Was the coronavirus prophesied in the book of Revelation? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Well, hi there. I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. And this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.
Our phone lines are open right now for the next 25 minutes. And if you have a question, we'd love to hear from you. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Of course, you can also post your question on one of our social media sites, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. You can watch us on YouTube right now and you can email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Doug in Mesa, Arizona. Doug, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?
Yes. Hi, Pastor Adriel. I just had a question about something I read in Leviticus 16 that I was a little confused about. So it is right after the death of Aaron's sons, and it was the Day of Atonement. And I realized that everything that happened is a correlation between the atoning for the sins and what Jesus did. That it's like pointing to Christ. But I did have a question that I just didn't quite get, and I wanted to get clarification. It was about after the two male goats for the sin offering.
One was obviously offered, but then the other was a scapegoat. And it says that the other was for Azazel and that it goes out into the wilderness. I heard something and I wasn't quite sure, and I just wanted to get your opinion on it. But is that also a picture of when Jesus went into the wilderness and when he had went through the temptation of the enemy? Is that another picture of atonement or is that just completely separate? Leviticus 16. A lot of people don't know this, but this is actually the high point of the Pentateuch. Leviticus is the center book of the first five books of the Old Testament. But Leviticus 16, the Day of Atonement, was this annual celebration that really focused on the removal of sin. In particular in the temple, in Leviticus 16, verse 16 says, Thus he shall make atonement for the holy place because of the uncleanness of the people of Israel and because of their transgressions. And so as if the sin of the people was being attached to the holy place and was sort of piling up throughout the year.
And so during this celebration of Yom Kippur, of the Day of Atonement, it was like this deep cleaning, this deep cleansing of the temple. And you had these two goats that were sacrificed, one that was offered as a sin offering to the Lord and the other, as you mentioned, which was sent into the wilderness to Azazel. And there's a lot of debate about what that is. There are some people who think it's a place, Azazel referring to this sort of steep precipice or this cliff where the goat would just be pushed out there and then cast over the side of the cliff.
There are other people who say it's just referring to this idea of being dismissed and being sent out. And there are even some who say, no, this is a reference to some sort of demonic being, maybe worshiped by the pagans that surrounded Israel at that time. And so there definitely are, when we're thinking about Leviticus 16 and the Day of Atonement sin offerings, there definitely are correlations to Christ and his atoning work.
So I'm glad that you see that, especially here. You think about the centrality of Leviticus 16 for the Old Testament, in particular for the first five books of the Old Testament, pointing us to our need for forgiveness and how Jesus fulfills that, right? John the Baptist says, behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. But here in particular, where you have this one goat mysteriously sent off to Azazel in the wilderness. Now in the ancient world, the wilderness was oftentimes viewed as this place where evil hung out, where the demons roamed. You mentioned Jesus's temptation in the wilderness, or even thinking back in the Old Testament of the trial in the wilderness that the Hebrews experienced the temptation there in the wilderness. It's this idea of, or this picture of being excommunicated, being cast out of the camp, left to the evil. And in fact, Paul, when he talks about excommunication in the New Testament, writing to the Corinthians, he talks about an individual who was sinning in this grievous way in the church. And he says, deliver such a one over to Satan.
In other words, cast him out of the camp. And in one sense, I think you do see here a sort of shadow of a type of what happened to Jesus as he was crucified and suffered, suffered in particular outside of the camp. Think about what the book of Hebrews says. This is made really clear in the book of Hebrews, in Hebrews chapter 13.
Really a wonderful book that focuses on the atoning work of Jesus Christ and why it's better than the old covenant sacrifices. But in Hebrews chapter 13, in verse 12, the author of the Hebrews said this, so Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. The religious leaders, they cast Jesus out. They excommunicated him, if you will. And that's kind of the picture that we're being given here, the sins of the people being placed on this scapegoat and then the scapegoat being passed out, sent out of the camp and destroyed in one sense, handed over to Satan or pushed off the side of the cliff, however we take that phrase.
