Friday, February 24, 2023

A Recent Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journal Gives Evidence That Matches The Genesis Account


    The above photograph is from the James Webb Telescope and is featured on "", as well as the latest issue of the scientific journal "Nature". The little blobs of light in the pictures may not look impressive. However, as astronomers have examined the light coming from these distant galaxies, they have made some discoveries that match better with the Biblical doctrine of creation than standard secular models of the formation of the universe. In the "Nature" journal article, the spectra of light from the above galaxies indicates that each little blob of light contains hundreds of millions to tens of billions of stars. 

    In the most recent issue of the scientific journal "Nature", astronomers chronicle the latest findings of several distance galaxies that, according to the standard astronomical timeline, occured within 600 million years of the Big Bang. Now I won't go into the issues I have with the Big Bang or the standard timeline that postulates our universe being 13.7 billion years old. (I affirm what is called a "Young Earth" or "Young Universe" Model, which means that I understand Genesis 1 to teach that all the physical creation was made by God in a standard week of six twenty-four hour days. Per the standard secular cosmological timeline, the galaxies in question are alleged to be in a part of the universe where the universe was less than 5% of its current age.) 

    What I will point out instead is how troubling some find this evidence to be, since the James Webb Telescope has found alleged "mature galaxies" in our universe's history which ought not to had formed until much, much later. 

Biblical Creation Helps Us See The Forest And The Trees.

    To put this into perspective, the findings of the James Webb Telescope is like finding fully grown trees in a distant part of a given forest where we assumed we would only find saplings. It would seem reasonable to assume that fully grown trees nearer to us would had produced second and third generation of trees that would be younger, smaller, and less mature. In our illustration, if one would instead find that every tree in our forest was at the same maturity rate, the reasonable conclusion to draw would be that all the trees were planted at the same time. Essentially, whenever one reads the article in the "Nature" periodical, the technical evidence and stellar diagrams show the presence of mature galaxies where scientists expected to find more basic, smaller, ill-formed galaxies. For those interested in the article, please click here

What the Bible tells us about the stars.

    The opening chapter of Genesis provides the most well-known account of creation in the Bible. In all, some sixty different passages speak on the subject of creation in both the Old and New Testaments. A fundamental teaching of Genesis 1 is that God created the physical universe in the same week. This short window of time alotted to God's creation of the Heavens and Earth has been opposed since the late eighteenth century. Most astronomers since that time have adopted a millions and billions of years approach to their assumption that everything in the universe evolved along a uniform rate, from simple to complex. This underlying worldview, known as "uniformitarianism", suggests that "the present is key to the past", hence, the physical rates we observe in the universe today have been the same throughout its history. 

    What follows from such an underlying assumption is that we ought to find a gradual evolution of galactic formation from the simple to the complex. Discoveries made by the James Webb Telescope have begun to seriously challenge this standard interpretation. How? By providing evidence that the earliest known galaxies are as far along in their structure and star-count as our Milky Way. While standard secular models of galactic origins and development struggle to process these findings, such evidence poses no issue with the creation model found in Genesis 1:16.

     Genesis 1:16 reveals something very intriguing: "God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also." The latter clause, "He made the stars also", indicates in the underlying Hebrew grammar that God's creation of the Sun ("the greater light") and the moon ("the lesser light") occured simultaneously with the stars. This is a startling statement. It means that every star in the universe was created at the same time as our sun and moon. 

    As one combs the Bible, it becomes very apparent that the physical universe is a very large place in regards to the number of stars. A brief listing of key Scripture passages about the stars reveals how God's creation of them points to His glory, as well as the grandeur of the creation.

1. Job 22:12 “Is not God in the height of heaven? Look also at the distant stars, how high they are!"

2. Psalm 8:3-4 "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; 4 What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?"

3. Psalm 147:4 "He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them."

4. Isaiah 40:26 "Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing."

5. Jeremiah 31:35 "Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The Lord of hosts is His name:"

6. 1 Corinthians 15:41 "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory."

    In Genesis 15:5 and Jeremiah 33:22, God indicates that no one can accurately count the number of stars in our universe. By the sixteenth century, astronomers such as Tacho Brae had calculated the number of stars to be in the thousands. It was not until 1922 that the famed Cosmologist Edwin Hubble proved that there were other galaxies beside our own. In 2016, Astronomers estimated our Milky Way Galaxy to contain between 100 to 400 billion stars, with an estimated two-trillion galaxies occupying our visible universe. 

    As scientists would study the deeper reaches of our universe, it became apparent that we could only see a small fraction of what is truly there. Some estimates have suggested that we can only see roughly 1% of the total universe and its attendant galaxies. Whenever the James Webb Telescope was launched into space over a year ago, no one expected it to radically alter how we understand the universe in such a short span of time. 

Closing thoughts:

    As with all other branches of science, there is nothing which ultimately conflicts with the Biblical account of creation. Certain presuppositions and worldviews govern how the evidence is interpreted. It is fascinating to find a secular journal such as "Nature" drawing scientific conclusions which are useful in confirming what the Bible has said for millennia - namely that every star in the universe was made at the same time. To God be the glory in showing us once again how great and mighty He is, and how small we truly are!  




Saturday, February 18, 2023

Why Be Excited About The Beginnings Of The Asbury Revival?


