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Archive for December 23rd, 2014

1982080_1000775849938612_8222661659288359879_nMessianic Prophecy In The Old Testament10849817_422730201212980_8126859679965616829_n

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Bible Study by Jack Kelley

In the time after their sin and expulsion from the Garden Adam and Eve must have felt incredible despair. They had experienced life both before and after the curse, the only ones to do so, and had first hand knowledge of the difference. And what a difference it was. Even the part of it we can relate to had to have been devastating.

For example suppose that one day you were the resident manager of the world’s richest and most luxurious estate, with all of its comforts and privileges, and the next you were a poor hardscrabble farmer, at the opposite end of the economic and social spectrum. And that was just the beginning. How about no longer being immortal, no longer one with your Creator in spirit.

The Seed Of The Woman
To keep them from becoming incurably despondent, God had promised them a redeemer. In Genesis 3:15 we read,

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring (seed) and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

He was speaking to the one indwelling the serpent and in Hebrew the promise contains a biological impossibility. Seed comes from the male. It’s the Bible’s first hint of a virgin birth. An offspring of the woman’s would destroy Satan and reverse the consequences of the act he had manipulated, redeeming mankind from its bondage to sin.

Two chapters later in Genesis 5 the Bible gives us another hint of this. The Hebrew root words of the names of the 10 patriarchs listed there form a sentence. When taken in order  it reads like this in English.

“Man is appointed mortal sorrow, but the blessed God will come down teaching that His death will bring the despairing rest.”  (For detail click here)

It’s a prophecy that God Himself would come to Earth as the Seed of the Woman, and man’s redeemer.

Centuries later, this was confirmed by the Prophet Isaiah.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

As New Testament believers, we can see that the five names listed here describe all three members of the Trinity. Wonderful is the name by which The Angel of the Lord identified Himself while visiting Samson’s parents. (Judges 13:18).  When the phrase “The Angel of the Lord” appears in the Old testament, it’s in conjunction with a pre-incarnate visit by the Lord Jesus. That He’s being referenced in Isaiah 9:6 is confirmed by the title, Prince of Peace.  Jesus called the Holy Spirit the Counselor in John 14:26 , and Mighty God and everlasting Father can only refer to God.

A Descendant Of Abraham
In Genesis 12:1-3 the origin of this redeemer becomes clearer. There God promised Abraham that all the nations of Earth would be blessed through him, and in Genesis 22 He had Abraham act this out with the sacrifice of Isaac, Abraham’s “only son” on Mt. Moriah. 2000 years later another Father would offer His only Son as a sacrifice for sin in that same place. Abraham knew this and named the place Jehovah Jireh, saying, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided” (Gen. 22:14).

The Lion Of Judah
Later, as Abraham’s grandson Jacob neared death, he narrowed it down still more by saying that all of Israel’s kings including the ultimate one, “the one to whom it (the ruler’s staff) belongs”, would come from among the descendants of one of his sons, Judah, (Gen. 49:10) giving birth to the title “Lion of Judah” as a Messianic reference.

The Son Of David
In 2 Samuel 7:12-15 we read that David longed to build a Temple for God, but God refused him, saying that it would take a man of peace to build a house for Him. He said that David’s son Solomon would be that man, and during Solomon’s reign Israel experienced peace as never before or since. But to ease David’s disappointment God promised to build him a “house” and the Davidic Dynasty was founded. Hence forth there would always be a direct descendant of David’s on the throne of Israel. It was an everlasting promise made in about 1000 BC, and Solomon would be the first fulfillment. But since neither Solomon nor any other Davidic King was flogged by men for “doing wrong” (2 Sam. 7:14) there’s a lot more going on here than meets the eye.  The wording casts shadows of the Messiah.

So through God’s progressive revelation we’ve narrowed things down from learning that the redeemer would be a son of Eve’s, which would exclude no one, to the family of Abraham, then Judah, then David. But we’re not finished yet. Over the next 400 years the Davidic Kings went from bad to worse with few exceptions. Finally, in the time of the Prophet Jeremiah God had had enough and pronounced a blood curse on the Davidic line, saying that no son of then King Jehoiachin would ever rule over Israel. (Jere. 22:30) The Davidic line, begun with Solomon, was seemingly ended and God’s promise to David broken.

