Remember Him!

By Paul Alberts

Recently I read the May 20th devotion of the Day By Day, Fourth Year by Jean Koechlin. The Day By Day is a five-year series of daily readings, covering the Bible book by book. I recommend reading it. Copies are available for purchase from Believers Bookshelf USA and Canada (their contact information is in this magazine on page 33). It is not available from Grace & Truth.

The passage Mr. Koechlin listed for this particular day was Luke 9:18-36, as he wrote:

The crowds believe the Lord Jesus to be a prophet, not the Christ, the Son of God (v.19). This is what leads the Lord to speak about His pathway of rejection and sufferings, along which He invites His own to follow Him. This pathway involves self-denial, not simply of one thing or another, but denial of one’s self, of the whole of one’s own will. Christians are dead (Gal. 6:14) to the world and its lusts, but they are alive to God and to heaven. On the other hand, those who want to live their own lives down here have eternal death before them. Our soul is at risk in this vitally important choice; our soul is worth more than the whole world.

As well as opening up this difficult pathway where the cross must daily be taken up, in order to encourage His own the Lord wishes to show them where it will end: in glory with Him. What will be the great subject of conversation up there? The death of the Lord Jesus. He talks about it to Moses and Elias, since He was not able to do so with His disciples (Lk. 9:22; Mt. 16:21-22). But despite the greatness of these Old Testament witnesses, they must fade away before the glory of the “beloved Son.” The law and the prophets have come to an end; from now on God is speaking through His Son. May we listen to Him! (Lk. 9:35; Heb. 1:2).

As we have come again to the once per year remembrance of our Savior’s death and resurrection, let us not limit our recalling simply to this time. Scripture encourages us to remember the Lord, showing forth His death collectively from week to week (1 Cor. 11:23-26; Acts 20:7). Individually, consider those things daily, as you take up your cross at the beginning of each day (Lk. 9:23). Remember Him!

Why Did Jesus Die?

Why Did Jesus Die?

By F. Wurst

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” —John 3:16 NKJV

Why We Die
You and I die because we are sinners. We have come under God’s righteous sentence of death and judgment (Rom. 3:23, 6:23; Heb. 9:27).

Death Had No Claim On Jesus Christ
The Lord Jesus Christ came down from heaven (Jn. 6:41). He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of Mary, a virgin (Mt. 1:18,20,23). He did not have a sinful nature as we have, and He never sinned (1 Jn. 3:5; 1 Pet. 2:22). Therefore, death had no claim on Him.

He willingly let wicked men crucify Him at Calvary (Jn. 6:38, 10:17-18). If He had wanted to come down from the cross, nothing could have prevented Him – not the nails or the power of the Roman Empire. It was love for your precious, undying soul that brought the Lord Jesus Christ down from heaven, took Him to that shameful cross, and held Him there until He had finished the work of redemption (19:30).

No Other Way
There was no other way and no other person by which Almighty God could save you from the just penalty of your sins (Acts 4:12; 1 Jn. 4:9-10).

The Lord Jesus Christ is God and Man in one blessed person. As eternal Son of God He knew God’s holy and righteous requirements, which were violated by our sins. As a perfect Man (spirit, soul and body), He was qualified to pay for all man’s sins of spirit, soul and body.

God’s Approval
God approved of Christ’s mighty work on the cross, and He showed it by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His own right hand in heaven (Acts 5:30). Christ Jesus is there now – a living, loving Man, with the scars still in His hands and feet, which He received when He died for our sins (Jn. 20:27).

As you read this, He looks down from heaven at you and He knows the thoughts and motives of your heart. He knows what you think about your sins and about Him. He wants to be your Savior.

Why Did Jesus Die?
He died for your sins! You must realize that your many sins caused Him to die. And just one sin is enough to shut you out of God’s perfect heaven forever. But you can receive God’s forgiveness simply by confessing your sins to Him and believing on Him as your substitute (Rom. 10:9).

Though you are a stranger to me, you are not a stranger to God; He knows all about you. Has the Lord Jesus Christ personally saved you from the penalty and power of your sins? Are you sure of it, based on the Bible? If you refuse Him now as Savior you will eventually stand before Him as your Judge, but then it will be forever too late (Jn. 5:22; Rev. 20:11-15)!

What Will You Do?
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (Jn. 3:18).

“And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin” (1 Jn. 3:5).“How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation” (Heb. 2:3).