Certainly I would say, Doug, we have here a very clear type and shadow of what Jesus would do for us. All of our sins were placed on him, all of them, and he was executed for those sins. He was cast out, he suffered outside the gate as if he were excommunicated so that we might be forgiven. He was the sin offering that satisfied the justice of a holy God. And actually that's what the prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah chapter 53 verse 10. He made his soul an offering for guilt or an offering for sin. And so I think you're on the right track, brother, and I appreciate you bringing us to Leviticus 16.
Great question. Thanks, Doug. I love it when our listeners dig in to the scriptures and have great questions like this.
We appreciate that. Doug, this is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. By the way, Adriel, we often talk about types and shadows on this program. Can you kind of define what that means?
Yeah, Bill, thanks for bringing that up. So you think of a type, and that's actually a word that's used in the New Testament in various places, but it's just this idea that you have these pictures in the Old Testament that are meant to, as Doug said, to lead us to Jesus himself. They prefigure or foreshadow what he would do in his atoning work, in his life, in his death, in his resurrection. And one of the things that's so wonderful about this is when you really understand this and you begin to look at the Old Testament, you see the gospel everywhere through these quote unquote types and shadows, the sacrificial system, the temple, the people in the wilderness, things that are pointing us forward to what God would do for us in Jesus. This is Core Christianity. Let's go to Paul in Johnston, Rhode Island. Paul, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hello, Pastor.
Hey, Paul. I'm trying to determine, is there a scripture that tells us that each believer is assigned a specific angel, a guardian angel who would keep us safe from the evil one? Yeah, that's a great question. I think there is quite a bit of church tradition out there floating around about this concept of guardian angels. But we do find passages of scripture that seem to indicate that angels do protect and guard the people of God throughout the Bible. You see this in the book of Daniel.
I also think of what the author of the Hebrews said in Hebrews chapter 1 verse 14. He's writing about the role of angels in the world and he says, Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? In other words, the angels are sent out to serve for who?
Well, for our benefit, for the sake of those who are going to inherit salvation. More specifically to your question, Paul, this idea of guardian angels sometimes is taken from the Gospel of Matthew. In Matthew chapter 18 verse 10, Jesus makes a very interesting statement. He says, See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. It seems like right there with the words of Jesus, their angels, as if these little ones have an angel or angels assigned to them. The point there is Jesus is saying, Look, don't dismiss or despise the least of these. There is some indication that there are these kinds of guardian angels that are out there that are sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation. Now, I don't know that we can speculate beyond that, but one of the comforting things, at least for us, is just knowing how God has our back, we might say, and how the Lord is using all sorts of means for our good and for His glory and for our protection in the world. And so those are two texts that I would point you to.
Matthew 18, 10, and Hebrews chapter 1 verse 14. Thanks for your question, Paul. Thanks, Paul.
You're listening to CORE Christianity, and we would love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. You can call us right now for the next 10, 15 minutes or so.
We'd love to hear from you. Let's go to Larry in Yukon, Oklahoma. Larry, what's your question for Pastor Adrian? Thank you, Pastor Adrian, for taking my call. My son watched a video, and the guy was talking about Scripture where Jesus says, I'm sorry, my people know my name, and they'll hear me and follow me. He says he's not sure that Jesus is the original text for Jesus' name. And I said, well, I know somebody that can tell us, and I'm going to call him. All that I threw down did not convince him, but thank you, Pastor. I'm going to hang up and listen to you.
Thanks for the call, Larry. You think of what we read in the Gospels where we see in the beginning of Matthew's Gospel, Matthew 1, verse 21, she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. Jesus was the proper name, if you will, of the Christ, of the Messiah. It comes from the Hebrew Joshua. You have this echo of Joshua in the Old Testament. What did he do? He led the people into the Promised Land. That's what he was doing.
It's interesting. You have this indication that this one is going to lead his people into the land of promise, into the true rest. And the author of the Hebrews actually picks up on this in the book of Hebrews, chapter 4, where he talks about Jesus leading us into rest, into the true rest that God holds out to his people. And so, Larry, there's nothing wrong with us worshipping Jesus, calling on the name of Jesus. You think of other passages of Scripture. I mean, obviously, you have the prophecy in Isaiah. He will be called Immanuel, which means God with us.
