Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Wonders of God's Word Part III: Prophecies of Christ's Birth





Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:8-11 NASB

The name Jesus is the most powerful Name—at His Name, every knee will bow and tongue will confess Him Lord (Phil. 2:8-10); And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12 NASB); demons hear His Name and tremble (see James 2:19). Jesus encapsulates His identity; it is not merely His first name. The Father was very purposeful in the Name given to His only begotten Son. The name Jesus was used more than any other in the New Testament. Jesus means Salvation of Jehovah.

He is found in the Old Testament as well—the pre-incarnate Christ, appearing in the sacred pages. The Name Jesus is actually hidden in the Old Testament, being found about one hundred times from Genesis to Habakkuk.

Strong’s 2424 defines the name IēsoúsJesus, the transliteration of the Hebrew Yehoshua /Jehoshua, or Joshua which means Yahweh saves or Yahweh is salvation.
When we utter His beautiful Name, it is properly Jesus the Christ. Jesus is His human name, as the incarnate, eternal Son of God (see Mt. 1:21,25 and Lk. 1:31). He is the Christ, the divine Messiah, the second Person of the holy Trinity. The title Christ means the Anointed One, the eternal pre-incarnate, Logos (see Jn. 1:1-18).

“Every time the Old Testament uses the word “salvation” (especially with the Hebrew suffix meaning “my”, “thy”, or “his”, with very few exceptions (when the word is used in an impersonal sense) it is identically the same word as “Yeshuah” (Jesus). This is actually what the angel said to Joseph—Thou shalt call His name Yeshua (salvation).”[1]


That I may tell of all Your praises, that in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in Your salvation (Yeshua). Psalm 9:14 NASB parenthesis mine.

Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the Lord God is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2 NASB

Names Given In Birth

Called Christ

Prophecy:

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your fellows. Psalm 45:7 NASB

Fulfillment:

[F]or today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 NASB

Prophecy:
So you are to know and discern thatfrom the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. Daniel 9:25 NASB

Fulfillment:

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Matthew 16:16 NASB

Called Lord

Prophecy:

I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Psalm 2:7

Fulfillment:
[F]or today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 NASB

Ye call me Master and Lord…so I am. John 13:13

Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. 1 Peter 3:15

Called Emmanuel (Immanuel)

Prophecy:Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 NASB

Then it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass through, It will reach even to the neck; And the spread of its wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel. Isaiah 8:8 NASB

Fulfillment:

Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:22-23 NASB

Governor

Prophecy:

He is governor among the nations. Psalm 22:28

Their governor shall proceed from the midst of them. Jeremiah 30:21

He shall be as a governor in Judah. Zechariah 9:7

The government shall be on his shoulder. Isaiah 9:6

Fulfillment:

Out of thee shall come a Governor. Matthew 2:6

All dominions shall serve and obey him. Daniel 7:27 with Colossians 1:16

Son

Son of AbrahamIn thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Genesis 12:3; 22:18

The Son of Abraham. Matthew 1:1

The blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:14

Son of David

I have made a covenant with…David…Thy seed will establish forever. Psalm 89:3

Jesus Christ the son of David. Matt 1:1

Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. Romans 1:3

Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
Prophecy:

Who is He that…things too wonderful for me. Job 42:3

Thy testimonies are wonderful. Psalm 119:129

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. Psalm 139:6

Thou hast done wonderful things. Isaiah 25:1

The Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel. Isaiah 28:29

Fulfillment:
The chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did. Matthew 21:15

Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God…by wonders. Acts 2:22

Wonders done by the name of the holy child Jesus. Acts 4:30


Counselor

Prophecy:

Who…being his counselor hath taught him? Isaiah 40:13

Thy testimonies also are…my counselors. Psalm 119:24

Fulfillment:

Who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Ephesians 1:11

The immutability of his counsel. Hebrews 6:17

Christ…the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:24

The Mighty God
Prophecy:

His name shall be called…The mighty God. Isaiah 9:6

Great in counsel, and mighty in work. Jeremiah 32:19

Thy name is great in might. Jeremiah 10:6

Fulfillment:

He that cometh after me is mightier than I. Matthew 3:11

His mighty works were done. Matthew 11:20

All power is given unto me. Matthew 28:18

In him should all dullness dwell;…The fullness of the Godhead bodily. Colossians 1:19; 2:9

