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Chapter 5

Ishmael, the Wild-Donkey Man

Ishmael was born to Abram and Hagar fourteen years before Sarah gave birth to Isaac. The full story of Hagar and Ishmael is found in Genesis 16.

Hagar, the Mother of Ishmael

According to the ancient book of Jasher, Hagar was an Egyptian princess, the daughter of Pharaoh. Pharaoh gave her to Sarah in restitution for placing Sarah in his harem after Abram told him she was his “sister.” The Biblical account does not tell us anything about Hagar, the Egyptian, until Sarah gives her to Abram as a wife in order to bring forth an heir. While Genesis 16 does tell us she was an Egyptian, it says nothing about how Sarah came to acquire her. Jasher fills in some of those interesting details.

When Hagar conceived a child by Abram, she despised Sarah for her barrenness. Her attitude is understandable, seeing that she was a princess by birth. Do not think of Hagar as an unbeliever, however. In Abram’s house she would have learned the ways of God quite thoroughly in the ten years since she had been given to Sarah.

Hagar can be considered a believer in the God of Abram. But in her spiritual immaturity she made the mistake of thinking that God had called her to replace Sarah in bringing forth the promised son. This would only be a natural assumption, seeing as how Sarah was barren. As we will show in this chapter, Hagar and Ishmael are types of the Church under the pentecostal anointing.

Hagar was indeed married to Abram, but she was not called to bring forth the promised son. Her mistaken assumption is precisely the view of the Church under its pentecostal anointing. It has generally been assumed by most pentecostals that their position as God’s wife means they can birth the Manchild, the child of promise. But as with Hagar, this is not meant to be. Only those under the anointing of Tabernacles can birth the Manchild.

At any rate, Sarah deeply resented Hagar’s attitude and treated her harshly (Gen. 16:6). She probably treated Hagar as harshly as those in the sonship message treat the pentecostal Church today. Thus, we find in the story that Hagar fled into the wilderness, where an angel found her. The angel prophesied to her regarding the character and future of her son, Ishmael. Genesis 16:9-12 says,

9 Then the angel of the Lord said to her, Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority . . . 11 The angel of the Lord said to her further, Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son; and you shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has given heed to [“heard”] your affliction. 12 And he will be a wild donkey of a man [pereh awdawm]; his hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand will be against him; and he will live to the east of all his brothers.

The first thing to note is that the name Ishmael means “God will hear.” Built into the name is the concept of hearing. God heard Hagar’s prayer, and in response, God sent an angel to give Hagar the Word, which she also heard. God heard, and Hagar heard.

Hearing is the essence of Pentecost, as we have already shown in previous chapters. In fact, at the first Pentecost under Moses, when Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord (Ex. 19:8), God heard their vow. As a consequence, God spoke to the people directly, revealing to them the Ten Commandments, and all the people heard the voice of God. Their experience that day was very similar to that of Hagar. Deut. 5:24 describes it.

24 And you said, Behold, the Lord our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire; we have seen today that God speaks with man, yet he lives.

Compare this with Hagar’s experience in talking with the angel of God. Genesis 16:13, 14 tells us that the angel talked with her at a well, which she then called Beer-lahai-roi, “the well of living after seeing.” She was astonished that she could survive an interview with God, or the angel. In the same manner, Israel later was astonished that man could live after God talked with them.

At this time in history, they apparently did not realize that God’s Plan was to reach down to us in this earthly plane, that He was to come here, rather than for us to go there. They were correct in thinking that the full presence of God would kill them in their present carnal condition; however, they did not seem to know that God had ways of manifesting Himself in lesser forms, such as angels. More than this, they had little concept that God would actually manifest Himself by putting His Spirit within human flesh. This revelation was for a later time.

At the fulfillment of the feast of Pentecost in the book of Acts, God again came down as fire and spoke to all in their own language out of the midst of that divine fire. (See Deut. 4:12 and Acts 2:3, 4.)

Getting back to our narrative of Hagar, the word of the angel adjusted Hagar’s attitude and perspective. She then returned and submitted to Sarah with the attitude of a good, humble servant. This is a lesson to those under the pentecostal anointing. Learn to submit as faithful and obedient servants.

