Foreshadowing Messiah Part 2

         Today we’re continuing our series, Foreshadowing Messiah, and acknowledging that we have a promise keeping God who has never, ever broken a promise. Amen! Scripture records over 7,400 promises God has made to humanity, and other than the smaller percentage that have not been met yet, each and every promise has been kept! God is a faithful to keep his promises, unlike so many people we may know.

         It reminds me of a politician. We all expect politicians to break their promises, but some are just bold-faced lies. For instance, a politician visited a small town and asked what their needs were.

“We have 2 basic needs sir,” replied the councilman. “Firstly, we have a hospital, but there’s no doctor.” On hearing this, the politician whipped out his cellphone, and after speaking for a while he reassured the town council that the doctor would be there the next day. He then asked about the second problem. “Secondly sir, there is no cellphone coverage anywhere in this village.”

         God doesn’t break his promises.

1 Samuel 15:29 says,

The Preeminent One of Israel does not go back on his word or change his mind, for he is not a human being who changes his mind.”

Numbers 23:19 says,

God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a human being, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not make it happen?

God has made his promises and kept them. When we look at predictive prophecy, we can look at those prophecies as promises of what will happen and throughout scripture, we find that when God has told a prophet to speak; it has happened as God said it would. If it hasn’t, it simply hasn’t happened yet. Of the 1,817 prophecies recorded in scripture, all have come true except those that haven’t happened yet. Those prophecies yet to happen, largely have to do with the end-times or with Messiah himself when he returns at the end of the age as Jesus promised. For a couple hundred years, liberal scholars and pastors have tried to remove the miraculous from scripture. Especially the fulfillment of prophecy… Why? Because prophecy is the stamp of authenticity on God’s great masterpiece of scripture. If the Bible is truly written by Holy Spirit as it claims to be, if it is truly God-breathed with the life of God flowing through every word, then twisting it, corrupting it, denying it, and using it to justify, condone, and openly approve of sin in the lives of believers could almost be judged by God as blaspheming the very Holy Spirit that wrote every word. Praise God, he is the judge. However, as you know, I take teaching and preaching the Word of God very seriously. The more evidence and ancient documents we discover, like the Dead Sea Scrolls so many years ago, the more proof we have of how God has guarded the transmission of scripture down through the ages. The more we can see; the Bible is truly miraculous in nature.

         The over 300 prophecies concerning the life, ministry, death, burial, resurrection, and second coming of the Messiah are proof of the identity of Yeshua bin Yoseph ‘al Nazereth. The man we know as Jesus the Christ, the Holy Son of the one true and living Creator God and Father. Last time, we looked at the books Holy Spirit inspired Moses to write and the prophecies they contain regarding the identity of the Messiah. We looked at how those prophecies are fulfilled in the New Testament scriptures talking about Jesus. Today, we are going to look more closely how Job foreshadowed the coming Messiah, at the promises made to Israel through Samuel the prophet, and the some of the Psalms written by David and others describing Messiah in more detail.

         Four different places in the book of Job, Holy Spirit foreshadows the coming of the Messiah as the story of Job’s tribulation and the attacks by the Adversary, Satan, commence. We have to remember, Job nor his friends nor wife, can see the scenes of what is happening in heaven. Yet, we find passages that directly foreshadow who Messiah is and the coming of the Messiah.

Job 9:32-35

For he is not a human being like I am, that I might answer him, that we might come together in judgment. Nor is there an arbiter between us, who might lay his hand on us both, who would take his rod away from me so that his terror would not make me afraid. Then would I speak and not fear him, but it is not so with me.

Job is crying out that he doesn’t have an arbiter or other translations say mediator, but Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:5-6,

For there is one God and one intermediary between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as a ransom for all, revealing God’s purpose at his appointed time.

Job foreshadows Messiah, Paul shows us how Jesus fulfilled that role for all of humanity.

Job 16:19-21 says,

Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; and he contends with God on behalf of man as a man pleads for his friend.

Jesus tells his apostles in the Garden when teaching on the indwelling Holy Spirit’s presence and purpose in John 14:15-17 and then John 15:26-27,

“If you love me, you will obey my commandments. Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides with you and will be in you.

