Fred R. Coulter—February 4, 2012

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services. We've covered quite a bit here in Isaiah. We'll take a little bit more looking at some of the things in Isaiah. Then we'll go through some of the things in the Psalms and then what we will do, we'll go to the book of Acts and see how the Apostle Paul preached. I always love it when he goes into a synagogue, he causes a riot.

Isaiah 42:1: "Behold My Servant, Whom I uphold; My Elect, in Whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He shall bring forth justice to the Gentiles." Right out of here we have where it's quoted in the New Testament. 'This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I delight.' "…I have put My Spirit upon Him…"

All of these things had to be here in prophecy to prove that when Jesus was in the flesh, He was really the Messiah. There had to be so many prophecies of Him that you couldn't say, 'Oh, well, this is a coincidence.' or 'Oh, well, the apostles have been with Him so long and they knew the Scriptures, so they're just writing about it.' Remember, the apostles weren't converted until after Jesus was resurrected. Remember one of the things He said to them, 'Oh, hard hearted and slow to believe,' right after He was resurrected.

Isaiah 61:1: "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me because the LORD has anointed Me... [No one else. You probably have a marginal reference there to Luke 4:18.] ...He has sent Me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to preach the acceptable year of the LORD..." (vs 1-2).

Now He stopped right there, because that covers His first coming. Now in the coming book, The Appointed Times of the Messiah, which we're just about done, and thank the Dolores we're doing some pretty heavy editing so we can get it right. She always says, 'Fred, can't you use some other word?' I reply, 'That's why you're here.'

His second coming is here: "...and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to appoint to those who mourn in Zion, giving to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the mantle of praise for the spirit of heaviness..." (v 2-3).

Think about Jerusalem today over there. Think about what if you had to live in Jerusalem. Everybody around you hates you. Here's old Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over there saying, 'We want to annihilate Israel from off the map.' You can see how this applies to it. "...so that they might be called tress of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified" (v 3). Then it goes on, build the old waste places, and so forth.

Isn't it interesting. It talks about how He would conduct His life, what He would preach, Who He was, and here is how He would conduct His ministry:

Isaiah 42:1: "…I have put My Spirit upon Him; He shall bring forth justice to the Gentiles." That one statement right there has three applications:

  • raising up of the Apostle Paul to preach to the Gentiles
  • the Church going out into the whole world

and—

  • when Christ returns

This is what we find with the Scriptures in the Old Testament. There can be multiple applications of verses or parts of verses, in some cases even a phrase.

Verse 3: "A bruised reed He shall not break... [Showing He's not going to be a revolutionist. He's not going to be like Wall Street, 'occupy now.'] ...and a smoking wick He shall not quench; in Truth He shall bring forth justice." You take this one statement here and you start going through Jesus' confrontation with the scribes and Pharisees and priests at the end, and they would come up and try and trap Him. Then He would say, 'Have you never read?'

Remember the one where they said, 'Now You're doing these things and we want to know by what authority You're doing them.' He said, 'I'll ask you one thing: The baptism of John, was it of God or was it of men?' So they had a quick little huddle of here and they say, 'Well, if we say from God, He'll say why didn't you believe him? If we say from man, we're afraid of the multitudes, they may stone us.' A lot of them believed John and repented. So they said, 'We cannot answer,' which means they really knew. What did Jesus say? 'Neither am I going to answer you.' Then He asked them: 'The Christ, Who's Son is He?' The Son of David!

He came to Psalm 110; let's understand something that originally where it said, 'The Lord said to My Lord,' both of those were YHVH. The Jews in copying it made note that they changed it from YHVH, Jehovah to Adonai. There are 134 places in the Old Testament where they did that. When they did it, they had to mark it down in the margin that they did it. So they had to document what they did.

