Evangelist Michael Parker begins his series of Messages at Good News Bible Church in Coldwater Mi, Sunday July 2nd, at 10 am. We have included Michael’s Introduction to the series and his message right here for you to print and share with your friends and family.
A preacher and a member of his congregation stood by the side of the road. They were taking turns holding up a sign that said, “The End is Near! Turn around before it’s too late!”
It wasn’t too long until a car drove up, the driver saw the sign, rolled down his window and yelled out: “I just wish you religious nuts would leave us alone!” and he sped up and drove around the curve out of sight.
Shortly, you could hear the sound of tires screeching on the pavement… and a big splash.
The church member turned to his preacher and said, “You know, I told you we should have just put up a sign that said ’bridge out’”
It’s obvious that those church people should have been more selective in what they put on their sign. And, because they weren’t careful in how they phrased their warning… a driver ignored them.
If something is important enough – if it’s critical enough – we try to be careful what we say and how we say it. There are times when we do not want to be misunderstood.
And in the Old Testament with the Prophecies concerning the coming Messiah, God is telling us that He was very selective in how He spoke to us. Hebrews 1:1 tells us that “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways”
God Spoke…people listened.
God had something to say.
And what He had to say was so important that He used special people….. a very special group of people called “prophets” that He spoke through. And He repeated His message through those prophets at “many times and in various ways.”
Now, that implies that God had something specific He wanted to talk about.
What could that be?
God spoke through those prophets at many time and various ways – BUT NOW He has spoken by His Son.
What that’s telling us is this: His Son was the message.
The coming of Jesus was what God was focusing on all through the Old Testament times.
In fact there is the repeated message throughout the Old Testament: “Somebody’s coming”.
God used Daniel to describe the various nations that would come to power before the Church was created by Jesus.
In the book of Isaiah, God tells us a great deal about the coming Messiah.
We find, especially chapter 53, that
Ø The Messiah would be despised and rejected of men;
Ø That He would be wounded and bruised
Ø He would pour out His life unto death
Ø That He’d die with wicked men, and numbered with the transgressors
Ø But – that He would be buried with the rich
Ø And that His life would be a “guilt offering” – “bearing the sin of many”
Isaiah 53 is a very significant chapter in God’s prophetic revelation.
It is so powerful that – to this day – Jewish people are still puzzled and frustrated by it’s message.
And, that prophecy from Isaiah 53 was so powerful, that Acts 8 tells us the story of an official from Ethiopia who was riding home in his chariot reading that very passage. God arranged to have Philip (a Deacon of the early church) available, so that when the Ethiopian saw him, asked him to help him understand the chapter he was reading.
He asked who God was talking about. And from that very passage, Philip taught this Ethiopian official about Jesus. It was so convincing that the Ethiopian believed in Jesus, confessed Jesus as His Lord and Savior, and was buried in the waters of Christian baptism for the forgiveness of his sins.
Acts tells us that he then on his way “rejoicing.”
When God spoke thru the prophets – at many times and in various ways – He had a very special message. A message that He drove home by symbols, hidden messages and outright declarations.
The message was this: Somebody’s coming. Somebody’s coming.
And when He comes this is what He’ll look like,
and this is what He’ll do,
and this is where He’ll go.
There were over 300 direct prophecies telling about this Messiah.
No other prophet or religious teacher can lay claim to that kind of prophetic attention.
300 direct prophecies, and perhaps 1000 symbolic and hidden declarations of God’s intention.
Each and every one of those messages telling us exactly the same thing:
Someone is coming!
And now (pause…) that someone has come
In these latter days God has spoken to us by His Son, Jesus Christ.
And He spoke thru Jesus, because He WAS the message.
He was the one everyone had been anticipating nearly 4000 years.
And Father God through the writer of Hebrews wants you to understand this message wasn’t about a body of doctrine it was about the Son of God,
He was not some angel.
He wasn’t a nice teacher of pleasant moral precepts.
He wasn’t simply a prophet of God.
He was the SON of God.
He was “…the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word….”
Now, there are some people who have a problem with that.
They’re not comfortable with Jesus being something more than a good teacher, a mere mortal who said some decent things.
But talk about Him being The Son of God – they don’t want to go there.
Charles Colson says that he “discovered that one major U.S. daily News Paper, as a matter of policy, will not print the two words Jesus and Christ together; because when combined, the editor says, it represents an editorial judgment.”
