“ In the volume of the Book it is written of Me” (Psalm 40:7; Hebrews 10:7)
“To Him give all the prophets witness” (Acts 10:43)
Written in prophecy in the Old Testament Scriptures and in biography in the four Gospels is the narrative account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of GOD. There is only one Man in the history of mankind that has had exact details given in public documents centuries before His birth that describe His birth, death, and resurrection. No one who gives careful attention to and investigation of the historical record can challenge the fact that these documents were circulated before his birth, especially as the Old Testament Scriptures predate the birth and ministry of Jesus by several hundred years.
The nearly three hundred prophecies given in the 39 books of the Old Testament concerning ‘the Messiah' find their fulfillment in Jesus of Nazareth. One can only come to the conclusion that this singular reality in all of the writings known to mankind is miraculous and demonstrates:
1) that the Bible is the Word of GOD- for without His inspiration no man is capable of writing such a set of books full of wonder.
2) It also proves that the GOD of the Bible is the only One who knows all things- He knows the end from the beginning, and has the ability and power to fulfill all of His word, orchestrating the affairs of men to bring about His determined will.
3) It reveals His genius of foreknowledge even when it revolved around countless persons who are free moral agents and whose lives are given to unbelief, rebellion, or abject ignorance of His Will and Word.
4) It clearly demonstrates that Jesus Christ who alone perfectly and completely fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies is truly the Messiah, the Son of the Living GOD, and Savior of the world.
He is the very Central Figure of Human History and is the Heart of the Bible. The Scarlet Thread woven through all sixty six books is dipped in His Atoning Blood that paid the price for our redemption, justification, and sanctification. The reality that fulfilled prophecy is found only in the Bible is proof of Divine Inspiration- and is overwhelming in its magnitude. 40 different authors guided by the Holy Spirit wrote over a period of approximately 1500 years… from all walks of life- and yet there is no contradiction but rather uniformity in the message and the Wisdom of the Whole Counsel of GOD.
The doctrines and teachings of Scripture are radically different from other religions and purpose to reveal man's fallen condition. Every person's eternal destiny rests on his or her acceptance of Christ and His commandments revealed in the Bible. There is One GOD and He has given us a revelation of His will in the Bible, and has sealed His truth by ‘many infallible proofs' (Acts 1:3). Salvation or doom rests upon our exercise of Free Will in either accepting and obeying Jesus and His finished work of Atonement on the Cross, or rejecting Him and suffering eternal separation from GOD and His Kingdom of Heaven.
Therefore Prophecy and its fulfillment is the Divine seal that lets all men know that truly He has spoken. This has not been duplicated or even counterfeited in other religions since all false worship is abysmally contradictory in their tenets which leads to the ‘dumbing down' of spirituality promoting the false reality of ‘many roads to Heaven and GOD'.
GOD challenged the false gods of the prophet Isaiah's day when He said: “Produce your cause… bring forth your strong reasons… show us what shall happen… declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods” (Isaiah 41:21-23). He declares for all to know: “I am GOD, and there is none else; I am GOD, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying My Counsel shall stand and I will do ALL My pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9-10).
(Compare Isaiah 45:1-7; II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:19-21; Deuteronomy 18:21,22; Isaiah 41:21-23; Jeremiah 28:9; John 13:19).
There is no room for coincidence or chance, or some accidental fulfillment since the vast number of predictions would render the text ridiculous if it were not for the obvious fact that what was predicted came to pass in its exact description. Often the ‘veiled' nature of the Prophetic word did not allow understanding until after the fact… once it came to pass, one could go back and see with clarity and insight that what was to happen, did… in a exclusively unique way. Studies done on the statistical probability of even just 50 of the Old Testament prophecies (instead of the hundreds) occurring by chance exceed all the power of numbers to express- or our finite minds to grasp. These predictions concerning the Messiah are such that only GOD could fulfill them- ex. His virgin birth, the exact location of Bethlehem, His resurrection, etc.
In the Old Testament there is a definite and continuous teaching that ‘Messiah will come'. Dozens of references state such promises as “Behold thy King cometh unto thee” (Zechariah 9:9); “the Lord GOD will come” (Isaiah 40:10); “the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple” (Malachi 3:1). (See also Deuteronomy 18:15; Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 53:6; Haggai 2:7; Isaiah 35:4; Genesis 49:10; Numbers 24:17; Psalm 118:26; Psalm 2:6; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Isaiah 62:11; Genesis 3:15). Christ is the tie that binds the Old and the New Testament together… the New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed, while the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed.
