And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: and if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb (Exodus 12:1-4 KJV).
There should be no argument that the Passover story is replete with symbolism—types and shadows—all of which tell the story of redemption and of the Redeemer. Egypt symbolizes the world and the world system; Egypt had its taskmaster, Pharoah, who symbolizes Satan, the evil one. Without hesitation we easily connect the type and shadow of the lamb in the old to the reality of the new: the lamb of old typifying the Lamb of God as the reality of the new. As you will see in the passage below, the requirements having to do with the selection of that lamb included:
- without blemish,
- a male of the first year,
- taken from the general flock,
- separated and kept up until the perfect time,
- killed as a substitutionary sacrifice in the evening,
- and consumed by those who represent the people of God.
Time will not permit in this message to dig too deeply into the rich revelation contained in these wondrous passages. As you read these verses, ask the Holy Spirit to open to you the revelation of Jesus Christ—the Lamb of God—contained in these passages.
Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: and ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD'S passover (Exodus 12:5-11).
A lamb for a house
In this message I want to focus on a single aspect of this story. The understanding in this portion is a most prominent issue for the Body of Christ, the Church. In verse 3 of Exodus 12, we find that the people, each of them, were commanded to take a “lamb for a house.” In other words, everyone is to take part in this ordinance. Every house is to participate; every house is to take a lamb—a lamb for a house. Now look at verse 4, “And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next unto his house take it.” There are two truths that loom large from these words that indict the contemporary institutional church. These truths are found in the words, “if the household be too little for the lamb” and, secondly, “let him and his neighbor next unto his house take it.”
I want you to stretch yourselves out into the revelatory realm as you read this message today. We have been at home and too comfortable in the realm of the rational for far too long! Launch out today into the realm of revelation with me. Stop right now and ask the Holy Spirit to break in on you with fresh revelation as you continue to read. As I am writing this message, I have an assurance from the Lord that in the reading there will be an infusion of the revelation that is needed to raise the bar of new vision for many who read. I am reminded of the story of the Bereans in Acts 17:10-12. Paul said that they were “noble” people, in that they received the word that was shared with a ready mind, and they searched the scriptures daily to see if those things were consistent with the truth. May we be like the Bereans!
The house is too little!
The mandate laid out in the Scripture we are looking at in this message involves the size of the house and the size of the lamb. Again, I want you to look at these scriptures not only as a historical account of the Passover story, but also, my hope is that you will see the “now” relevance. The “now” revelation has with it the power to set us free and bring a measure of God’s enabling grace. This grace will launch us into new levels of truth and also give us vision for genuine Biblical unity. True unity always includes the experience of accurate relational alignment and connection. Our Father has a specific plan for each of us with regard to how we are to be practically connected in the Body of Christ.
Let us propose two questions: (1) How big is the house? and (2) How big is the Lamb? Let us first examine the question of the size of the house. We need to look at the size of the house in terms of the individual, domestic, local, regional, and universal levels because all apply. When we say that we are the Body of Christ, what exactly are we saying? Are we suggesting that the individual is the Body? Are we saying that a local church expression is the Body of Christ? I suspect your wheels are turning by now, and you are even perhaps answering these questions correctly from a theological perspective. But, we must move past the theology that addresses the practical arrangement of the Body, and we must, as a matter of revelation, learn to walk in it! The Body of Christ is comprised of all of the called-out people of God. Those who attend a local church must understand that the local church is not the Body but a portion of the Body in your city or region. May I also be so bold to say that from a Biblical perspective there is no such thing as a White church, a Black church, an Asian church, a Hispanic church, or any other such designation. The church is the called-out people of God which is the one Body of Christ. Denominations are man-made institutions that the enemy routinely uses to perpetuate division in the one Body of Christ. If we speak of any of these designations as the whole, we will continue to perpetuate this division in the one Body of Christ. Furthermore, changing our words will not get us where we are supposed to be either. We cannot afford to continue to brush aside and ignore these things if we are to see the Kingdom come in power in our cities and regions.
Now here is the one answer to the two questions asked above: The house is too little for the Lamb!! It does not matter how large or small the house is. If the context of the house, to you, is yourself as an individual, then the house is too little for the Lamb. If the context of the house, to you, is the 10,000 member congregation that you pastor or are a member of, then the house is too little for the Lamb! Every house is too little for the Lamb!! Here is the mandate: “let him and his neighbor next unto his house take it…” The obvious reference of this verse is upon making the determination that the house is too little for the lamb, the lamb is to be shared with the next-door neighbor. The lamb is to be taken together with the family next-door.
