Most Christians are aware that we are justified only by grace through faith, yet a lot tend to mix Law and Grace in sanctification.
That is, they believe that once they are saved by grace, they then need to keep to some sort of code of conduct to remain saved, be it the Ten Commandments, their own set of rules or their church’s. The church where I grew up had written rules and regulations for everything under the sun. There were also unspoken rules that everybody knew, such as, getting to both services on a Sunday was a must, otherwise you would be considered weak in the faith by everybody else.
Thus often a Christian is still under the Law even though he can easily quote “I’m not under law but under grace”.
We need to understand that Law and Grace are two complete systems in themselves, and they are mutually exclusive of each other. You cannot be under both Law and Grace at the same time, neither can you mix Grace with Law. This was the error of the Galatians. But what did Paul say to them :
”O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” Galations 3:1-3
Under grace our acceptance with God is based on the fact that we are in Christ by faith and He is acceptable to God. How we live after being saved is also by grace. He saves us and He sanctifies us, there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. We live now not by rules and regulations but by a new principle : the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:2)
That means that Christ lives His life through us. It is His righteousness , not ours.
”and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness , which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” Philippians 3:9
Jacob’s life in the Old Testament is a picture of dispensational truth. As we know, his life was far from perfect, yet God still used it to teach us some eternal truths about God’s program for both Israel and the Church.
Remember: The New is in the Old concealed, the Old is in the New revealed. The New Testament sheds light on the Old Testament. And the New is concealed in the shadows of the Old – it is hidden, but it is there for those who like to search for hidden treasure.
God’s Program: Israel & The Church
Christ came the first time to Israel and was rejected by those He came to save
They have been set aside for a time
He is now calling out a Gentile Bride, the Church
After she is called out, He will return again to Israel
This time He will be their Saviour, Deliverer and Lord
Then He shall establish His kingdom on earth
And every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord of all
God made a covenant with Abraham:
“Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” Genesis 22:15-18
Then the covenant was confirmed to Isaac and Jacob
Abraham —› Isaac —› JacobIsrael
(God changed Jacob’s name to “Israel”). Israel had 12 sons, which became the 12 tribes of Israel: Asher, Benjamin, Dan, Ephraim, Gad, Isaachar, Judah, Levi, Mannaseh, Naphtali, Rueben, Simeon, Zebulun
God’s promises were made to Israel
Sometimes the Church forgets that the New Covenant was made to Israel & Judah:
“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, whenI will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord.But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jeremiah 31:31-34 (emphasis mine)
But Israel rejected their Messiah, as prophesied in Isaiah 53, so God turned to the Gentiles
““And now the Lord says, Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, So that Israel is gathered to Him (For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, And My God shall be My strength), Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ” Isaiah 49:5, 6
“I will call them My people who were not My people and her beloved, who was not beloved” Romans 9:25
“Blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” Romans 11:25
So now the Gentiles are being brought in to the New Covenant that God made with Israel. As Gentiles we are as branches from a wild olive tree, being grafted in to the Jewish olive tree, ie the New Covenant that God made with the House of Judah and Israel. We are grafted in by faith in the Messiah Christ Jesus. (see Romans 11:16-24). By faith He is making “one new man”, that is His Bride/the Church, from both Jew and Gentile believers.
“He is For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” Ephesians 2:14-16
However God has not finished with Israel “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love…” Jer 31:3
Which leads to …
Jacob & His Two Wives
Jacob here is a picture of Jesus Christ:
The Type : Jacob
The Anti-Type : Christ Jesus
Jacob chosen by God, even though 2nd born son
Christ is the Second Adam
Esau forfeited his birthright, it passed to Jacob
Adam forfeited his birthright. God sent the second Man who is to receive the birthright of the firstborn Son of God: ie the dominion of the earth
Jacob was hated by his brother Esau
Christ was hated by His brethren
He was driven in to exile in a far country
Jesus left His Father’s house and came to earth
Jacob was treated badly in a far country, became as a servant
Christ came as a bond-servant in human form and was crucified
He married a bride in a far country
Christ purchased His bride with His shed blood in the far country ie the earth
Then returned to claim his possession / inheritance
Christ will come again to claim His possession/ inheritance, the earth
Jacobs Two Wives, Rachel & Leah
Jacob chose Rachel first. He laboured for her. But at the end of his labour he didn’t receive her, he received a different bride, Leah.
