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The Wednesday Word: Ten Prophesies Fulfilled

August 29, 2018 4 comments

It is said there are more than 300 prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament. Fulfilled prophesies are one of the great proofs that the Bible is God’s word. Here are but ten of them.

1 Betrayed by a friend. About 1000 years before it transpired, Psalm 41:9 prophesied the betrayal of Christ, “My own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, who did eat of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” This prophecy was fulfilled in Mark 14:10 -11 when Judas betrayed the Master.

Coincidence or fulfilled prophesy?

2. Sold for thirty pieces of silver. About 500 years before it happened, Zechariah prophesied that Jesus would be sold for thirty pieces of silver (Zec 11:12). “Matthew 26:15 confirms that Judas was paid thirty pieces of silver, the price of a slave (Exodus 21:32), to betray Jesus.

Coincidence or fulfilled prophesy?

3. Silent when accused. About 700 years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah the prophet wrote of Him that “He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, so he opened his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7). Instead of trying to plead innocent, the prophet tells us Jesus remained silent when He was given a chance to defend Himself (Matthew 26:63).

Coincidence or fulfilled prophesy?

4. Slapped and spit upon. Isaiah again gives, as it were, an eyewitness account of the brutal treatment of Christ. “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. Isaiah 50:6.

Mark 14:65 confirms that the Roman soldiers began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants struck him with the palms of their hands. What Isaiah wrote 700 years earlier had come true!

Coincidence or fulfilled prophesy?

5. Hands and feet pierced. 1000 years before the crucifixion and 600 years before it (crucifixion) was invented, David prophetically declares the scene at the cross. He writes, “For dogs (Gentiles) have surrounded me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet (Psalm 22:16).

Coincidence or fulfilled prophesy?

6. Mocked and insulted. “All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him (Psalm 22:6-8).

And this is exactly what happened 1000 years or so later. Matthew 27: 39-40 informs us that the people watching the crucifixion yelled insults at Jesus. They mockingly demanded that if He was really the Son of God to call on His Father to rescue Him.

Coincidence or fulfilled prophesy?

7. Soldiers cast lots for his garment. “They part my garments among them and cast lots upon my vesture” Psalm 22:18. According to Mark 15:24, this is precisely what transpired.

Coincidence or fulfilled prophesy?

8. Not a bone is broken. About 1000 years before Jesus, David prophesied of Christ saying, “He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken” Psalm 34:20.

John 19:33 records that the Roman soldiers broke the legs of the two thieves on either side, but when they came to Jesus, He was already dead, so they didn’t break His legs. This also points us to the Passover Lamb. Numbers 9:12 insists that as our Passover Lamb, none of Jesus’ bones were to be broken.

Coincidence or fulfilled prophesy?

. 9. Buried in a rich man’s grave. 700 years before it happened, it was prophesied that Jesus was to be buried in a rich man’s grave (Isaiah 53:9). It is, therefore, of no surprise that a wealthy man, Joseph of Arimathea, buried Jesus in his own, newly carved tomb (Matthew 27:57-60).

Coincidence or fulfilled prophesy?

10. His resurrection! Again, 1000 years before it happened Christ resurrection was prophesied. We read of this event when it says, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (the grave); neither will You allow your Holy One to see corruption (Psalm 16:10).

Jesus died and was buried, but, as prophesied, He wasn’t abandoned to the grave, and His body didn’t decay. According to Matthew 28:9, He came out of the grave, and He is alive forevermore!

These are but a few proofs that Jesus is who He says He is. He is the Lord God from Heaven come to seek and to save.

