How to Know God (Central Asia Script)
Outline: Kazakh set of 2 recordings. 1. Poem by Abai. How can we get rid of our guilt? Wish for peace and joy. God created everything, He loves us very much. The fall and effects of the fall. Our sins keep us from God. Story of Mary. Jesus' life on earth. The prodigal son. Jesus took the penalty for our sins. Jesus' trial, death, resurrection and time on earth after He arose. Jesus will return. Sinner's prayer. How to know God better. Story Two - Music and Scriptures.
Scripts are basic guidelines for translation and recording into other languages. They should be adapted as necessary to make them understandable and relevant for each different culture and language. Some terms and concepts used may need more explanation or even be replaced or omitted completely.
KAZAKH SET: STORY ONE - PART ONE
Music (Introduction and In Poem Background)
Abai Poem with Music
In recollections of the past,
In meditations mute and long
I scrutinized my days and saw
That I was always in the wrong.
How can I hide it from myself?
My deeds were wicked all along.
Make efforts to reform myself?
I fear I'll never be so strong.
Just as the stones that strew the hills,
So are my sins uncounted too.
Shame and repentance cloud my eyes
When all my spirit's faults I view.
It is no well clogged up with silt;
Not for my hands to scoop it clean.
It is not God who made me so:
My deeds have marred it, cruel and mean
Of what do I accuse myself?
I fell to all temptations met.
The way I spurned sincerity
I'll never in my life forget.
The voice of reason I'd attend
Then act against it and regret.
Cunning and falsehood year by year
I spun into a vicious net.
Monstrosity, I lost all count
Of mischievous and wicked deeds,
Until such gruesome fruit grew up
From early misdemeanor's seeds.
When hearing someone's empty praise
Proud, I was sure that sin succeeds;
Indeed, the vilest of the vile
My own enormity exceeds.
- Abai Kunanbayev
(p.148 Selected Poems, Red)
Music (Accompanying Poem Ends)
Kazakh Instrumental One (Leading into Main Narration)
I Wish You Joy and Peace
(Appropriate Kazakh greeting) Our well-known poet, Abai, wrote these words toward the end of his life. He thought carefully about the life he had lived, and his thoughts were sad ones. It is wise for us to think carefully about the life we are living, whether we are old or young (Brief proverb, if appropriate one exists). By doing this we can make wise choices. Perhaps you have asked yourself, "What is the purpose of my life?" "How can I solve my difficult problems?" "How can I find peace and get rid of fear?" Maybe, like Abai, you have felt guilty for how you are living and have wondered, "How can I get rid of my guilt?" Clearly, these are important questions which are difficult to answer.
If we think that there are no answers to such questions, we lose hope. But there is reason to have hope. What I am going to tell you has given me and my family and other Kazakhs great hope. Please consider it carefully. I wish you peace and joy for your life.
Kazakh Instrumental Five
We know that the One God created everything. He is the all-powerful God who has always existed. God is invisible, but we know that He exists. When the wind blows on the steppes, we cannot see the wind. But we can see the effects of it. In the same way, we cannot see God. But we can see the world around us that He has made.
Some say that the universe was not created by God. They say that everything began with a tiny speck of dust. Bit by bit life developed from it. The life became more and more complex until it became the world we see today. But where did that first speck of dust come from? Those who believe this theory cannot explain this. They also cannot explain how life came to that speck of dust.
As we all know, a carpet cannot make itself. A carpet is made by someone who first makes a plan. Then the person follows the plan until the carpet is complete. In the same way, the universe did not make itself. It was created by Someone who had the wisdom to plan it and the power to create it. The universe is vast, complex and amazing. Just look at the star-filled sky at night. This shows us something about the great ability of God who created the universe. This is the God who made you and me. He is very, very powerful. Because of His power and wisdom He is able to answer our deepest questions. And He is concerned about our problems. (Not included in final recording: I have experienced this, and this is why I said earlier that there is reason for hope.)
It is true that when we look at the world and at our own lives we see ugly things as well as beautiful things. We see wars and crime. We see suffering and disease. We see trouble (like greed and selfishness) in our own towns and in our own families. What is the source of these bad things? How can they exist in a world created by a perfect God? (Not included in final recording: It has helped me greatly to understand God's answers to these questions. I hope it will help you also.)
In the beginning of the (Holy Book), we read that God created heaven and earth and everything that is in them. Last of all, God created the first man and the first woman, Adam and Eve. It is written, "God made man (word should include both man and woman) in His own image." (Genesis 1:27) This means that God gave Adam and Eve some special qualities that were like God's. God is alive forever. So He put inside man something which would also live forever. It is called man's spirit. Just like God made man with a spirit, so God also has His own Spirit. God also gave man the ability to think, to love, to invent, to make choices. None of the other creatures on earth had all these qualities. This is what the Holy Book means when it says that human beings were made in the image of God. Every human being born since Adam and Eve has also had these qualities.
