Before the Throne of God Above

Before the Throne of God Above
words by: Charitie L. Bancroft, 1863
tune by: Vikki Cook, 1997 (?)
listen to the tune here at Sovereign Grace Music

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!

The Day of Atonement is Here! pt.2

These are lyrics from Salvation Plan, from Hazakim’s “Theophanies”. The first half is by Hazakim. This is the second half, written by Stephen the Levite. Here is the link to listen to the song. Here’s a performance video. The teaching at the beginning and end of the song is Dr. Michael Brown.

———————————————————————————————
The Day of Atonement is here! We’re at the top of Golgotha watchin’ the slaughter
as God the Father is offered a spotless Lamb on a cross bruh
The Eternal Word tabernaclin’ wit’ us
stricken, smitten and afflicted for all the sin we commited

Before the beginning, the Lord decreed the ordinance
that these horrible sins would be borne by Him who’s born innocent
so a picture is painted for us in scripture
through rituals we get visual hints of what He was sent for

Consider Him in His intercession for sinners
it’s more than similar, it is an intentional fulfillment of
the High Priest the Mediator between the
Deity and the dirty who need and plead to be cleaned up

so baptism is happenin’ at the Laver
a symbolism of cleansin’ and being buried and raised up
This is identification with the Savior
and after justification we enter the Holy Place bruh

Now behold the glow of the golden Menorah
it’s the Messiah, the Light of the world in all He is Lord of
Peep the table and see the body that’s broken
the blood of the New Covenant it’s the wine and the shewbread

The prayers of the saints are offered up with the incense
since the veil has been ripped, through His body we have an “En:trance”
call it the mercy seat we call it the Throne of Grace
the presence of the King of Kings in the Most Holy Place

The Day of Atonement is Here!

“Rachel” is a woman I have known for at least 10 years. I first met her at the store when our children were little. Every few years I bump into her on shopping trips. Well currently our sons are on the same soccer team, and we see each other every week. The Lord is letting me know that it is past time to witness to her.

I struggle with witnessing to “peers”, friends or even those “acquaintance” friends I see only once in a while. It is fear of man, fear of being labeled and rejected. It is easier to witness to strangers than to those with whom you have a relationship. Even so, I seek out and desire relationships with these that the Lord puts on my heart. He gives me a love for them and a great desire for them to know, follow and worship Him. I feel this way about “Rachel”.

Today at the soccer game, we were talking about our children’s schooling, and then our conversation moved to the topic of her education in Israel and her memories of learning a little bit of Bible in school. Pretty soon we were discussing God’s revelation of Himself as recorded in the Tanakh, particularly the physical manifestations of God to Abraham and Jacob, and the words of the prophet Isaiah. I was very nervous (and felt quite inadequate as usual) as she said she has decided to go on without God, and make personal happiness and goodness her life philosophy. I listened to her talk about all the reasons she has decided to be basically a secular Humanist, including abuse from her ‘religious’ family, the death of a close relative in the 1967 war, the manmade religion of the ultra-Orthodox, (chickens?) and frustration with war and death between Jews and Muslims in her homeland. These things caused her much pain and confusion. She decided to make life about finding personal happiness.

Resisting the temptation to be too fearful to speak, I offered, with as much compassion as I could express to her, that though these experiences are painful, the issue is not one of temporary personal happiness, but one of righteousness before God. I asked her about the whole sacrificial system in the Tanakh: what was the purpose of it? What was God showing the people? Did it not have some very important meaning that God was communicating- over and over again? I brought up how it is almost Yom Kippur. We talked about that for a while; how the Bible teaches that sin makes us unrighteous before the holy God, how the sacrifice and the blood of the innocent lamb showed need for covering for sin. We talked about how it was presented by the High Priest to God at the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies. She pondered these things.

She knows in Whom I believe. She may already know what I’m getting at, and yet, she may not. I hope this is the first of our conversations on this topic. As we were leaving she excused herself from all she heard: “Well, everyone chooses their own way to believe; whatever makes them happy.” But she knows these things we spoke of are in the scriptures. I pray she will come to believe on the One who fulfilled and accomplished God’s salvation plan.

God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished… Rom.3:2

Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the things pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. Hebrews 2:17



Celebrate Ramadan

So what are you doing for Ramadan this year? The Jewish high holidays are also right around the corner. These holidays make for wonderful conversation opportunities. There are people from the Middle East all around you, and they have not yet heard the Good News. God has brought them here –to you–so they could hear the Truth of Jesus and join the redeemed sons and daughters of the LORD.

If you pray and ask Him, He will give you opportunities. He will also give you courage.

The Lord has filled you with His Spirit and has sent you to bring the Gospel to those who are brokenhearted over their sin. He has sent you to declare freedom and forgiveness to those held captive by the devil to do his will. He has sent you to those who are prisoners of sin, spiritual blindness and spiritual death; to proclaim Jesus: the salvation of the LORD.

