants us to belong to our heavenly church, where Jesus is the pastor. In the end, 1 Corinthians 15 says that our natural outer self, that this body self, this fleshly self, right?
In the end, we’ll also be redeemed. Good news, right? We are going to be, this outer self will be clothed with a heavenly body. That’s the conclusion that New Testament makes. Now, Abraham and Sarah believe this, but they felt nervous and insecure. So their response to this promise in Genesis 15 is to try to find a way, hurry up, help God accomplish his promise through will of man and will of the flesh.
And this often pictures our fleshly response, right? We respond oftentimes with our outer self to try to help God. And this is our natural response. And this shows even ministry that we do on this earth right now. We minister out of our fleshly self. We produce fruit, whether it’s a church or a ministry, in response this way.
We’re going to, we don’t, we need to help God. Don’t you all feel like you need to help God right now? Like God needs to build his church on this earth. So we better help him because without him, he can’t do it. So I want to do this. I got to do this. I got to evangelize. I got to build churches.
I got to go all around. Okay, some of it is really God’s work, but a lot of it is a response by our natural self trying to accomplish what God is accomplishing, right? And that is a picture of what happens here. So this is all like, this all lines up very well. Beginning from chapter three, there’s two trees.
Remember that, right? And this lines up well with eating from the tree of good knowledge of good and evil. And the other is tree of life. This lines up as New Testament explains the law, as we’ll see, lines up with a tree of knowledge of good and evil. But eating from the tree of life lines up with the spirit.
Slave being a slave lines up with the other tree, right? Versus being truly free. Cursed is that tree, but grace will come upon the tree through the tree of life. And Galatians expresses this clearly. That means that for us, for all of you born again in Jesus Christ, that means that we ourselves, there are two selves right now that you and I are carrying.
That’s why I started today’s message that you respond with your spiritual self. And that’s how God wants us to live our Christian life. Galatians chapter three says, let me ask you, did you receive the spirit by works of the law? Or by hearing with faith in Jesus? So clear line there is that you will never be able to eat from the tree of life, right?
Or bear the fruit of the tree of life. If all you’ve got is a tree of the knowledge of good and evil’s fruit in you. And that only through Jesus Christ that we’re going to receive by grace this tree of life that is in Jesus Christ. So I feel like we should read some parts of the Bible together.
So if you can turn to Galatians, because I don’t have to explain this because this has been already explained to us by Apostle Paul. Galatians chapter three. So let’s read this part, some parts together. If you can turn to Galatians chapter three, I’m going to read from verse seven. Please follow along. It says, therefore, know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.
This is referring to Genesis chapter 15 that I mentioned. Apostle Paul is saying, and the scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, in you all the nations shall be blessed. Did you know that gospel was preached to Abraham? He received the gospel, was preached to him. So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
For as many are of the works of the law are under the curse, for it is written cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But then no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident for the just shall live by faith.
Verse 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law having become a curse for us. He’s the one that was split, circumcised, cut, bled to keep the covenant, that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus that we might receive the promise. What was the promise? It’s the promise of the spirit through faith.
So as Galatians 3 explains, this is what happens. This is for those of us who rely on our faith, the curse remains. However, because Jesus became a curse for us, we can receive the promise, the true promise being the spirit through faith. Now, I just want to say what this highlights for us, how to read Genesis chapter 16 and who is Hagar.
What God wants us to know, what I want to share with you is that spiritually speaking that we, you and I are all descendants of Hagar, that we are impregnated with Ishmael, which is our sinful self. And that is who we are, just a slave. We’re just a slave, fruit having eaten from the tree, the wrong tree.
But Jesus came to redeem us, to redeem us as sons and daughters through his work alone, which he made a promise for us. If you were to turn to Galatians chapter 4, let’s turn to Galatians chapter 4 verse 22, 22 through 26. Who would like to read that? Right. And if you can read from verse 28 to end of that 31 also.
Amen. Amen. Right? So it’s clearly explained here. Now, there’s something shocking here most of us, we don’t realize. So we think sometimes I think of, oh, what’s your general perspective on Hagar and Ishmael? Kind of thumbs down, right? It feels like this is a bad thing. Hagar, you know, Egyptian, Ishmael kind of, you know, becomes sort of the father of the Arabs.
There’s always contention and strife. We know that history, all of that. But allegorically speaking, and then who are the descendants of Isaac? They’re the Jews, right? But Apostle Paul says that’s not true. He says here, did you know that he says Hagar equals Mount Sinai. The law was given to the descendants of Isaac, right? The Jews equals Jerusalem, present city of Jerusalem.
That’s the city of the Jews. You see that? So he equates Hagar with the Jews spiritually speaking, because they’re all under the law or the curse or of the wrong tree. Does that make sense? But he says, no, but those of us who are of Isaac, he’s saying spiritually, we belong to Jerusalem above, the invisible Jerusalem, who equates to Sarah, who’s the mother of Grace, mother of spirit.
Makes sense, right? That’s what Apostle Paul is saying. So it’s clearly here. And he says, cast out. Cast out Hagar, meaning cast out part of us, the Ishmael’s, all in us. According to 1 Corinthians 15, it says this, born, we are all born as a flesh. First, that’s our first born. And when we are born, we’re born with Ishmael’s in all of us.
