Sunday April 8th 2012
1). Ge 3:14 ? So the LORD God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."
a). In the 3rd Chapter of the first Book of the Bible, Genesis, the book of beginnings, we are given the promise of the Seed of the Woman who will bruise the head of Satan ? a direct reference to the removal of Satan?s crown and thereby his removal from his governmental position.
b). And then implied in the overthrow of Satan and explicitly demonstrated in the actions of Adam in eating the fruit for the sake of his wife is the provision of redemption not only for Adam and the Woman but also for all those who would afterwards be born dead in trespasses and sins in the likeness of fallen Adam - Ge 5:3 And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.
c). If we would go on a few more verses in Chapter 3 we find ?
Ge 3:21 ? Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
d). And in this verse we see that the promise of redemption through the Seed of the Woman must also involve death and shed blood, as pictured in the ?tunics of skin? that the Lord provided ? also in this picture we would see that future day when the Man and the Woman, Christ and His Bride, will together be clothed in the covering of glory lost at the fall.
e). Then as we see the sacrifice of animals in Genesis 3:21 we will remember that this is a detail that provides commentary on another detail of the redemptive process that we saw in Genesis Chapter 1 - Ge 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 ? Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
f). And in - Ge 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
And this is a verse which again provides more information for us on that which we saw in Genesis Chapter 1.
2). If we then move on to Genesis Chapter 4 we will remember that we have seen in past weeks the killing of Abel by his brother Cain - Ge 4:8 ? Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
a). And we had noted that this event pictured for us the nation of Israel, pictured in Cain, slaying the nation?s brother, Christ, pictured in Abel.
b). This event then adds more detail for us with regards to the redemptive process and the One who will be the Redeemer.
c). If we move on once again to - Ge 22:7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" 8 And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went together. 9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 ? But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am." 12 And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." 13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
d). Here we find even more detail given to us in the only son, whom Abraham loved, being offered as a sacrifice on one of the mountains that God would show him in the land of Moriah.
e). Then within the overall picture of the sacrifice of Isaac is presented a number of significant details ? it is Isaac who carries the wood for the sacrifice picturing Christ carrying His cross; we see Isaac going willingly to the altar and being bound firmly to it, just as the Lord went willingly to the cross and was attached firmly to it. We also see the ram caught in the thicket picturing Christ wearing the crown of thorns and introducing the idea of a substitutionary death.
f). And in the staying of Abraham?s hand the promise of resurrection for the only begotten Son, something confirmed in scripture?s own commentary
on these events - Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
18 of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
g). A promise of resurrection that was implicitly promised from the beginning - Ge 2:21 ? And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.
22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
3). Putting all these together then we get a pretty good idea of both the way and means of redemption ? The Spirit of God will impart spiritual life to the one who is born dead in trespasses and sins based on faith in God?s provision for sin through the death and shed blood of the One who is both the only begotten Son and also a brother.
a). And as we remember this let?s please also not lose sight of the fact that God?s plan of redemption is set in place for a specific purpose ? a purpose that is first introduced in - Ge 1:26 ? Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
The very same purpose that we saw promised in our opening scripture this morning - He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.
b). And that all of this is to be placed within the foundational framework of 6 days of work followed by the 7th day of rest as set out at the beginning of scripture.
c). We really must see our Lord?s death on the cross and our own eternal redemption within this context. Christ went to the cross for the purpose of accomplishing incredible events beyond the cross, events that have their completion in the 7th Day - It is just as the scriptures say - Heb 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
d). These are events that will transpire based upon His resurrection ?