After God created Adam and Eve, God made a beautiful garden (MAKE SURE IT'S CLEAR THAT THIS WAS NOT A SMALL PLACE) for them to live in. The trees there had many kinds of good fruit on them. God allowed Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of all the trees in the garden except one. This was the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is evil. God said, "If you eat from this tree, you will surely die." (Genesis 2:17) This is the only thing that God told Adam and Eve not to do. God loved Adam and Eve. They were close to Him. He gave them all they needed to live well. He only commanded them not to eat fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God gave Adam and Eve the freedom to choose to obey Him or to disobey Him. Every man or woman born since then has been given this same freedom. You and I have been given freedom to obey or disobey God. When God created man and woman, He did not create them to be His slaves. He wanted man and woman to freely choose to obey Him. Since He was their Creator He knew what was best for them. He wanted them to live happily, at peace with Him and with each other.
Adam and Eve were very happy in the garden where God had put them. But one day someone came to spoil God's perfect work. This was Satan, the Enemy of God. Before Satan became evil, he was the most powerful and attractive of God's angels. Angels are spiritual beings created by God to be His good servants. At first Satan was a good servant of God. But because Satan was so powerful, he became very proud. He rebelled against God, because he did not want to obey God any more. He wanted to be equal with God. Satan cleverly convinced many other angels to disobey God. Because of this, God cast Satan and the angels who followed Satan out of heaven. These angels who followed Satan are what we call demons (this should include any words that stand for evil spirits). Satan is their leader.
Satan came into the garden one day in the form of a snake and began to talk to Eve. He said to her, "Did God really say that you must not eat the fruit of every tree in the garden?" Eve answered and said, "God said we may eat the fruit of any tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God said we must not eat from it or touch it or we will die." Satan replied to her, "You will not die! God knows that when you eat from that tree you will become like Him." (Genesis 3:1-5) Eve looked at the forbidden fruit and saw that it was good. She decided to listen to Satan instead of obeying God. She took some fruit and ate it. She also gave some to Adam her husband and he ate it. In this way, Adam and Eve committed the first sin on this earth.
Does it seem strange to call what Adam and Eve did a sin? They did not get drunk or steal from one another or murder one another. All they did was to eat some fruit from a tree in the garden. Why call this act sin? Because Adam and Eve disobeyed God, and this is what sin is. Sin is doing, saying or thinking anything that is against the will of the Holy God. Is it a small thing to go against the will of God?
Kazakh Instrumental Six
Effects of the Fall
After Adam and Eve ate the fruit they suddenly understood good and evil. They knew that they had disobeyed God and were afraid. They tried to hide themselves, but God found them. No one can hide from God. He made us and knows us completely. Because Adam and Eve chose to disobey Him, God had to punish them. God is pure and without sin. He cannot ignore sin, and must punish it. So He sent them away from the garden He had made for them. Now Adam and Eve would be separated from God and life would be hard for them.
The results of the first sin were very great. These results changed the lives of Adam and Eve completely. These results have affected every man and woman ever born since then. Adam and Eve used to commune with God, but no longer. Sin became like a wall which separated them from their Creator. After they were sent away from the garden, it seemed to them that God was far away. People today often feel that God is far away from them. They do not commune with Him, and they sometimes even say that there is no God. The prophet Isaiah long ago said to (such) people: "Your wickedness has separated you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you." (Isaiah 59:2)
Sin not only separated man from God, it also separated man from man. One day Cain, the son of Adam, became angry at his brother Abel and killed him. One sin followed another. Men sinned more and more. Anger, jealousy, pride and other evil behavior divided man from man. When men became rebels against God they became enemies of one another.
God warned Adam and Eve that in the day they disobeyed Him, they would surely die. Physical death did not come to them for many years. But as soon as they disobeyed God, they suffered a spiritual death. This does not mean that their souls or their minds died. No, they could still think. They could still recognize what was good and what was evil. But now evil was in them, so it was impossible for them to know and obey God perfectly. Even the good deeds they did were done with sinful motives. They could no longer worship God with a pure heart. They could no longer love others unselfishly. Worst of all, this spiritual death meant that after their physical bodies died they would be separated from God, suffering for their sins, forever.
Kazakh Instrumental Six
Is There Hope?