Psalm 110:1: "The LORD said unto my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies as Your footstool.'" Jesus said, 'If the Christ is the Son of David, how does David call Him Lord?' They couldn't answer, because if they did answer, then they would have to believe in Jesus. They would have to believe in the miraculous birth. They would have to believe John the Baptist. That's all prophesied there.

Verse 2: "The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion saying, 'Rule in the midst of Your enemies.'"

Verse 4, which is quoted many, many times in the New Testament: "The LORD has sworn and will not repent, 'You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.' The LORD at Your right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath" (vs 4-5). Of course, that's His second coming, and so forth.

Let's come to Genesis 14 where it talks about Melchizedek. This is part of what it was when they were talking about Melchizedek, and then of course, Paul writes very extensively concerning Melchizedek in the book of Hebrews.

Genesis 14:18: "And Melchizedek the King of Salem... [He's also the Priest of God] ...brought forth bread and wine... [We don't know when it was. We don't know if this was a proto-Passover thing or not. It was probably unleavened bread and wine.] ...And He was the Priest of the Most High God."

In the Old Testament where you see the term 'the Most High,' that is talking about God the Father. Even in the Old Testament the Jews should have been able to understand that that there were two who were called Elohim. In the New Testament, there's nothing to prove that there's a trinity, though most of the Christian world believes in it. A lot of them take it this way. 'Well, there's a trinity and you can't convince me of anything else.' God will convince them sooner or later.

Verse 19: "And He blessed him, and said, 'Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth. And blessed be the Most High God, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.' And he gave Him tithes of all" (vs 19-20).

This is why it's good to go through here and see all the prophecies, because like Isaiah was written in the late part of the century and into the 700s B.C. So then, you have 700 years, 800 years to Christ.

Isaiah 42:4: "He shall not fail nor be discouraged until He has set justice in the earth..." We can apply this to both the first coming and the second coming; the first part to the first coming. Justice has not been sent into all the earth, yet. Remember where we started out, 'here a little, there a little, line upon line, precept upon precept.' This is how the Old Testament has been put together.

"...and the isles shall wait for His law. Thus says the LORD God, He who created the heavens and stretched them out, spreading forth the earth and its offspring; He Who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it. 'I the LORD have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand, and will keep You, and give You for a covenant of the people...'" (vs 4-6).

There we have a prophecy of the coming New Covenant. This also then can tie in—we can take the bread and wine with Melchizedek, tie that in here, and we can bring that forward to the New Covenant Passover. You see how all of these things add up? That's why the Bible is so fantastic. There is not another book in the world that can even come close to matching what the Bible does.

And consider this: there were 40 different writers of the Old Testament. Yet, every single of them agree. There is no conflict! There is no contradiction! They all agree! Which tells you they had to be inspired of God, led by God to do so, and they're separated by hundreds of years, too. So, it makes it even more complicated. But if you get 40 men together and you tell them to write on a variety of subjects, how many do you think would agree? Not very many! This is a miracle of the Bible.

"...for a covenant of the people, for a Light to the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness out of the prison house. I am the LORD; that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to graven images" (vs 6-8).

If the Catholics would be honest and read that, then they would have to take all the images out of their cathedrals and temples. When they get trapped with 'you worship idols.' No, no, no, we venerate them. God says, 'Don't even make them.'

Verse 9: "Behold, the former things have come to pass. And new things I declare; before they happen, I tell you of them." You could take this first

  • "…the former things have come to pass…."—everything about Christ up to His first coming
  • "…new things I declare…"—the New Covenant
  • "…new things I declare; before they happen, I tell you of them"—the prophecies of the New Testament and the book of Revelation

Isn't it interesting? You remember how it says in Daniel that 'many shall go to and fro and knowledge shall be increased.'