If this is truth, we have a responsibility to apply this truth in practical terms. By now it should be perfectly clear to you and to me that every house is too little for the Lamb. If these scriptures, as a type and shadow, provide an old covenant picture of a new covenant reality, then we are all subject to the commandment to take the Lamb with our neighbor. The house is too little, and the Lamb is too big! So, I must take the Lamb with my neighbor. Taking the Lamb speaks of true fellowship and communion. By all of these things I am not talking about religious activities, but rather, asking for the leadership of the Holy Spirit to know who your “next-door neighbor” is. In other words, what exactly is the practical arrangement in the House of God that aligns with the will of the Father. This means: Who is the person, and who are the people that my Father has chosen for me to practically relate to? Who are the ones that the Lord has arranged to be “my house,” and who are the ones that the Father has arranged that are my “next-door neighbors”?
False Unity and Ecumenicalism
Often, we go through the motions of taking communion or breaking bread with brothers and sisters when it is little more than a ceremony or religious tradition. We must break away from empty religious tradition in order to experience the life of the Spirit of God! Additionally, in our humanity we will often surround ourselves with people who are enough like ourselves, who hold the same views we hold to, or with whom we have a deep enough natural history, and we then refer to that as unity. This is, in fact, a kind of false unity. We must not settle for this as a substitute for the Biblical reality that the Lord wants us to walk in. Jesus said (and I will take the liberty to paraphrase this), “If you only love the people who love you, what have you really done?” He said, “Even the Gentiles do this.” Again, I want to take a little liberty here and say that I think what Jesus means is that you do not even need God in your life to do this kind of “love” or “unity.” Even a lost person will love people who, in turn, loves them.
If we build a relational environment in which sameness or conformity is the rule of the day, we are never really pressed to extend ourselves beyond ourselves and into true unity. We must take the Lamb with our neighbor! I assure you, regardless of what banner you fly or what group you are a part of, God is calling for all of us to break through the facades and veneers of the superficial and practically embrace, receive, respect, and love one another in this hour like never before.
There is far too much of this holding hands across the fence and at the end of the day, we go right back to our own little pasture with our own little group of sheep! We must see apostolic leadership rise up with a willingness to personally bear the burden and to pay the price to model Biblical unity. This is costly. My prayer is that there would be a holy band of leadership arise who would be willing to count the cost and to pay the price to see relational unity in the Body of Christ. Leaders must break away from a “market share” mentally that promotes competition and division in the Body of Christ. If you are a leader, when is the last time you cancelled a service at your place to go support something another leader was doing? Have you ever cancelled a Sunday morning service (the sacred cow of the Western church)? If you were to do so, are the saints under your care committed enough and responsible enough to the Lord to make sure that the tithe or offering gets where it is supposed to be so that the work continues without a stutter? Would the congregation you lead actually follow you to support another group if the other group happens to be much different from yours? These are hard questions that demand sincere reflection and responsible actions (not just answers).
According to the house of their father
We must not confuse alliances, organizations, or affiliations with true fellowship. Pray that the leaders in your life would get a genuine revelation of the organic Body of Christ and desire something real in fellowship with other leaders. I personally have had the privilege of and enjoyed the benefit of being rightly connected in the Body of Christ. These joints supply a grace and provision that have been one of the most important aspects of my life as a son of God. What I am saying to you is, I have been (and continue to be) nourished by the lamb (Lamb) that I am taking. The Scripture we are looking at in this message speaks of taking a lamb—“according to the house of their father.” That has been my experience for a long time. I am taking a lamb (the Lamb) according to the house of my father. Additionally, I am perpetually enriched as a result of having found my “neighbor next to me”—my next-door neighbor. These relationships are the joints through which we receive a supply from our Father. So, I am personally clear about how I can take the lamb (Lamb) according to the house of my father. I am also clear who my next-door neighbors are. I can report to you that I am personally taking the Lamb with my spiritual father, my immediate spiritual family and with that part of the House of God that are my next-door neighbors.
It was a long time coming, but I now know who my father is and who my next-door neighbors are. Finding these connections and understanding the power of them are some of my life’s greatest blessings. I have an amazing Father. I have a wonderful relationship and fellowship with the Lord Jesus. I enjoy and appreciate a tremendous relationship and fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I have a wonderful wife. I have a beautiful natural family. In addition to these relationships, I do have a very special relationship and fellowship with a spiritual father. And, I also have many rich relationships and beautiful fellowship with those whom I consider to be my next-door neighbors. These are the ones that I take the lamb (Lamb) with. It is a beautiful thing, and it is a powerful reality.