The angel also said Ishmael would be a “wild-donkey man.” The King James Version simply reads that he would be a “wild man,” but the Hebrew text reads “wild-donkey man.” The Hebrew word pereh is translated “wild donkey” every other time it appears in the Bible. The word is used in Job 6:5; 11:12; 24:5; 39:5; Psalm 104:11; Isaiah 32:14; Jeremiah 2:24; 14:6; and Hosea 8:9. Each time the word pereh is translated “wild donkey.”

The word awdawm is attached to pereh only in Genesis 16:12, where it is applied to Ishmael. Awdawm simply means “man” unless it is preceded by a definite article, in which case it refers specifically to Adam himself. Thus, we see that the angel called Ishmael a “wild donkey man.” It was meant to describe his character, not his genetics.

Yet keep in mind that the donkey is the biblical symbol of a pentecostal as well. Ishmael is an Old Testament pentecostal type in a great historical allegory. The story admonishes us to go beyond the Ishmael stage of spiritual development. It teaches us how to be like Isaac, the Manchild of Tabernacles.

The Character of the Wild Donkey

Jeremiah described Jerusalem as “a wild donkey used to the wilderness” (Jer. 2:24). It pictures the city as a wild donkey during her month in heat, when her passions led her to search out lovers among strangers in the wilderness.

The northern House of Israel, too, was pictured as a wild donkey, and this was why God divorced her and sent her away into the Assyrian captivity. Hosea 8:8-10 reads,

8 Israel is swallowed up; they are now among the nations like a vessel in which no one delights. 9 For they have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey all alone; Ephraim has hired lovers. 10 Even though they hire allies among the nations, now I will gather them up . . . .

There is no doubt that Hosea had Issachar in mind, the one whose name means hired. Recall that Leah had “hired” Jacob to lie with her when she traded the mandrakes for a night with Jacob (Gen. 30:18). The Hebrew word used in Hosea above is tawnaw, which is not the same as the root of the name Issachar; however, tawnaw means “to bargain,” and this does express the actions of Leah and Rachel perfectly.

The tribe of Issachar was one of those carried into the Assyrian captivity with the rest of the northern tribes of Israel. All the tribes became like Issachar, a wild donkey who bargains with lovers in the wilderness in order to hire them as prostitutes. In other words, when the prophets tell us that both Israel and Jerusalem were like wild donkeys, they were identifying them as spiritual Ishmaelites, or as spiritual Issachars. They continually turned away from God, their Husband, and sought whatever lovers of the nations they could find.

The character of men under the anointing of Pentecost is recorded in Hosea and other places only to let us know how inadequate we are and how insufficient is our pentecostally-anointed ability to overcome. When we see this in ourselves, then the Spirit of God has truly done his work in us, for only when we lose all confidence in the flesh can we hope to inherit the full Promise.

What God said about Israel through Hosea is also applicable to the wild donkeys of the pentecostal realm: “Even, though they have hired allies among the nations, now I will gather them up” (Hosea 8:10). Though we are terribly imperfect, God will gather us in His roundup and lead us back to Himself.

We know that this will not be done all at once. It will take time, for there is more than one appointed time for gathering the people. There were three appointed times when God called all the males to appear before Him in Jerusalem: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. Even so, there are three appointed times when God will call a corporate body to stand before Him.

We see these appointed times as “harvests” also: first the barley, then the wheat, and finally the grape harvest. The day is nearly upon us when the barley company will be called forth, some raised from the dead, others changed without dying. But there is also hope for the wheat company (the Church) and the grape company (creation). They will yet have their day.

God’s Firstborn Son: Israel

In Genesis 16 we read how Abram took Hagar, the Egyptian princess, and brought forth Ishmael, the “wild-donkey man.” This set into motion a series of events that affected history in both the short-term and the long-term. In short-term history, there was a conflict between Ishmael and Isaac, who was born 14 years later. Paul tells us in Gal. 4:29 that the son of the bondwoman persecuted (oppressed) the son of the freewoman. That oppression was manifested on a long-term cycle of history as well, when Israel was oppressed by Egypt. This is the great allegory that is of special interest to us now.

