The Blood of the Lamb

God will strike”Egypt” again! The next time, it will be the entire world. At midnight, the judgment of death will pass over all, yet we shall be unhurt. We are safe under the blood of the Lamb. The blood has been applied to the doorposts of our heart; it has been applied to our forehead and our hands. The blood of the Lamb redeems us and protects us from the wrath of God. Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! His blood was shed for us! Christ our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed. His blood is on us. We belong to Him; He owns us. We are marked by God!

And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt. from Ex.12:13

Audio: Hazakim holy hip hop: preaching the Passover Lamb!

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.



The Proud and the Humble, pt. deux

At the dog park this week there was another stark example of the proud and the humble. It was another one of those interactions which makes me seriously consider carrying around a small digital recorder so I can better remember the details of these conversations.

So I was talking with this man for quite a while on the subject of idolatry. He brought up the subject himself and was criticizing that segment of American society which worships sports as “god”. Agreeing with him, (that sports is an American idol) I used that as my opportunity to speak to him on the subject of spiritual things and decided to bring up all the other things people worship, and all the rest of the Law. But after identifying as a Humanist, he responded to God’s Word by declaring his good deeds and self-righteousness. He then went on a rage about how he should not have to thank God (if there was one) for anything; for “what has He done for me lately?” He accused God of being responsible for evil in the world, and accused Him of not doing right (or making this messed up world right). He praised the superiority and independence of Humanity, then lifted his fist high in the air, and shook his fist at God in defiance, loudly yelling his curses against God.

Towards the end, another man began listening and joined the conversation. He also witnessed to the Humanist. This man was a brother in Christ, and not only did he proclaim the truth that God is Creator, Judge and Savior, but he also, with great love and gentleness of spirit, declared his gratitude to God for salvation, and for His goodness, even through severe and painful life trials. This man publicly blessed the Lord with thanksgiving.

The thing I found so wonderfully amazing was that this brother that proclaimed his gratitude to God, did not begin hearing the conversation until after the first man completed his diatribe of hateful ingratitude against God. Thus they both demonstrated who they were before God: one demonstrating the text of Romans 1:18-25, and the other demonstrating every scripture about believers giving thanks to God for all His blessings, especially salvation of sinful men, by His grace.

Give thanks to Him; bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations. Ps.100:4-5.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (surpassing grace!) 2Cor.9:15.

Communicating the Gospel

I think this is my current favorite Paul Washer message about the Gospel. Right on and to the point regarding communicating the gospel. Really good stuff. Here’s a few quotes.

“There’s no such thing as a motivational speaker in Jesus name. Either be a preacher or be nothing.”

“Men are changed through the communication of truth- not methodologies.”

Audio: The Gospel of our Salvation, Page 3 from Journey into the Gospel.

“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.

Hear

On our way out of the children’s section of the library, our arms loaded down with books on China, my daughter and I stopped briefly at the “featured books” table to look at the display on Hanukkah. Only a few feet away, two men and a woman were sitting down and looking at a children’s book, speaking intently with each other. The book was open to a picture of what looked like Europe and all the lands surrounding the Mediterranean. It looked like a picture of the old Roman Empire. They were speaking in Spanish, and when I heard the words, “Rome…Jesus… Jewish”, I became interested! I decided to hang near them and just listen to their conversation a bit.

When they were done talking, they looked at me and I smiled, admitting that I was wondering what they were talking about, since I heard them say, ‘Jesus’. One of them said to me (in English)that they were discussing and wondering “who it was that killed Jesus”. I said that was a good question, and he said they did not know. He asked me if I knew! We all got to talk a long time. I explained the whats and whys about the Roman political leadership, and the Jewish religious leadership, but then said that the real story is that it was God’s plan all along; Jesus willingly laid His life down for us, to pay for sin. They never heard that before. We got into the character of God, man’s sin and why the sacrifice and offering of Jesus was necessary to make us right with God.

Listen. You may hear an opportunity to share the gospel with someone who has questions about Jesus.

Biblical Evangelism

Here is an article excerpt by Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel ministry.

Many Christians have substituted God’s blueprint for evangelism with methods of their own in order to fabricate a greater number of decisions. Instead of following the biblical model for evangelism, demonstrated by the early disciples who were trained by the Lord Jesus, the modern church has invented its own traditions. Rather than calling sinners to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, evangelicals are asking unbelievers to repeat a prayer, sign a card, raise their hand, come forward or “accept” (rather than trust) Jesus as their Savior. None of these modern traditions have any biblical foundation. Not only do they dishonor the Savior, but they often mislead souls into a false hope of salvation. No one has the right to lower God’s entrance requirements into His Kingdom. Unless we evangelize God’s way, we run the serious risk of deceiving people about their eternal destiny. True saving faith always involves repentance (Acts 20:21).

Biblical evangelism requires making disciples not decisions. This involves teaching people to observe all that Christ commanded (Mat. 28:18-20). His first command was to “Repent and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1:15). Repentance is a change in mind that is granted by God and leads to a knowledge of the truth. (2 Tim. 2:25). It results in turning from idols to God, from dead works to faith, from sin to righteousness and from the traditions of men to Christ and His Word (Acts 26:20; 2 Cor. 12:21; Col. 2:8; 1 Thes. 1:9; Heb. 6:1). The importance of calling sinners to repentance is also confirmed in the last command Jesus gave: “Repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations” (Luke 24:47). Remember, Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32). Those who respond to the Gospel with repentance and faith will depart from the kingdom of darkness and follow the Light of the world (John 8:12). They will gladly get off the broad road to destruction and enter the narrow way that leads to life everlasting (Mat.7:13-14).

Biblical evangelism also requires teaching people the attributes of God. The God who created us is also the One who will judge us. He is majestic in holiness (Exo.15:11). Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne and He will not let sin go unpunished (Psalm 97:2; Rom.6:23). He is sovereign, and everyone is accountable to Him (Dan. 4:35; Heb. 4:13). The Father demonstrates His love by sending His Son to die for His people (Rom. 5:8). God opposes the proud but extends His grace to the humble (Luke 18:14; Jas. 4:6). By His mercy He saves believers from the eternal lake of fire (Titus 3:5). Modern evangelism puts too much emphasis on God’s love and too little on His holiness and righteous justice. This is a stark contrast to first century evangelism where, in the Book of Acts, the word “love” is never even mentioned. Clearly, without a true and balanced knowledge of all God’s attributes, sinners will not know Whom they have offended. Nor will they know Who condemns them with eternal punishment or Whom they must call on to be saved. The world is perishing for a lack of the knowledge of God’s glorious attributes.

Article: Calling People to Repent and Believe the True Gospel, by Mike Gendron, Proclaiming the Gospel ministry newsletter, Oct-Dec. 2007.