But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:17, ESV)
A believer in Jesus Christ must be humbled by the fact that the righteousness that he or she has received is because of the blood of Jesus at Calvary. When Jesus was crucified he was bleeding from the cross for you and for everyone in the world. Even as he was dead on the cross he continued to shed his blood.
But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. (John 19:33-34, KJV)
This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. (1 John 5:6, KJV)
In the Old Testament times there was the first covenant in which the sins of the people of Israel had to be covered up by the shedding of the blood of an animal. However, with the arrival of Jesus Christ came a new and better covenant in which he became the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Let’s the whole of Hebrews 9 get a more clear understanding:
9 Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. 2 For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place, 4 having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant.5 Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
6 These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, 7 but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. 8 By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing 9 (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10 but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 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, 14 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.
15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.16 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Ephesians 1:3-10)
The prophet Isaiah way back in the Old Testament prophesied about Jesus Christ our Lord. He even spoke about his birth. No ordinary birth, for this was going to a virgin birth. As you read through the prophecies of Isaiah about the birth of Jesus you will realize that Jesus was born with a mission. Jesus Christ came on earth born of a woman, not for his own pleasure but to do the will of His Father in Heaven. Happy are those who believe that God sent Jesus to take away the sins of the world.
Isaiah under the influence of the Spirit of God could so confidently speak about the Messiah. Yes, it needed confidence as Isaiah was speaking about Jesus hundreds of years before Jesus could be born and manifest as a man on earth though he is the Son of God. Here are the words of Isaiah’s prophecy:
- Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
- For to us a child is born,to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
- There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist, and faithfulness the girdle of his loins. (Isaiah 11:1-5)
It would have been amazing to see all the prophets of Old Testament times meet up with Jesus when he was on earth. How great would have been the sight of them? How warm and sincere would be their praise of the Lord our Saviour? Indeed, now as Jesus is in heaven they all worship him and serve him with a zeal unstoppable by death. They are very much alive in Christ above and will be surely rewarded at the resurrection of the just.
And about ourselves, what do we do here? Let us be thankful that we got to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and know what the prophets spoke about. For they were under the Law of Moses, waiting for the Messiah to arrive. And lo, the Lord did arrive on earth to do the will of the One who sent him. He fulfilled the Law, healed the sick, cast out demons from people, gave sight to the blind, cured the lepers and did many miracles. The greatest miracle he did, was that he in obedience to God our Father took upon himself all our sins and faults, and choose to die on the cross for us and rose again from the dead on the third day. His greatest miracle is therefore the cause of our salvation. Whenever you think of the birth of Christ, try to remember why he came on earth as per the Holy Scriptures and the prophets. That is the real meaning of Christmas.
Christ be with you!
In adversity, it’s easy to be humble before God as you know that your ability cannot save you. You therefore come in prayer and in deep respect before God for your breakthrough or miracle. One of the reasons why non Christians get miracles when they pray to Jesus Christ is because they know that they have expended the last straw and have nothing left to save them. So acknowledging their helplessness, they usually pray to Jesus saying they don’t have anything to deserve a miracle but come humble appealing to his mercy.
Now contrast this with people who weren’t the best of moral men and had prosperity. How due to their pride in themselves they didn’t give God the honor that he deserves and by this they later fell into great trouble. Let me give you some examples of three kings mentioned in the Bible where their wrong attitude towards God became their undoing.
King Solomon of Israel was abundantly rich. He had loads and loads of gold and precious stones. Yet in his defiant and ungodly ambition to be great, he multiplied horses which was forbidden for a king of Israel. Deuteronomy 17:16 says that, “The king must not build up a large stable of horses for himself or send his people to Egypt to buy horses, for the LORD has told you, ‘You must never return to Egypt.’ Solomon however didn’t get punished for this sin. So taking wrong advantage of this, he multiplied wives, yes and not just getting more one wife. But that’s not the end of Solomon’s sin. By the evil influence of his wives, he built a multitude of worship centers for false gods of his wives, all over the land of Israel, in defiance of the Lord God’s commandments which is against the worship of false gods.
