The Sacrificed Christ
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
What a sovereign, blessed Christ that came to us from Heaven. He was God eternal, the only Son of the Heavenly Father. The Father is the mind of His entire cosmos, the Son is the Word of the Father’s mind and the Holy Ghost manifests the words of the Son. It is a marvel to read the Bible and see the evidence of our thrice Holy God revealed in three Divine Beings. The son is the one member of the Trinity that could become a man and die on a cross.
His travail on the cross is where Heaven touched the earth with transforming love. God had spoken to man on many levels but now by the cross He spoke in miraculous redemption. Sin could never be fully conquered by all the great expressions of His revelation. It took Divine Blood to pay the final price. God sent His Holy Spirit to chose a woman to be the entrance level of the Son into our world. By Divine conception in Mary’s womb the Christ entered our world. He was Divine in the womb with Divine Blood. He grew to manhood and then surrendered to the cross. On the cross of breathtaking travail, He paid the ultimate price. It was finished.
Satan hates the sinless blood sacrifice! The Eternal Son of God is that ”Holy One of God,” born of a virgin and conceived by the Holy Ghost. He became fully human and fully flesh, but was sanctified by the act of the Sovereign Spirit of God. He was conceived in Mary’s womb by a miracle of God’s Supernatural action, therefore, without the sin nature. He was the second Adam who came to redeem men from the fall of the first Adam. The first Adam was created without sin, but disobeyed the commandment of God and became the means of infecting the whole race of men. Jesus Christ was the eternal Word or Logos who tabernacled in the flesh, but did not share Adam’s nature. He was tempted or proved, but rejected the offers of Lucifer, therefore, remaining without any expression or inclination of sin in body, soul or spirit.
The Nature of Sin! The nature of sin is bound in the soul of mankind. Therefore, every soul born to women in the natural order of conception is a sinner with the sin nature dominating their person. Apostle Paul expressed this nature as follows, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Romans 8:7) The great prophet, Isaiah, painted the Biblical picture of sinful man. “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” (Isaiah 1:4-6)
The Sinless Man! Jesus shared absolutely no expression of this nature, but came to redeem men out of this horrible pit. God, the Father, is holy and His holiness demands that sin be punished. Our Redeemer came to take that punishment unto Himself and forever change the eternal destiny of the human family. The sacrifice had to be different from fallen men. Men are sinners by nature and the Redeemer had to be “separate from sinners.” The only sacrifice that could enter the Holy of Holies was a spotless substitute. “Inherited sin” or what we call “adamic sin” is just as defiling as acts of sin. Adamic sin resides in the soul while acts of sin are expressions of the flesh. Either would have made Jesus incapable of redeeming man because the two cannot be separated. A man sins because his nature is sinful. Acts of sin are the results of the nature that has affected the very person or soul of that individual. Jesus never experienced either the nature or the acts of sin.
Because of this perfection of His soul Jesus could be made an offering for sin. Isaiah prophesied that God the Father would make the soul of His Son a substitute sacrifice. Here are his words: “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” (Isaiah 53:10)
Sanctified And Sent Into The World! When the Great God would send a sacrifice for sin, nobody was capable of meeting that divine requirement, but His Eternal Son. John the Revelator tells of a search throughout Heaven, the earth and beneath the earth to find someone that could take the redemptive “Book” out of the Father’s hand. John wept until an angel stopped him and showed him the “Lamb” as it had been slain. Then the company of saints began to sing, “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 1 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:2-10)
The death of this sinless Lamb is the one and only means of redemption. It is God’s eternal answer to the entire problem of sin and all its consequences. From the redemption of man from his guilt, the sanctification of man from his defilement all the way to the cleansing of the earth from sin’s effect; the death of the Lord Jesus Christ is complete and final. “It is finished.” (John 19:30).