Trust Him as your sin-bearer and Saviour and you will never perish.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Lord Jesus often argued according to the principles of sound reasoning from prophecy and the conformity of the event to the prediction

Arthur PinkThe Lord Jesus often argued, both with His disciples and with His adversaries, as with rational men, according to the principles of sound reasoning He did so from prophecy and the conformity of the event to the prediction (Luke 24:25, 26; John 5:39, 46). He did so from the miracles which He performed (John 10:25, 37, 38; 14:10, 11) as being incontrovertible evidence that He was sent of God, and reproved His despisers for failing to identify Him as the Messiah. His

“Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time? Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?” (Luke 12:56, 57)

was a direct and scathing rebuke because—on its lowest ground—they had failed to use properly their reasoning powers, as Nicodemus did:

“We know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with him” (John 3:2).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 2-Part 3-Chapter 2-A Manual For Godly Living

CHAPTER 2-A MANUAL FOR GODLY LIVING (Exposition of Romans Chapter 12)

If one should select a portion of Scripture as a manual or guide to Christian living, surely he could do no better than to turn to the closing chapters of Romans. Here we have the Christian’s duty in various relations of life. In this chapter we shall attempt an exposition of Romans 12.

We now enter what is called the practical part of Paul’s letter to the Romans. If the doctrinal portion of Romans is distasteful, the practical portion will be even more so. He who despises the mercies of God will rebel at the commands of God. Practical Christianity must rest upon doctrinal Christianity. You cannot divorce doctrine from life. As G. Campbell Morgan puts it: “You cannot grow the tulips of the kingdom of God unless you get the bulbs from heaven.” A man’s conduct is the fruit of what he believes. The flower of a godly life has its roots deep in the soil of experienced grace.

Paul, after giving us the greatest of all expositions of the grace and mercy of God; gives vent to his feeling of adoring wonder at the ways of God: and follows with an exhortation to becoming conduct on the part of those who can follow him in the gracious experiences of the mercies of God.

1. PAUL’S GREAT APPEAL (1, 2). Observe,

1a) HE BESEECHES. He does not command like Moses who gave the law. The Christian minister cannot give orders nor compel; he can only get things done by beseeching. A Christian hierarchy, whether in the form of a Baptist Board, or a Methodist Bishop, or a Roman Catholic Pope is contrary to the very norm of New Testament Christianity.

1b) HE BESEECHES BY THE MERCIES OF GOD. This is the greatest argument for a consecrated life. Paul wants the mercies of God to be realized and bear fruit to the glory of God. The highest and purest of all human motives is to act out of appreciation for the mercies of God.

1c) PAUL BESEECHES THE BRETHREN. Exhortation is ministry to the saints. He is not appealing to the sinner, but to those who have an experience of grace and mercy.

1d) HE BESEECHES THEM TO PRESENT THEIR BODIES TO GOD. The believer’s body is to be a living sacrifice in contrast to dead animals offered under the law. It is not to obtain but to acknowledge the blessing of salvation. It is a sacrifice of praise. The body is to be a holy sacrifice. Under the law the animals offered in sacrifice had to be ceremonially clean and physically sound; under grace the human body must be morally clean. A whiskey-soaked body is a filthy sacrifice. The sacrifice must be pleasing to God. It is not man nor even the church that we must please but God. Consecration is primarily to God and not to a cause or a work. One may be consecrated to a good work and yet scarcely ever think of God. Everything is to be done as unto the Lord. The sacrifice of the believer constitutes his “reasonable service.” The Greek word for reasonable is logikos, and is variously translated reasonable, intelligent, rational, spiritual, etc. The word is found in one other place in the Greek New Testament. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (#1Pe 2:2) and is translated by the phrase “of the word.” It comes from the same root as logos, which means word. The believer’s service to God must be regulated by the word of God. This is most important, for one may be busy in doing what God has not commanded, and in the way God has not commanded; yea, one may be doing what God has forbidden.

1e) HE BESEECHES BELIEVERS TO BE DIFFERENT. “And be not conformed to this world.” World here means the inhabitants of the world morally considered. The world is bad; it lies in the lap of the Wicked One. “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (#1Joh 5:19). The devil is its god. He has dominion over it. The world is self-centered and Satan—controlled. The believer is not to agree with it, or be like it. He must not fall in with the world in its thinking and doing. He must think and do according to the Word of God.

