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Good Friday

Chaiway.org: Broken body of JesusChaiway.org: Blood poured out

The shadow of the Old Testament (Tanakh) sacrifices point to the New Testament. The entire Passover service is intensely and highly symbolic of just that. Luke 22 describes the last supper (Passover) and Matthew 26-27 describes every detail of Good Friday.

In the Old Testament (Tanakh), there are many specific blood sacrifices listed and each one was a covering over the particular sin or sins, an atonement. This is why the sacrifices had to be repeated, and this is why there is the annual Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement.

In the New Testament, at the very central heart of the gospel is that the saving death of Jesus is the final atonement, for it is the propitiation: the quenching of God’s wrath for us when He completely removed our sins and took them onto Himself (expiation) thereby reconciling those who believe to God forever! Our sin (ALL of our sin, our entire body of sin; past, present, future) was imputed onto Jesus, and the righteousness of Jesus was imputed onto us, therefore called double imputation. (Romans 3:21-26, 1 John 2:2)

Good Friday (In 2019: Friday April 19) is the recognition of just what happened in His death. (Although it does not end there. It is Friday, but Sunday is coming; Resurrection Sunday (Easter)!

Let us trace this:

sacrifice

 

 

 

What Would You Like?

Matthew 14:28-33 Chaiway.orgCounseling services are good for so many reasons and the reasons people go for counseling are numerous. However, I think we would all agree is that there is one main goal in it, to get unstuck from whatever has the person stuck so every area of that person’s life and relationships can improve. 

In secular counseling, the spiritual dimension of people is not at all addressed. Secular counseling is based on people solving their own problems without bringing God into the equation as having any influence on human issues or solutions. It is a self-focused, self- improvement project for people who dismiss the notion of God as present, real, relevant, and involved. 

Bible based counseling is for those who believe in God or who want to believe in God and His work in our life. It differs from secular counseling in that it specifically incorporates the spiritual dimension, Biblical truths. In that, there is belief in God as our Creator.

The type of bible based counseling I am focusing on here is the counseling that takes into account the entire bible of 66 books, Tanakh (Old Testament) and the New Testament. In that, God, salvation, the gospel, Jesus, the Holy Spirit (the third part of the Godhead, who draws a person to God and is a God oriented conscience within a believer) are all part of the conversation.

God is always in the process of redeeming, or buying back the broken/hurt/stuck areas and bringing them in line with how He desires us to think which leads to how we feel and act. Bible based counseling has an absolute standard by which to measure the objectives in counseling and evaluate the counselee’s lifestyle.

I would like to pose three questions.
1) Do you want truth or do you want to hear just what you want to hear?
2) Are you willing to consider that behaviors you may be engaged in may not be healthful?
3) If what God says in His Word, the Bible, contradicts what you want to be doing, or what you believe, are you willing to consider the entirety of what God says on the subject?

Bible based counselors can only present God’s truths to you. It is up to you whether you want to believe them, or not. Once you decide to believe them, it is not a self-improvement project. If you decide to focus solely on God, He will change you and you will become unstuck, I can guarantee you that. You will never be the same again! The key to unlock the change is where you are looking. At yourself? Or at God?

Of course we have choices to make in the process of becoming unstuck, but it is not about us focusing on ourselves. Just like when Peter tried to walk on water (Matthew 14:28-33), he was fine and able to do so when his eyes were on Jesus. The moment Peter moved his gaze from Jesus onto the wind and his own ability, Peter began to sink. It is no different with us!

Salvation is not simply a moment in time when a person becomes bound for heaven after they die here on earth. There is more as we still have a life we are living here on earth. Healing, unstuckness, freedom comes out of the beauty of living out one’s identity in Jesus (Romans 3:21-26; Ezekiel 36:26-29; Colossians 1:10-14; Colossians 1:21-23; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Colossians 2:6-15; Romans 6:1-11; Romans 8; Philippians 2:12-13.)

Once God saves us, He continues to bring us deeper and deeper into His gospel, for it is the power and the motivator for our life. We walk out here on earth what God has credited to us, that new identity. That inheritance is ours positionally, and our life is God working it out through us, experientially, as we live our life here.

My friends, there is nothing more exciting and beautiful! To God be the glory!

Praying for you.
Love,
Diane

 

 

Menorah Lighting Prayers: Hanukkah/Chanukah

Hanukkah 2018

Rabbinic Jewish Prayers
Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments, and commanded us to light Hanukah lights.
Baruch Ata Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha-olam, ah-sher kid-shah-nu b’mitz-voh-tayv v’tzee-vah-nu l’had-leek ner shel Hanukah.

Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our fathers in those days at this season.
Baruch Ata Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha-olam, she-ah-sah ni-seem la-ah-vo-tay-nu ba-ya-meem ha-hem baz-man ha-zeh.

Messianic Jewish Prayers
Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has given us holidays, customs, and times of happiness, to increase the knowledge of God and to build us up in our most holy faith.
Baruch Ata Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha-olam, ah-sher nah-tan lah-nu cha-gim, min-ha-gim, oo-mo-ah-dim l’sim-cha, l’hag-deel et da-at Adonai, v’liv-not oh-tah-nu b’emunah ki-do-shah v’na-ah-lah.

Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our fathers in those days at this season.
Baruch Ata Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha-olam, she-ah-sah ni-seem la-ah-vo-tay-nu ba-ya-meem ha-hem baz-man ha-zeh.

Additional prayer on the first night (both Rabbinic and Messianic)
Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the universe, who granted us life, sustained us and permitted us to reach this season.
Baruch Ata Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha-olam, she-he-che-yanu v’kee-ma-nu v’hi-gee-ah-nu laz-man ha-zeh.

The candles are lit from right to left. The first candle is placed on the right side of the Menorah, and the second one placed directly to the left. But lighting them starts from the left and moves to the right. Thus the first candle that is lit is the new candle added for that day. The Shamash candle (the tallest) is used to light the others.

The only candle that has a truly deeper significance is the Shamash. This candle is symbolic of Jesus, who came to be a servant, bringing light into the world, and then took His place, once again above the others. Philippians 2:6-10who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

However, we absolutely can find scriptural significance for each candle being lit each night! These are simply my selections. You might find other scriptures that speak to you each night.
First: Genesis 1:3-4 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good, and God separated between the light and between the darkness.

Second: Exodus 13:21-22 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to cause it to lead them on the way and at night in a pillar of fire to give them light, [they thus could] travel day and night. He did not move away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire at night [from] before the people.
Third: Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; from whom shall I be frightened?
Fourth: Psalm 119:105 Your words are a lamp for my foot, and light for my path.
Fifth: Isaiah 60:1-3 Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has shone upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and a gross darkness the kingdoms, and the Lord shall shine upon you, and His glory shall appear over you. And nations shall go by your light and kings by the brilliance of your shine.
Sixth: Proverbs 15:24 The path of life is above the intelligent person, in order that he turn away from the grave below.
Seventh: Daniel 12:3 And the wise will shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who bring the multitudes to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
Eighth:  Isaiah 25:8 He has concealed death forever, and the Lord God shall wipe the tears off every face, and the shame of His people He shall remove from upon the entire earth, for the Lord has spoken.

Chag Shamash – Happy Holiday!

 

 

Jesus is my Yom Kippur

Yom KippurYom Kippur 2018 (Hebrew year 5779) begins in the evening of Tuesday September 18 and ends in the evening of Wednesday September 19.

Yom Kippur is known as the Day of Atonement. This holiday is outlined in Leviticus 16 although the modern day Jewish observance bears little resemblance to that. Leviticus 17:11 sums it up in brief: For the soul of the flesh is in the blood, and I have therefore given it to you [to be placed] upon the altar, to atone for your souls. For it is the blood that atones for the soul.”

The ending of animal sacrifices occurred after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in year 70 by the Romans as there was no longer a temple altar designated by God in which to offer the sacrifice.

Thus began the religion we would call Rabbinic Judaism. Rabbis replaced the priests as the religious leaders of Judaism. (Priests inherited their position from their father’s side of the family.  Rabbis were chosen.) Prayers replaced animal and grain sacrifices. The Jewish holidays remained the same in the transition from Biblical Judaism to Rabbinic Judaism, but their ritual content changed. The concept of atonement also was changed.

Atonement could no longer be accomplished by slaughtering animals or by the death of any surrogate, according to the Rabbis. Now, the way to atone for sins committed against another became to ask forgiveness from the person you had hurt (always a good idea regardless!) For sins against God, atonement could be achieved by confessional prayers to God and doing good works/giving charity. Rabbis stand on Hosea 6:6 to state that a blood sacrifice was no longer necessary after the Temple was destroyed. “For I desire loving-kindness, and not sacrifices, and knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” Knowledge of God.

In the Tanach (Old Testament), there are many specific blood sacrifices listed and each one was a covering over the particular sin or sins, an atonement. This is why the sacrifices had to be repeated, and this is why there is the annual Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement.

