Category Archives: Love

“GOD IS LOVE” PT 1 – TWO DIVINE LOVE EXPRESSIONS

(ver 1.1) This is Part 1 in a series of new Bible lessons on the most important subject found in the Bible. Many may try to say this must be about the subject of salvation. But without today’s main subject, salvation would not be possible. This Bible lesson as seen by the title, is about God’s KIND of LOVE. But that does not fully express the complete truth. God does not have love like many humans believe, because God is LOVE! Or we can also say, God is AGAPE using the Greek language. We understand that this Greek word is not the same as the English word definition of love. In the English dictionary the word “love” is mainly stated to be a “strong feeling of affection for someone”.  But there are 3 or 4 Greek words that relate to the subject of “love” types in the Bible and the English has only one primary word.  This makes it challenging to know what kind of love is being spoken of. I will let you know up front that none of the English dictionaries or definitions, come close to describing the God definition of LOVE. We will hopefully be able to learn this later in the series, God willing.

The God created law of “mathematical equality” (=) states that two objects, quantities or expressions declared to be equal, can be replaced or substituted one with the other legally, without any change in the final solution, outcome or end answer.  For example, in 1 John 4:8 God teaches us that if anyone on earth does not love another human or Christian, then they do not “know” God, because “God is Love”.  In this statement God uses the law of equality to exchange two expressions, while stating and proving the equality of the statement simultaneously. God declares the equality by saying “GOD = LOVE”. Then God applies the equality proof definition by stating, any human that does not love other Christians and humans, does not know Him.  God established this by saying, LOVE = GOD and GOD = LOVE and since GOD LOVES every HUMAN (Jn 3:16), a real Christians that say they know God, will do the same.

The Bible is an amazingly complex book. But God applies created laws, logic and rules defined in the Bible, so that we can learn what is permissible for a good understanding of His Word with the help of the Holy Spirit’s internal superior guidance and knowledge. I have learned that by using fundamental rules found in creation, Christians can begin to understand so much more about what He hid for us to know (1 Cor 2:7).

The Lord began to teach me this truth after reading Romans 1:20. In this verse God says very clearly that His amazing power and Godhead are clearly revealed in the things that He has created. He also says humans are without excuse for not knowing Him because of these created observable qualities and laws. I have learned that since “God is Love”, He would be unjust if everyone was not able to come to know Him, if they chose to seek Him. Therefore, God uses divine methods to hide Himself and His truth in the Word, but He also uses defined rules with the Holy Spirit’s help to allow us to find Him and know Him intimately and personally. This also applies for how we find all of His truth in His Word (Jn 16:13).

 What I suggest is that whenever we read the Bible and see the name “God” mentioned in the Old or New Covenants, replace it with the equal expression “LOVE” to see how it might add value to what God is saying or teaching. The same method is also possible whenever we see the word “LOVE” replace it with the equal “GOD” because God is love and love is God. Go back to 1 John 4:8 and do this.  “whoever does not God (love) his brother, does not know love (God)”. This may or may not make sense to you but it is very interesting and we can learn a lot if we can see how it applies.

In my example, God is simply saying, He will be in a Christian and because He is LOVE inside, the Christian will be able to LOVE everyone. In other words, if a Christian does not have love for their neighbor, they do not have “God” because God will always be LOVE on the inside available to shine on the outside. Later in the lesson series, we hopefully will apply this principle of equality to help us learn some other new concepts about GOD IS LOVE.  Please notice that whenever I use the word “LOVE” in all CAPS, I am speaking of GOD and vice versa.

#1 – INTRODUCTION TO TWO “GOD = LOVE” MANIFESTATIONS

Today the focus is LOVE = GOD and GOD = LOVE being expressed or manifested from a completely fresh perspective. This is one of the primary goals of today’s lesson. This lesson’s main subject on GOD IS LOVE will be an introduction and an overview of two Bible described expressions or manifestations of GOD and LOVE in saving humans from death. This first Bible lesson in the series on the subject of GOD IS LOVE is written to everyone that desires to know and experience God by learning about two of God’s extraordinary demonstrations of divine love. I believe it was given by the Lord to remind Christians that demonstrated LOVE is GOD and this LOVE when observed, expresses His fundamental appearance, essential nature, primary characteristic and His plan for every Christ follower that they also will be able to express His same LOVE to all others.

I believe God being love was the compelling reason for Him saving lost humans.  And this observable LOVE expression should be the compelling reason for a human’s desire to know and love God.  1 John 4:19, reveals that we love Him, only because He loved us first. Now ask some questions.  How and when was “GOD is LOVE” personally revealed to humans? Why doesn’t everyone want to receive Him, experience Him and know Him once He showed Himself to be LOVE for ALL? Hopefully we will learn more to help answer these important questions today.

Part of the answer is found in Genesis creation. Reading in Genesis 1, God challenges us to see that everything that He created in the world was declared to be “very good”. God supplied the created human male and female with everything they needed preloaded and available. All that was necessary to do was for humans, just to enjoy it. If they were hungry, they just went to a tree and picked some fruit and ate it. This is where we start to learn that God is good all the time and all the time God is good. It was only after Satan entered into the world and Adam’s sin, that evil came into the world to be a counter manifestation to LOVE’s initial exhibited creative God. We will learn more about Adam’s poor choice and God’s LOVE solution as we go today.

We have recently been through the season for the celebration of two similar Covenant expressions of divine LOVE. The first was the Jewish people going through Passover, a celebration of LOVE’s deliverance of one nation named Israel, saved and delivered from their captivity in another nation named Egypt. The second, was a Christian celebration that some call Easter (Acts 12:4 KJV), but I prefer to call the “Resurrection of Jesus Christ” celebration (1 Pet 3:21). This day was LOVE’s ultimate expression to deliver the people of every nation in the world from the bondage of Satan and eternal death.  Both were great displays of divine loving deliverance. The first being a natural physical salvation with great spiritual benefits to learn about LOVE and the last being primarily a the ultimate spiritual salvation with great natural benefits to know LOVE personally. Let us get into the introductory truths behind these two divine realities of divine manifested LOVE.