The Revelation text (Book of Revelation) was written as John beheld the future redemption of this earth. But remember “redemption” is an eternal fact. Jesus Christ was slain from the foundation of the world, according to Holy Scripture. His death was in the heart of God when man was placed in the garden. A revealing statement about the coming Antichrist and his sway over all mankind and complete redemption is found in Revelation 13:8. Hear this “Revelation from Jesus Christ” as He states, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8)
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Multitudes of church members will follow and worship a new “christ” whose main distinction will be a “Jesus” different from the one that was ‘slain from the foundation of the world.” He will be presented as an example “Jesus,” compassionate “Jesus,” a phallic “Jesus” (as described by the Promise Keepers), a positive “Jesus,” a non-threatening “Jesus,” etc. The Antichrist will quote the Bible with great skill and talk eloquent “Bible talk.” The subtle difference will be in the “redemption by His sinless blood,” That’s where Satan cannot imitate the Lord Jesus Christ.
Satan Hates the Sinless Blood Sacrifice! Satan has always attacked Jesus at the point of His timeless divinity and His perfect sacrifice for sin. It was just such a setting where Jesus affirmed His sinless perfection. Jesus had spoken of Himself as the Great Shepherd and the only way to the Father. The Jews cried out in their accusation, accusing Him of blasphemy because He made Himself “One with the Father.” He had said, “I and my Father are one.” ( John 10:36) That’s when He said to them, “Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” (John 10:36)
Any theological idea that reduces this high and lofty sinlessness of the Lord is a work of Lucifer. It does not matter how minute that reduction may represent: One iota of smear or confusion about the person of Jesus Christ is like a black dot in an all-white garment. The entire garment becomes unusable until the dot is removed. The redemptive powers of Jesus Christ are rendered of no value when a question of His holy nature is suggested. If the earthly Holy of Holies (patterned after the heavenly) could not be entered until complete purification, how much more so the heavenly Holy of Holies where God the Father sits on His throne. It is unthinkable to consider that Jesus could provide eternal redemption and offer His blood on the high altar of God unless He was sinless and perfect in the total sense of Holiness. He did not just resist the vile thoughts of sin, He had no vile thoughts of sin. He was not just pure in the rejection of sinful lust, He was pure in the absence of sinful lust.
The Priesthood of Jesus Christ.
The Lord Jesus Christ came to establish a new priesthood different from the order of Aaron and the Levites. His priesthood would be established on the “Word of the Oath” given by God the Father. It would be irrevocable and unchangeable. The first priesthood was built on men who also had infirmities (feebleness or points of weakness). They had to offer an offering for themselves before they could offer the offering for someone else. The new priesthood is absolutely perfect and is established on a perfect oath and a perfect sacrifice.
The Apostle Paul makes this truth clear. “ For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.” (Hebrews 7: 26-28)
Let me repeat that there is a clear distinction between the priest of the first order and the Lord Jesus Christ. The men of the first order had infirmities, but our High Priest is without feebleness or any point of weakness. This new “oath” makes the Son our High Priest, who is consecrated forevermore. Modern theology has been so integrated with secular psychology that “such a pure and holy priesthood” is out of the question. The sanctification provided by modern preachers is dependent on counselors, psychologists, hours of therapy and psycho-analysis. The true sanctification of the blood is instantaneous and life changing.
Jesus Christ has ascended to the Father’s right hand. The body of His church is intimately connected to Him by His Spirit. His grace is administered to us on a perpetual basis so that we live “by faith,” not by sight.
1 Corinthians 1
17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
The Lamb of God: Our Passover Lamb
One of the most powerful symbols in Scripture is that of our Lord Jesus Christ being called the “Lamb of God.” Symbolism, when used in Scripture, will always fit perfectly the Biblical truth it represents. Jesus is called the “Lamb of God,” not the sheep of God. Why? A lamb is within the first twelve months of age. The lamb matures at one year of age and may start at breeding approximately eighteen months. (Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 10, 15 Ed, pp. 714-15) The first twelve months would be considered the innocent time of a lamb’s life. It is a perfect picture of the total innocence of our Lord in His “sinless experience” of our human life.
