THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 5-18-08
LESSON TITLE: "THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: THE PROPHESIED CHRIST"
Paul once told the Ephesians, "Be angry, and do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil." How do you stand with God when the sun sets each day?
Here we are together again on a wondrous Lord's Day Morning. Privileged to serve our God in songs of praise and through the study of His Word. We welcome you to this time of offering to God.
I hope each of you had a great week and I hope you are ready today to think on things above, and to give full attention to our Creator who has done so much for all of us. In fact, this morning we want to begin by talking to our God in prayer. Won't you bow with me at this time before the throne of God.
At this time we want to get started by singing our first song of the morning. Won't you all join in with the congregation at this time as we lift up our voices together, in the hymn, "The Gloryland Way."
(SONG # 1)
Have you ever gone to bed crying? Probably all of us have at one time or another. Maybe you didn't feel well, possibly you lost your job, or you may have even lost a loved one. From time to time the problems of life just seem to close in on all sides. And sometimes the things which get us down are major things. However, sometimes we get upset and cry over the smallest things. Maybe our girlfriend or boyfriend dropped us or maybe we had to eat something we really didn't want to.
You see, no matter who we are or what the reason is, when we are the ones with the problem, it always seems to be the most important thing on this earth.
I wanted to read a verse this morning that reminds us that we don't have to let these things in life get us down. In Psalm 30:5, we read, "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Have you ever heard that old saying, "sleep on it, and things will look brighter in the morning." Where do you think that came from? The great Psalmist David knew exactly what it was like to go to bed with problems or sins that cause us to cry. But he also realized that if we will always refocus on God, these things will seem a lot less important in the morning.
But why? God is there for us and God forgives! The first part of the same verse which we just read says, "for his anger is but for a moment, his favor is for life." God may not like what we do and may even be angered by it, but He is always there to accept us back and to forgive us if we are willing to do our part by repenting. Have you forgotten that things are always better in the morning with God?
Why not rely more on God? Commit to doing His will and you will find that things are easier in this life. Decide to "cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you," 1 Peter 5:7. We truly serve a great and mighty God.
In our study this morning we will again focus on, "The Gospel Of Christ." Our specific topic today is entitled, "The Prophesied Christ!" So please continue with us and in a few minutes and we will return with this study from God's Word.
As far as our speaker of the day, we are happy to again have brother Chuck Northrop with us. Brother Chuck is one of the ministers at the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ, as well as a full time instructor at the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank him for being with us to guide our main discussion of the day.
Now, let's join in our second hymn of the morning. The name of the song, "To Canaan's Land I'm On My Way!"
(SONG # 2)
By Chuck Northrop
The Bible is the Word of God. But how do we know? And Jesus Christ is the Son of God. But how do we know?
One of the arguments that is used for the inspiration of the Bible is the fact that if the Bible contains properties beyond the capabilities of man then the Bible cannot be the product of man, but must be the product of God. And sure enough the Bible does contain properties that are beyond the capabilities of man. Such properties as prophecy or more specific predictive prophecy. Now the Bible is a book of prophecy. But not all prophecy is predictive. Some prophecy simply is a proclamation of what God has revealed to man through His prophets and through the apostles of the New Testament. But the Bible also contains predictive prophecy, prophecy that foretells future events or foretells of a particular person or foretells an institution.
As we think about predictive prophecy, we know that it is one of those characteristics that proves the Bible is the Word of God. In fact, in Deuteronomy 18 and verse 22, the Bible says that the way that they could determine that if a prophet was from God is whether or not his prophecies would come true. If the prophecy did not come true, then they were not from God. But if they did come true, then they were inspired of God.
But you know as we think about genuine predictive prophecy, then we must understand that we're not talking about a guess and we're not talking about a forecast, or a general or a vague speculation, or generalization. We're not talking about like predicting the weather. Kind of a hit and miss sometimes. Or like the psychic might make predictions that are often wrong and contain generalizations as well. Or someone who makes numerous predictions of something that takes place in the future most of which do not come to pass, but maybe some might come to pass. You see, that is not genuine predictive prophecy. For a prophet to be a true prophet of God, he must always be right. There must never be an occasion in which the prophecy does not come true.