1f) “BUT BE YE TRANSFORMED”. The Greek is “metamorphoo,” and means a change in appearance. It is the word used for the transfiguration of Christ. In our text it denotes a moral change, to be effected by the renewal of the mind. A change of mind-new thoughts and new ideals-is wrought in regeneration, and this change must be renewed and deepened. Outward transformation must begin in the mind and heart. If a man’s conduct is to be right his thinking must be right. In this way the believer will know “what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God,” and be able to demonstrate it in his every day life. Believers are God’s demonstrators, we are to demonstrate the fact and worth of God in human life. The commercial world uses this method in making sales. The car salesman will put you into his car and behind the wheel to demonstrate its speed and riding comfort. The refrigerator man will put a refrigerator in your home on trial to let you see its freezing qualities. In this day of keen competition many things are sold in trial. It is a solemn and pertinent question the believer should put to himself; what kind of a demonstrator am I for Jesus Christ Whom I profess to trust and love and obey? What impression does my life make on others?

2. SPECIAL DUTIES BASED ON SPECIFIC GIFTS (3-8).

2a) Have a just estimate of your gift. There are different measures of faith—do not think you know it all—do not act as if you are the “whole cheese”. Think soberly about yourself and your abilities. Do not be intoxicated with conceit. Recognize the gifts of others. Be humble.

2b) We are many members in one body. Every church (local assembly) is a body of Christ likened to the human body. Each member has his own gift and place in the body, and what he does affects the whole body. Each member of the church ought to be dear to every other member.

2c) Each member must exercise his own gift. It is not a natural talent, but a gift sovereignly bestowed by the Holy Spirit. There are seven of these gifts here enumberated:

2c1) PROPHECY. The Spirit given ability to utter Divine truth. It strictly signifies the foretelling of future events, but seems to have a wider sense in the New Testament, including the gift of explaining the Scriptures. It is forthtelling as well as foretelling. There are no foretellers since the New Testament was completed. We have in the Bible all the truth we need for our spiritual good.

2c2) MINISTRY. The Greek word means service, and is used in a wide sense. It is used of Christ in #Ro 15:8 “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:” , of Phoebe in #Ro 16:1 “I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:”; of the office of deacon in “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:” (#Php 1:1), “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre” (#1Ti 3:8). In our text it does not seem to refer to an office, but to practical service in the church without naming the particular service. Every member is to render some service.

2c3) TEACHING. The ability to teach God’s word is a gift of the Spirit. It is a gift the pastor or bishop must have “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach” (#1Ti 3:2). A mere exhorter should never be made a bishop, that is, a pastor.

2c4) EXHORTATION. This means to excite to duty and dissuade from sin and requires a peculiar talent—a gift of the Spirit. It is not an office. We need laymen in our churches with the gift of exhortation —men who can arouse the brethren to greater activity; to be more than seat warmers. The exhortation of a Godly layman seems to have more effect than that of the pastor.

2c5) GIVING. Giving is both a duty and a grace “Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia” (#2Co 8:1). Giving is the duty of all and a gift of grace bestowed upon some. Where this grace is exercised there will be large gifts for the work of the church. Let large givers give without fanfare or ostention.

2c6) RULING. The Greek word means “to go before,” or “to take the lead”. It is used of the bishop (pastor) in “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;” (#1Ti 3:4): “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine” (#1Ti 5:17). As a leader the pastor must be zealous and diligent. The pastorate is no place for a lazy man.

2c7) SHOWING MERCY. The gift of aiding the needy and of forgiving an enemy. And this must be done cheerfully and eagerly and sincerely. Gill thinks the last three gifts: giving, ruling, and showing mercy, relate to different branches of the deacon’s office. Perhaps so.

3. GENERAL DUTIES BASED UPON SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIPS (9-16).

#Ro 12:9. Love is to be sincere—without hypocrisy. Feigned love is disguised hate. “Abhorring evil.” It is not enough to cease from doing wrong; sin must be hated. “Cleaving to the good.” The Christian is not a mere negation; there is a positive side to his character. While hating evil he must love and hold fast to that which is good.