Jesus saying that God the Father will give another Advocate, or comforter, or helper implies that Jesus himself is the first Advocate. Continuing to teach on Holy Spirit, Jesus says again in John 15.

When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father – the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – he will testify about me, 27 and you also will testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.

In Job 19:23-27 he cries out for a Redeemer; Job 33-23-28 he is again asking for a Mediator, and then we find Jesus. We have no idea who Holy Spirit used to write the book of Job, scholars believe Job would have lived before the flood, but we don’t know. What we do know is in James 5:10-11 the believers are told,

As an example of suffering and patience, brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name. Think of how we regard as blessed those who have endured. You have heard of Job’s endurance and you have seen the Lord’s purpose, that the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

While scholars would have us doubt whether Job truly lived or not, James certainly uses what those believers know about Holy Spirit’s testimony of Job to instruct them on perseverance, the Lord’s purpose, compassion, and mercy. How then can we choose to throw out those lessons, or how Job had foreshadowed the coming Messiah?

         The books recording the history Samuel and David also give us more information concerning the coming Messiah. In 1 Samuel 2:1-10, Hannah describes the LORD, the Adonai, in her prayer of thanksgiving concerning the birth of her son Samuel, and in this prayer she is also foreshadowing the Messiah. She says,

“My heart rejoices in the Lord;

my horn is exalted high because of the Lord.

I loudly denounce my enemies,

for I am happy that you delivered me.

2 No one is holy like the Lord!

There is no one other than you!

There is no rock like our God!

3 Don’t keep speaking so arrogantly,

letting proud talk come out of your mouth!

For the Lord is a God who knows;

he evaluates what people do.

4 The bows of warriors are shattered,

but those who stumble find their strength reinforced.

5 Those who are well-fed hire themselves out to earn food,

but the hungry no longer lack.

Even the barren woman gives birth to seven,

but the one with many children withers away.

6 The Lord both kills and gives life;

he brings down to the grave and raises up.

7 The Lord impoverishes and makes wealthy;

he humbles and he exalts.

8 He lifts the weak from the dust;

he raises the poor from the ash heap

to seat them with princes

and to bestow on them an honored position.

The foundations of the earth belong to the Lord,

and he has placed the world on them.

9 He watches over his holy ones,

but the wicked are made speechless in the darkness,

for it is not by one’s own strength that one prevails.

10 The Lord shatters his adversaries;

he thunders against them from the heavens.

The Lord executes judgment to the ends of the earth.

He will strengthen his king

and exalt the power of his anointed one.”

 and then in verse 35 when God condemns the house of Eli he tells him,

Then I will raise up for myself a faithful priest. He will do what is in my heart and soul. I will build for him a secure dynasty and he will serve my chosen one for all time.

2 Samuel 7, God makes a series of promises to David within those promises we find foreshadowing of the Messiah to come from the line of David, picking up in verse 11 we read,

The Lord declares to you that he himself will build a dynastic house for you. When the time comes for you to die, I will raise up your descendant, one of your own sons, to succeed you, and I will establish his kingdom. He will build a house for my name, and I will make his dynasty permanent. I will become his father and he will become my son. When he sins, I will correct him with the rod of men and with wounds inflicted by human beings.  But my loyal love will not be removed from him as I removed it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will stand before me permanently; your dynasty will be permanent.’”  Nathan told David all these words that were revealed to him.

In Matthew 1 and then in other New Testament passages, Jesus is described as coming from the house of David, Jesus the everlasting King, and Jesus on the throne of David.

         When we jump into the Psalms, we find so much more describing the Messiah to come, all written 500 to 1,000 years or more before Jesus ever lived.