The Branch
However, before the nation was taken to Babylon, while a Davidic King still sat on the throne, God had Ezekiel announce that the line was being suspended and wouldn’t be restored until “He comes to whom it rightfully belongs” (Ezekiel 21:27), recalling Jacob’s prophecy to mind. In 519 BC, after the Jews had returned from the Babylonian captivity, God said that a man He called The Branch would be the one, and that He would hold the priesthood as well, combining the two. (Zechariah 6:12).

There are four references to The Branch in the Old Testament and all point to the Messiah. In Zechariah 3:8 He’s called God’s servant, in Zechariah 6:12 He’s a man, both king and priest. In Jeremiah 23:5 He’s called a righteous king, and inIsaiah 4:2 He’s the Branch 0f God.

Born Of a Virgin, Born In Bethlehem
But how was God going to get around the blood curse? For the answer to that, we have to back up to about 750 BC. In that time two of the most specific Messianic prophecies ever given narrowed the field down to just one possibility. In Isaiah 7:14 the Lord proclaimed that the Messiah would be born of a virgin, and in Micah 5:2 that he would be born in Bethlehem, the City of David.

In order to legally qualify for a seat on David’s throne, the Messiah King would have to be of the house and lineage of David. To be from the house of David means being a biological descendant of David’s. Being of David’s lineage means belonging to the Royal Line. How can this be?

When we read the Lord’s genealogies in Matt. 1 and Luke 3, we can see differences beginning at the time of David. Matthew’s genealogy runs through Solomon, the cursed royal line. But Luke’s goes through Solomon’s brother Nathan. Nathan’s line wasn’t cursed, but neither were they kings. Further study reveals that Matthew is actually giving us Joseph’s genealogy while Luke shows us Mary’s. Both were descended from David, and in addition Joseph was one of many who were heir to David’s throne but unable to claim it because of the curse on his line.

So through His mother Mary, Jesus was a biological descendant of David’s. When Mary and Joseph became husband and wife, Jesus also became Joseph’s legal son and heir to David’s Throne.  But not being biologically related to Joseph, He didn’t have the blood curse. He was of both the house and lineage of David.   To this day He’s the only man born in Israel since 600BC with a legitimate claim to David’s throne. The angel Gabriel confirmed this to Mary when he told her that although a virgin, she would soon give birth to the Son of God, who would occupy it forever (Luke 1:32-33).   Isaiah 9:7 had revealed the same fact centuries earlier. God’s promise to David stands.

Daniel And The Magi
200 years after Micah identified Bethlehem as the Messiah’s birthplace, The Lord told Daniel the time of His death. It would be 483 years after the decree to rebuild and restore Jerusalem following the Babylonian captivity, but before an enemy army came to destroy it again. (Daniel 9:24-27) This places the Messiah’s death somewhere between 32 and 70 AD according to our reckoning of time.

Daniel formed a group of Persian priests to pass this information down from father to son, and according to tradition set aside the bulk of his personal wealth as a gift for them to present to the Messiah when the time came for His birth. He apparently also gave them a confirming sign to look for from Numbers 24:17, later known as the Star of Bethlehem.

The descendants of these priests, now a very influential political force in Parthia (as Persia came to be known), remained true to Daniel’s commission, and upon seeing the star set out for Jerusalem. Arriving there they sought an audience with King Herod, asking for the whereabouts of the one born to be King of Israel. Summoning the chief priests, Herod repeated the question and was referred to Micah 5:2 where Bethlehem is identified. The Parthian priests, or Magi as we call them, went there and found the baby Jesus.

The field of candidates for Redeemer of Mankind, the Seed of the Woman, the Descendant of Abraham, the Lion of Judah, the Son of David, the Messiah of Israel, had been narrowed down to one. His name is Jesus.

Faith In Action
By faith, with nothing more than Daniel’s word to their ancestors, the Magi had mounted up and undertaken a dangerous 800 mile trip into enemy territory to meet the Messiah. (The Parthians and Romans were technically at war.) With 4000 years of fulfilled prophetic scripture in their hands, the chief priests, who no longer took it literally, refused to join them for the last 5 miles from Jerusalem to Bethlehem to see if God’s Word really was true. In so doing, the leaders of the people He came to save missed out on the central event in human history, consigning themselves to eternal separation from the very God they had been seeking.

