Using the pattern of the Old Testament Passover, Derek shows how this is a picture of Jesus, the Lamb who was sacrificed, and he brings out the importance of Jesus’ shed blood. The personal application of this truth comes when we testify about what the Word of God says the blood of Jesus does for us.
It’s good to be with you again, as we draw near to the close of another week. Our theme this week has been: How to Overcome Evil.
In my talk yesterday I focused on the picture of our warfare against Satan which is found in Revelation, chapter 12, verses 10 and 11. I’ll read those verses once more.
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.’” (NIV)
I pointed out certain important features of that description of the victory of believers over Satan. First of all, it’s a direct person-to-person encounter between the believers on the one hand, and Satan on the other. It says, “They, [the believers] overcame him,” - direct person-to-person conflict. We must not shrink from it. It’s a fact of Scripture. We’ve got to encounter Satan directly and we’ve got to overcome him.
Second, I pointed out that it required total commitment to win that victory. They did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. I gave you the example of a soldier in an army. When he’s called up or enlists or volunteers, he does not serve in the army on the condition that he will not have to lay down his life. Every soldier in an army knows it may cost him his life and that’s how it must be with us as Christians. We have no point to draw back from our commitment no matter what it costs, even if it’s life itself. That’s the commitment that’s required to win the victory.
Then I pointed out the weapons that are there described and I said there are three: the blood of the lamb, the Word of God, and the testimony of believers. Let me say those again - The blood of the lamb, the Word of God, and the testimony of believers. And I explained that this picture is taken from the Old Testament ordinance of the Passover. The phrase, “the blood of the lamb,” immediately turns our minds back to the ordinance of the Passover lamb. I explained how, in order to protect his home, every Israelite father had to take a lamb, slaughter it, catch the blood in a basin, and then transfer the blood from the basin to his home, to the place where the protection was needed. The blood in the basin made protection available; it did not insure it. In order to have protection, that father had to transfer the blood of the lamb from the basin to the place where he lived. And he had to take the blood and apply it on the lintel and the two doorposts of the door of his home. And in order to get the blood from the basin, to the home, he was to use just one particular thing, a little bunch of hyssop, a plant that grows very commonly throughout the Middle East, that’s available anywhere. And yet though it was such a humble and common item, it was absolutely essential because it was the only authorized way to transfer the blood of the lamb from the basin to the place where the protection was needed.
Now, in my talk today I’m going to show you how this applies to our spiritual warfare against Satan. In particular, I’m going to show you what it means for us to exercise the authority given us to avail ourselves of the blood.
In the New Testament there is something that corresponds to the hyssop that transferred the blood of the Passover lamb from the place in the basin to the place where it was needed on the lintel in the doorpost of the home.
First of all, let me make this clear, the New Testament shows us clearly that the Passover lamb was a picture of Jesus, the Lamb of God, that all that was typically revealed about the Passover lamb was fulfilled actually in Jesus, the Lamb of God, and through his death on the cross. Let me give you just two Scriptures. First of all, John, chapter 1, verse 29. Speaking about John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus, it says:
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (NIV)
So, John by revelation, pointed out to the people of his time, Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Every Israelite who heard that phrase, “the Lamb of God,” was immediately reminded, because of his background and his tradition, of that unique, sacred ceremony of the Passover lamb.
And then, in First Corinthians, chapter 5 and verse 7, Paul says this and here the application is even more precise. First Corinthians 5:7:
“For Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed.” (NIV)
That’s a fact of history. When Jesus died on the cross, he was the Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world. He was the Passover Lamb who was slain that by His blood, protection and total victory might be made available to all the people of God.
Now, I want to go back to the Old Testament pattern of the Passover and show you how exactly it applies. I said that in the Passover ceremony, the blood of the lamb had to be shed and it had to be caught in the basin. There it was in the basin available. But the blood in the basin actually protected no Israelite home or family. For protection, the blood had to be transferred from the basin to the home, to the place where the person lived, the place where the protection was needed. And there was only one way to do that, to transfer the blood from the basin to the home with a little bunch of hyssop. The father dipped the hyssop in the blood in the basin and then sprinkled it on the lintel and the two doorposts.
Now, the same principle applies in availing ourselves of the Blood of Jesus, the Passover Lamb who’s been slain on our behalf. His blood has been shed. Through it, protection and total victory are made available to all of God’s people. But in terms of the pattern of the Passover, the blood of Jesus, shed on the cross, is, as it were, in the basin. It’s there. It’s available. It will do everything we need, but in order to enjoy the protection and the victory made available to us through the blood, we have to transfer the blood to our own lives, to the place where we live. We’ve got to apply it personally. Now, in the Passover lamb ceremony they used a bunch of hyssop. Obviously we don’t do that. But God has provided something for us that’s just as real and just as effective as the hyssop.
Let me go back to the statement, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” The other two key phrases are “the word” and “their testimony.”
Let me share with you now one of the most precious truths that God has ever revealed to me, one of the most effective in my own life. It’s this: In order to transfer the Blood of Jesus to the place where we need protection and victory, we do not use hyssop but we use our personal testimony. Our testimony in the New Testament takes the place of the hyssop in the Old and so we transfer the Blood of Jesus to our lives when we testify personally to what the Word of God says the Blood of Jesus does for us. It’s our testimony that’s the hyssop that takes the Blood of Jesus, shed on the cross, made available and applies it to our own lives.
You see, there are three elements, three different weapons, that put together, bring total victory. The first, the Blood of the Lamb, the second, the Word of God, and the third, our personal testimony, what we ourselves say with our own mouths. Now the Blood of the Lamb, since Jesus was slain, is always there in the basin. It’s always available. The Word of God never changes. It’s unvarying. The variable factor in that operation is our testimony. Our testimony corresponds to the hyssop. It’s something simple; it’s something available to everybody and yet it’s crucial. Without the hyssop, under the Old Covenant, the blood of the Passover Lamb did nothing for anybody. It was available but it was ineffective. Likewise, in the New Covenant, without our testimony, the Blood of Christ is available, everything we ever need is contained in the Blood, all its provisions are revealed through the Word, but it’s our testimony and our testimony alone that makes all that effective.
So, listen carefully again. To overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony means that we use our personal testimony and with our personal testimony, we say about the blood of Jesus what the Word of God says. Everything that the Word of God says the blood of Jesus will do we say it is doing for us. And when we make it personal, when we state it boldly with our lips, when we affirm it before all the unseen world, when we say, “This is what the Word of God says the Blood of Jesus does for me and it’s doing it right now,” then that’s the hyssop which takes the blood and makes it available to us and gives us total protection and victory through it.
Well our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again next week at this same time, Monday through Friday. I’ll be continuing with our theme for this week. I’ll be showing you in a simple, practical way how you can apply the blood of Christ to every area of your life.
My special offer this week is my book, Baptism in the Holy Spirit. This book places in your hand the key to spiritual victory, insight to discern Satan’s activities and power to overcome them. You simply cannot afford to be without them. You’ll be like a soldier going to war without his basic equipment.
Also, my complete series of talks this week on “How to Overcome Evil, Part 1” is available in a single, carefully edited cassette.
Stay tuned for details.