Therefore, when Abraham came into Egypt, he selfishly became more afraid for the preservation of his own life than he was for Sarah's safety; and satan used Abraham's carnal, self-centered, man to lie and jeopardize "The Seed," for Sarah was placed in Pharaoh's harem. But remember, God is working all things after the counsel of His own Will; and in spite of the enemy using Abraham's flesh to thwart the purpose of God, God moved sovereignly to protect Sarah.
But satan does not give up easily; and when Abraham left Egypt, satan sent some of his own territory with Abraham - an "Egyptian" handmaid, named Hagar, accompanied them as they went up out of Egypt. The enemy must have suspected that Abraham's natural man would have a hard time waiting for God to complete His purpose. The enemy must have known, for he know our old man well, that both Abraham's and Sarah's natural reasoning, and their carnal fear and impatience of not having a seed, would be the ground the enemy needed to bring forth that which is born of the flesh.
The Word of God says that Abraham had been in the land of Canaan for 10 years, ten is the number of God's divine order. Thus, at this time, satan makes one of his most effectively moves to disrupt God's Divine order; the devil moves to bring forth that which is born of the flesh: "Ishmael." In the Book of Galatians, where the Holy Spirit reveals the true meaning behind Ishmael and Hagar, we believe that the Holy Spirit has Abraham in mind as He warns: "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption: but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap Life Everlasting," God produced in and through him and Sarah that which Abraham could not produce himself, and Isaac the child of promise was born. Furthermore, Galatians 3:16 tells us of the eternal results of Abraham's walk in the Spirit: "And to thy Seed, Which is Christ." Yes, he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting - shall from the Spirit, as the Source, reap the harvest of Life eternal.
But, before the son of the Spirit was born, Abraham soweth to the flesh. When Abraham sowed to the flesh, when he walked according to his natural man's reasonings and his carnal man's instinctive self-centeredness, Abraham reaped corruption: from his evil nature as a source, he reaped corruption, decay, ruin, and death. "And Abram (Abraham) called his son's name ... Ishmael." Genesis 16:12 says that Ishmael was a "wild man," the Hebrew Interlinear says that he was a "wild ass;" and this means that he could never be tamed. The nature of his natural and carnal man would never submit to the dealings of the Lord.
Ishmael, the son of the flesh, persecuted Isaac, the son of the Spirit; and this is the significance of our war with the Ishmaelites. Galatians 4:28 and 29 explains this for us?
"Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise, children born by the power from on High," (Luke 24:49). But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now."
Ishmael was born after the flesh, and he and his descendants, the Ishmaelites, have taken shrewd counsel against the hidden ones, those "born from above." And the Ishmaelities, who represent that which is of the natural and carnal man, that which is born of the flesh, persecute and pursue with malignity that which is born of the Spirit: the wild Ishmaelite, behind whom we find satan's inspiration, mocks, scorns makes sport of, and takes pleasure in the suffering of those born and sourced from the Holy Spirit. But take courage brethren, the destiny of the Ishmaelites is corruption and death. The destiny of those born of the Spirit is Life Everlasting.
This consideration of "the Ishmaelites," and what they represent, the works of the natural and carnal man, that which is born of the flesh, will not be complete unless we consider them in the light of Christ's triumph on and in and through the Cross. When Christ was on the Cross, He took upon Himself the old man, which is all that is in man that would never submit to the dealings of God. And when Christ died and was buried, this old man, this natural and carnal man, was buried with Him. And when Christ was resurrected, He left the old man buried in the grave. He left all that was natural and carnal in the realm of death. The old man, the Adamic man, was not resurrected with Christ. Only a new creation, only the new man in Christ Jesus came out of that realm of death into resurrected, everlasting Life (Col. 2:3). And in Ephesians, chapters one and two, we are told that all who were chosen in Christ, such as Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Paul, John and us, and all the redeemed were resurrected in and with Christ. All these came out of that grave a NEW CREATION! This is why the dealings of the Cross are so important in our lives, only the Cross defeats the old man, only the Cross mortifies the deeds of the flesh. Christ says: f you would be My disciple, deny yourself, deny the old man, deny the natural and carnal man, and take up your cross. "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God."
"And they overcame him"
(that old serpent, called the devil and satan)
"because of the Blood of the Lamb"
(because of all that Christ accomplished
on and in and through His Cross"
"and because of the Word of their testimony;
and they did not love their life (soul) even to death"
(they willingly submitted to the dealings of the
Cross until they died).
"He that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit
reap Life Everlasting."
(continued with # 4)