He then served 7 more years for Rachel.
But second bride Leah was fruitful and bore Jacob many children. Rachel was barren: until she cried out to God in distress.
Jacob chose Rachel first but she was set aside for a time while Leah bore many children and took her place.
Rachel = Israel
Leah = the Church
Israel today is barren and the Church is fulfilling the purposes of God. However when the Church is taken up in the rapture, then the Lord will deal with Israel again, in the Tribulation. It is when Israel cries out to God in distress that she will too become fruitful and many will turn to Jehovah through the instrument of Israel.
“…that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Israel); for this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins’.” Romans 11:25-27
Give me the old-fashioned power of the blood, that old rugged cross and the exaltation of Jesus Christ as Lord and there’s nothing that can stand in my way as a blood-bought child of God.
The old fashioned power of the Blood of Jesus Christ is still there on the mercy seat in Heaven before the Father. It has never been removed, it has never lost its power and it never will.
But the devil doesn’t want the Church to know the power of the blood. In particular there has been a sustained effort to cover it up over these last few decades. So let’s have a look at it.
What power does the Blood have?
What gives the Blood its power?
And how can we experience the Blood’s full power in our lives?
The Power of the Blood of Jesus
Peace is made between man and God Colossians 1:20
“and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”
Forgiveness of sins Colossians 1:14
“in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
Eternal Life John 6:54
“Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Satan is Overcome Revelation 12:11
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”
Continual Cleansing from all Sin 1 John 1:7
“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Set Free from bondage to a Guilty Conscience to Serve God Hebrews 9:14
“how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
Liberty to Enter and Remain in the Holy of Holies of God’s Presence Hebrews 10:19
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,”
What Gives the Blood its Power?
Like the old hymn says “There’s power, power wonder-working power in the Blood of the Lamb”…
The Blood of the Lamb surely has power even now. We can testify to its power to cast demons out of people, save people and set them free..
But it is the power of the blood of the Lamb.
Jesus Became the Lamb of God
Not a mighty warrior, a conquering superhero, but a Lamb. A lamb has a meek and humble disposition. A lamb doesn’t fight. A lamb is led to the slaughter quietly, a lamb doesn’t protest.
It is the power of the blood of the Lamb
“So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Rev 7:14
Jesus became the Lamb of God, who took away the sins of the world. He was the final Lamb in fulfilment of all those thousands of lambs in the Old Covenant that were killed on the altar for man’s sin.
He literally became the physical Lamb as an atonement, but it was more than that.
The Disposition of the Lamb
He was also the Lamb in disposition. Jesus was meek and unresisting. In total submission to the Father He allowed man to do whatever they wanted to Him and He didn’t fight back, He didn’t resist, nor protest. He yielded the whole time, even to death.
“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Phil 2:8
“He’s not merely the Lamb because He died on the cross, but He died on the cross because He’s the Lamb.” Roy Hession
Hebrews 9:14 says “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God…”
Truly Christ was so humble that He offered Himself to God as the Lamb, willing to do whatever the Father wanted.
It was because of this disposition of utter self-denial, of the complete surrender of the Lamb and of His deep humility that God exalted Him and gave Him the Name above every name.
So we see how valuable this disposition is to God. This was the disposition He was after when He created Adam. But Adam rebelled against his Creator and took the path of Self instead. Thus all mankind has followed Adam down this path of Self and rejected submission to our Creator and God. This is the essence of sin: self and pride.
But God found that disposition in one Man: the Man Christ Jesus.
And His shed blood is the ultimate expression of this humility.
“It was because the shedding of His blood so supremely expressed this disposition that it is so utterly precious to God and so all-availing for man and his sin” Roy Hession
How can we Experience the Blood’s Full Power in Our lives?
Just as the shed blood’s power comes from the Lamb’s disposition, so too in our own lives, the power of the blood becomes available to us as we follow the Lamb and partake of His divine nature.