#Ro 12:10. We are to love one another as members of the same family. And where honor or preference is involved we should want another brother to have it. While the worldly vie with one another in receiving honor; the saints should compete with one another in giving honor.

#Ro 12:11. “Not slothful in business.” This has no reference to secular work, but to service for the Lord. We are to be on fire for the Lord. Stifler renders the verse this way: “In zeal (the outward) not slothful; in spirit (the inward human spirit) fervent; serving the Lord.”

#Ro 12:12. “Hope…tribulation…prayer”: the bulk of many a life. We may not be able to rejoice in present conditions but we can rejoice in hope of a better day. And this hope will give patience and steadfastness in the day of affliction, for hope sees an end to them. And while hoping and suffering we can keep on praying.

#Ro 12:13. We are to relieve the necessities of the saints, and practice hospitality. This implies private ownership of goods and is far removed from Socialism and Communism. Some will be better off than others. Let those who have, voluntarily share with those who have not. But indolence must not be encouraged or even tolerated. “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies” (2Th 3:10,11) for a balancing truth. Every Christian home should be an inn where strangers of the household of faith might find entertainment: “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (#Heb 13:2).

#Ro 12:14. Bless your persecutors. The saint must never answer in kind, must not fight the devil with fire; he knows more about that weapon than we do. We are to render blessing for cursing; not railing for railing.

#Ro 12:15. Share the experiences of others. Rejoice with the rejoicing ones and weep with the weeping. Here is Christian wisdom. Christ did not weep at Cana, nor laugh at the grave of Lazarus.

#Ro 12:16. “Be of the same mind one toward another.” Be easy to live with. Regard one another mutually, and let this attitude reach the lowly. Don’t be snobbish and exclusive. The world neglects and rejects the lowly, but Christ died for such people, and we should have fellowship with them in the body of Christ. And do not have a too high estimate of yourself.

4. CHRISTIAN GRACES TOWARD THE WORLD (17-21).

#Ro 12:17. Do not return evil for evil, but meet evil with good. And be honest. Watch your step for the eyes of the world are upon you. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (#Mt 5:16).

#Ro 12:18. Do your best to live at peace with all men. Be sure you are not at fault when peace is destroyed. If men hate you let them hate you for the truth’s sake and not for the evil you do.

#Ro 12:19. Do not seek revenge. Vengeance belongs to God. A Christian seeks revenge when he tries to get even with an enemy—he takes himself out of the hands of his Heavenly Father. It is a way of saying that you can handle your enemy better than He can. Do not usurp His place in judgment; wait for Him to act. He will set things right in His own time.

#Ro 12:20. Befriend your enemy. Help him in time of need. In this way you are heaping coals of fire on his head. This is the only punishment you may inflict—and take care you do not do it literally. A woman who complained of the ill treatment of her husband was asked if she had ever tried heaping coals of fire on his head replied by saying, “No, but I did dash a bucket of scalding water on him.”

#Ro 12:21. Be a conqueror. “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Fight your foe with the weapon of good deeds. You conquer when you befriend an enemy, and leave vengeance with God to Whom it belongs. May grace be given to both writer and reader to heed these flesh-rebuking admonitions!

C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 2-Part 3

Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 2-Part 2-Chapter 14-Predestination-Prophecy-Providence

November 13, 2015 Leave a comment

CHAPTER 14-PREDESTINATION-PROPHECY-PROVIDENCE

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated, according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (#Eph 1:11).

The three Bible words in the above caption express closely related doctrine, which find support in the above text. Since knowledge begins with definition, I shall begin with a definition of terms. Predestination may be defined as the purpose of God from eternity respecting future events. Prophecy is a declaration or revelation of future events and human actions. Providence is the work of God bringing to pass in history what is predestinated in eternity and prophesied in time. These three doctrines are based upon the will of God. And so we read that He “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.”

