The return of the King, part 2

Lion of Judah 1Jesus has a dual aspect to his character.  He’s the Lion of Judah and the Lamb Of God.  So far, the world has only met the Lamb.  Are we ready for the Lion? 

The Lion speaks of triumph and the Lamb speaks of sacrifice.

Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders.”
Revelation 5:5-6

His capital city is going to be Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is mentioned 669 times in the Bible.  It is not mentioned in the Koran at all.

Jerusalem was the capital of Judah, whose emblem is a lion.  Jacob’s prophecy over his son Judah pointed to Jesus, the ruler over Judah and the nations.

You are a lion’s cub, Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness–who dares to rouse him?
The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.  Genesis 49:9-10

The Gate

There is a gate in the old walls of Jerusalem that is known as the Lion Gate, also known as the Sheep Gate.  It is one of seven gates located in the Old City Walls of Jerusalem.

Five hundred years ago a Moslem ruler named Selim 1 captured Jerusalem and all of Israel.  He had plans to level the city of Jerusalem but changed his mind after dreaming of lions coming to devour him.  To be spared he promised to protect Jerusalem by building a wall around the city.

Lions gate

Lions gate / Sheep Gate, Jerusalem

Nehemiah chapter 3 which describes how the wall around Jerusalem rebuilt in 445B.C by the Jews who returned from Babylon begins and ends with the sheep gate. It was called the sheep gate because this was the gate which the sheep and lambs used in the sacrifice were bought through.

This gate points to the first coming of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world  (John 1:29).

He is the gate by which everyone must enter to be saved (John 10:7-9).

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God, Isaiah 61:1-2

Bozrah and the day of vengeance

Jesus read from the scroll of Isaiah saying “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing”, but stopped at proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favour.  (Luke 4:16-20) The day of vengeance has not yet arrived.

Who is this coming from Edom,
    from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson?
Who is this, robed in splendor,
    striding forward in the greatness of his strength?

“It is I, proclaiming victory,
    mighty to save.”  Isaiah 63:1

Lion roaring, illustration for book about Aslan

Bozrah means “sheepfold”, and speaks of an end time deliverance of Israel.

“I will surely gather all of you, Jacob;
    I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel.
I will bring them together like sheep in a pen,
    like a flock in its pasture;
    the place will throng with people.
The One who breaks open the way will go up before them;
    they will break through the gate and go out.
Their King will pass through before them,
    the Lord at their head.”  Micah 2:12-13

I have written of the sheepfolds here: The Sheepfolds

Zechariah 14 tells of the day of battle – when Jerusalem will be taken, divided, the houses ransacked, and the women raped.   On that day the Lord will go out and fight against those nations.  On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.

So in the end Jesus will be the one dividing Jerusalem – not the nations.  The victorious King will govern the world from Jerusalem.

leo1

Leo

They will follow the LORD; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west.
They will come from Egypt, trembling like sparrows, from Assyria, fluttering like doves. I will settle them in their homes,” declares the LORD. Hosea 11:11

The sign of Leo

In the Mazzaroth, the constellation of Leo speaks of Jesus Christ.  The brightest of the 95 stars is called Regulus, which means treading underfoot.  The next star in the tip of the tail is named Denebola, the Judge or Lord who cometh. The star in the mane is called Al Giebha (Arabic), the exaltation. The star on the hinder (part of the back) is called Zosma, shining forth.  -Bullinger, The Witness of the stars.

Jesus said;
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”  Revelation 22:12

Regulus

The Kingdom to seek, and the Kingdom to come

journey inwardThe Kingdom of God takes two forms – the Kingdom within, and the Kingdom to come. One is a journey, the other a destiny.

The Kingdom to come

We are waiting for a Kingdom to come.  We pray in the Lord’s prayer “Thy Kingdom Come, thy Will be done”.

After the Pharisees asked Jesus “When will the Kingdom of God come?”, speaking of Himself He told the Pharisees “The Kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luke 17:20). 

The Pharisees were deeply religious men who were well versed in scripture and should have recognised Him as their King, but they didn’t.  Jesus called them “blind guides” who “shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. They themselves did not enter, nor would they let those enter who were trying to(Matthew 23).   Watch out for the Pharisees.

The coming of the King, the Lamb and the Lion.

lion-judah-lamb-godWhy did the Pharisees not recognise the King?  It is because the scriptures speak of two comings.