Any reader of the text can examine the predictions of the Messiah's person and work found in the Old Testament, follow the gradual development of these revelations from Genesis to Malachi, and trace the prophecies as they get more and more exact to the minutest detail, until the full picture of Christ stands out. With this image in mind, turning to the New Testament and starting at Matthew one can see the Historical Jesus of Nazareth correspond in every particular instance with the prophetic person depicted in the Old Testament prophecies.
The work of redeeming mankind as well as the totality of Creation was to be accomplished by One Person who as the Preeminent figure in both Testaments was and is the promised Messiah.
As the ‘Seed of the woman' He was to bruise the head of the serpent, Satan (Genesis 3:15 with Galatians 4:4).
As the ‘Seed of Abraham' (Gen. 22:18 w/ Galatians 3:16) and the ‘Seed of David' (Psalm 132:11; Jeremiah 23:5 w/ Acts 13:23) He was to come from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10 w/ Hebrews 7:14).
He would come ‘in the fullness of time' (Gen. 49:10; Daniel 9:24-25 w/ Gal. 4:4), be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14 w/ Matt. 1:18-23 & Luke 1:27,35), at Bethlehem of Judea (Micah 5:2 w/ Matt. 2:1 & Luke 2:4,6).
Visitors of power and affluence would come and worship him (Psalm 72:10 w/ Matt. 2:1,11). A jealous king would slaughter innocent children in an attempt to kill the prophesied ‘King of Israel' (Jeremiah 31:15 w/Matt. 2:16-18).
He would have a ‘forerunner' John the Baptist- who would announce his coming before His public ministry (Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1 w/ Matt. 3:1-3 & Luke 1:17). He would be a prophet like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:18 w/Acts 3:20-22), and be anointed by the Holy Spirit without measure (Psalm 45:7, Isaiah 11:2-4, Isaiah 61:1-3 w/ John 3:34-36, Matt. 3:16,17, Luke 4:15-19, 43). A Priest after the ‘order of Melchisedek' or an Eternal Priesthood (Psalm 110:4 w/ Hebrews 5:5-10)- as the ‘Servant of the Lord' He was to be a faithful Redeemer for all mankind- the Gentiles as well as the Jews (Gen. 17:5, Isaiah 42:1,6 w/ Matt. 12:18, 21).
His ministry would begin in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1,2 w/ Matt. 4:12-17, 23). He would enter Jerusalem (Zechariah 9:9 w/ Matt. 21:1-10) bringing salvation. He would enter the temple (Gen. 17:5; Haggai 2:7, 9; Malachi 3:1 w/ Matt. 21:12), and His zeal for the Lord is spoken of (Psalm 69:9 w/ John 2:15-17).
He would teach using parables (Psalm 78:2 w/ Matt. 13:34-35) and miracles would characterize his ministry (Isaiah 35:5-6 w/ Matt. 11:4-5, John 11:47). He would be rejected by His brethren (Psalm 69:8 Isaiah 53:3 w/ John 1:11, John 7:5) and be a ‘stumbling stone' and a ‘Rock of offense' to the Jews (Isaiah 8:14 w/ Romans 9:32-33, I Peter 2:7,8).
He would be hated without cause (Psalm 22:6-20; Isaiah 53; Zechariah 12:10; Psalm 69:4; Isaiah 49:7 w/ John 15:18-25; Matt. 2:13; Matt. 26:67,68; Matt. 27:28-44; Mark 8:31; Luke 4:28, 29; Luke 23:5, 10, 11; John 8:37; John 19 entire), rejected by the rulers (Psalm 118:22 w/ Matt. 21:42-46; John 7:48-53), betrayed by an intimate friend (Psalm 41:9 w/ John 13:18, 21), forsaken by His disciples (Zechariah 13:7 w/ Matt. 26:31-56), sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12 w/ Matt. 26:15) and His price would be given for the potter's field (Zechariah 11:13 w/ Matt. 27:7).
