Category: Typology Study


THE PASSOVER

THE PASSOVER

By: Gary L. Rodgers

(Exodus 12)

** There is so much to write with regard to the Passover that I feel inadequate to properly cover this tremendous portion of scripture. I will give it my best attempt and pray that God will bless my efforts and keep me doctrinally in line with scripture and thought.                          Gary L. Rodgers

In the earlier chapters of Exodus we find:

  • Chapter one – The beloved people of God the Jews, are in Egypt where they are oppressed. Egypt in this sense is a figurative type for the world. God yearns to bring us out of the world by saving us and then sanctifying us, setting us apart from the world. We were once held in bondage in this world under the law. But thanks be to God that we were set free from the world and the condemnation of the law through Christ our Redeemer.
  • In Chapter two we find the birth of Moses. The meaning behind Moses name (drawn out) was given to him by Pharaoh’s daughter who raised him as her son and named him such because she drew him out of the water. (Exodus 2:10)
  • Exodus chapters two and three, we find that Moses eventually became a fugitive because he slew one of the Egyptians whom he found beating a Hebrew. Later Moses is drawn out or called of God to lead God’s people Israel out of Egypt.
  • In chapters five through eleven, Moses confronts Pharaoh and demands that Pharaoh let Israel go so that they may serve the Lord. But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and would not let the people go. So God passed judgment upon Pharaoh and all of Egypt with nine plagues and the tenth was about to be pronounced in chapter twelve.

This tenth plague would call upon the death angel to go through the land of Egypt and kill the first-born of both man and beast. The Jews were instructed by God to prepare the Passover and the Death Angel would pass over the house where the blood was applied to the door posts and lintel with hyssop.[1] In the tenth[2] day all of Israel was to take a lamb for a house. The lamb was to be without blemish, a male of the first year and they were to keep it until the fourteenth[3] day of the month. Jesus Christ our Passover Lamb knew no sin and was delivered up for the world as the payment for all of our sins.[4]

The entire Passover experience speaks of our deliverance from bondage to the world under the law[5] through our salvation in Christ. When the blood of the Passover Lamb was applied to the door posts and lintel it formed a cross to the entry of the home. In the same way when the blood of the true Passover Lamb Jesus Christ is applied to the door posts and lintel of our hearts through our accepting him as our Lord and Savior, the judgment of God will pass over us. By faith the children of Israel obeyed God and applied the blood as they were commanded to do. By faith they remained in their house under the protection of the blood. By God’s acceptance of the blood his judgment passed over the believer. This is a beautiful picture of our salvation through faith in Christ who met the requirement for the payment of sin through his shed blood so that we may become the children of God redeemed from the bondage of sin under the law. [6] In verse eight they were instructed to eat the flesh, unleavened bread and bitter herbs.[7]

TRADITIONAL JEWISH PASSOVER CUSTOM

The Jewish Passover or Pesach has some most interesting customs that I wish to note in the body of the study. An Internet link from “My Jewish Learning” is provided for those who wish to study this subject in-depth. http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Passover/Passover_101.shtml?HYJH

In theory as a means of bonding with each other and with their ancestral roots during the Passover celebration every Jew is to consider their self as personally being an exile from Egypt.

The first step taken in this celebration is to do a thorough cleaning of the home. This must be done to remove all traces of leaven[8] (Chametz) including the removal and disposal of all containers and utensils used in the storage and preparation of foods containing leaven.  Typically these items are sold to a non-Jew and can be purchased back after the Passover Celebration.[9] Traditionally, Jews do a formal search for remaining Chametz after night fall on the evening before Passover using a candle, feather and wooden spoon. All traces of leaven and any utensils used to gather up the fragments are burned the next day. Once all leaven has been removed then the festive meal would be prepared called the Seder.

The Seder would typically contain the following:

  • Karpas – a green vegetable, most often parsley or celery is used. Typically it represents the initial flourishing of the Israelites during the first years in Egypt before slavery began. The dipping of the Karpas by some Jews symbolizes the dipping of Joseph’s coat of many colors into the blood of a goat by his brothers as they tried to cover up to their father Jacob the selling of their brother to the Ishmaelites. Karpas is done at the beginning of the Seder just as the dipping of Joseph’s coat into blood began the Israelite descent into Egypt.
  • Haroset – Is used to represent the mortar that the Israelite slaves used in Egypt to bond bricks together. This is typically a mixture of fruits, wine or honey, and nuts.
  • Maror – Was most likely a bitter lettuce (romaine) or possibly a root such as chicory. It was eaten as a reminder to their life in Egypt. When they first arrived Joseph was head of affairs for Pharaoh and things went well for Israel, and then the latter outcome was to slavery under Rameses. The lettuces and roots taste sweet when one first bites into them, but then become bitter as they eat more.
  • Z’roa – Is a roasted lamb or goat shank bone that symbolizes the Passover Lamb that the Jewish people sacrificed in the Temple in Jerusalem. The z’roa does not play an active role in the Seder, but serves as a visual reminder of the Pesach sacrifice that the Israelites offered immediately before leaving Egypt and that Jews continued to offer prior to the destruction of the Temple. Vegetarians will generally substitute a roasted beet, both because the red of the beet resembles the blood of the sacrifice and because the Talmud mentions beets as one of the vegetables sometimes dipped during the Seder.[10] The Z’roa is not eaten nor handled during the Seder.
  • Beitzah – A roasted egg that symbolized the Hagigah sacrifice which was a festival sacrifice made in biblical times in addition to the Passover Lamb. The idea was that one would consume the Hagigah sacrifice to a point where they would not fill or gorge themselves on the Paschal Lamb.  This was offered on every holiday (including Passover) when the Temple stood. In some Jewish circles the egg represents different things. To some the roundness of the egg represents the cycle of life, even in the most painful of times there is always hope for a new beginning; the egg is also symbolic of the season of Spring. To others it symbolized mourning for the loss of the Temple. After the destruction of the Temple neither the Hagigah sacrifice nor the Passover Lamb would be offered until the Temple would again be rebuilt.[11]