    On February 8, 2023, Zachary Meerkreebs, Envision Coordinator for the Christian and Missionary Alliance, spoke at the chapel service of Asbury University in Wilmore, KY. As I listened to his message, based upon Romans 12:9-21, I did not notice anything out-of-the-ordinary with respect to the service. No emotional manipulation. No typical attempts by the speaker or campus to create something that wasn't there. If anything, the "ordinary" setting of the service is something to look for when assessing the beginnings of a true move of God. (For those wanting to watch the sermon, click on the link here:

    Now before I go any further, I point out this particular service because of the significant events that have unfolded in its wake. As of this post, what as been described by many as "The Asbury Revival", has been underway. This ongoing service of worship songs, prayer, and testimony has proceeded non-stop, for the last ten days. 

    It is of course too soon to offer an overall assessment of the specifics of this extraordinary event. It cannot be disputed on how the events on the Wilmore, KY campus have attracted the attention of many, in both secular media and Christians across the globe.

A word on evaluating contemporary historical events.

    As a Christian, a pastor, and general student of the history, I am cautious when assessing current events. Movements often described as "revivals" will often bear the fruit of what often is humanly contrived, emotionally-manipulated situations. As I noted at the start of this post, it appears that such negatives qualities are absent from the Asbury Revival. 

    Whenever one studies the history of any movement, the best way to attempt an evaluation is to note how it begins and the fruit which follows. As Dr. Vern Poythress has noted in his book "Redeeming Our Thinking About History", historians look at three primary areas: people, events, and meanings. In our media-saturated age, we have virtual first-hand access to the events and people that have made up the Asbury Revival. It is that third piece, "meaning", which will take some time to unpack once the revival concludes. 

    In my estimation at least, it is too soon to evaluate the fruit that will issue forth from the "Asbury Revival". What we can do is consider how this movement began. 

    My attempt here is to focus on one aspect of the beginnings of the so-called "Asbury Revival", which I classify as grounds for positive assessment - the expository sermon delivered by Zachary Meerkreebs. Before I do that, it is vital we all understand what is meant by "revival". 

What is revival?

    Sadly, many Christians and churches today often confuse true revival for what are often-times special services, conferences, animated Christian concerts, and even what used to be efforts made by churches in scheduling Spring or Fall revivals. We use this term "revival" to draw attention to what is is otherwise "not-business-as-usual" in church life. As wonderful as such events may be, they are not revival. 

    Steven Olford, famed Baptist Pastor of times past, offers a definition of revival from his book "Heart Cry for Revival":

"Revival is that strange and Sovereign work of God in in which He visits His own people, restoring, reanimating and releasing them into the fullness of His blessing. Such a Divine intervention will issue in evangelism though, in the first instance, it is a work of God in the church and amongst individual believers. Once we understand the nature of heaven sent revival, we shall be able to think, pray and speak intelligently of such times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19)."

True revival has a cost.

    In returning back to the chapel message I referred to at the beginning of this post, Zachary Meerkreebs, the speaker for that day, noted in his message the need to put others ahead of self. In listening to his message, I was reminded of something Martin Lloyd Jones wrote about revival - namely the cost of it. He writes in his classic book on revival:

"May He (God) so reveal His own glory and holiness to us. May He reveal unto us our utter impotence and hopelessness. May we see these things in such a way that we shall cease from men and look only unto the living God. And then there is no question but that He will hear us and He will manifest His glory and power."

    True revival has a cost. It will cost our time (for the last ten days, students and others have set aside their agendas to seek God). It will cost our control (when God brings true revival, it causes God's people to yield to His will and humble themselves, see 2 Chronicles 7:14). However other authors and observers evaluate the overall movement known as "The Asbury Revival", traits such as "counting the cost" (a principle for discipleship enunciated by Jesus in Luke 14:25-33) will need to be included in their assessment.

So what has made the beginnings of "The Asbury Revival" noteworthy?

    As I mentioned already, Zachary Meerkreebs preached a message in the Asbury University Chapel from Romans 12:9-21. The text for the message is as follows:

"Love must be free of hypocrisy. Detest what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never repay evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all people. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

    If I were to observe the one main feature of the beginning point of this revival, it is this: expository preaching. Brother Meerkreebs' message was refreshing to me, for he truly did what is known as "expository preaching". Expository preaching is where a preacher reads the text (which he did, urging those in attendance to read along with him). Then, he proceeded verse by verse through the text, focusing on explanation, illustration, exhortation, and application. Zachary is not a "point preacher". Instead, he used the main theme of the text, "love", to reinforce to his listeners the overall thrust of what Paul, the author of the text, wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. 

    In the message, he pointed out that there are some thirty commands in the passage - commands that can only find completion when God's love flows through us. A good expository sermon will draw the listener's attention to the Lord Jesus Christ. Throughout the sermon, Zachary Meerkreebs observed that apart from God's love in Jesus Christ, there is no way possible to fulfill the commands of Romans 12:9-21 through sheer will-power. 

    What was even more wonderful to hear was how he was continuing on from the prior week's chapel message, preached by another professor from Romans 12:1-8. Expository preaching will feature all of those characteristics I enumerated (reading the text, followed by explanation, illustration, exhortation, and application), with the added note of keeping in mind the surrounding context of the passage. 

    An expository message may take a theme and trace it through the Bible. Expository sermons may follow a book of the Bible from beginning to end, verse-by-verse (called by those who teach preaching as "lectio continua"). 

