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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012



Sermon of the Week #200906-February 15, 2009

The first time the word love is found in the Old Testament is in the story of Abraham offering up Isaac as a burnt offering, in Genesis twenty-two. God said, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest and offer him as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains that I will tell thee of.”  It is more than a coincidence that the first time love is mentioned in the New Testament is when God said at the baptism of Jesus, “This is My beloved Son in whom I Am well pleased.”

The first mention of love in the Old Testament was the love of a father for his only son and the first mention of love in the New Testament is the love of the Heavenly Father for His only Son. Both were only sons by a miraculous birth. Sarah was past the age of child bearing when Isaac was born. It may not seem at first glance that Isaac was indeed an only son of Abraham. For God's present purpose Ishmael is not taken into account. It was not God's idea that Abraham should have a son by Hagar. This was Sarah's idea.

This was not the first time Sarah had trouble with the promise of God. The first time she heard an angel tell Abraham that she would have a son, she laughed since she was well past the child bearing age. Genesis 17:17 Informs us that Abraham was one hundred years old and Sarah ninety years old before Isaac was born. She did not think that the angel knew she laughed seeing as how she was in the tent. So when the child was born they called him Isaac, which means laughter.

Did you know that Isaac was a walking, living, breathing miracle considering the age of his parents at his birth? Jesus in similar manner had a miraculous birth. The angel Gabriel told Mary that the power of the most high will overshadow thee wherefore the Holy thing that born of thee shall be called the Son of God.


God tempted Abraham to offer Isaac his son as a burnt offering. Actually God never tempts anyone to do evil, but he does tempt us to do good, and this was a great test of Abraham's faith. Abraham had been tested before. The first time he was tested was when God told him to leave home and his kindred and go to a place that he would be shown. Paul says in Hebrews that Abraham by faith went out not knowing where he was going. He was looking for a city that hath foundations whose builder and maker is God.

Many today have had the same test of their faith. Sometimes it is hard to leave the convictions of family and friends in the matter of their religious convictions and follow the word of God. They have gone to the cemetery and are hiding behind the tombstone of their parents. Remember Jesus said, “He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Not many are like the preacher I know who told me that when he became a Christian his parents disowned him. It is hard to find a person who has the faith of Abraham, a person who will heed the call of the Lord Jesus and if necessary leave kindred and even homeland to serve the Lord.                                                                

But this test was different. No crowds would stand by applauding. No metal would be struck in his honor. No stamp would be issued with his picture on it. No statue would be erected commemorating the event. This would be a cold naked test of faith. Was he going to obey God or not?

Abraham was at the point in life when he thought he could put his life on cruise and coast on home, but such is never the case. Some times the greatest trials in life are reserved for advanced years. It was not as a young man that David did the adultery and murder thing. He was a man in middle life, and it is not as a young man that Abraham has his greatest trial, but as an old man. Actually there will never come a time at any age in our lives when we will not have any trials one way or another. The first thing I said when I was born was a loud yell, because I knew, I was in for it. Ahab the most wicked King of Israel had good advice in answer to the threats of Benhahad the Syrian who threatened to wipe Israel off the map. In 1st Kings 20:11, Ahab told him, “Let not him that girdeth on his armor boast himself as he that takes it off.” So remember, it is he that endureth unto the end the same shall be saved.


Now this test of Abraham would be a test that was needed. Abraham had reached the place in life where he could proudly say that Isaac is my boy. Everything depends of Isaac. We live in the same syndrome today. Everything depends on our money, everything depends on our talent, No! Money can be lost and all else; everything depends on God. Isaac could be taken away from him.

So Abraham meets his greatest trial head on. God said offer up Isaac as a burnt offering so, Abraham rose up early in the morning and started chopping wood for the burnt offering. He would have known what Paul would say later on. He conferred not with flesh and blood. Put it off, and you may never do it. He did not take anybody into his confidence. He never even asked Sarah about it. There are some matters in the word of God that we had better not confer with flesh and blood. God said in Genesis 6:3: “My Spirit shall not always strive with men.”

And now Abraham arose up early in the morning and with his two servants, his son Isaac and the donkey loaded with the wood; starts for the mountain that God told him about. He lifted up his eyes on the third day and saw the place. Whenever you read about the third day in scripture there is a good chance that you are standing on resurrection ground and this is no exception. It was on the third day of creation that the waters moved back and the dry land appeared. That was the first resurrection on the third day and it would not be the last. Then too we are reminded of the words of Peter when he said, "A day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day." From that perspective the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven the day before yesterday. The third day is this the twenty-first century. Jesus arose from the dead early on the third day. We are living now early on the third day. We are not making any predictions, but it is an interesting thought. He lifted up his eyes on the third day and saw that awful place, where he was to offer up Isaac as a burnt offering.


Abraham told the two young men to wait while he and the lad go to the top of the mountain to worship and come again to you, but what did they do when they worshipped? In Job 1:20 we read how Job worshipped after his sons were killed by a tornado. Job shaved his head, fell upon the ground and worshipped. I knew one preacher who used that form of worship on one occasion in a time of great stress; fell face down on the floor and prayed.