#2 – INTRODUCTION TO THE OLD COVENANT LAMB

Passover Lamb

One of the greatest of God’s Old Covenant divine LOVE displays (manifestations) was called “Passover”.  This event as we know, was the time of Israel’s deliverance and freedom from captivity and slavery within the ancient nation of Egypt. It began on the first month and the tenth day of the month (Exo 12:2-3). This event lasted for 7 days or 1 week (Exo 12:15, 19).  During this final tenth plague of Egypt, a lamb was selected by each family and for each house (Exo 12:3). The lamb (or goat kid, but we will focus on the lamb only in this lesson) was required to be a male less than 1 year old and be without any spot or blemish (Exo 12:5). The lamb will be kept in the house for four days and then will be killed (Exo 12:6).  The blood of the slain innocent lamb must be applied to the doorposts of every family’s house (Exo 12:7).  These were the basic protection directions given by God, being spoken through Moses to keep the “death” angel from killing the firstborn of their family (Exo 12:12). Learn from the principles of LOVE that could have been heard, followed and obeyed by everyone in Egypt and then learn from what actually happened:

  1. ANYBODY IN EGYPT COULD HAVE CHOSEN TO BELIEVE AND OBEY GOD
  2. ONLY A MINORITY PEOPLE LIVING IN EGYPT, NAMED ISRAEL CHOSE TO BELIEVE, OBEY GOD AND BE SAVED
  3. THEREFORE, EVERYONE IN EGYPT DID NOT BELIEVE AND OBEY GOD AND THE MAJORITY PERISHED

Moses spoke God’s instructions to the people and it can be implied that these words were available for “everyone” in Egypt to hear, follow and obey. This would include all of the Egyptians and all of the people of Israel. First this judgment only came upon the nation of Egypt because of Pharoah’s refusal to set the people of Israel free. If Pharaoh would have listened to God and obeyed the command, no plagues would have been necessary and no one would need to die. It was Pharaoh’s hard heartedness (Exo 8:15) and pride that caused Him to resist God.  This is why Pharoah represents a type of Satan and the nation of Egypt represents a type of the world.

I do not believe it would be possible for over a million people in Egypt to take lambs, kill them and put its blood on the outsides of their homes, in a hidden way where no one in Egypt would not have noticed it taking place.  Just the fact that there were lambs living in the houses of the people of Israel for 4 days alone had to be something that someone in Egypt would have taken notice of.  I believe someone in Egypt would have asked their slaves, what are you doing and why are you doing this?  This answered information would have certainly been spread to others in Egypt. Therefore, “anyone” in Egypt could have chosen to listen, believe and obey God and be saved from the coming death by ignoring Pharaoh. But during the first Passover as far as we know, only the people of Israel chose to hear, believe and obey God.

The Egyptian people represent a negative “whosoever” type of world unbelieving people that had the choice to hear the same words, believe and obey them. But they chose not to do it. They must have been focused on other priorities, idols and gods. Or they may have just been following the normal and the majority of the nation, bowing to leadership or peer pressures to conform and be accepted. Sounds a lot like what is happening in the world today. The nation of Israel represents a positive type of “whosoever” believing saved people with faith in the Word of God.  While Israelites were slaves under extreme evil oppression, pressure and influence, they chose to believe GOD, by taking an innocent lamb and obeying LOVE (Exo 12:28). This knowledge confirms the truth that life or death was a human choice that God sets before everyone (Deu 30:19).

It is very important to note the fact that Israel kept the lamb in their house for 4 days (Exo 12:3). We will talk about what this means more soon. But this gave the family, especially the children the time to fall in love with this cute, gentle and innocent lamb before it was killed. Imagine if God asked you to kill your cute little puppy you just got 4 days ago? This is what was happening in the home of the people of Israel in Egypt. Nevertheless, 1) this loved lamb had to be slain, 2) the blood of the lamb had to be applied to the exterior door supports to be seen by the death angel and the world, 3) the lamb’s body had to be roasted in fire and 4) then it had to be completely eaten by everyone in the house.  Seriously, think about what was happening!  Could you do this today to your loved puppy? 

It was necessary for the people of Israel to possess a greater fear of God and the warning of death in the family, than to allow their emotional attachment to temporary things of this world to guide or overrule their decisions. They could have let their emotional attachment to a loved little lamb take preference over the command of God. People always have the freewill right to choose. God will never force salvation or deliverance upon anyone. I believe that God wanted people to see that He knew best and they did not.  And if they did not obey Him, they would have to face the consequences of losing someone of greater value, that may have had a longer and closer relationship to them, someone that they loved significantly more than an innocent lamb. God clearly says in Hebrew 11:26-28 that Moses made these choices correctly.

Egypt did not have this fear and respect for LOVE and they soon regretted their choices. But Israel believed in their hearts the words of LOVE and activated an externally displayed faith in God’s Word. These faith actions could be seen by the unbelieving Egyptians and were definitely ignored. I believe the Egyptians must have thought these people of Israel were very foolish and crazy people. But the believer’s obedience to obey and apply the lamb’s blood to their doorposts saved them and the unbelievers’ firstborn died.  Who looked foolish the next morning?  Who was weeping for the loss of their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters after the sun came up?  Who had to plan funerals for their family members?  It was not the million+ believers who obeyed God. Therefore, we can see how by their own choices and decisions, not everyone was saved.

It was this kind of faith, belief and obedience that saved and delivered the entire family behind the bloody door. They were blessed by LOVE, removed from not experiencing the pain and sorrow of the physical death of the firstborn (Exo 12:12).  This natural salvation from a physical death through believing the Word of God and in the power of a natural sinless lamb’s blood was a designed pattern used by LOVE to reveal a much greater expression and celebration to come.  This greater display of LOVE would occur when Jesus died to save and deliver all of humanity.

We will soon learn that GOD/LOVE became a human child born in Bethlehem (Mat 2:6). This manifested LOVE grew to become a man named Jesus of Nazareth (Mat 21:11). LOVE came into the world to be God’s Lamb to save anyone that believed in Him (John 1:29).  Jesus’ Hebrew name Yeshua, came from the Hebrew word H3091 and it is defined by Strong’s as “Jehovah Saved”. Jehovah is the Hebrew word H3068 and is one of the primary O.T. names for God. Jehovah is the recorded name of God seen speaking to Moses in Exodus 12.  We can clearly see the message being given to us, by analyzing just the names of God that are chosen by LOVE.  Jehovah (LOVE) in heaven becomes a Son name Jehovah Saved (Yeshua) in the flesh. Therefore, Jesus was His Father’s Heavenly LOVE in physical manifestation on the earth (John 1:1-14).

Jesus was slain so that humans could be saved from their slavery and captivity within the kingdom of Satan also known as the kingdom of darkness (Col 1:13). We will find that all of the Old Covenant Passover displays of LOVE demonstrate types, shadows, patterns and outlined forms of infinitely greater displays of God’s love, mercy and grace in the New Covenant (Heb 10:1).  We will learn that Egypt was a type of the world.  Pharaoh was a type of Satan the ruler of the world. The people of Egypt are type of the unbelieving people in the world. The people of Israel were a type of the saved believing Church. Moses the deliverer of Israel was a type of Jesus the spiritual deliverer of all humans. The slain lamb also represents Jesus. The number of days has a symbolic meaning and on and on.  Next, let us go through the introduction to the New Covenant Lamb to learn more about this amazing divine greater expression of LOVE.

#3 – INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW COVENANT LAMB

Behold the Lamb of God

It was potentially 1500 to 1600 years after Israel’s first LOVE Passover deliverance from Egypt that Jesus the Christ was led into Jerusalem on the 10th of Nissan. This occurred during Israel’s annual Passover feast celebration. This day was the normal God chosen time for Passover lamb selection. God’s Lamb would need to be inspected and observed for at least 4 days by the people of Israel and this is why He entered Jerusalem on this day.

I believe this timing was an amazing event that was prophesied by GOD through the captive people of Israel in Egypt when they selected and carried their young natural lamb into their houses for four days. The four days of observation and inspection was specifically designed by God in Exodus 12 to teach us multiple parallels of coming truths. 

