Expounding the More Perfect Way….Jesus Christ and Him Crucified Acts 18:24-28

God’s Promise Concerning Ishmael

Some years before, Hagar, the bondwoman, and her son, Ishmael, were cast out of the home of Abraham, actually just before Isaac was born, the Lord said unto Abraham: “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai (‘my princess,’ referring to the fact that she was Abraham’s princess alone), but Sarah shall her name be (simply means ‘princess;’ the idea is, whereas she was formerly Abraham’s princess only, she will now be recognized as a princess generally, and, in fact, in a sense, could be referred to as the ‘mother of the Church’).

And I will bless her, and give you a son also of her (this is the first time in all of God’s dealings with Abraham that He had mentioned the fact that the promised son would be of Sarah): yes, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her (her ‘blessing’ spoke of increase, which includes even the Church and, in a sense, the Lord Jesus Christ).

Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, shall a child be born unto me who is an hundred years old (Abraham’s laughter was that of joy [Jn. 8:56]? and shall Sarah who is ninety years old bear (Paul said of him: ‘He considered not the deadness of Sarah’s womb’)?” (Rom. 4:19).

And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before You! (Abraham asked the Lord that Ishmael might have some place, and not be completely left out.)

And God said, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son indeed; and you shall call his name Isaac (the name Isaac means ‘laughter’): and I will establish My Covenant with him for an Everlasting Covenant, and with his seed after him. (The Covenant is to be established with Isaac and not Ishmael. This completely shoots down the contention of the Muslims that Ishmael was the chosen one, unless you don’t believe the Bible. Through Isaac, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, would ultimately come.)

And as for Ishmael, I have heard you, behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly (the Lord would bless Ishmael, but not as it regards the Covenant); twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation (the blessing here pronounced was not because of Ishmael, but because of Abraham, and Abraham alone).

But My Covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto you at this set time in the next year (so now they knew when the child would be born).

And He (the Lord) left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham. (Communion with the Lord is the most profitable exercise there is)” (Gen. 17:15–22).

The Word of God

This, which we have given, concerns the statement given by the Lord as it regards Isaac and Ishmael. Even though we have dealt with it in a spiritual sense, it can be likened to the flesh and the Spirit, even as Paul addressed it in Galatians 4:21–31. But yet, the information given is meant to proclaim what the Word of God says as it regards both Isaac and Ishmael, which completely refutes the claims of Islam. As stated, they claim that the Lord chose Ishmael instead, and not Isaac. This all came from the supposed revelation given to Muhammad in approximately the year 610.

Actually, the Lord foretold, even before the birth of Ishmael as to what type of man he would be. He said: “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. (These predictions describe the Arab people perfectly. They cannot get along with anyone in the world; they cannot even get along among themselves. The descendants of Ishmael dwell in the presence of all his brethren [Israel], but do not subdue them, and, in fact, never will subdue them!)” (Gen. 16:12).

The Last Days

There are some who claim that the Muslims will play a great part in the activity of the last days, and by the term “last days” we’re speaking of the beginning of the Great Tribulation. The Scripture says concerning this:

And he (the Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (a week of years—seven years) …” (Dan. 9:27).

In effect, the Antichrist will make his debut on the world scene by brokering a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians and the Arabs, and, no doubt, other nations of the world as well, and undoubtedly including the U.S.A. The Antichrist will receive instant recognition for his ability to do this, so much so, in fact, that Israel will acclaim him as their long awaited Messiah. In fact, this is what Jesus was talking about when He said concerning this very thing: “I am come in My Father’s Name, and you receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive” (Jn. 5:43).

As would be obvious, the Muslim Middle East will be tremendously involved in this. In fact, the situation, as it regards Israel and the balance of the Middle East, grows more difficult with each passing day. Iran is claiming, and publicly, that Israel should be wiped off the face of the Earth; so, anyone who can solve this problem will be heralded as a superman. And the Antichrist will solve it, at least for a short time. The moment this seven-year treaty is signed, will signal the beginning of the Great Tribulation referred to by Christ and the Prophets (Mat. 24:21).

The first three and one half years of that time, referred to, as well, as Daniel’s seventieth week, while the Judgment of God will begin to be poured out, yet, Israel will fare very well it seems. But then they will be rudely awakened and, in fact, will now face their most horrific time, even worse than the Holocaust of WWII. Concerning this, the Apostle Paul said:

For when they shall say, peace and safety (refers to Israel, but will as well characterize the world; it pertains to the Antichrist signing the seven-year pact with Israel and other nations [Dan. 9:27]); then sudden destruction comes upon them (at the mid-point of the seven-year period, the Antichrist will break his pact, actually invading Israel [Rev. 12:1–6]), as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (I Thess. 5:3).

At the midpoint of that seven-year time frame, referred to as the “Great Tribulation,” the Antichrist will show his true colors, and will attack Israel. In fact, Israel will suffer her first military defeat since becoming a Nation in 1948. Actually, were it not for intervention by the Lord, Israel at that particular time would be completely destroyed, but thankfully, the Lord will intervene.

Daniel said, concerning this very time, and I continue to quote from THE EXPOSITOR’S STUDY BIBLE:

And at the time of the end shall the king of the south (Egypt) push at him: and the king of the north (the Antichrist, Syria) shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. (The phrase, ‘And at the time of the end,’ refers to the time of the fulfillment of these Prophecies, which, in fact, is just ahead. It is known that ‘the king of the south’ refers to Egypt, because that’s who is referred to at the beginning of this Chapter, which spoke of the breakup of the Grecian Empire. As well, ‘the king of the north’ proves that the Antichrist will come from the Syrian division of the breakup of the Grecian Empire. So the Antichrist will more than likely be a Syrian Jew.)

He shall enter also into the glorious land (into Israel), and many countries shall be overthrown (those in the Middle East): but these shall escape out of his hand (escape out of the hand of the Antichrist), even Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. (Edom, Moab, and Ammon comprise modern Jordan. His entering into the ‘glorious land’ refers to his invasion of Israel at the midpoint of his seven-year nonaggression pact with them, therefore, breaking his covenant [Dan. 9:27].

“The countries listed comprise modern Jordan, where ancient Petra is located, to which Israel will flee upon the Antichrist ‘entering into the Glorious Land’ [Rev. 12:6]).

He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. (‘Egypt’ refers to ‘the king of the south’ of Verse 40, as stated.)

But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. (The ‘precious things of Egypt,’ no doubt, refer to the ancient mysteries of Egypt, regarding the tombs, the pyramids, etc. He will, no doubt, claim to unlock many of these mysteries; he very well could do so, regarding the supernatural powers given to him, and we continue to speak of the Antichrist, by the powers of darkness.)

But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. (After the Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel, actually ‘entering into the Glorious Land,’ he will be prevented from further destroying her by the ‘tidings of the east and out of the north’ that ‘shall trouble him.’ No doubt, these will be nations, probably led by Russia [north], Japan, and China [east], forming a union against him, but which will have no success)” (Dan. 11:40–44).

~J. Swaggart

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