Will you believe in the death of Jesus Christ for your sins? He paid the price for you, and you can be delivered from condemnation and judgment by God Himself! We can tell you how.

This article is available as a gospel tract from Grace & Truth.

“What are the differences of the names of heaven and hell?”

Answered by Eugene P. Vedder, Jr.

QUESTION: What are the differences between paradise, Abraham’s bosom, heaven and the Father’s house? And what are the differences between sheol, hades, hell and the lake of fire?

ANSWER: These are not eight different places or states of being. Instead, they are names for two very different sets of destinations – either one of which every person will reach after his death. There is a certain overlap within each set, but the sets are absolutely distinct from each other. Each member of the first set refers to a place or a condition of absolute bliss, while each of the second set is just the opposite: absolute torment. Let’s look briefly at these terms.

• Paradise. This is a term of Oriental, probably Persian, origin, meaning a park or place of pleasure. The Septuagint translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek uses this term in reference to the garden of Eden, the place God made for man’s enjoyment. In the New Testament, the Lord used it in speaking to the repentant thief on the cross (Lk. 23:43), Paul used it in describing his amazing experience of being caught up into the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:4), and the Lord used it in the letter to the angel of the church at Ephesus (Rev. 2:7).

• Abraham’s bosom. This is a term commonly used by the Jews at the time the Lord lived on earth to denote, or indicate, the part of sheol where the souls of the righteous were taken after death. They believed that Abraham, the friend of God, their forefather, was in the highest place of bliss. The Lord used this well-known term for heaven when He spoke of the contrasts between the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. He thus made it clear that while both rich and poor, believers and unbelievers die, their future after death is not the same.

• Heaven. In God’s Word, heaven is always viewed as the contrast to earth. The heavens are usually viewed in one of three ways:

  1. The atmosphere in which birds fly and rain falls;
  2. Outer space where are the sun, moon and stars; and
  3. The heaven of heavens, where the throne of God is and from where our Lord Jesus, the Son of God, came down to earth. Heaven in Scripture is regarded as God’s dwelling place and the source of all blessing. It is the destination of believers after death or the rapture, though usually other terms are used in describing it.

• The Father’s House. The Lord Jesus used this expression in John 14 when speaking of heaven to His disciples on the night of His betrayal. This term shows us the intimacy and love connected with our place in heaven. In the Father’s house are many dwelling places, He assured His disciples, and He was going to prepare a place there for them – and us. The dwelling places were there, but they were not yet ready. He would prepare them by dying on the cross, rising from the dead, ascending back into heaven and taking His place at God’s right hand. Because He is there, we shall be there also. Now we can call God our Father, something believers in the Old Testament were never able to do. Such is the intimacy we now enjoy with God through the work accomplished by our Lord Jesus.

• Sheol. Such intimacy was completely unknown to believers in the Old Testament. Some, such as Job in chapter 19:25-27 of the book called by his name and David in 2 Samuel 12:22-23, by faith gave expression to a confidence that went beyond any knowledge they had of what lay beyond death. Ecclesiastes makes plain that even the wisest of men at that time had no real understanding of the future after death. The bodies of the dead were laid in graves, and souls and spirits were spoken of somewhat vaguely as being in sheol. Not having any clear teaching about sheol meant that death was generally faced with a measure of dread. Now that the Lord Jesus has related the story of the rich man and the beggar Lazarus, we have clear teaching that sheol had two compartments – one for the righteous, the other for the unrighteous – with a great gulf that could not be crossed between them. Whether men realize it or not, God has always differentiated between those who are His and those who seek to live independently of Him.

• Hades. Hades is the Greek New Testament equivalent of sheol in the Hebrew Old Testament: the place or condition of the soul and spirit after death in contrast to the grave, the place where the dead body was laid. It had unpleasant connotations, or implications. The torment of the unsaved, wicked individual begins immediately after his death even though his soul and spirit are separated from his body. Every part of the wicked person constantly feels this torment. The person feels he is tormented in flame. He remembers his life, with the good things and opportunities he had to believe God. He is conscious too of the finality of his torment, being eternally separated from God.

• Hell. At present, contrary to the thinking of poets and of most people today, hell is still unpopulated. This place of eternal separation from God was not created for mankind to begin with, but for Satan and his angels. Yet, people who reject or neglect the great salvation God freely offers them will have their part with Satan there, eternally separated from God, who is holy. The unsaved dead will be raised after the fiery end of the huge army Satan will muster up after being released from the imprisonment he will experience during the millennium – the coming 1,000-year-long rule of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to Revelation 20, this army of Satan’s will march toward the camp of the saints of that day and the beloved city. But, just as the military force approaches, it will be consumed by fire sent out of heaven from God. This is to be followed by the wicked dead being raised and judged at the great white throne, before they are cast into hell forever.