In Psalm 2 Messiah is declared to be God, a conqueror, an enthroned ruler ; we find all those themes throughout the New Testament, and in Matthew 3:17 we find God himself claiming Jesus as his one and only Son. Psalm 16:10 and Psalm 49:15 speak of the resurrection that we find record of in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20, and even referenced in passing in the histories of Josephus a Jewish historian in Roman. Psalm 68:18 speaks of Jesus ascension that we find in Ephesians 4:8 and Acts 1. Psalm 22 describes the scorn and ridicule that Jesus went through, even describes his clothes being gambled away. We find those recounted for us in Luke 23:35 and Matthew 27:35. Psalms 34:20 refers to Messiah having no broken bones that is later described in John 19. Psalm 35 describes how false witnesses will testify against Messiah recorded about Jesus in Mark 14:57, and he’ll be hated for no reason as Jesus himself says about himself and his disciples in John 15:24-25. In Luke 22:47-48 the prediction of Messiah being betrayed by a friend is fulfilled; that prediction was made in Psalm 41:9. In Psalm 109:4 it is predicted Messiah will pray for his enemies, and we find Jesus doing that in Luke 23:34. And Psalm 110:4 describes the coming Messiah as being a priest like Melchizedek that the writer of Hebrews describes for us in Hebrews chapter 5.

         But one of the most important predictive prophecies of Messiah I believe is in Psalm 118. The entire Psalm is a description of the coming Messiah, but three times in the Gospels and three other times in New Testament we find Psalm 118:22. It reads,

The stone which the builders discarded has become the cornerstone.

Jesus himself quotes it as recorded in Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, and Luke 20:17; after telling the pharisees and other religious leaders the parable of the tenants who kill the land owner’s son because they do not want to send their portion of the crops to him; the religious leaders realize we are told Jesus was talking about himself and them. That he was the landowner (God’s) Son, and they were going to reject and kill him.

         Jesus is the cornerstone. Not only do we see it here in Psalm 118, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Zechariah 10:4, Isaiah 28:16, Jeremiah 51:26 all foreshadows and prophesies it of the coming Messiah. Peter says it in Acts 4:11 and again in 1 Peter 2:6-7, Paul calls Jesus the cornerstone in Ephesians 2:20. The Messiah who was promised. The Messiah who was prophesied. The Messiah talked about for thousands of years. The Messiah Holy Spirit wrote about for over 1,500 years. Jesus, our Messiah who came, our Messiah who lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death, rose again to bring us into new life, and give us the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith, the foundation of all that we believe, and who without; our faith is useless.

         The evidence is overwhelming but just like those who lived while he lived and should have recognized his coming; he is rejected and scorned by those who live today. The scriptures are scoffed at as mere fairy tales and myths. Their miraculous nature is denied. But as those who believe, our lives should be a living testimony to the truth. We shouldn’t live in fear of proclaiming the name of Jesus. We should stand firm on the inspiration and authority of scripture. Holy Spirit wrote it for them then and for us now to learn to live by, for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness as 2 Timothy 3:16 says. Our Messiah came as prophesied.

Foreshadowing Messiah Part 1

Foreshadowing Messiah

Our Promise Keeping God Pt. 1

         Do you know someone who throws around the word “promise” for everything, and probably rarely keeps those “promises”? I promise I’ll wash those dishes before bed, then doesn’t. I promise I’ll send you a check, then doesn’t. I promise I’ll pay you back, then doesn’t. I promise I’m telling you the truth, and isn’t? In our language, the word “promise” ends up being a lot like the word “love”. Although love has even more potential definitions, in English, promise can be defined in 13 different ways, and I would say it’s used far too frequently. Especially when people really don’t mean what they say…

The Bible is full of promises. Victor Knowles of Pepperdine University found throughout the Old and New Testaments there are 8,810 promises recorded; 7,487 of those promises recorded are promises that God has made to humanity. In addition to promises made and kept, J. Barton Payne’s Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy lists 1,239 prophecies in the Old Testament and 578 prophecies in the New Testament, for a total of 1,817. We can easily think of prophecies as promises God has made through his prophets predicting future events. Proof of an all-powerful Creator God and loving Father who will step into the natural world he created to do miraculous things that are scientifically impossible by human standards.

Over the last 200 years or so, liberal theologians have been trying to take the miraculous out of scripture. They deny that inspiration of the scripture as the very words that God wants his people to hear and read. They say modern enlightened humanity cannot accept the miraculous and it is all superstitious nonsense made up to convince the ignorant, uncultured, and uneducated to follow the precepts of the Bible. These are church leaders and scholars with Pastor, Reverend, and Doctor before their names. People whose opinions and false teaching bear a lot of weight with some denominations, within universities and seminaries, and develop belief systems. They deny when the biblical passages were written and what they meant, deny the deity of Christ, that Jesus was truly God in the flesh, they deny prophecies that predict his coming, deny that Jesus bodily rose from the grave, deny the very fundamentals of biblical Christianity while still claiming to be Christian.

