By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed April 30, 1985)
How did God love or prefer Israel over Edom? The manner of Jacob’s preference is biblically declared. Paul writes, “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of Circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God (Romans 3:1,2).” Israel received a clear, complete body of revelation from heaven. Who would claim such a body of revelation is not to one’s advantage? Stephen spoke of such in Acts 7:38 when he said, “…and our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.”
The Psalmist speaks clearly of how Jacob was preferred. “He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD (Psalms 147: 19,20).” For those who prematurely affirm such actions were not proper for the sovereignty of heaven, let it be remembered Israel had to obey the revelation given to obtain righteousness. Amos 3:2 reads, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” Furthermore, the completed revelation leaves no doubt that God is just and far more aware of justice than man’s development. God is far more capable than man to see the demands of justice are fulfilled. Therefore, be silent when you begin to question the justness of the creator and sustainer of man. Continue reading
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed March 31, 1985)
Rebecca, there are two nations in thy womb. We have learned that one of those nations was Edom. Esau speaks of the nation of Edom and the events spoken regarding Esau are in reference to the nation of Edom and her relationship with Israel. This means the efforts to teach the doctrine of predestination regarding individual salvation from these verses is vain.
The other nation in Rebecca’s womb was Israel and the words spoken in reference to Jacob speak of Israel. Let us demonstrate what we learned about the usage of Esau and Edom is also true of Jacob and Israel. Isaiah 43:1 reads, “But now thus saith the LORD that created, thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee by thy name; thou are mine.” Verse 22 reads, “But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.” Verse 28 says, “Therefore, I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.” Again the words of Isaiah, “Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen (Isaiah 44:1).” Continue reading
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed February 28, 1985)
We closed our last lesson with Paul teaching that being of Abraham’s seed did not necessarily mean all were Abraham’s children. Paul was showing that the rejection of many of Israel did not mean God was unfaithful to his promises. The truth that all of Abraham’s seed were not his children reminds us of the words of Jesus. John 8:37, 39 reads, “I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you … They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.”
What does fleshly Israel mean when God told Abraham, “…In Isaac shall thy seed be called?” We do know there were other children of Abraham’s seed. You will agree with this for in Genesis 21:13 it reads, “And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.” Israel, what about Ishmael? Does your allegation that God must include all of fleshly Israel include Ishmael and his descendants? Israel, we both know your answer. Your allegation proves too much for even you. Yes, all of Israel is not Israel. Romans 9:8 reads, “That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” Continue reading
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed January 31, 1985)
The title of this lesson is a quotation from the Old Testament and is used by the apostle Paul in Romans 9:13. These words have become the wrestling mat of destruction for so many. It reminds us of what Peter once said about some of Paul’s writings. “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” Peter’s reference is to those things in his writings, that Paul also had written in his epistle. But when we listen to the tremendous misuse of Paul’s writings in the Roman letter, the words of Peter certainly fit our day.
This lesson will lay background consideration about the Roman letter and the intent of the words of Paul, “… Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated.” The next lesson will deal with the Continue reading
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed August 31, 1985)
Our last reflections were upon Samuel’s growth and the role ministering had in that growth. We also considered the role of ministering in spiritual growth today. We must lament the void of ministry found among us today. It is sad how few Christians are alert to sharing and meeting the needs of fellow saints and their opportunities to strengthen the church. Do our sisters pick up the telephone and say let us take lunch to an elderly person, a widow or a sick saint these days? Not enough. Do our brothers pick up the telephone and call, saying, let us visit the family missing more and more of the assemblies? Not enough. Do the young members say let us make an arrangement to sing at the local rest home? Not enough.
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed July 31, 1985)
The opening chapters of 1 Samuel tells of Samuel’s birth and the genesis of molding one of God’s great servants. Samuel’s time on life’s stage takes in the ending of the judges of Israel and the beginning of an era of kings and prophets in Israel. His life was during the threshold years of great change for Israel, as kings were anointed and prophets began to appear and preached with regularity for several years. It is true there were prophets prior to this time, but now we enter a period of abundant labor by the prophets of God.
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed April 15, 1976)
Hebrews 3:5 puts the above words as a proper description of the man Moses. When you travel through the wilderness with Israel you begin to understand why. You don’t understand the strength behind the word “faithful,” until you start to walk the desert with Moses and listen to all the foul complaints that were cast his way. You don’t understand the appreciation God has for a faithful person, unto you think of a man willing to trust in an invisible army to overcome the horse and the chariot. The word “faithful” never comes alive, until you are faced with the recognition of making a choice that consciously puts you into a position of being unfavorable. Yes, Moses was faithful. WHY? His life reveals that all of the above were faced; and still he was willing to care for God’s people. Moses was a leader, a shepherd, a man of anger and compassion, but most of all he was faithful. Continue reading
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed May 20,1976)
One subject that never seems to grow old is the relation of the Old Law or the Old Testament to the Christian today. Anyone who discusses the Bible for even a short time with another person will soon be faced with the question of the use of the Old Testament in establishing spiritual beliefs for today. The subject is indeed broad, but it is of interest to note Jesus’ approach to the problem. Continue reading