    Expository sermons may also focus upon a chapter, or a section in a chapter, to bring forth the intended meaning of the human author and the Divine Author - The Holy Spirit. As I listened to this chapel message, every feature of expository preaching I listed above was evident. God used this sermon, and the humility of the speaker, to set in motion a series of events which we are observing at this juncture.

The main takeway of the chapel message, and how it is connected to "The Asbury Revival".

    Zachary Meerkreebs' message expounded the text of Romans 12:9-21 to apply the need for God's love to flow through the Christian life. The seeds sown in his message by the Lord evidently took root in the handful of students that remained after the chapel service concluded. 

    In the discussion thread I read under the sermon's posting, Zachary Meerkreebs himself noted how everyone had went to lunch. A handful of students stayed behind to pray with one another. Soon, one student began to confess his sins, followed by another student. What issued forth from this simple group grew to become what is currently now "The Asbury Revival".

Final Thoughts: Expository preaching is behind the greatest revivals of history.

    As I close this post, let me note how God's Word has directly or indirectly begun some of the most noteworthy revivals of times past. Nave's Topical Bible lists the following references for revivals in the Bible:

1. Revival under the leadership of 
    Joshua. Joshua 5:2-9

2. Under Elijah. 1 Kings 18:17-40

3. Under Joash and Jehoida. 2 Kings 
    11:1-12:21; 2 Chronicles 23:1-24:27

4. Under Hezekiah. 2 Kings 18:1-7; 2 
    Chronicles 29:1-31:21

5. Under Josiah. 2 Kings 22:1-23:37; 2 
    Chronicles 34:1-35:27

6. Under Asa. 2 Chronicles 14:2-5; 15:1-

7. Under Manasseh. 2 Chronicles 33:12-

8. In Ninevah. Jonah 3:4-10

9. At Pentecost and post-Pentecostal 
    times. Acts 2:1-42, 47-47; 4:4;
5:14; 6:7; 9:35; 11:20-21; 12:24;
14:1; 19:17-20.

    It is always important to compare contemporary events, spiritual movements, and so-called "revivals" to the measuring stick of God's Word. One can note that in all of the above references, God's Word, whether preached, taught, or indirect in influence, is the Holy Spirit's primary tool in spawning true revival. Whatever will follow from the Asbury Revival, we can at least say it has had a good foundation - that of expository preaching.



Friday, February 17, 2023

The Doctrine of Scripture Series - Jesus In All 66 Books of the Bible - Jesus Is Present With His People In The Book of Acts


    In today's post, we continue to follow Jesus through the 66 Books of the Bible. We want to note how He is present with His people. The Book of Acts shows us how Jesus Christ, post-ascension, is still accessible to His people back then and to His people in the here-and-now. What follows below is an attempt to discover how the Book of Acts develops this idea. We will then theologically unpack how Jesus Christ as truly God and truly man can be still present with us, even though He has ascended to Heaven (a clue is found in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit). We will close with applications and examples of how Jesus is present with His people in key experiences of their lives.  

Quicknotes on the Book of Acts.

    The Book of Acts records the thirty year span of time that followed Jesus' life, death, burial, resurrection, post-resurrection appearances, and ascension. Acts is the sequel to Luke's Gospel, written by the same author. 
    In as much as Acts is called "The Acts of the Apostles", in reality, the Book could be more accurately termed "The Acts of the Holy Spirit". In my reading of the Book of Acts, I find some fifty-seven occasions where the Holy Spirit is referenced. 

    As I pondered on the amount of times one finds the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts, I was curious as to how often Jesus is found. A search uncovered that Jesus, whether preached, appearing, or referenced, is found in some twenty places. Now why mention these statistics? The one thing we know about the Person and work of the Holy Spirit is that His main job is to point people to Jesus Christ (see John 14:26-27; 15:26-27; 16:8-12). 

    Furthermore, as I mention below, the Holy Spirit connects God's people to Jesus Christ, and He to them. Four times in the New Testament we find reference to this particular ministry of the Holy Spirit in the titles "Spirit of Christ" (Romans 8:9; 1 Peter 1:11) and "Spirit of Jesus" (Acts 16:7; Philippians 1:19). 

    In the Book of Acts, we find the outline for the book contained in Acts 1:8 

"but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” 

    The outline of course conveys the church's witnessing about Jesus in Jerusalem (Acts 1-8); Judea/Samaria (Acts 9-12); and the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 13-28). Even though the promise spoken of by Jesus pertains to the sending of the Holy Spirit, we nonetheless see the result: the power to testify about Jesus Christ.

Distinguishing the states of Christ.

    Whenever we study the doctrine of Christ (known as Christology) in the Bible, we sometimes will focus attention upon what is called "the states of Christ". All we mean by the term "states of Christ" is in what way creation's relationship to Christ changes as He interracts with it. Also, this discussion pertains to what changes Christ undergoes in His human nature, from incarnation, through resurrection, through ascension, to exalation. It merits our attention to consider the "states of Christ", particularly in the realm of His incarnation in the Gospels (sometimes called "the pre-Pentecost Jesus") and His exalation or ascension in Acts (sometimes called "the post-Pentecost Jesus").

    Most oftentimes, theologians speak of the following "states":

1. Christ's pre-existent state, that is, He as the Second Person of the Trinity, existing co-eternally with the Father and Holy Spirit as the blessed Trinity from all eternity.