Just as He submitted fully to the Father’s will and yielded up His life to Him, so we too can know the full power of the Blood as we submit to the Father, willingly and quietly obeying His will, laying down our own wants, desires, rights and ambitions. As we offer up our bodies as a living sacrifice to Him, He fills us with His Spirit and the disposition of the Lamb becomes ours.
Lord, help us to truly submit to You. To lay down our life for you as You lay down Your life for us. As we do, fill us with your Spirit and may the fruits of the Spirit, such as meekness, gentleness truly become evident in our lives. We thank you for becoming the Lamb who took away our sins, may we become lambs now and follow You wherever you go. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
*Based on teaching from Roy Hession’s book “The Calvary Road”
There are many who say that Joseph and the Passover Lamb are the two clearest pictures in the Old Testament of Christ, and I would agree with them.
Remember: The New is in the Old concealed, the Old is in the New revealed.
The New Testament sheds light on the Old Testament. And the New is concealed in the shadows of the Old – it is hidden, but it is there for those who like to search for hidden treasure.
Joseph typifies Christ Jesus in many ways, but crucially his story also points to the nation of Israel and God’s dealings with them, and so we will look at both of these aspects.
Joseph as a type of Christ
1. Joseph was the beloved son of his father, Jacob Genesis 37:3
“Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children…”
Christ is the beloved Son of the Father
“and suddenly a voice from heaven saying ‘This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”
2. Joseph was clothed in the coat of many colours signifying his Firstborn rights and inheritance of his father. Genesis 37:3
Christ is the firstborn of the Father, and the Son of His inheritance.
Hebrews Chapter 1; Ephesians 1:18
3. Joseph was envied by his brothers
“But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him…” Genesis 37:4
Christ was envied by His brethren, the Jewish Chief Priests and elders. Matthew 27: 12-18
“For he knew that they had handed him over because of envy”
4. Joseph was betrayed and rejected by his brothers and sold for 20 pieces of silver
Christ was betrayed and rejected by his brethren and sold for 30 pieces of silver. Matthew 13:53-58; Matthew 26:15
5. Joseph was not recognized by his brothers, neither early on as he told them his dreams, nor later as the governor of Egypt. Genesis 37:8; Genesis 42:8
Christ was not recognized by His brethren, when he came preaching the Kingdom of heaven to Israel, nor is He recognised now as the risen King of the Jews. Matthew 12:22-30; Romans 11:7-8
6. Joseph was cast into a pit to die by his brothers Genesis 37:24
Christ was crucified on the cross by His brethren, then placed in a tomb Matthew 27:60
7. Joseph coming out of the pit, signifying the place of death, back in to life Genesis 37:28
Christ was raised from the dead
Matthew 28:5, 6
8. Reuben found the pit empty Genesis 37:29
Christ’s brethren find the tomb empty Matthew 28:1-6
9. Joseph was sold into slavery Genesis 37:28
Christ took the form of a bond-slave Philippians 2:7
10. Joseph is rejected by his brethren and so is sent to the Gentile world, (Egypt) Genesis 37:28
Christ was rejected by Israel and so is sent to the Gentiles Matthew 12:22-30; Romans 11:25
11. Joseph suffered much, becoming a slave, being falsely accused, going to prison Genesis 39 & 40
Christ suffered much at the hands of men, being falsely accused, betrayed and died
Matthew 26 & 27
12. There is no record of Joseph sinning, even though he was a sinner
Christ never sinned, He is God in human flesh
13. Joseph had the Spirit of God in him Genesis 41:38 “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”
Christ Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit
14. After a time of suffering, Joseph was exalted to a high position in Egypt by Pharoah
After Christ’s sufferings God has highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name. Philippians 2:5-11
15. Joseph was given the Egyptian name of Zaphnath-Paaneah, which means the “Saviour of the World” Genesis 41:45
Christ Jesus is the Saviour of the world, and His name bears witness to that.
“…you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” Matthew 1:21
16. Joseph was 30 years old when he began his life’s work, after much preparation Genesis 41:46
Christ was 30 years old when He began His ministry, after much preparation.
17. Joseph was given a Gentile bride by Pharoah at the time of his exaltation Genesis 41:45
Christ is to be given a Gentile bride, the Church when He returns for her.