There are different ways we can think about this, and I think sometimes people get so caught up in the proper pronunciation. Is it Yeshua or Jesus or Joshua, that kind of a thing, but that's not what we're supposed to focus on. The focus is on what he's going to do as indicated by his name, if you will. He's going to be the one who leads his people into rest, into righteousness, into the Promised Land, if you will.
He's going to be the one who came to forgive his people of their sins, and that's precisely what Jesus does. And we can get so caught up in, you know, am I pronouncing the name right? The Jehovah's Witnesses, I think, do this with the divine name found throughout the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, Jehovah.
They'll say, well, you've got to use that name. And I think a lot of times we sort of miss the forest for the trees. There's nothing wrong with, as I said, confessing Jesus, praising Jesus, worshipping Jesus, because that's the name that's given to us in the New Testament. God bless you. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez, and today we want to offer you a very special book. It's truly a Christian classic written by a pastor and theologian who was a hero of World War II and was actually martyred for the stand that he took against Adolf Hitler.
Yeah, Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. We've been offering it this week. Look, if you have not got a hold of this resource yet, I want to encourage you to get a hold of this resource. It truly is a Christian classic. It's edifying. I mean, you read it and it just, I think, will help you to fall in love with the church and with Christian community because he paints such a beautiful picture of what Christian community is supposed to be.
And so get a hold of this resource. Great for individuals and even for entire churches to go through together as they think about what it means for us as the body of Christ to have life together. To take advantage of this offer, just go to corechristianity.com for a donation of any amount. We will send you this particular book. It's again called Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers or give us a call at 833-THE-CORE for that book or any one of our Bible studies or offers. We'd love to tell you more about that. Let's go to Jerry in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Jerry, what's your question for Pastor Adrian? Hello.
Hey Jerry. Hey, I was wondering if you could explain Luke 1251 for me. Do you think I came not to bring peace, but to the earth?
No, I've come to divide the people against each other. Yeah, these are the words of our Lord Jesus also recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. I'm going to start in verse 49. Jesus said, I came to cast fire on the earth and would that it were already kindled.
I have a baptism to be baptized with and how great is my distress until it is accomplished. Now there he's referring to the crucifixion. Baptism is this sign, this picture of judgment.
Just think of the flood in the Old Testament in Genesis chapter six, this judgment that God brings. Well, baptism is a picture of judgment and Jesus is referring there to the cross in verse 50. Then he says in verse 51, do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three.
They will be divided father against son and son against father and mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. So what is Jesus referring to there? Well, he's talking about the fact that the Gospel and our allegiance to Jesus Christ oftentimes does lead to division. Now in one sense we could say, and this was what was heralded by the angels when Jesus was born, Jerry, that Christ's coming brings peace to all men.
Primarily peace with the holy God through the forgiveness of our sins. But in another sense, you think of our horizontal relationships with others, with family members, with coworkers, with just society in general, following God can be a lonely place. There are people who will reject you, who will persecute you, who will think you're crazy for believing in Jesus, in salvation by grace through faith, for not embracing the broader culture's sexual ethic or ideas about money or whatever it is.
And so there are these divisions that are brought about by Christ. Sometimes people think, well, following Jesus just means everything in my life is going to be good and easy. And then they quickly realize that that's not the case. And sometimes what they do is they just jump ship. They basically say, I'm not into this.
This isn't what I signed up for. But Jesus made it absolutely clear. Following him sometimes is very difficult.
In fact, it's like taking up your cross and following him. And that's what he's getting at here. Again, he's focusing on the fact that the gospel, when we follow the Lord, there are going to be people who stand against us.
There are going to be divisions as a result of that. And so that's what's being highlighted in this passage. And maybe you've experienced that in your own life. I'm sure you listening right now, if you've sought to follow Jesus and to walk with him and to be faithful to him, there are times where people will stand against you just for that very thing. And that's what Jesus was talking about in Luke chapter 12. You were listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez and had an interesting voicemail come in dealing with the coronavirus in the book of Revelation. Hi, my question comes from Revelation 6 to about the man that comes on the white horse, wearing a crown and carrying a bow. It says that crown in Latin means corona and bow in Greek means toxin.