• Lake of Fire. This is one of the descriptions of hell given to us in Scripture. In fact, this lake is said to burn with fire and brimstone, or sulfur. Sulfur burns with a dark flame that is almost purple in color, and it is most painful if it gets onto one’s skin. Unsaved people sometimes speak jokingly about hell as though they would have a good time there with all their friends. Others will angrily tell someone else to go to hell. The Lord tells us that hell is unquenchable, and it is a place of outer darkness, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. This shows us that there is no such thing as fellowship with others in hell. Worst of all, it is a place of eternal banishment from the presence of God. The Greek word for hell is Gehenna, a name derived from the Valley of Hinnom outside Jerusalem where apostate Jews once burned their children as sacrifices to idols, and where later the garbage of Jerusalem was burned in a fire that was kept burning continually.

This lake of fire is a place to avoid by all means! God did not intend for mankind, whom He placed at the head of His creation, to go there. Rather, He gave His only-begotten Son to die for us on Calvary that we might be saved and enjoy the bliss of the Father’s house forever. Choose today. Choose wisely; accept God’s offer of free salvation through His Son Jesus Christ!



By Leslie M. Grant

“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” —Galatians 6:14 NKJV

Galatians was written to the assemblies in the region of Galatia – a name possibly meaning “milky.” The letter is an earnest rebuke against the evil doctrine that works of the law form the standard for a believer’s walk and conduct. While being saved by grace through faith, the believers there had added law as the principle of maintaining their salvation. This mixture is abominable, or detestable, to God, the God of all grace.

The apostle Paul showed that the blessed person of Christ, not law, is the standard of a believer’s walk, and the Spirit of God is the power for a walk with God. The cross of Christ is presented powerfully as cutting off all expectation of good coming from man under law. By that cross, the believer is crucified to the world, cut off therefore from the very realm in which legality is the ruling principle. He is seen now connected with a “new creation” (v.15), walking no longer in the flesh, but in the Spirit.

The death of Christ is seen in chapter 4 as our redemption from the bondage of law, that we should be brought into the dignity and liberty of sonship before God. This is a position that could never have been known in the Old Testament, but it is true of all saints in this dispensation of grace. As verses 3-7 show, we are sons of God by adoption – by being divinely placed in that position.

How needful Galatians is to preserve us from selfishness, from confidence in the flesh and from the innumerable evils that are brought about by a legal attitude.

By Leslie M. Grant

This column is taken from the book: “The Bible, Its 66 Books In Brief.”
It is available for purchase from Believers Bookshelf USA and Believers Bookshelf Canada.

Magazine April 2018


Emphasis: Remember Him! -Paul Alberts
Worship: The Lamb Of God -Curt Darling
Feature: The Nature Of Christs Sacrifice -Alfred Bouter
Feature: The Nature Of Christs Sacrifice: Reconciliation -David Anderson
Feature: The Blood, The Death And The Cross Of Christ -Jake Redekop
Uplook: The Offerings Of Numbers 28-19 -Leslie M. Grant
Series: The Sons Prayer In John 17 -David Anderson
Issues: The Mystery In The Death Of Our Lord -Alan H. Crosby
Response: Responses
Discover: Discover Questions -Alan Groth
Overview: Galatians -Leslie M. Grant
YouAsked: What are the differences of the names of heaven and hell? -Eugene P. Vedder, Jr.
GoodNews: Why Did Jesus Die? -F. Wurst
Full Magazine PDF: Magazine PDF


I am using this opportunity to appreciate you for what God has used the ministry to do in my life and family. – Nigeria

We give thanks to the Lord for your inspired messages which give more and more meditations on Scripture, and we are prayerfully sharing them in weekly Bible study meetings and other meetings. I praise God for the writers who prayerfully prepare the messages. – India

Since late last year we have been using the “Wisdom of Proverbs” Discover series (Dec. ’11-Apr. ’14) for Sunday School in our assembly, and many are finding it profitable. – Nigeria

Thanks for the regular dispatch of Grace & Truth Magazines. My words fail to describe the worth of each issue. It requires time and seriousness to study each article along with my Bible. The January 2017 Featurearticle “Life With Eternal Worth” appeals to me to meet the challenges I face in life with the Lord’s help and power. – India

THE Mystery In The Death Of Our Lord

In The Death Of Our Lord

By Alan H. Crosby

A mystery scripturally is something that was concealed but is now revealed. It was not at all clear to the Old Testament saints that the Messiah, the Christ, would be the Eternal Son of God become Man, and that He would be condemned to death, crucified and resurrected for our salvation. This truth was revealed to the Lord’s disciples when “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Lk. 24:27 ESV). What was a mystery before His resurrection is now clearly revealed to us in the New Testament Scriptures.