I've commented on this, but just that part of that verse is incredible. Because you think about it, we have 7-billion people on the earth today. How many cars, motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, buses, trucks, trains, planes of all kinds? So, that verse is being fulfilled. Anyone who would read that—you don't have to have any spiritual knowledge to understand that. All you have to do is just look at the world. How many times a day is that being fulfilled? Repeatedly every day, millions maybe billions of times! What is the degree of fulfillment of that one little verse? It's almost overwhelming how thorough that has been fulfilled! How did we all get here? We drove! Imagine Paul would have loved to have had a car, even an airplane to get away from all those guys after him.

Verse 10: "Sing to the LORD a new song; His praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and its fullness; the isles and their people." Then it talks about some other things of His second coming, and so forth. This is really quite something.

Now, there are some other things here as we go through, but I just want to cover the ones that are the most obvious, Isaiah 52:13: "Behold, My Servant shall rule well; He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high." That's true concerning Christ. It does apply to His first coming, but how did He say He conducted Himself?

Remember the two sons of Zebedee and the mother came to Jesus saying, 'Oh, Lord, I've got some good sons over here. I want one on Your right hand and one on Your left hand.' What did Jesus say? He said, 'You shall not be like the Gentiles who lord it over'—'katakurieuo'—dictatorship downward. The great ones who are the religious benefactors do the same thing. He said, 'The one who will be great among you will be one who will serve.' He said, 'The Son of man came to serve.' So there are a lot of things that you can bring out here with this one. It can also talk about His second coming as King over the world.

Verses 14-15 have to do with the crucifixion and shed blood, v 14: "Many were astonished at Him—for His body was so disfigured—even His form beyond that of the sons of men." I added to the book, The Appointed Times of the Messiah, on the crucifixion, because Jesus said, 'I have a baptism to be baptized with and I am burdened until it's accomplished.' That was the crucifixion. And His baptism was His shed blood. When He died He said, 'It is finished.' That added a great deal to the crucifixion day.

Verse 15: "So shall He sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouth... [After they say, 'Yes, Sir!' Not like rulers today.] ...shall shut their mouths because of Him; for they will see that which was not told to them; yea, what they had not heard, shall they consider."

1-Corinthians 2 is one of the places—now I'm sure there's another place similar to it, but notice how Paul brings out this about the things you have not seen and you have not heard. This tells us quite a bit about how much knowledge and things that God wants us to learn.

1-Corinthians 2:9: "But according as it is written, 'The eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man... [that's also quoted in Isa, 64.] ...the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.' But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things—even the deep things of God" (vs 9-10). In this age, because we're going through showing how the apostles were teaching from the Old Testament, think about this age: We have the Old Testament. We have the New Testament. We have the history of how it was canonized. We have all the translations into so many languages and billions of Bibles out there in the world.

Dolores and I the other night were watching a series on History Channel going through the book of Revelation. As long as they stuck to the Scriptures, it was really quite good, very accurate. That's part of a witness to people. That'll get the people who don't watch the religious channels. At least it'll be there. Who knows, maybe that'll be a springboard for people to get interested in the Bible and the Word of God. But what I want to bring out for us today with this is: we have the whole Bible!

There's one thing that happens, and it's called Laodiceanism, but it's also based upon how we react when we have everything, when we're full—what happens? Have you ever had a big meal and after a big meal you're sleepy. Then we get so busy, we don't have time for prayer, we don't have time for study. We have to always go forward in everything that we do. That's why this is fantastic—God's Spirit, even the deep things of God.

We have an opportunity way beyond what they did in the New Testament Church to understand, because we can see all the prophecies taking place out there today. We can almost give a new sermon on prophecy every week. Look at the things that I did with Transhumanism with the sermons and then I did nine of them with Church at Home. Then Randy is posting the ones that I did on God's Transhumanism for Us. The truth is, this life is only temporary and God wants us transformed, as we have seen. Those are the deep things of God. Think about all the people that have been in the world up to the time that John received the revelation from Christ. They could read the Bible, if they had it. They could read even certain parts of the New Testament, but without the book of Revelation you cannot understand the end-times. And I'm sure when it was first written, when they first got the book of Revelation, the Apostle John came and said, 'I've written this down. This is direct from Jesus Christ. He told me write the things that you see.'