What Abram did in short-term history, God repeated in long-term history. Abram married Hagar, the Egyptian, to bring forth Ishmael, the promised son (so he thought). And so God married Egypt to bring forth Israel, the promised son, who came forth as a spiritual Ishmaelite.

Egypt was never God’s wife in the fullest sense of the word. Yet it was the same as Abram’s relationship with Hagar. Genesis 16:3 says Sarah “gave her to her husband Abram as his wife.” But Hagar was only a bondwoman, and Bible law makes a very clear distinction between marrying a free woman and marrying a bondwoman. (See Exodus 21:1-10 as well as Paul’s distinction in Galatians 4.)

Even as Hagar’s wifely status was less from Sarah’s, so also was Egypt’s wifely status of a lesser nature. Nonetheless, Israel was the product of a relationship between God and Egypt. When God told Moses to return to Egypt to lead Israel out of the house of bondage, He gave him these instructions in Ex. 4:22, 23.

22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, Thus says the Lord, Israel is My son, My firstborn; 23 So I said to you, Let My son go, that he may serve Me; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.

Every son must have a father and a mother. In this case God states emphatically that He was Israel’s Father. In order for this type to make any sense, we must consider Egypt to be the mother of Israel. Moses might be thought of a kind of midwife telling Egypt to allow the son to be birthed. “Let My people go,” he tells Egypt. “Give birth to the firstborn son of God.

When the time comes to give birth to a son, there is no woman in the world who can stop the labor pains. To fight the birthing process only makes things worse. But this is precisely what Egypt did, and this caused them to “die” in childbirth.

The fact that Egypt was Israel’s mother is also made clear in subsequent years. Every time Israel would run out of food or water, their first impulse was to run to mama (Egypt). Or to put it another way, the purpose of their wilderness sojourn was to instruct them and discipline them (Deut. 4:36). Every time Israel’s Father disciplined them, they wanted to run to mother Egypt for comfort. This is typical of children in their immature state. They view discipline as oppressive until they are mature – at which time they understand and agree that it was for their good.

The Law of the Firstborn Donkeys

The idea that God took Egypt as a bondwife to bring forth Israel as His firstborn son is best argued in the light of how the subsequent events actually transpired. If we can show that Israel was a spiritual Ishmaelite, then the type is proven. We have already shown from Jeremiah 2:24 and Hosea 8:8-10 that Israel was later compared to a wild donkey. We will now show that Israel was considered to be a type of “donkey” right from the beginning.

When God brought Israel out of Egypt, He was in the process of taking His firstborn son unto Himself, separating him unto Himself. And so this was done by the law of the firstborn. This law was first given (by Moses) on the day of Passover, as recorded in Ex. 13:11-13.

11 Now it shall come about when the Lord brings you to the land of the Canaanite, as He swore to you and to your fathers, and gives it you, 12 that you shall devote to the Lord the first offspring of every womb, and the firstborn of every beast that you own; the males belong to the Lord. 13 But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.

Note what God says here: All the firstborn of man and beast are His and are to be given unto Him. However, all the firstborn males of the DONKEYS are NOT to be given to God directly. Firstborn donkeys are to be redeemed by a lamb, “and every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.”

In essence, God is calling Israel a DONKEY. If they had been lambs, they would not need redemption. The fact that they need to be redeemed makes them spiritual donkeys, or spiritual Ishmaelites. This is why the feast of Passover was so important. It was the day on which all the firstborn of the donkeys were redeemed with a lamb.

From then on in the Scriptures, Israelites are called “sheep.” This is proper only because they had been redeemed at Passover by the lamb. Without that redemption, Psalm 100:3 would have to read, “We are His people, and the DONKEYS of His pasture.”

Pharaoh refused to allow Israel to go three days into the wilderness to keep this feast of Passover, as Moses had requested in Exodus 5:1-3. Pharaoh – by his refusal – fell under the penalty of the law that “if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck” (Ex. 13:13). Pharaoh became liable for attempting to stop the donkey’s redemption. This liability is what killed Pharaoh’s firstborn son. He was executed according to the law of the firstborn.