So this is the reason for the (ugly and difficult) things in the world around us and in our own lives today. The first man and first woman God created chose to sin against God. After they disobeyed God they were no longer pure and good. They and all their descendants became unable to obey God perfectly and to live sinless lives. Fear, despair, drunkenness, quarrels, hatred, lying, death -everything evil - came into the world because of sin. We also are the descendants of Adam and Eve. Let us carefully consider our lives. Did any of us need to go to school to learn how to criticize, to be disobedient, rude, unkind or bitter? No, evil has been in each of us since the day we were born. We have all disobeyed God and are separated from Him because of our sins.
Many of us will say to ourselves, "I have tried very hard to live a good life. I am an honest, hard worker. I take care of my family. I show kindness to people in need. I believe in God. Won't the good deeds I do cover the sins I have committed?" Here are some words from the (Holy Book) which give us the answer:
"The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, No, not one." (Psalm 14:2,3)
"All our righteousness is like filthy rags." (Isaiah 64:6)
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
"The wages of sin is (eternal) death..." which means separation from God forever. (Romans 6:23)
This separation has the same result in our lives as it had in the lives of Adam and Eve. We are not able to commune with God. Our sins bring His judgement upon us. We have struggles and strife with other people. And we will be separated from the Holy God forever after we die.
"Where is hope in the midst of all this?" you might be asking. The hope is not found in man. It is found in God. When the Almighty God created us, we were meant to obey Him gladly. But we have not done this. Why doesn't He destroy us? Let me ask you, if a son does a great wrong to his father, does the father stop loving him? No. The father will be angry with the son. He may have to punish the son severely. But the father does not cease to love his son. In fact, it brings the father great pain that he must punish his son. If man can love in this way, can not Almighty God love even more?
God has not destroyed us because He cares for us much more than a father cares for his son. He cares about our life on this earth. He also cares about what will happen to our eternal spirits. He does not want us to be separated from Him forever when we die. This is what God has said in the (Holy Book): "...I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with love and kindness I have drawn you to Myself." (Jeremiah 31:3) God Himself had to provide a way to cleanse us from our sins and draw us to Himself. To do this, He had to make a great sacrifice. Would God do such a thing for us? He would. He DID.
Song - Psalm 23
Angel Speaks to Mary
God loved the people of the world so much that He sent His Son, the Messiah to save people from their sins. The title "Messiah" means "the One chosen and empowered by God". This Chosen One would have to be pure in God's sight in order to have the right to take away our sins. And He would have to have great power from God in order to accomplish such a great task. Who is the Messiah? How has He made salvation possible for all people of the world?
About 2,000 years ago, God sent an angel to a girl living in Israel, a small country south of Turkey. This pure girl was called Mariam. She was engaged to a man named Joseph. An angel come to Mariam and said to her, "God has chosen you from among all girls. You will have a Son and his name will be called Jesus." (Luke 1:30,31) The name Jesus means `God saves'.
Since Mariam had not lived with Joseph yet, she asked how this was going to happen. (Not included in final recording: The angel said that this birth was going to be different from all others. This baby would have no human father. The Spirit of God would work a miracle in Mariam's body.) The angel told Mariam, "The Spirit of God will come upon you. The power (Kazakh word for God's power) of the Most High will overshadow you. For that reason the holy child will be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:35) And after these words he disappeared from her.
Mariam did not understand how this could happen. But she humbly accepted what the angel told her. She knew that God has the power to do anything. He created the whole universe. Nothing is impossible for God. So Mariam said, "I am the Lord's servant. May it happen to me as you have said." (Luke 1:38)
"Music From "Abai Poem with Music"
KAZAKH SET: STORY ONE - PART TWO
Angel Speaks to Mary (Continued)
The angel who came to Mariam had said, "...the holy child will be called the Son of God." He did not mean this in a physical way, but in a spiritual way. Of course, God did not take a wife and have a son. Jesus was called the Son of God to express His closeness to God the Father (Because of its controversial nature for Muslims, we aren't sure whether the following phrase and paragraph will be used in the recording, but it should be translated into Kazakh, and we can discuss it at the time of recording: and His oneness with God the Father.
You may be thinking, "How is it possible for Jesus to be the Son of God? How can He be one with God, since there is only one God? This is a mystery too great for us to fully understand. Who can fully know the nature of God except God Himself? But remember that God is Almighty. Nothing is impossible for Him. Let me give you an illustration. Look at the sun in the sky. It is so great and so hot that if it came nearer to the earth we would all die. Yet the sun sends out sunlight, which is really one with itself, and lights and warms our world. In a similar way, God Almighty has sent His Light, Jesus, into our world to give us life. Jesus Himself said, "I am the Light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness. He shall have the light of life." (John 8:12) When we see the sunlight, we see the sun. When we look at Jesus we see God. Jesus said, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father." (John 14:9) "I and My Father are one." (John 10:30)) NOTE: We did use this paragraph in the Kazakh tape.