So then what is genuine predictive prophecy? It is prophesying or predicting a person, an institution, or an event beyond the capabilities of man. It cannot be something that man is capable of for it to be genuine to be genuine predictive prophecy.
Nor can it be simply something that cannot be proved beforehand. In other words as a prediction that is provable that has taken place sometime in the past that predicts something that is going to take place in the future and it is provable that it took place in the past.
Furthermore, as we think about predictive prophecy, it must apply to a person or institution or event and not forced into the prophecy. In other words, we don't look back at the prophecy and we force something upon it, but the prophecy is very clear and it tells us and wants us to understand what it predicted.
And so thus it must on a fourth criteria is that it must be clear and definite in language.
And finally, the fifth criterias is that it must have a clear and apparent fulfillment as well.
Now all of these criteria when they are met show that the predictive prophecy is from God because it is beyond the capabilities of man.
Now as we think about this, this is what Isaiah does in Isaiah 41 and also chapter 44, as well. In chapter 41, Isaiah asked about the Assyrian gods, their idols and he says, "Which one of them can predict the future to prove that they are truly gods?" Obviously idols cannot even stand on their own without being created as such. They do not breathe. They do not move. They don't do anything except set on a shelf and possibly look pretty. Well you see, idols cannot predict the future and so they are not gods. But God does predict the future and God proves that He is God and that His Word is the Word of God because of predictive prophecy. That's what we find in Isaiah 44 verses 7-8. Well you see, the book of Isaiah alone prophesies concerning the Messiah, the Messiah's kingdom. It prophesies concerning future events that would take place, even a future nation and even specifically a future king, Cyrus. All of that is found within the book of Isaiah.
Now as we think about predictive prophecy, there is one specific prophecy that we want to consider, one type or form of predictive prophecy and that is Messianic Prophecy. Our lesson today really is about prophecies concerning the Messiah, Jesus the Christ. You see, every major event in the life of Jesus Christ, the Messiah was predicted by the prophets of old. For example, take His very existence that He had in eternity. That is prophesied in the Old Testament.
Also His birth. But not just one aspect of His birth, but several aspects of His birth. The Old Testament is very specific in that. They prophesied that, the Old Testament prophesied that He would be born of a virgin, prophesied that He would be born in the city of Bethlehem, prophesies that He would be after His birth, there would be visitors to come to see Him from far away nations, prophesies that even there would be children slaughtered just after His birth, after His birth was taken place.
But also the Old Testament prophesies concerning the Messiah forerunner, John the Baptizer, prophesied both in the book of Isaiah and in the book of Malachi that he would prepare the way of the Lord.
Then the Lord's public ministry was also prophesied. He would be a preacher. He would preach the gospel. His ministry would begin in the area of Galilee. He would enter into Jerusalem, but not just enter into Jerusalem, but enter into the temple at Jerusalem and teach there. His ministry would be characterized by zeal, by miracles, and the spirit of the Lord would be upon Him.
But sadly it is also predicted that man would reject Him. He would be hated without cause and therefore He would be called "a stone a stumbling" and a "rock of offense." You see, that is all in the Old Testament clearly predicting Jesus Christ and very specifically predicting some things about His life.
But then the Messiah's death is also predicted. Such things as that He would be betrayed by a friend for thirty pieces of silver. You see, very specific in nature that His disciples, His own disciples who followed Him would reject Him and He would be forsaken by them. It predicts that He would be smitten on the cheek and spat upon. It predicts that His hands and His feet would be wounded, but yet even though His hands and feet being wounded and yet not even a bone of His body be broken. It was predicted that He would even take vinegar upon the cross after He would cry, "I thirst," and specifically that is predicted as well. It would be predicted that He would be numbered with the transgressors. In other words, He would die between two thieves. And yet at the same time be buried with the rich. You see, all of that is predicted in the Old Testament.
But then we have predictions concerning His resurrection, predictions concerning His ascension, predictions concerning His present ministry as the High Priest of God after the order of Melchezidec.
But now that we have looked at the idea that every even or nearly every event in the Messiah's life would be predicted or was predicted in the Old Testament, we also learn that these predictions were hundreds of years previous to the Messiah. David was a man that actually had many predictions concerning the Christ in Psalm 2 and Psalm 68, Psalm 69, Psalm 110 and a number of other places as well. And do you realize that David lived 1,000 years before Jesus Christ? 1,000 years! Yet those things were predicted specifically about Christ by David.