He would be struck on the cheek (Micah 5:1 w/ Matt. 27:30), spat upon (Isaiah 50:6 w/ Matt.27:30), mocked (Psalm 22:7-8 w/ Matt. 27:28-31, 39-44) and beaten (Isaiah 50:6 w/ Matt. 26:67; 27:26, 30). His death by crucifixion is described in detail in Psalm 22; and the reason for His death as a substitutionary atonement (paying the price owed by someone else) is given in Isaiah 53. His hands and His feet would be pierced (Psalm 22:16; Zechariah 12:10 w/ John 19:18; John 19:37 & John 27:25). Not a bone of His would be broken in spite of all the torture He endured (Exodus 12:46; Psalm 34:20 w/John 19:33-36). He would suffer thirst (Psalm 22:15 w/ John 19:28) and would be given vinegar to drink (Psalm 69:21 w/ Matt. 27:34).
He would be numbered with transgressors (common criminals) (Isaiah 53:12 w/ Matt. 27:38), and yet His body would be buried with the wealthy (Isaiah 53:9 w/ Matt. 27:57-60) but would not see corruption (Psalm 16:10 w/ Acts 2:31).
He would rise from the dead (Psalm 16:10 w/ Matt. 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20, & Acts 13:33), ascend to the right hand of the throne of GOD (Psalm 68:18 w/ Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9; Psalm 110:1 w/ Hebrews 1:3).
These are but a small percentage of the several hundred prophecies given in the Old Testament Scriptures that correspond with the New Testament record of fulfillment. Let's look closely at what the Lord Jesus as well as His contemporaries ‘testify' about the Messiah who has come.
Jesus said, “ Search the Scriptures; for they are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39). He also said, “Abraham rejoiced to see my day” (John 8:56) and “Moses… wrote of Me” (John 5:46). To demonstrate by His life that that the Old Testament predictions and teachings would find their manifestation in Him- He said in the Sermon on the Mount that He had not ‘…come to destroy the law, or the prophets… but to fulfill them” (Matt. 5:17). See also- John 3:16, 17; 1 John 4:14; Hebrews 10:9.
When He commenced His ministry- reading out of the Scriptures in Isaiah 61:1&2, He paused and said to the intently listening congregation, “This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:16-21). When the Samaritan woman spoke with Jesus at the well she said ”I know that Messiah cometh and when He is come, He will tell us all things.” The Lord Jesus responded, “I that speak unto thee am He” (John 4:25, 26).
Peter received divine revelation of Jesus as the Messiah saying “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living GOD” (Matt. 16:16) and Jesus answered, “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in Heaven … (Matt. 16:17).
He quoted Psalm 110 identifying Himself as ‘Son of David' a Messianic title and confounded the Pharisees of His day when he also proved that David called Him Lord (Matt. 22:41-46) He likewise identified Himself as ‘Son of Man' the Messianic title used in the book of Daniel (Daniel 7:13 w/ Mark 14:62; & Psalm 8). He also accepted the title ‘Son of GOD' as prophesied in the Second Psalm.
Almost everything that Jesus said or did had some correlation with Old Testament prophecy. During the final week of His Life, as He drew closer to the Cross, He said to His disciples, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the Prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished” (Luke 18:31). He said to Peter, who was willing to defend his Master with his sword, and yet denied Him three times when all of Christ's followers were scattered by the mob- “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” (Matt. 26:53, 54). He challenged the soldiers and mob that came to arrest Him saying, “Are you come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take Me? But all this was done that the Scriptures of the Prophets might be fulfilled” (Matt. 26: 55-56).
At His illegal trial when the high priest commanded Him under oath to respond, “Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Jesus answered, “I AM” (Mark 14:60-62). Suffering the torment of the Cross for many hours, the Lord Jesus identified Himself as the One whose hands and feet were to be pierced (Psalm 22:16). He quoted this very Psalm's first verse when He said, “My GOD, My GOD, why hast thou forsaken Me?” Three of the seven sayings that He made while on the Cross were the exact words of Scripture.
After His resurrection from the tomb that could not hold Him, while talking to His two disciples on the road to Emmaus, “He began at Moses and all the Prophets, and expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). He later said to His assembled disciples, “These are the words which I spake unto you… that all things MUST be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in all the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning Me” (Luke 24:44). “The Scriptures cannot be broken” (John 10:35).
The Lord Jesus Christ gave His disciples the key of revelation knowledge after His resurrection- which unlocks all Messianic prophecy in the Old Testament: “And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations” (Luke 24:46-47). He ministered to His followers during the 40 days following His resurrection before His ascension to the right hand of the Father. The Pharisees and religious leaders of His day failed to recognize their Redeemer because they looked for a Messiah who would triumph over their Roman oppressors. They didn't discern that their own Scriptures predicted that Christ must SUFFER for the sins of the people before entering His glory. Peter clearly bears witness with the Holy Spirit's inspiration of the Prophets of the Old Testament who testified of ‘ the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow” (I Peter 1:11).
