THE LOVE OF MONEY
CONT., page 3
A RAM CAUGHT IN A THICKET
In Genesis 22, we read of the obedience of Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. You know the story. When Abraham lifted his hand to smite Isaac with the knife as he lay on the altar, the angel of Yahweh stopped Abraham and declared - "I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." Abraham then looked behind him and saw "a ram caught in the thicket by his horns," and he took the ram and "offered him up for a burnt offering in place of his son."
So many times when one hears about this story, the conclusion is drawn that we are the Isaac and are to be slain, but instead the ram is slain, and that the ram is Yahshua. But where in the New Testament is Yahshua ever identified as the ram? Never. In the first place, where is it that sinful man is ever regarded as the "only son" of Yahweh? Again, never! But who indeed is regarded as the "only son"? Unquestionably, we read over and over in John that Yahshua is the "only begotten Son."
"we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father" (1:14)
"the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father" (1:18)
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son" (3:16)
"he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (3:18)
And in 1 John 4: 9 we likewise read:
By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
Is it not rather obvious and soundly conclusive that the "only son" whom the angel specifically and uniquely characterized ("your son, your only son") when Abraham, his father, went to offer him on Mount Moriah, was in fact a clear picture of "the only begotten Son" who was offered as a sacrifice by His Father on the identical mountain over 1,800 years later? Indeed! That which Yahweh asked of Abraham, foreshadowed that which He as the heavenly Father would perform with His only Son. Thus we must ask - Who or what then was the ram caught in the thicket? Yahweh provides us double testimony here once again, revealing and confirming that which we have already been seeing.
While the "only son" was in fact Yahshua, there must of necessity then be a tie to or relationship between Yahshua and this ram that was offered in His likeness. While Abraham did not have to follow through with the death of his son, quite obviously Yahweh did; but, this, we will see, did not negate the fulfillment of the ram as well, but in fact necessitated it.
In Matthew 13 and Mark 4, we read Yahshua's parable about the sower. One of the places where that seed was sown was among the thorns. What are thorns? They are a thicket, a place where one can easily get entangled and ensnared, even as these seeds cast among the thorns attest; for in these thorns we find that they evidence the "worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things" that "enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful."
These are the identical thorns represented by the crown of thorns which were placed upon Yahshua's head, likewise recorded in Matthew and Mark (clearly identifying and representing the 2,000 year period of the church). Why was a crown of thorns placed upon the Savior's head at the time of His affliction? Let us go back to Genesis on Mount Moriah to find out.
When Abraham, after being spoken to by the angel, turned to find the ram that was to be offered in place of Isaac, that ram was snared by one thing - its horns were entangled in the thicket! Therefore, whether it be the crown of thorns that was placed upon Yahshua's head at His affliction, or the thicket that held the ram by its own head, both of these speak of that which would ensnare and afflict the suffering body of Christ, the church. The thorns, the thicket, of the "worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things," have afflicted and ensnared the body of Christ for 2,000 years. Thus we see that the ram caught in the thicket of the cares of this world by its horns, that is intrinsically related to the "only son" via its death, is clearly the body of Christ that must equally die for mankind. Therefore we add as additional evidence concerning the church and its riches that:
Continue to page 4 of The Love of Money for"WEEDS WERE WRAPPED AROUND MY HEAD"
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