He Was The True Prophet
We must not disregard the fact that our Lord Jesus was indeed “a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people” (v.19). He prophesied that He had to go to Jerusalem … be killed, and on the third day be raised” (Mt. 16:21). According to Mark, the Lord taught that He, “the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected of the elders and of the chief priests and of the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He spoke the thing openly” (8:31-32 JND, italics added).

Was the Lord a false prophet? Certainly not! But, He would have been if He were not killed, for that is what He prophesied. He also truthfully said, “I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again” (Jn. 10:17-18 ESV).

Both of these seemingly contradictory statements are true – He was killed, and He let go of His life voluntarily. The physical and spiritual things He endured on the cross were enough to kill Him if He were only a human being, but they could not have killed Him if He, being God the Son, had not allowed them to do so.

He Had A Human Body And He Was God
He was a perfect human being, with all the consequence of having a human spirit, soul and body. He became hungry (Mt. 4:2). He became thirsty (Jn. 19:28). He became sleepy, and He slept (Mk. 4:38). These were the natural results of lack of food, drink and sleep. The prophet Isaiah, speaking of the Lord as a man, foretold in Isaiah 53 that His body would be wounded, bruised and cut up by stripes during the scourging and the crucifixion (Compare to Mt. 27:26-50).

However, the Lord was also the Creator (Col. 1:16), and thus He had the divine power to remedy any injuries to His body or to prevent them from ever occurring. We see this power being used to prevent the ordinary decomposing of His dead, human body. Regarding this, David prophesied, “For You will not … let Your Holy One see corruption (Ps. 16:10), and Peter said, “… nor [has] His flesh seen corruption” (Acts 2:31 JND).

He Lay Down His Life
Using all their ingenuity, men devised crucifixion to cause a certain, slow and painful death. However, our Lord had the power to nullify all that would ordinarily cause death until He chose to die. Thus His death was entirely voluntary – but it was not suicide.

God had justly decreed that the penalty for sin would be death. Therefore, everyone faces death, “for all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23). But, because of His love for men, women and children, and by His grace, God willed that the Son “might taste death for everyone” (Heb. 2:9 ESV). Then, as prophesied by Isaiah (lsa. 53:6 JND), “Jehovah … laid upon Him the iniquity of us all”!

Our Lord allowed what men did to His body and what God did to His soul-spirit, in bearing our iniquity, to cause His death. Matthew wrote that at the time of His death, He “yielded up His spirit” (27:50 ESV, italics added), and John said, “He gave up His spirit” (19:30). By not retaining His human spirit, He died, for “the body apart from the spirit is dead” (Jas. 2:26). He had the power to retain His spirit, but He chose not to use that power. In short, He laid down His life!

Why Did He Choose To Die?
He chose to die, Scripture says, “for the joy that was set before Him [when He] endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2). Strange as it may seem, somehow the result of the physical suffering of crucifixion and the spiritual suffering of being separated from God resulted in joy for Him. There is no joy in the God-head in justly condemning unrepentant sinners, but “there is joy in heaven … over one sinner who repents” (Lk. 15:10). Our Lord had chosen to be “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29) – and He takes away all the sin of all who will repent!

An explanation for this mystery may be found in the fact that He has a very special relationship with the believers of this dispensation, or period of time. Figuratively, we are like a wife to Him; we are His body, and He loves us. Scripture says, “Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her … so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing … because we are members of His body” (Eph. 5:25-30).

What Should Be Our Response?
Like Paul, we should tell Jews and Gentiles “that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance” (Acts 26:20). This includes partaking, properly and with understanding, of the bread and wine “in remembrance” of Him in the manner which He instituted for us (Lk. 22:19-20).

The Son’s Prayer In John 17 / Part 2

Meditations On The Son’s Prayer

By David Anderson

We read in John 17:1-3 that the Lord Jesus Christ knew that the hour1 had arrived for Him to leave this world and depart to the Father (see 13:1). Therefore He asked for His own glorification, with the objective that He could then glorify2 the Father by giving eternal life to Christian believers.