The shadow of the Tanach/Old Testament sacrifices point to the New Testament.

God made it clear that He would be forming a new covenant with a new heart and His spirit placed within us (Jeremiah 31:30-33 Tanakh [Jeremiah 31:31-34 OT], Jeremiah 32:37-40, Jeremiah 33:14-16, Ezekiel 16:58-63, Ezekiel 36:26-29, Ezekiel 37:21-26, Isaiah 55:3-8.) The location to perform animal sacrifices being destroyed and no longer existing did not take God by surprise. It was part of His plan.

Isaiah 53. “Despised and rejected by men, pained because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his wound we were healed. We all went astray like sheep, we have turned, each one on his way, and the Lord accepted his prayers for the iniquity of all of us. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he would not open his mouth; like a lamb to the slaughter he would be brought, He committed no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. He poured out his soul to death, and with transgressors he was counted; and he bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.”

The saving death of the Messiah is the final atonement, for it is the propitiation, the quenching of God’s wrath for us when He completely removed our sins and took them upon Himself (expiation.) Our entire body of sin was imputed onto Him and His righteousness was imputed onto us.

Over 300 prophecies stated in the Tanakh (Tanach, Old Testament) were fulfilled by one named Jesus.

Our eternal God became man (incarnation) for our salvation; sinless, born under the Law, to fulfill the Law perfectly (Genesis 49:10.)

Crucified, died, resurrected, alive seated at the right hand of the Father (Psalm 110:1), fully God, fully man (Daniel 7:13-14, Isaiah 52:6-7, Isaiah 9:5 Tanakh [Isaiah 9:6 OT].)

By faith, we are able to be reconciled to God forever. Just as Abram back in Genesis 15, by faith.

THIS IS SUCH GOOD NEWS!!!

To trace the theme of blood sacrifice from Genesis on, please visit this page Sacrifice”

May this bring a deepening meaning and preciousness to you and your life as it has for me.

 

 

Sacrifice

sacrifice~ As early as Genesis 3:15 it is seen that someone must die in order to ultimately defeat sin. “And I shall place hatred between you and between the woman, and between your seed and between her seed. He will crush your head, and you will bite his heel.”

~ The theme of sacrifice is continued in Genesis 3:21 for in order for God to cover Adam and Eve with animal skins, obviously animals had been killed to now provide this covering. “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife shirts of skin, and He dressed them.”

~ Genesis 4:3-5, Abel’s blood sacrifice was acceptable to God, while Cain’s offering was not. It seems that Cain demonstrated disbelief in not bringing a blood sacrifice. “Now it came to pass at the end of days, that Cain brought of the fruit of the soil an offering to the Lord.  And Abel he too brought of the firstborn of his flocks and of their fattest, and the Lord turned to Abel and to his offering. But to Cain and to his offering He did not turn…”

During the time of Noah, sacrifices were still important. Genesis 8:20 “And Noah built an altar to the Lord, and he took of all the clean animals and of all the clean fowl and brought up burnt offerings on the altar.”

In subjecting Abraham to the ultimate test of his faith, God requested him to sacrifice his son Isaac, a passage that prefigures the sacrifice of Jesus. Genesis 22.

When God redeemed Israel from Egypt, a lamb was slain and it’s blood was applied to the doorposts of the houses. Exodus 12. (More information in the Chaiway Passover Haggadah).

God required animal sacrifices to provide temporary forgiveness of sins. God even set up certain procedures, almost all involving shed blood from the animal to “cover” the sin, remove the sin in God’s eyes.(Leviticus 4, Leviticus 16, Numbers 15:1-31). Thus when one broke a law but then offered the proper sacrifice he was keeping the overall Law.

~ There were certain sins one could commit that could not be forgiven. There was no sacrifice given to atone for them and no recourse for the offender except to die and enter hell. Some of these were homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13), murder (Numbers 35:30), adultery (Leviticus 20:10), cursing or smiting one’s parents (Exodus 21:15), kidnapping (Exodus 21:16), bestiality (Exodus 22:19), breaking the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14), blasphemy (Leviticus 24:16). Basically all crimes punishable by death were unforgivable.

~ However, these animal sacrifices evolved from being offered anywhere to being tied into a particular temple and altar in which to offer the sacrifice ( Deuteronomy 12). When the temple altar was destroyed, these animal sacrifices ceased.

~ Later it became more clearly evident that a person would have to be sacrificed for sin (Isaiah 53, Daniel 9:24-26).