I would like to shift into a brief explanation for why God could have chosen 4 days of the lamb being in the house for inspection. Four days was a very specific God choice of words based upon what we learn from reading in 2 Peter 3:8. In this verse God declares His definition for a spiritual day. This verse is not applicable to every reference to a day in the Bible. But it does apply to many prophetical predictions of future events. In this verse God says 1 day is a thousand years and 1000 years is 1 day.  This is another example of mathematical equality in the eyes of God. If a lamb is housed for 4 days what is that teaching us?  What happened potentially 4000 years before this Passover with Jesus riding into Jerusalem? 

Every word selection in the Bible is purposefully chosen by extreme intelligent design. This proves the Bible could have only been written by God. Anyone can find this intelligent design with diligent search, study and the help of the Holy Spirit. This is why I love God and His Word. There is no other book in existence that even compares to the Bible. What am I saying?  I claim the entire Bible is about Jesus from cover to cover.  It begins with Jesus and it ends with Jesus. This is why Jesus claims to be the beginning and the ending in Revelation 1:8. Since we all should believe this, we should be able to find Jesus in every book, chapter, verse, word and even letter (Hebrew alef to tav, to Greek alpha to omega). So, let’s ask the question again?  What happened 4000 years before Jesus?

I believe Adam was created 4000 years before Jesus. It was Adam’s rebellion and death penalty that caused the death of every human descendant (1 Cor 15:22). Also, Romans 5;14 teaches us that Adam was a “figure” of Christ to come. What does this mean? The Greek word G5179 translated as “figure” means a model or a pattern. This means Adam was not Christ, but he displayed qualities, features, characteristics, signals and activities that reveal what Christ would be and do. In other words, Adam was like a natural stone statue without life. Yet looking at the statue’s appearance we can get a picture of what Christ would be like in the future.

We can observe the shadow of an object and understand it is not the real object, yet we can still learn a lot by studying and analyzing the shadow to learn about the real. This is God’s intention for the Adam to Jesus reality also. This typology is exemplified in 1 Corinthians 15:45 where God says the first Adam was made a living soul and Christ the Last Adam came as quickening Spirit. In this verse Christ is called the “Last Adam” and the Genesis 1-4 Adam the first Adam. Clearly the first of the two Adam’s was a lesser example of the greater final Adam to come.

Knowing this revealed information from the New Testament, we can now see a lot about Christ from learning what God wrote about Adam. In fact we can begin to see the outline of the divine plan of LOVE to save mankind by what is written that happened to Adam. I will provide a short list of some of these patterns and parallels of truth:

ADAM JESUS
Gen 2:7 God formed man (Adam’s body) from the dust of the earth.Heb 10:5 Wherefore when he (Jesus) cometh into the world…, a body has thou prepared for him.
Gen 2:8 God planted a garden eastward in Eden and there He put Adam who He formed.John 18:1-2 Jesus went forth to a garden where he went many times to pray and speak with His Father.
Gen 2:15 And the Lord God put the man into the garden to work and keep it.John 5:36 Jesus said “the works that my Father has given me to finish, bear witness that the Father has sent me”. Mat 13:37 He that soweth the good seed (works in the garden) is the Son of Adam (Man, Jesus)
Gen 2:16-17 And the Lord God commanded the man not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.Mat 5:17 Think not that I came to destroy the law (God commands), but to fulfil. (Where Adam failed Jesus succeeds).
Gen 2:18 The Lord God said “it is not good for man to be alone”.John 12:24 Unless a corn of wheat (Jesus) falls into the ground and die, He abides alone…
Gen 2:20 and Adam gave names to the beasts of the field
Gen 2:23 Adam said she shall be called woman because she was taken from Adam. Gen 3:20 Adam called his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
Mat 16:18 Jesus said “thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build by church (bride). Gal 4:19 little children, whom I travail in birth until Christ be formed in you… Rev 2:17 Jesus gives a new name to overcomers in the church
Gen 2:20 …but a suitable wife was not found for Adam (the 1st bridegroom)Mat 9:15 … the day will come when the bridegroom (last Adam) will be taken away …
Gen 2:21 The Lord God caused Adam to fall into deep sleep…John 19:30 Jesus said it is finished and gave up the ghost (died, aka slept).
Gen 2:21 …and took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh…John 19:34 one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side and there came out blood and water.
Gen 2:22 and with the rib taken from the man, made him a woman (wife) God brought her unto the man after he was awaken…John 20:20 Jesus showed unto them his hands and his side (rib) and they were glad when they saw the LORD. Eph 5:26 Church bride was made clean by the water of the Word. 1 Jn 1:7 The blood of Christ purified the church from all sins.
Gen 2:23 Adam said “this is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh…”Eph 5:30 For we (the Church Bride) are members of His (Jesus) body, His flesh and His bones
Gen 2:24 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall be one flesh (body).Eph 5:31-32 for this reason shall a man be joined to his wife and become one flesh. This is a great mystery but I speak of Christ (Last Adam) and the church.
1 Cor 6:17 He that is joined to the LORD is one Spirit.
Gen 3:22-23 The Lord drove Adam from the garden to prevent him from eating from the tree of life also.Rev 2:7 Whoever overcomes I (Jesus) will give to eat of the tree of life (where first Adam failed, Jesus the Last Adam succeeds)

These revelations are truly amazing. The parallels between the God relationship with the first Adam who failed to God’s relationship with the Last Adam who succeeds, are astonishing.  God laid out the outlined plan of victory for Jesus the Last Adam, from his birth, to His sacrificial death, including His plan to take His bride out of His side and His plan to give us all life using the words describing Adam in Genesis 2. The word selections and descriptions were specially designed to convey two amazing truths simultaneously. Genesis 2 is an accurate description of the creation details within Genesis 1, as well as being the prophesied spiritual descriptions of what the Last Adam would accomplish and correct. This is what I call “hiding the truth in plain sight”. None of this was unplanned, coincidental, spontaneous, or just came to be by accident. This is confirmation that God’s Word contains vast intelligent design, beyond the human ability to create it in isolation without divine inspiration. Think about what is being said.  Then realize it was said by 4 or 5 different writers over a period of 2000 years.  Wow, thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

What we have found are two Adams. I believe the first Adam was a similar age when created, as Jesus the last Adam was, when He started His ministry.  I believe Jesus read the prophet Moses and knew exactly why He was born to give His life, and to pay for the first Adam’s original sin. Jesus being our Passover lamb was God’s solution for the original “law of sin and death” (Gen 2:17).

Jesus died in our place and implemented a new law called the “law of spirit and life” in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:2). In the Last Adam we have been set free from the first Adam’s sin penalty. I’ll stop this part of our learning from Genesis, by saying, there were two lambs and now we see clearly why there were two Adams. The first Adam and the first lamb were natural and died a physical death.  The Last Adam and the Last Lamb named Jesus was killed physically, but arose from the dead to spiritually give us eternal life.  We have just observed a great potential reason why there were 4 days of the lamb being taken into the house at Passover.

