By: Richard D. Eutsler, Sr. - December 23, 1987
Note: Although I wrote this letter in ’87, it is still relevent today, if not more so.
To all my friends in the Lord, Greetings, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
This is a time to sit back and reflect on who we are and why we are here.
We are here to serve Him and do all of His will!
Most people do not think of these things at this time of year. Instead, they think of what kind of presents they will receive and how much fun they will have. Or, they think of what kind of presents they will not receive and how much fun they will miss out on.
It is for this reason that Christmas is the season of the year, out of all others, that the suicide rate is the highest! More people, especially among the young, commit suicide during the Christmas Holidays than at any other time.
I can remember times in my own past, when I was not walking with the Lord, that the thought of suicide was almost overpowering. But then one day I received a Christmas present that no money on earth could buy. It was a Christmas present that came from God Himself! Jesus!
From the beginning, God planned on sending mankind a special present.
And when the time was right He sent His son, Jesus Christ. Let me tell you the story.
This God that loves us so much, knew that we could never be perfect as He is, that is in our flesh, if He left us to our own devices. He being perfect can not stand sin. And yet, His love for mankind, that He created, is so great that He planned a way to save us from ourselves.
When God created man, He created him perfect, that is one, like Himself. But man was tempted by Satan through the woman that God had given him. God gave man sacrifices and showed man what He had to do. This sacrifice was a shadow of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ would make for us on the Cross at Calvary. But man went his own way. (Man’s way is NOT God’s way)
Things got so bad that God repented (felt sorry for) for creating man. He decided to totally destroy all of mankind from the face of the earth. But God found one man who still walked with Him. One man who wanted to please God. His name was Noah. So God decided to save Noah and all of his family.
God told Noah to build an Ark (large boat) that would be big enough to hold him and his family. This ark also had to big enough to hold two of every creature on earth that breathed air. Of some of the animals seven would be carried on. This ark would also have to carry enough supplies to feed Noah and his family along with all of the animals for a long time.
After Noah finished the ark and all of the animals were aboard, that God ordered to enter therein, God Himself closed the ark and sealed it, Then a great rain came upon the earth and completely flooded all of the face of the earth. All life that breathed air was totally wiped out except for those that were on the ark. Through Noah, God showed His love for mankind.
Noah was saved because THEY BELONGED TO HIM!
Let me show you what the Lord told me concerning this. For years I had been taught and have taught that the ARK was the type and shadow of Jesus That just as the ark has three levels and yet is one ark, so God is three persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), yet one God. And I still agree with this. But the Lord showed me a little more concerning this. Noah himself was a type and shadow of Jesus Christ!
1. Noah walked perfect before God and Obeyed Him in all things. Jesus walked perfect before God and Obeyed Him in all things.
2. Through Noah’s obedience to God, he was able to make a way of escape from the judgment that God was sending upon the earth. Through Jesus’s obedience to God, he was able to make a way of escape from the judgment that God was sending upon the earth.
3. Because Noah’s family belonged to him, they also were saved from the Judgment of God.
IF YOU ARE PART OF THE FAMILY OF JESUS, THEN YOU ALSO WILL BE ABLE TO ESCAPE THE JUDGMENT OF GOD.
So you see, salvation came to Noah’s family FROM GOD, THROUGH NOAH. Because Noah obeyed God and walked with Him, AND because Noah’s family obeyed Noah, THEY RECEIVED THE SAME SALVATION THAT NOAH RECEIVED!
But as mankind multiplied upon the earth after Noah, they forgot the lessons of Noah and his family. Man once again turned from walking with God. But one day God found a man that really wanted to know him. This man’s name was Abram.
Now Abram was an idol cutter by trade and he did not know God. But in his heart he wanted to. One day God visited Abram and Abram worshiped God! God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and told Abraham he would be the father of many children. Now Abraham was well up in years and he knew that there was no way that this could happen except for God to make it happen. Abraham believed God and because of Abraham’s faith in God and what He had to say, God accounted Abrahams righteous.
God then made a covenant with Abraham that He would give a seed. That his seed would be as many as the sand under his feet (Israel) and as the stars in the heavens ( those who believe in and trust in Jesus Christ). And that it would be through Abraham’s seed (Isaac) that all of the nations would be blessed (Reconciled with God).
Let’s take a quick look at the covenant that God made with Abraham. God took Abraham aside and had him take some animals and divide them into four piles. They were then placed upon four altars. God then sent down fire to consume them and then He (God) walked up and down amongst them. God then told Abraham that if he (Abraham) was to break the covenant that God made with him, that he (Abraham) would become even as the sacrifice. Cut asunder and consumed in fire. But God didn’t stop there! He told Abraham that if He (God) broke the covenant , that He too would become even as the sacrifice! In effect God told Abraham expected the same from Abraham that Abraham expected from God!
As time passed Sarah (Abraham’s wife) began to get impatient with God. She wanted to help God out with his plan. (Wives can be this way today too.) So in order to help God, she gave Abraham her maid servant to wife. Hagar ( the maid servant) bare Abraham a son, and he called his name Ishmael.
Well, everybody was happy, except God! God had told Abraham that He would give Abraham seed through Sarah and God didn’t need any help getting it done. So after some time passed, Abraham had another son, through Sarah. Now this was a real miracle because Sarah was in her 90’s. This new son was Isaac.
This created a problem. Ishmael was born of a bond (slave) woman, and there was no way that God could send His Savior through him. God’s savior had to come through Abraham and Sarah. So God told Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away because the inheritance could not go to Ishmael but had to go to Isaac.