18. Joseph went out from the presence of Pharoah as Zaphnath-Paaneah, to save the world from the coming famine Genesis 41:46
18. Christ Jesus went out from the presence of the Father to save the world from sin
19. Joseph provided grain/food to the starving masses Genesis 47:13-26
Christ Jesus is the bread of God sent from heaven to feed the world John 6:22-51
20. Joseph’s brothers, those bearing the names of the 12 tribes of Israel, go through much hardship and suffering before Joseph reveals himself to them Genesis 42- 44
Christ’s brethren the Jews will go through much trial and suffering before they recognize their King, culminating in the time of Jacob’s Trouble.
21. Joseph’s brothers suffering leads them to repentance Genesis 44:18-34
The time of Jacob’s Trouble, or the Great Tribulation is to bring the nation of Israel to national repentance, as the anti-type of the Day of Atonement. Jeremiah 30:7; Romans 11
22. Joseph’s outward harshness towards his brothers conceals his inner love and tenderness towards them. Genesis 42- 44 ; Genesis 42:24; Genesis 45:2
God’s heart towards sinners and Israel alike, though He seems to deal with them harshly, is one of love and tenderness, ultimately seeking restoration and reconciliation. Romans 5:8
23. Joseph’s brothers are restored and saved
“Moreover he kissed all of his brothers and wept over them…” Genesis 45
Israel is restored and saved
See further on Joseph as a prophetic picture of the Church here.
If you have any further types of Joseph that I haven’t mentioned, be sure to comment them below.
From the blog http://www.abideinchrist.com/messages/lev25v25.html
The “nearest kinsman” or “kinsman redeemer” is a “Goel”. The word means to redeem, receive or buy back.
What is a Kinsman-Redeemer?
The Lion of the Tribe of Judah
Provision was made in the Law of Moses for the poor person who was forced to sell part of his property or himself into slavery. His nearest of kin could step in and “buy back” what his relative was forced to sell (Leviticus 25:48f). The kinsman redeemer was a rich benefactor, or person who frees the debtor by paying the ransom price. “If a fellow countryman of yours becomes so poor he has to sell part of his property, then his nearest kinsman is to come and buy back what his relative has sold” (Leviticus 25:25; cf. Ruth 4:4, 6).
The nearest of kin had the responsibility of redeeming his kinsman’s lost opportunities. If a person was forced into slavery, his redeemer purchased his freedom. When debt threatened to overwhelm him, the kinsman stepped in to redeem his homestead and let the family live. If a family member died without an heir the kinsman gave his name by marrying the widow and rearing a son to hand down his name (Deuteronomy 25:5; Genesis 38:8; Ruth 3-4). When death came at the hands of another man the redeemer acted as the avenger of blood and pursued the killer (Numbers 35:12-34; Deuteronomy 19:1-3).
“Goel” was used of things consecrated to God (Leviticus 27:13“31), of God as redeeming man (Exodus 6:6; Isaiah 43:1; 44:22; 48:20; 49:7), and those redeemed by God (Isaiah 35:9; 51:10; Job 19:25). The right of redemption and the office belonged to the nearest kinsman, or “near of kin, near relative” (Leviticus 25:25; Ruth 3:12; 4:1, 6, 8, etc.). Yahweh is the great Kinsman of His people. When their liberty was lost in Egypt, He rescued them from bondage. “I am the LORD . . . I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments” (Exodus 6:6).
“Goel” in the Bible
The ancient patriarch Job complained that no one came to redeem him! His faith is seen reaching out and proclaiming that Yahweh will provide His Goel! “As for me, I know that my redeemer (kinsman) lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth” (Job 19:25). Job’s hope looked to the coming Messiah. He affirmed his faith that his redeemer will come to the earth.
