Under Spiritual Attack

Under Spiritual Attack by Karen Jurgens

Have you ever been under spiritual attack?

The last three months have been some of the hardest times I can remember. It began with weird harbingers like accidentally grinding up my pearl earring in the garbage disposal (don’t even ask). Next, I broke off a tooth biting into a pretzel. After a few more bizarre “accidents,” a thought crossed my mind. Might I be under a spiritual attack?

Yes, I was. But then the attack spread to other family members. The worst began on April 20th when my mother saw something black hanging in her side vision. That led to emergency surgery to repair a detached retina.

Everything should have been fine with a happily-ever-after ending…BUT. That small, three-letter conjunction changed our lives and spiraled us into a Kansas tornado lasting over three months.

The problem? A viral infection appeared in Mother’s eye a week after surgery. The prescribed eye drops didn’t seem to work, even after several weeks of applications.

To make matters worse, black streaks reappeared in Mother’s side vision, indicating a second retinal detachment. When her doctor planned to do a second surgery despite the worsening virus, I knew I had to find another doctor and a second opinion. Quickly. Thank God I did, or otherwise, she would have surely gone blind in that eye…BUT.

God led us to the right doctors who diagnosed her infection correctly and began treating it aggressively. After several weeks, her new surgeon was able to do major surgery. He had to remove fluid from the back of the eye cavity that was beginning to cave in and then reattach the retina. We held our breath and prayed.

The operation was a success, thank the Lord, and everything was back in place. We were rejoicing! God had come through again, and all Mother had to do was heal…BUT.

Without explanation or reason, she developed unbearable pain on that side of her head, like a severe migraine. I can’t express how frightening it was to care for an elderly person in that physical state. I felt completely helpless. As her eye swelled closed, she couldn’t eat, take her medication, or get out of bed. I had to get help.

Under Spiritual Attack by Karen Jurgens

So off we went to the ER at a local hospital. Not only did we go that day, but also the second day after. Her blood pressure was sky-high, as well as the pressure in her eye. After aggressively lowering her pressure, an ER doctor decided to treat her pain with opioids.

What a mistake.

Under Spiritual Attack by Karen Jurgens

As a person who has never taken drugs stronger than Tylenol, I had no idea of the effects she would experience. I assumed her pain would be eased and she would be able to sleep…BUT.

After arriving home from the ER, I seated her at the table for dinner, but she was only able to eat a few bites. Since she sat peacefully with her eyes closed, I decided to wash the dishes before helping her back to bed. Before I could finish, however, it became apparent that something was wrong.

She had lost consciousness and was having a petit mal seizure. She had experienced a few in the past, so I was familiar with the symptoms. I sat next to her, all the while talking and trying to get her to come back to consciousness. When thirty minutes had passed and she was no better, I prayed earnestly to Jesus for help. After another thirty minutes with no change, I didn’t know what to do.  There was no way I could carry her back to bed. Would I need to call an ambulance? I was desperate.

Suddenly her lips began to move. I listened carefully as she whispered, “I see Jesus.”

At first, I was elated! But the next second, fear gripped me—was Jesus coming to take her to heaven? Was she going to die? Oh no. Jesus couldn’t take her. Not yet. It wasn’t her time.

I sloughed off fear and clung to my faith that all would be well. Sensing that this was a holy spiritual encounter with the Lord, I asked, “Did Jesus speak to you?”

She could barely respond. “No. He touched my shoulder.”

Wow. A healing touch from Jesus. I could sense His very presence in the room as she grew quiet and peaceful, and her seizure ended. My knees hit the floor.

Right then I led us in a time of prayer and praise songs, thanking Jesus for touching her. I was awed to witness His glory, and tears flowed as I basked in His holy presence.

Soon Mother’s eyes opened, and she was able to walk back to bed with my help. She talked about Jesus, especially His face, describing Him as a young man in his thirties with brown hair, dark eyes, and a perfectly clipped goatee.

 

Under Spiritual Attack by Karen Jurgens

 

I imagine you’re wondering like I did, if she really had a vision of Jesus or if it was a hallucination.