This is the way you shall eat it
Exodus 12:11 says this,
And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD'S passover (KJV).
I want you to think about the term “passover.” We know the Biblical history of the Passover. In Exodus 12, we find the story of the lamb, the blood, the sacrifice of the lamb, the blood applied, and protection from the destroyer. Passover means pretermission, exemption. Pretermission means: to leave undone, to let pass without mention or notice, to suspend indefinitely. The blood of the passover lamb was put upon the doorposts of their houses as well as the lintel (the top of the door). The Scripture says that the blood would be the sign for judgment to skip over, to pass over the house that was marked with the blood. It was the sign that suspended the judgment of God indefinitely. The destroyer of Egypt could not destroy anyone who was “in the house” and “behind the blood” on the door. This is the old covenant type of the new covenant reality. The blood of Jesus protects you and me indefinitely from the destroyer’s work!
The instruction given by God with regard to the lamb and the passover included specific instructions regarding how to eat the lamb. These specifics are very clear. What the Lord is saying in the instructions is, “Get ready; be ready to move!” Tighten your belt, put your shoes on, have your staff in your hand, eat it in haste, because you are about to pass over!
This is important not only as a type but as a practical instruction for us today. Be doers of the word and not just hearers only! The message I am speaking to you here is intended to vest in you as experience. I often say, “Every revelation that God has ever given you was intended to bring you into an experience, and if it did not (does not), it only serves to make you more religious.” My appeal to you is that you not only receive this word, but you become a doer of it.
I must also add that I am not suggesting that any of us do anything simply for the sake of doing it. Your high calling is as a representational son. Do only what you see your Father doing. Be led by the Holy Spirit. Ask the Lord how you are to be a doer of this word. Walk in His direction and its timing.
Have you lately taken the Lamb with those in your father’s house? Have you recently taken the Lamb with your next-door neighbor? Are you realizing as a result of hearing this message that your house is too little for the Lamb? Are you willing to press through the fear of doing something different or being with people that are not exactly like you? There is a glory that awaits the person that will humble themself under the mighty hand of God and ask for the leading of the Holy Spirit in this thing. I believe that a Passover is waiting for us if we see what the Lord wants to show us in this and yield to Him to walk it out in obedience. I want to pray for you.
“Father, I ask for the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus to be infused into my brothers and sisters now. I ask You, Lord, to forgive us for building up walled cities. Forgive us, Lord, for closing ourselves off from the beautiful Body of Christ and for thinking of ourselves as larger and more self-sufficient than we really are. I know that You give grace to the humble, so as we are now humbling ourselves, we are simultaneously receiving an impartation of Your grace. Thank You for the grace to embrace that particular and practical alignment and positioning in the Body of Christ that You have ordained for each of us. Thank You for the grace for each of us to be able to recognize our spiritual father. Thank You for the grace to recognize our brother, our sister, and who is our next-door neighbor in the larger family of God. Help us grow in this Lord until we understand and have experienced the one new man! Thank You, Jesus, for being our Passover Lamb! Thank You, Holy Spirit, for showing us today that our house is too little for the Lamb. Thank You, Father, for receiving us and giving us abundant security in Your love so that we can receive others that are even different from ourselves. Today we take the Lamb in a different way, so show us what the practical steps are so that we can walk in obedience to this new view. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen!!”
No attempt is being made in this message to speak to the critical body of understanding regarding what Scripture teaches about the one new man. The Body of Christ is the one new man and the middle wall of partition has been torn down and done away with in Christ. There is much misunderstanding and, frankly speaking, there are broadly accepted doctrines that have set up erroneous distinctions in the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is one body, and anything that promotes any other arrangement should be rejected in a wholesale fashion. It is high time that the fathers and the equippers help the Body of Christ come to maturity, so believers do not continue to be “tossed to and fro, carried about by every wind of doctrine,” but rather, come to a place of maturity and find their place of function in the Body.
My prayer and hope for you is that you would find your proper connections in the Body of Christ and go on to maturity. The proper connections will provide a supply of grace necessary for your growth and spiritual health. The grace and provision is always available for those who commit themselves to a life of devotion to Christ and obedience to the Father.
Grace, mercy, and peace to you as you continue to seek God and His kingdom.
Bossier City, Louisiana
See Acts 17:10-12 KJV: “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”