Ishmael became the father of the Arab race and his descendants hate the descendants of Isaac to this day! Also Ishmael and his descendants represent a type and shadow that shows that no one under bondage to the world and sin can receive the inheritance that God has for His people.
One day when Isaac a young man, (he was not a child as some teach), God spoke to Abraham and told him to take Isaac and to give sacrifice to Him. Abraham was to take nothing with him but the wood for the fire and Isaac.
As they got close to the place where the sacrifice was to be given, Isaac asked his father where the lamb was that they were to sacrifice. Abraham’s reply was that God would supply.
When Abraham had set up the altar and placed the wood upon it he then took his son Isaac and tied his hands behind him and placed him on the altar. Think of this a moment. Abraham was a very old man. And Isaac was a young man. If Isaac wanted to he could have easily prevented his father from tying him up and placing him on the altar. But Isaac loved his father and was obedient to him, even unto death.
Abraham prayed and with faith in God and His word that the Savior would come through Isaac, he lifted the knife above his head and as he began to come down with the knife to kill Isaac, God sent His angel to stop his hand. For God had prepared a ram for Abraham to sacrifice in Isaac’s place.
Now let’s look at a few parallels here.
1. Abraham made a covenant with God and he was to trust in and believe God with all of his heart. If Abraham broke this covenant, then Abraham would be no more.
God made the same covenant with Abraham and if God did not keep his covenant then God would be know more.
2. Abraham had two sons. The first one was born in bondage. And he and his seed were cast. The second one free. Isaac and his seed received the promise.
When God created Adam, he was created in the image and likeness of God. But Adam was a natural man and therefore subject to sin. Jesus was and is the literal Son of God! He was not born under bondage, because He was with God from the beginning. Jesus and His seed shall receive the inheritance.
3. God required Abraham to show his faith and love by offering Isaac to Him on the altar. Abraham in faith and obedience set about to do just that. Isaac showed his faith in his father and in God and his obedience by letting his father bind him and put him on the altar. Then God in his love for Abraham and Isaac sent a replacement. A ram. (Type and shadow of Jesus)
Since God required Abraham to sacrifice his son to him, then according to the covenant, God had to sacrifice His Son also! BUT THERE WAS NO RAM TO TAKE HIS PLACE! JESUS IN PERFECT FAITH, LOVE AND OBEDIENCE SUBMITTED TO GOD, HIS FATHER TO THE DEATH ON THE CROSS! Just as Abraham bound Isaac with a cord of rope, God bound Jesus with the cord of sin that held us all fast and kept us from God’s perfect Love and Grace and kept us from receiving the inheritance that was God’s to us.
Almost two thousand years ago God fulfilled that covenant with Abraham. He sent the Greatest of all Christmas gifts to the world and yet the world would not receive it.
God took His only Son and wrapped him as a gift in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger. Jesus came to this earth as a humble servant to show the Love and Mercy of God. Mankind took this gift that was presented on Christmas day (we celebrate it on upon December 25 every year) to the world and mocked it! They spat upon it! They beat it! Yes, they even CRUCIFIED IT! Then they took it and buried it. They even placed guards around the tomb to make sure that it wouldn’t come back!
What would you do, if you gave someone that you loved your most prized possession? Something that meant more to you than anything else in the world? And they took it? And spat on it! And tore it? And detested it? And destroyed it? What would you do? Would you give them another gift? Would you forgive them? GOD DID!
HE FORGAVE YOU! AND HE FORGAVE THEM! AND HE FORGAVE ME! Yes, He forgave you! Don’t sit there and roll you eyes and say that you haven’t done any of those things to Him! Every time you deny Him and What he did for you, YOU HAVE REJECTED HIS GIFT TO YOU! JESUS CHRIST, GOD’S ONLY BEGOTTEN SON! SENT TO THIS WORLD AS HIS GIFT OF SALVATION!
YES JESUS WAS AND IS GOD’S GIFT OF SALVATION TO A DYING WORLD THAT WAS AND IS SO CAUGHT UP IN ITSELF, IT IS TOO BLIND TO SEE! JESUS, GOD’S CHRISTMAS GIFT TO US!
Well, my friend , whoever you are. I thank God that He is not like you and like me. Because I know what you and I would have done to them and to us. But God in His Love and Mercy, took that gift that was rejected and killed and he RAISED JESUS FROM THE DEAD! HE RAISED JESUS IN A GLORIFIED BODY AND GAVE HIM ALL POWER IN HEAVEN AND EARTH AND HAVE HIM TO BE HEAD OF ALL THINGS THAT WERE AND ARE TO COME TO HIS CHURCH WHICH IS HIS BODY! THAT WHOSOEVER WOULD BELIEVE IN AND TRUST IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST WOULD NOT DIE BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE AND WOULD BE ADDED TO THE FAMILY OF GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST HIS SON!
So you see? You can belong to the “brotherhood” of Adam and Ishmael. Or you can belong to the Family of God! Just like Isaac. It is your choice!
Remember, God loves you! And he has a gift for you that is far more precious than any gift that you will find under some tree. But to receive that gift, you have to come out of the family of the world. You have to reach out and receive that which God is offering to you. Jesus, His son. Who died on the cross almost two thousand years ago for YOUR salvation.
The next time someone comes up to you with this gift, for you see, anyone who has this gift can give it anyone else, DON’T turn it down! Don’t turn yourself down from a chance to have eternal life with Jesus Christ our ONLY WAY OF SALVATION!
With Love and hope in Jesus’s Name,
Richard D. Eutsler, Sr.