They started reading it, and I bet that they thought, 'This doesn't make any sense.' How can it talk about the whole world? They didn't even know what the whole world was! How can they talk about all nations? They didn't know all nations! It's there for us today, an amazing thing! I think it's great that they were able to do as good a job as they did on the History Channel. Because there are some people who never have heard some of these things. And they go to some of these Sunday-keeping churches and I don't think they mentioned 'the rapture' in that particular segment of it. But if you go to Sunday-keeping churches, they all talk about 'the rapture.' 'Oh, well, we're hunky-dory. We're just fine. If you're in this church when 'the secret rapture' comes—whoop!' Oh, yeah, they did talk about it, Yes! Planes will crash because the pilots are taken away. Trains will crash, cars will crash.

But here is the key: "...neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him'" (v 9).

  • What is it going to be like to be a spirit being? Don't know, but we can contemplate.
  • What is it going to be like to walk down the streets of New Jerusalem where the streets are literally gold?
  • What is it going to be like to see God the Father face-to-face?

We can contemplate these things, but until the book of Revelation they didn't have a clear enough picture. But here is how the understanding comes. And even with the whole Bible today, a lot of people if they read it they couldn't understand it, but here's the key, v 10: "But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things—even the deep things of God."

Today for the people in the Church, the ministers have got to be teaching the people beyond grade school. I just need to interject something here. There is a minister who for years has told his class that he teaches people to go out into their church and it's a quite large Church of God and ask the question: Does God keep the Ten Commandments? All the students answer yes! He says, 'Wrong.' Think what that does to faith. Think what that does to cut people off from God. I'm going to give a sermon here pretty quick: How Does God Keep the Ten Commandments? First thing he says is, 'The Bible says you shall not kill. God kills people.' Wrong! The Bible says, 'You shall not murder.' So, they're not using the correct translation. God can execute anyone at anytime for sin. He can spare anyone at anytime upon repentance.

You don't believe that, look at Manasseh, the worst king of all the kings of the tribes over Judah and he reigned 55 years. Think of 55 years of Clinton and Obama combined together! All right, God was so angry because there was so much violence and witchcraft and Manasseh turned the temple into a pagan place of worship. God sent the king of Assyria to take him over to Babylon and threw him in prison. And you think, 'Yeah, good. You deserve it.' Well, he did. But what did he do when he was there? He repented! Guess what God did? He brought him back as a vassal king! He didn't have the sole rulership he had before, but when he got there he tore down all the idols, he cleaned up the temple, and everything. God is able to work with different people in different ways all the time.

Here's the thing that's important, v 11: "For who among men understands the things of man except by the spirit of man which is in him?.… [That's why we have intelligence. That's why we think. That's why we can put things together, build, and all the things that we can do.] ...In the same way also, the things of God no one understands except by the Spirit of God."

Think! I want you to think about this. Think how much God has given to us! And always remember: to whom much is given, much is required. So, there can be never a time we can sit back on our laurels and say, 'Oh, we did this. Oh, we did that. Oh, we did the other thing.' Fine. It's good we have done those things, but today's a new day.

  • What are you going to do today?
  • What are you going to do tomorrow?
  • How is your relationship with God now?
  • How is it going to be tomorrow unless you keep at it every day?

Every time I look at the whole Bible and I think about this all the time: Look at what God has put in the Bible and given to us. Think about all the people in the past who had various parts of the Bible, and that was it.

Verse 12: "Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is of God, so that we might know the things graciously given to us by God." That's why don't speak in human wisdom.
The comment was also made by that preacher, 'Well, God doesn't keep the Sabbath.' Yes, He does; better than we do! He sends His Spirit to be wherever His people are, and if we're yielded to God, God is here with us, fellowshipping with us, with His Spirit.