2. Christ's pre-incarnate state. When we come into the Old Testament, we find God making appearances to His people or traveling alongside with them. At times, we encounter a figure known as "The Angel of the Lord". This mysterious figure is referred to some fifteen times in the Old Testament. Most theologians refer to the "Angel of the Lord" as a "Christophany", that is, an appearance of the Son. 

    Other manifestations of the Son of God include the rock that somehow accomapnied the Jews in the wilderness (see 1 Corinthians 10:1-6), or the pillar of cloud we find oftentimes in the Book of Numbers. This visible manifestation of Yahweh, Jehovah, i.e. "The Son" (see for instances Psalm 2; Proverbs 30:4), is what we call "Christ's pre-incarnate state", meaning His activity in history before he took unto Himself a human nature.

3. The third state of Christ we often speak of is of course His incarnation. Christ's incarnation is where He, as a Divine Person, unites with truly human nature (comprising a rational human soul and physical body), whence was obtained from the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit's work in the virginal conception. 

    Sometimes theologians will refer to this miracle of the incarnation as "the hypostatic union". The word "hypostatic" derives from the Greek term "hypostasis" meaning "Person". Hence, the Person of the Son, already having the Divine nature as God, with which He has union with the Father and Spirit, joins to His Personhood the human nature of which we mentioned. 

    The Father and Holy Spirit were not incarnated - only the Son. The incarnation, once begun, would remain a permanent feature of the Son of God's life and ministry as a man, whether on earth or now in Heaven.

4. The fourth state we speak of is the resurrected state of our Lord Jesus Christ. Resurrection refers to a physical body being raised to glory and immortality. It is important at this point to remind readers that when we talk of the "states of Christ", were not speaking of a change in the Divine nature of our Lord. 

    Passages such as Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8 underscore how the divine nature of deity never undergoes alteration, addition, subtraction, or diminishment (also known as "The Doctrine of Divine Immutability). As God, Christ retains all the perfections and their use. His relationship with our world represents change from our vantage point, being that, for instance, there is a difference between there not being a creation and there being one.

    Whenever Christ would enter our world in the Old Testament, it was not He who changed, but instead He was expressing Himself through the media of the changing creation (whether clouds, rocks, or even temporarily taking on human form (see Genesis 18; Joshua 5). As for Jesus' human nature, that certainly undergoes change. 
    Furthermore, in His experience as man, the Son of God learns and increases in knowledge and wisdom, since He has a human mind, along with a human body (see Luke 1:48-52). This applies in the realm of His resurrection of the dead. He ever remained truly God - unchanging and eternal, a Divine Person. As also man, He as the Divine Son of God experiences all that occurs in resurrection as the glorified man, Jesus Christ. One Person, two natures - this is Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh (John 1:14). He as God with us, Immanuel, still remains also "man for us", Jesus, our Savior (see Matthew 1:21-23).

5. The fifth state, which brings us to Acts, is what we call "Jesus' exalted state" or what I've heard referred to sometimes as "The post-Pentecost Jesus". Philippians 2:9-11 records this exaltation of Christ to the Father's right hand. As our exalted Lord, Jesus Christ is our Prophet, who speaks through the Scriptures (Acts 2:30-36; Hebrews 1:1-2). He is our Eternal High Priest, interceding and representing us (Acts 7; Hebrews 7:24-25). He is our Soon coming King, returning for His people and aiming to set up His Kingdom here on earth (Acts 1:11-14; Philippians 3:20). In this exalted state, Jesus Christ still retains His glorified, resurrected body. As man, He is locally in Heaven, seated at the Father's righthand. As God, He is everywhere present with the Father and Spirit.

6. The sixth state, which I'll mention briefly, is what we could call Christ in His "Messianic Kingdom State." Whatever one may believe about the nature of the Millennium in Revelation 20, we know that in the future, Christ's Kingdom in Heaven will become visible and earthly. Luke alluded to this in Acts 1:11-14. Pre-millennialists (like myself) are convinced this will entail a 1,000 year reign on earth before the ushering in of the New Heaven and Earth. Other believers who hold to an A-millennial or Post-Millennial viewpoint believe that Christ's return will usher in the New Heavens and Earth. I won't go into the distinctions between these views, only to point out they all agree that our Lord will return visibly and rule over the earth and the universe from the earth.  Our Lord will be visible to all. This "Messianic State" our our Lord will feature Him ruling on His throne, over the nations, with His saints alongside Him (see Ephesians 3; Revelation 20). 

7. For sake of completion, if we were to assign a possible seventh state concerning Christ in His humanity, it would be where He delivers up the Kingdom to the Father as recorded in 1 Corinthians 15:23-28. This final act, right before the whole creation is renewed (see 2 Peter 3:13 for example), represents Christ and His people together for eternity in a glorified New Heavens and Earth (see Revelation 21-22).

The activity of Jesus in the Book of Acts and today.

    The reason for working through the various states of Christ that we find in the Bible is to aid us in thinking of how we find Jesus in the Book of Acts. For example, we find Jesus encountering Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus in Acts 9:3-7

"Now as he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, 6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told to you what you must do.” 7 The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one."

    Who was it that Saul encountered. In 1 Corinthians 15:8, Saul (renamed "Paul", see Acts 13), mentioned Jesus "appearing to Him": "and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also." 