Then we read in Acts 10:25 that Cornelius a Roman Centurion fell down before Peter and worshipped him. This type of worship was unacceptable because Peter raised him up saying, “Stand up; I myself also am a man.” And then another form of worship at Athens unacceptable to Paul in Acts 17:16 when Paul saw the city full of idols: images of God, in the likeness of men, and told them to repent. The worship of Abraham and Isaac must have been like the worship Jesus talked about when he said in John 4:23: “God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”


So Abraham loaded the wood from the donkey to the back of Isaac: took fire in his hand, and a knife and they went both of them together. There were two people that ascended the mountain of sacrifice: the father and the son. Think you not that when Jesus staggered up the bloody slopes of Calvary He went alone. The Father had just as much to do with it as the Son. They went both of them together.  

Isaac carried the wood up the hill. In John 19:17: “They took Jesus therefore and He went out bearing for Himself the cross.” Isaac carried the wood and Jesus carried the wood.  Abraham was not only willing to offer up his son as a burnt offering, but God the Father was willing to give His only begotten Son.

But not only was Isaac in the prime of life, but he was a strong man at that. He was loaded up with donkey’s load of wood to carry up the hill to the place God had chosen. This indicates that Isaac was willing to go along with this plan as well as his father Abraham. Had he wanted to escape he could easily overcome the aged Abraham. God the Father was willing and God the Son was willing to give His life also. Jesus had said, "I have the power to lay down My life and I have power to take it again. No one taketh it from Me.”


Then on the way up the mountain Isaac asked his father a very important question. “My Father, here is the wood for the burnt offering and here is the fire, but where is the lamb?” Abraham told him, “God will provide for Himself a lamb.”

          The Lamb is to be found at the cross. The Apostle John said, "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." Where is the Lamb? When Philip preached to the Ethiopian Eunuch he began from this scripture and preached unto him Jesus. The scripture where he began told of a Lamb who before His shearers was dumb. When the Ethiopian heard about the slain Lamb he wanted to be baptized. Where is the Lamb? He is to be in the waters of baptism. Paul said we were buried with Him in baptism and here is an example as to how the burial was done. They went down into the water both Philip and the eunuch and he baptized him. Where is the Lamb? He is in Heaven on the Throne interceding for the Christian. Where is the lamb? John in Revelation sees Him there when he said, “Salvation to our God who sitteth on the Throne and unto the Lamb.” Where is the lamb? Abraham said that God will provide for Himself a Lamb and He did.


When they came to the place Abraham built an altar and laid the wood in order. When Elijah built the altar on Mount Carmel and brought down fire out of Heaven he first laid the wood in order. In Leviticus in the telling of offering a sacrifice, they laid the wood in order.

After laying the wood in order Abraham bound Isaac and laid him on the altar upon the wood. Isaac was bound and so was the Lord Jesus. They bound Him and led Him away and delivered Him up to Pilate the Governor. People still bind the Lord today. The hands of Jesus are bound by a congregation when about one-third to a half of the members shows up for the Lord's Supper on the Lord's Day. Certainly the Lord's hands are bound by the two per cent average of their money that most give. He is bound by the ignorance of His people in their knowledge of the word of God. The Lord Jesus is limited as to how much He can do because we have bound Him.


So, Isaac was bound and laid on the altar. Abraham stretched forth his hand and took the knife to slay his son. His hand was raised, and at that moment an angel called unto him from Heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham:" and he said, "Here I am." The angel said, “Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing that thou has not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.”

By saving the life of Isaac, God shows that human sacrifice is not acceptable. This was a sin that Stephen accused Israel of doing in his defense before he was stoned. He reminded them that their ancestors had taken up the tabernacle of Moloch. In Second Kings 21 there is an example of king Manasseh making his son pass through the fire to Moloch. Moloch had a hollow belly. A fire was inside. His arms were outstretched in a cradle position. The infant was laid on the red-hot arms as a sacrifice. The noise of the assembly drowned out the screams of the infant so that the mother could not hear. This was one of the sins that resulted in the Babylonian captivity. One wonders what fate awaits America as the millions of babies are sacrificed in the modern day Moloch of abortion.

 Here it again, "Lay not thy hand upon the lad." Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw a ram caught in the thicket by the horns and he took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. Isaac was a type of the Lord Jesus Christ in many points. But there is one thing that is missing. The ram was the substitute for Isaac. There was no substitute for Jesus on the cross.


And now listen to this concluding observation: Abraham built an altar there on the mountain and called the name of the place Jehovah-jireh; which means in the mount of the Lord it shall be seen. Abraham had already told Isaac the Lord will provide a lamb, my son, and when he saw the place; he knew this was the place where God would provide the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Abraham with prophetic vision looked across the chasm of almost two thousand years to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ into the world, and saw the Lamb of God crucified on the cross; raised up from the dead, and after giving the apostles the Great Commission ascended back to heaven to the right hand of God. Then Abraham knew that God did indeed provide the Lamb—the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame, and twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died a world of lost sinners to claim. Jehovah-jireh! Abraham said the Lord will provide a lamb, and the Lord did provide the Lamb; the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of he world. Jehovah-jireh: The Lord did provide, the Lamb was Jesus, and Calvary is the place.