Our God is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the Triune God! We need to know God and experience Him as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, so that we may become the Israel of God. In our morning revival these next weeks we are back to Genesis – the second part of the crystallization-study.
It is easy to read the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and many others in Genesis, but what is their spiritual significance? How can we interpret their experience (since these particular three ones are mentioned again and again in the Bible) and how can we apply it to our experience?
In interpreting the Bible we need to have a governing vision. The governing vision in the Scriptures is that the Triune God is working Himself into His chosen and redeemed people to be their life and life supply, to saturate their entire being with the Divine Trinity.
According to this governing vision, the governing principle – the principle according to which the entire Bible was written – is God wrought into His redeemed people. This should be the basis of our interpretation of all things in the Bible: the principle and the vision of the Triune God wrought into our being.
We see this principle being applied everywhere, and particularly in Exo. 3:15-16, where God introduces Himself as “Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.”
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have each experienced God in a particular way, and altogether they are one corporate person with three aspects. The Bible mentions many other great men on the line of life, but when Genesis presents these three ones, their story overlap, and they eventually consummate in the people of Israel.
We need to know God and we need to experience God as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, so that we may become the Israel of God.
Experiencing the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to become the Israel of God
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were not merely “the founding fathers” of the nation of Israel but the very foundations of this nation (Exo. 3:15-16).
Without the three of them, there would be no nation of Israel. This means that their descendants became God’s people through the experiences of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is their experiences that culminate in Israel, the people of God.
Since what is portrayed in the nation of Israel is realized in the church as the Body of Christ today, we all need to experience God as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob so that we may become the real Israel, the Israel of God.
If the Lord is to have a Body on earth as the one new man, we all need to deeply, thoroughly, specifically, and in a detailed way have all the experiences typified by the experiences of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Without these elements we cannot be the people of God, the Israel of God.
The reality of the church, the Israel of God, depends on the believers having the elements of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Their experience and life typify the Triune God working Himself into man.
Throughout the New Testament we can see the Triune God working Himself into man. Yes, in Matt. 16:18 the Lord proclaimed, I will build My church! – but the whole Gospel of Matthew, from the very first chapter talking about God becoming a man in the person of the Lord Jesus by the Holy Spirit, and to the last chapter where the Lord commands us to disciple all the nations by baptizing them into the Triune God (Matt. 28:19) – the whole Gospel speaks of the Triune God being wrought into man!
In the Gospel of John we see that the church is the Father’s house (John 14), the Son’s vine (John 15), and the Spirit’s child (John 16). In Acts we see the Divine Trinity again and again. In Romans, 1 Corinthians, and all the Epistles we see how the Triune God is dispensing and working Himself into the believers to produce the church as the Body of Christ.
In Revelation we see the church as the golden lampstand having the Father’s nature (gold), the Son’s shape and expression (the shape, the embodiment of God), and the Spirit’s burning and shining (the seven lamps). The whole Bible is written with the governing vision and according to the governing principle of the Triune God working Himself into our being to produce the Body of Christ.
We need to experience the Triune God in reality as typified by all the experiences of Abraham (typifying the experience of the Father), Isaac (typifying the experience of the Son), and Jacob (typifying the experience of the Spirit) to become in reality the Israel of God.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – Not Separate Persons but Constituents of One Corporate Person
Have you ever wondered why does Genesis present the history of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob not as separate stories but overlapping? It’s not merely the fact that they are related and they interact, but, if you read Genesis carefully, you will see that this book doesn’t portray Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as being three separate individuals but as constituents of one corporate person.
Adam, Abel, Enoch, Enosh, Noah, etc – their story shows us how they experience God in a particular way, but they can be considered as “separate”. But in the case of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, their history overlaps, and the result is the people of Israel, God’s people on earth.
Each one of them experiences a particular aspect of the Triune God, and altogether their experience issues in the producing of the people of God. Here’s what each one of them experienced – and how it applies to our life (quotes from ch. 10 in, The History of God in His Union with Man):
“1. The experience of Abraham signifies the experience of God the Father, the unique source, in His calling man, justifying man, and equipping man to live by faith and to live in fellowship with Him (see Gen 12:1; 15:6; chs. 17—18; 19:29; 21:1-13; 22:1-18).”
In our human life, family life, church life, work life, and Christian life we need to know God as the source, and never initiate anything without consulting Him first and taking Him as the source. We need to live a life in fellowship with the Lord, opening up to Him and listening to His heart being opened up to us. It is God who calls us, equips us, and justifies us to live a life by faith.
“2. The experience of Isaac signifies the experience of God the Son in His redeeming man and His blessing man with the inheritance of all His riches, with a life of the enjoyment of His abundance, and with a life in peace (see Gen 22:1-14; 25:5; 26:3-4, 12-33).” All Isaac did was enjoy and receive: even his wife was chosen and brought to him by his father. We need to enjoy the Lord’s care, receive His continual dispensing, and not worry about anything!
“3. The experience of Jacob (with Joseph) signifies the experience of God the Father in His loving man and choosing man (Mal. 1:2; Rom. 9:10-13) and of God the Spirit in His causing all things to work together for the good of those who love Him, in His transforming man, and in His making man mature in the divine life so that man may be able to bless all the people, rule over all the earth, and satisfy all the people with God the Son as the life supply (Gen. 27:41; 28:1—35:12; chs. 37; 39—49; Rom. 8:28-29).”
No matter how you are and who you are, God loves you personally, He chose you, and He wants to transform and mature you that you may become one who blesses everyone with the Triune God!
Lord, we love You! We want to receive Your divine dispensing today. Work Yourself into us. Lord, may we experience You as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob that we may be produced as the real Israel of God, the church. Father, You are the source, the caller, the empowerer, the justifier, and the origin of faith. Son, You are so enjoyable, available, dispensing, and sweet, caring and loving. Spirit, You are always working to seek us, select us, bring us to God, work on us, transform us, saturate us, fill us with life, and mature us to make us blessing persons! Oh, Triune God, work Yourself into us more today!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Ron Kangas’ speaking in the message for this week, and portions from, The History of God in His Union with Man (ch. 10), as quoted in, the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Genesis (2), week 1 / msg 1, Knowing and Experiencing the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob to Become the Israel of God (you can buy this morning revival book here).
- Further reading: recommending ch. 1 in, Collected Works of Watchman Nee (vol. 35, The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).
- Hymns on this topic:
# Abraham is the father of faith to all, / He was counted as righteous by heeding God’s call. / Did you know all your works never justify? / Believe! You are justified by faith in Him. (new song on Abraham)
# God’s economy is to have God and man / Incorporated as one—divine-human, / To build up His Body—an organism, / Which consummates the New Jerusalem. / God the Father loves man and chooses man / In eternity past, in His great plan, / According to His purpose, and not of works / But of Him, in the section of Jacob. (new song on the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob)
# How real it is that God is now the Spirit / For us to touch, experience day by day! / Astounding fact, with God we are one spirit, / And differ not in life in any way! (Hymns #608, by Witness Lee)
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