When we are justified by faith in the blood of the Lamb (our Passover experience), we are birthed into the family of God as immature sons. When we receive the Spirit (Pentecost), signifying phase two of the sonship process, we are still only spiritual teenagers. Both of these phases of sonship deal with us as “minors,” and as such we differ nothing from a servant, though we be lord of all.

As we have already shown in our study of Issachar, both of these states of spiritual immaturity are pictured biblically as a donkey, for the donkey is a servant. We start out as wild donkeys, and then God begins to train us and break us to be lowly servants. We are birthed as donkeys and redeemed by the Lamb, so that when God looks at us, He sees only Jesus, the Lamb of God. The Lamb has been given as a substitute for all of spiritual donkeys.

Beer-lahai-roi:The Well of the Living One Seeing Me

When Hagar became pregnant with Ishmael, she developed a wrong attitude of pride, thinking that her calling was above that of Sarah. And so, Sarah dealt harshly with her, and finally she fled. In the wilderness, Hagar ran out of water and despaired for her life. Then an angel met Hagar. Genesis 16:13, 14 says,

13 Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “Thou art a God who sees;” for she said, “Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?” 14 Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

This well was the place where God heard Hagar’s prayer, and where Hagar heard the angel’s promise. Thus, it should in some way manifest Pentecost, if our interpretation of types and shadows is correct.

We have already mentioned earlier that it was assumed in ancient times that if anyone were to actually see God, they would die immediately. While that view was technically correct, God had a way of manifesting Himself without killing all in sight. He sent angels in flesh form to convey His Word to men.

This was Hagar’s pentecostal encounter, and she heard God in the same way that Israel heard the voice of God at Mt. Sinai. As a result, she named her son Ishmael, which means “God hears.” Hearing God’s voice and seeing Him is the essence of Pentecost.

The focus upon Vision, or seeing, is discussed by the prophet Joel in 2:28, 29. He shows that the outpouring of the Spirit would manifest the Hagar experience on a larger scale:

28 And it will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 And even on the male and female servants I will pour out My spirit in those days.

In other words, the young men would “see visions.” Also the “servants” would receive something from God. This describes Hagar, the handmaid of Sarah, as well as Issachar, the hired servant-donkey.

Between Kadeshand Bered

Hagar’s visitation came at a well “between Kadesh and Bered” (Gen. 16:14). “Kadesh” means sanctuary, a place or person who is sanctified, holy, or set aside for divine service. “Bered” means hail. Hail itself is a biblical symbol for truth, for we read in Isaiah 28:17, “the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies.” Isaiah 28 is the great pentecostal chapter in the Old Testament dealing with the gift of tongues. Paul quotes from it in 1 Cor. 14:21 in dealing with the subject of tongues.

More importantly, Jesus said that the Spirit of God would lead them into all truth (1 John 16:13). The path to truth leads through the wilderness, where the angel found Hagar. So there is significance in Hagar’s location “between Kadesh and Bered.” The true pentecostal anointing was supposed to bring men into sanctification and truth. And yet we find that Hagar was somewhere between sanctification and truth. In other words, it is plainly stated that pentecostals would not actually arrive at the place of either sanctification or truth before running out of water. Their tendency is always to search for sanctification and truth while on their way to Egypt. In other words, the Church under Pentecost tends to look in all the wrong places and ends up somewhere between sanctification and truth.

Genesis 16:7 tells us that Hagar was actually trying to run back to Egypt, her homeland. It says the angel found her “in the way to Shur,” which was the wall at the border of Egypt. Four centuries later, Israel, the spiritual Ishmaelite often wished to return to Egypt during their wilderness wandering. This wild-donkey pattern had already been set many years by Hagar. This desire for the things of Egypt is characteristic of the Church in the wilderness, both then and now.

In today’s manifestation we find that the Church has been in its own wilderness for 40 Jubilees (33 - 1993 AD), even as Israel was 40 years in the wilderness under Moses. The Church under its pentecostal anointing lacks the water of the Spirit to reach Bered, the place of truth.

The examples of the Old Testament pentecostals in previous chapters all show the tendency to “return to Egypt,” the flesh, the world. Samson loved Philistine women; Saul put Israel into bondage to himself; Issachar coexisted with the Canaanites. All these examples establish the meaning of Hagar’s attempt to return to Egypt, and the angel finding her somewhere between sanctification and truth.

