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MATTHEW 13:44


CHAPTER III

 

    After being thus reassured, Abram did not waver in his belief that he would have a natural son to inherit the promises and blessings of Yahweh. No doubt he shared With his wife, Sarai, the visions and promises he had received; surely they rejoiced in the prospect.

SARAI'S ANXIETY AND INTERVENTION

    But time cast a shadow on Sarai's faith and she began to doubt that she was to have any part in the promises made to her husband. Sarai was no unbeliever but when she began to think things out to herself, she concluded that, after all, the promises were made not to her, but to Abram. She believed Yahweh would keep HIS word to her husband, but felt that she herself would have no part in it. She reasoned that she was barren and beyond the possibility of bearing. As a result, she tried to suggest a way out of the impasse in order to help both her husband and Yahweh. Such human aid is of course in vain. Sarai tried to work out Yahweh's plan in man's way. Invariably such meddling leads to trouble. Sarai called Abram and said to him,

"Behold now, Yahweh hath restrained me from bearing; I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her." (Genesis 16:2)

    Not that Sarai doubted the validity of the promise. She merely doubted her own part in the plan. "Yahweh hath restrained me", she said. And it seemed to her the best thing she could do was to step aside so that another might be the means of fulfilling the promise of an heir.

    Now Abram hearkened to his wife's suggestion without ever asking Yahweh's confirmation of the idea. Thus they set about seeking, to help Yahweh keep the promise He had made. Obviously this could lead only to trouble.

RESULT: DOMESTIC STRIFE

    No sooner had Hagar conceived than she began to feel superior to her mistress and to show that she looked down upon her. This wrought havoc in Abram's household. Sarai would not endure being despised by her own maid and disciplined her. Hagar then fled from their home. But as she stopped by a fountain of water in the wilderness an Angel of Yahweh said to her,

"Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? And whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. And the Angel of Yahweh said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the Angel of Yahweh said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the Angel of Yahweh said unto her, Behold, thou art With child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because Yahweh hath heard thy affliction. 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." (Genesis 16:8-12)

    It should be observed that the Angel addressed Hagar as "Sarai's maid,'' in spite of the fact that she was to become the mother of Abram's son. And Yahweh directed her to return to her mistress so that the child might be born in its father's home and receive proper care, for Yahweh had promised that Ishmael would establish a populous nation —a fact which seems to have escaped the observation of our Western intellectuals, but not that of the Hindoos who are rather proud of their Abrahamic descent. Abram was eighty-six years old when Ishmael was born.

"And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, Yahweh appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am El Shaddai (Almighty El); walk before Me, and be thou perfect. And I will make My covenant between Me and thee and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and Elohim talked with him, saying, As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of MANY NATIONS. 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. And I will make thee exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be Elohim unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give 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 Elohim. (Genesis 17:1-8)

CIRCUMCISION NOT A CONDITION

    All of these promises were made to Abram unconditionally. There were no strings attached. It is noteworthy that the covenant of circumcision was given to Abraham after the promises and not as a condition for obtaining them.

THE PROMISES ELABORATED

    Yahweh then explained His promises further and this time included Sarai, for we read,

"And Elohim said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. 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 NATION'S, KINGS of people shall be of her." (Genesis 17:15-16)

ABRAHAM'S DOUBT

    Even though he humbled himself before Yahweh at the time, Abraham disclosed his doubt:

"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 Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?" (Genesis 17:17)

    Abraham could not understand the absolute integrity and literalness of Yahweh's promises. He already had a son, Ishmael who seemed much more real than the hypothetical son by Sarah. So Abraham said to Elohim,

"O that Ishmael might live before Thee! And Elohim 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." (Genesis 17:18-21)

    To the great joy of Abraham and Sarah, Yahweh did keep His promise and Isaac was born. And as can well be imagined, when the child of promise was old enough to be weaned, a great feast was prepared in celebration.

SARAH'S JEALOUS FEARS

    But again, because of inability to await calmly Yahweh's performance of His promises, more trouble was caused:

And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had borne unto Abraham, mocking. 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. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. And Elohim 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, harken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed." (Genesis 21:9-13)

    Thus directed by Yahweh, Abraham rose early in the morning and sent away Hagar and Ishmael after making provision for their journey.

    When Hagar and her son had traveled for a while she became very discouraged and while Ishmael rested she went aside to pray. Yahweh heard her prayer, sending an Angel to comfort her and to reassure her that her son would live to become a great nation. (Genesis 21:18) Further, we read that Elohim was with the lad, that he grew and dwelt in the wilderness, and that his mother arranged for him to marry an Egyptian wife.

