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Acts 20:28 - With His OWN Blood
What I Believe
You know, when I study the Bible to prove something I was always taught is true and then find out it isn’t (i.e. that Lucifer was never an Archangel that became the Devil and believers were saved in the Old Testament just as they are today) these things are fascinating, and I have no problem accepting what the Bible proves is true. However, when it came to discovering the ‘Person’ of God, overcoming the teaching that God is three 'distinct' or 'separate' persons, each of them not being the other, but ‘equally’ God, that was a tough one! I mean, just look up the synonyms for 'distinct' and 'separate'. Then, look up the antonyms for the same. I believe in the antonyms of these words when it comes to God being one Person. I didn’t ‘learn’ this by any church or doctrine, but by reading the Bible and comparing scripture with scripture. The more questions I had of the LORD, the harder the struggle to receive the answers and realize I had to break out of my indoctrination. Once I wrote about these things, I searched to see if I was the ‘only one’ who knew God in this way. Was I bonkers? Was I all alone? I found out I definitely was NOT alone. I didn’t even know this belief had a ‘label’, a ‘name’ = “Modalism” or “Oneness”. Well, I don’t necessarily agree with other parts of modalism or oneness theology, but I do believe God is ONE Spirit and Person. Bear with me, if you will…
I believe the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is ONE (the same) God. The only visible ‘Person’ of that One, invisible God is in spiritual form (the Angel of the LORD) or human form (the Greek word is morphe), whether immortal (as when the LORD visited Abraham) or mortal (Jesus Christ).
Testing Traditional Teaching
I recently wrote a hub that had to do with Abraham and Isaac. The latter-day RCC (Catholic) and the protestant churches that broke away from ‘her’ use this story to propagate the doctrine of the Father being a separate ‘person’ from the Son, because Abraham represented the ‘Father’ and Isaac, the ‘Son’. They were two separate persons. Truly, the type of sacrifice Isaac was to be was NOT a sin offering, but a burnt offering. I invite you to read my hub “The RAM for Abraham” to go deeper into that subject. To summarize, the burnt offering is fully consumed by fire. While this represents a holy fire, there was yet another fire burning outside the camp. That’s where the refuse of the sin offering (bulls and goats) was burned to ashes. In this sense, the holy burnt offering symbolizes the baptism of fire (the Holy Spirit) = imputed righteousness, while the unholy fire represents that doctrine people HATE called ‘Hell’. If you’d like to read and learn more about my studies on ‘Hell’, just click on the word.
The point is, Isaac represented ‘Abraham’s offspring’, not the “only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16). Abraham was the ‘father of faith’ and like his father, Isaac evidenced that faith by obeying the voice of the LORD (1 Sam 15:22). They both were willing to do what the LORD asked them to do. Faith: it is by grace we are saved through faith (Eph 2:8-9). Our sins are atoned for by the shedding of blood (sin offering) and then we are baptized with fire, the imputed righteousness of God (burnt offering) - both provided by Jesus Christ Himself. The provision by the LORD that saved Isaac’s life and the lives of his offspring was…the RAM. Rams were only used for burnt offerings (Leviticus 1).
Here’s the main question I am addressing in this writing: Does God ordain child sacrifice? How about child sacrifice as a burnt offering (completely consumed by fire)? If so, why would He contradict His own Word by asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering? He NEVER intended for Abraham to do so. This wasn’t about the sacrifice of Isaac, but the FAITH of Abraham and Isaac…and the resulting salvation of Isaac’s life by the RAM of Righteousness…spiritually speaking, Jesus Christ!
Okay, so you have no problem believing Jesus Christ came in the flesh (eternally begotten (born) with no beginning), while the Father stayed on His throne…If you were asked to slaughter and burn your own child by fire, would you do it? Would the God you love and worship expect you to do this? What if you had to give your own life to save your child? You would do it! That IS the heart of God and that is what He did!
Do You See What I See?
Even traditional ‘Trinitarians’ teach and believe the ‘Angel of the LORD’ was the Word (Messenger) in the Old Testament (Ex 3:2). Therefore, I challenge them to re-read the LORD’s directive given to Abraham. Notice WHO spoke to him and to WHOM the burnt offering was to be sacrificed?
Gen 22:6 “Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife.”
Gen 22:11-12 “But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."
Furthermore, this usage of “only son” has nothing to do with God’s only begotten (born of Mary) Son; Abraham had another son before Isaac. It was Isaac who would father Jacob, renamed Israel. It is Israel that is the ‘only son’ of Abraham that Isaac represented! Ex 4:22 “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD, ‘Israel is My son, My firstborn.’” So the gospel is paramount here, know that all (Jew or Gentile) who are saved by faith in the LORD Jesus Christ, are Abraham’s offspring! (Rom 9 and 11)
'Biblical' Child Sacrifice
I looked up the sacrificing of sons and daughters in the fire to see what the Bible had to say about it:
Let’s just start out with Jeremiah 7:31; 19:5 and 32:35 (NLT) “They have built pagan shrines at Topheth [to Baal – 19:5], the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they burn their sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!”
Wait a minute? I thought God expected Abraham to burn his son in the fire on this altar to God? See, THAT is not the picture! God would NEVER do such a thing!
