Nearer, My God, to Thee – André Rieu (live in Amsterdam)
I. Old Testament Prophecy and the Birth of Christ.
A. There are quite a few names throughout Scripture spoken about Jesus or given by Jesus himself. One of the most prevalent titles is “Christ” (or the Hebrew equivalent, “Messiah”).
B. The appearance of Christ (a Baby) to the shepherds has taken place (Luke 2:1-20). The appearance of Christ (a Child) to the Magi will take place about two years later (Matthew 2:1-11).
C. As we continue the season of Advent, we wait and reflect on what it means that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament, especially the prophecies that foretold His birth. We look at three specific prophecies about Christ’s birth found in Isaiah and Micah. Advent means “Coming” in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world. https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/advent.shtml (My note: The first advent of Christ was also prophesied in Isaiah 9:6a. There will be a second advent of Christ, as is described in Isaiah 9:6b-7, 740 B.C. for both.).
D. It is very important for us to understand, in reference to the prophecy of the birth of Christ, “Who told what to whom?” It is also important to understand to whom the prophecy of the birth of Christ, “was not foretold.”
II. Let’s consider two “Jewish” prophets, “to whom the prophecy of the birth of Christ was given.” These two Jewish prophets, as well as all other prophets of the Old Testament, received prophecies from God that related to Jews, which, in turn, were given by the prophets to the Jews of Israel.
A. The importance of the Jewish prophets to the Jews of Israel, is made clear in Amos 3:7. The significance of the Jewish prophets can not be under stated, as it relates to the Jews and Israel, “past, present and future.”
Amos 3:7 – New American Standard Bible 2020 – 787 B.C.
7 Certainly the Lord God does nothing
Unless He reveals His secret plan
To His servants the prophets.
B. Note: Donald R. Sunukjian, B.A., Th.M., Th.D., Ph.D., The Bible Knowledge Commentary. “Just as one event does not take place unless another event has already happened, so the sovereign LORD does nothing regarding the history of Israel without first revealing His plan to His servants the prophets. But once this revelation has occurred, once the sovereign LORD has spoken – Israel’s judgment is sure to follow.”
III. Book Overview – Isaiah – by C.I. Scofield – 760 B.C.
A. Isaiah is justly accounted the chief of the writing prophets. He has the more comprehensive testimony and is distinctively the prophet of redemption. Nowhere else in the Scriptures written under the law have we so clear a view of grace. The New Testament Church does not appear (Ephesians 3:3-10), but Messiah in His Person and sufferings, and the blessing of the Gentiles through Him, are in full vision.
B. Consider the authority of Isaiah, as a Jewish prophet of God.
1. Isaiah 1:1;2:1 – New American Standard Bible 2020 – 760 B.C.
a. 1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
b. 2:1 The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
C. The prophecies of Isaiah were given to him by God. Those God-given prophecies were given by Isaiah to the Jews of Israel.
1. Let’s consider Isaiah’s prophecy of the Messiah.
(a) The Messiah would be preceded by a forerunner (Isaiah 40:3–5).
(1) Isaiah 40:3-5 – New American Standard Bible 2020 – 712 B.C.
3 The voice of one calling out,
“Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness;
Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Let every valley be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the uneven ground become a plain,
And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
5 Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
And all flesh will see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
(b) The Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14)
(1) Isaiah 7:14 – New American Standard Bible 2020 – 742 B.C.
14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will name Him Immanuel.
IV. Book Overview – Micah – by C.I. Scofield – 750 B.C.
A. Micah, a contemporary of Isaiah, prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah over Judah, and of Pekahiah, Pekah, and Hoshea over Israel 2 Kings 15:23-30; 2 Kings 17:1-6. He was a prophet in Judah Jeremiah 26:17-19 but the book called by his name chiefly concerns Samaria.
B. Let’s consider the authority of Micah, as a Jewish prophet of God.
1. Micah 1:1 The word of the Lord which came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and which he saw regarding Samaria and Jerusalem.
C. The prophecies of Micah were given to him by God. The prophecies of Micah were given by Micah to the Jews of Judah and Samaria (southern and northern Israel). Like his contemporary Isaiah, Micah prophesied about the Assyrian destruction of the Northern Kingdom and the later defeat of the Southern Kingdom by the Babylonians.
1. Consider the prophesied birth place of the Messiah.
a. The Savior would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).
(1) Micah 5:2 – New American Standard Bible 2020 – 710 B.C.
2 But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will come forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His times of coming forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”
V. Let’s consider the prophecy of the Messiah, as it is shown in Matthew 1:18-25, and fulfills Isaiah 7:14:
A. Matthew 1:18-25 – New American Standard Bible 2020- 5 B.C. – Immanuel, God With Us.
18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, since he was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20 But when he had thought this over, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a Son; and you shall name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 Now all this took place so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled: 23 “Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they shall name Him Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he named Him Jesus.
VI. Let us now consider to whom God did not foretell the birth of Christ. God did not give a prophecy of the birth of Christ to “Gentiles.”
A. The purpose of the coming of Christ to our world is described in the following verse:
1. Acts 26:23 – – New American Standard Bible 2020.
23 as to whether the Christ was to suffer, and whether, as first from the resurrection of the dead, He would proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”
B. The order in which the message of Christ would go forth is described in the following verse”
1. Romans 1:16 – New American Standard Bible 2020.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
C. God has made it clear that Israel is His chosen people.
1. Deuteronomy 14:2 – New American Standard Bible – 1451 B.C.
2 For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for His personal possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
V. A key truth of this written article is contained in the following verse:
A. John 3:16 – New American Standard Bible 2020.
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.
VI. It is important to know that Jews, whom had come to belief in Christ as Lord and Savior, took the message of Christ to the Gentile world.
A. Acts 1:8 – New American Standard Bible 2020
8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and as far as the remotest part of the earth.”
VIII. Christ – God with us.
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