How's that for keeping the Sabbath? Furthermore, since it takes 48 hours for the Sabbath to begin and end around the whole world, God keeps it for 48 hours, man's time. How's that for keeping the Sabbath? He does a spiritual work on the Sabbath. Isn't that what Jesus said when He healed on the Sabbath? He told them, 'I work and My Father works.' Oh, man, they're going to stone Him for that.

Let's come back to Isaiah 51:1: "Hearken to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him, and made him many" (vs 1-2).

We have the physical children of Israel—don't we? They're Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! Yes! What does it say in Gal. 3? 'If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.' They could come here, and I imagine Paul did many times, and preach a sermon.

Verse 4: "Hearken to Me, My people; and give ear to Me, O My nation; for instruction shall proceed from Me, and I will make My justice as a light to the people." You can apply that to the Church, you can apply that to Jesus' second coming.

Verse 5: "My righteousness is near; My salvation has gone out, and My arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon Me, and on My arm they shall trust." That is His second coming.

Verse 6: "Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall become old like a garment; and its inhabitants shall die in the same way. But My salvation shall be forever, and My righteousness shall not be abolished." Hello, all Protestants, read that last sentence. Paul talks about this—doesn't he? Yes, he does! Isa. 53 is what we read on the Passover night concerning the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Isa. 53 is in such detail, remember, 800 years before the event.

We were also watching, too, on the Dark Ages when Charles Martel and then his grandson, Charlemagne, they just had wars! Wars! Wars! Incredible! Think of all the peace we've had here. We better take advantage of it and preach the Gospel.

This has to do with Christ and His sacrifice, Isaiah 53:1: "Who has believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant... [talking about His childhood and growing up] ...and as a root out of a dry ground..." (vs 1-2). Why does he say that? Because there was no spiritual substance to anything that was done even in Jerusalem at the temple when Jesus came—dry ground!

"...He has no form nor comeliness that we should look upon Him, nor beauty that we should desire Him" (v 2). No! He wasn't going to be outstanding. Not like today. Some of the female commentators say, 'Well, you know, the women are going to vote for this guy because he's younger and he's really good looking. And this other guy, he's old and kind of dumpy and not too many women will vote for him.' or How about all of the different rock stars that are today? or The movie stars, how they look, how they appeal. No, He came just as an ordinary man!

Verse 3: "He is despised and rejected of men... [Sometimes we have a big burden to bear. Christ did. He had to bear all the sins of the world. He had to be hated, despised, rejected.] ...a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from Him, He was despised, and we esteemed Him not." This is a prophecy that they didn't even know what was going on.

Can you imagine how the apostles felt after Jesus was taken away, tried, scourged, beaten, led out to be crucified, hung up on the cross, and here they were looking for Him to be the Messiah. They thought that surely He was going to rescue them from the Romans, and here the Romans killed him. They didn't know what to do. They didn't know how to handle it. He had a mission and His goal was the redemption of the world, covering for all the sins of the whole world.

Verse 5: "But He was wounded for our transgressions... [That's why we take the Passover the way that we do. That's why we drink the wine and eat the bread, because Jesus, as God manifested in the flesh, gave His whole being to save His creation.] ...He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we ourselves are healed."

Of course, that was quite a night, quite a day. That's why when He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane before He was arrested, He prayed so fervently that His sweat were like great drops of blood. They know that if you're under great stress, even the vessels will leak blood out into the sweat, and it will come down on you just like you're bleeding.

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Verse 6: "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned each one to his own way; and the LORD had laid on Him the iniquity of us all." After the Holocaust the Jews said this was the Jewish nation, but it's singular. And did any salvation come out of the death camps? No! This is about Christ. "…laid upon Him the iniquity of us all"—the sins of the whole world.

Verse 7: "He was oppressed, and He was afflicted; yet He opened not His mouth. He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away... [all the false judgments] ...and with His generation who did consider that He was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of My people He was stricken?" (vs 7-8). Isn't that something? I tell you, just everything right to the 'nth' detail.