    Whenever we study the other post-resurrection appearances of Jesus mentioned by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, they all feature Jesus appearing physically, bodily, as the post-resurrected Jesus. Paul classifies Jesus' appearance to Him in these same terms. This appearance of Jesus was not a vision, nor hallucination, nor a trance. There were physical phenomena (light, sound, physical interraction). How do we account for this?

    One of the things we note about Jesus' state of exaltation (i.e. "The post-Pentecost Jesus") is that by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, Who was sent from the Father and Himself to the church at Pentecost in Acts 2 and in subsequent outpourings in Acts 8, 10, and 19), the deity and humanity of our Lord is made accessible to His people. 

    As I stated earlier, Jesus' humanity remains localized in Heaven, whilst His Deity of course is unconstrained by the limits of time and space. His purpose for sending the Spirit was so that He could be connected to His followers here on earth. The New Testament believer in Jesus has a greater accessibility to the "Post-Pentecost Jesus" than the twelve disciples did to the "pre-Pentecost Christ".

    He as the Divine Son of God, united to the Spirit and the Father, is immediately accessible to His people. The humanity of our Lord, also attached to His Person, is made accessible because of the Holy Spirit's working. The whole Christ, as truly God and truly man, is that precious stone that is made accessible by faith to the Christian (1 Peter 2). 

    In the Book of Acts, we see the early church celebrate the Lord's Table (see Acts 2:37-42). The Lord's Supper, instituted by our Lord, depicts this reality of having access to Him by the Holy Spirit. When I eat the bread and drink the juice, I am not eating the body and blood of Christ in those elements. Instead, the bread and fruit of the vine signify or symbolize the reality of other Christians and myself mystically interracting with the Person of Christ by faith, through the Holy Spirit (see John 6; 1 Corinthians 11:23-28). Christ indwells every Christian by the Holy Spirit (John 14:23; Colossians 1:27). We cannot comprehend how this is so. Nonetheless, the Lord's Supper symbolizes and seals this truth of such an experience by faith to every Christian. 

    The introduction to great fifth century Calcedonian Creed expresses this point of Jesus Christ, as truly God and truly man, having the ability to be with His people today:

"We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood. "

    He who was able to mysteriously, yet wondrously appear to Paul on the road to Damascus in Acts 9 is still available to every believer this day. He who stood to receive the soul of Stephen upon his stoning in Acts 7 prays for and feels the pain of every Christian, as their human representative, while exercising His omnipresence as God to meet their every need (see Hebrews 4:16; Hebrews 7:24-25; 1 Peter 4:16-17; 1 John 1:9-2:2). 

    What the Book of Acts establishes as fact about our Lord is expounded further in the New Testament letters. Consider a few New Testament texts that affirm what I just said.

We see how Christ, as truly God and truly man, is present with His people in suffering.

2 Corinthians 1:5-6 "For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer."

We see also how Jesus is present with His people, by the Spirit, in their worship.

Hebrews 2:11-13 "For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for this reason He is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, 12 saying, “I will proclaim Your name to My brothers, In the midst of the assembly I will sing Your praise.” 13 And again, “I will put My trust in Him.” And again, “Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.”

Once more, we note how Jesus as God and man is present with Christians in temptation.

Hebrews 2:14-18 "Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. 16 For clearly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brothers 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. 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted."

Friday, February 10, 2023

The Doctrine of Scripture Series - Jesus In All 66 Books Of The Bible - How He Is Portrayed The Four Gospels

Introducing The New Testament

    The Old Testament covers over 4,000 years of time (starting from the time of Adam and Eve to the time following the Babylonian Exile). There are over 400,000 words of text in the underlying Hebrew manuscripts upon which our translations are based. 

    In prior posts, we've seen in that vast expanse of Divine revelation 39 examples of how the Lord Jesus Christ was observed:

1. Patterned in the Law books or Torah (Genesis through Deuteronomy).

2. Anticipated in the books of history (Joshua through 2 Chronicles).

3. Personified in the Wisdom literature (Job through Song of Solomon).

4. Predicted by the prophets (Isaiah to Malachi). 

    We now arrive at the New Testament, which contains 27 inspired books. The New Testament books contain over 138,000 words as penned in the Greek text underlying our contemporary translations. The 39 Old Testament books took a total of 1,000 years to compose, representing just over 30 authors from all walks of life. The New Testament literature covers just fifty years of time, representing almost ten authors. Just as we did in the Old Testament, we will use general headings to guide us through the New Testament, summarizing each book by how Christ is found in all of them. We will begin in this post by noting how Jesus is portrayed in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Matthew = Jesus our King.

    Whenever you begin with Matthew, you begin with genealogy. Why? Matthew's purpose is to show continuity and fulfillment. The continuity of Divine Revelation is found in how Matthew's Gospel picks up where Malachi, the final Old Testament book, left off. The fulfillment is to show how Jesus Christ came to be the long awaited Messiah. Matthew's theme of Christ's kingship begins with the listing of his genealogy in Matthew 1:1-17, which serves to prove His legal right to the throne of David. Christ's regal Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 includes these words: "All power has been given to me in Heaven and on earth". The theme of Kingship resonates through this Gospel. 

    We note Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, which is designed to show how life ought to be lived by those born again in saving faith as they live in this church age and await the age to come. Certainly, Jesus' final major address in Matthew, the Olivet Discourse, depicts Him as the King at the final judgment, bringing about the Kingdom of God here on earth. The Kingdom message of the Sermon on the Mount of Matthew 5-7 and the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24-25 have Jesus Christ as the King. 