Placement

There are a few traditions regarding the arrangement of items on the Seder plate. Most commonly, the maror is placed in the middle of the plate. The hazeret is at the six o’clock position followed by, moving clockwise, karpas (seven o’clock), beitzah (11 o’clock), z’roa (one o’clock), and haroset (five o’clock).

On the Table

In addition to the items on the Seder plate, the Seder table should also have three pieces of matzah[12] (Unleavened Bread) known as the bread of affliction,[13] wrapped or covered in a cloth and a container of salt water or vinegar[14] in which to dip the karpas. Some Seder plates have a compartment for matzah underneath, or include space for salt water among the other symbols. In most cases though, matzah and salt water or vinegar sit near, but not on, the Seder plate. The head of the household breaks the middle Matzah in half and places the smaller part back between the two whole Matzos. The larger portion is wrapped up and is saved for later use as the Afikoman.[15] In some Jewish circles the Afikoman Matzah is placed on their shoulder briefly to symbolize that Israel left Egypt in a hurry carrying their matzos on their shoulders and recite these words “In haste we went out of Egypt.”

Some Jews place an olive on the Seder plate to signal hope for eventual peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

A script is followed from a book called the Haggadah[16] that tells the story of the Exodus from Egypt and also gives explicit instructions on how they are to carry out various parts of the celebration. Wine is also a big part of their ritual during Passover.[17] Four cups of wine are used as part of the celebration.

The biblical readings for the Passover would include the following:

First Day

In the Torah reading (Exodus 12:21-51), Moses gives instructions to the elders of Israel with regard to all of the laws of the Passover. All generations following this period of time are to observe the traditions of the Passover. The children of all succeeding generations are to be taught at Passover the significance of this celebration and how it originated.

The Haftarah is a series of select readings taken from the books of the Prophets (Nevi’im[18] and Ketuvin[19]) out of the Hebrew Bible (Tanach). From the book of Joshua 5:2 through 6:1 and 6:27 was taken the account of the first Passover celebration in the Promised Land that was observed in Gilgal after the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River.

Isaiah 43:1-15 is the prophetic reading for the first day of Passover which gives reference to the crossing of the Red Sea and God’s[20] role as Redeemer.

Second Day

The reading from the Torah, (Leviticus 22:26-23:44) Moses instructs the Israelites regarding the Sabbath and festivals.

The Haftarah for the second day of Passover, (II Kings 23:1-9, 21-25) gives the account of a great Passover that was celebrated after the reformation of King Josiah. In the 18th year of his reign a scroll of the Torah (possibly the book of Deuteronomy) was discovered during some repairs to the Temple. The King was so moved by the message that he rid the Temple of all idolatry

The Intermediate Shabbat (Sabbath) of Passover

(Exodus 33:12-34:26) After Israel worshipped the golden calf, Moses had taken the two stone tablets which God had given him on Mount Sinai and cast them down and broke them in his anger against the idolatry of Israel. Moses then ascends Mount Sinai and receives a second set of tablets which God gave him; and Moses then descended from the Mount and gave the Children of Israel the Ten Commandments.

The Haftarah is taken from the Book of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 37:1-14). The prophet finds himself in a valley of dry bones and God asked him to prophesy to the dry bones. Ezekiel did as God commanded him and the dry bones took on flesh and life. Ezekiel understood the vision to mean that God will again make Israel a nation.

In Jewish tradition the Passover symbolizes past deliverances and looks forward to a future redemption and a resurrection of the dead that will take place during Passover and this is what determined the choosing of this passage as the Haftarah for the Intermediate Sabbath of Passover.

The Song of Songs – (םירישה ריש / Shir Hashirim)

During the Intermediate Sabbath of Passover it is a Jewish Custom to read the biblical book Song of Songs. Rabbinic tradition interprets the book as a love song between the “beloved’ which is taken to mean God and “the bride” (the chosen of Israel). This tradition has made the Song of Songs particularly appropriate for reading during Passover because metaphorically speaking it speaks of a courtship between God and Israel that becomes finalized in a wedding at Mount Sinai when the children of Israel accepts the Torah.