We might put it like this: Predestination is the eternal determination or purpose of the Divine will; Prophecy is the revelation of the Divine will; and Providence is the execution of the Divine will.

This raises the question as to who or what is running this world. In answer to this question, there are four schools of thought. One school says that all things come to pass by a fixed law-the law of nature. According to this view, the Creator made the world, as a man might make a clock and wind it up, leaving it to run by itself without outside interference. The only part God has in world affairs is to allow it to run by natural and moral laws He Himself gave. This view rejects all miracles and believes only what can be accounted for on so-called scientific grounds. The second school says that things happen by a sort of chance; that nothing is fixed or determined, and that one thing is as likely to happen as another. The third school believes that everything comes to pass by a cold, impersonal force called fate. And finally there is the Bible and Christian view that all things come to pass by a Divine will called Providence; that is, by the administration of wise, loving, and almighty God. The God who created, sustains and rules to the praise of His own glory, and for the good of His people.

In our English Bible the word “providence” occurs only once: #Ac 24:2. Here it refers to the government or administration of Felix the Roman governor of Judea. The apostle Paul is on trial before Felix, charged by the Jews with the crime of insurrection, and as being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. Ananias, chief priest, and the elders bring with them a lawyer Tertullus, who prosecutes the case against Paul. But before pressing his case, Tertullus flatters the governor by saying, “Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence, we accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness” (#Ac 24:2,3). What flattery and lying! During the administration of Felix, revolts in the nation were common and continuous, culminating in the final revolt that ended in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

While the word “providence” here refers to the rule of Felix over Judea, the word is much more applicable to the sovereign rule of God Whose kingdom is over all and from everlasting to everlasting.

SOME GENERAL OBSERVATIONS

1. While the Divine decrees and prophecies make a thing certain, there is no external force used in bringing it to pass. When an evil deed is predicted of someone, providence is not an external force that compels the act. We can never truthfully say that man had to sin as far as external force is concerned. God never forces anyone to sin; on the other hand He gives commandments and warnings and inducements not to sin. Nor can any man or group of men force another man to sin. If you should take me by physical force, place a gun in my hand, and by force compel me to pull the trigger, resulting in the death of someone, I would not be guilty of murder, or even a misdemeanor.

2. Let it be remembered and understood once for all that sin resides in the human heart—sin must be in the heart before it can be in the hand. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (#Mt 15:19). And let us also remember that God never put sin in the human heart. How it got there is a profound mystery. God made man in His own image and likeness and pronounced him good. In the mystery of the Divine administration, the first man sinned and lost the image of God in holiness. And the whole human race fell in the fall of the first Adam: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (#Ro 5:12-19). “…God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions” (#Ec 7:29). God is never the Author or cause of sin.

3. In bringing sinful deeds to pass all God does is to leave men to themselves to do what is already in their hearts. “Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways” (#Ac 14:16). It is frightening to think that God may again abandon whole nations to their own ways. In Romans, chapter one Paul describes the moral degeneration of the Gentile (heathen) nations. First, men held down or suppressed the truth about God in the book of nature. Pretending to be wise they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into various images as objects of worship. There was the Apollo of the Greeks, the eagle of the Romans, the sacred bull of the Egyptians, and the serpent of the Assyrians. And God gave them up to degenerate from bad to worse. And the chapter closes with a long list of sins that are prevalent in our day, even here in so-called Christian American. It makes one shudder to scan the prophetic horizon. In “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence” (#Ge 6:11), we read that the earth was filled with violence in the days of Noah just preceding the flood and in “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (#Mt 24:37), we are told that these same conditions shall prevail just before our Lord returns in judgment. The masses will be so occupied with temporal and material matters that the judgment will take them unawares. Now back to our main thought, namely, that the eternal purposes and Scriptural prophecies make the predicted evils certain without imposing any necessity to do wrong upon anyone. God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility are both true, although we may not be able to reconcile them.