Verse 9: "And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death... [He was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man.] ...although He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet the LORD willed to crush Him and He has put Him to grief: You shall make His life an offering for sin. He shall see His seed... [all the Church] ...He shall prolong His days... [He'll be resurrected] ...and that the purpose of the LORD might prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travail of His soul. He shall be fully satisfied. By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many; and He shall bear their iniquities…. and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for transgressors" (vs 9-12).

Just think, all of these divergent prophecies, how many of them focused on the last day, the day of the crucifixion? This is why that we have to go by the calculated Hebrew calendar. Originally, as we can determine from the book of Genesis, each month had 30 days—there were 12 months, 360 days. And Dwight Blevins, who knows more about calendar material than about anyone else I know of, he did a figuring, using that kind of calendar to figure out a seven-year cycle. The beginning of the land Sabbath fell on the same day of the week every time with the perfect calendar.

But with the sins of men, everything is out of whack. Since Jesus was ordained from the foundation of the world to be the Lamb to take away the sin of the world, it had to be on that day, even though the calendar was messed up. So, God had to give the calculations to the priests so that it would fall on the Passover day, the day it was ordained to be on. Even God took care of all those details. Quite a thing! When we get all these things together, this is something!

We will look at some of the Psalms here a little later, but what I want to do is see how the Apostle Paul preached. I think we will see that he did exactly as all the other apostles. By time the Apostle Paul was ordained, they probably had the book of Matthew. They may have had parts of the book of Mark. Paul and Barnabas out on their very first evangelistic tour—the Protestants like to call it missionary tour:

Acts 13:14: "Now, after passing through from Perga, they came to Antioch of Pisidia; and they went into the synagogue on the Sabbath Day and sat down…. [He was a Pharisee. If you're a Pharisee and traveling, you're asked to speak.] …And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets..." (vs 14-15).

Let me tell you how the synagogue service was run concerning the Scriptures. When Ezra and the 120 priests canonized the Old Testament, in order to keep all the Jewish synagogues doing the same thing throughout the whole Persian Empire, and even on down into Egypt, they designed what was called the Triennial Cycle, which is every Sabbath they had to read certain Scriptures from the Law, certain Scriptures from the Prophets, certain Scriptures from the Psalms. It would take them three years to go through the Old Testament. Then on the Holy Days they had the special books to read for that.

Verse 15: "And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue said to them, 'Men, brethren... [they didn't know what they were getting themselves into] ...if you have a word of exhortation for the people, speak.' Then Paul stood up and after beckoning with his hand, said, 'Men, Israelites, and those who fear God... [Who he was talking to were the circumcised Gentiles over in the Gentile section of the synagogue. He addressed everybody.] ...and those who fear God, listen to me…. [notice where he starts]: …The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they were sojourning in the land of Egypt, and with a high arm brought them out of it…. [How's that for a summary of the book of Exodus?] …And for a period of about forty years, He put up with their manners in the desert.... [that's another brief summary] ...And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, He gave their land to them by lot. And after these things, He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet" (vs 15-20).

What is he doing? He's starting with what they already know and leading up to the fulfillment where there is Christ.

Verse 21: "And then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul, son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And after removing him, He raised up David to be their king; to whom He also gave testimony, saying, 'I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will perform all My will" (vs 21-22).

In the reading of the Triennial Cycle they would come to the area in 1-Samuel where Samuel was told to go down and select one of the sons of Jesse. You know that he had seven sons, six of them were there. Samuel kept saying when they came by, especially Abinadab, 'This has got to be the one.' God said, 'No, this is not the one.' Came by twice. Samuel asked Jesse, he says, 'Do you have another son?' Oh, yeah, we've got a young lad out there shepherding the sheep. 'Bring him in.' Here he was, probably about 17, maybe 18 at the most. He came in and was anointed.