Isaiah lived between 700-750 years before Christ. Isaiah's prediction was so overwhelming that some today call the book of Isaiah "The Gospel of the Old Testament" because it reveals to us the Messiah of the Bible.
Then Malachi lived about 400 years before Christ and he, too, being the last prophet of God prophesied concerning or predicted concerning the Christ.
You see, all of these men predicted and prophesied hundreds of years before the events took place. Now to give you an idea or to help us in our perspective of this think about this. What if somebody had predicted that J.F.K. would serve as the president of the United States in the 1200's in the 13th century AD? Now that's about 800 years before or 700 years before J.F.K. actually served as president of the United States. But not only that, not only is it a prediction that he would serve as president of the United States, but the United States wouldn't even be a United States at that particular time. And not only that, many people didn't even know that the Americas even existed as well. You see, that's the kind of thing that we're talking about. It's beyond the capabilities of man, but they prove that the Bible is the Word of God and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Now in the remainder of our time, I would like to look at a few specific prophecies. Now I just chose these because they were interesting to me, but we could have looked at a number of other prophecies. But the first one that I want to look at is in a specific way is found in the book of Micah. Micah chapter 5 and verse 2. This is what Micah says. He says, "But thou Bethlehem Ephrathah though thou be little among the thousand of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me but is to be ruler in Israel whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting." Now Micah prophesied about the same time as Isaiah. Micah would have prophesied in the countryside of Judea while Isaiah probably prophesied to the city of Jerusalem or in the city of Jerusalem. So we find that it's about 700 years before Christ and he specifically names the city in which Christ would be born, Bethlehem. Now here is what's interesting about Bethlehem. The name Bethlehem means "the place of bread or the city of bread or house of bread." So here it is the bread of life, Jesus Christ, born in the house of bread. Now Ephrathah explains a little bit about Bethlehem. Ephrathah means "fruitfulness." And so it is the Messiah, the bread of life was fruitful and brought fruitfulness because He is the Son of God. But not only that, he says that, "Bethlehem would be a place where," he said, "was little among the thousands of Judea." What he was saying is that it was a small and insignificant place. So God specifies a small, little village, this insignificant place to be the birthplace of the Messiah.
The Christ then would reign as the ruler in Israel and so Jesus then serves as the ruler of spiritual Israel today. He is after all the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He is after all the head of the church (Ephesians 1 verses 22 and 23. And God said through Micah, "Out of thee shall He come for unto Me." This indicates that Christ's reign would be in heaven where God is and not upon the earth.
But now notice also that he says that not only would His birth take place, but He Himself would be in an everlasting state and that is declared as well. He says, "Whose going forth is from everlasting." So though Jesus' physical beginning was in the city of Bethlehem, He was eternal in nature. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God" (John 1:1).
Everybody knows Jesus' ministry on earth was characterized by miracles. Well that, too, was prophesied by Isaiah. In Isaiah chapter 35 verses 5-6, Isaiah says, "The lame would walk and the deaf would hear and the mute would be able to speak." You see all of those things are prophesied. Well you see when you deal with John the Baptizer, one of the interesting things is that John the Baptizer sent two disciples to Jesus and ask Him if he was the one that should come or is there someone after Him and Jesus said, or basically Jesus is saying to John, "Look at the evidence. The lame are able to walk. The blind are able to see. The deaf are able to hear. The mute are able to speak." All of that indicates that Jesus is the Christ. You see, predictive prophecy proved who Jesus was and it proves today who Jesus is.
I wish we had time but we could look at Isaiah 53 probably the most noted verse within all the scriptures concerning prophesies of Jesus, but you know think about this. Jesus ask His disciples, "Who do men say that I the Son of Man is?" Predictive prophecy proves that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
(SONG # 3 - "Lord We Come Before Thee Now!")
What a wondrous time we have had together in participating in the things of God. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
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How blessed we are to have the prophecies about Christ revealed through His precious Word. Furthermore, how glorious it is to see their fulfillment in scripture, as a wondrous truth of the Power of God's Word.