~ God promised Abraham that all the families of the earth would be blessed by Abraham (Genesis 12:3). Since all people on earth are sinners, all people deserve God’s curse, not God’s blessing. And why are all people on earth sinners? You may read the detailed explanation here on this blog post.

~ So, only those who have been saved from their sins can be blessed of God. Thus the promise of blessing for the families of the earth must include salvation for the families of the earth and this salvation would come through the seed of Abraham. The Messiah must be of the line of Abraham.

~ The same promise was renewed to Isaac (Genesis 21:12) and Jacob (Genesis 28:14) and thus the Messiah must also be a descendant of Isaac and Jacob. Since the Jews may be defined as those who have descended from Jacob, we can say that the Savior must be a Jew. He must be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

~ In Genesis 49:10 we learn that the kingly line (the line possessing “the scepter”) must come out of the tribe of Judah. Since the Messiah will be God’s anointed King (Psalm 2), the Messiah must come from the line of Judah.

~ In Isaiah 11:1 we learn that the Messiah, God’s great King, must come from Jesse, hence from the line of David (Jesse was David’s father). The covenant God made with David (ll Samuel chapter 7) confirms that this great King must come from the line of King David.

~ His birth: Micah 5:2, Isaiah 7:14 (The Hebrew term “young woman” [almah] is used in the Torah of women who were virgins [Genesis 24:43 and Exodus 2:8]. The Jewish translators of the Hebrew Scriptures into the Greek Septuagint used “parthenos” to translate the word “almah”, and the Greek term “parthenos” clearly denoted virginity.).

~ The context of Isaiah 7:14 involves the LORD speaking to Ahaz about a great sign or miracle. For a virgin to become pregnant and give birth to a son is a great miracle.

~ The Messiah had to be sinless. Isaiah 53. Despised and rejected by men, pained because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his wound we were healed. We all went astray like sheep, we have turned, each one on his way, and the Lord accepted his prayers for the iniquity of all of us. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he would not open his mouth; like a lamb to the slaughter he would be brought, He committed no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. He poured out his soul to death, and with transgressors he was counted; and he bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.

~ The Messiah had to die: Genesis 3:15, Daniel 9:24-27, Psalm 22, Zechariah 12:10, Zechariah 13:6, Isaiah 53 (One interpretation of this passage is that the suffering servant describes the nation Israel. Yes Israel as a nation has suffered greatly, however notice the repetition of the personal pronoun “he” which lends weight to the One spoken of is an individual, not a nation. More information on that can be found in this Isaiah 53 post here).

~ Over 300 prophecies stated in the Tanakh (Old Testament) were fulfilled by one named Jesus. Our eternal God became man (incarnation) for our salvation; sinless, born under the Law, to fulfill the Law perfectly (Genesis 49:10). Crucified, died, resurrected, alive seated at the right hand of the Father (Psalm 110:1), fully God, fully man (Daniel 7:13-14, Isaiah 52:6-7, Isaiah 9:5 Tanakh [9:6 OT]). By faith, we are able to be reconciled to God forever. Just as Abram back in Genesis 15, by faith.

~ Ecclesiastes 1:9 “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” What the New Testament brings is nothing new, it is all in the Tanakh.

~ Isaiah 53:1 “Who would have believed our report, and to whom was the arm of the Lord revealed?”

~ Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

~ Jesus died a terrible death on a cross to pay the price for our sin, a death that was foretold in detail in the Tanakh, one that was part of God’s plan from before time began, and one that God allowed for a very specific purpose.

~ Jesus took our place when we deserved spiritual death. However this was Jesus in His human form. Part of the prophecy regarding Him was that He would come to earth as a man however ascend to Heaven (eternal life with God) after physical death here on earth. That is where He is. (After His death, Jesus was raised from the dead Psalm 16:10, Isaiah 53:9-10,  After His resurrection, Jesus ascended to heaven and sat at the right hand of God Psalm 16:11, Psalm 68:18, Psalm 110:1).

~ Because the physical death, the shedding of blood here on earth, was the final atonement set up by God, the propitiation, the quenching of His wrath, there is no other way to reconnect with God in life here on earth, and in eternity. Believing in Jesus (putting your trust in Him) as your Lord and Savior, is the only hope of salvation.

~ John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

~ You will become a child of God by receiving Jesus. John 1:12 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”

~ John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me .”

~ Colossians 1:14 “in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

 

 

 

The Messiah: Jesus

the issue of JesusThe Messiah: Jesus

Why has Judaism decided that Jesus is not their Messiah or Savior? Part has to do with all the persecution and torture done in the name of Jesus by people professing themselves to be Christians. From the Crusades, to the Inquisition, to the pogroms in Europe, to Hitler’s holocaust, being a “Christian” and the name of Jesus has been associated with horrendous things.