Another reason given for the reading of the Song of Songs on Passover is that it is a song of the season of Spring which is identified with hope and happiness. The hope of Israel lies in their freedom and attachment to the law of God for which the children of Israel have fought for since they left the bondage of Egyptian rule and authority. This is the solemn message which Israel wishes to convey to the world.

The Seventh Day

The reading from the Torah (Exodus 13:17 to 15:26) gives an account of Israel’s experiences following the Exodus from Egypt. God hardens Pharaoh’s heart again and Pharaoh gathers his armies of chariots and horsemen and pursues after Israel. When Moses and the children of Israel reach the Red Sea the angel of God removed himself from leading the people and went behind them and stood between the children of Israel and the pursuing Egyptians in a pillar of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. God instructs Moses to raise his rod over the sea and the waters of the Red Sea open up and the children of Israel cross over on dry land and are miraculously saved. When the Egyptians try to cross over they become bogged down in mud and through God’s instructions to him, Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and the waters came together and destroyed the armies of Egypt.[21] Moses and the children of Israel then sing a song of thanksgiving unto the Lord.

The Haftarah is taken from II Samuel 22 which connects to the theme of the song of thanksgiving as given in the Torah reading. In this portion of scripture we find King David singing a song of praise for the many times that God gave victory to David and spared him from his enemies. The Haftarah concludes with a sentence that is also found in the conclusion of the prayer after meals which is found in verse 51 of II Samuel 22.  “A tower of salvation of His king, who shows mercy to His anointed, to David and to his heirs forever”

The Eighth Day

The reading from the Torah for the eighth-day of Passover is taken from Deuteronomy 15:19 to 16:17 which deals with a multiplicity of laws including laws related to tithes, the year of release, release of slaves, and a complete description of the three pilgrimage feasts.

·        The feast of Unleavened Bread – Passover

·        The feast of weeks

·        The feast of tabernacles

The Haftarah is taken from the Book of Isaiah 10:32 to 12:6 which begins with a promise from God that Assyria will fall and that the Jewish people will gather from the four corners of the earth and again they shall return to Israel and be a nation.

The Haftarah also contains the famous great vision of the Messianic Era when peace and harmony will reign supreme among all people. Because the Haftarah contains several allusions to the redemption from Egypt, it was especially chosen to be chanted on the last day of Passover.

THE INVITATION

Won’t you come to the Passover Lamb (Jesus Christ) and allow Him to apply His blood to the doorposts and lintel of your heart?

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.)

This could be your last chance! None of us have a guarantee that we will see tomorrow. Death is no respecter of persons at any age, whether they are an infant, youth or the elderly. Do you know for sure that you have another tomorrow?

All of this information above points to a person and that person is Jesus Christ. He is shown over and over again in scripture types such as this, from the way that the animal sacrifices were conducted to the way that the Tabernacle and the Holy of Holies was constructed, even to the rock that was struck in the wilderness and issued forth life saving waters. Can any of us afford to gamble away another day? If you wake up in eternity tomorrow where will your eternity be, Heaven or Hell? It’s your choice and no one can make it for you. It’s a sad thought but Hell is full of good people who had good intentions, but they never prayed to God and acknowledged that they were a hopelessly lost sinner needing a Savior. If they would have only asked His forgiveness, and trusted in Him as their Lord and Savior. If they would have believed that he died to pay their penalty for their sin and resurrected as a living Savior. If they would have only asked Christ to wash away all of their sin with His blood. If they would have opened up their heart so that the Holy Spirit could come in and be a part of their lives. Then they could say that they were a joint heir with Christ. Then they could rightfully call God, Abba; Father. “If only!” Two words that a lot of people are saying in Hell today. Will you be the next to utter those words?

If you have prayed and asked Jesus to save you then you should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place: __________________________________________________

of your decision. Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067, or visit our website at http://www.myerstownbaptistchurch.com/ to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk and too answer any questions that you may have.

Thank you, and may the Lord richly bless you!


[1] Hyssop was used in scripture in different ways.

  • It was used in Leviticus 14:1-6, 49-52 to cleanse lepers and to cleanse their house.
  • It was used in the sacrifice of the Red Heifer. Numbers 19:6 and the ashes were used as purification for sin. Numbers 19:17
  • David asked the Lord to purge (cleanse) him with Hyssop. Psalm 51:7
  • A sponge was soaked in vinegar and put onto a branch of hyssop and put to the mouth of Christ when he cried out from the cross and said “I thirst.” John 19:28-30

An interesting side note regarding Hyssop. It has many medicinal qualities. I once heard a message from Dr. J. Vernon McGee where he said that penicillin will grow on hyssop.

[2] Ten stands for responsibility intensified, signifying the measure of responsibility and its judgment or reward. Under the law man was responsible to obey the commandments and bear a testimony for God by keeping the law. Ten is made up of the sum of the numbers for the world (4) and the number for man (6).