(In the Injil) Jesus is also called the `Word of God'. Words are the way one person speaks with another. Jesus' is called the Word of God because His words and actions are God's message to us. So let us look at Jesus' life.
Kazakh Instrumental Two
Jesus Casts Demon Out
Jesus grew up like any ordinary child. He lived in a small town in Israel called Nazareth and worked as a carpenter. At the age of thirty He allowed people to know that He was sent by God to do a special task. From this time on he travelled all over his region, telling people, "Turn from evil. The kingdom of God has come to you." He never had a home of His own. He said, "Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but I who have come from heaven have nowhere to lay My head." (Matthew 8:20) He gave up this comfort for the sake of people. He chose to do this because He knew that He was the MESSIAH, chosen by God to save people from their sins. Often he taught in the (synagogues) (question about the Kazakh word used for this - word not many will understand. It's fine just to use "meeting place".) where people gathered to worship God. When he went to a synagogue he often stood up to read out loud from the Holy Book. This was the custom. One day when He stood up to read, the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. He opened the book and found the place where it was written, "The Spirit of God is upon Me, because God has chosen me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed and announce that the time has come when the Lord will save His people." Jesus said to the people who were sitting there, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:17-18)
While on earth, Jesus performed many miracles as signs of God's love and care for man. He always said, "I have not come to do My own work. I have come to do the work of My Father in heaven." (John 6:38) Everything Jesus did helps us understand the character of God. (or, "understand what God is like".)
One day Jesus got into a boat with His disciples and said to them, "Let us go across to the other side of the lake." So they started out. As they were sailing, Jesus fell asleep. Suddenly a strong wind blew down on the lake. The boat began to fill with water. They were all in great danger. The disciples went to Jesus and woke Him up saying, "Master, Master! We are about to die!" Jesus got up and gave an order to the wind and to the stormy water. The waves became quiet and there was a great calm. Then Jesus said to the disciples, "Where is your faith?" But they were amazed and afraid. They said to one another, "Who is this man? He commands the winds and the waves and they obey Him!" (Luke 8:22-25)
One time Jesus fed 5,000 men and the women and children who were with them. Jesus took his disciples and went with them to a quiet place away from any town. When the people in the area heard that Jesus was there, they followed Him. He welcomed them. He spoke to them about the kingdom of God and healed those who needed it. When the sun was beginning to set, the twelve disciples came to Jesus and said, "Send the people away from this deserted place. They can go to the villages and farms around here to eat and sleep." But Jesus said to the disciples, "You yourselves give them something to eat." They answered, "All we have are five loaves of bread and two fish. Do you want us to go and buy food for all these people?" There were about five thousand men there, plus women and children. Jesus said to His disciples, "Make the people sit down in groups of about fifty each." After the disciples did this, Jesus took the five loaves and two fish. He looked up to heaven and thanked God for the food. Then he broke the bread and fish into pieces and gave them to the disciples. The disciples gave the pieces to the people. Everyone ate and had enough. The disciples collected twelve baskets full of the pieces that were left over. (Luke 9:10-17)
What Jesus did was amazing, yes. God, who created the universe, could certainly create bread and fish for the people to eat. (or, "God created the universe. He could certainly give Jesus the power to create bread...")
Everywhere Jesus went, He demonstrated how much the mighty God cares for people. Through His actions, he showed us that God is willing and very able to help and to heal us. Jesus healed many people and made evil spirits leave their bodies by the power given Him by God.
Jesus went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee. He was teaching the people there one day. They were all amazed at the way He taught, because He spoke with authority. There was a man in the crowd who had the spirit of an evil demon in him. He screamed at Jesus in a loud voice, "Let us alone! What do you want to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Are you here to destroy us? I know who You are - the Holy One of God!" Jesus commanded the spirit, "Be quiet and come out of the man!" The demon threw the man down in front of the people. Then it went out of the man and did not hurt him any more. The people were all amazed. They said to one another, "What kind of words are these? With authority and power this man Jesus gives orders to the evil spirits, and they come out!" And the report about Jesus spread everywhere in that area. (Luke 4:31-37)
(Not included in final recording: The actions of Jesus were powerful. The words of Jesus were also powerful.) Jesus is God's Word to men. When we listen to what He says, we are listening to what God wants to say to us.