The Genealogical Records
During Biblical times, every Jewish person could trace his genealogy. The entire population of the nation of Israel could trace their family tree by genealogies. This record constituted the title deed to his property, farm, or home so everyone was very particular in preserving the genealogical records of his or her family. These records were carefully kept until the destruction of the temple and the Jewish state in 70 AD when Titus laid it waste. During the life of Jesus no one could dispute the well known fact that He was of the house and lineage of David, because it was public record that all had access to. Since 70 AD when these records were destroyed no false Messiah can prove that he is the son of David as prophecy requires. In other words , the Messiah prophesied had to come before 70 AD.
His right to the throne of David must come through Solomon's regal line (I Chronicles 28:5; I Chronicles 29:24). But another important specification about the Messiah's lineage is that He must be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:27, 35). Since Messiah must be of the fruit of David's body (Psalm 132:11) this virgin must be a direct descendant of King David. “Hear ye now, Oh House of David… the Lord Himself shall give you a sign (a wonder or miracle); Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His Name Immanuel (GOD with us)” (Isaiah 7: 13,14).
Another critical specification concerning the Messiah, that all understood was that He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). So of all the continents one is chosen, of all the nations Israel is designated, of all the provinces Judea is named; all the cities of Judea are eliminated except for one small village- obscure but to be honored in all history as the birthplace of the Savior of all mankind. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall come forth unto Me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been … from everlasting ” (Micah 5:2). It was clearly understood by those of Christ's day for when the wicked King Herod demanded of the chief priests and the scribes of the people where Christ should be born, they told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet” (Matt. 2:4-6; John 7:42).
Finally, to pinpoint exactly the Messiah, the Time of His coming is also given. He had to come when Jesus was born- all who preceded Him are eliminated, and all who followed are disqualified. His only competitor would be someone of His generation, and since there is no record of consequence- prophecy points exclusively to Him. Why?
I. The Messiah must come before the tribe of Judah lost its identity as a tribe:
“The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet , until Shiloh come ; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be” (Genesis 49:10). The word shebet which is translated scepter signifies a rod or staff which belonged to each of the twelve tribes (the children of Israel), and was an ensign of their authority. Each tribe possessed one unique ‘rod' with its name inscribed on it. Therefore ‘scepter' signifies their tribal identity. This gave them the right to apply and enforce Mosaic law and adjudicate capital offenses (death penalty). The name ‘Shiloh' which means ‘Peace' or ‘One sent' was understood by rabbis and Talmudic authorities as referring to the Messiah.
At the time of Christ although the Romans were in authority over the Jewish people, the Jews had a king of their own, were governed primarily by their own laws, and the Sanhedrin leadership still exercised authority over the affairs of the region. But in a few short years by the time Jesus was twelve years old when he appeared publicly in the temple (Luke 2:41-52), Archelaus, the King of the Jews- was dethroned and banished to Gaul (now Spain). He was replaced by a Roman procurator named Caponius, and the kingdom of Judah, the last remnant of the former greatness of the nation of Israel was consigned into a part of the province of Syria.
The legal power of the Sanhedrin was immediately restricted and the adjudication of capital punishment cases was lost. This transfer of power is mentioned in both the Talmud and by the Jewish historian Josephus (Antiquities). When the members of the Sanhedrin found that their right over life and death had been rescinded, they covered their bodies with sackcloth and their heads with ashes, and cried “Woe unto us for the scepter has departed from Judah and the Messiah has not come”. They actually thought that the Torah, the Word of GOD, had failed! ‘Shiloh' had come... the young stepson of a carpenter was growing up in Nazareth (He is the Son of GOD, not of Joseph).
II. The Messiah must come while the second temple was still intact… still standing.
“And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come : and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former… and in this place will I give peace…” (Haggai 2:7, 9).
This is confirmed by Malachi who said, “The Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple” (Malachi 3:1, 2). These two predictions could not be fulfilled after the destruction of the temple in 70 AD… so if the Messiah came at all, He had to come before the temple was destroyed.