I’m convinced she saw the Lord. I believe Jesus came and touched her that night because of her steady improvement after that encounter. Her migraine and the swelling of her eye dissipated within a few days and totally disappeared.

Today her eyesight is returning steadily each day, and we know it is being perfectly restored. Her eyes are focusing together—something that has surprised her doctor, who had predicted she would probably never see much out of it again. Her strength has returned and she is again active and enjoying her life.

BUT God!

What was the key for my mother? I believe several things played a part in her healing.

First, prayer and communion. My daughters and I anointed her with oil, took communion together, and prayed over her daily.

Second, speaking to the illness or affliction. We prayed Scripture over her circumstance, speaking to her eye and every cell to be healed and made whole in Jesus’s mighty Name.

Third, understanding spiritual warfare and how to pray against the attacks of the enemy, which is vital in these last days.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places ~ Ephesians 6:12 NKJV.

In Jesus’s Name, we bound up the ruler of darkness, Belial, another name for Satan or the Lord of Lies, and cast him into the pit.

What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? ~ 2 Corinthians 6:15 NIV.

Another factor is my mother’s personal life. She has lived a life of obedience, holiness, and humility and has always walked softly before the Lord. She especially has compassion for the poor and helpless, and she never passes a beggar on the street without rolling down the car window and giving money.

Psalm 41: 1-3 promises:

Blessed is he who considers the poor;
The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.

 The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive,
And he will be blessed on the earth;
You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.

The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness;
You will sustain him on his sickbed (NASB).

How amazing that God graciously performed these promises in Psalm 41 over Mother’s life.

Did you know the enemy attacks God’s anointed ones, especially when something glorious is just around the corner? Whenever you’re under attack, rejoice!

Under Spiritual Attack by Karen Jurgens

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance and let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing ~ James 1:2-4 NASB.

AND

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed ~ 1 Peter 2:24 NASB.

Do you have a physical illness or affliction that you’re asking the Lord to heal? He is no respecter of persons. Jesus is waiting for you to ask and tells us:

 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” ~ Matthew 7:7 NKJV.

Be encouraged in your suffering. There is an end because we have a merciful, loving heavenly Father.

We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful ~ James 5:11 NASB.

Are you experiencing a spiritual attack of the enemy? I would be honored to pray for you. If you fill in the comment box with your request, I will agree with you for your healing.

Abundant love and blessings!

Under Spiritual Attack by Karen Jurgens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lamb of God in Revelation

The Lamb of God in Revelation by Karen Jurgens

Isn’t it thrilling to read books or see movies where the good guy saves the day?

Like me, do you remember watching episodes of Superman? The sole survivor who rocketed from the planet Krypton, the orphaned infant was taken in by a Kansas farm couple and raised to have a strong moral compass. As an adult, mild-mannered Clark Kent resolved to use his superhuman abilities for moral good alone. During times of trouble, he transformed from a journalist into a super-hero, leaping tall buildings in a single bound and flying through the air to rescue the innocent.

Jesus, on the other hand, is beyond compare to any superhero. The Son of God came to earth to establish the New Covenant through His death and resurrection.

Have you ever contrasted our humble Savior with the same Lord who is glorified in heaven? Truly amazing. Let’s take a look.

Christ’s appearance to John

The Lamb of God in Revelation by Karen Jurgens

 

Christ first revealed Himself to the Apostle John on the island of Patmos in a vision amid seven golden lampstands:

…in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.  In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength ~ Revelation 1:13-16 NASB.

 

Jesus describes Himself

Have you ever gathered up Jesus’s own words about who He is and pondered their greatness? Jesus instructed John to write a letter to each of the seven churches of that day. Preceding each letter, Jesus depicts Himself in various ways.

As…

  1. The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands (Revelation 2:1).

  2. The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life (Revelation 2:8).

  3. The One who has the sharp two-edged sword (Revelation 2:12).

  4. The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze (Revelation 2:18).

  5. He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars (Revelation 3:1).

  6. He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens (Revelation 3:7).

  7. The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God (Revelation 3:14).

WOW. What a glorious glimpse into the greatness of God’s only Son. Such powerful words we can also offer back to Him in prayer.