Having concluded His talk with His disciples as to His departure, the Lord “lifted up His eyes to heaven” (17:1 ESV). Heaven, His Father’s house, was His destiny out of this world. It is also the promised dwelling place for His disciples, to which He will take them (14:2-3). The phrase “lifted up His eyes to heaven” gives an indication of His equality with the person He addressed in prayer. The very first word of His prayer was “Father” – that hallowed name of God revealed by the Son. As Son in the Godhead, the Lord Jesus can speak with the Father on equal terms. Therefore He appropriately said, “Father,” without an adjective being necessary.

The hour had come for Him, the Son (but now also as Man), to be glorified by the Father. Several times in this gospel John had already used the concept of “His hour” – the time for the Son to depart from this world to the Father. At the outset of His prayer, the hour had arrived for His and the Father’s glorification.

As always, the Son only seeks the glory of His Father in everything. When He raised Lazarus from the dead, God the Father was glorified, as was the Son – “so that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (11:4). In John 12:23 the Lord said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified,” in anticipation of His death (vv.27-33). On that occasion He said, “Father, glorify Your name.” The immediate reply from heaven was, “I have glorified it [when Lazarus was raised from the dead], and I will glorify it again” (v.28).

“I will glorify it again” referred to when God raised His Son from among the dead and gave Him glory (1 Pet. 1:21). The Lord Jesus was raised by the glory of the Father (Rom. 6:4) and taken up, or received up, in glory (1 Tim. 3:16). There He is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven (Heb. 8:1), and there the glory of God shines in His face (2 Cor. 4:6). His glory as the Son of Man will be displayed throughout the millennium (see Ps. 8).

The Father answered His Son’s request to be glorified by placing Him at His own right hand (Ps. 110:1; Heb. 8:1). It is from that exalted position that the Son is able, by the Father’s authority, to give eternal life to believers. In doing this work for the Father, the Son glorifies Him in a new way (Jn. 17:2). The message Mary was given to carry to the disciples on the resurrection morning was, “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God” (20:17). By the Spirit, they became fully aware of their true relationship with the Father from that time onwards, and they too would be able to bring glory to the Father. “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples” (15:8).

John 17:3 defines what eternal life is for believers of our day. With respect to our need, we are relieved to find that eternal life is the opposite of condemnation and of perishing (3:16-18). In John 17:3 it is to know the Father, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the Sent One of the Father. So from His side God wants us to share in His life, that is, in the family, or home, life of God in eternity. Life is not only conscious existence, it is also about living relationships, especially family relationships. Ephesians 3:15 states that the Father is the person from whom every family derives its meaning.3

We have been brought to know the preeminent Father – the true Father. In John’s gospel, the adjective “true” means the ultimate reality of a thing. For example, Jesus is the true Bread from heaven (Jn. 6) and the true Vine (Jn. 15). “The true God” conveys the thought of finality in the progressive process of the revelation of God to mankind over the ages. As the children of God (13:33), believers have a real, living relationship with the true God – the Father – through His Son. This conscious, eternal relationship with the Father and the Son is ultimate reality for us – “the eternal life” (v.3; 1 Jn. 1:2 JND). “We know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding so we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God and [the] eternal life” (5:20 ESV). Believers therefore live in the love of God in the conscious knowledge of divine persons and with the ability to respond to divine love.

The Lord Jesus continued His prayer to the Father in John 17:4, “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that You gave Me to do.” 4 He was anticipating the next day when He triumphantly said, “It is finished” (19:30). The Lord had already said something like this in John 13:31-32, when He announced that God had been glorified in Himself as the Son of Man. That is, His subjection to the Father’s will, His love for His Father, His personal holiness and all of His perfections shone out at the cross. God was also glorified at the cross in that His holiness, justice and love were manifested in the one completed sacrifice made for sin. Yes, the Father was glorified in every aspect of Christ’s life on earth – and supremely in His death, resurrection and ascension.

In John 17:6, 8 and 14, the Lord Jesus outlined the ways in which He had glorified His Father:

  • He had explained the meaning of the name Father to the disciples, and
  • He had given the Father’s word(s) to them.

In verse 6, the Father’s word is the truth, for the Lord said, “Your word is truth” (v.17). The Father’s words are also “the divine communications” and “the word of God in testimony” (JND footnotes, vv.8,14).

