by Thomas Bass | Les Feldick
Please turn with me in your Bible, to Genesis, Chapter 15.
“AFTER these things the word of the Lord (“Jehovah,” all capitalized) came unto Abram in a vision, saying, `Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.’ And Abram said, `Lord God,…’”
What is different? The casual reader won’t ever notice that the word `Lord’ is not all in capitals in verse 2. Typographical error? – No! Again, it is another name of Deity. In this case in the Hebrew it is “Adon,” or in some places it is Adonay or Adano. In England, and various other European countries, the headmaster of a school is called the don. The very term “adon” in Hebrew is “master.” If it is in small letters, that means “master” is also small letters. But here it is capitalized. “Master,” then, is equal to the title of a person of the Godhead.
*adon=master * Adon or Adonay=Master * Adonai=Master=God
“And Abram said, `Lord God (Master God), what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?’” In order to follow up on this Master concept, we must again compare Scripture with Scripture. Turn with me to Exodus 4, to the account of God appearing to Moses, and telling him that he is to go back to Egypt and approach Pharaoh.
“And Moses said unto the Lord (capitalized, so he said to Whom? Jehovah), ‘O my Lord (now what? Small lettered Lord),…’” See the difference? The capitalized LORD is the Scripture reference that Moses is speaking to Jehovah, but Moses doesn’t address Him as Jehovah, but rather as Adon/Master. What do we call those under a Master; servants! That is exactly what we have here. Read on:
“…I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.”
Whenever you see the word `Lord’ with a capital `L’ only, this refers to Adoni as Master, and the Master, is going to be over his servant. Watch for that in the Old Testament. Another good example is in Isaiah 6:
“IN the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord (small letters, so Isaiah is saying he saw the Lord, Adoni, his Master) sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” No doubt it is God in all His fullness, but why does Isaiah use the word “Master?” What follows several verses down?
“Then said I, `Woe is me for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King (capitalized – God in all His glory), the Lord (all caps – The Jehovah) of hosts.’” So why, then, did he approach God in verse 1 as Master? Let’s go to verse 8:
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, `Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then said I, `Here am I; send me.’” What is Isaiah becoming? – The servant. Watch for this as you study Scripture; whenever there is a master and servant relationship it won’t be LORD in all capitals, it will begin with a capital `L’ only.
When educated men, theologians, (that’s what they claim to be) take the Bible and say it is nothing more than a bunch of Jewish legend and myth; or, as others have said, there may be some of the Word of God in it, but not all of it is; as soon as you take out part of it you would lose the fabric of this beautiful threadwork that goes all through Scripture. The main reason for my teaching throughout the last few lessons, is to show that this Book is so supernaturally woven together, we never have to doubt that it is the Word of God. I’ll admit that all we have today are translations. The King James (I still like it) is a translation. When I say the Word of God is letter perfect and word perfect, I am referring to the original manuscripts before anyone ever touched them. Portions of every book of the Old Testament were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls; the Book of Isaiah being almost totally intact. Those are the oldest copies of the Word of God that man has come up with so far.
When they translated the Book of Isaiah out of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the King James Version was almost letter perfect. This is when I was assured that I would stay with the King James Version. Even after all the translations and copying, we have a Bible that is nearly error free. Sometimes I’ll say I think the King James translators could have used this word or that word, but for the most part it is so accurate that we can just rest upon it. The other aspect of that same word `master’ comes down into not only the human level as such, but into the very social fabric of the husband and wife. The same word in small letters can also apply as a husband with regard to the wife; not that she is a slave under a master, but I wanted to show this application. Go to Genesis 24. Abraham is sending a servant to Syria to get Isaac a wife.
“And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.”
Turn with me to Genesis 18 where the same word `adon’ is now used in regard to Abraham and Sarah as husband and wife, when The Lord told Sarah she was going to have a child.
“Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, `After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?’” Note the small letters in `lord.’ It comes from the same root word adon, only now it is “my husband” as she speaks as the wife. Now one more New Testament reference. We find that even Paul, writing to us Gentiles, refers to Christ as Master, and we as His servants.
“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters (employers), do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.”
In John’s Gospel, Christ referred to Himself saying, “You call Me Master and you do well.” We are, then, responsible to our Master Who is in Heaven. In Colossians 4 and we have the same illustration that Christ is our Master, and we are His servants.
“MASTERS (capitalized, because it is the first word of the sentence), give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.”
There is one more reference in the human realm concerning husband and wife. I’m want to show that this theme of Abraham calling God his Master, by virtue of his being His servant, also drops down into the human element into man’s relationship with The Lord; and to the husband and his relationship with his wife; so also, then, up into the spiritual with Christ as the spiritual Husband and we in the Body as the spiritual wife or the bride.
(23)“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”
(25)“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” See that analogy?
(31)“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”
What Paul says is he is trying to teach something higher than that, as he says that he speaks concerning Christ and the Church. Christ is the Husband and we are the bride. Come back to II Corinthians where Paul is writing to the Gentiles concerning Christ’s bride.