The Passover Lamb had to be a male of the first year. “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. (Exodus 12: 5-8)
This innocent lamb was to be roasted after it was killed and they were to eat it with unleavened bread. They were commanded to eat all of it and any left must be burned with fire. The blood was applied like a “cross” on the two sides of the door post and on the lintel over the door. The death angel could not pass under that cross. They were commanded not to go outside where the protection of the cross would be void.
The same general truth is now the wonderful joy of each Bible-believing disciple. We literally can find our total security within the veil, that is to say within the hiding place of this sacrificed flesh. Our worship should always be a celebration of His sacrifice and our new life in His resurrection. Paul stated, “ Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (I Corinthians 5: 6-8)
The Lord Jesus Christ is called the Lamb of God thirty-three times in Scripture. Twenty-nine (29) of those times are in the Book of Revelation where He is triumphant over every enemy and sets up the Eternal Kingdom of Righteousness. His role in the Revelation of the End Times is unconditionally performed on the basis of Him being the Passover Lamb. Under no other condition, except total purity, would Jesus Christ be judicially capable to eradicate all the works of Lucifer and create a new Kingdom of Righteousness. Our redemption is provided by a perfect sacrifice, a Passover Lamb that provides total protection from the death angel and every consequence of sin.
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Baptized Reluctantly by John the Baptist
Even His baptism by the prophet, John the Baptist, was a testimony to His sinlessness. This picture of Jesus’ baptism reveals a crisis experience in His earthly preparation. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost in his mother’s womb by the very presence of Mary only hours after the Holy Ghost had conceived the Eternal Son of God in her womb. Such a display of power by the presence of the unborn “Holy One” reveals the uniqueness of His person. He was sent into this world to defeat the devil. That defeat was never a question. Jesus absolutely could not be defeated.
When Jesus walked down into the waters of the muddy Jordan River, John forbid this request to suffer Jesus beneath the waters. Listen to John the Baptist as he recoils in holy reverence. “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3: 13-17)
Jesus was no ordinary man and John the Baptist knew it without question. The result of this identification by Jesus with sinful flesh pleased the Heavenly Father. Immediately, He sent the Holy Ghost to possess the human body of the Eternal Son that the work of His ministry would be wrought by the Divine Spirit, not the Divine Nature of Jesus. God the Father spoke as the Holy Spirit descended commending His only begotten Son. It was a breathtaking picture of the Divine Godhead united in readiness for the redemption of mankind.
If Jesus was the ordinary man with all the ordinary passions for sin, then His baptism would have been for Himself and not as an identification with someone else’s need. John the Baptist forever settled the question. His remarks were of an ordinary man to an extraordinary God/man who had no personal need of redemption. He was the Redeemer and was “undefiled and separate from sinners.”
The End Times Church
The Scripture warns of a multitude of religious people who will worship a false Christ and actually believe that he is the Jesus of Holy Scripture. For years we have heard preaching and teaching of the apostasy and deception just before the Rapture. Jesus warned clearly saying, “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:5) The day is upon us when the truth of Jesus Christ is being so utterly altered that the result is a Jesus that can be imitated by an Antichrist.
This paradigm change is a mental conversion to actually think with a new perception. Millions of church members have already made the change. Religious rock, rap, and contemporary music is clearly a process of imitation. Church members are ready to shout and sing to any tune of the religious world as long as they do not have to bear the shame of the cross, deny themselves and the world, and follow a bloody sacrifice. They want yuppie religion with all of its rewards and the Antichrist spirit is more than glad to appeal to their flesh.
Jesus Christ has never offered an appealing discipleship. He is not a “user-friendly” Jesus or a “non-threatening” Jesus. He is the “The Holy One of God” that takes away the sin of the world and in Him is no sin. The church world is choosing between the Lord Jesus Christ and a false Christ, and the shame of the cross is the clear difference between the two. “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Galatians 6:14)