One of the most beautiful passages where the word Goel is found is in the life of Naomi in the book of Ruth. The book of Ruth is a story about Naomi’s Goel. Naomi was the poorest person in Israel, but her kinsman was the richest man in Israel. Because of the death of her husband and two sons, she and her daughter-in-laws lost all income and their homestead. Naomi was living in a foreign land and sensed the loss of her homeland and relatives. She became bitter. The secret of all her daughter-in-law Ruth had was in union with Boaz. The nearer kinsman had the first right to the property and Boaz came next after him. If Ruth’s closer relative would not redeem or purchase it, Boaz was prepared to do so. The man who was nearest of kin agreed to redeem the piece of land until he found out there was a young widow involved. He graciously backed out! That left Boaz as the rightful nearest of kin who had the privilege of redeeming her land and her with it. The Moabitess and the Jew became one. Boaz was nearest of kin to her deceased husband (Ruth 2:1). He was able to redeem by paying the price of redemption (2:1), and he was willing to redeem the land (4:4). That is what makes this epic so beautiful.
Four things were required in order for a kinsman to redeem:
He must be near of kin. (Leviticus 25:48; 25:25 Ruth 3:12-13)
He must be able to redeem (Ruth 4:4-“6). He must be free of any calamity or need of redemption himself.
He must be willing to redeem (Ruth 4:6ff)
Redemption was completed when the price was completely paid (Leviticus 25:27; Ruth 4:7-11).
Jesus Christ is my Goel.
Jesus is my nearest kinsman through the incarnation.”For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3). He was like us in every way except that He never experienced sin. “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17). In order to identify Himself with us He “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7). “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). “Jesus you are my kinsman redeemer. You had the right to redeem me.” Thank God, He has the right to redeem all that I have lost.
2. Jesus has the power to redeem me. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). He assumed our debt and paid it with His life. Cf. Hebrews 1:2-3).
3. Jesus is willing to redeem me. Jesus Christ “gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14; cf. 1 John 1:7; 2:2; Hebrews 10:12; 4:16; 2:17). Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Jesus is referring to His voluntary, sacrificial, vicarious, and obedient payment to effect the release of slaves or captives from bondage. “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father” (John 10:17-18).
4. Jesus has paid the price in full and I have received my redemption. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
The invitation is still open. Jesus is the sinner’s nearest kinsman. It is our responsibility to lie at the feel of our Goel, and say, “Cover me with your blood and grace” (cf. Ruth 3:9). “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). “I have believed,” is in the perfect tense in the Greek text. Paul is saying, “I have believed and my faith is a firmly settled conviction.” God is keeping guard over him. “Persuaded” is also in perfect tense, therefore Paul had come to a settled persuasion regarding the matter and was fixed in an permanent position. You could not move him. There are some things of which I am absolutely sure.
Our redemption is precious. Our salvation has been purchased at a great and personal cost because the Lord Jesus gave Himself for our sins in order to deliver us from them. Our forgiveness is based on the ransom price of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us” (Ephesians 1:7). The redemption work of Jesus Christ delivers believers from the slavery to sin. The means of redemption is the substitutionary death of Christ as a sacrifice for our sin. It is “through His blood” which is the ransom payment (cf. Eph. 2:13; 1 Peter 1:18-19). Only the death of Christ completely satisfied Godâ€™s justice (Rom. 3:24-25).
Go back to ancient Israel in the time of the Judges. Can’t you see Naomi holding her grandson in her arms? Her neighbors said, “A son has been born to Naomi!” They named him Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of King David (4:17), of the lineage of the Messiah, Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5). God had redeemed her.
The words of Naomi’s friends are a fitting reminder of God’s grace in our lives. “Blessed is the LORD who has not left you without a redeemer (or closest relative) today, and may his name become famous in Israel” (Ruth 4:14).
Jesus compared the days we are living in to the days of Noah. He said:
“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:37-39
Just as in Noah’s day, there was a day appointed for judgment, so it is today. This time however, it will not be by flood, rather it will be by fire.
“For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.… But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? “ 2 Peter 3:3-12
Get on board the Ark now! Take your friends and your family with you. Make sure you are safely within the place of refuge and flee from the wrath that is to come!
Of which Ark do I speak of nowadays? This Ark is not made of gopher wood, no it is Jesus Christ Himself. The Ark of Noah is a picture of Christ and points to Him as the refuge from God’s coming judgment.
The New is in the Old Concealed, the Old is in the New Revealed.
The Shadow of the Ark
The Light of Jesus Christ
There was only one Ark. One boat. One way to escape the coming judgment.