Introduction to Scripture Quotes
Now let's listen to what Jesus said:
Kazakh Instrumental One (Continues in Background)
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on the earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, you will give him a snake? If you, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:7-11)
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like it. Love your neighbor as you love yourself." (Matthew 22:37-39)
"You have heard the commandment, `You shall not commit adultery.' But I am telling you that if anyone looks at a woman and thinks lustfully about her then he has already committed adultery with that woman in his heart." (Matthew 5:27,28)
"Do not condemn others, or you yourself will be condemned...the measure you use to judge others will be the measure used on you. Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but ignore the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, `Let me remove the speck from your eye,' when there is a plank in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:1-5)
Kazakh Instrumental One (Fades Out)
These were only a few of Jesus' words. One of the most surprising things Jesus said that no other prophet in history has said was that He was able to forgive sins. (Maybe we could add another reference to the Messiah here. For example: "He could forgive sins because He was the Messiah, the One chosen by God to save all people from their sins.")
One day when Jesus was teaching, some religious leaders and teachers of the religious Law were listening to Him. These religious leaders had come from every town in Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. The power of the Lord was present for Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. They tried to carry him into the house and put him in front of Jesus. Because of the crowd they could find no way to take him in. So they carried him up on the flat roof of the house. They made an opening in the tiles and let down his bed in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw how much faith they had, He said to the man, "Your sins are forgiven, my friend." The religious leaders and teachers said to themselves, "Who is this man who mocks God! God is the only one who can forgive sins!" Jesus knew their thoughts. He said to them, "Why do you think such things? Is it easier to say, `Your sins are forgiven.' or to say, `Get up and walk?' I will prove to you that the I, who have come from heaven, have authority on earth to forgive sins." He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, pick up your bed, and go home." At once the man got up in front of them all! He took the bed he had been lying on and went home, praising God. Everyone was completely amazed. They were full of fear and praised God, saying, "What marvelous things we have seen today!" (Luke 5:17-26)
Who can have his sins forgiven? Jesus taught that a person must be humble to approach God. And a person must be truly sorry about his sins.
Jesus told this parable to people who were sure of their own goodness and despised others: "Once there were two men who went up to the Temple to pray. One was a religious leader, the other a man who cheated people. The religious leader stood and prayed with himself saying, `God, I thank you that I am not greedy, dishonest or an adulterer, like other men. I thank you that I am not like that bad man over there. I fast twice a week. I give you one tenth of all my income.' The man who cheated people stood at a distance and prayed also, but he would not even raise his face to heaven. He beat his breast and said, `God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you," said Jesus, "that man and not the religious leader, was in the right with God when he went home. For everyone who makes himself great will be humbled. And everyone who humbles himself will be made great." (Luke 18:9-14)
We know that Jesus is called the Word of God. When we listen to Jesus' words, we learn what God wants to say to us. Listen to another parable Jesus told, which shows how much God wants us to return to Him, even though we have sinned. He loves us more than any father ever loved his children, because the love of God is high like the mountains, deep like the sea.
Jesus told this parable: "There was a certain man who had two sons. The younger son said to his father, `Father, give me my share of your inheritance.' So the father divided the inheritance and gave the younger son his share. A few days later the younger son sold all his own possessions. He took all the money he had and went away to a far country. There in that far country he wasted his money in foolish living. He spent everything he had. Then a famine came to that land. The younger son became poor and hungry. He went to work for a man of that land and the man sent him into the fields to feed the pigs. The younger son became so hungry that he even wanted to eat the food he was giving to the pigs. But no one gave him anything. Finally he said to himself, `Even my father's servants have more than they can eat and here I am about to starve! I will leave this place and return to my father. I will tell him, "Father, I have sinned against God and against you. I don't deserve to be called your son any longer. Please treat me like one of your servants."' So the younger son left that far country and returned home to his father. While he was still a long way down the road the son's father saw him. The father ran down the road to meet his son. With great compassion and joy he hugged his son and welcomed him home. `Father,' the son said, `I have sinned against God and against you and I don't deserve to be called your son any longer. But the father called to his servants, `Hurry! Bring the best robe and put it on my son. Put a ring on his hand and new shoes on his feet. Go and prepare a feast, let us eat and rejoice together. For this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'" (Luke 15:11-24) Just like the father in this parable, God desires to forgive and accept us if we turn to Him from our sinful ways.