The Lord expanded in verse 5 upon His initial request to be glorified as the Son of God: “And now, Father, glorify Me in Your own presence with the glory that I had with You before the world existed.” As God the Son, He rightly requested to be invested with the uncreated glory of Deity, which He had along with the Father in eternity past. At His incarnation, that glory had been veiled, but not divested (consider Phil. 2:5-8). He received this glory as He is now – the risen, ascended Man in the presence of the Father.

Notice that Jesus spoke in the first person – “Me” and “I” – as an equal. The phrases “in Your own presence” and “with You” mean “together with Yourself” or “alongside You [along with Thee, JND]” in a shared position of equal status and in that unoriginated relationship in which He ever exists, or lives, with the Father. The expression “before the world existed” confirms Jesus is the eternal Son from before the incarnation – even before the ages began! 5

1. His hour, or His time, is referred to several times in John’s gospel (2:4, 7:6,8,30, 8:20, 12:23,27, 13:1, 16:32, 17:1). Although each occurrence differs slightly in emphasis, the overall meaning is the time for the Lord’s glorification, specifically by means of His death, followed by His resurrection and departure from this world to return to His Father (His ascension). Consider John 16:28, which says, “I came forth from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
2. As stated in Part 1, “to glorify” is to cause the excellences of a person to be displayed so they can be seen, understood and appreciated by others.
3. See the ESV footnote on all fatherhood. More accurately, every father reflects the meaning, in some measure, of the name “the Father.”
4. Note the repeated use – ten times – of the expression “I have” (NKJV). In verse 4, the Son referred to the fact that He had glorified the Father throughout His life on earth, and finally through His death, resurrection and ascension. In verses 6, 8, 12, 14, 18, 22 and 26, He referred to all that He had done for the Father with respect to the disciples.
5. “Before times eternal” is the literal translation of 2 Timothy 1:9.

Look for Part 3 next month.


He is speaking to His Father, tasting deep that bitter cup,
Yet He takes it, willing rather for our sakes to drink it up.

Oh what love! He loved me! Gave Himself, my soul, for me.

Lord, we joy, Thy toils are ended, Glad Thy suffering time is o’er,
To Thy Father’s throne ascended, there Thou liv’st to die no more.

Yes, my soul! He lives for thee, He who gave Himself for me.
—Josiah J. Hopkins (1786-1862)

The Offerings Of Numbers 28-29

The Offerings Of Numbers 28-29

By L. M. Grant (adapted)

Daily Offerings (Numbers 28:1-8)
As Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land, there were matters of serious importance raised by the Lord. Their recognition of God’s rights was to come first. He spoke therefore of “My offering, My food for My offerings made by fire as a sweet aroma to Me … at their appointed time” (v.2 NKJV). Jacob, in going out from Beersheba, expected God to give him food to eat (Gen. 28:20), but he forgot that he ought to give God food to eat. Likewise, we often think of our rights and forget God’s rights. May we think more deeply of giving God some true refreshment, for He is ignored by most people today. God has created us in such a way that we appreciate food. Therefore, is it not fully understandable to us that God should desire food from us?

The offerings that Israel was to consider as God’s food are detailed for us in Numbers 28-29. Every day two young lambs were to be offered, one in the morning and one in the evening (vv.3-4). These were burnt offerings, emphasizing the honor that is to be wholly given to God because of the value of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. With them, one tenth of an ephah1 of fine flour was included as a grain offering, mixed with one fourth of a hin2 of pressed oil (v.5). This grain offering speaks of the perfection of the humanity of the Lord Jesus expressed in all His life on earth, energized by the Spirit of God, as pictured in the oil. As we keep Him in affectionate memory before God, we are truly offering the grain offering. Verse 6 speaks of this in total as one offering of a sweet aroma, for there is perfect unity in the sacrifice of Christ.

Offerings On The Sabbath (Numbers 28:9-10)
On the Sabbath days there were two lambs added to the daily offering, with both grain offerings and drink offerings as in the daily offerings. The Sabbath speaks of the eternal rest of God, and in that day our appreciation of the sacrifice of Christ will not diminish, but increase.

Monthly Offerings (Numbers 28:11-15)
There would be no lack of work to keep the priests occupied. At each month’s beginning a special burnt offering was to be made “to the LORD: two young bulls, one ram, and seven lambs in their first year, without blemish” (v.11). With this was included three tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for each bull, two tenths of the same for the ram and one tenth for each lamb. The total of this was called “a burnt offering of sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD” (v.13). Thus, special occasions called for special observance by Israel, and a drink offering of varying proportions for each animal was added.