Partly because the concept of a man who is the son of God sounds contrary to the concept of one God which is the foundation of Judaism.

Partly because Judaism does not teach about the need for salvation, the need for a savior.

And partly because some argue that Jesus did not fulfill all the prophecies in the Hebrew Bible. There are a multitude of prophecies about a Messiah who will come as ruling, triumphant King and set up his kingdom. This hasn’t happened yet.

So Judaism dismisses the fulfilled predictions stating they are wrong or mistranslations, and also points to those still unfulfilled ones and states that Jesus cannot possibly be THE Messiah.

However let us take a look at two sets of prophecies. One shows the Messiah suffering as an atonement for sin (Psalm 22, Isaiah 52:13Isaiah 53, Daniel 9:25-26, Zechariah 12:10.) The other shows the Messiah reigning and bringing about the redemption of Israel, the end of war, and universal knowledge of God (Isaiah 2:1-4, Isaiah 11:1-9, Ezekiel 40-48, Daniel 2:44, Zechariah 14.)

What is the Rabbinic response to this?

One fascinating possibility, which can be traced to the third or fourth century, is that there are two Messiahs: one called “Messiah son of Joseph,” who suffers and dies; the other called “Messiah son of David,” who rules and reigns. The suffering Messiah is given the name “Son of Joseph” because He suffers rejection and humiliation like Joseph in Egypt (Genesis 37-41.) The reigning Messiah is given the name “Son of David” because He reigns in triumph like King David.

So are there two Messiahs, or do the Prophets describe the same Messiah who is coming on two different occasions with two different purposes?

Upon close examination, Jesus definitely fulfilled the Messianic prophecies of the Suffering Servant. He fulfilled other Messianic prophecies as well.

Here is a list of 365 Messianic Prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. What are the odds?

However some Rabbis say that the “suffering servant” of Isaiah 53 is the nation of Israel and not one person, the Messiah. You can read about Isaiah 53 here.

When Messiah Jesus returns in power and glory, He will be revealed as the longed for Messiah, Son of David. He will bring an end to the conflict which will be raging over Jerusalem, threatening the world with destruction (Zechariah 12-14, Revelation 16-19.) He will destroy the world system responsible for corruption and wickedness on earth and for the tribulation (Jeremiah 51, Revelation 18) and He will set up a kingdom from Jerusalem, bringing peace and justice to the nations of the world (Isaiah 2:1-4, Revelation 20:4-6.)

The fact that Jesus did not bring lasting peace at His first coming does not disprove that He is indeed the promised One of Israel. It is part of God’s plan that Messiah would come once to die for our sin, bringing salvation and forgiveness to all who believe, and then later return as Judge and King. The view of two comings of Messiah fits perfectly with the two distinct “portraits” of the suffering and reigning Messiah found in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Let us trace this

sacrifice

 

 

 

Tu B’Shevat – The New Year of Trees

treeoflifeTu B’Shevat 2018: Evening Tuesday January 30 to evening Wednesday January 31.

It is not a biblical holiday and it has it’s roots in Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism. It is a minor holiday that has been adopted by the Orthodox Jewish Rabbinic community and some other adherents to the Jewish religion.

In the 16th century in Israel, a Rabbi created a Tu B’Shevat seder, something like the Passover Seder, that celebrates the Tree of Life but with Kabbalistic principles.

Tu B’Shevat, the New Year of Trees, is the first sign on the calendar that spring is approaching and with it, the rich and deeply meaningful Passover season. Even among those who are not following the Kabbalistic rite, it is a custom to eat dried fruits and nuts.

As I will grab any opportunity to talk about the Messiah and share the full gospel of Jesus, here we go! There is a powerful significance of The Tree of Life. Sin entered our world by an act of eating from a tree. The victory over sin also was obtained by means of a tree, on that day when Messiah hung on a tree and took upon himself the curse on sin (Deuteronomy 21:22-23, Galatians 3:13.)

In the first Paradise, there was a Tree of Life in the midst of the garden (Genesis 2:9). In Genesis 3:22-24, we see these first two people driven out, due to their disobedience to God.
 
In the center of the new Paradise, the perfect Paradise of God, from which the saints shall never be driven, for it is our inheritance, there is also a Tree of Life. But here the tree is the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, that Tree of Life whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22:1-4Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb  through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.  No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”