II Corinthians 11:1,2
“WOULD to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband (The Lord Jesus), that I may present you (the Body of Christ) as a chaste virgin to Christ.”
That’s our role as a believer. We are in the Body, which is pictured as the bride of Christ, and He is the Husband. It all goes back to Genesis 15 when Abraham brought in the new term of deity as Master and His relationship with His servant.
“And Abram said, `Lord God (Master or Adoni God), what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house (or the manager of my estate)is this Eliezer of Damascus?’ And Abram said, `Behold, to me thou hast given no seed:…’” Remember the Abrahamic Covenant. This Covenant now comes back into Abram’s thinking. And he said, “Now Lord, You have promised me a nation of people, You’ve promised me a land; a kingdom, and I haven’t even got a child!” He said, “Oh wait a minute! I do have an heir born in my house.” Read on:
“…and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.” Who is he referring to? Lot! He’s the only flesh and blood relative he has. God forbid that Lot would have been the one. You know what he was. So what does God say?
“And, behold, the word of the Lord (capitalized)came unto him, saying, `This (Lot) shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels (innermost being) shall be thine heir.’” I have used the words `innermost being’ in the Scripture above as most of us don’t like the word from the King James Version. And the heir wasn’t even born yet! How old is Abraham – 80 some years old, and Sarah isn’t far behind him.
“And he brought him forth abroad, and said, `Look now toward heaven, and tell (or count) the stars, if thou be able to number them:’ and he said unto him, `So shall thy seed be.’”
Unbelievable? Of course. They’re way up in years and haven’t even had a child. He says to God, “You’re telling me I’m going to have that many offspring?” In verse 6, however, Abram’s faith comes through and he believed. This is why God had such high esteem for Abram. We already saw that he wasn’t perfect; oh, he pulled some shenanigans. But he was a man of faith, even though it seemed so impossible that he and a wife who had never had children could now be the beginning of a multitude of people.
“And he believed in the Lord (Jehovah); and he (Jehovah)counted it to him for righteousness.”
Come with me to Romans 4. In a couple of our other lessons we spent a lot of time in Romans 4. Let’s review. In verse 1, Paul is using the faith of Abraham as an example of what God is expecting of us today. Remember, Paul writes primarily to the Gentile, but he gets back into the Old Testament economy to show the whole principle of what it is to take God at His word – faith plus nothing added.
“WHAT shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified (or made right) by works, he hath whereof to glory (he could brag about it); but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it (his believing)was counted (that’s a bookkeeping term) unto him for righteousness.”
Do you see why I left Genesis 15 up to this point? Romans 4:3 is the verse it is referring to. It was put to the account of Abraham for what? Righteousness! Not because he did anything. He didn’t earn it. He believed God. What do I call that? Faith plus nothing … Faith plus nothing! Galatians 5 tells us that as soon as we add something to faith, we cancel the work of the Cross. I’m afraid millions, upon millions of church-going people over the centuries are going to miss Heaven’s glory because that’s exactly what they’ve done.
“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not (who does nothing for salvation), but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly(what kind of people?), his faith is counted for righteousness.
How many times have you heard someone say, “If I could just straighten up my life, if I could just clean up my act, I’d get it right with God.” But those aren’t the kind of people with whom God can get it right. God has to take that sinner right where he is, and He has to perform the miracle of Salvation. Then, of course, there is going to be a dramatic turnaround. There will be a change in lifestyle. This person is going to be a new creation, but he cannot do it himself. If he tries, then he is not in the area of faith. He has now done something on his own. We have to be so careful that Salvation is totally the work of God. Come with me again to Genesis 15. I wanted to get into what I call Israel’s Deed in this chapter, but I will save that for a full lesson.
“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.”
There is another instance in Genesis 13 when He first called Abraham. God has just began to deal with this man Abram, making the Abrahamic Covenant, and He now says:
“And I will make thy seed (offspring) 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.”
Remember that ever since we started in Genesis, I have made an analogy that we have the concept of God dealing with earth and Heaven all the way from Genesis 1:1. (In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth.) As we come to Israel’s role, remember that Israel is always God’s earthly people, whereas we of the Church Age are God’s heavenly people. We have to keep those two concepts totally separated. Israel is God’s earthly people; the Church is God’s heavenly people. Now then, when Abraham is promised that his offspring would be as the dust of the earth, what people is He referring to? The earthly. Dust is earthly.
In Genesis 15:5 we don’t have the dust, but another analogy – the stars. What is that referring to? The heavenly. Many people are confused, thinking that when we become a Christian we become a child of Abraham, and we become a Jew. Bless their hearts. They are way out in left field. We become a child of Abraham by virtue of the spiritual connection; that asAbraham was saved by faith plus nothing, we’re saved by faith plus nothing! Never confuse the issue. When we become a child of God we do not become a Jew. A Jew is a Jew. A Gentile is a Gentile. This whole idea of faith plus nothing began with Abraham. That’s our connection. That is why God could tell Abraham that he would have a multitude of spiritual seed as numerous as the stars in the universe. But, the Nation of Israel is likened to the dust of the earth.