Peter said in 2 Peter 1:20-21,

‘Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.’ 2 Peter 1:20-21

These people would deny this statement for the Holy Spirit could not carry along anyone. Scripture is not inspired and authoritative. Jesus was not born of a virgin overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, the blameless, righteous, sinless, spotless, Son of God who is the only acceptable atoning sacrifice on behalf of sinful man before a perfect God. Jesus was a great teacher and a fully God-conscious man, but he was not God in the flesh. Jesus may have been crucified and buried, but he did not physically rise from the grave. Only the spirit of Jesus still lives today, he did not bodily rise to heaven after appearing to and teaching his disciples for 40 days. Those are all just made-up stories, not miracles.

If we disregard the inspiration and authority of scripture, we might as well throw the Bible away completely. If we don’t believe that God has made 7,487 promises to humanity and hasn’t been keeping his promises, what is the point of faith? If we deny the miraculous and toss out the 1,817 predictive prophecies God has made, including over 300 having to do with the plan God had for the coming Messiah, how can we stand firm on the Solid Rock of our foundational belief in the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus, who is God’s anointed Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the one true and living God.

Jesus was not just a good man, a great teacher, a moral leader, or even a fully god-conscious man. Jesus is the Adonai, the LORD, the eternal Son who existed from before the beginning, was involved in creation, the living Word, the light of the world, the cornerstone and capstone of our faith, the Head of the Body of the Church, and the fulfillment of the predictions and prophecies of his coming are not only a part of the fingerprint that identifies who he truly is; they are also offer proof of who God is and what he has been doing for humanity from the beginning.

Over the coming weeks, we are going to be looking at some of the prophecies and passages foreshadowing the coming Messiah. The passages and prophecies that the Hebrews would have know and been expectantly looking for before the birth of Jesus. The passages and prophecies that are evidence that we have a promise keeping God, who has never broken a promise or failed to keep his covenant with his people.

God told his people through Moses in Deuteronomy 18:21-22,

‘Now if you say to yourselves, ‘How can we tell that a message is not from the Lord ?’ – whenever a prophet speaks in my name and the prediction is not fulfilled, then I have not spoken it; the prophet has presumed to speak it, so you need not fear him.”’

Unfulfilled predictions made in the name of God are a stamp that God did not speak. Unlike Nostradamus and any other oracle, unlike weatherman trying to forecast, every prophecy spoken by God and recorded in scripture has come true as predicted, except for those yet to happen. There are still prophecies from both the Old and New Testaments yet to be fulfilled. But for the coming weeks, starting with the writings of Moses beginning in Genesis, we are going to look at Messianic passages and prophecies and compare them to the life and ministry of Jesus. Why? Because we have a promise keeping God, and our mission is to develop disciples. With a world that denies the existence of God, with denominations that deny the inspiration and miraculous nature of scripture, with theologians and scholars who claim to be Christian trying to change the very nature of the faith we profess; we need to be ready to strengthen our own spirit against such attacks based on the truth and offer hope to those who have none or are looking for answers when even their own churches are feeding them lies.

We are going to start in the beginning, with the creation of mankind and the birth of sin in our world, all the way back to the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve. In Genesis chapter three, serpent starts his discourse to deceive Eve by asking, “Is it really true that God said…?” This same question is used as justification for nearly every willfully sinful act Christians make today, does the Bible really say? Or did God really mean that when it was written? Or the Bible says, BUT… The serpent asks, “Did God really say?” And as a result of following her own desires and lead by the lies of the enemy, Eve ate of the fruit and then gave some to her husband, her husband who should have stepped in and defended her, her husband who was not deceived as Eve was, but instead followed his wife’s lead rather than standing up for what God said, ate as well. And sin came into the world. Then we have the first foreshadowing of the coming Messiah the Redeemer who will defeat sin and death. Genesis 3:14-15 says,

‘The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the wild beasts and all the living creatures of the field! On your belly you will crawl and dust you will eat all the days of your life. And I will put hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring; her offspring will attack your head, and you will attack her offspring’s heel.”’

