I have been taking this week off (to can and sew), but wanted to note for all of you that the Strange Fire conference, which is about the Charismatic movement and all of its offshoots, is being livestreamed for free, so we may all watch and learn. Obviously, as someone who comes from a family immersed in this movement (don’t let anybody tell you serious Bible study is anything less than very dangerous—I’m living proof!), I’m very interested in what men like John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, and the others have to say about this twisted version of the Gospel. Be sure to tune in if you have time—though I’ve heard the sessions will be available for download and as CDs/DVDs soon. What a blessing, though, to be able to catch portions for free!
Note—Oh, dear! This has been languishing and uncompleted in the “drafts” pile for a couple of weeks! I’ve been fighting with what seems to be a combination cold-severe allergy attack and have been studying, doing my usual wife things, what work I can, and much carrying around of tissue and hot tea. Enjoy (I hope) and I hope to be back at full throttle soon!
Continuing right along…
Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.
Only a flawless lamb or kid would be acceptable as the people prepared themselves for the final plague; this simply has to be more foreshadowing, more telling of the Christ to come. Only a perfect, unblemished, faultless sacrifice would satisfy God and keep the angel of death from entering, and this is something God continued to demand.
When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts. …Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations. Malachi 1:8, 14
This holds true for ourselves as well, Jew and Gentile, for upon facing God after our deaths, only one sacrifice is capable of atoning for our evil:
For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Hebrews 9:13-14
There are also very specific instructions for the preparation and consumption of the lamb—it is to be roasted, roasted entire from what I can tell, including the legs, head, and offal. Continue reading »
I say “non-Christian” because for many reasons, Christian culture looks down on them. They have not been considered traditional Christian behaviors. But one of the big reasons we’re losing our voice in today’s culture is that we don’t understand and master these critical habits. Here’s the list:
1) Confrontation: Old Testament prophets and early church leaders weren’t afraid to call people out.
Okay, a few more be-starred thoughts from my notebook.
But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.”
…”You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’ Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.”
Exodus 5:2, 7-9
In response to Moses’ telling Pharaoh God wished the king to let the slaves go worship God in the desert for three days, Pharaoh does four things. We first notice that he, just as tyrants (famously full of themselves and famously superior) have done through the centuries, displaying no respect for God, much less His commands (or requests).
Secondly, Pharaoh makes the labour of the Hebrew slaves even more difficult, by demanding they produce the same number of bricks while at the same time having to gather their own straw for doing so, insisting (this is #3) that the people only wish to go serve God because they are lazy—an interesting accusation in and of itself, don’t you think? Matthew Henry makes an interesting point about this passage—so often, the desire one has to step away from daily life to worship God or study His word and creation result in this very same accusation, that one is actually just lazy.
Worshipping God is beneficial to more than the worshipper
I have to ask—how can we be expected to serve a man well if we are disallowed to serve God, man’s creator, well? And how are we to learn what is recognized as good service to God without doing just that—our best to serve Him, which requires time apart to study, think, and worship? If we are not allowed to serve our Lord and Creator, setting time aside to do so, can we be expected to properly serve our employers? Continue reading »