[3] Fourteen is the number for Deliverance or Salvation. The children of Israel were delivered from bondage under Egypt on the 14th day of the first month Nisan. Three (three is the number for bodily resurrection.) days later the Children of Israel passed through the Red Sea (the Red Sea passing is a picture of resurrection from this life into the land of promise, Heaven) and were delivered from the hand of Pharaoh, 14 + 3 = 17 the number for victory. And it was on the 14th day of Nisan that we were delivered from the bondage of sin and the law by Jesus Christ at Calvary. Three days later He resurrected from the grave (17 – The number for victory).

[4] John the Baptist the forerunner for Christ in the book of John 1:29 & 36 announced “Behold the lamb of God”, signifying that this was the innocent Lamb prepared as the perfect (without spot or wrinkle) sacrifice for the sins of the world.

[5] In Romans 3:19 we find that the law was given to prove that the entire world is found guilty before God. We are saved by the grace (unmerited favor) of God and as a result of this sin would no longer have its condemning power over those that receive Christ as Lord and Savior. Romans 6:14 We could not fulfill the law in order to redeem ourselves from the penalty of the law. Christ came because he was the only one that could.

[6] Galatians 3:13, 4:3-7

[7] I Cor. 10:16-18 communion of the blood and body of Christ, Deut 16:3-8 eat unleavened bread for 7 days)

[8] Exodus 12:15, Matthew 16:5-12 and Luke 12:1 Jesus warns his disciples to beware of the leaven (doctrine/hypocrisy) of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  Malice and wickedness, I Corinthians 5:8.

[9] I have also read where these items by some were not actually transported from the home; instead they were covered up and tied with a string until the celebration was completed and the items purchased back. I don’t understand how this would be justified when in Exodus 12:15 it says that “ye shall put away leaven out of your houses:” If a person offends in one point of the law is he not guilty of all? James 2:10 and Deuteronomy 27:26.

[10] I am surprised that the whole point of the Passover Lamb has become of little significance in the Jewish celebration and has not been eaten since the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. The Passover lamb was to be whole and if too large for a household than it would be shared by a second household. Not a bone of the sacrifice was to be broken. Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12 One would think that the entire Passover Celebration would have continued to center around the Paschal Lamb and would have remained as the focal point of the seder. (Exodus 12:8-10)

Jesus Christ our Passover Lamb shed his blood which was applied to the lintel and door posts of the sinner’s prayer that opened to the halls of heaven where the hissing sound of the cross could be heard from the Garden of Eden all the way to the Millennial Kingdom. The guilt of our sin was transferred to this innocent Lamb who suffered the pain and agony of God’s wrath while he experienced the fear of separation from God the Father.

As he looked down from the cross he gazed upon the multitudes that had their eyes fixed on him and he could see the faces of all mankind. He saw my face and he saw yours, and in his eyes you could see a love beyond measure that he had for each of us as if to say that there was no limit to what he would willingly suffer in our stead.

And when he cried “it is finished” we knew in our heart of hearts that his blood paid the full penalty for all past, present and future sin. That we were released from being enslaved to this world (Egypt) as we are led by the Holy Spirit (pillar of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night) through that doorway of salvation (the Red Sea) into a new life (Heaven – God’s Promised Land) freed from the penalty of sin.

When God looks at our sin all wrapped up in the package of salvation and tied with the ribbon of Christ’s blood he will pass over our sin and we will stand guiltless and clean before him. I am amazed that God loves us that much when we justly deserve an eternity in hell.

Christ gave his life for those that beat him, tore his beard from his face, spat on him and mocked him and then nailed him to a cross. How do you explain that kind of love? I can only think of one word. GRACE! The grace of God goes beyond all human comprehension and human words do not suffice when trying to define its meaning.

[11]  The sacrifices will again be offered up at the Temple in Jerusalem.  In the middle of the Tribulation period the Antichrist who has set himself up in Jerusalem as God will cause the sacrifices to cease. See Daniel 12, Matthew 24, Mark 13, and II Thessalonians 2:3-9

[12] http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Passover/The_Seder/Matzah.shtml

The three pieces of Unleavened Bread – two are used traditionally for the Sabbath and Festivals and is used as a reminder of the double portion taken up of the manna from heaven in Exodus 16:22. Under Jewish tradition this number three has some symbolic significance.

  • Genesis 18:6 three measures of fine meal were used to make cakes for Abraham and his three angelic visitors.
  • Three categories of Jews – 1) Kohen  2) Levi  3) Yisrael
  • Three Patriarchs 1) Abraham  2) Isaac  3) Jacob

[13] In Jewish tradition the matzah is used to symbolize the meager sustenance given to the slaves as well as the hurried food of the Jews as they were leaving out of Egypt.

[14] The salt-water and vinegar is used to symbolize the tears shed by Israel when they were slaves in Egypt.