You may have heard it as, ‘And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”’

In Galatians 4:4-5, Paul explains that Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophecy. Paul said,

‘But when the appropriate time had come, God sent out his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we may be adopted as sons with full rights. ‘

Galatians 4:4-5

Jesus is the promised offspring, the promised seed of the woman who came in response to sin to redeem humanity. From the very beginning of time, God has been planning to redeem his creation.

         Starting in Genesis 9 and jumping into Genesis 12 we read,

‘He also said, “Worthy of praise is the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem! May God enlarge Japheth’s territory and numbers! May he live in the tents of Shem and may Canaan be his slave!”’

Genesis 9:26-27

The Hebrews would have considered this passage a foreshadowing of the coming Messiah to abide with, or live in the tents of, his people through the line of Shem. From the line of Noah through Shem, one of Shem’s descendants is Abram, later know as Abraham. God made a covenant with Abram in Genesis 12, we read,

‘Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go out from your country, your relatives, and your father’s household to the land that I will show you. Then I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great, so that you will exemplify divine blessing. I will bless those who bless you, but the one who treats you lightly I must curse, and all the families of the earth will bless one another by your name.”’

Genesis 12:1-3

In Matthew 1:1 we read,

‘This is the record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.’

John 1:14 says,

‘Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father. ‘

Jesus in John 14 and John in 1 John 2 both use the language of abiding and remaining, living with and in that we find of God living in the tents of or abiding with the family of Shem and from the line of Abraham. Jesus is the fulfillment of these prophesies and promises of God. The fulfillment of the First Covenant with Abraham.

         Listen to these other passages of scripture foreshadowing our Messiah…

Genesis 49:10

‘The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs; the nations will obey him.’

Numbers 24:15-19

‘Then he uttered this oracle: “The oracle of Balaam son of Beor; the oracle of the man whose eyes are open; the oracle of the one who hears the words of God, and who knows the knowledge of the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, although falling flat on the ground with eyes open: ‘I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not close at hand. A star will march forth out of Jacob, and a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the skulls of Moab, and the heads of all the sons of Sheth. Edom will be a possession, Seir, his enemies, will also be a possession; but Israel will act valiantly. A ruler will be established from Jacob; he will destroy the remains of the city.’”’

Balaam wasn’t even a Hebrew prophet, but he prophesied the coming Messiah. In Luke 3:33-34 we can find the evidence of Jesus being from the line of Isaac and the tribe of Judah, Matthew 1:1-14 confirms Jesus lineage as well from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and down through Judah. All predicted 1,500 years in advance when Moses was writing recounting the history of the Hebrew people and foreshadowing the coming Messiah, then we find Moses making this prediction.

Deuteronomy 18:15,17-19

‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you – from your fellow Israelites; you must listen to him. The Lord then said to me, “What they have said is good. I will raise up a prophet like you for them from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth and he will speak to them whatever I command. I will personally hold responsible anyone who then pays no attention to the words that prophet speaks in my name.’

Peter addressed the crowds in Jerusalem saying in Acts 3:18-26,

‘But the things God foretold long ago through all the prophets – that his Christ would suffer – he has fulfilled in this way. Therefore repent and turn back so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and so that he may send the Messiah appointed for you – that is, Jesus. This one heaven must receive until the time all things are restored, which God declared from times long ago through his holy prophets. Moses said, ‘ The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must obey him in everything he tells you . Every person who does not obey that prophet will be destroyed and thus removed from the people .’ And all the prophets, from Samuel and those who followed him, have spoken about and announced these days. You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed.’ God raised up his servant and sent him first to you, to bless you by turning each one of you from your iniquities.”’

We have a promise keeping God! We have a God who has given us his word, written hundreds and hundreds of years in advance of the days of fulfillment. We have scrolls dating years before the birth of the Messiah telling of his arrival and historical records proving his life, death, and resurrection. No other religion or belief system on Earth has the evidence and providence that foundational, fundamental, biblical Christianity does. But we are fallen people, in a fallen world, who don’t want to have to live by the objective standards got has set. So we justify and deny them instead of conforming our lives into his image through the power of indwelling Holy Spirit.