God’s Moral Purpose In Prophecy: Part 1

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THE SCRIPTURES WERE GIVEN TO REVEAL JESUS

Rightly understood, the prophecies are just as important and contain just as much concerning the Gospel as any other portions of Scripture would do.

revelation of Jesus Christ

revelation of Jesus Christ

God inspired the prophets to write the prophecies of Scripture in order that by them all people might find salvation. The Bible is not a book composed of portions containing the essential facts of the Gospel and other less important parts containing the prophecies with no gospel. Satan seeks to deflect the moral purpose of Bible prophecies and, by many false interpretations, robs them of their vitality and hope.

The opening words of the Apocalypse, (the book of Revelation), distinctly inform us that the prophecies in this wonderful book have been given to us as

“the Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1).

A study of the underlying principles upon which the Revelation is based enables us to know that all Bible prophecies are a
“Revelation of Jesus Christ” as the Savior of those who put their trust in Him, and the Destroyer and final Judge of evil.

Interpretations of prophecies which do not set forth in a clearer light the Gospel of Jesus Christ are not “Biblical,” or “Christian,” no matter how many Bible verses are quoted, or who is doing the quoting.

“Interpretations” of any one of the Bible prophecies which do not find their center in Jesus and Him crucified, (Gal 6:14, Gen 3:15, etc) are quite clearly, wrong applications of Scripture.

In the old, old testament sanctuary, and later in the temple of the Jews, only those dedicated to the holy office of the priesthood were permitted to view the wonderful glories to be seen within the sacred edifice. Meaning, today, that only those whose lives are dedicated to God; via the gospel of Jesus Christ, are permitted to see the inner beauties of the temple of truth, that is proposed to Christians, now:

“But he spake of the temple of his body.” (John 2:21)

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Cor 6:19)

Jesus said it like this to the Jewish leaders: “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39, 46).

The New Testament shows how Jesus brought fulfillment to the Old Testament prophecies. The Old & New testaments are so closely connected, and harmonious, that they are called “THE Bible,” as opposed to “the Bibles.” In the unfolding of the Gospel, the New Testament employs at least 1,500 quotations of sentences and phrases from the Old Testament Scriptures. The first verse of Matthew shows one of the main reasons for the writing of the book of Matthew and the New Testament; namely, to show the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies in Jesus and His work of salvation. Through Jesus the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies is made certain. (See 2 Corinthians 1:20; Acts 13:27-37.)

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The book of Matthew contains 99 direct references to the Old Testament Scriptures. Nine times he employed the formula, “That it might be fulfilled” (see Matthew 1:22, 23; 2:15, 17, 23, etc.), and at other times he referred to the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies, saying: “For thus it is written by the prophet” (Matthew 2:5); “Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by the prophet” (Matthew 27:9); “But all this was done, that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled” (Matthew 26:56); “For it is written” (Matthew 26:31, etc.).

Thus Matthew illustrates the burden of the writers of the New Testament to show that Jesus’ birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and the development of His church and her work, all fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament. The first words we read in Matthew’s Gospel direct our minds back to the prophecies which were given to David and Abraham.

While Solomon was the son who sat upon David’s throne in the days immediately following the prediction, the longer and the real fulfillment is to be fulfilled by “a greater than Solomon” (Matthew 12:42). The peacefulness and the wisdom of the earlier part of Solomon’s reign when people came from afar to learn of him, find their larger application in Christ. David was to have a son who would sit upon his throne (2 Samuel 7:12, 13, 16; Luke 1:32, 33). Abraham was promised a son who would be the channel of blessing.

Isaac was the immediate fulfillment; but Isaac prefigured the greater fulfillment in Jesus who, through His church, blesses the world (Galatians 3:16, 29; 4:28). The Old Testament prophecies which set forth the coming of the sons of Abraham and David are concentrated in the first verse of Matthew: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

Thus, from its commencement, the New Testament takes the things of the Old Testament and applies them in connection with Christ and His work of redemption. Christ and His salvation is the central theme of the Bible, and to make plain the way of salvation was the sole purpose for which the Scriptures were written.

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One quote that beautifully illustrates the idea of how “Christ & Him crucified” is the central tenet of all doctrine and prophecy reads as follows:

“There is one great central truth to be kept ever before the mind in the searching of the Scriptures–Christ and Him crucified. Every other truth is invested with influence and power corresponding to its relation to this theme.” {FLB 50.2}

As the sun is reflected in each of the millions of dew-drops, so Jesus, “the Light of the world,” shines forth in every chapter, verse, and word of the Bible.

“In every page, whether history, or precept, or prophecy, the Old Testament Scriptures are irradiated with the glory of the Son of God. So far as it was of divine institution, the entire system of Judaism was a compacted prophecy of the gospel. To Christ ‘give all the prophets witness’ (Acts 10:43). {DA 211.4}

From the promise given to Adam, (Gen 3:15), and down through the patriarchal line and the legal economy, heaven’s glorious light made plain the footsteps of the Redeemer. Seers of old beheld the Star of Bethlehem, the Shiloh to come, (Jer 7:12), as future things prophesied swept before them in mysterious procession. In every sacrifice Christ’s death was shown. In every cloud of incense His righteousness ascended. By every jubilee trumpet His name was sounded. In the fearful mystery of the holy of holies, the Glory of Christ was shown.

True Bible prophecy, IS H.I.S. – S.T.O.R.Y. Prophecy is called in scripture “a light in a dark place.” This is why its always called a “more sure word,” because it is, quite literally, the story of Christ.

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Pet 1:19-21)

It is worth noting that “The Sun of Righteousness” did not burst upon the world in a great, bedazzling splendor, to over-whelm the senses with His glory. It is written of Christ, “His going forth is prepared as the morning.” Hosea 6:3. Quietly and gently the daylight breaks upon the earth, dispelling the darkness and waking the world to life. So too did the Sun of Righteousness arise, “with healing in His wings.” Malachi 4:2.

“Behold My Servant, whom I uphold; Mine Elect, in whom My soul delighteth.” Isaiah 42:1.

“Thou hast been a strength to the poor, A strength to the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat.” Isaiah 25:4.

“Thus saith God the Lord, He that created the heavens, and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; He that giveth breath unto the people upon it, And spirit to them that walk therein: I the Lord have called Thee in righteousness, And will hold Thine hand, And will keep Thee, and give Thee for a covenant of the people, For a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, To bring out the prisoners from the prison, And them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.” Isaiah 42:5-7.

“I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, And crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.” Isa 42:16.

“Sing unto the Lord a new song, And His praise from the end of the earth, Ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; The isles, and the inhabitants thereof. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up the voice, The villages that Kedar doth inhabit: Let the inhabitants of the rock sing, Let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the Lord, And declare His praise in the islands.”  (Isa 42:10-12).

“Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it: Shout, ye lower parts of the earth: Break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, And glorified Himself in Israel.” Isaiah 44:23.

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“All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” — 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Listen to chapter . Powered by BibleGateway.com.
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