Likewise there is only one way of salvation.Jesus said “I am the Way….no man comes to the Father but through me.” Forget religion, Christ is the only place of refuge from the coming Day of the Lord.
The Ark was planned by God not by Noah
The plan of redemption was foreordained by God to meet the judgment of sin and to make provision for the safety of the elect
Whilst God planned and designed the Ark, He commissioned man to build it.
This is a picure of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. The Saviour must have a human body and nature as well as the divine. God came in the flesh of man through the virgin birth.
Noah “found grace in the eyes of the Lord”
We are saved by grace through faith in Christ
Noah believed God’s Word that there would be a flood on the earth, even though there was no evidence of this. Previously the earth had been watered by a mist coming up. Noah received God’s Word of a coming deluge by faith.
We also received Jesus Christ by faith in God’s word. “…Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls”. 1 Peter 1:8
The Ark had only one door. There was only one way in.
Jesus is the only way in to the Father. Jesus said “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved….” John 10:9
The door had no dimensions given
No matter how great a sinner may be, there is room for him through the door – Jesus Christ
The Ark had three levels
This could be a picture of the Tri-unity of the Godhead.
There was only one window in the Ark. It was in the flat roof of the boat and about 18”x18” and covered by a hatch. Noah and his family could only look Heaven-ward out of the window
God wants us to be looking upwards to Him, rather than being overwhelmed by difficult circumstances.
God told Noah to “pitch (the Ark) within and without withpitch” Genesis 6:14. This is the only place in the Bible where “pitch”, a bituminous substance, is translated as “kapher”. “Kapher” everywhere else in the Bible translates as “atonement”. It means a covering. Lev 17:11 says “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls”. This word atonement in this verse is the same as the word translated as “pitch” in Genesis 6:14
It is because of Jesus Christ’s atonement for our sins at the cross, that we have a way of escape from what is coming upon this world. He took our place on the cross and shed His precious blood in order to make atonement for us. Once we are in Him His blood covers us and keeps us safe. In Him there is perfect peace and safety which is apart from this world.
God invited Noah and His family into the safety and refuge of the Ark. “And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark…” Genesis 7:1
God still invites us today into the safety of Christ, “Come unto me all who labour and are heavy-laden and I will give you rest…”
God told Noah to make rooms in the ark (Genesis 6:14). Rooms here is translated as “a nest”. God provided comfort as well as safety within the Ark.
Jesus said: “In My Father’s house are many mansions:….I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2
God Himself shut the door to the Ark“And the Lord shut him in” before the judgment began.
Whilst the door is open all may enter in. However one day soon the door will be shut and the age of grace will finish. Then the time of judgment will begin.
“By faith, Noah being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” Hebrews 11:7
The Old Testament is all about Christ. It really is.
Don’t listen to those who would put the OT down and say it is over with, it is past. Don’t listen to those who would say OT = “bad” but NT = “good”. It makes up 2/3’s of the Bible and it is all about Jesus.
“Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.” Hebrews 10:7/Psalm 40:7.
Remember: The New is in the Old concealed, the Old is in the New revealed.
The NT sheds light on the OT. And the NT is concealed in the shadows of the Old – it is hidden, but it is there for those who like to search for hidden treasure. Looking for the types and foreshadows of Christ in the OT is such a joy. I love discovering Him in the OT.
One example is Moses. Moses is such a wonderful type and picture of Christ. His life and ministry foreshadows Jesus in many ways. However One even greater than Moses is here now, in the Person of Jesus Christ. Let’s see how:
Moses was hidden away in Egypt as a baby for his own protection when Pharaoh decreed that all Hebrew baby boys were to be killed.
Jesus was hidden away in Egypt as a baby for his own protection when Herod sought to kill Him.
Moses, willingly left his royal home and high position in Pharaoh’s palace for the sake of his people.
Jesus, the royal Son of God, willingly left the glory of heaven to come to earth for the sake of His people.
In due course Moses came up out of Egypt and spent 40 years in the wilderness.
In due course Jesus also came up out of Egypt. He spent 40 days in the wilderness.
Moses was the deliverer of Israel out of the bondage and slavery of Egypt. He redeemed the Israelites from their hard-taskmasters with the blood of the Passover lamb.