To briefly confirm this pattern, we can also learn from Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus purposefully waited where he was and did not go to where Lazarus was buried until after he was dead for 4 days. Ok, why was there a 4 day delay? Then see the parallel to why God waited 4000 years before coming into the world in the flesh. Everyone at Lazarus’ tomb said, he stinks when Jesus said to roll away the stone. I sincerely believe this was a plan to show how God after 4000 years came into the world to raise from the dead, all of us sin stinking humans.

Now consider the Genesis 22 story of Abraham being told to sacrifice Isaac. I believe this is another example of the type of Passover Lamb and 4 days of time passing delay. Abraham was told by God to go and sacrifice his only son (type of Jesus) in a place where God would show him. Abraham traveled 3 days before God showed him the mountain from a distance, but it was still very far to travel to get there.  We can logically assume that it took at least another day for Abraham and Isaac to get to the mountain with Isaac carrying the wood (type of cross), climb it and to build the altar. This would make the time passing to be 4 days. Then notice that God stops Abraham and provides a ram, to be a substitute for the sacrifice of Isaac.  The ram is the father of a lamb and this was a symbolic reference for God coming to the earth personally to die for all sin. Most Bible scholars believe the mountain selected by God was the exact mountain that Jesus would be crucified on.

After completing the sacrifice, Isaac is not mentioned for a time. And Abraham is immediately, focused on getting Isaac a bride that he has never seen before.  All of this is a symbolic representation of God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit’s work in the Son’s bride the church.  That is a lot to consider and think about. But we will now talk more about just the two LOVE covenants and the two selected lambs.

For Jesus to be selected as the Lamb, He needed to fulfill prophecy by entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey (Mat 21:9) with shouts of “hosanna” from the people. This was prophesied in Genesis 49:11 and Zechariah 9:9. Zechariah 9:9 prophesied that the people of Israel would be shouting and rejoicing at His arrival. The people of Israel in Jesus’ day must have truly loved their LAMB of God riding into their city this day. This must have been similar to the pattern of the families of Israel in Egypt, when they received the little innocent lamb into the house. Can you imagine the excitement of all of the young children in the Passover home in Egypt? The first day the lamb came inside to live had to be so thrilling. They must have been so happy to have this cute little new lamb in their house and they were probably shouting with joy.

In Matthew 21 Jesus was criticized by the Jewish leaders about these people’s joyous reactions and Jesus quoted Psalm 8:2 back to them saying “Out of the mouths of young children and nursing babies, God has perfected praise”. Jesus was claiming this was just how normal children at the Passover were supposed to act when their innocent Lamb first comes into their house. Reading the passages about Jesus’ days before His crucifixion Jesus was seen in the temple every day to teach the people. This was a parallel to the Exodus 12 account of the lamb being in their house for four days to be observed.

Reading in Luke 19:45-46 we read about one day in the temple where Jesus overturns the tables of the money changers and drives them out with a whip. It is amazing that Jesus quotes Isaiah 56:7 about this being God’s house and it should be a house of prayer and not a den of thieves (Jer 7:11).  Wow, this is directly related to what was happening in the Passover homes of Exodus 12. Israelites were supposed to remove all of the leaven from their houses during Passover.  Leaven represents sin and wrong Satanic doctrines from the Word of God.  We also know Satan is referred to as a thief in John 10:10. So we see the parallels to God’s temple house having become a type of Satan’s house that needed serious clearing. We can clearly see how the first and only begotten Son of the Father in Heaven came to clean His Father’s house. Wow, we could spend books writing about all of the things God is saying here.

But after four days of cleaning the fathers house with righteous teachings and driving out sinful thieves, the Jewish leaders could not take anymore.  Jesus was put on trial and like a lamb taken to slaughter, He kept silent (Isa 53:7). However, it is very important to notice that the man holding the trial named Pilate, said to everyone “I find no fault” in Him (Jn 18:32). Nothing was found in Jesus for Him to be worthy of this death.  However, this truth made Him worthy in the eyes of God to pay for Adam’s sin that fell upon all the descendants of Adam.  Wow, thank you Jesus.

Jesus was slain outside of the gates of Jerusalem as a lamb prepared for slaughter (Acts 8:32) and His blood would be poured out on a wooden cross as an outward display of LOVE for the whole world to observe. This could not have been a very happy time for God’s future family and children during this Passover. The once beloved Lamb was being killed and its blood being shed. Can you imagine the dramatic shift in emotions being experienced by these children? They go from joy to sadness eating their pet? 

There are many N.T. Jesus’ blood and LOVE parallels found in types recorded in the O.T. Passover lamb’s blood on the doorposts and they are all extraordinary.  I will not list them all today:

1.) Two Lambs Born for the Ultimate Purpose to Die

a. The Jewish Passover lamb was specifically selected for the ultimate purpose to shed its blood, die and experience death for the people in the house (Exo 12:3, 6).

b. Jesus (God come down from heaven) was also born in this natural world specifically for the ultimate purpose to shed His blood, die and to experience death for everyone (Mar 8:31, Heb 2:14).

2.) Two Lambs Selected

a. In Exodus 12:3 God instructs each house to select a lamb.
b. In Matthew 12:18 Matthew quotes from Isaiah saying “Behold my servant I have chosen, my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased…”. God was specifically confirming His selected LAMB. John the Baptist was also selected by God to introduce His selected LAMB to Israel. John confirmed Jesus was the Lamb in John 1:33-34.

3.) Two Lambs Spotless w/o Blemish

a. The lamb of Passover in Egypt had to be without observable physical blemishes, spots or imperfections (Exo 12:5).
b. In John 1:29, Jesus is seen by John the Baptist and John calls Him “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world”. Clearly this is a confirmation to Jesus being God’s selected New Covenant Lamb. This was prophesied in Isaiah 53:7. Jesus was the far superior pattern of the O.T. Passover lamb. God’s New Covenant Lamb also had to be spotless and without the blemish of sin, defect or imperfection (Heb 4:15, 1 Pet 1:19).

4.) Two Substitutionary Deaths

a. Because a natural lamb in Egypt died for every house that believed, the firstborn human’s death in the family was exchanged for the prearranged judgment and death of the innocent lamb (Exo 12:21, 23). This was a clear expression of LOVE, used as a “substitution” of one death for potentially many lives.  This occurred when the innocent little lamb died to satisfy the penalty to save the life of the firstborn human(s) within the household. God’s righteous justice system demanded that He treat everyone equally without favoritism or partiality, bias or prejudice. God must kill every firstborn from every family, both in Israel and Egypt in order to satisfy and be impartial to everyone. If God would have only killed the firstborn in Egypt, God would have violated His own nature of impartiality to save everyone in the coming New Covenant (Acts 10:34). But God offers a solution to the death sentence for everyone, called “substitution”. This free offer of mercy is obtainable by anyone, but only became effective to the someone that would believe Him. The people of Israel chose to believe and obey God who would save them from His firstborn death requirement. Because Israel accepted His substitute by faith, they exchanged the life of one innocent lamb that did not deserve this death, and their firstborn(s) in the house lived.  Wow! Now think about the Egyptians that did NOT believe and obey. Their first-born children were slain and the living became separated from their firstborn(s). They would suddenly not be able to see them alive again after that night.
b. Because the Lamb of God died on a cross every human that believes in Him obtains eternal life (1 Pet 3:18, Jn 3:16) and escapes eternal death (Mk 16:16).  Everyone that does not believe in Jesus will die and be forever separated apart from God’s family (Jn 3:36).  Jesus Christ’s death on a cross was another clear expression of a substitutionary LOVE exchange.  This trade consisted of the death of one Lamb (Jesus), in exchange for saving the lives of many people that believe (2 Cor 5:21). Thank you, Jesus.