But it says, Bible says we must be born again. There has to be a second birth. There was Adam, who was the first Adam, but Jesus becomes the second or the last Adam. In 1 Corinthians 15, Apostle Paul says this, the first man, Adam became a living being, meaning he was born. But the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
That’s Jesus Christ. It’s not the spiritual that is first, but the natural, which corresponds to Ishmael, right? Then the spiritual. First man was from the earth. That’s natural by the choices made by the flesh, which is what Abraham, Hagar, and Sarah did. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust. The second man is from heaven.
The heavenly self. It comes second. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust. That’s us. And as is the man of heaven, Jesus, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have born the image of the man of dust, that’s Adam and Ishmael, we shall also bear the image of man of heaven.
That’s Jesus Christ. Amen. Who are not born, we’re not born by our own will, but instead by will of God, the promise, which is done exclusively by him. So what happens in Galatians chapter 5, if you can now turn Galatians chapter 5 verse 1, it says, maybe you can read along here, just verse 1. How about that?
Who wants to read it? For freedom Christ has set us free, stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. For you are called to freedoms, brothers and sisters. Amen. And Apostle Paul says now, walk according to your new self. Walk according to the spirit, and you will not then live, fulfill according to your outer self, which is the flesh.
He says, it’s obvious if you live according to your outer self, the dying self, the slave self, the cursed self, you’re not going to inherit God’s kingdom. But if you live according to the new self that is in each of you who confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will bear the fruit of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control.
Against these things, there is no law. Meaning we can, no matter what we try with our flesh self, will never achieve this fruit of the spirit. Because this fruit that Galatians 2 20 explains to us is according to the tree of life, and that is the according. It’s a fruit of the spirit. Amen. So those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh.
So kill your dying self. Jesus says, deny yourself which self, this outer self. To that person that are pitiful. This is a pitiful person that first appearance of Jesus comes to that person. That is you and me. Just want to say a Hagar is actually me and it’s actually us. And to that slave self was bearing that sinful nature in her.
And running away, Jesus comes and where are you going? Go back, come back. Very interesting thing. You know, Hagar is the one who names this place, Bir Lahai Roy. Did you know that beer is in the Bible by the way? Anyway, so, Bir Lahai Roy, he’s the one, she’s the one who names. She says, God sees me.
I, my, it’s the, it’s, Bir Lahai Roy is the well. It literally means well of him that lives and sees me. So at this place where she realizes this poor me, this slave me, this running away me, this impregnated with sinful, you know, what represent Ishmael me, is where God, Jesus himself comes to meet me. And she, he, she says, God sees me.
This, who I am. And this is the story. Amazing thing as we’ll find out later that Bir Lahai Roy, this place, do you know who ends up living here? What do you think? This location where Hagar meets Angel of the, who lives here? Who lives and dies here? Isaac. So this location where Angel of the Lord meets Hagar, Hagar names this place.
This is the place where Isaac ends up living. Amazing, right? Why? Because, okay, Sarah says why? Because this tells you that it’s Isaac that will replace this place with Ishmael. And this is the promised son, Isaac, needs to live in this place. Will replacement the spirit self, the son self of you will now no longer be, right?
That Ishmael self. It will be where God meets you, God sees you, God sees me. But from now on, Isaac is going to live in that location. We know that later that both Isaac and Ishmael lived next to each other and both of them lived close to each other. So there’s both. But which one shall have supremacy?
Conclusion. It’s Isaac, the promised self, amen? And just as a last statement, 1 Corinthians 15 says, flesh and blood, brothers and sisters, cannot inherit. Only our spiritual self inherits. But I tell you a mystery. There will be a trumpet, amen? Where your outer self, our perishable body, even Ishmael, even the line of Hagar, which is us, the line of Cain.
These are us. That our outer self, God will raise it imperishable, amen? There will come a time that even our our dying self will be changed. There will come a time where our perishable body must put on the imperishable and our mortal body will receive immortality. It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s coming. And until then, right? May we live according to our true self and let Jesus rule and reign over our dying, miserable slave self that we carry in the midst of us.
Let’s pray. Father God, we know that this is the clear message. Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances. This is the will of God for Christ, for us through Christ Jesus. Father, we cannot do that with our outer self. But, Lord, this command is for our inner self, the new self, the new created self, where Jesus rules and reigns in us.
Lord, help us to respond and understand not to be deceived by Satan and that we live our life according to our outer self. We think and feel. We have a value system, world perspective. But that’s all part of our outer self. But Father, you’ve given us freedom truly through Jesus Christ. You saw Hagar in us, saw Ishmael in us, but you came to us to redeem us and save us and became a curse for us so that you can give us the spirit so that we can be free.
That we have a hope, this imperishable body one day will receive. But Father, now, right now, although our outer self is perishing and being corrupted, Lord, help us to live according to the new inner self that is being renewed day by day. Lord, help us to learn to banish and cast out the part of us that does not belong.
But help us, Lord, live accordingly to the blessed spiritual self that you’ve given to us and help us, Lord, not to be deceived. Help us to live according to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in us. May you rule and reign over us and help us, Lord. We know that, Lord, there is only misery and strife when we live according to strife, according to our flesh.
But Lord, when we live according to our inner new self, Father, there is rejoicing always. There can be praying continually. There can be giving thanks in all circumstances. And there can be fruit of the Spirit, that eternal self that we all have because you kept your promise through Jesus Christ. Thank you, Father, for your grace in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.