Jesus in the Throne Room of God

Chapters 4 and 5 are truly two of the most awesome in all the Bible because we get a glimpse into God’s very throne room. Wouldn’t you think that holy place would be bathed in austere silence? What took me by surprise is that it’s busy and noisy, full of the glory of God.

Amid the flashes of lightning and peals of thunder sit seven lampstands burning with fire. God’s throne sits in the center of a sea of crystal, around which are four living creatures, full of eyes all around, who continually shout praises to God: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come’ ~ Revelation 4:8 NASB.

The living creatures are joined by twenty-four elders who cast their crowns before Him and say, ‘Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created’ ~ Revelation 4:11 NASB.

The Book with the seven seals

Something very important regarding the Lamb happens in Chapter 5.

God holds out a book sealed with seven seals, but since there is no one worthy to open the book, John weeps bitterly. Then one of the elders tells John, ‘Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals’ ~ Revelation 5:5 NASB.

Jesus is pictured as the slain Lamb of God who comes to receive the book from God’s hand:  He is a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth ~ Revelation 5:6 NASB.

As the only one qualified to open the sealed book, there is mighty worship and praise in heaven for the Lamb. Myriads of angels and every living creature in heaven, on the earth, and under the sea bless and glorify His Name.

The Second Coming of Christ

The Lamb of God in Revelation by Karen Jurgens

Revelation concludes with a most powerful image of Christ as He returns to earth to destroy the beast, false prophet, and all their armies at the Battle of Armageddon.

And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.  He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS’ ~ Revelation 19:11-16 NASB.

What a glorious description of the conquering Christ, and one we will see with our own eyes in the near future.

‘I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.’ The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost ~ Revelation 22:16-17 NASB.

Today let’s sing a praise and worship song from heaven. Let’s join together with voices in heaven and on earth, under the sea and on the sea, and all things in them.

 To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and power forever and ever ~ Revelation 5:13 NASB.

 

 

 

 

 

The Lamb’s Sinless Blood

The Lamb's Sinless Blood by Karen Jurgens

Growing up, my mother had encouraged me to become two things—a pianist and a nurse.

After seven years of piano study with some of the finest teachers at the Cincinnati College Conservatory, my final teacher dismissed me with a smile and a word of advice: “Perhaps your true talents lay elsewhere.”

However, I was wise enough to know without being told that I could never be a nurse. I couldn’t bear the sight of blood nor stand to be in hospitals, so I disqualified myself from seeking that degree. Even my two daughters had to clean and bandage each other’s booboos growing up, poor things. They learned at an early age that Mommy couldn’t stand the sight of blood.

As distasteful as the subject of blood may be, it is of supreme importance and significance, however, in Judaism and Christianity. As I discussed in my previous post, only innocent blood can atone for sin. Since there is no flesh and blood in heaven, only spirit, that sacrifice had to be made on earth. So, after using animal blood for thousands of years, God sent His Son to be the final propitiation for our sins. Simply put, Jesus was born to die.

How could Jesus be born with sinless blood?

Click to tweet: How could Jesus be born with sinless blood?

The Lamb's Sinless Blood by Karen Jurgens

Martin R. DeHaan, M.D.

What a fascinating question. Martin R. DeHaan, M.D., author of The Chemistry of the Blood, is an expert who scientifically proves how this is possible. Dr. DeHaan (1891-1965) was a physician, author, pastor and Bible teacher. Founder of Radio Bible Class, he spoke to millions of listeners for twenty-seven years. Author of more than twenty books, he also founded and contributed countless daily devotionals in Our Daily Bread, still published today from Michigan. (Click on the name above to visit Our Daily Bread website.)

Conception and Birth of Jesus

Even though Christmas is five months behind us, let’s begin by reading the Bible’s account of this supernatural event in Matthew 1:18-23:

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.  And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us’ (NASB).