1Pe 1:3 ? Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and
undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
e). We are and yet will be eternally grateful for the cross of Christ and no words can describe the enormity of what was accomplished there and the cross is the place at which our pilgrim journey has to begin, all by the grace of God, but the cross can no longer be our focus, nor can we return there ? our sins are now dealt with by our High Priest in the Heavenly Tabernacle, not at the cross and our focus is the Kingdom which is to come yet future.
f). And this does not in any way detract from our gratitude for the Lord?s death, nor the intensity of the grief we experience as we remember His suffering ? it?s just a question of perspective.
g). A perspective we find given by Peter in - Ac 2:29 "Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 "Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 "he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32 "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 "Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. 34 "For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, 35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."' 36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
4). So with a view to perspective let?s move on to another part of the picture concerning redemption recorded for us in - Ex 12:3 "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: 'On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 4 'And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man's need you shall make your count for the lamb. 5 'Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 'Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it
at twilight. 7 'And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.
a). We are of course looking at the night of Passover preceding Israel?s exodus from Egypt with the nation appropriating and applying the blood of the slain lambs before their deliverance.
b). And although there is a powerful secondary interpretation here of our own appropriation of Christ?s blood prior to our deliverance from the present world system under Satan at the point of our eternal salvation, the primary interpretation here concerns Israel.
5). The Book of Exodus is a prophetic Book that deals with exactly the same subject that is pictured for us in the events surrounding the flood of Noah and that which we studied in the Book of Esther, also pictured in the experience of Jonah; events that picture for us the future experience of Israel as they pass through the Great Tribulation to the new beginning of the Millennial Kingdom in the 7th Day at the head of the nations.
a). Ex 1:8 ? Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, "Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; 10 "come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land." 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. 13 So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. 14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage-in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor.
b). The ?new king over Egypt? should be understood as a different type of king, in other words not an Egyptian, but an Assyrian, picturing for us the last ?king over Egypt?, another ?Assyrian? ? Antichrist.
c). The burdens, the affliction, the bitter, hard bondage and their service with rigor, all speak of the nation?s persecution during the final years of the Tribulation when they will be scattered throughout the Gentile nations as slaves and killed almost to the point of extermination.
d). And just as in Noah and his family passed through the flood in the ark, so will a portion of the nation of Israel be supernaturally protected through the time of the greatest persecution - Re 12:6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days??14 But the woman
was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
e). The 1260 days and the time and times and half a time all speak of the same thing, the final 3 ? years of the Great Tribulation.
f). At the appointed time however, pictured in the cessation of the flood and the night of Exodus, Christ will return overthrow Gentile world power, pictured in the destruction of Egypt in the Red Sea, and a re-gathered Israel will return to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ? just 3 of the OT saints who will be resurrected to return to the land with them.
g). However, just as with the night of the exodus, Israel?s return to the land in that future day must be preceded by appropriating the blood of the Passover Lamb. And that which we see in the Book of Exodus was always pointing to that Day yet future when God?s plans and purposes would be accomplished according to the unalterable pattern that He has set in place from the beginning - Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,' 11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it. 12 "Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness: 13 I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory.
6). Now because of the unalterable pattern of 6000 years followed by a 7th 1000 years and that which God has set out within this timeframe, pictured at the beginning of Hebrews Chapter 11 in Abel, Enoch, Noah and Abraham, we would realize that there are as yet unfulfilled events that must take place before Israel can be re-gathered to the land, not the least of which is their appropriation of the blood of the slain Passover Lamb which must precede it all.
a). And this slaying of the Lamb before Israel experiences the ?time of Jacob?s trouble? with a view to their deliverance is laid out for us in the prophecy given to Daniel ? Da 9:24 "Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. 25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build
Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."
b). Our verses here set within history and prophecy events as they must relate to the nation of Israel.
c). Without going into too much detail we see in history the ?69 weeks? that are given to the nation from the going forth of the decree to restore and build Jerusalem to the cutting off of Messiah ? the slaying of the Passover Lamb ? a period of time - To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.
d). And then in prophecy the ?70th week? ? the last 7 years of the previous dispensation, that which we know as the Great Tribulation, when ?the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary? ? Antichrist ? in the middle of the week ? after times, time and half a time ? 1260 days.
e). According to the scripture - ?The end of it shall be with a flood? taking us to the imagery from the days of Noah which picture the destruction of Gentile world power.
f). There is no gap seen here in Daniel between the 69th and 70th week ? a gap of 2000 years for the dispensation of the church, because firstly this prophecy relates to Israel alone and secondly because from God?s perspective when He resumes His dealings with Israel in the final 7 years, He will begin from the very point where He left off, Israel having just slain the Passover Lamb.