5.) Two Doors of Salvation 

a. The children of Israel had to enter into the door of the house and remain behind the blood which was outside on the doorposts in order to be saved (Exo 12:22).
b. In John 10:7 Jesus claims to be the door of the sheep in the New Covenant.  God’s sheep aka His people have to enter into Jesus the doorway to see the Father God (Jn 14:6) in heaven to be saved. It was Jesus’ blood being poured out from His torn flesh that opened the only possible way to be saved (Heb 10:19-20). It was this shedding of blood and tearing of His flesh being hung on wooden posts of the cross that parallels the Passover precisely.

6.) Two Doors Hung by Nails

a. Doors in the O.T. houses were naturally hung on wooden doorposts using nails (1 Chr 22:3). This is a prophetical picture of the future coming Christ door for eternal salvation.
b. Jesus our New Covenant door (Jn 10:7) and described torn veil of entrance into God’s Holy of Holies for salvation was naturally crucified by Romans using nails to hang Him on wooden posts (Mk 15:25, Jn 20:25).

7.) Two Sets of Posts Covered with Blood

a. The O.T. slain lamb’s blood was placed on the wooden doorposts holding the door of the house of the family desiring salvation and deliverance during Passover in Egypt (Exo 12:7, 22)
b. Jesus the Spiritual Lamb poured out His blood on wooden posts outside the gates of the city (Heb 13:12) of Jerusalem making peace between all humans and God (Col 1:20).

8.) One God, Freeing Two Nations of Israel, from Two Captivities, in Two Egypts, using Two Bloods

a. God spoke to Moses to deliver the nation of Israel from their bondage of slavery in Egypt (Exo 3:7). God used the blood of a natural lamb to save all Israelites from natural death. The freed natural people of Israel were declared to be God’s natural nation of priests and to be His holy nation in Exodus 19:6. This was a natural nation named Israel being freed from a natural nation named Egypt. By God using the blood of a natural lamb to save them from a natural death.
b. Notice that Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified is called spiritual Egypt in Revelation 11:8. This is not a coincidence. Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus being slain outside of Spiritual Egypt, a new spiritually free people from every nation held captive in the world (Jn 8:36) becomes God’s New Covenant holy nation with a new royal priesthood of people (1 Peter 2:9). These people are called Christians (Acts 11:26) and have been set free by Jesus from their spiritual bondage in the kingdom of Satan (Col 1:13). Christians are also labeled “the Israel of GOD” in Galatians 6:16. That is not a coincidence either. Through the shed blood of Jesus on a wooden cross Christians have been delivered from an eternal death. Praise the Lord.

9.) Two Applications of Blood using Two Applicators

a. The blood of the slain lamb in Egypt at the first Passover was applied to the doorposts using hyssop (Exo 12:22). Hyssop represents the applicator for the activation of the power of the blood to save. If the blood had not been applied as directed by God there would have been death in the house. In other words, without the head of the house obeying and placing the blood on the post using the hyssop, the firstborn would have not been saved. This natural hyssop applicator is a symbolic reference to a spiritual blood applicator needed in the New Covenant.
b. During this crucifixion event, Jesus said, “I thirst” (Jn 19:28) and was given vinegar to drink while hanging on the cross (Lk 23:36). This fulfilled a prophecy found in Psalm 69:21. The Roman soldiers used an applicator of hyssop to reach the mouth of Jesus (John 19:29). Jesus tasted the vinegar offered and did not drink it (Mat 27:34). God makes a new connection of the O.T. applicator of blood by placing it in the mouth and tongue of our Christ.  I believe God was teaching us that this is how Christians must apply and activate the power of the blood of Jesus in the New Covenant. Revelation 12:11 teaches us that Christians overcome Satan by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.  Therefore, Christians must apply the blood of Jesus by faith to be saved from the kingdom of Satan.  Christians are saved by hearing and believing the Word of God about Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection and by confessing Jesus as Lord we are saved (Rom 10:9-10).  The hyssop represents the tongue in the New Covenant and by a Christian speaking with this applicator about the Blood of Jesus they overcome every enemy.

10.) Two Lambs that loved their Family to the End

a. If you have never seen how lambs act around children and their shepherd owners, please go and watch some videos.  There are countless numbers of videos showing frolicking, leaping, and excited lambs that come immediately when called by the people that take care of them and feed them. It is so very close to how a dog reacts to their owners and family. The unconditional love that a natural lamb displays was clearly a God created pattern for the coming Jesus.  A lamb loves their family even when they are being killed by them (Isa 53:7). We get this picture of love and loyalty by reading Psalm 23. The LORD is my shepherd and I shall not want…
b. John 13:1  Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. Notice what LOVE says about Himself. The LAMB of GOD knew He was about to give His life and He continued to love everyone that GOD had given to Him. It is truly an amazing parallel.

11.) Two Lambs going through Flames of Fire.

a. The natural O.T. lamb was killed and its flesh had to be roasted completely in fire (Exo 12:9). After roasting the entire lamb’s flesh, it had to be completely consumed and eaten by the saved family.
b. The body of the Lamb of God was killed and the Spirit of the Lamb (Jesus) went to hell (Mat 12:40) a place of flame (Luk 16:24). Believers in Christ must now eat the body and drink the blood of the Lamb of God to receive eternal spiritual life (Jn 6:54-56). Like Psalm 34:8 where God says “taste and see the Lord is good”, Jesus was speaking metaphorically about Christians consuming the Word of God.

12.) Two Rising New Sun Lights and 2 New Days of WALKING Out to Freedom

a. The children of Israel left the house after the sun was risen in the morning and they exited Egypt with great wealth and health (Exo 12:34-41).
b. Jesus is called the Sun of Righteousness rising with healing in His wings in Malachi 4:2 and He is called the Day Star that rises in people’s heart in 2 Peter 1:19. After the resurrection of Jesus, the Spirit of Jesus arose from hell and went to the grave to get His body.  People receive Him now to arise in the hearts of those that believe in Him. Then we continue to walk by faith (2 Cor 5:7) and to be led step by step by the Holy Spirit.