Ramadan_Post_PhotoThe Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD. Isaiah 61:1-2

Related post: Mosque.  See also: Contextualization.



One Ordinary Believer

The kids and I just watched 70X7, the documentary of Robert Carillo, a man whose life was turned around when he came to faith in the Lord. He went from an angry, hopeless drug user with a criminal record, to a forgiven, forgiving, hopeful, grateful man with the love of Christ controlling him. He started reaching out to hurting, needy people with physical help and the gospel. He ended up filling his own home, and then a friend’s, with dozens of homeless people. These people were fed, ministered to practically, taught God’s Word, and lovingly discipled for many years. Robert did this ministry out of his own home (and his friend’s). He became a pastor, and eventually his ministry ended up reaching thousands.

And it all started when God the Holy Spirit, led one ordinary believer to witness to Robert one day, and he obeyed.

“So You Believe in Sin, Right?”

Saturday I did some gardening, potted flowers, sold hot dogs and icees at the Little League “snack shack”, washed my car and did some shopping errands. After the sun went down I went for a little walk in the neighborhood to see if I could meet more neighbors (we have a big neighborhood) and sow some gospel seeds.

As I was walking down my street approaching my home on the way back, I met one of my “few doors down” neighbors. I’ll call him “Peter”. He is one who has been laughing, scoffing and mocking at me (for my faith) for 10 years.

So we are chatting on the sidewalk, and all of a sudden he says, “So you believe in sin, right?” I told him yes I do, and he starts telling me how concerned he is because he has sinned and he knows it, and he knows that judgment is what comes after we die. He was telling me he’s scared because he has done some “pretty bad things” and is not sure if there is any hope for him now.

For the first time ever, he was open to really hearing and wanting to understand the gospel. He had questions about sin, judgment, condemnation, confession, repentance, faith, grace, and how we can be right with God. He asked if a person can be forgiven even if they have broken all the commandments, how it is possible that Jesus makes us forgiven before God, works vs. faith, etc. He asked me if I have broken the commandments and I told him, yes all of them, and I explained the “heart” issues behind the moral Law. I gave him the example of how hating someone in selfish anger is like murder, in your heart. He wanted to know about willful lifestyle sin that you love, (in Christ we must now “Go and sin no more”) vs. sin that you don’t want to commit but do and hate (in Christ we are assured of forgiveness in 1 John 1:9). He wanted to know how Jesus makes us right when we stand before God.

I shared my Roman Catholic testimony with him; how I did every religious tradition to try to earn God’s favor. This really resonated with him because he was an “altar boy” back in his youth (in the 50’s?) and also tried to get to God through Catholic Church tradition. I told him how God sent me the bible and how He revealed Himself to me in the words of the gospel. I gave Peter a gospel CD, told him to listen to it, and invited him to gracentruth.wordpress.com where he could read the bible, and articles about how God made a way for us to have all our sins forgiven forever through Jesus.

Witnessing to Jews

When witnessing to Jewish people, I’ll go over the moral Law and speak of the holiness, righteousness and justice (and judgment) of God as well as the mercy and salvation of God, all from Old Testament passages. I’ll share some Messianic passages in the Old Testament, especially from Psalms and Isaiah. I just share the passages and ask the person to consider Who the passage is really talking about. I’ll go ahead and tell them that Yeshua is the One who has fulfilled all these prophecies. Aside from proclaiming God’s Word, I think that love, compassion and prayer for God’s mercy is most important.

Here is some instruction from John Piper on witnessing to Jewish people.

You could also read parts of their scriptures that talk about the need for forgiveness and the fact that a Messiah is coming who will bear the sins of his people, and see if they would be open to that interpretation. Then talk about the gospel in relationship to those prophesies.

Stress over and over again that when we meet God he is going to be absolutely righteous and absolutely just, and our good deeds will never suffice to save us from judgment: “If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared” (Psalm 130:3-4).

Then ask them, “What is that forgiveness based on? Why would there have been a whole series of animal sacrifices if no sacrifice were necessary for the forgiveness of sins. And if sacrifice is necessary for the forgiveness of sins, whose sacrifice can cover all of my sins?”

Answer: “Christ bore our sins in his body on the cross that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24).

So just tell the story over and over again, as often as they’ll listen.

Should you stop sharing the Scriptures if it offends them?

Absolutely not. If they say, “Be quiet and don’t talk to me anymore,” then you should probably stop talking to them. But if they are just offended then you should keep on seeking to speak with them in a way that would be least offensive. You would not do that by changing the content of your message but by having a demeanor that communicates as much love as possible.

Some people think that we don’t need to evangelize Jews because they will still be saved by the old covenant. Is that true?

No. The notion that we don’t need to evangelize Jews because there remain two distinct covenants—a Jewish covenant and a Christian covenant—is simply unbiblical. The New Testament pictures the old covenant as coming to its climax and consummation in Jesus Christ.

Read the whole interview here at Desiring God.