Kazakh Instrumental One (In background)
On different occasions Jesus said,
"There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance." (Luke 15:7)
"It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Luke 5:31,32)
Jesus also said, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
"...the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." (John 6:37)
"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." (John 6:38)
"This is the will of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life. And I Myself will raise him up on the resurrection day." (John 6:40)
Jesus said, "I have come from heaven to seek and to save that which was lost. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go into the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he finds it, surely I tell you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray." (Matthew 18:11-13)
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep." (John 10:14)
"For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me. I lay it down by my own choice. I have the authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father." (John 10:17-18)
Kazakh Instrumental One (Fades Out)
What did Jesus mean by these words? Jesus knew that God the Father had sent Him to this earth to accomplish a painful task. He had done good to many people and taught them much about God. But Jesus was not only a great prophet. He was - and is - the Messiah. He did not come to earth only to be a good example to us. He came to lay down His life for us. He had to lay down His life because of our rebellion against God. But God does not want us to be separated from Him forever. God loves us so much He wants us to be with Him in heaven (paradise), not away from Him and suffering in Hell. He loves us. Yet Someone had to pay the death penalty for our sins. Jesus decided to receive the punishment for all the sins and to cut His life (Kazakh way of saying it). He did not have any sins so He could offer His life to pay for the sins of people. He did not have to give His life for us. But He did.
Why did Jesus willingly give His life for us? Because He loves us. And remember the life and words of Jesus show us what God thinks of us. So we see from the death of Jesus how much God loves us. Here is the true account of how Jesus died for us:
The chief priests, elders and religious teachers of the people were very jealous of Jesus because the people gave Jesus honor. The people opened their hearts and were listening to the words of Jesus, not to the words of the religious leaders. They gathered together at the home of the high priest, Caiaphas. Together they planned how to capture and kill Him.
Then one of Jesus' disciples, Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests. He said, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Jesus to you?" The priests answered, "Thirty pieces of silver." So from that time on Judas looked for a way to betray Jesus. (Matthew 26:14-16)
Finally, one night Jesus was with His disciples to celebrate a religious feast. Judas was with them, too. Judas learned that Jesus planned to take the disciples to a garden to pray after the feast. So Judas left the feast and went to the priests. He told them where Jesus would be that night.
Jesus went with His disciples to the garden. It was dark, and they were tired from the activities of the day. Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there." He took with Him three of His closest disciples, Peter, James and John and went a little distance. He began to be sorrowful and very distressed. He said to them, "My spirit is very (a strong word) sorrowful, even to the point of death. Stay here and pray with me." (Matthew 26:36-38)
He went a little further, and fell down with His face to the ground to pray. "O, My Father, if it is possible, save me from the great struggle and suffering ahead of Me. Yet, Father, I long to do what You want me to do, not what I want to do."
Then Jesus went back to His disciples and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, "What? Could you not pray with me one hour?" Jesus went away again and prayed, "O, My Father, if you do not desire to save me from this great struggle and suffering, let your will be done." And Jesus went and found His disciples asleep again. So He went away and prayed for a third time, saying the same words. He returned again to His disciples and began speaking to them. Suddenly Judas, His betrayer, came along with soldiers carrying swords and clubs. Jesus said to them, "Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I am a robber? You were near when I taught in the temple every day, and you did not seize me." Then the disciples of Jesus abandoned Him and fled. (Matthew 26:39-56)
Kazakh Instrumental Three
** Announcement **
KAZAKH SET: RECORDING TWO - PART ONE
Kazakh Instrumental Three (In Background)
The soldiers took Jesus away to the house of the high priest. The chief priests, the elders and the whole council tried to find people who could speak against Jesus so that they could put Him to death. But they found no one. Many people gave false witness against Him, but the things they said did not agree. During all of this, Jesus remained silent. Finally the high priest said to Jesus, "You must speak truthfully before God. Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God!" Jesus said to Him, "I am." (Mark 14:61,62)
The priests were full of anger. "We do not need any other witnesses against Jesus!," they shouted. "We have heard Him mock God!" And they all said He deserved death. And some of them began to spit in His face. They covered His eyes and beat Him, saying, "Prophesy, Son of God! Who hit you?" They tortured Him in different ways all night long. In the morning they took Him to the governor. The governor tried to give Jesus a fair trial. But the priests gathered crowds together and persuaded them to speak out against Jesus. Finally, the governor gave in to the pressure of the crowd. He handed Jesus over to the soldiers who were in charge of putting people to death. They mocked Him and beat Him. They twisted some thorn branches into a crown and pressed it onto His head. Finally, they led Him away to be put to death. (From Matthew 26 and Mark 14)
In those times they had a terrible way of putting criminals to death. They would take two strong pieces of wood and attach them together so they crossed each other. Then they would nail the criminal to this cross, putting nails through his wrists and his feet. They set the cross up in the ground and left the criminal to hang there, bleeding and dying slowly. This was the agony Jesus felt as He died. Our sins were the reason He had to die in this terrible way. As He hung on the cross, He prayed, "Forgive them, Father! They do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34) Some who stood by continued to mock Him. "If you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!" (Matthew 27:40) The mother of Jesus stood by the cross with some friends. When Jesus saw her and his close friend John standing by, He said to His mother, "Mother, see your son!" Then He called to John, "See your mother!" And from that day on John took Mariam into his home as part of his family. (John 19:25-27) Jesus cared about His family even when He was in terrible pain.