13.) Two Kinds of Darkness during Two Times of Death

a. All the people of Israel remained naturally safe while remaining behind the blood. Both peace and safety from natural death were available as long as they were in the house eating the lamb.  But outside the house there was the darkness of night and the presence of death. The blood caused death to pass over them and it only fell on everyone without the blood in the land Egypt (Exo 12:22). The Israelites were saved from a physical death by the blood of one lamb on their house doorposts.
b. Jesus hanging nailed to the cross from the third to the ninth hour bleeding.  At the sixth hour darkness covered the land of Israel and His death to save all humans, came during the cover of darkness before the ninth hour (Mat 27:45-50, Mark 15:33-39). But Jesus’ bloody and painful death saves every human that believes in Him the experience of spiritual death which is a separation eternally from God in hell.

That was just a short list of comparisons between two amazingly similar parallel events that occurred in the past 4000 years of human history. Every human was destined for hell because of the sin of just one man named Adam 6000 years ago (1 Cor 15:22).  But, now because of Jesus’ death 2000 years ago, “whosoever” believes in this one-time LAMB substitution sacrifice offered by God will be spiritually saved from spiritual eternal death (1 Cor 15:22, Jn 3:16). The Passover was a supernatural salvation from a natural death. But the supernatural salvation implemented in Jesus is a far superior Covenant with greater promises (Heb 8:6).

The Old Covenant first Passover clearly corresponds as a representative shadowed patterned event for God’s saving Jesus LAMB sacrifice. The original first Passover has significant natural pointers by God’s intelligent design, showing us the way to the greater New Covenant. By, seeing the lamb in the Passover as being an expression of God’s love for natural life and believing that this represents the coming Jesus sacrifice for eternal life, it will help us individually to receive the free gift that was offered to everyone in the world. By having faith in Jesus and His shed blood, we become a wise and positive example of a God kind of “whosoever”.

Remember what John 3:16 says? This is where Jesus declared “For God (LOVE) so loved the world (Everyone) that He gave His only begotten Son (the LAMB), that WHOSOEVER (Anyone) believes (the individual Someone who chooses to have faith) in Him (the LAMB) will not perish but have eternal life (will be saved from spiritual death)”.  Israel enjoyed a physical life free gift and any Christ believer receives the divine free gift of spiritual life for an eternity to know Him.  These were just some of the New Covenant parallels found in the Jewish Passover. But the comparisons are truly amazing.

CONCLUSION

I hope and pray that you enjoyed the lesson today and learned a little more about the God who is LOVE and how He LOVED us. Let us review the main concept that GOD IS LOVE and LOVE has provided us a door to enter Salvation to know His LOVE:

  • ANY HUMAN IS ABLE TO BELIEVE IN GOD’S LOVE SACRIFICE
  • SOME HUMANS WILL CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IN THE MANIFESTATION OF LOVE THROUGH JESUS THE LAMB OF GOD & BE SAVED
  • EVERY HUMAN WILL NOT BELIEVE AND THOSE THAT DO NOT WILL BE ETERNALLY LOST

We should know like in Egypt at Passover, not every human in the world will choose to believe and place their faith in Jesus (the Lamb of God) and His shed Blood. God gives us this warning in the Passover story and Jesus confirmed this in Matthew 7:13-14.  In 1 Corinthians 1:18 God says that for everyone that perishes (who chooses to not believe), the cross is foolishness to them.  However, this saving faith in God’s willing sacrifice is totally available to the entire world and can save any human that wants to embrace the LOVE made available by entering Jesus. Like Israel in Egypt the people of the world will probably call believers in Christ ignorant fools. To be called a fool by the people in the world is normal, but this ridicule should not be placed in high regard as being important enough to cause us to not apply the blood and miss out on God’s gift of free saving life.  What is lost here in this world is far outweighed by what is gained in eternity knowing LOVE (Heb 11:25, 1 Cor 2:9)

Only the wise “whosoever” that believes, will be saved from an eternal experience of spiritual death (an eternal separation from God) and damnation in hell (Mk 16:16, 2 Th 2:12). This personal sacrifice given to humans by God’s Lamb named Jesus was the most expressed radical example of divine LOVE that has ever taken place and can be witnessed, heard or experienced by any human.  “All” that choose to receive this free gift will be grateful to Jesus for shedding His blood forever.  I know I will be, please join me. Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with Agapegeek.com.  God willing this lesson series will be continued.

Lessons of Love and Forgiveness from a Testimony

(Ver 1.1) Today I believe that I am led to share a testimony from a friend.  I personally believe the Bible very strongly.  I believe the Bible is the inspired spoken word of an Almighty God that has been written down by human men for our spiritual benefit to learn and grow from it.  God’s word says in Ecclesiastes 1:9 that there is nothing new under the sun.  This verse informs me very clearly that history repeats itself.  What has been will be again.  And this lesson also teaches us that if we do not learn what has happened to others we can very easily fall into the same trap of Satan our self.  I believe that any one of us should say “if not for the grace of God there go I” when reading about what others have done or not done.  I ask you to read this testimony with an open mind but also with a heart of love, mercy and forgiveness.  I know there will be some that will feel superior and self-righteous while reading this like the Pharisee in Luke 18:11 that prayed and said “I thank you God that I am not as other men” and named sins that others were guilty of like a true hypocrite would.  However, this self-righteous Pharisee was condemned by Jesus for his attitude and his words and I believe that it would be very wise for us all to not to choose to do the same.  Please allow me to give you the foundational Bible verse for this short lesson:

2Co 2:10  To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; 

2Co 2:11  Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

 

In verse 11 is found the primary focused warning written to Christians concerning for us to not be ignorant of Satan’s traps, plans and pursuits. But, the context of this statement is clearly about our forgiveness and more specifically about us forgiving other men for what they have done.  According to the inspired word of God in Mark 11:25, if we do not forgive what others have done, God will not forgive us either of our sins.  I believe this teaches us that there is a divine spiritual law of reciprocal activity. I believe that how we treat others will be how God will treat us and this is His divine reciprocal choice. Therefore, if we forgive others we will be forgiven and if we do not forgive others we are in serious trouble. Please learn to forgive others, it is an absolute necessity.

Before we read the testimony I would like us to learn another very important truth from this verse 11.  This verse plainly states that if we do not forgive others it will open the door for our enemy Satan to come in and attack us.  This truth is very similar to what occurred in the life of Job but Job’s sin was different than what is being spoken of here in Verse 11.  Here in verse 11 God informs us that Satan is able to take advantage over any Christian if we allow Him to do so by our wrong actions of implied un-forgiveness.   Perhaps soon the Lord will lead me to write a more complete Study on the subject of how we open the door for the enemy but that is really not the main subject today.

Let’s read the testimony and learn what the enemy did to one of our dear brothers in Christ.  Try to think about what is said from his perspective and not your own personal viewpoint like a Pharisee.

 

LOST & FOUND

 

This is my testimony:

“I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch, like me.

Through many dangers toils and snares, I have already come.

How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.”

(lyrics, from the song, Amazing Grace)

 

In the safe recesses of my memory is that time so many years ago cuddling on my mother’s lap while she read to me the classic children story, “The Little Engine that Could,” by Watty Piper. I would have her read it every night if my way prevailed, and sometimes mom would read it two times in one sitting: “Again, again,” my young voice pled.  It was such a monumental struggle for that little engine to pull those cars full of toys up that mountain for delivery to the children on the other side. That captivating thought flooded my mind: “I think I can, I think I can.”  Despite its size, the little engine triumphantly pulls the train up that mountain. Would it? Could it? The image was real and I sensed even then that life at times could be a challenge and a true struggle.  As a mere child of four, I began to grasp this lesson that life may at times be a struggle reaching the other side to that place of joy and victory.

