Naming the Lamb on Nisan 10 (Abib or Aviv)
Moses and Aaron were given instructions regarding the way each household was to choose their Passover sacrifice. Exodus 12:1-6 They could choose a lamb or a goat, but it must be a male of the first year. The Passover lamb must be chosen and proclaimed on the 10th of Nisan (Abib or Aviv).
The patriarch of the family brings the lamb to the home and keeps it there in the presence of the family until Passover on Nisan 14. The children became familiar with the little lamb. Some say the family names their little lamb. Sacrificing the lamb would be a very sad event because they know he loves them. Feasting upon the lamb is grievous. Even the child understands the magnitude of the sacrifice. Matthew 18:1-5
Jesus as the Lamb
Jesus went to Bethany six days before the Passover and spent the night with Lazarus and they made Him a Sabbath meal. John 12:1-2 The people were profoundly impressed because Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and performed other miracles. When the Jewish people found out He was in Bethany, they came to see Him and Lazarus. While the people were examining Jesus and Lazarus, the chief priests were plotting to kill Him and Lazarus.
The next day would have been Sunday, most likely Nisan 10, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey as the most beloved potential Messiah of that day and place. This day just happened to fall on a Sunday, and has become known to the church as Palm Sunday. They were delighted to see him and sang praises proclaiming Hosanna. Hosanna is a prayer that can only be said to God. Jeremiah 23:5-6. Hosanna means "Save us! Please!"
With their praises the people proclaimed Jesus as the son of David and of God because He came in the name of the Lord. John 12:12-13 Israel profoundly believed Jesus was their king, but unlike John, they did not recognize Him as the Lamb of God so they were confused when He became the Passover sacrifice. The death of the Messianic ruler did not fit within Israel's understanding so to this day the death of Jesus rules Him out as Messiah for most Jews. Well, that and His claim to be the Son of God!
Sadly, it is their very praises that identified Him as the lamb. They did everything the family was to do in recognition of the Passover lamb. They grew to love Him and even bestowed upon Him the name of savior. They did all of this on Palm Sunday, Nisan 10th--the very day the Passover lamb was destined to join the family. It was during the Passover season that Jesus rode into Jerusalem riding on the donkey offering Himself as the Passover, but the people wanted a mighty king not a meek lamb. Jesus came to fulfill all the requirements of the law including the object lessons within the festivals, both spring and fall. Therefore, He was the Passover Lamb, the only unblemished sacrifice.
John the Baptist did his best to help Israel recognize Jesus as the sacrifice. His commission was to be the forerunner of the Messiah and proclaim His mission to the people so they would recognize Messiah when they saw Him. In John 1:29, John the Baptist sees Jesus coming and declares to all of Israel, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" This declaration alone should have caught the ear of Israel, but then John follows up by proclaiming that this was the man he meant when he told them that there would be a man coming that would surpass him because He was before John. Then for good measure he tells them that he witnessed the Spirit come down on Christ when John baptized Him. John plainly stated, "I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God." John 1:29-34
With 20/20 hindsight it is difficult for us to understand how Israel could have failed to understand His mission. The church often looks back at Israel and offers a tsk, tsk because of her misunderstanding. I must warn you, that looking back while walking forward is a hazardous way to progress. To avoid the traps Satan has for the church, we better take a closer look at the message God delivered to Israel in the feasts and festivals prayerfully asking how they apply to us and our current situation. If the church looks back, let us look here. If we fail to do this, the church may also fail to recognize the time of her personal visitation. How sad would that be?
The Last Day Lambs
In the last days, the seven last plagues will pass over the saints. They will behold the wrath of God with their eyes, but it will not come nigh their dwelling nor touch their flesh. Like the blood of the lamb on the doorpost protected the Israelites, the faith of the saints demonstrated by the presence of innocent blood, will shield those believing in the prophetic message from the wrath of God. Matthew 10:41 Therefore, there must be a Passover sacrifice. The following passage indicates that there will be martyrdom. I suggest that martyrdom of the last generation of prophets is the Passover sacrifice of the time of the end.
And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. Revelation 6:11
The souls under the altar in Revelation 6:9-11 are under the altar of sacrifice and have been sacrificed as martyrs for the sake of believers since Cain slew Able. Able is one of the souls under this altar. His blood cried to God from the ground and God remembers every martyred soul. Genesis 4:10 He is eager to avenge them and hears their questions ringing in His ears. Since Adam and Eve began procreating, every era has had martyrs that stand on the Word of God. The disciples and apostles are prime examples. Romans 8:35-37 Each generation of martyrs understands this is the way of the world, but longs to know when the blood covenant will give way to the fullness of the new covenant.
Martyrdom has long been the method of the devil in destroying the witness of God. Beginning with righteous Able, prophets of God have been slain for generations just for revealing the truth. It is under a satanic influence and yet, many times in the name of God that innocent ones are martyred.