Everlasting Father
The name of the Lord, the everlasting God. Genesis 21:33

From everlasting to everlasting thou art God. Psalm 90:2

I am the Lord, I change not. Malachi 3:6

His name shall be called…the everlasting Father. Isaiah 9:6

Fulfillment:

Before Abraham was, I am. John 8:58

Christ abideth forever. John 12:34

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8

The Prince of Peace

Prophecy:

His name shall be called the Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

The mountains shall bring peace to the people. Psalm 72:3

This man shall be the peace. Micah 5:5

He shall speak peace unto the heathen. Zechariah 9:10

Fulfillment:

Born…a Saviour…on earth Peace. Luke 2:11-14

In me ye might have peace. John 16:33

Jesus…saith unto them, Peace be unto you. John 20:19, 21, 26

He is our peace…He preached peace. Ephesians 2:14, 17

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27 NASB

This is far from an exhaustive list of the glorious names of Jesus Christ, and the prophecies foretold concerning Him. I pray this sparks a fire in you to search through the Word of God and find Jesus Christ in the Old and New Testaments.

In His Grace,











[1] Herbert Lockyer, All The Messianic Prophecies Of The Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1973), 66. (Arthur Glass quoted by Lockyer)




Friday, May 3, 2013

The Wonders of God's Word Part II: Prophecies of Christ's Birth



Nicodemus is one of my favorite characters in the Bible. I feel his inner struggle as he seeks Jesus in the garden, desperately longing to wrap his head around kingdom principles. After his encounter with Jesus, he would discover his need to be born again; kingdom ways compel our spirits, not our intellect.

Scripture does not mention Nicodemus beyond his collaboration with Joseph of Arimathea in burying Jesus; but again, my favorite portrayal of Jesus’ life and ministry, Jesus of Nazareth (1977), beautifully portrays Nicodemus’ "aha" moment, when his heart overruled his mind; he stood afar off and beheld the Lamb of God, Isaiah 53 dripping like honey off his tongue:

“He was despised and rejected of men; man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth and is brought as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before his sheerer is dumb. Surely he has born our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we would esteem him stricken and smitten of God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was abused for our iniquities, and through his wounds we are healed…and born again.”[1]

I cannot remember how many times I have watched that scene, but it moves me every time. Nicodemus has his eyes on the Messiah, the fulfillment Israel has been awaiting, since the first prophecy spoken in the Garden of Eden; his first encounter with that promise, came too, in a garden. From garden to garden. The Word of God is beautiful, and witnessing the fulfillment of prophecy is awe-inspiring.  

I pray as we continue to see the prophecies of Christ’s birth and their fulfillment, that the wonder of God and His Word pierce your heart.

Place of Birth

Prophecy:
But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them. Isaiah 9: 1-2 NASB.

Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. Isaiah 11:1 NASB. 

Note: {When Isaiah spoke of Jesus being the branch (shoot), he used the word neh-tzer, meaning the separated One, or the Nazarene.[2]}

When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son. Hosea 11:1 NASB

But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity. Micah 5:2 NASB

Fulfillment:
and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: "He shall be called a Nazarene. Matthew 2:23

So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: Out of Egypt I called my son. Matthew 2:14, 15. NASB

Jesus was born in Bethlehem. (Matt. 2:1; c.f. 2:5-6; John 7:42). [3]

The Forerunner to His Birth
Prophecy:
A voice is calling, Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:3 NASB

Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:1

Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. Malachi 4:5

Fulfillment:
Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, "the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the lord, make his paths straight!” Matthew 3:1,3 NASB

I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. John 1:23 NASB

This is the one about whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you. Luke 7:27

One more important subject is yet to be uncovered; the names given at birth. A third post will be necessary. His names are too important to ignore and requires some space.

I pray the Word is penetrating your soul, and that Jesus is being revealed to you in these ancient truths. I also pray you see prophecy in a new light, and the weaving together of the Old Covenant and the New.





[1]A paraphrase of Isaiah 53 by Nicodemus, in the 1977 miniseries, Jesus of Nazareth.
[2]Lockyer, Herbert, All The Messianic Prophecies (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1973), 64.
[3]Ibid.