If history repeats itself like they say it does, then when He comes back many of today’s religious experts, who also don’t take the prophecies literally, will make the same mistake. As you recall the Reason for the Season, take time to thank Him for making you like the Magi instead of like these experts, because if you listen carefully, you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 12-22-12

http://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/holidays-and-holy-days/messianic-prophecy-in-the-old-testament/

Wednesday, December 3rd, 201410845956_824650840939940_4556965966861198088_n10847797_799876160069809_1876838360271298360_n (1)

 

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The Christmas Story by John MacArthur

Uploaded on Dec 20, 2011

What is Christmas really all about? Listen to John MacArthur, Pastor of Grace Community Church, explain the true “reason for the season”.
http://www.gracechurch.org/

John MacArthur “Christmas Message”

Published on Dec 22, 2013

Grace Community Churchhttp://www.gracechurch.org/
The Master’s Seminary – http://www.tms.edu/
Theological Resource Centerhttp://www.theologicalresources.org/
Grace to You – http://www.gty.org/

The Theology of Christmas (Philippians 2:5-11) John MacArthur

Published on Jun 18, 2012

http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/…

To put it mildly, Christmas is a little bit confusing to the watching world, I’m pretty sure. I never really get over that. Year after year I’m struck by the paradoxes of Christmas, the strange juxtaposition of Christianity and a kind of carnival mentality, the humility and poverty of the stable confused with the wealth and indulgence of selfishness and gift giving, the quietness of Bethlehem with the din of the shopping mall, the seriousness of the incarnation with the silliness of the party spirit and party attitude, the blinking colored lights juxtaposed with the star of heaven. Just a confusion designed certainly by the enemy of men’s souls, cheap plastic toys mixed with the true gift of the wise men, angels confused with flying reindeer, an ox and an ass in a stable confused with a red nosed reindeer, of all things, the filth of the stable confused with the whiteness of fresh snow. And so it goes and you’re familiar with all of that. Mary and Joseph and North Pole elves…kind of hard to look through this and see the reality.

But it reached epic proportions for me, this confusion, when I read an article written by a leader in the Episcopalian diocese of Los Angeles, a diocese, by the way, led by a lesbian woman who was recently appointed. And this representative of Episcopalianism wrote this. “There are few causes to which I am more passionately committed than that of Santa Claus. Santa Claus deserves not just any place in the church but the highest place of honor where he should be enthroned as the long bearded ancient of days, the divine and holy one whom we call God.”

He’s not done. “Santa Claus is God the Son…’You better watch out, you better not pout, Santa Claus is coming to town, he knows whether you’ve been bad or good, he slips into the secrets of the heart as easily as he slips down the chimney.’ Santa Claus is God the Father, the creator of heaven and earth in whose hand is a pack bursting at its seams with the gifts of His creation. Santa Claus is God the Holy Spirit who comes with the sound of gentle laughter, with the shape like a bowl full of jelly. And he comes in the night to sow the seeds of good humor. Santa Claus indeed deserves the exalted and enthroned place in the church for he is God the Son, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit. I’ve seen him in the toy store, I even saw him in his car on the freeway the other day. And when I saw him with his crazy beard and his baggy suit, I saw more than the seasonal merchant of cheap plastic toys, I saw no less than the triune God. I hope you can see him too.”

Huh? I mean, have you ever heard anything more convoluted than that? Incredible. What chaos and what confusion, after all, what is Christmas about, what is the celebration of the birth of Christ really about? We could approach it from the standpoint of the Old Testament prophets, we could approach it from the standpoint of Mary or Joseph. We could approach it from the standpoint of the angels or the shepherds or even the wise men who came later. We could approach it from the standpoint of the inn keeper. We could approach it from the standpoint of Herod who had a lot at stake in his own mind. But I want you to look at it from the view past the event that is given to us by the beloved Apostle Paul. So open your Bible to Philippians chapter 2…Philippians chapter 2. Here is the theology of Christmas, okay? The Theology of Christmas….

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Uploaded on Nov 5, 2010

It’s called . . . “the most wonderful time of the year.” But if Christmas really is that great . . . why do so many people miss it? That’s right, most people — maybe even you — will miss Christmas this year!

http://www.gty.org/Radio

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