7). With all this in view with respect to the future fulfillment of God?s plans and purposes He gave to Israel 7 festivals that prophetically picture the ultimate conclusion for the nation both as an encouragement, a spiritual teaching and a guarantee of the future.
a). As we have already noted the first festival is that of Passover ? foreshadowing the national conversion of the nation when Israel appropriates
the blood of the Lamb that the nation slew 2000 years ago when Messiah was cut off ? all in accordance with that which we read earlier from Exodus Chapter 12:5-6 ? Christ entered Jerusalem on the 10th day of the month, was kept ?in the house? for 4 days and was examined continually during this time to show that He was without spot or blemish. He was then killed in the 14th day of the month at twilight ? in accordance with the scriptures.
b). The next festival is that of ?Unleavened Bread? foreshadowing the time when the Jews come into a realization of their sins ? their harlotry amongst the nations as well as their defilement through their contact with the dead body of their Messiah [Nu 19:11 ? 'He who touches the dead body of anyone shall be unclean seven days. 12 'He shall purify himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not be clean.] And then put these sins out of the house, the house of Israel. [These sins being done away with during the 6th festival the Day of Atonement]
c). Then comes ?First Fruits? which foreshadows the resurrection of the OT saints who died in faith ? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David ? to name but a few. The dead will be raised and return with the living exactly as is pictured in - Ex 13:19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had placed the children of Israel under solemn oath, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here with you."
Jesus Himself of course, being raised in the 3rd day is the first fruit of the first fruits ? both Jews and Christians.
d). Following ?First Fruits? comes ?Pentecost? ? foreshadowing the pouring out of God?s Spirit ?on all flesh? ? the Jewish people alone; just as we see beginning on the Day of Pentecost following the Lord?s resurrection, the beginning of the fulfillment of Joel?s prophecy - Ac 2:15 "For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 "But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.
e). The fifth festival is ?Trumpets? ? this foreshadows the re-gathering of Israel from amongst the nations, just as we see in - Mt 24:29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man
coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 "And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
f). The sixth festival is that of ?The Day of Atonement?, which foreshadows the sins previously identified in the picture of ?Unleavened Bread? being permanently removed so as to produce a cleansed people who can now enter the Land and receive their inheritance.
g). And finally we have ?Tabernacles? which foreshadows a re-gathered and cleansed nation with an inheritance in the 7th Day restored to the Land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with God Himself in their midst ?
Eze 37:23 "They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 24 "David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. 25 "Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children's children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. 26 "Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 "My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 28 "The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore."'"
h). However before we reach Tabernacles Israel must pass through a time of horror such as the world has never known in order to bring them to the place where they will appropriate the blood of the slain Passover Lamb, the blood of the risen Lord and Christ ? the One whose death and resurrection we remember today within the context of God?s plan and purpose.
8). Mr 16:1 ? Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?" 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away--for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, "Do not be
alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 "But go, tell His disciples--and Peter--that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."
a). The Passover Lamb has been slain and His blood waits to be appropriated.
b). Christ is raised from the dead and seated at the Father?s right hand.
c). The Bride is being built in preparation for the wedding supper.
d). Israel is soon to go through the darkest hours of their turbulent history.
e). All things march inexorably towards the fulfillment of God?s plans and purposes.
f). The night is far spent and the Day is at hand ? the glory of the Lord shall soon fill the earth as His Kingdom comes.
g). And in that Day - Isa 35:1 ? The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; 2 It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, Even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, The excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, The excellency of our God. 3 Strengthen the weak hands, And make firm the feeble knees. 4 Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you." 5 ? Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert.
h). Song 2:10 My beloved spoke, and said to me: "Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away. 11 For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. 12 The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land. 13 The fig tree puts forth her green figs, And the vines with the tender grapes Give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away!