Thank God that He has not spurned us for our carnality and weakness, but has chosen instead to reach down to us while we are yet sinners. Without this grace, we would all be undone. There is no way we could be changed from donkeys to lambs by our own power.

Getting back to Hagar’s situation as it relates to the Church under Pentecost, the angel told Hagar to return and submit to the freewoman. This is the path that leads to both sanctification and truth. This path leads away from Egypt. It leads to the door of Sarah and Isaac, who represents both Christ and the overcomers (the Head and His body).

The Pentecostal Church Cast Out as Hagar

In previous chapters we have shown examples of the insufficiency of the pentecostal anointing and how it must be superceded by the greater anointing of Tabernacles. In order to do that, one must be willing to give up the lesser realm in favor of the new work that God is doing. Thus it should be no surprise to see that in this great historical allegory, God commands Abraham to cast out Hagar and Ishmael, the bondwoman and her son (Gen. 21:10, quoted also in Gal. 4:30).

In biblical terms one cannot have two heirs of this promise. It is either Ishmael or Isaac. Will those of Pentecost inherit the promise? Will they bring in the kingdom of God? Will they birth the Manchild? No, this cannot be, for they yet remain half Egyptian, half fleshly. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 15:50).

So it is with the Church under Pentecost. King Saul lit the sacrifice with strange fire (1 Sam. 13:9) lest the people be scattered. Often a church or denomination will do the same, by staging their own revivals. They feel they must do this, lest their members leave their church for another. Saul was disqualified from ruling.

Samson could not deliver Israel because of his desire to marry Philistine women. This desire finally put him into blind bondage to the flesh (Judges 16:21). Samson was disqualified from ruling.

Issachar preferred to coexist with the Canaanites, giving up his inheritance to the ungodly, even as the Church today has done when it calls non-Christian people “chosen.” Issachar was also disqualified.

All the biblical types and shadows of Pentecost have been fulfilled in the Church today, and thus, God has rejected the Church as well. This does not mean the Church will not be saved. Far from it. It simply means that the wheat company is leavened and is therefore not qualified to rule in the kingdom. It means that the wheat company will not inherit the first resurrection, but will have to await the general resurrection later.

In order for the true Manchild (Isaac) to be born, Ishmael must first be cast out. In order for true freedom to be brought to the earth, the bondwoman must first be cast out. In order for David to rule, Saul must die at the end of his appointed 40-Jubilee reign of bondage.

All these stories point to one stark reality: the Church under Pentecost cannot birth the promised seed any more than Hagar could. For a time, God has commanded the Hagar-Church to return to Abraham’s house and submit as a servant. But these of Hagar who persecute the promised seed show that they do not know how to be good servants under tutors and governors. They have an attitude problem and are disqualified from sonship.

The Church was cast out at Pentecost of 1993 on their 40th Jubilee anniversary. Saul’s 40 years ended. The pentecostal realm then began to lose its authority, even as God began to move to empower His overcomers. Like David, these overcomers will prevail over Saul. Like Sarah, they will bring forth the Manchild.

We as individuals must know how to identify with Isaac, rather than with Ishmael, that we might be a part of the Manchild company. Let us not think we have already arrived at the full sonship by virtue of our justification or by virtue of our pentecostal experience. Let us go on to perfection and know the pain and joy of birthing the Manchild at Tabernacles.

The Two Covenants

In the fourth chapter of Galatians, Paul tells us that the story of Hagar and Sarah is a historical allegory of the Old and New Covenants. Beginning with Gal. 4:22 we read,

22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondmaid, and one by the free woman. 23 But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. 24 This is allegorically speaking; for these women are two covenants, one proceeding from Mount Sinai, bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.

Paul’s primary thrust is to show the difference between the followers of Moses and those who followed Jesus Christ. Those who claimed to follow Moses were depending upon the Old Covenant, with its sign of fleshly circumcision, for their salvation. Christians, on the other hand, were of a New Covenant, whose sign was a heart circumcision.