Two decades later, in my early twenties, I found myself singing in a Christian band. Often we sang this somewhat country classic, “Life is Like a Mountain Railway.” In this song the lyrics warn, “…we must make the run successful from the cradle to the grave.  Watch the curves that fill the tunnel, never falter never fail; keep your hands upon the throttle and your eyes upon the rail. Blessed Savior there to guide us, Till we reach that blissful shore, And the angels there to join us, In God’s grace…, forevermore…” I see a thread and theme from early life. Many years from those moments that single message of struggle I have surely known. Yet, the Savior of my soul has never left or forsaken me, though at times I had strayed, wandered, and taken my eyes off the rails, He has always kept His eyes upon me.

I learned early the fallacy of believing that once you confess Jesus as your personal Lord, and personally accept His sacrificial crucifixion, that life will be an effortless and pain-free endeavor. No, it has not been that. I learned a phrase when acquiring my pilot license. This phrase was a seasoned pilot’s definition of flying: “Flying,” he said, “are hours of boredom, broken up by moments of sheer terror!” Christian life might be like that too.

Another analogy which helps explains how I experience life as a Christian is to recall the two years spent in a war zone. A variation to the old pilots’ thoughts was an enemy strategy of deliberately leading us into a state of lethargy. Days would go by, weeks, and maybe a month and his presence seemed to vanish. There would be little or no confrontations. The enemy would lay low, hide, retreat, allowing the thought to develop in us that he was either beaten or uninterested. Slipping into relative peacefulness you never saw hell dropping on top of you. In the middle of a fitful sleep, the sky would explode with light and fire, concussions of rockets knocking you from your bunk. Noises of confusion as people ran yelling orders, weapons rattling as everyone scrambled for orientation, the smell of sulfurs and fears all combined in that dark. For days following such attacks, we would again become hyper vigilant to movement, sounds, and imaginations. You had to realize that the enemy was unpredictable and ruthless. No matter the seeming peaceful state you enjoyed, in a war zone you had to always remain prepared.

Clearly, a harsh reality was to know that though many people loved you at home, there were well-armed people very close by who hated you for simply being you. This was a hard concept to embrace emotionally – that another living person actually would kill you without any regret or regard. Over the two years in that place I had to be reminded on many occasions this was a war zone and blood could be spilt at any moment. Today I am reminded that Christians may struggle with the idea someone hates them and labors to harm them. We mostly tend to see ourselves as lovable, kind, sensitive, and peaceable; why would anyone hate you or desire your ruin?

I became a Christian one year after I was discharge from the U.S. Army. Although I’d never known the true Gospel or the acceptance of Jesus’ personal gift to me, memories of childhood are full of a consciousness of God’s existence and even His presence. I believed in God, I simply didn’t know His Word or just how deep and profound was my need for His righteousness and acceptance. By His plan I was led to hear the Gospel of Jesus preached, and my heart opened to ‘hear’ the Truth. With a faith, only gained as a gift, I was willing and able to call out and ask for forgiveness and acceptance, embracing Jesus’ sacrifice and the provision of His eternal life indwelling me daily. At twenty-one, my feet and heart were set on a new course. The Word of God was coming alive in me, a passion and gratefulness washed over me. I was free from guilt, free from wandering in the darkness of life and given a purpose and qualification to pursue my Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus, with the help and power of the Holy Spirit. I began to run.

After becoming ‘saved’ my resume,’ so to speak, began to grow and included a number of wonderful activities and accomplishments. I’d become the president of the Christian Fellowship in college, and the co-founder of a contemporary Christian band and theatrical ministry travelling much of New England proclaiming the good news on college campuses, coffee houses, park concerts and churches. Out of that ministry came a radio ministry which I hosted for five years. Eventually I was trained and prepared to launch out on a new church ministry. The church began with approximately twelve dedicated people as we began ministering in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Over the following fifteen years our family at home increased, and the church too grew in new members and growing outreaches. In some ways it all seemed quite successful, with lots of effective outreaches, joys, and progress – perhaps as men judge progress. Though it was understood struggles could and did come, most things were manageable and the enemy seemed at bay and easily contained. In hindsight, and with further spiritual growth, I think too much of our methods for handling conflict were undertaken in fleshly and carnal ways, depending on our human capabilities and gifting. I had thought I was prepared and equipped for a prosperous Christian life and ministry, I don’t believe I ever would have imagined the viciousness and true spiritual battles yet to be faced in life. Though I’d studied ‘spiritual warfare’ through reading books, hearing sermons, and of course studying the Bible, the battles to come would compound beyond my imagination.

Certainly in those years simple and relatively ineffective skirmishes had to be faced. However, the first and most devastating battle and conflict came when my wife and I endured the still birth of our full term baby son, Jedidiah. The agony of losing him was unimaginable. The enemy made a move, he had a foothold. Between guilt, anger, uncertainty, hurt, loss, and unending questions living in my mind, this attack wounded deeply. In further hindsight, it was a harbinger of intense battles yet to be waged.

The toll of poor choices, such as putting other interests before our marital union, including but not limited to inattention, alienation of affections, over commitments to many so-called important activities, including ‘Christian work,’ led to the degeneration and finally dissolution of marriage. While the marriage was failing the church suffered greatly. Eventually, as people began to leave, the ministry came to a close. Not only had the battle raged externally, the inward condition was too troubled to continue reaching out to others. This seemed total devastation, and life began a further downward spiral. I sincerely began to doubt if “I could.” One might wonder if the battles were over.

No, it was far from over. Doubts flooded my soul; how could God let these things happen? How far away from God’s will had I been? Could I ever really hear God’s will and know how to follow? Had I been so unfaithful God simply did not desire my fellowship any longer? I was in a wilderness, it was hard to hear, hard to feel, sometimes hard to care. I questioned my prayer, honestly thinking perhaps I had committed an unpardonable sin (I realize today how this sounds, yet then it was overwhelming). Feeling and believing myself unworthy, with a strong sense of failure, satan was relentless. He knew I was one struggling to stay off the mat, like a fighter pummeled. Perhaps I was heading for the final knock-out. Surely it appeared faith to believe God loved me was being knocked out of me under a relentless flurry of strikes. Not only was I not able to love myself, surely God no longer cared either. Satanic influence was overwhelming. A sad consequence was running from God’s Word. What I began to see in Scripture was condemnation and judgment of so many failures. My mind was being blinded, my eyes shutting under the force of so many punches.