    The visit of the Magi in Matthew 2 to worship the King of the Jews and the sign placed above Christ's cross in Matthew 27 which read: "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews", reveal the focus of this Gospel - Christ's Kingship. Finally, we find the Lord Jesus Christ rising from the dead and giving His great commission in Matthew 28. 

Mark = Jesus our Suffering Servant.

    Mark 10:45 provides the key verse for the Gospel of Mark. Mark picks up on the Suffering Servant imagery of Isaiah's Servant Songs in Isaiah 42,49,50, and 53. Christ came to be the suffering servant who would give His life a ransom for many. Mark's Gospel is a galloping read in comparison to Matthew. Some forty times we find the term " immediately" sprinkled throughout this Gospel. 

    If we take the records of church history at face value, Mark came as a result of Peter's preaching a series of sermons on the life of Christ. According to historical sources (such as Papias, Irenaeus, and Eusebius in his "Ecclesiastical Church History", all writing in the first three centuries), Peter was preaching from Matthew and a then newly written Luke. 

    Undoubtedly, Peter was struck by Jesus' suffering and humility. No doubt, Peter never forgot how His Lord forgave Him for denying Him three times. Mark was his assistant and wrote His Gospel under Divine inspiration as Peter preached. The close connection to Matthew explains why we find 90% of Mark's contents in Matthew. More could be said, but we see the Lord Jesus acting, healing, dying, and rising from the dead in Mark as the Servant who had suffered.

Luke = Jesus our Second Adam.

    Luke's audience was predominately Greek and Roman in their thinking. Both ancient cultures were obssessed with what defined the ideal man. In Luke 3, we find 77 names tracing Jesus' genealogy all the way back to Adam. In Luke 19:10 we find Jesus stating that He came as "the Son of Man, seeking and saving that which was lost". Luke's portrayal of Jesus is consistently that of Him being the Second Adam (compare Paul's teaching on this theme in Romans 5;12-21 and 1 Corinthians 15:45-47). 

    Luke's Gospel, along with Matthew and Mark, are what we call "Synoptic Gospels", with the term "Synoptic" meaning "seen together". Matthew is more Jewish in nature, and thus is concerned with proving Jesus Christ as Messiah and King of the Jews. Mark is written to a Roman audience, thus being more life-practical and brief. The Roman pre-occupation with slaves, and Jesus Himself coming as the suffering Servant, would had caught the attention of any Roman. Luke, on the otherhand, was a first-rate historian. 

    Luke wrote his Gospel in the Greco-Roman method of doing history, which tended to be somewhat autobiographical. In the Greek and Roman mind, the ideal man preoccupied their statues and philosophy. As Luke wrote to Greeks and Romans, he also wrote to a Jewish audience who would had understood the the person of Adam as the first created man. Both audiences are in view. Of course, Luke drew from the Old Testament to fill out his portrayal of Jesus Christ as the Second Adam. 

    In Luke, Jesus is shown as the Son of man, an Aramaic phrase drawn from Daniel 7. Remarkably, the title " Son of Man" was Jesus' favorite self-designation (mentioned by Him over 80x, and not found in any New Testament book, except the Four Gospels). 

    The title refers to Jesus in two incredible ways. First, "Son of Man" reveals that Jesus is the perfect, representative humanity as the Second Adam. Luke was Paul's associate in ministry. Paul taught of Jesus being the Second Adam in Romans 5:12-21 and 1 Corinthians 15:45-47. Whenever you consider Luke's geneaology in Luke 3, tracing Jesus' humanity back to Adam, you can see the " two-Adam" motif. Jesus was and still is the " Son of Man". perfect in humanity. 

    But we also note that this title " Son of Man", as deriving from Daniel 7, points us to Jesus' uncontested Deity as the eternal Son of God. There in Daniel 7, we see "The Son of Man" gloriously and eternally approaching another figure, another Person within the Godhead, called " The Ancient of Days". Since Jesus identifies Himself as "The Son of Man", He is identifying Himself as that One equal in glory, and one in nature, with the "Ancient of Days" - i.e. The Father. The richness of this "Son of Man" title carries much weight, richness, and meaning in unfolding to us Jesus Christ as truly God and truly man.    

John=Jesus the Son of God

    John's Gospel functions as a supplement to the first three Gospel. To say "supplement" does not imply inferiority. If for anything, John's Gospel captures the sublime reality of Christ's undiminished Deity and undiluted humanity as "the Word made flesh" (John 1:14). Roughly 90% of the contents of John are unique to His Gospel. Some wonder why John's Gospel is so different, as well as what if any relationship he has to the first three. 

    Although I won't get into that discussion here, I will say that the portrayal of Jesus we find in John does not conflict with the depiction of Jesus we discovered in the first three Gospels. 

    For instance, Luke's Gospel contains material unique to his Gospel (Luke 10-19, what is otherwise known as Jesus' Perean ministry on the Eastern side of the Jordon River). The events in that section of Luke help us line up the chronology of the first three Gospels with John's Gospel. In as much as each Gospel is different, the underlying unity of all four Gospels is found in the general outline of Jesus'life, death, and resurrection from the dead. 

    John explains in John 20:31 why he wrote his Gospel: "but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name." 