Zechariah 11:13 also requires this because that prophecy speaks of the ‘thirty pieces of silver' that Judas received for betraying the Lord being ‘cast to the potter in the House of the Lord (the temple)'. In His triumphal entry into Jerusalem that we celebrate on Palm Sunday, the crowd proclaimed ‘Hosanna to the Son of David', and then we read that Jesus proceeded to the temple where he cast out the money changers and healed many that were blind and lame there. The children cried in the temple also saying “Hosanna to the Son of David” (Matt 21:16); thus GOD used children to fulfill His prophecy in Psalm 118:26 that the Messiah should be blessed in the House of the Lord.
When Titus came in 70 AD, besieged Jerusalem and then sacked it when the Jews refused to surrender, the entire temple was burned and then taken apart stone by stone because the gold that was in the structure of the temple melted in the intense heat of the flames and ran into the cracks of the marble stones all the way down to the foundation. Jesus had predicted this during his final week before suffering the Cross.
“And Jesus went out and departed from the temple: and His disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? … There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matt. 24:1, 2). Not only was the temple destroyed, but the city of Jerusalem as well, and the Jews were scattered worldwide in the Dispersion. Now over 1900 years later on the old temple site stands a shrine of Islam, the mosque of Omar. Either Jesus is the Messiah or there is no Messiah, no Word of GOD, no objective truth which would mean that all history as well as all of the future is meaningless and without purpose.
III. The book of Daniel reveals something very remarkable about the coming of Christ with respect to the temple. In giving the timetable from his day to the coming of the Messiah, Daniel makes it very clear that Messiah will come and be ‘cut off' (die ) before the “people (Romans) of the prince that shall come, shall destroy the city ( Jerusalem ) and the sanctuary ( the temple )” (Daniel 9:26).
Daniel receives revelation from an angel of GOD that the Messiah must come 483 years after a specific date in Daniel's time. This definitive prophecy as to the exact time of His First Advent is one of the most awesome prophecies in all of Scripture. It establishes the date of time of His Incarnation nearly five centuries before His birth! It states:
“Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. After threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary” (Daniel 9:25, 26).
Note: A score is twenty years in the King James version. When Abraham Lincoln said in the Gettysburg address, “Four score and twenty years ago…” he meant 100 years before his time, the founding fathers “brought forth upon this continent a new nation conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”. This equality was understood to be solely based upon the clear teachings of Scripture and the Doctrine of Christ.
Back to Daniel: The date of the “commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” was the decree by Artaxerxes, the ruler of Babylon where the Jews were in exile, in 444 BC which granted permission to the Jews to return to Israel. (see Nehemiah 2:1-8). The Hebrew word translated ‘weeks' in these verses quoted means ‘sevens' (heptads), and is used for years. (see Leviticus 25:8; Genesis 29:27-28). For clarification- the ‘seventy-sevens' that are prophetically determined upon Israel and on the holy city is a period of 490 years . This period is divided into three sections:
1. Seven ‘weeks' or seven sevens of years- the 49 years the prophet was given for the rebuilding of Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemiah and Ezra and those who went with them (see the books of Nehemiah and Ezra).
2. A second period of 62 ‘weeks' or 434 years which would bring the time to the Coming of the Messiah.
3. The 70 th ‘week'… a period of just seven years that is suspended until the end of the Church Age (will be described in detail in another study).
We will restrict our analysis to the period “from the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” to “Messiah the Prince' or the period of 483 years. Sir Robert Anderson in his book ‘The Coming Prince' figured it out in this fashion:
He starts with March 14, 444 BC, the date of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem; and he ends with Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the official presentation of Messiah the Prince to Israel. (Matt. 21:1-9 w/ Zachariah 9:9). From 444 BC to 32 AD is 476 years; 476 X 365 days/year is 173,740 total days. From March 14 to April 6- the day of Christ's triumphal entry (according to the investigation of noted astronomers) is 24 days, add 116 days for leap years (For a year to be a leap year, it must be exactly divisible by 4, unless the year ends in two zeros- then it must be divisible by 400)… and you get 173,880 days total .
Since the prophetic year of the Bible is always 360 days, the ‘69' sevens of this prophecy in Daniel (69 X 7 X 360) is 173,880 days !!! So the time given by Daniel from the ‘commandment to restore and build Jerusalem' to ‘Messiah the Prince' comes out exactly… to the very day! It is proven true and demonstrates that Jesus of Nazareth is “Messiah the Prince' . He fulfills ALL the specifications as to His lineage, His birthplace, and the time of His birth. Within a generation of Christ's sufferings on the Cross the temple was destroyed, the Jewish priesthood ceased to exist, the sacrifices were no longer offered, the genealogical records of the entire nation were destroyed, their city was destroyed, and the people of Israel were driven out of their land, sold into slavery, and dispersed to the four corners of the world. Since that time it has been completely impossible for a ‘Messiah' to come with proper credentials as the Old Testament demands and as were revealed only in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.