You can read all of 1 Kings 11 to get details on this. So in the end God judged Solomon and raised multiple adversaries against him. These were Hadad the Edomite and Rezon the son of Eliada who led their armies against Israel during this times of Solomon. That was not all, the Lord divided the kingdom of Israel, such that Jeroboam the son of Nebat got 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel for himself. The glory of Solomon was therefore diminished greatly due to his own pride in his own wisdom instead of respecting what God had told him in the Holy Scriptures.
Sennacherib the king of Assyria
There was a wicked king who was called Sennacherib king of Assyria, who achieved great victories against many kingdoms. His armed forces brutally killed many people in their evil wars. Then he turned his attention towards Israel. The Jews were dismayed when Sennacherib blasphemed against the Lord God of Israel by sending a message to the people “Who among all the gods of those nations that my fathers devoted to destruction was able to deliver his people from my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you from my hand? Now, therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you in this fashion, and do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or from the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you out of my hand!” (2 Chronicles 32:14-15)
Not only Sennacherib but also his servants gave such wicked messages to the Israelite’s. This ultimately led to the great downfall of Sennacherib which you can read as mentioned below:
Then Hezekiah the king and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, prayed because of this and cried to heaven. And the Lord sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty warriors and commanders and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he came into the house of his god, some of his own sons struck him down there with the sword. (2 Chronicles 32:20-21)
The impious Herod
Herod was a king who was prosperous and wicked. He didn’t give true honor to God (read Acts 12:20-24 to get an idea about this). So an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.
Remember that whether you are a king or not you still need to be humble.Just so that no one mistakes that humility is only for kings and leaders to follow, let’s remember the following words of Jesus our Lord:
- For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 14:11)
- Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:12)
- The teaching points of Hezekiah… (audacityandsupposition.com)
- The Worse Judgment from God to face is The Judgment of your Works (prophecynewsandviews.wordpress.com)
- LISTEN: God, the Nature of Evil, and Stephen King (Gospel Light Minute X with Daniel Whyte III) (blackchristiannews.com)
- Bathsheba (georgehach.wordpress.com)
Is there another book greater than the Bible? No, but the Bible speaks of a great book both in the Old and New Testaments. While the Bible is the written word of God that no one must add or subtract from, the Book of Life still gets updated by the Lord Jesus. Now the Book of Life is a record of all those righteous before the Lord God who will not be punished in the Final Judgement and will therefore escape it. The Book of life and the Bible do NOT compete with each other but rather they complement each other. The main difference is that the Bible teaches us the principles of the Christian faith while the Book of Life is the record of those who are faithful to the Lord God.
The church in the current age must keep reminding itself that the Book of Life is to be held with great honor. I’m surprised that not many people in the church are aware of it. If you honor the teachings of the Bible then you automatically honor the Book of Life, even if you never knew of it’s existence till now. There’s nothing too mysterious about this. All you need to do is to search for it in the Bible.
Is the Book of Life a new teaching?
No, as the Book of Life has been mentioned even in the Old Testament. Let’s read the following:
So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.” The Lord replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book. (Exodus 32:31-33)
For they persecute him whom you have struck down, and they recount the pain of those you have wounded. Add to them punishment upon punishment; may they have no acquittal from you. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous. (Psalm 69: 26-28)
The Lord God records the life and struggles of his people in the Book of Life. He remembers them all.
You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:8)
Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name. (Malachi 3:16)
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:16)
Jesus himself spoke of the Book of Life even when he was on his mission on Earth and also later he spoke of it in heaven.
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:17-20)
The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. (Revelation 3:5)
The context of the Book of Life is related to being faithful to God despite the tribulations of life.
At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. (Daniel 12:1)
The Book of Life is linked to prophecy and the Final Judgement
The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come. (Revelation 17:8)
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)
Only those who have their names written in the Book of Life will be allowed in the new Jerusalem of the future, which is the inheritance of those who believe in the Lord God.
But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:27)
Those who add or remove from the Scriptures are warned very clearly about their status in the Book of Life.
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)
What to do so that one’s name always remains in the Book of Life?
You need to believe in the Lord Jesus and repent of your sins if you still into sinning. Romans 6:23 says that; For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3:36)
You need to realize that you can either remain in Christ or remain in sin but never be in both. Ephesians 5:5 says that; For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
You cannot earn the grace of God, you simply need to believe in the Lord Jesus for your salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that; For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.