And I'm just curious if this could be the coronavirus, the white man carrying a bow and conquering to conquer. It says that the writer could be coming to deliver the mark of the beast under the corona by a toxin with a needle and a sharp point. So I don't know, just wondered what your thoughts were on that.
Thank you. Hey, thanks for that question, sister. Revelation 6 verse 1. These seals that are being referred to in Revelation chapter 6 are the same seals that Jesus himself is opening. He's the lamb opening the seals. Back in chapter 5, there was this great sort of tumult in heaven where you had this scroll with seven seals and the question was asked, who can open these?
Who's worthy to open them? And there was no one in all creation worthy to open the seals. And then we see Jesus there in Revelation chapter 5. He's the worthy one, the one who conquered, the one who opens the seals. And the first thing we're to recognize, with all these seals, you have these cataclysmic events happening, persecution for the church, judgment on evil people. But Christ is in control. Who's opening the seals? It's Jesus himself.
This would have been a great comfort to the first century church that was suffering persecution because it's as if John is saying, as if Jesus is saying, look, I am in control. The suffering that you're experiencing, I'm sovereign over it. I'm the one who has opened the seals.
You can trust in me. Now, Revelation 6 2 is not a prophecy about the coronavirus. Or sometimes people who will do these sort of patchwork things will say, well, the Latin word here means corona, crown. The Greek word there is toxin. And that's true of the word bow, but it's not referring to a pestilence or a toxin in the sense that we think this is the Greek word for bow.
You think of an arch or bow and arrow. If John wanted to use the word for pestilence, he could have. In fact, he uses it throughout the book of Revelation. Later in Revelation chapter 18, he uses that word, but he doesn't use it here. And so we have to be really careful that we're not doing this sort of patchwork Bible interpretation where we're taking a Latin word here and a Greek word there and a sort of English transliteration of a word over here to try and fit it with our current situation.
That's not what's happening here. Here, we're seeing a picture of the suffering that the people of God experienced throughout history, especially with the first four seals of Revelation chapter 6 and the comfort of knowing that Christ is in control. Thank you for your question.
Interesting question. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Janet is calling from St. Louis, Missouri.
Janet, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, I have a question about my offerings to the church and so forth. I don't have any problem doing offerings, but I see money that could be used to spread the gospel. In other words, boots on the ground. I have friends who are missionaries in dangerous parts of the world.
They've come out of the citadels and all of these churches and so forth, and they're actually boots on the ground, warts of the martyrs, Bible league. Is it wrong for me to want to take my offerings and use those for people who are actually out putting their lives on the line to spread the gospel as compared to choirs and lights and entertainment and autotrons and so forth? To give that to the place where it can be used in those unchurched, unreached areas of the world, the missionaries.
Is that wrong for me to opt to do that? Hey, Janet, I just love your heart, sister. Jesus said where your treasure is, that's where your heart will be also. I can tell that you want your quote-unquote treasure, the resources that the Lord has given to you, to go to the advancement of the gospel in the world in some of these difficult places. I like that you mentioned that organization, Voice of the Martyrs, a wonderful organization supporting the persecuted church throughout the world.
First, in terms of giving, Paul says in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 in particular, 2 Corinthians 9, that each person has to give as they decide in their own heart cheerfully. No, it's not wrong for you to devote resources to some of these organizations or friends of yours that are on the front lines in the mission field. The hope would be that the local church that you're a part of is also focused on missions. Maybe local churches here have a foreign missions committee, that kind of a thing, but we're also focused on the advancement of the gospel in our own neighborhoods. Now, the sad reality is sometimes we can lose sight of that and we can get lost in discussions about the color of the carpet and are we going to have the best lights and we're going to invest all this money in this or that.
It's hard to see a direct correlation between where the money is going and mission. That's a conversation you might want to have with your pastor, with your local church. I think it's really important for churches to be able to point to, here's how the resources that God has entrusted us with are being used for the advancement of his kingdom.
So that's an important conversation to have. You might want to have that conversation with your pastor, but know that the Lord is going to bless you as you seek to be generous to the advancement of the gospel in whatever way that you're doing it. Whether it's giving to the local church, and I always encourage that, or giving to missionaries abroad, the Lord loves a cheerful giver. I hope you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
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