The Preexistence of Jesus Christ as GOD
· The Apostle John- (John 1:1; I John 1:2)
· The Apostle Paul- (Philippians 2:6-8)
· The Apostle Peter- (I Peter 1:20)
· Christ Jesus Himself (John 6:38; John 6:51, 61, 62; John 8:58; John 17:5)
Isaiah 42:8 states, “I am the Lord: that is My Name: and My Glory will I not give to another , neither my praise to graven images.” Since Jesus Christ only spoke truth (since He is the Truth) the fact that He shared in the Glory of the Father in Eternity Past confirms His Deity.
What was the Divine Preexistent Christ (the Word) doing prior to His birth at Bethlehem?
1) He was creating the Universe (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2, 10).
2) He was controlling His creation throughout the Universe (Hebrews 1:3; Col. 1:17).
3) He was in relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit (John 17:23, 24).
The Reasons for the Incarnation
1) To reveal the Invisible GOD (John 1:18; 14:9).
2) To fulfill all 300 Old Testament prophecies concerning the Person of the Messiah (Gen. 3:15, etc…..).
3) To guarantee the Davidic Covenant (Luke 1:31-33).
4) To make a sacrifice for our sin- our fallen state (Heb. 2:9; Heb. 10:4, 5, 10, 12; I John 3:5; Mark 10:45).
5) To reconcile man to GOD (II Cor. 5:19; Heb. 2:17; I Tim. 2:5, 6).
6) To provide an example for believers (I Peter 2:21; I John 2:6).
7) To take His place as our High Priest (Heb. 2:17; Heb. 3:1).
8) To destroy Satan's kingdom (Heb. 2:14; I John 3:8).
9) To break the curse of the Fall on Creation. (Rom. 5:12).
10) To preach Deliverance, Healing, and Salvation- and fulfill it with demonstrations of Spiritual Power.
11) To give abundant life to those who received Him (John 3:36; John 10:10).
12) To glorify the Father (John 13:31, 14:13, 17:4).
The Results of Christ's Atoning Death (Isaiah 53 entire; Psalm 22:1-18)
1) With respect to sinners… Redemption (Ephesians 1:7; Galatians 3:13; Rev. 5:8-12).
2) With respect to saints… Sanctification (Gal. 1:4; Heb. 10:10, 19, 20).
3) With respect to Satan… Destruction (Heb. 2:14; Col. 2:15; I John 3:8; Rev. 12:4-11).
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
· David predicted it (Psalm 16:10).
· Isaiah predicted it (Isaiah 53:9-12).
· Jesus predicted it often…
“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But He answered and said unto them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah: for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. '” (Matt. 12:38-40). See also Matt. 16:21; 17:19, 22, 23; 20:18, 19; 26:32; Luke 9:22; John 2:18-22.
The resurrection was forgotten and doubted by most… all of His followers (Mark 16:1-3; Luke 24:12; John 20:9; 13; Luke 24:9-31).
It was remembered by His enemies the Pharisees:
“Now the next day… the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, ‘Sir, we remember that that deceiver said while He was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He Is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first'. Pilate said unto them, ‘Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.' So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.” (Matt. 27:62-66).
Evidence of the Resurrection
1) The empty Tomb.
2) The revolutionary transformation of His disciples… from cowering in hiding to willing to die horrible deaths as martyrs for their risen Lord.
3) There is no historical record where either the Romans or the Jewish leadership ever refuted Christ's resurrection. There were too many eye witnesses during the 40 days between His coming out of the Tomb and His ascension to the right hand of the Father. Over 500 persons saw Him taken up to Glory in a cloud (Acts 1:6-11).
4) The birth and explosive growth of the Church.
The Importance of the Resurrection (I Cor. 15:12-19; Luke 24:39-48; John 20:27; 21:12,13)
1) In relation to the Believer – Eternal Blessings
· Our Justification (Rom. 4:25).
· Power and strength for daily living (Eph. 1:18-2:10).
· Fruitful labor (I Cor. 15:58).
· The Promise of our own Resurrection ( I Cor. 15:42-44; II Cor. 4:14).