SOME ILLUSTRATIONS AND EXAMPLES OF OUR MAIN THEME

1. Take the case of Judas Iscariot who was to betray Jesus. This was first predicted in “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me” (#Ps 41:9), and quoted by Jesus in #Joh 13:18: “I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.” Our Lord is here saying that He knew what He was doing when He chose Judas to be an apostle; He did it to make certain the fulfillment of Scripture. When Peter made his confession for the twelve, saying, “…we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus corrected him by saying unto the twelve, “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” And John tells us that he was speaking of Judas Iscariot who should betray him. “And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve” (#Joh 6:69-71). At the feast of the Passover, Jesus identified His betrayer by giving him the sop: “Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon” (#Joh 13:26). If Judas had not betrayed Jesus, both the Psalmist and the Saviour would have been found liars. And yet nobody made Judas do that awful deed; he did it of his own free will and accord. He was simply giving expression to what was already in his heart. Our Lord chose Judas because nobody but a devil would do what he did.

2. Consider a few of the many prophecies concerning the death of Christ certain in many and minute details. The very first prophecy was in #Ge 3:15 “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel,” where the seed of the woman would bruise the serpent’s head, and have his heel bruised. In “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:” (#Ga 3:13). Paul quotes #De 21:23 “His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance” to indicate that Christ would die by crucifixion, the Roman method of captial punishment. This necessitated a change of government, for if Jesus had been put to death by Jewish law, he would have been stoned. In Psalm 22 we have the cry of anguish (#Ps 22:1); the cruelty of the crowds (#Ps 22:12,17); and the parting of His garments and gambling for His vesture (#Ps 22:18). And all these predictions were fulfilled at the place called Calvary. Isaiah 53 we see the Messiah as despised and rejected of men, as being smitten of God, as making His grave with the wicked and with the rich in His death, as being satisfied with the result of His sufferings, and as praying for His enemies. Behold the mystery of Divine Providence in the fulfillment of all these predictions some 700 years later at Calvary. In #Joh 12:32,33 Jesus Himself predicted the manner and result of His death: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto me. This He said, signifying what death he should die.” In John, chapter ten, He speaks of Himself as the Good Shepherd giving His life for His sheep, and predicting that His sheep would hear His voice and follow Him and receive everlasting life. In His prayer as High Priest, recorded in John 17, Jesus acknowledges that the Father had given Him authority over all flesh so that He might give eternal life to all the Father gave Him, and that while He was on earth He had kept those given to Him so that not one of them was lost. And then He says that the son of perdition was lost that the Scripture might be fulfilled. Now in the gospel accounts of the death of Christ we see all these Scriptures fulfilled, everything coming to pass by Divine Providence. And in the book of Acts, Luke the historian, confirms the fulfillment of these prophecies. In #Ac 2:23 he says this: “Him being delivered by the determinate counsel (will) and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” Here we have God’s will or purpose in the death of Christ being carried out by wicked hands. Nobody was forced to crucify Christ, men acted on their own free will and revealed the fact that the carnal mind is enmity against God. And the Lord Jesus was God wrapped in human flesh. In #Ac 4:27,28 we have a quotation from the second Psalm, with this comment: “For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.” Here we have predestination (the determination or purpose of the Divine will), and providence (the execution of the Divine will) in the crucifixion of Christ. Politicians and religionists were doing God’s will, but their motive was not to carry out His will. They were simply acting out what was in their heart. God did not put the evil in their heart, but He did control and direct everything they did for the accomplishment of His eternal purpose in Christ. The human motive was bad, but God overruled it all for the salvation of sinners and to the praise of His grace. Here is one of many places where God makes the wrath of man to praise Him, and preventing that which would not: “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain” (#Ps 76:10). Because of the overruling providence of God, what Joseph’s brethren did in selling him into slavery was attributed to God Himself. When Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and they realized what they had done, they began to weep and be afraid. He confronts them by telling them that the hand of God was in it all for the salvation of human lives. “So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God” (#Ge 45:8). And in #Ge 50:20 we learn that what made the difference in the Divine will and the human deed was in the motive. Joseph says to his brothers, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” And so what came to pass at Calvary was overruled to save many sinners from eternal punishment in hell.