[15] The Afikoman portion is used at the very end of the Seder. Nothing else is to be eaten once the Afikoman has been taken. The breaking of the Matzah is symbolic of Israel’s breaking away from the tyranny of Egypt and they are now free and look forward to a future redemption when the Passover will again be celebrated as in the days of old in the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. As a demonstration of their freedom the Jewish community celebrates the Passover in a relaxed reclined position on their left side. The Afikoman is a symbol of the Korban Pesach/Paschal Lamb and is prepared during Yachatz which is the fourth part of the Seder.

[16] Haggadah–“the telling”–[is] the book containing the passages dealing with the theme of the Exodus recited at the Passover Seder. The reading of the Haggadah is based on the verse, “You shall tell your son on that day: it is because of what the Lord did for me when I came forth out of Egypt” (Exodus 13:8).

[17] I was reading in the Haggadah a section where a bit of the wine is removed from the cup as each of the plagues is mentioned. A side note regarding this ritual really struck me when I read it and I wanted to note it word for word. “Some wine is removed from the cup in compassion for the Egyptians. Although they oppressed us, we must not rejoice at the suffering of other humans.” I cannot help but too greatly admire the sensitivity of these people who have faced such brutality throughout history and yet show compassion on those that have wronged them so terribly. It brings to mind Matthew 5:44. The fourth cup of wine used in the Passover celebration is referred to as the cup of Elijah, the door is opened during a recital from the Haggadah to indicate the readiness of the people to receive the Prophet Elijah.

[18] Books of the Prophets

[19] Known as the Writings

[20] I found it most interesting and I greatly admire the way that the Jewish people reverence the name of God. A number of times when I have read articles written by Jews I have noticed that they so revered the words God and Lord that they would write it thusly. (G-d or L-rd) It is my understanding that they so fear mispronouncing the name of God that they would write it in this fashion and in some cases even substitute the word Adonia in its place. Adonia meaning “My Lord is Jehovah.”  The word HaShem is also widely used which means “The Name”.

[21]  Oh the greatness of our God! When we as a slave to this world leave behind the power that this world has over us by deciding to follow the Lord; God will send his Holy Spirit to lead us and bring us to the shores of salvation where he will protect us on all sides as we cross over by faith into the Promised Land through the Red Sea (signifying blood) that was shed by Christ Jesus for every one of us. When our God leads he will always pave the way for us to follow. It’s that step of faith that God looks for in each of us. May we as believers look to the heavens for the return of the true Manna; Jesus Christ the bread of life, (John 6:33-35 and 47-58) who came down from heaven to deliver us from the bondage of sin and death.

THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE

By: Gary L. Rodgers

The sanctity of marriage is an interesting study when cross-referencing it with a study on the ancient Jewish marriage custom.

I would like to begin my study in Genesis 2:22 in the last part of the verse where it says And brought her unto the man.” In Genesis 2:18 – 25, we find the story of Adam falling into a deep sleep and God took from his side a rib and formed a woman. Unlike Adam who was formed from the dust of the earth Eve was formed from the very flesh and bone of Adam himself thus making their unity a very personal one flesh tie between the two of them. Think of it; two human beings made from the flesh and bone of one. After Eve had been formed it was God who brought her to Adam. This is a picture of a father bringing his daughter and presenting her to her husband. After Adam met Eve and rightly so Adam was able to say that the woman was now bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, Adam was the means that God used to give Eve the bride her physical body. Equally interesting is that Christ (the second Adam – 1 Corinthians 15:45) died on the cross (fell into a deep sleep – John 11:11 – 14) and from His pierced side issued blood and water (John 19:34); Christ gave His bride a living spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15: 35-55)

In the wilderness the rock was struck and it issued out life-giving waters to the saving of the physical body. (Exodus 17:6) On the cross Jesus Christ (The rock of our salvation – Psalm 95:1) was struck to justify us by His blood and sanctification through the water by the washing of regeneration. (John 7:38 & 39, John 19:34, Titus 3:5)

ANCIENT BIBLICAL MARRIAGE CUSTOMS

In studies that I have made in the past on the ancient custom of marriage in biblical times I thought that it revealed some interesting facts. I have since long misplaced my notes and references on the matter but recall much of what I had found on the subject and will try to make biblical and/or historical reference to the same.