God sent Jesus to earth to be born of a virgin through the power of the Holy Spirit. His human body required a pure vessel to grow in, one that had never been touched by a man. Mary herself wasn’t sinless, because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23 NASB), but her physical body hadn’t yet known sexual intimacy with her husband-to-be.

After the immaculate conception, Scripture tells us that Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus (Matthew 1:24-25 NASB).

The Origin of Blood

The Lamb's Sinless Blood by Karen Jurgens

Have you ever cracked open an egg and found a dot of red in the yolk? I learned as a young, aspiring cook to throw that stained egg down the drain and never use a fertilized egg in recipes. Left alone, a hen’s egg won’t develop into a chick, but just hours after it’s fertilized, the red streaks of blood appear. Life is in the blood, and exactly twenty-one days later, a chick pecks its way out of its shell.

 

The same principle applies to us. A women’s menstrual cycle occurs every month, but a pregnancy requires a father’s contribution. After sperm unites with an egg, life begins, and the life is in the blood–proof that life begins at conception. Forty weeks later, a baby is born. Scripture tells us this fact:

For the life of the flesh is in the blood (Leviticus 17:14a NASB).

Since it’s the father’s contribution that produces the blood in a conceived child, God’s Son grew inside Mary’s womb with God’s perfect, sinless blood. Scientifically, the mother’s blood never mixes or comes in contact with the growing child. For a more scientific explanation from Dr. DeHaan, click How Jesus had sinless blood.

Sacrificing lambs, goats, and bulls wasn’t God’s final solution. He had a better plan.

While Jesus celebrated Passover in the Upper Room with His disciples, Passover animals waited for slaughter on the altars of Jerusalem’s Temple. As His ministry came to a close, Jesus explained to His disciples about His blood and Its purpose. Remember when Jesus said people would have to eat His body and drink His blood to be part of Him? Consequently, many of His followers found this to be a hard saying and had fallen away. However, Jesus was referring to the New Covenant, not cannibalism.

Communion, not cannibalism

The Lamb's Sinless Blood by Karen Jurgens

During the night on which He was betrayed, Maundy Thursday, Jesus established the New Covenant’s Holy Communion with His disciples at the Last Supper.

While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’  And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom’ (Matthew 26: 26-29 NASB).

What a glorious day when we will all take communion together with Christ in heaven!

While sacrificial animals shed their blood on the Temple’s altars, the Great Exchange happened at the Cross, and Jesus became the Savior of Mankind. With the establishment of the New Covenant, we take communion to remember what the Lord Jesus did for us—die in our place so we can be forgiven of our sins.

With the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, all blood sacrifice has ended. Forever. There is only one way to God, by His Son’s blood shed at Calvary. Through His sacrifice we are forgiven, and through His resurrection we have eternal life in heaven, becoming joint heirs with Christ.

The Lamb's Sinless Blood by Karen Jurgens

Do you know Jesus as Savior and Lord? You can. Today is the day of salvation. We have no promise of tomorrow. Ask Him to come into your heart and cleanse you of your sins with His blood. You’ll become His child, and the angels will rejoice in heaven. The angels will write your name in The Lamb’s Book of Life, and your eternity with Jesus will be sealed forever.

Have you noticed that this theme of the Lamb of God keeps growing? The more I’ve studied and delved into Scriptures concerning the Lamb, the deeper it’s become. The final post about the Lamb of God in Revelation will be the most exciting because those events are yet to come. I hope you’ll join me again soonUntil then, be blessed!

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The Jewish Lamb of God

The Jewish Lamb of God by Karen Jurgens

Israel has been waiting for thousands of years for Messiah to come to earth to deliver them. Many passages in the Old Testament refer to this coming One.

When Jesus was born, He fulfilled every prophecy about Himself, but the Jews rejected Him as Messiah.

Did they just expect an ordinary man? Jesus came as a perfect Son of Man and Son of God. Instead of recognizing their long-prophesied Messiah, Israel rejected Him as a blasphemer and a fraud, refusing to believe in His many miracles, which alone testified of His deity.

The Mystery of the Trinity

Let’s explore this great mystery by first asking a question.  Is the Christian God three-headed? Old Testament Scripture teaches in Deuteronomy 6:4: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord (KJV). Therefore, the concept of the Trinity makes no sense to Jewish understanding. God is clearly One, not Three.

