Newsletter - December 2014

**** DECEMBER 2014 ****

HARVEST TIME

An exhortation by Paul Galligan

"Then He said to them, 'The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest
'"Lu.10:2.
[see also Matt.9:37-38]. This is the season of the harvest, and we want to look at two words from this amazing instruction that Jesus gave us.

1) The word labourers - SC #2040. Greek ergates, from the root word ergo - to work or to toil. Ergates means a toiler; figuratively, a teacher. Translated as labourer [10x], worker(s) [6x]. This word is used to refer to field workers; a worker in general; false apostles and evil teachers, a servant of Christ.

This is very interesting when we look at Hebrews 5:12, "For though by this time you ought to be teachers ...". The Lord Jesus expects all of His children to be disciples and then sent out into the harvest. The work of the harvest is to share the word of God. Every member of the body of Christ is to be discipled and trained to share the word of God. This is the work of the harvest.

2) The word send - SC #1544. Greek ekballo, means to eject [literally or figuratively]
Translated as cast out [45x], cast [11x], and send forth [3x], and various others such as, thrust out, expel, send away, send out.
This is not the word apostello but quite a different word. It is not a gentle word; it is a strong forceful word. It is used in the context of casting out devils. It suggests that Jesus is going to thrust us out into the harvest. He does not invite us, but more so, He compels us.

What do we learn about the harvest from these two words? We learn that the harvest is now, and the workers are to be thrust out into the harvest now and that the work of the labourers is to teach and preach the word of God. "Do not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest!' Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest" Jn.4:35. Let us be like Isaiah of old who heard the Lord say, "Whom shall I send and who will go for Us? Then I [Isaiah] said, 'Hear am I, send me'" Isa.6:8.

The task that the Lord gave to Isaiah was not an easy one. Read Isaiah 6:9-13.
It is time to be serious about the call of God! It is time to be willing to go into the harvest and work and toil in the word until the harvest has been reaped.

THE BLOOD OF JESUS

A teaching by Jean Manning

There is much teaching in the Old Testament about the shedding of blood. God placed a lot of emphasis on the blood sacrifices and their value to those who believed.
"For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul" Lev.17:11.
Blood is the life of all flesh. The blood of all living things sustains its life(Lev.17:14).

THE BLOOD FOR A COVERING IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

1. The First Shedding of Blood for Reconciliation
In Genesis 3 we read about Adam and Eve succumbing to the temptation of the serpent and finding themselves separated from God because of their disobedience. However God killed an animal - shed its blood - to make a covering for them to be reconciled to Himself. (Gen.3:21)
This was their deliverance from sin.

2. The Blood Covering for Deliverance from the Destroyer and Death
In Exodus 12 God instructed Moses into the way of deliverance from death and bondage by instituting the Passover. God promised that if the Israelites remained inside their houses under the covering of the blood on the lintels and doorposts, the plague that He was about to send would not come near them.

"Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt" (Ex.12:13, 22-23). Those outside the covering would be destroyed.
This was their deliverance from the destroyer and from their enemies.

3. The Blood Covering as a Seal of God's Covenant
"And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, 'This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words'"(Ex. 24:8).
This 'sprinkling' of the blood sealed the covenant with the people of God and brought them into a special relationship with God based on the word of the Covenant, but sealed by the blood (Ex.24:1-8).
This sealing of blood allowed Moses and the elders to come right into the very presence of God where they 'saw God, and they ate and drank' (Ex.24:9-11).

NEW TESTAMENT FULFILLMENT OF THE VALUE OF THE BLOOD COVERING

1. Jesus sealed the New Covenant in His own Blood
"For this is the blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of
sins." (Matt.26:28).
"This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you" (Lu.22:20).
[See also Mark 14:24 and 1Corinthians 11:25.]

Jesus was celebrating the Passover with His disciples so they understood the significance of the spotless Passover Lamb whose blood was placed on their houses to deliver and protect them. (Ex.12:3-13). Jesus was also emphasising that He was making a new Covenant with the people, who would be His people, and that the covenant would be sealed in His blood. At the Table of the Lord, we have the opportunity to acknowledge the New Covenant and to affirm our covenant relationship with God through the blood of Jesus. We are sealed!

2. Redemption and Deliverance through the Blood of Jesus Christ
a) "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God has passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" (Rom.3:23-26).

Propitiation equals the personal means by which God shows His mercy; it harkens back to the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies: when God saw the blood on the Mercy Seat, it was as a propitiation for our sins; it was a covering and an atonement.

b) "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." (Col.1:13-14). The power of darkness is made powerless by the blood of Jesus.
We have been bought at a price - the blood that Jesus shed for us was the price of redemption (1 Cor.7:23, 1 Cor.6:20).

3. Remission of Sins though the Blood of Jesus
Hebrews 9:7 reminds us of the Old Testament pattern that the priest followed. "But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people's sins committed in ignorance". "But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come .... not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption" Heb.9:12.

"And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission"Heb.9:22.
We have been cleansed from our sin because Jesus shed His blood for us.
We are purified by His blood.

4. Boldness to enter the Presence of God through the Blood
"Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith" Heb.10:19-23.

"But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ" Eph.2:13.
There is no other way into His Presence.

5. The Blood is Precious
"Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" 1 Pet.1:18-19.
The life of Jesus Christ was God's price for the redemption for the whole of mankind.

6. We are chosen through His Blood for Obedience
"Elect according to the fore-knowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" 1 Pet.1:2.
We are chosen by God to receive the blessings that come through the sprinkling of the blood.

7. The Blood gives us Eternal Life
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him" Jn. 6:53-56.
When we abide in Him we partake of His very life.

8. There is Reconciliation and Peace with God through the Blood
"By Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross" Col.1:20.
We have peace because God is satisfied by the blood sacrifice which reconciles us to Him.

9. The Church has been purchased by the Blood of Jesus Christ
"Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood" Acts 20:28. The blood of Jesus Christ avails for His body - the church .

10. The Blood bears witness on the Earth
"And there are three that bear witness on earth, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one" 1 Jn.5:8.
The blood is the life of Jesus who is the Word of God, and that life is revealed to us by the Spirit.

11. The Blood Speaks
"You have come ... to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel" Heb.12:24. The blood of Abel cried out for justice; the blood of Abel spoke of vengeance.
The blood of Jesus speaks peace, pardon, mercy and reconciliation.

12. The Believer Overcomes and is Victorious through the Blood
"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death" Rev.12:11.
"These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" Rev.7:14.
The overcoming Christian knows the power of the blood.

13. The Cup of Blessing is the Communion of the Blood of Christ
"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?"
(1Cor.10:16; 1Cor.11:25)
This is the cup of the new covenant in the blood of Jesus Christ.
Through His blood we have fellowship with Him.

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