  • The first step in the Betrothal was to settle the matter of the Bride Price (Dowry – Exodus 22:17) In I Corinthians 6:19 & 20 we are told that we have been bought with a price. The dowry that Christ gave for His bride was His shed blood, and the water that issued from the wound in His side was to purify His bride. Ephesians 5:25 & 26.
  • During the Espousal or Betrothal period the bride and groom made a commitment by covenant (Malachi 2:14, Ezekiel 16:8) to one another during a special ceremony that so united the two together that nothing could break this covenant other than death or a writing of divorcement. The consummation of the marriage did not take place at this time. There were other preparations that needed tending to before this could happen.
  • The bride would remain in her parent’s home where she would be in waiting (the period of grace – the bride being set apart or sanctified – redeemed by the groom) until her husband came back for her to take her to their final home.
  • The groom would then make preparations for him to receive his bride during the espousal period. By custom the groom would add onto his father’s house where he and his bride would live. (John 14:2 & 3) “In my Father’s house are many mansions:” – “I go to prepare a place for you ………………”)
  • The espousal period generally ran for a one year time period and sometimes longer than that. The bride was to keep herself faithful to her groom and always in readiness since she had no idea when her Husband (Lord) would come for her. (Matthew 24:36 & 44, Matthew 25:13, Mark 13:32 & 33,)
  • During the espousal period the groom would send his friend (friend of the bridegroom – The best man by today’s understanding) to speak with the bride to make sure that all of her needs were met and that he (The friend of the Bridegroom) would bring back word from her regarding any needs that she may have while she was in waiting. All of this is a picture of the working of the Holy Spirit and the active prayer life of the Christian. The Holy Spirit works in our lives and takes the prayers that we offer up to God and presents them to God with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God.

  • At a set time (traditionally at night) the groom and his entourage would go to receive his bride. While in route to receive his bride the bride would hear the sounding of trumpets and a shout (“Behold the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.” Matthew 25: 6,   I Thessalonians 4:16) that the groom was on his way and the bride with her maidens (five wise virgins – Matthew 25:1 – 13) would prepare themselves and then she (the bride) would go out in all of her wedding apparel and jewelry and meet with her groom. (This pictures the Rapture of the Bride the church to come up hither – Revelation 4:1 – Raptured away). A snatching away in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. The Groom would come at a time when no one expected him and he would call out to his wife to come out (set yourself apart) from among them and be ye separate.
  • A second ceremony would occur at the home of the Bridegroom where the marriage was consummated (Genesis 29:23) and a great feast would begin (Marriage supper of the Lamb) and the bride and groom from that point on would remain together forever. ( I Thessalonians 4:17, John 14:3)

Note: In Matthew 1:18 the verse says that “Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together,” This coming together would have been during the second half of the marriage where consummation was permitted. In ancient Jewish weddings when the groom came for his bride she was escorted to the grooms home that he prepared for his bride, it was the parents of the bride that took her to the bridal chamber (Chuppah) where the bride and groom would consummate their marriage.

 JOB

I would like to insert a note here regarding Job and the one flesh relationship. We find in the story of Job that Satan came before the Lord and the Lord asked Satan if he had considered His servant Job that there is none like him in the earth? And Satan said “does Job fear God for nought?” You have built a hedge about him and have protected him on all sides. We are held in the hand (security and protection) of our Lord and no one is able to remove us from His mighty power. (John 10:28 & 29) Thank God for His power and protection, (thy rod and thy staff they comfort me) which preserves us. Not only will He protect and keep us by His might (Rod), but He will lead us into righteousness with reproof and the chastisement of our peace (His staff of guidance) will comfort us.

Notice how Satan tempts the LORD in his words “Put forth thy hand now, (remove the hedge that protects him) and all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. (Job 1:11) So the LORD told Satan that all that Job had was in his power, “only upon himself put not forth thine hand.” (Job 1:12) As we read on we find that all of Job’s wealth was taken from him, and he lost his children as well. What a horrible day for Job, yet Job maintained his integrity and “sinned not, nor charged God foolishly”. (Job 1:22)

SATAN’S SECOND ATTEMPT TO SWAY JOB TO CURSE GOD

And again we read where Satan came before the presence of the LORD and again the LORD asked Satan if he had considered His servant Job? A perfect and upright man, one that feareth God and avoids evil. Satan goes on to say “touch his bone and his flesh (Job 2:5) and he will curse thee to thy face.” So again the LORD told Satan that Job was in his (Satan’s) hand “save (except for) his life.” (Job 2:6) The spiritual life of the believer is preserved forever, and our physical life comes under the protective hand of God Almighty. As for the believer, we must become aware that the continual un-confessed sin of any believer who will not repent and turn from their wicked ways places them in physical danger. There are no free rides with sin! Our body is the Temple of The Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19 & 20) and if any man defile this temple him will God destroy. (1 Corinthians 3:16 & 17) The physical body can be permitted to become destroyed that the spirit may be preserved. (1 Corinthians 5:1-5)

There are some wonderful points in the book of Job that I would like to bring to light:

  • The beauty of knowing that God has a hedge of protection built around us. (Job 1:10) We are held in God’s hand like a precious jewel. He will never leave us nor forsake us, and no one is able to take us from Him. (John 10:28 – 30)
  • The only way that Satan can touch us is if God allows it. (Job 1:12, 2:5 & 6)
  • Not everything bad that happens in our life is because we have committed some sin. And in the story of Job this becomes evident in the questioning accusations of Job’s friends. Often our faith and trust in God is tested that we may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2) Paul also touched on this in his letter to the Romans in chapter 7:14 – 25.
  • The one point that I would like to make is this. As a provider for my family and as a father it would have hurt me as the supporter and protector of them to lose the financial means of their support, but it would have cut me to the very core of my heart to have lost all of my children in one sweeping blow. What a heartbreaking challenge for Job to face! But even more difficult than that would have been for me to lose my wife! The very thought that someday my wife and I may part from one another in death is most troubling for me and very hard to bear. It is my earnest prayer that we will live to be raptured out together from this present life.