IDENTITY OF ISHMAEL'S
DESCENDANTS

    There is a great body of weighty circumstantial evidence linking Ishmael's descendants with the high-caste Hindus of India, known as the Brahmans. These hold themselves aloof from the others and consider themselves superior because they are high born. Social equality has not come to India largely because of the superior attitude of these Hindus who hold themselves above all other races in India. These Brahmans have a large proportion of Caucasian or Semitic blood. But then, we should not forget that Ishmael was of mixed lineage and his wife was also an Egyptian.

    The Standard American Encyclopedia describes the Brahmans as "one of the Aryan conquerors of India who discharged religious duties and priestly functions, whose ascendancy over their fellows, however, is intellectual and spiritual, but not political."

    The word Brahman itself is considered by some to be a transliteration of, or a derivation of A-Braham.

    The Brahmanical or Epic era of Hinduism begins with the invasion of India by the Aryans from the west subsequent to the time of Abraham. Hinduism contains, as might be expected, contrasting elements of primitive heathen worship together with teachings strikingly similar to the faith of Abraham. This mixture of religions is symbolized by the Indian title "RAJAH", which is a compound of the Egyptian RA or chief Sun deity of Hagar's country with YAH, the short form of Yahweh, the Mighty One of Abraham.

    Ishmael's descendants are listed in the 25th Chapter of Genesis:

Nebajoth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, MISHMA, DUMAH, and MASSA, Hadar, Temah, Jetur, Naphish, Kedemah.

    For the casual reader, the names of these twelve princes, their towns and their castles mean little. But there is food for thought if one digs below the surface. Names in ancient times, particularly Hebrew names, signify identifying characteristics. And so, trivial things sometimes become meaningful. Thus, we have from the East a sentimental ornament in the form of three little monkeys. One, "Mishma" (Hebrew, hearing) covers his ears with his hands so as to "hear no evil"; another, "Dumah" (Hebrew, Silence) covers his mouth to "speak no evil"; the third, "Massa" (Hebrew, rising smoke — i.e. cloudy) covers his eyes to "see no evil". And the tell-tale monkeys, a trinket from India, bear silent testimony of their origin, for they correspond to the fifth, sixth, and seventh sons of lshmael.

OTHER CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM

    The Brahmans are not the only sons of Abraham in India, for after them came the Buddhists whose religion has since been corrupted to an even greater extent to make it more acceptable to the lower castes. (For instance, their doctrine of the transmigration of souls is a badly twisted version of Biblical immortality). After these came the Mohammedans whose faith is also a corruption of Abraham's beliefs. Mohammed, its founder, was one of Ishmael's descendants in Arabia. The Mohammedans still hold to the Hebrew Old Testament. Their Koran has been added instead of the New Testament. All three religions of India are thus warped versions of the Abrahamic faith inherited from their forefather. Numerically the descendants of Ishmael are a great nation as Yahweh said they would be.

    Still other descendants of Abraham may be found in Persia (Iran) and in Arabia. These are almost certainly the children by Keturah: "Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah". (Genesis 25:2)

    As the descendants of Abraham increased, both the children of Ishmael and the children of the concubine Keturah kept moving toward the east infiltrating the land to which Abraham had allocated them.

"And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. 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". (Genesis 25:5-6)

    It appears that the children of Keturah received as a possession Arabia and Persia, which lands were part of the original "LAND-GRANT" made by Yahweh to Abraham. Later, the children of Ishmael invaded India en masse about 1000 B. C. and subjugated the Yellow-brown Mongolians who were there and made slaves of them. These coolies are the lower castes in India.

    We have seen in this chapter that human intervention in Yahweh's plan can lead to trouble unless He has confirmed or authorized it. As the Psalmist has said,

"Except Yahweh build the house, they labour in vain that build it:—" (Psalm 127)

Sarai had to learn this the hard way.

    It was also seen that Yahweh's promises to Abraham were both literal and unconditional. Yahweh promised that Abraham and Sarah would have a son and it was so. The Most High rejected any solution except the meticulous fulfillment of His promises. Nor were there any strings attached. The blessings did not depend upon action or performance such as circumcision, which came later.

    Although Ishmael, with an Egyptian mother, was not the son of promise, he was nevertheless greatly blessed because he was the son of Abraham. Multitudes of Ishmael's descendants today inhabit Iran, Arabia, and India where they are known as Brahmans.

    Isaac was the promised heir of Sarah and Abraham who gave all that he had to Isaac, but unto the sons of the concubines Abraham gave gifts and sent them away while he yet lived, eastward into the east country.

CHAPTER IV


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