    What is meant by this title "Son of God"? John tells us in John 1 that the Son of God was and still remained "the Word", eternal with the Father in co-equality of glory, being, and substance. In other words, the Son of God shared in the same undivided life and essence with the Father and the Spirit as the blessed Holy Trinity (see, for instance, John 10:30). 

    We then find out that this "Word" came to be flesh in John 1:14. He ever remaining God came to be man. He as "Immanuel", God with us, came to be also "man for us". The first twelve chapters of John are called "The Book of signs", alluding to the seven miracles or "signs" done by Jesus. The latter part of the book, chapters 13-21, is often called "The Book of Glory", detailing how Jesus increasingly revealed His glory. He as the " Word made flesh", the incarnate Son of God, would make known His glory, beginning in the Upper Room (John 13-17), followed by His trial and crucifixion (John 18-19), and then of course His resurrection and subsequent appearances (John 20-21).  

More next time....

Saturday, February 4, 2023

A Lord's Table Meditation - The Lamb of God in the Bible


    In today's post I wanted to provide a means of reflecting upon the Lord's Table. The Lord's Table (also called "Lord's Supper", "Communion"), is one of two ordinances given by the Lord Jesus Christ to His church. An "ordinance" in anything commanded by Jesus in the Gospels, practiced in Acts, and expounded upon in the New Testament Epistles. Older theologians talk of how the Lord's Table is a "sign" and a "seal". 

    When I say the Lord's Table is a "sign", I mean a symbol, an emblem, that signifies what Jesus achieved on the cross on the believer's behalf. It is also a seal, meaning the Holy Spirit uses the Lord's Supper to impress upon the heart of the believer their identity with Jesus, His identity with them, and their identity with other fellow believers in the local church. This is why whenever we observe the Lord's Table at the church, we emphasize how it is partook by those who have already trusted in Jesus as their Savior. 

    So much meaning, theological richness, and truth resides in this important covenant meal. Much more could be said, but for today's post, I want us to look at how the Lord's Supper, and its tie-in with the Old Testament's mentionings of lambs, connect us to the identity of Jesus Christ as the "Lamb of God". By noting how we see Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God, as well as observing how the theological teaching of the Lamb of God motif is developed in the Bible, we can come to the Lord's Supper with a readiness to participate and give thanks to the Lord Jesus for all He has done for us.

    The Apostle Matthew records his version of the events that transpired when Jesus instituted this covenant meal. We read in Matthew 26:17-29 

"Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” 18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”’” 19 The disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover. 20 Now when evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples. 21 As they were eating, He said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.” 22 Being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23 And He answered, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me. 24 The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” 25 And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself.” 26 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.” 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 29 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.”

    In the text above, we can note instances where the Passover is mentioned, and where Jesus takes this Passover and transforms it into what we know as the Lord’s Table. In this post, I want us to see how God developed an important theological truth which points us to Jesus Christ – The Lamb of God. 

Where we see Jesus called "The Lamb of God"

    We know for certain Jesus is called by this title. John 1:29 and John 1:36, John the Baptist calls Jesus “The Lamb of God”. Peter in 1 Peter 1:19 refers to Jesus as “a lamb without blemish and without spot”. The Book of Revelation records the most instances of Jesus as “The Lamb”, some twenty-two times! 

    When we come to the Lord’s Table, and the institution of it by Jesus with His disciples and for His church, we note how central He is and how central the lamb is. The timing of the Lord’s Supper and Jesus’ crucifixion took place at Passover – a festival that centered around a lamb. A lamb-centered Jewish festival sees its fulfillment in the Lamb-of-God centered Lord’s Table for the New Covenant people of God – the Church. 

    I counted roughly one-hundred places where lambs are referenced with respect to various sacrifices, theological meanings, and salvation motifs in the Bible. What follows is but a sliver of those references. Note with me some passages of Scripture that point us to the Lamb of God – Jesus Christ.

1. Pattern of the lamb. Genesis 4:3-5

    Moses writes in Genesis 4:3-5 

"So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. 4 Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; 5 but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell."

    When it says God “had regard”, that underlying Hebrew word speaks of “finding favor”, in other words – grace. There was already a pattern, the only one, acceptable to God. 

    I do not doubt Adam and Eve may had taught both their sons of this pattern, which we read of in Genesis 3:20-21, wherein God slayed two animals in Adam and Eve’s place. God provided a sacrifice for sin, which needed received by faith. That was the pattern and still is the pattern. Cain's actions tell us he ignored the pattern, and made his own way. Cain's way led to despondency, delusion, and death.

    This same pattern of God's lamb would continue in Israel, especially in God’s instructions concerning the morning and evening sacrifices.  We read for instance in Exodus 29:38 

“Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two one year old lambs each day, continuously." 

    The Jews were always reminded of this pattern of God's lamb. Consider other examples, such as Numbers 28:3,8, and verse 13.

Numbers 29:3 "You shall say to them, ‘This is the offering by fire which you shall offer to the Lord: two male lambs one year old without defect as a continual burnt offering every day."

Numbers 28:8 ‘Then on the sabbath day two male lambs one year old without defect, and two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering, and its drink offering"

Numbers 28:13 "and a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering for each lamb, for a burnt offering of a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the Lord."