The Jewish Lamb of God by Karen Jurgens

Where did Jesus stand on this issue? In a conversation with the scribes two thousand years ago, He makes it plain.

And one of the scribes came, and … asked him, ‘Which is the first commandment of all?’ And Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment’ ~ Mark 12:29-30, KJV.

Jesus agreed that God is One, but the sticking point came when Jesus claimed that God is His Father and that He and the Father are One. Here’s an example of Christ telling them plainly who He is:

 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one ~ John 10:24-30, KJV.

Christians worship God as the Trinity–Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. How can God be One and yet be three persons? For the Jews, this question is a stumbling-block.

Let me attempt to explain this mystery by asking you if you are one person? Of course, you say. But do you recognize that you have three parts? Your physical body, your soul (the mind, will, and emotions), and your eternal spirit. You are three-in-one, but people view you as one person.

We agree with the Scripture that the Lord Our God is One, and we are made in God’s image. But listen to how God describes Himself in the plural in Genesis:

Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’  God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them ~ Genesis 1:26-27, NASB.

This proves that the Trinity existed from the beginning. Another way of looking at it, to satisfy our human understanding, is through the institution of marriage. When a man and a woman are joined together in holy matrimony, they become one flesh. Although they begin as two separate people, their vows before God unite them in marriage. However, every couple operates as two separate physical bodies, even after their union.

The Jewish Lamb of God by Karen Jurgens

God has one physical image, as do we, but He is composed of three persons.

 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. ~ 1 John 5:7-8, KJV.

So Jesus is actually God’s Word that separated from God to become flesh and live among men–still completely God in a man’s body, the Son of God; still the Son of Man, the new Adam.

A Great Mystery

 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.  No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. ~ John 1:14; 17-18, NASB.

Jesus was rejected by the very ones who had been looking for His coming because Israel didn’t recognize her Messiah when He did arrive. So instead, the light of the gospel was extended to and accepted by the Gentiles through the Apostle Paul.

The Jewish Lamb of God by Karen Jurgens

There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God ~ John 1:9-13, NASB.

What a joyful day in the near future when scales will fall from Jewish eyes, and they will finally see the truth– Jesus is their Jewish Messiah. But when they realize that we Gentiles have been enjoying Israel’s inheritance along with all the blessings and benefits originally sent only to them, they will have an explosive emotional reaction. Jealousy will bring Israel back to their Jewish Messiah, and the root of David will be forever restored.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek ~ Romans 1:16, KJV.

We, the Gentiles, are the grafted-in branches, forever grateful. Together, Jews and Gentiles will make one tree in God, perfect and complete.

The Jewish Lamb of God by Karen Jurgens

Hallelujah! I can’t wait until that glorious day! Many already believe, but may the rest of our Jewish brothers and sisters come to Messiah even now, today. The prophecy of bringing Israel back to her land and the Jewish people back to God is told in Ezekiel 37:1-14:

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LordThus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord. (KJV)

The Jewish Lamb of God by Karen Jurgens

In the next post about the Lamb of God, I’ll discuss another intriguing mystery:

How could Jesus the Lamb of God be born with sinless blood?

Where is the Lamb in Revelation and how is that significant today?

Until then…be blessed!

 

The Lamb of God in the Old Testament

 

The Lamb of God in the Old Testament by Karen Jurgens

Is there anything more adorable than a sweet little lamb? When my daughter Meg was a toddler, my mother brought her a special gift—a soft, cuddly lamb. She named it Leemie, and this stuffed toy became her constant companion day and night. She would drag it along with her blanket, take it on every outing in her stroller, and snuggle with it at night. I can’t begin to count the times Leemie had to take a bath in the washer. Even today, she sits atop pillows in a guest bedroom waiting for Meg when she comes to visit.

The Lamb of God in the Old Testament by Karen Jurgens

Leemie is a very special lamb to our family.