The first coming was as the lamb of God – the suffering servant described by the prophet Isaiah, 700 years before His birth.  Read Isaiah 53 for His description.  Even though they had these scriptures in the synagogues, they were not prepared for the Lamb.

They wanted the Lion – the promised King who will come in great power, glory and authority to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth.

This is the second coming, the return of the King, whose coming we await.

The Kingdom within

Jesus tells us in Matthew 6 to “seek the Kingdom of God first”.  What does this look like?

How can we seek a Kingdom that is not yet established?  Or is it?

When we repent of our sins, are baptized and begin following the lead of the Holy Spirit, we voluntarily place ourselves under the laws and authority of the coming Kingdom of God.

Living by the laws of the Kingdom

There are two laws in the Kingdom.  This is what Jesus said in reponse to the Pharisees;

“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.  One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:34-37

What would the world look like if we all did this?

Aries, the sign of the Lamb of God

ram b&wThe Mazzaroth is an ancient Zodiac, mentioned in Job, the oldest book in the Bible.  The 12 signs of the Mazzaroth tell the story of redemption and point towards the Messiah.

Aries is one of the signs.  As it is coming up to Easter, I’d like to show who Aries speaks of.

The Hebrew name is for Aries is Taleh, the lamb. The Arabic name is Al Hamal, the sheep, gentle, merciful.   The ancient Akkadian name was Bara-ziggar.

Bar means altar, or sacrifice; and ziggar means right making; so that the full name would be the sacrifice of righteousness.

Its chief star,Passover Lamb (in the forehead), is named El Nath, or El Natik, which means wounded, slain. The next, (in the left horn), is called Al Sheratan, the bruised, the wounded. The next (near to Sheratan ), is called Mesarim (Hebrew), the bound.

Aries is the sign of the Lamb of God in the heavens.  Passover was the sign of the Lamb of God in Egypt.  The ram provided to Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah in Israel was the sign of God providing the sacrifice for sin, Christ’s death on the cross.

John the Baptist saw Jesus and called Him “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”.  Take another look at Jesus this Easter.  He is who He said He was.  He thought us worthy of His sacrifice.  What is He worth to you?

 

Revelation 5-12

 

 

The Lamb of God

 “The lamb of God” is another title for the King, a title that describes Him well. Why did Jesus have to be the sacrificial lamb?

lamb-of-god

Did God the Father demand sacrifices, or did he desire mercy?  He desired mercy.  This is what God says;

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”  Hosea 6:6

This world is short on mercy.  People had to learn that a sacrifice was needed in order to pay for sin.

Sacrifices were to provide an atonement for sin.  They were designed to point to the fulfilment of God’s ultimate sacrifice for us.

God will provide a lamb

Do you know the story where Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac on the same mountain that Jesus was crucified on?  When they came to Mount Moriah, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.  Genesis 22:6-8

God asked Abraham to do this because he was pointing to a future sacrifice that He, as a Father was going to make of His Son.  That was the first sign.

God provided that sacrifice. It cost Him everything.

fGSLTW“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that we may not perish, but have eternal life”.  John 3:16

The Passover was the next sign.  Lambs were first sacrificed at Passover, on the night before Israel’s exodus out of Egypt, nearly 3000 years ago.  The lamb was taken into the household 4 days before the Passover.  Why, I wonder?  The Passover lamb, a male lamb with no blemish, was sacrificed on the 14th day of Nisan, the first month of the Jewish year. The blood was to be a sign for Israel.  

The blood of the lamb was put on the sides and tops of the doorframes.  On that night, the firstborn of both people and animals were struck down in Egypt.  When God saw the blood, He passed over the houses where they were, and the people were spared.

The story of that first Passover is detailed in Exodus 12.

When Jesus began His ministry, John the Baptist said “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”  John 1:29

The prophet Isaiah saw the Lamb of God 700 years before His birth.  He prophesied “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”  Isaiah 53:7

Jesus made it clear to the Disciples that He was going to give up His life in exchange for ours at Passover. When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”  Matthew 26:1

When He died on the cross, his final words were “it is finished”.  The actual word was “Tetelestai” – meaning to bring to a close, to finish, to end, passed, finished, to perform, execute, complete, to fulfil.

Do you believe that Jesus is the Lamb of God?   If you do not yet believe, will you take the lamb, and examine him for yourself over the next 4 days?