One Dean from Oxford University said “Jesus was a great teacher, a very ethical, moral, human being … certainly a phenomenal teacher… and Christianity is a great world religion . . .and while I agree he is a great light, once we say he is the only light, this is what leads to all kinds of spiritual racism and a division.”
When it comes to the divinity of Jesus there are a lot of people who just don’t want to go there.
But the Bible won’t let us go anywhere else.
Again and again, the Scriptures speak of Jesus’ divinity
* From the prophecy in Isaiah 9 which tells us “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called (among other things) Mighty God….” Isaiah 9:6
* To the Gospel of Matthew autoing another prophecy Isaiah: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” —which means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23
* Jesus Himself said “I and the Father are one.” John 10:30
* When Jesus asks His disciples who they think that He is “Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.’” Matthew 16:16-17
* And one of the most famous passages in Scripture declares “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten (His one and only) Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Again, and again and again God’s Word declares Jesus was God in the flesh.
But there are those who reject that Biblical reality because it “doesn’t make sense to them”.
That’s the main argument used by the Jehovah Witnesses.
They can’t understand how Jesus could be God… and if they can’t understand it – it can’t be true.
But that’s only because Jehovah Witnesses reason in the wrong direction.
They think as mortals.
And because they think as mortals – and not like God – they end up trying to bring God down to their level.
But it doesn’t work that way.
ILLUS: A preacher once met a Jehovah Witness who challenged him on the deity of Christ.
“You say that Jesus Christ is coequal with the eternal Father, but He cannot be, for no son is ever as old as the one who has begotten him.”
The minister thought for a moment and then replied, “You yourself have just called God the eternal Father. Have you ever thought that statement through? Don’t you realize that God can only be the eternal Father if He has an eternal Son? If you would rethink your position in the light of the Scriptures, you would see that eternal Fatherhood demands eternal Son-ship!”
And Hebrews tells us – that is the message
Jesus is THE SON of God, God in the flesh.
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” Hebrews 1:3
That’s the message.
But why is that important?
Why is it important for us to BELIEVE that Jesus is the Son of God in order to be Christians?
Well, because if Jesus wasn’t the Son of God…
If He wasn’t God in the flesh…
Then the entire bible is not true…
We examine 40 bible Verses that foretold the Coming Messiah with New Testament Fulfillment.
1.The Messiah would be the seed of the woman
2.The Messiah would be the descendant of Abraham through whom all nations would be blessed
3.The Messiah would be a willing sacrifice
4.The Messiah would be the coming one to whom the scepter belongs
5.The Messiah would be the Passover lamb
6.The Messiah would be lifted up
7.The Messiah would be the star coming out of Jacob
8.The Messiah would be a prophet like Moses
9.The Messiah would be our Kinsman-Redeemer
10.The Messiah would be a descendant of David
11.The Messiah would be called God’s Son
12.The Messiah would be resurrected
13.The Messiah would be forsaken and pierced, but vindicated
14.The Messiah would be the righteous sufferer
15.The Messiah would be greater than David
16.The Messiah would be the rejected cornerstone
17.The Messiah would be acclaimed
18.The Messiah would be born of a virgin
19.The Messiah would be the great light
Isaiah 9:1-2I [Hebrew Bible, 8:23-9:1]
20.The Messiah would be the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:6-7 [Hebrew Bible, 9:5-6]
21.The Messiah would be called a Nazarene
22.The Messiah would perform signs of healing
23.The Messiah would be preceded by a forerunner
24.The Messiah would be a light for the nations of the world
25.(The Suffering Servant, Part 1)
26.(The Suffering Servant, Part 2)
27.(The Suffering Servant, Part 3)
28.(The Suffering Servant, Part 4)
29.The Messiah would do life-affirming, redemptive deeds
30.The Messiah would be the object of a murderous plot
31.The Messiah would bring in a new covenant
32.The Messiah would be the Son of Man
and many others
33.The Messiah would come according to a timetable
34.The Messiah would be called out of Egypt
35.The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem
Micah 5:2 [Hebrew Bible, verse 1]
36.The Messiah would come riding on a colt
37.The Messiah would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver
38.The Messiah would be pierced
39.The Messiah would be preceded by a messenger.
40.The Messiah would be preceded by Elijah the prophet.
The Messiah is spoken of throughout the Hebrew Bible