Jesus is the deliverer of not only Israel but also of the Gentiles. He has delivered us from our bondage and slavery to sin. He has redeemed us from our hard-taskmaster (Satan) with His very own blood.
“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
Moses interceded for the Israelites when they corrupted themselves and worshipped a golden calf. In Exodus 32:32 Moses offered his own life on behalf of the people. Such was his love for them that he was prepared to take their guilt upon himself and to die for them.
Jesus interceded for the whole of humankind, utterly corrupted and gone astray as we were. Jesus actually did lay down His life on behalf of humankind. Such is His love for us that He did take our sin and guilt upon Himself and was offered to God in our place.
Moses was mediator of the Old Covenant of Law.
Jesus Christ is mediator of the New Covenant of Grace.
“For the law was given through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17
This barely skims the surface of the treasures of Christ that can be found in the life of Moses. Have a look for yourself and see what else you can find.
As the Altar of Incense fore-shadowed Christ, so too the incense offered on the Altar also fore-shadows Him. This is how:
Old Testament Shadow
New Testament Reality in Jesus
The Church’s Application
It was made of a delicate blend of four different spices. Each spice had to be of equal quantity, exactly balanced.
Jesus Christ is the One in whom is perfectly balanced grace and truth, holiness and love, righteousness and mercy.
Christ lives His holy life through the Church, as His Body. “Christ in us, the hope of glory.”
Each spice had to be crushed to a fine powder before it was added to the incense.
Christ was “wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities”. He was smitten, stricken, crushed. His perfect, sinless life poured out.
This points to “death to self”, the humbling of the believer.
Salt was added to the incense – salt is a seasoning and a preserver
Salt points to the holiness of Christ and the flavor of His life.
The Church is the salt of the earth –a preserving agent.
The incense was burned on the altar in front of the Ark of the Testimony.
Christ went through the fire of affliction in His sufferings and ultimately His death on the cross.
Our faith is tried by the fire of affliction and suffering.
The incense sent up a sweet perfume which entered the veil into the Holy of Holies, surrounding the Ark of the Testimony.
Christ’s sinless life of obedience was as a sweet perfume unto God. Christ has entered the veil and has made the way open for us too through His shed blood.
We are now able to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”
Aaron was to burn the incense in the morning and the evening when he also attended the lamps.
“As Christ ministers to the Church interceding for His own, He trims the wicks of the lamps and supplies the oil of the Spirit.”(1)
We are to pray in the Holy Spirit. “Prayer is the key for the day, the lock for the night” Corrie Ten Boom
No strange incense was to be offered on the altar, nor was anyone to make for themselves the incense. It was to be holy to God.
Points to Jesus being the only Way to the Father, there is no other Name under heaven whereby man can be saved.
It’s only through faith in Christ that we are saved. We are to have no other gods before Him. We are to pray in Jesus’ Name.
The incense was to be “perpetual…before the Lord”.
Points to Jesus as our High-Priest “who ever lives to make intercession for us.”
We are commanded to “pray without ceasing”. Our life is to be a perpetual prayer unto the Lord.
The Golden Censer
“Then he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, with his hands full of sweet incense beaten fine, and bring it inside the veil. And he shall put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the Testimony, lest he die” Leviticus 16:12-13
Old Testament Shadow
New Testament Reality in Jesus and the Church
On the Day of Atonement the High Priest brought a golden censer full of fire and a handful of incense into the Most Holy Place. He put the incense on the fire in front of the Ark so that the cloud of incense covered the mercy seat. He then sprinkled the blood of the sin offering upon the mercy seat.
The mercy seat is a picture of Christ Himself. The sprinkled blood points to Christ’s shed blood. The censer of incense is significant of Christ taking the prayers of His people within the veil to God’s presence, on the basis of His shed blood. Read also Revelation 8:1-5
Incense is simply an Old Testament shadow or type of prayer and intercession. God is no longer interested in the shadows or types, but rather in the eternal realities to which these shadows point.
He is extremely interested in the prayer and intercession of His Church. For the life of a believer to be truly saturated in prayer is well-pleasing to God.
“Pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” Ephesians 6:18
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