Notice a very curious thing that Satan said to the LORD in Job 2: 5

“But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.” What did Adam say when God brought Eve to him in Genesis 2:23? “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh:”

So the LORD says to Satan in the story of Job:

  • “only upon himself (Job) put not forth thine hand.” Job 1:12
  • “Behold, he (Job) is in thine hand; but save (except for) his life.” Job 2:6

Of all the things that Satan was permitted to do, he could not so much as put a scratch on Mrs. Job. To do so would have meant that Satan had touched the very life of Job himself, something that God would not allow Satan to do. That one flesh relationship between a man and woman is so intermingled and binding that you cannot touch the life of the one without touching the life of the other.

In all of his wicked craftiness Satan tried to get The LORD to touch the very life of Mrs. Job; thus touching the life of Job him-self. If Satan is not afraid to tempt the very person of God, then surely he is not afraid to tempt us! That is why the Christian armor is so important to us. (Ephesians 6:10 – 18) We are continually in a spiritual battle and we need the armor of God to help us in our offence and defense against spiritual principalities, and powers, and the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)

But the Tempter failed in his miserable plan against Job and praise God we will someday be rid of Satan forever.

When I am tested I pray that I will be able to say like Job “the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21) And also in Job 13:15 where we find these words “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” In all areas of our life we need to keep our ways (testimony) firm before the Lord.

Marriage is not something that should ever be entered into lightly. And it should not be entered into unless both parties are saved born again believers in Christ. (2 Corinthians 6:14 -18) If marriage is a picture of the unity between Christ and the church then it is even more important that we are equally yoked together in Spirit and Purpose.

This Is a Special Day to Remember

(A wedding poem)

By: Gary L. Rodgers

This is a special day to remember, a day in which a man and a woman are bound together by covenant as one. From the side of man close to his heart, bone of his bone was taken and a woman was formed; and in man’s side there still remains a void, an emptiness that can only be filled by receiving unto him that which was taken from him: And they being two shall become complete as one.

This is a special day to remember, a day where two shall be coupled together in heart, in spirit, and in purpose; a day where two shall be poured together into a vow to become united as one. Like two glasses of water having been poured together, who can separate the one without touching the other?

This is a special day to remember, a day where a promise to stand together through all of life’s joys and struggles shall be shared as one; where the commitment to love, to cherish, and to honor one another will strengthen the very foundation of your bond.

This is a special day to remember, a day wherein the instruction of your mother and father shall be magnified by your loyalty and obedience to each other; nurtured and sanctified by forgiveness and understanding.

This is a special day to remember, a day where you will come together as one. From the time of your birth, through childhood and adolescence to this very day that was set aside as your special day; a day where your promises to each other have been witnessed, sealed in heaven, and written upon your hearts. This is, a special day to remember!

AN INVITATION TO THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB

Christ our Redeemer stands upon the threshold of His coming for us in the Rapture. It could happen at any moment. Will you someday be seated at the Table of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb? Or will you be one of those on the outside where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth? (Matthew 22:9-13)

Christ went to the cross for a reason. That reason was you and me. When He hung on the cross He looked down through the centuries at all of the faces of those that He was dying for. He saw your face and He saw mine. He paid the penalty for our sins because He loved us. The choice to be saved is yours. No one can make that decision for you. Won’t you come and be a part of this great celebration? If your answer is yes then please bow your head in prayer and repeat the following words.

Dear Lord, I confess that I am a sinner. Please forgive me for all of my sin and wash them away with your blood. I believe and trust you with my eternal life. I know that you died on the cross for me personally. I know that you were buried in a tomb and I believe that you resurrected from the dead and are now seated at the right hand of God the Father. Please come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. May the Holy Spirit teach me, guide me, and empower me in the way that I should go. Amen!

If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you, and to wash away all of your sin with His blood, and to come into your heart to be your Savior, then we praise God for you.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

You should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place: _______________________________________________________

of your decision. Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067, or visit our website at http://www.myerstownbaptistchurch.com/ to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk and answer any questions that you may have.

Thank you, and may the Lord richly bless you!

ABRAHAM COMMANDED TO OFFER ISAAC

By: Gary L. Rodgers

 In Genesis 22: 1-14 we find faithful Abraham called to offer up to God his only son Isaac. Here is a man who waited for years to have a son through Sarah to now be called to offer him up in sacrifice to the Lord. What a challenge to set before Abraham. But notice in verse five what Abraham said to his two young companions that accompanied him and Isaac. “I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.”  Abraham was so trusting and so sure that God would use his son Isaac to carry on the seed of promise[1] that Abraham was intended to follow through with what God commanded him to do. Abraham knew that if God could give him a son when Sarah was beyond her child-bearing years then God had complete control over his and Isaac’s life and that if he followed through with the sacrifice of his son, that God would raise Isaac from the dead.[2] Abraham knew that God never fails on His promises and when God said in 21:12 “for in Isaac shall thy seed be called”, Abraham had no reason to doubt it.