To God be the glory!
Great things He hath done:
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son;
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the Life-gate that all may go in.
O perfect redemption, the purchase of Blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
Great things He hath taught us,
Great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, Our transport, when Jesus we see.

C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 2-Part 2

The Wednesday Word: A Few Reasons why I believe the Bible

February 25, 2015 2 comments

The Bible is not the book of the year, it is the book of the ages. It has outsold, outlasted and surpassed in reach more than all other books put together. However, not so long ago, personal reading of the Bible was frowned upon in my native Ireland.

In fact, in many countries, the Bible has been burned and banned. Indeed, rather than accept that the Bible is God’s word, many still deny, distort and disregard its gracious truths. “Oh, we can’t believe the Bible,” some sneeringly say, “Science disproves it.” Well, I’ll be the first to admit that the Bible is not a science textbook. It isn’t meant to be. It’s a book that teaches us about God, His character and His redemption through Jesus Christ. However, when someone says that science disproves the Bible, they are incorrect. They would be more accurate if they said that some science disagrees with certain parts of the Bible. Disagreement, however, neither proves nor disproves anything.

Given enough time, science will catch up with the truths of the Scriptures. Science, you see, is always changing and developing. For example, it is reported that in 1861, the French Academy of Science printed a brochure giving 51 incontrovertible scientific facts as to why the Bible was in error. Today, not one scientist believes in any of these so called proofs.

Again, for thousands of years, the science of the day maintained that the earth was flat. In 1492, as his ears rang loud with warnings that he would fall off the edge of the world, poor old Columbus set sail to discover new lands. But the earth wasn’t flat. The Bible had said this all along. 2,700 years ago the Bible prophet Isaiah stated, “It is He that sits on the circle of the Earth” (Isaiah 40:22). The word “Circle” is literally the word for sphere or globe! So, how did Isaiah know that the earth was a sphere? That’s simple. God told him (2 Peter 1:21).

God’s word is never changing, but science is. For example, we take it for granted that the earth is suspended in space. But science didn’t always believe that. In ancient Egypt, they believed that the earth rested on 5 pillars. The Greeks, in turn, believed that it was supported by a giant named Atlas. The ancient Hindus believed that the world rested on the backs of giant elephants who in turn rested on a giant turtle who rested on the back of a coiled serpent swimming in a cosmic sea. But we don’t find anything like that in the Bible. What we do find, however, is Job 26:7 which informs us, “He hangs the earth upon nothing!” Wow! How did Job know that? That’s simple. God told him.

Again, consider how in 150 BC, Hipparchus the astronomer charted the heavens and concluded there were 1,022 stars. A few hundred years later, Ptolemy, said that due to scientific advances he could now tell that Hipparchus was incorrect. There were not 1,022 stars, there were, in fact, 1,026. Then, 1300 years later, along came Galileo with his telescope and reckoned that the stars numbered in their 1000s. Was he correct? Far from it! Astronomers now estimate that there are at least 12 octillion stars in the known galaxies.

However, no one needed to calculate the number of the celestial luminaries. Jeremiah, the Bible prophet, had already let them know. He stated explicitly that the host of heaven (the stars) cannot be numbered (Jeremiah 33:22). How did he know that? It’s simple. God told him.

If time and space were to allow, we could discuss another reason why I believe the Bible and that is the reliability of Bible prophesy. It’s fascinating. Names like Josiah, Cyrus and Daniel would be prominent. The precise prophesy concerning the destruction of Babylon would be noted. We could also observe the Bible’s accuracy in foretelling the doing and dying of the Lord Jesus Christ. We could likewise note how the Lord Jesus endorsed the Bible as being God’s book. However, those things must wait for another time.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

What Is the ‘Abomination of Desolation’? Perplexing Passages

September 30, 2014 2 comments

Editors’ note: This is the first installment in a new series that analyzes perplexing passages of the Bible.