I wonder if God also loved lambs and counted them as special? I think so because He sent His Son, the Lamb of God, to reestablish our relationship with the Father. To understand this, we need to trace it back to the beginning, the Garden of Eden.

The First Atonement

Adam and Eve lived in a perfect world until the serpent deceived them to eat fruit from the forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. After God discovered the couple hiding, ashamed and covered with fig leaves, God Himself provided clothing to cover their nakedness.

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them ~ Genesis 3:21 NASB.

This act of God required shedding the blood of an innocent animal to cover man’s sins.

I’ve often wondered…why couldn’t God have taken care of forgiving sins in heaven? Why did He have to shed the blood of innocent goats, rams, bulls, and lambs in Old Testament times?

Click to tweet: There is no blood in heaven

As I pondered this in prayer, God enlightened me with a startling fact. There is no blood in heaven. Heaven is a spiritual place without flesh and blood. When we die, we leave our mortal flesh behind to return to dust as our spirits are released into eternity.

Therefore, since only innocent blood can cover and forgive sins, a sacrifice had to be performed on earth, not in heaven.

Do you recall the story of Abraham and Isaac? Just when Abraham, directed by God, was about to sacrifice his son, the Lord stopped him, saying, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’  He said, ‘Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me’ ~ Genesis 22:11b-12 NASB.

The Lamb of God in the Old Testament by Karen Jurgens

God’s test was not only about Abraham’s faith but also a foreshadowing of God’s sacrifice of His Son, our Messiah, for the ultimate forgiveness of mankind’s sins many years later.

The Passover Lamb

Fast-forward from Abraham to the Book of Exodus. God used Moses to deliver the Israelites out of slavery from Egypt and establish the everlasting tradition of Passover. It’s interesting to me that the tradition involves every family taking a sweet baby lamb into their house and treating it as a pet before it became their sacrifice. Here are God’s directions:

‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household.  Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.  Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.  Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste—it is the Lord’s Passover.  For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am the Lord.  The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt ~ Exodus 12: 3, 5-7, 11-13 NASB.

Click to tweet: The doorposts and lintels covered with blood are in the shape of…

Did you realize that lamb’s blood covering the doorposts and lintel is in the shape of a cross? Not only did the lamb’s blood protect each family from God’s judgment, but also the families, standing with sandals on their feet and staffs in their hands, roasted and ate their lamb before fleeing to the Promised Land.

The Lamb of God in the Old Testament by Karen Jurgens

The Law of Atonement

What procedure did God establish in the Old Testament for the forgiveness of sins? God created the Law of Atonement, outlined in Leviticus 16. Once a year, the high priest would take two goats and cast the lot to see which goat God chose to be a sacrifice and which to be a scapegoat. The one died on the altar, and its shed blood atoned for the sins of the people from the previous year. Here’s what happened to the live goat:

‘When he finishes atoning for the holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall offer the live goat. Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness’ ~ Leviticus 16:20-22 NASB.

Barred from the camp, the scapegoat wandered in the wilderness until it starved and died, and with it, all of Israel’s sins.

The lamb, along with goats and other sacrificial animals, is central throughout the Old Testament, beginning in the Garden of Eden and continuing with the Laws of the Mosaic Covenant.

IMG_1141[63747] Lamb edited

Have you ever wondered…

How does Passover relate to the Cross of Christ?

Why don’t we sacrifice animals for the forgiveness of sins now?

How did God establish His New Covenant through Christ?

Where is the Lamb in Revelation?

We’ll explore these answers in the next post of The Lamb of God in the New Testament.

Until then…be blessed!

The Lamb of God in the Old Testament by Karen Jurgens

Why Must We Forgive?

Why Must We Forgive by Karen Jurgens

Forgiveness is a hot topic in churches and across the internet. Everyone’s talking about it, including me.

Jesus is coming soon to receive His church and to gather His Saints who are spotless and pure, whose sins have been washed away in the blood of the Lamb.

How is forgiveness a major key in our preparation for that day? You’re invited to join in as I talk with Patti Shene on Step into the Light.

Just click on the link below to go to the archived show. Hope to see you there.

http://ow.ly/GMeH30jhmv5