The Old Covenant demanded obedience to the law in order for men to be saved (Lev. 26). On the other hand, the New Covenant puts all demands upon God to save us through Jesus Christ, regardless of the works of men. The divine law is a function of Pentecost, not of Passover. Pentecost is the proper celebration of the giving of the law, for it commemorated the voice of God as He spoke to Israel at Sinai.

The early Church in Paul’s day had a problem with some individuals and groups that taught a mixture of these two covenants. They felt that men were saved by both law and grace, by their own will and by God’s will. In other words, they taught that they were saved by the pattern laid down at Sinai in Exodus 19:5-8. That passage says,

5 Now then, IF you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, THEN you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine . . . . 8 And all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

This is the conditional nature of the covenant. It is conditional upon the will and decisions of man, followed, of course, by their ability to fulfill their vow of obedience. Leviticus 26 makes it clear that if they broke their vow and were disobedient, then God would no longer be obligated to save them, but would cast them out of their inheritance.

On the other hand, Paul tells us that the New Covenant is based upon the Abrahamic pattern, which is “by promise” (Gal. 3:18). In other words, it is something that God alone promised, and therefore, this covenant makes demands only upon God. If we read the story of how God made that promise to Abram in Genesis 15:12, we see that God put Abram to sleep, and God walked between the dead halves of the sacrificed animals by Himself to seal the covenant promise by blood. Thus, it is called an unconditional covenant, with no “if” clauses that would make salvation dependent upon man’s will or obligations.

And so, Paul’s discussion of Hagar and Sarah is a discussion of these two covenants: the one being conditional upon man’s will and cooperation; the other being conditional only upon God’s ability to fulfill His promise to save. Because these covenants are based on opposite conditions, one cannot be under both at the same time.

This is the force of Paul’s argument against the Judaizers who taught that the people had to be under both covenants in order to be saved. Paul was dealing with the Hagar problem of the Church under Pentecost. Remember that Pentecost began at Mt. Sinai under Moses. It was the place where the Old Covenant originated. Pentecost is a feast day commemorating the establishment of the Old Covenant. It is only natural, then, that the Church would still be under that influence.

The most important fact to see is that Pentecost in Acts 2 occurred in the old Jerusalem, which, Paul says, relates to the bondwoman “for she is in slavery with her children” (Gal. 4:25). Paul contrasts this with the New “Jerusalem above,” wherein the feast of Tabernacles originates. Those who remain under Pentecost are yet in partial bondage to the Old Covenant.

The vast majority of the Church today teaches that men can only be saved by making a vow or “decision” to follow Jesus. Their appeal is to the will of man, which they say is absolutely necessary for salvation. Such Christians are all children of Hagar, the bondwoman, laboring to fulfill the vows in order to be saved. When they sin, the “fall from grace.” When they repent, they are again eligible to enter the pearly gates. They go to church and “get saved” every week, year after year, because every time they sin or fall short in any way, they think that their sin proves they are not really saved yet.

This is the bondage of Hagar and her son, the old Jerusalem. This is the nature of the Old Covenant. This is the natural result of salvation by the will of man and by human performance. Pentecost teaches that man must be born again by the will of the flesh, even as Ishmael was birthed through a fleshly, natural process. But the New Covenant of Tabernacles teaches that man must be born again by the will of God, even as Sarah conceived in her old age when she was past childbearing, and as Mary conceived in her youth without having known any man. John 1:12, 13 says,

12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those that believe in His name, 13 who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

In other words, we are begotten of God by His will and decision, not by the will of man. The example is Jesus. Those who conceive “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27) are likewise with child by the will of God, not by the will of man. In other words, one cannot conceive the Manchild under the power of Pentecost, which is based upon man’s will, man’s vows, man’s decision to follow Christ. The Old Covenant cannot bring forth the perfection of Tabernacles.

It is a good thing to decide to follow Jesus and to be obedient to His law. This decision is the point where we bear witness to what God is doing in our lives (Rom. 8:16). It is our response to the will and work of God. It is the point where we become conscious that God has called us. There was a purpose for the Sinai covenant. That purpose was to teach us obedience and discipline, not to save us. We are saved by the unconditional covenant with Abraham, ratified by Jesus at the Cross.