My behaviors reflected this loss. I became reclusive. I was afraid to speak the truth – even to myself. Little did I know, but an incident which occurred a year after the marriage ended, would soon be used as a complete knock-out punch. Not only had I been rejected by a wife, I surely must be rejected by God. Desperate for companionship and acceptance I was now susceptible to even more poor choices. What began as an innocent moment of consolation with a vulnerable woman, lapsed into inappropriate intimacy. This was but a momentary mutual action, and one which did not consummate in other than brief petting, however, it would be more than enough for Satan to throw the haymaker and accuse me of behavior which never took place. Seven years later the story had escalated and false accusations were brought against me. I was accused and convicted of an indecent assault.

The day I heard the judge pronounce a prison sentence, I certainly knew my life was finally and perhaps mercifully over. I was so alone and afraid. Clearly God must now despise me. I must have been cast out. I had some defect which I may have been unaware and which meant God could not love me. Did I bring this on myself? Nothing was clear. Would clarity ever come to me?

Within the first twenty-four hours of prison, perhaps that which I feared most seemed to face me. I was being confronted by a large African man in a prison cell block, accompanied by a Spanish speaking Porte Rican. The previous twenty-four hours found me plunging into a deep abyss of darkness, fear, anxiety, and despair believing that I would never know God’s love or care again. This seemed the ultimate abandonment, the bottom, a profound loss of hope and self abhorrence; it was a dreadful aloneness. What would become of me? What would my grandchildren think? What about my children, how could they manage this horror?

And there he was, towering over me, a huge man, speaking to me in such a thick African accent I could barely understand. His question, “Are you okay?” “Are you okay?” over and over he asked. He was blocking me and I couldn’t see anything but this giant and threatening looking man. Finally I said, “No, I am not okay!” And then as he looked at me, with what I now know were deeply compassionate eyes, the most amazing sounds came from him. He began to minister wonderful, loving words to me, expressing that God knows where I am, and that He is here with me, that He has never left me or forsaken me. He began to share that through all of this, God had a big plan for me, and He was going to use this to shape me anew….

And then his voice seemed to slip away and I no longer actually heard his continued speaking or the terrible sounds of the cell block. Rather, I seemed to leave that cell block and went someplace in my spirit that was quite, safe and peaceful. There I faced the Holy Spirit One on one. Though my questions were not directly addressed, I knew He was aware, and what He did was fill me with peace, with confidence, and with the assurance of His love and clearly His acceptance and compassionate comfort. Though I realized the answers I needed so desperately wouldn’t happen then, I knew an assurance of His control coming alive in me again. I actually knew the reality was that “all things work together for those who love Him…” Though burdened with guilt, doubts, and a sense of abandonment, and feeling profoundly lost during this season of battle, I now knew He was not going to let me go! I knew more and more would be revealed as I trusted in Him once again, fully and without apprehension or insecurity.

The suffering did not end completely that night, but the awareness I was really no longer in chains, no longer a prisoner to what I could only imagine to be failure, guilt, shame, and to letting my Lord down, began to flood my life, and has continued to this very day. And then, as if awakening from a dream, the awareness of my terrible surroundings came in to focus again and I spoke once more to this man, his name I learned was Adam. I simply said, “I am okay now!” Though still facing many unknowns, there was within a new courage, a sure hope and that certain assurance He was with me through it all.

Is it biblical as a Christian to be touched a second time, a third time, again and again? This is a question you may ask yourself. When we speak of salvation is it a one-time event, or is this an ongoing saving? Though I’ve walked through a deep and dark valley, I have found the battle is won and our Lord’s grace is sufficient for me. What I have found is that “Greater is He which is in me than he that is in the world.” What I have found is that “What (satan) intends for evil, God intends for good.” What I have found is that “When I am truly weak, He is truly strong.” What I have found is that when others forsake and bare false witness, with harsh judgment, He embraces and accepts and walks with you. What I have found is that He has a balm of healing and restoration in which He brings double, triple, and unknown levels of restoration, hope, confidence and love. All of these testify that when He saves you it is an everlasting salvation and one which Satan cannot snatch, though he may expend wicked energies and efforts to destroy us at any opportunity.

I have found we really do live in a world of spiritual battles, and unless we stand prepared to engage, with God’s Word, with unwavering faith and without doubt, anyone can stumble, anyone can fall. And there are many biblical warnings that we should never stand proud in ourselves believing we could never fall or let the Lord down. I have found the evil one is paying close attention and he is crouched at the door. But, I have found that though a child of God fall, our Father will not walk past and look elsewhere. He will stoop to our lowest place and with the heart of the Good Samaritan, He will bind our wounds, He will bring us to a safe place, and He will pay whatever the price to see we are rewarded our place with Him in His everlasting Kingdom of love and peace.   And finally, for now, I have found that the Callings of God are without repentance (without a change of His heart), and that “what He began in us He is faithful to bring to pass.”

 

CONCLUSION

We all have failed and come short of the Glory of God. If you have never failed then you are free to cast the first stone at my friend. But for me I will not be picking up any stones. Love will always restore a brother and help a brother that is turned around and is making the effort to do what is right. There was only one sinless man on the earth and His name was Jesus Christ. He did not come into the world to condemn the world and this was the main lesson from John 8:11 and John 3:17.

Gal 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

We could spend days on this verse alone. We all too often look at another man’s faults while ignoring our own.  The problem with this verse is that it is extremely conditional.  Only a few people that I have seen in my life qualify to ever be called truly “spiritual”.  It would take me more time to explain this truth than I also have today.  I will simply inform you that I do not yet feel that I qualify to be at this level of this category.  I am human as well as my friend.  I have made mistakes and have been in the flesh sometime too often.  It is my heart’s desire to become more spiritual and I pray that it will be yours as well.

My main point from Galatians 6:1 is that we should be on a pathway that helps to restore people back into the fellowship with Christ. If anyone that calls themselves a Christian and is not trying to build up a brother that has fallen then I believe that they are either extremely carnal Christians or I doubt seriously that they are a Christian at all.

I would like to end this mini lesson with the warning that is given to us in Galatians 6:1. Here we find a similar bit of wise counsel that we read first in 2 Corinthians 2:11.  Remember when Paul said Satan could get an advantage over us?  That is the similar advice being transferred to us in this statement “lest we also be tempted”.  The implied words not being directly related to us is that if we don’t forgive someone for what they have done and then pursue (make an effort) to restore them back to the LORD, we our self could be carried away by the same trap of deception.  I find that very powerful and more than just a suggestion to follow after.

I pray that this testimony has been an encouragement to someone.  Perhaps you have fallen in a similar way.  It is not too late for you to turn your life around as my friend did.

If you have a comment about this lesson, you are free to share it. However, if you are going to be mean spirited and unforgiving, I will warn you that I will probably not publish your comment.  Also, if you have a good testimony like my friend about how God has worked and changed you, I would love for you to share that.

My friend that wrote his testimony is doing well.  God has helped him tremendously and blessed him. He reads his Bible, and studies it.  He goes to church.  He prays for me and others.  He has been a great encouragement to me.  I believe that the Spirit of God led my new friend to contact me and get to know me.  I am very happy to call him my friend and I praise God for a new brother in Christ that I will hopefully meet here or in heaven soon.

Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with me on this website. I am always amazed at the love and grace of God that permits me to do this for Him.   May God bless you and keep you.