The founders of the church knew the last days would bring tribulation including martyrdom to the church. Of course, no one wants to volunteer for that! No martyr ever did volunteer. That would be suicide which is very different from martyrdom. When an individual loves life, but is forced to lay it down to pick up a greater cause, he/she is a martyr. This individual must settle certain things in his/her heart and mind beforehand. Luke 21:12-15
Just prior to the coming of God, His wrath will be poured out without mercy. Revelation 16:6; 17:6; 18:20, 24 The angels pouring out the wrath of God will pass over the saints requiring a sacrifice. This sacrifice consists of individuals willing to set aside their livelihoods, life styles and very lives for the sake of those in the world. This is not a sacrifice so individuals can be saved. Jesus did that and only Jesus can do that and only once is that kind of sacrifice required. Martyrdom is the taxation Satan puts upon believers for traversing through his kingdom on our way to the kingdom of God.
It is Satan's design to silence believers in death to eliminate perpetual faith. Yet, God will not have that! Throughout the ages martyrdom is a continual sacrifice fertilizing the seed of belief. The Father of the innocent gathers up every drop of shed blood and uses it to bring childlike faith to maturity. The faithful have brought more souls into the kingdom in death than they ever did during their lifetime. Martyrdom of believers is not a sacrifice so individuals can be saved; it is a sacrifice so individuals will choose God’s salvation.
Do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that the blood of the prophets can save anyone the way the blood of Jesus saves. Please allow me to explain because I firmly believe that only the blood of Jesus can wash us and make us clean. Jesus was the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world that takes away the sins of the world. John 1: 29; Revelation 13:8 We do not have need of another sacrifice of this type; yet, martyrdom still exists. As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Romans 8:36
God would not allow the shedding of innocent blood without great purpose. When Tertullion said, "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church," much of what he was trying to communicate is lost on the church of today. Today's church, particularly in America, understands that Christians in faraway places with hard to pronounce names sometimes suffer hideous crimes for the sake of Christ. Our nonchalant comment to that is, "Well, in this world you will have tribulation." We think the "you" applies to "them" while we are insulated from their suffering. We rarely apply the verse to ourselves and are shocked and dismayed when we face trials wondering if God is off duty.
Satan's preferred method of silencing believers has always been to have them killed. The irony is that the blood of saints beginning with Able fertilized the small seed of faith as it perpetuated the church. The salvation message would not exist today without the shed blood of the martyrs. That is because many with enmity toward God, have great affection for the little sacrificed lambs. Their grief causes their hearts to turn from the wickedness of the world and seek the benevolence of Heaven when nothing else will.
Who are these last-day faithful willing to follow the Lamb all the way to the cross? It is the 144,000 that follow the Lamb wherever He goes. Revelation 14:4
(5)Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. (1)These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. (2)They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. (3)They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. (4)No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. Revelation 14:3-5
The Passover lambs must have the following identifiable characteristics:
1. must be without defilement, disability or disease - These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure.
2. must be offered as a sacrifice - They follow the lamb where he goes-even to the cross!
3. must be of great cost and a gift to God - They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.
4. must be spotless, without blemish - No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless
5. must be named and brought to the family - Then I looked and there before me was the lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name, and his Father's name written on their foreheads.
The requirements fit the description of the 144,000 in Revelation 14:1-5. In these passages, they are introduced to God's Heavenly family after they are sacrificed and ascended into Heaven as first fruits. However, before the sacrifice they must have had these qualities or they would not have been chosen. Somewhere in the scripture, we must find where the 144,000 were chosen to be this sacrifice.
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God." Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. Revelation 7:1-8
The 144,000 have been marked with the name of the Lord in their forehead. They have been marked as lambs for the slaughter. Revelation 7:3-4; 14:1 It is the nature of humanity to slay the prophets to silence them, and we know that martyrdom will occur during the tribulation of the last days. God Himself will choose the 144,000. Judgment begins in the house of God and He will invite believers to go and work in His fields. Sadly, most of the house wants to stay around the banqueting table. However, a few Godly men and women will reply, "Send me. I will go and work in the fields." Revelation 11:1
Before the time of trouble begins, the 144,000 will be chosen to prophesy to all the nations of the coming of Jesus. He will come in wrath, but this is His strange act. He greatly desires to put aside the enmity that is between us sparing each and all from the wrath of God. The message of the 144,000 will be the same as all the other prophets--repent and be saved!
The 144,000 will quickly earn the ire of the world and its false Messiah, Lucifer. His followers under satanic influence will kill them, but the Lord will not allow it until their testimony ends. Revelation 11:7 The pre-meditated murder of the 144,000 prophets will fill their cup of iniquity. This abominable act will cause mercy to cease. The door of probation will close and their wickedness will cause them to be desolate of the Spirit of God leaving them with nothing to shield them from God's wrath.
When the 144,000 are martyred, the people that know and love them will be grief stricken and the opportunity to receive Christ will exponentially increase for them. This will be the last altar call before the wrath is poured out. Revelation 18:1-8 The blessing of the innocent shed blood will cause the seed of their shallow faith to take root and mature in the moment of the sacrifice. Their hardened hearts will be subdued by their strong emotion allowing the Spirit of God to draw them unto the Father and the Son.
It is for the sake of Christ that mature Christians willingly offer themselves for the sake of those greatly beloved by God that have yet to accept the saving grace of Jesus. Do you know someone that you love enough to exchange the vapor of this temporary world for their eternal life? I know someone that did that for me. His name is Jesus. I don't know what He will ask of me because I do not even know what I have to give. I pray that if He calls my name, as He did with the patriarchs and prophets, the apostles and disciples, and the righteous reformers, I am willing to give it all.
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