At noon the sun stopped shining and darkness covered the whole country until three o'clock. Suddenly Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?" (Mark 15:34) ("with a loud voice" should express great agony.) A short time later, Jesus said, "It is finished!" (John 19:30) And He bowed His head and died.
Kazakh Instrumental Three (Fades Out)
Friend, please ponder a prophesy that was spoken about Jesus by the prophet Isaiah more than 700 years before Jesus was born:
Isaiah said, "He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. We turned our faces away from Him. He was despised and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. Yet we thought He was struck down and afflicted by God. But He was wounded for our sins. He was bruised for our evil thoughts and doings. He bore the punishment necessary to bring us peace. By His wounds, we are healed. All of us have gone astray like sheep. Every one of us has turned to his own path. And God has laid on Him the sin of us all." (Isaiah 53:3-6) These are the words Isaiah spoke 700 years before Jesus was born. (This idea is repeated from above so they don't miss it.)
Friends, remember what God has said about us:
There is no one who does good, no, not one.
(Missing, but important:) All our righteousness is like filthy rags.
...All have sinned and fall short of the glory (perfection) of God.
...The wages of sin is (eternal) death...which means separation from God forever.
Jesus willingly accepted the punishment we deserve from God for our sins. Anyone who trusts in what Jesus has done for him will be forgiven by God. God knew that none of us could pay the debt we owe Him for our sins. So He sent His Son (Put "the Messiah" instead?) to the world to pay the debt for us. Whoever believes in Jesus will not be condemned to separation from God forever. That person will enjoy eternal life with God.
How can we know that God accepted the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins? Before the death of Jesus, God showed that He approved of Jesus by giving Him great power (Kazakh word for God's power). God gave Jesus power to speak with authority (as representing God Himself). Jesus performed many miracles. He even brought dead people back to life again. After Jesus was killed, God again showed that He approved of Jesus by a great demonstration of power. This is what happened:
After Jesus died His body was removed from the cross. He was buried in a tomb. For three days it seemed that His life had ended, like the life of any man. Very early on the third day some women who were His followers took spices to the tomb. They wanted to anoint the body of Jesus according to their custom. But when they reached the tomb they found it open. Quickly they went inside. The body of Jesus was gone! Suddenly an angel dressed in shining white clothes stood beside them. He said, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here. He has risen! Remember what He told you clearly while He was with you. He said, `I must be handed over to sinful men and be nailed to a cross. I will be raised to life on the third day.'"
The women remembered that Jesus had said exactly these things. Full of joy and fear, they ran to tell the other disciples. But the disciples were mourning over what had happened. They did not believe the women. As the disciples were gathered together, suddenly Jesus appeared to them. They were startled and frightened. They thought He was a ghost. But Jesus said to them, "Why are you troubled? Why are you full of doubts? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see. A ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."
The disciples still did not believe Him because of joy and amazement. Jesus asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" They gave Him a piece of cooked fish. He took it and ate it while they watched.
He said to them, "This is what I told you before my death. Everything that is written about me in the Holy Book must be fulfilled." And He made them able to understand the many prophesies in the Holy Book that were written about Him. He said, "This is what is written: `The Savior will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. People from all the nations of the earth will be taught to turn away from sin and receive forgiveness of their sins from Him.' You are witnesses of these things."
Kazakh Instrumental Five
For the next 40 days, Jesus remained on the earth teaching and encouraging many disciples. Finally, He gathered His disciples together one day to bless them. He lifted up His hands to bless them, and while He was speaking, He left them and was taken up into heaven.
Jesus promised that one day He will come again to this world. This time He will come in a glorious way. He will gather to Himself from all nations those who follow Him. These are the ones who have trusted in Him to cleanse them from their sins. They will live with Him in heaven forever. Those who have not trusted Jesus to cleanse them from their sins will have to pay the penalty for their own sins. This will mean separation from God and punishment forever. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6)
All who follow Jesus can depend on the promises which He made to His disciples before He returned to heaven. He said, "I will never leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5) I will not leave you like orphans. (John 14:18) I will send you a Helper to live with you always. He is the Spirit of truth. The people who don't believe Me cannot receive Him. They cannot see Him or know Him. But you will know Him, and He will live within you." (John 14:16,17) Remember that when God created man, God gave man an eternal spirit (soul). This was because God Himself has an eternal Spirit. This Spirit of God cannot be seen, but He lives in each person who follows Jesus. The Spirit of God is always with that person. He gives that person the ability to commune with God. He gives that person power to overcome fear and temptation. Jesus said that the Spirit of God would be the Helper and Comforter of all who follow Him.