 
If a group of Christians sat down to list perplexing passages, it wouldn’t take long for someone to mention Matthew 24:15-16: “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”

The reasons for uncertainty are easy to list. What is an abomination? What abomination does Jesus have in mind? One that belongs to his generation, or one from the last days? What is the connection between the prophecies of Daniel and Jesus? Who is “the reader,” and what should he or she understand? In what sense should readers “flee to the mountains”? Should they obey literally or metaphorically?

As always, the first step is to read the text in literary, cultural, historical, and canonical contexts. Then we analyze the structure of the passage and do the necessary lexical and grammatical work. We begin with the key phrase, “abomination of desolation.”

The term “abomination” (Hebrew toevah and siqqus) appears more than 100 times in the Old Testament and just a few times in the New Testament. An abomination is normally a great sin, commonly worthy of death. Readers immersed in current debates about sexual ethics may first think an abomination is a sexual sin. Indeed, Scripture calls sexual sins like adultery, homosexuality, and bestiality abominations (e.g., Leviticus 18:22, 29-30). But more often throughout the Bible “abomination” refers to major covenant violations, especially idolatry (in Deuteronomy alone, see 7:25, 13:6-16, 17:2-5, 18:9-12, 27:15, 32:16). In the historical books, “abomination” always describes idolatry, often with child sacrifice (1 Kings 11:7, 2 Kings 23:13). Abomination also refers to idolatry in the prophets, including Daniel 9 and 11. (Daniel uses siqqus, a term that always appears in connection with idolatry.)

 

 

Read the entire answer here.

Confessions of a Former Charismatic, Part 1: Me and Benny Hinn

February 11, 2014 2 comments

The venue was the NationalExhibitionCenter in Birmingham, England, the largest exhibition center in the UK. Five of us squeezed into a small car and drove the sixty-plus miles from Hereford to what we thought at the time was the biggest spiritual event of the year. Christ for All Nations, evangelist Reinhard Bonnke’s ministry, was hosting a conference, and one of the main attractions was Benny Hinn.

This was the late 80s—1988, I believe—and for most of the British population, television consisted of four stations. And none of them was TBN. This meant the only way we would ever hear the cream of American televangelists was on video or audio cassette tapes obtained either by mail-order subscription, or at conferences. The friend who drove us to Birmingham had obtained by one of these means a video of Benny Hinn, which he had shared with our church youth group some months previously. The presentation on the tape consisted of about thirty minutes of teaching—mainly Hinn recounting how his “Holy Spirit ministry” started, and then talking about how to relate to the Holy Spirit. He’s a gentleman, Hinn taught, and won’t come unless you ask. And don’t grieve the Spirit, otherwise He’s like a child, and you’ll lose His trust. There was no trace, as I recall, of his wackier teachings that I would later be made aware of. After the talk, there followed a solid hour or more of “slaying in the Spirit,” and people getting out of wheelchairs. Although four of us in the car were students of theology (two just starting University, and my best friend and I in our last year of A-Levels), we were all charismatic in our pneumatology, and Arminian in our soteriology. Within those parameters, we found a home for Hinn. More on that later.

The auditorium was at least two-thirds full. I don’t recall who the first speaker was that morning, or what he spoke about. I do remember a refreshment break, and then hurrying back to our seats to be sure we didn’t miss any of Benny Hinn’s presentation. He came out, he taught—I don’t remember any details of his teaching, though I daresay it was largely what we’d already heard on the video—and then the show started. The organ played, he set the mood, and then started with the “words of knowledge.” A lady over there being healed of something. A man somewhere at the back has been suffering with X and the Lord wants him to know he’ll be well before he leaves. Then he began calling people up on stage. People reported healings, people were in tears, and all of them were slain in the Spirit at the touch of Hinn’s hand.

 

Read the entire article here. Read Pt 2 here