2) With respect to our Savior-
· It is the mark of His Deity (Rom. 1:4; Acts 10:40).
· It initiated His exaltation (Acts 5:30, 31; Phil. 2:9-11)
· It marks the beginning of His Headship over the Church (Eph. 1:19-23).
3) With respect to sinners- it warns of a coming Judgment Day (Acts 17:31).
4) With respect to Satan- it seals his doom forever (Heb. 2:14; Rev. 20:10).
5) In relationship to the Sabbath: It transfers the Worship Day from Saturday to Sunday (Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:2; Heb. 7:12).
6) The symbol of the Resurrection: Baptism (Rom. 6:3-11; Col. 2:11-13).
Scriptures regarding The Present Ministry of Christ Jesus
(Rom. 8:34; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3, Heb. 8:1; 10:12, 12; 12:2; I Peter 3:22)
The Purpose of the Ascension
1) To prepare a place for us with Him in Heaven (John 14:1-3).
2) To give His followers Spiritual Gifts (Ephesians 4:10-32).
3) To encourage His believers (Heb. 4:14-16; 7:25; 9:24; 12:1-3;I John 1:1:9; 2:1) 12:10).
4) To send the Holy Spirit as our Comforter and Indwelling Presence of GOD (John 16).
5) To work through His people (John 14:12)
6) To wait until His enemies become His footstool (Heb. 10:12, 13)
It should be understood that Christ is the Head of His Body which is the Church walking in Resurrection Power, and as the Lord Jesus has taken His seat at the right hand of the Father, we His Spirit-filled Anointed Army are to appropriate the Promise …“And the GOD of peace shall crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen” (Romans 16:20).
He is Coming Again! (I Thess. 4:13-18; II Thess. 2:1-17; I Cor. 15:51-58…
also compare Matthew Chapter 24 with Revelation Chapters 6 & 7).
To reiterate: In the brief earthly life of Jesus (33 ½ years) alone do we see over 300 fulfilled prophecies. The odds that these would all coincide by accident in one person are laughable. By the laws of chance, the conservative odds of even just 48 of those prophecies being fulfilled by one man are one in 10 157 (which is the number 1 followed by 157 zeros!!!) Let's imagine how immense that number is:
Let's take a very small object, say an electron (Electrons are so small that if you lined them up, it would take 2 ½ quadrillion of them to equal one inch ). Our figure of 1 followed by 157 zeros… if we had that many electrons in a big pile, it would be 10,000,000,000 times larger than the universe as we know it which scientists calculate to be about 15 billion light years across. (A light-year is the distance that light will travel in one year, moving at the speed of 186,000 miles per second).
Now if we took just one electron out painted it red, stirred back into the pile with all the rest for a 100,000 years… then had a blind folded person pick it out of the pile—the first time! Impossible? These would be the same odds that one man would live and die according to only 48 of the most obvious prophecies about the Messiah fulfilled in Christ Jesus . No other conclusion can any sane person make but that the Bible is Truth and Jesus Christ is GOD Incarnate who came and fulfilled the mission that He had from the foundation of the world… to redeem a fallen race, and open access to Heaven for all who freely come and drink of the water of Life (I Peter 1:19, 20; John 7:37, 38).
How can you be Saved?
REPENT of all known sin… have you broken any or all of the commandments of GOD?… If you've broken just one, you've broken them all… for the Law is One; and a schoolmaster to lead us to Christ (Galatians 3:24).
Ask the Father in the name of Jesus to forgive you, cleanse you with the Blood of Our Lord, and impart to you the Indwelling Presence of His Holy Spirit who will empower you to walk in victory in this Life. Then get a good Bible (there are many good versions available today… KJV, NKJV, NASB, NLT, Amplified, & Philip's NT) and read it daily, staying in the New Testament until you know our Lord well, and then consume the whole Counsel of GOD (OT & NT). Join a local church where Jesus Christ is worshipped, the Scriptures believed, and systematically taught. May Christ be formed in you… (Gal. 4:19)..… contributed by Santos Garcia, Jr. & Randy Nein… Love, in HIM.
(See reference listing and acknowledgments).
“ Wilmington's Guide to the Bible ” by Dr. H.L. Wilmington; Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. ã 1981
“ The Messiah According to Bible Prophecy ” by Tony Alamo ã 1990“ The Holy Bible- Wholly True ” a tract by Winkie Pratney, Pretty Good Printing ã 1979, Revised 1985.