Leviticus 18:21 “Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.” If you know anything about the sacrifices to Molech, it involved sacrificing to him by burning their own children in the fiery flames!
2 Kings 17:17 “They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sorcery and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking Him to anger.”
2 Kings 23:10 “He desecrated Topheth, which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech.”
Psalm 106:38 “They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood.” Okay, so we don’t see fire here, but do you think God even wanted Isaac’s blood shed on that altar? Jesus was innocent, right? Would God sacrifice His innocent Son as a burnt offering, likened to Isaac? Never!
I can hear some of you now, thinking “Well then, God certainly would NEVER send anyone to ‘Hell’!! Let’s go on to Isaiah 33:3 “Topheth has long been prepared; it has been made ready for the king. Its fire pit has been made deep and wide, with an abundance of fire and wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of burning sulfur, sets it ablaze.” Remember the refuse of the sin offering that was burned up outside the Camp? Guess what ~ those who burned their children in the fire will be sentenced to the same…and it is NO SACRIFICE to the LORD! Jesus prophesied in Mat 25:41, “Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;”
Let’s go on: 2 Chronicles 28:3 “He [Ahaz] burned sacrifices in the Valley of Ben Hinnom and sacrificed his sons in the fire, following the detestable ways of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.”
Ezekiel 20:30-31 “Therefore say to the Israelites: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Will you defile yourselves the way your ancestors did and lust after their vile images? When you offer your gifts—the sacrifice of your children in the fire—you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you inquire of Me, you Israelites? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I will not let you inquire of Me.”
With HIS OWN BLOOD
Doesn’t this seem a teenie bit contradictory to you? Well, it’s not. What’s contradictory to the LORD’s Word is that we even ‘think’ that God would require the life of Isaac in that way! Let alone, to ‘think’ God would sacrifice His innocent child, not only as a sin offering, but a burnt offering! He sacrificed Himself!
Let’s get to Acts 20:28 now: “Be on guard for yourselves and for 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.”
This brings us back to the ‘Angel of the LORD’ (the Word of God). John 1:1 tells us in Greek,"God was the Word" [Θεος ην ο λογος]. John 1:14 tells us the Word became flesh. Cross-reference this with Acts 3:15-16 which clearly, in context, tells us the Living God was manifest in the flesh. Isaiah 9:6 says the son born would be called ‘Mighty God’ and ‘Everlasting Father’. The LORD, YHWH is called “God and Savior” (Is 45:21; Titus 2:13; 2 Pet 1:1), “Redeemer” (Is 47:4; Jer 50:34; Gal 3:14; Rev 14:4), “Alpha and Omega”, aka “First and Last” (Is 44:6 NIV; Rev 1:17). Any wonder why these exact titles are those of Jesus? Phillip wanted Jesus to show them (the disciples) ‘the Father’ ~ just show them! (John 14:8) What don’t we understand about Jesus answering him, “Have you not KNOWN Me, Phillip? If you have seen Me you have seen the Father” (vs. 9)…
In verse 22, Judas (not Iscariot) asked the LORD, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?"
Someone recently posted a forum about how we should bypass Jesus and pray to the Father! Why is Jesus the ONLY Way to the Father? Is it because He’s a bully? Does He choose to stand in the Way? NO! It’s because it is impossible! If we can’t ‘see’ that Jesus is the Father, we cannot deny Him and expect we will somehow ‘see’ the Father! Do you expect to see another ‘Person’, as Phillip did, when you are before Almighty God, the LORD Jesus Christ (Is 6:3; Rev 4:8)? Let’s go back to understand what Jesus said in John 4:7 “If you really KNEW Me, you would KNOW My Father as well. From now on, you DO KNOW Him and have SEEN HIM."
I AM the WAY
Oh, LORD ~ Open our eyes that we may see. Please know that accepting the fact that Jesus is YHWH (1 Cor 12:3) does not deny the Son! God is invisible spirit ~ the written Word tells us this clearly (John 4:24)...and, just as a particular ‘cult’ translates John 1:1 "God was the Word" as "the Word was a god"…the KJV isn't much better when it comes to translating John 4:24: ‘God is a spirit’, when the Greek translates "God is Spirit". He is the Holy Spirit! 2 Cor 3:17 confirms, "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty"! Jesus is God’s visible image ~ always has been and always will be (Col 1:15). Even Jesus appeared to Saul (renamed Paul) as invisible Spirit on the road to Damascus! (Acts 9:4) The immortal flesh that visited Abraham (YHWH) could not shed blood (1 Cor 15:50) and without the shedding of blood, there can be no remission of sins (Heb 9:22). Truly, it is impossible for the blood of bulls and rams to suffice! (Heb 10:4) YHWH took on a body of His own creation to redeem His creation. With God, ALL things are possible.
- The Ram for Abraham
God told Abraham his descendants would be as numerous as the sand of the seashore. Abraham believed God. It was because of great faith, Isaac’s life was saved ~ by what? The RAM. How often do we focus on the ram? It’s time we do.
- The Eternal Son?
“Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:” If God is three persons, and each is not the other, was the incarnation of Jesus Christ that of the eternal Son or the eternal Father?