But every month a kid of the goats was also to be sacrificed as a sin offering (v.15). This was not a trespass offering, for the trespass offering was for specific cases of trespass, while the sin offering applied to the root principle of sin as being hateful to God. Therefore, it was a reminder that the scourge of sin was present in every Israelite, as it is in us, and only by the sacrifice of Christ is it properly judged.

Offerings At The Feast Of The Passover (Numbers 28:16-25)
The Passover was to be kept yearly, on the 14th day of the first month. It was attended by the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which was kept from the 15th day for seven days. The two feasts are often viewed as one and called “the Feast of the Passover” (Ex. 34:25; Lk. 2:41; Jn. 13:1). Unleavened bread was to be eaten seven days, for the Passover speaks both of sins forgiven by the blood of the sacrifice and of sin condemned by the death of Christ. Leaven is a symbol of sin, and the seven days speak of its complete judgment by the death of the Lord Jesus.

There was to be a holy convocation, or calling together, on the first day. It was a gathering of the people to give honor to the LORD; no work was to be done for they were celebrating God’s work (Num. 28:17-18). A burnt offering was to be presented consisting of two young bulls, one ram and seven lambs in their first year. All being typical of Christ, they were to be carefully inspected to see that they had no blemish. The young bulls speak of the strength of the offering of Christ; the ram speaks of His devotion to God, and the lambs picture His lowly obedience in submission to the will of His Father.

The burnt offering was to be accompanied by a grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil: three tenths of an ephah for each bull, two tenths for the ram and one tenth for each of the seven lambs (vv.20-21). The grain offering again speaks of the person of the Lord Jesus in lowly humanity, and being mixed with oil implies that the Spirit of God permeated His every action from birth.

Added to these there was to be offered one goat as a sin offering (v.22). The goat was regarded as a substitute for the people, with its reminder again of the sin that dwelt within the people that must be judged by virtue of the sacrifice of Christ, our Substitute.

Verse 24 indicates that the food of the offering was to be offered each day for the seven days, as a sweet aroma to the LORD. It does not seem that the sin offering was included for the six days following the first, for the sin offering is not “a sweet aroma” as was the burnt offering. The seventh day called also for a holy convocation (v.25), with no work being done.

Offerings Of The Feast Of Weeks (Numbers 28:26-31)
The Feast of Weeks was 50 days – seven weeks – after the Passover, when a new grain offering was to be brought as the firstfruits of Israel’s harvest. On this day was another holy convocation when no work was to be done. This pictures the birth of the Church at Pentecost (Acts 2), when the Spirit of God came to begin the forming of one body composed of both Jewish and, a little later, Gentile believers. “A new grain offering” implies that the Lord Jesus is seen as identified with His saints in the new dispensation of God, the Church period.

The burnt offering was to be identical to that offered on Passover: two young bulls, one ram and seven lambs in the first year. The grain offering was also the same: three tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for each bull, two tenths for the ram and one tenth for each lamb (vv.27-28). These were for a sweet aroma to the LORD, while a kid of the goats was again offered “to make atonement” as a sin offering (v.30).

The offerings here were only offered once on the day of firstfruits (v.26), for it was not a week-long feast as was the Passover and Unleavened Bread. It is to be noted that “the Feast of Firstfruits” (Lev. 23:9-14) is distinct from “the day of the firstfruits” in Numbers 28:26. Maybe a little chart would be helpful.

The Feast of Firstfruits
(Leviticus 23:9-14)
The Day of firstfruits
(Numbers 28:26)
Followed the Passover Was 50 days after the Passover
Typical of the resurrection of
the Lord Jesus (1 Cor. 15:20)
Typifies the Church and the
firstfruits of Christ’s work
of redemption

In what the day of firstfruits typifies, the Church is identified with Him as “a kind of firstfruits” (Jas. 1:18). Does this not remind us that the birth of the Church is the result of the sacrifice of Christ? The Spirit who came at Pentecost will always keep in our memory the reality of which the Passover speaks – the one great sacrifice of the Lord Jesus.

Again it is insisted the offerings must be without blemish (v.31). The perfection of purity in the Lord Jesus must never be compromised.

Offerings At The Feast Of Trumpets (Numbers 29:1-6)
About four months passed before the Feast of Trumpets took place. This illustrates the long time elapsing following Pentecost, which introduced the extended dispensation of the grace of God while Israel has remained in a state of unbelief.