    This pattern of the lamb was so emphasized by God. He as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit had already planned for the Son to come, become incarnated, and go to the cross as "The Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8). This agreement between the Persons of the Trinity, called by theologians "The Covenant of Redemption", was worked out before creation. The cross was no accident. The Son of God becoming man and going to the cross (as a lamb going to slaughter), was no "plan b". It was the only plan. The only pattern. 

    As we loop back to Cain and Abel, we find the New Testament commenting on these two brothers. Abel, by faith, embraced this pattern of God's lamb. Whereas Cain spurned the pattern, choosing to make a pattern of his own. 

Note what we read in Hebrews 11:4 

"By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks." 

    Jude, Jesus' half-brother according to the flesh, remarks about Cain in his short letter in Jude 1:11a “Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain….”. May you and I not go any other way than the pattern of the Lamb of God. Now let's notice a second truth about the Lamb of God...

2. Prescription of a lamb. Exodus 12:5-7,13

    Once I was prescribed an antibiotic for a virus. For whatever reason, I did not follow the doctor’s orders. I ended up get worse. I thought I knew better. How often do people treat spiritual matters pertaining to eternity? They think they can come up with their own prescription. 
Think of what happens when we ignore God’s prescription. It can spell doom for the soul. There is only one prescription that can cure the sin and separation problem between God and the sinner - trust in Jesus Christ alone by grace alone through faith apart from good deeds.

    The first part of the Book of Exodus centers around God's redemption of the Jews out of Egypt (Exodus 1-23). On the eve of their Exodus, God, through Moses, gives them their first festival, celebration, to commemorate His deliverance - The Passover. Notice what we read in Exodus 12:5-7 

"Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 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. 7 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. 12:13 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."

    As I noted already, the context here is the final night for the Jews in Egypt. God sent nine plagues, and Pharoah refused to let them leave. The final plague would involve the death angel passing over the land (which is why the feast here is called “Passover”, translated from the Hebrew “Peschach”). Those who did not have the prescribed blood of the lamb upon their door posts or gates would find their firstborn sons dead by the morning. 

    Pharoah saw his dynasty end that night because he had not taken the prescription. The poorest slave in Egypt saw his future end because of not having the blood applied. But do you know, those who had the blood applied were exempted from God’s wrath.  

    Paul describes Jesus as the Passover in 1 Corinthians 5:7 "Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed." The Apostle Peter likewise utilizes language from Exodus 12 in 1 Peter 1:18-19 "knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ."

    Preachers of old would often press the truths found in the Passover to their listeners. In applying the above texts to you, dear reader, may I ask you: have you had the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God, applied to the doorposts of your heart? 

    We know that those who ignore God's prescription can only expect the wrath of God (see John 3:36). By faith alone can you take in the Lamb. Only His blood, shed for you on the cross, can wipe away the guilt of sin (expiation, John 1:29) and satisfy the wrath of God against your sin (propitiation, 1 John 2:1-2). Now notice a third truth about the Lamb of God...

3. Predicted Lamb. Isaiah 53:7-9

    We read the following in Isaiah 53:7-9 

"He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? 9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth."

    This remarkable prophecy was penned by Isaiah under Divine inspiration some seven-hundred years before Christ came into this world. It has been called by many "The Fifth Gospel", due to its detailed description of what Jesus underwent going to the cross. This text is quoted or alluded to some fifteen times in the New Testament. Let me mention just two of them as we consider how the Lamb of God was predicted.

Acts 8:34-35 "The eunuch answered Philip and said, 'Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself or of someone else?' 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him."

1 Peter 2:21-24 "For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 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."

    Both of these passages explicitly tell us that Isaiah was prophesying about the coming Messiah. He came as the fullfillment of God's pattern for the lamb of God. He came as the prescribed Lamb of God. As God in human flesh, He came to fulfill this prediction about the Lamb of God. Notice with me a fourth truth...

4. Prevailing Lamb. Revelation 5:6-9

    We have witnessed God's pattern, prescription, and prediction about the Lamb of God in the Bible. These and many more Scriptures point us to the cross of Christ. No doubt, the Lord's Table (or what we could appropriately call "The Lamb's Table") reminds us of what Jesus achieved. 

    However, we must not forget that Jesus did not stay dead. He raised from the dead three days following His crucifixion. Furthermore, He ascended forty-days after His resurrection. As the prevailing Lamb of God, Jesus Christ will soon return. The Lord's Supper points us forward to His soon return, as we read in 1 Corinthians 11:26 "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes."

    We find a remarkable text written by the Apostle John in Revelation 5 that speaks of Jesus Christ as the previaling Lamb. Notice what we read in Revelation 5:6-9 

"And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders 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. 7 And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they *sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” 

    Later on in the same chapter, John writes again in Revelation 5:12-14 

"saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” 13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” 14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped."

Why the Table of the Lamb?

    As we draw this post to a close today, I hope this may be used by some to prepare for the next time they participate in the Lord's Table. I had mentioned earlier how we could nickname this "The Table of the Lamb". Indeed, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, is the One who prescribed it for Christians in His Church. As I close this post today, how can we apply what we learned about the Lamb of God in the Bible to the Lord's Supper?

A. This table reminds us of Christ, our  

B. This table reinforces your need for Christ, 
    God’s prescription.

C. This table remembers how Christ came to 
    be the predicted Lamb of God.

D. This table renews us to look forward to
     His coming as the Prevailing King of
     Kings, Lord of Lords, the Lamb who was