After His resurrection, Jesus gave His disciples this command: "Go into all the world and tell the good news about Me to all people." (Mark 16:15) It is right that Jesus should call the news about Himself "good". For me and my family and for many others, it has been news about freedom from sin, guilt and fear. (The following sentence was not used in Kazakh translation. Maybe it's not needed: It has been amazing news - to realize that the Almighty God cared enough about us to send Jesus to die to pay the penalty for our sins.) Do you see how Almighty God takes care of us and loves us? We have no measure for God's love for us. Jesus said, "No one has greater love than this, than to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do whatever I command you." (John 15:13,14) It is wonderful to be free from the guilt of sin. And it is wonderful to be loved by God. This good news has given us comfort and strength and new purpose for living.
Kazakh Instrumental Two (In Background)
Sinner's Prayer (Continued)
Now you have heard the good news of how to be forgiven from your sins. Jesus paid the penalty for your sins when He died for you. If you confess that you are a sinner, you may ask Jesus to forgive your sins and He will. You can pray to Him in this way: (The following is a loose translation of the prayer used in Kazakh recording. It was taken from the end of the 4 Spiritual Laws booklet.) "God, Creator, I am a sinner. Until this time, against Your will, I have committed many sins. I have told lies, I have been proud. I feel sorry that I have committed such sins. I have heard in Your holy Word that Your Son died for my sins. On the basis of this sacrifice You have forgiven the sins of all. Please forgive my sins. I desire to live your way. I desire to live in fellowship with you. Take my life into your hands. I will put effort into reading Your Word and obeying You."
"Lord Jesus, I believe in the sacrifice You made for me on the cross. You rose again from the dead and are alive now. God the Creator, I love you and follow You. Amen."
When you pray sincerely to Jesus, He will hear you and accept you. The Spirit of God will come to live in you. As you love and obey the words of Jesus, the Spirit of God will teach you more and more about Him.
Kazakh Instrumental Two (Continues in Background)
Here are a few things you can do to begin to know Him better and to serve Him daily:
There are many sayings from the Holy Book in this tape. Memorize them and think about their meaning. There are printed portions of the Holy Book and the Injil available in Kazakh. If you can obtain any of these, read and study them with your family.
Gather your family together to pray. Try to sing songs of thankfulness and prayer to God. You can learn the prayer on this tape to begin with. You can also pray to God from your heart, talking to Him as you would talk with a close friend who you trust. God is not offended when we talk to Him in this way. He wants us to come to Him as to a Father because He loves us. None of these activities will earn you salvation from God. Only by trusting in what Jesus has done for you will you have this salvation. But these activities will help you to grow to know God better. Remember, the Spirit of God dwells within those who truly follow Jesus. He will give you the ability to understand and apply God's holy words to your own daily life. He will teach you how to love and honor God. If you sincerely seek to follow Jesus, you will find that your life will change. You will not fear death, judgement or condemnation any more. And when you die, Jesus will receive you into heaven, to be with Him always.
Jesus said, "Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. ...the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." (Matthew 11:28, John 6:37) Jesus also said, "I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) Amen!
Kazakh Instrumental Two (Increases Volume and Ends)
Song - The Lord's Prayer
Luke 6:20-38, With Introduction
Music From "Abai Poem with Music" (Fades in Toward the End of this Reading)
KAZAKH SET: RECORDING TWO - PART TWO
Luke 6:39-49, With Introduction (Continued)
Music From "Abai Poem with Music" (Fades in Toward the End the Reading, Swells a Little After the Reading, Then Fades Out Again)
I Thessalonians 4:1 - 5:24, With Introduction
Music From "Abai Poem with Music" (Fades in Toward the End the Reading, Swells a Little After the Reading, Then Fades Out Again)
I John 1:5-9, 4:7-11, With Introduction
Music From "Abai Poem with Music" (Fades in Toward the End the Reading, Swells a Little After the Reading, Then Fades Out Again)
II Timothy 1:7, I Corinthians 10:13, With Introduction
Music From "Abai Poem with Music" (Fades in Toward the End the Reading, Swells a Little After the Reading, Then Fades Out Again)
Introduction to Psalms
Kazakh Instrumental Five (Begins and Continues in Background of Psalm 1)
Kazakh Instrumental Five (Fades Out)
Kazakh Instrumental Six (Begins and Continues in Background of Psalm 121)
Kazakh Instrumental Six (Fades Out)
Kazakh Instrumental Two