The Feast of Trumpets itself symbolizes the regathering of Israel to their land, as noted in Matthew 24:31: “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” “His elect” in this verse are those elect for earthly blessing. There have already been signs of Israel’s return to their land with at least a relatively small number restored there. However, when the Church is raptured to heaven, then this call by angelic power will have great public effect, for the trumpets speak of a clearly declared testimony.

“The last trumpet” in connection with the rapture (1 Cor. 15:52) will be sounded much before the trumpet to regather Israel; but it is called “the last trumpet” because it will be the last public testimony on earth as to the Church of God. Her being suddenly taken away will be a most striking testimony. But as regards Israel, there are other trumpets following this great event.

On the day of blowing of trumpets, there was to be a burnt offering of one young bull, one ram and seven lambs in their first year, all unblemished. At Pentecost two young bulls were offered, otherwise the offerings were the same, and the grain offering was the same for each animal. A kid of the goats was again included as a sin offering, “to make atonement” rather than “as a sweet aroma.” These were all added to the regular monthly offerings, as Numbers 29:6 indicates.

Offerings On The Day Of Atonement (Numbers 29:7-11)
The Day of Atonement closely followed the Feast of Trumpets. Only ten days later, it symbolizes the great work of God in Israel when, at the end of the tribulation, “they look upon Him whom they pierced” (Zech. 12:10), and they will be broken down in profound repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus. This is why Israel is told, “You shall afflict your souls,” when they gathered in holy convocation, ceasing from any work (Num. 29:7).

A burnt offering was to be presented: one young bull, one ram and seven lambs in their first year, without blemish. One kid of the goats was offered as a sin offering as well as the grain offering (v.11). These were in addition to the main offerings of the Day of Atonement.

The offerings made on the Day of Atonement as presented in Numbers 29:7-11 are described in more detail in Leviticus 16. There, Aaron was to take the blood of the sin offering into the holiest of all, and the bodies of the animals were burned without the camp. There is much benefit in prayerful comparison of the two passages.

But on that day, though the main focus was on the once yearly sin offering, the burnt offering was not to be forgotten, for in every connection God is to be glorified. This is just as true in His great work of judging sin as in the blessing of sinners.

Offerings At The Feast Of Tabernacles (Numbers 29:12-40)
The Feast of Tabernacles symbolizes the great blessing of God in the millennial age. Hence, there is much more in the way of offerings prescribed for this feast, which was kept up for eight days.

The feast began only five days after the Day of Atonement, for after Israel has been broken down in true repentance before God, God cannot delay to fill their hearts with overflowing adoration of His beloved Son. The first day was to be a holy convocation. On this day the number of rams and lambs was doubled above the other feast days and the number of bulls was to be thirteen. The number thirteen falls short of 2×7 – the witness (2) of perfection (7). The reason for falling short is that the millennium is not eternity; the people of God will still have their sinful natures as well as the new nature. The tendency of this is toward decline, just as Ephesus left her first love (Rev. 2:4) and the decline of the Church has continued through her history on earth.

On the eighth day there was to be a solemn assembly with all work ceasing (Num. 29:35), a good reminder that the great blessing of the millennium is not dependent on Israel’s work, but it is altogether on the grace of God. The number 8 in Scripture speaks of a new beginning, and the millennium will indeed be a new beginning for Israel, for their joy will be overflowing in contrast to the centuries of sorrow and trouble they have seen. The offerings made every day for the eight days indicate that Israel will not cease to give honor and praise to God during that period of 1,000 years. The offerings on the eighth day (vv.36-39) were the same as on the day of the Feast of Trumpets and on the Day of Atonement.

Throughout these offerings we repeatedly see points presented as to our Lord Jesus Christ and His work. Let us be careful to give Him the first place in our lives, honoring Him in all we do and say. To Him be the glory!

1. As a dry measure, it was short of 6.5 gallons (Concise Bible Dictionary).
2. A liquid measure of just over one gallon (Concise Bible Dictionary).

Numbers 28-29 tell of Jehovah’s portion which He is to receive in the worship of His people. Needless to say, all speaks of Christ. In Christ, God has found His delight. In Leviticus there is that aspect of the different offerings by which God has met our need in Christ and His blessed work; but here Jehovah speaks of these offerings as being “My bread” (Num. 28:2). The heart of God feeds, humanly speaking, upon Christ.

—Arno C. Gaebelein, adapted.