GOD WILL PROVIDE HIMSELF A LAMB

And in verse eight Abraham answered Isaac’s question regarding the sacrifice. My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:” What faith they both shared in God to be all trusting and sure of His promises. Isaac being so young could have easily overtaken his father in strength and escaped this death. But Isaac knew full well that as all of what he was taught of his father he would trust him with his very life. The challenge was to both of them; Abraham to obey God’s command and willfully offer up his son, and Isaac to also be submissive to what was about to happen to him and willfully offer up his life. In this the sacrifice was considered complete in that they both acted out of their submissive will to the Lord God. What great faith they both had in our God. The Lord takes pleasure in obedience, mercy and knowledge of God over the sacrifice of animals.[3] God delighted in the obedience of Abraham and Isaac, and it was God’s pleasure to show mercy unto them both.

When Abraham was about to thrust the knife into Isaac God stopped him. God knew that Abraham’s faith would carry him through any circumstance even the taking of his son’s life. Abraham proved his love and obedience to God and God blessed him for it. “God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:” (Verse 8) What prophetic words were these words of Abraham which pointed all the way to Calvary.[4]

LAYING THE HAND UPON THE HEAD OF THE SACRIFICE

Genesis 22:9And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.

10And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

11And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here [am] I.

12And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son] from me.

Abraham was given two commands in this verse.

  • First he was not to lay his hand upon Isaac. In researching the steps taken to offer up both a burnt offering and a sin offering the person[5] that the sacrifice was being offered up for had to place their hand upon the head of the sacrifice and then kill the sacrifice.

Leviticus 1:4And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.

Leviticus 4:24And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD: it [is] a sin offering.

Leviticus 16:21 & 22And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send [him] away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:

22And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

[6] This was a picture of the transference of the guilt of sin from the guilty to the innocent (From the lost sinner to the Lamb of God). The person presenting the sacrifice by faith believed that their guilt was being transferred from themselves in the act of placing their hand upon the head of the sacrifice that was being killed as their substitutionary payment[7] for their sin.

Isaiah 53:6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

2 Corinthians 5:21For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

The atonement was being made for the guilty at the price of the innocent’s blood being shed for them. At Calvary a crown of thorns (that wood hay stubble works of man – 1 Corinthians 3:11-15) in the shape of a crown was placed on Christ’s head with the hands of the human race to show that the guilt for the sins of the world, the religious works of man, tested and consumed by fire, was now transferred to the sin offering.[8] The King of Kings was not given a crown of gold (gold represents deity) and His scepter was a mere reed.[9] This crown and scepter was given to Christ as a means of mocking Him.

  • The second command given to Abraham was not to do “any-thing” to Isaac. Abraham was commanded not to take the life of his son that was being offered in sacrifice. At Calvary a Father (God the Father) offered up His Son (Jesus Christ) as the sacrifice for all of humanity. Mankind now must come and kneel before the King not in mockery but in seeking His forgiveness for all of their sins in order to be justified and forgiven in His sight. We need to kneel at the cross and confess Christ as Lord and Savior. Willfully man sinned; willfully man placed a crown of thorns upon the head of Christ, now willfully man must come and bow before Him and acknowledge that He is indeed the Son of God.[10] The burnt offering was wholly consumed by God. It was not a shared offering. When God asked Abraham to offer Isaac as a burnt offering it was an offering totally committed to God. We need to offer up ourselves for dedication and service in total commitment to God.

If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you, and to wash away all of your sin with His blood, and to come into your heart to be your Savior, then we praise God for you.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

You should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place: _______________________________________________________

of your decision. Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067 to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk.

Thank you, and may the Lord richly bless you!


[1] Genesis 21:12

[2] Hebrews 11: 17 – 19

[3] I Samuel 15:22, Hosea 6:6

[4] “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29 (John 1:36, 1 Peter 1:19, Isaiah 53:7)

[5] or priest when offering for the people

[6] Leviticus 1:4, 4:4, 4:24

[7] Galatians 3:13, John 11:50-52, I Peter 1:18-21, II Corinthians 5:21

[8] Matthew 27:29, Mark 15:17, John 19:2

[9] Matthew 27:29 – The scepter is used as a symbol of royal authority.

[10] Matthew 27:54, Mark 15:39, Luke 23:47

Wisdomforlife

by Steve Cornell

Radical Righteousness

United We Stand

The Path

Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Proverbs 4:26

Lyn Leahz

Prophecy Author/Journalist Featured On Paul McGuire, Prophecy In the News & More

"Working for Christ"

Inspiration for the Workplace

Anna Writes, and Shares

Whatever Strikes Me

khrystleraineduste

The inane ramblings of a disorganised mind...

OdomSpeak

Living for another time and another place