Verse 22: "And after removing him, He raised up David to be their king; to whom He also gave testimony, saying, 'I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will perform all My will.' Of this man's seed has God according to His promise raised up to Israel a Savior, Jesus… [he's starting to get into the troubled waters here] …after John had first preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel" (vs 22-24). And remember the miracle of John's birth. Remember that he was the son of a priest. These were big-time things happening.

Verse 25: "And as John was fulfilling his course, he said, 'Whom do you suppose that I am?…. [People went down to find out about it. Who are you?] (he said): ...I am not He...'" They knew it was time for the Messiah to show up. They knew that He was born in Bethlehem. That's where He was to be born, so they knew all of these things.

John said: "'…I am not He; but behold, there is one Who comes after me, of Whom I am not worthy to loose the sandals of His feet'" (v 25). Stop and think about it now. I wonder if there were any of the Jews that were at the temple from this area when the Holy Spirit was given. I wonder if there were any that would do their pilgrimage and come and hear about John the Baptist? So, it makes you wonder the background of all of these things.

Here he gets into some things, v 26: "Men, brethren, sons of the race of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the message of this salvation was sent; for those who were dwelling in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew Him not, nor the voices of the prophets who are read every Sabbath... [He's convicting them. They had all the Scriptures and they read it every Sabbath, but they didn't recognize Christ.] ...have themselves fulfilled them in condemning Him. And though no one found any cause worthy of death, they begged Pilate to execute Him'" (vs 26-28). Now I suppose he could have brought in some of the other Scriptures that we just covered.

Verse 29: "And when they had carried out all things that were written concerning Him... [some of those things we just read] ...they took Him down from the tree and put Him in a tomb; But God raised Him from the dead. And He appeared for many days to those who had come up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. And we are announcing the Gospel to you—the promise made to the fathers—that God has fulfilled this to us, their children, having raised up Jesus.... [then he quotes Psa. 2]: ...'You are My Son; today have I begotten you.' And to confirm that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He spoke in this manner: 'I will give You the faithful mercies of David.' Accordingly, he also says in another place, 'You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption'" (vs 32-35). He was preaching the same way that we're examining the Scriptures here today.

Verse 36: "For David, after ministering to his own generation by the counsel of God, died, and was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption. But the one Whom God raised up did not see corruption. Therefore, be it known to you... [This is straight talk. Who was that running for President, the straight-talk express? Here's Paul, this is the straight-talk express to the Jews.] ...men and brethren, that through this man the remission of sins is preached to you…. [We just read it in Isa. 53—didn't we? Yes!] …And in Him everyone who believes is justified from all things..." (vs 36-39).

Now he gets into real trouble, because they all considered themselves disciples of Moses. Remember when Jesus healed the man who had been blind from birth? They brought him before the Pharisees and the Pharisees didn't believe he was the one. His folks said, 'Yes, this is the one.' They said, 'Tell us how he is able to see?' They said, 'He's old enough, he'll speak for himself.'

They said, 'Tell us who did this.' So he told them it was Jesus. They said, 'Well, we know that this man is a sinner, we're Moses' disciples.' Then that poor guy got himself in trouble, too. He said, 'Isn't it an amazing thing that someone who has been born blind sees, and you say He's not from God, He's a sinner.' He got disfellowshipped from the synagogue. Sound familiar?

Here Paul is doing the same thing, v 38: "Therefore, be it known to you, men and brethren, that through this man the remission of sins is preached to you." The Jews could not have their sins forgiven unless they went to a temple and offered the ritual sacrifice. Judaism also had other laws and things to do.

Verse 39: "And in Him everyone who believes is justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses." When Protestants read that they think that there he's done away with the Law of Moses. No! He is showing that now there is justification by God, put in right standing with God. This has nothing to do with the rest of the laws of the book of the Law.

Verse 40: "Take heed, therefore, lest that which is spoken in the Prophets come upon you… [Now he's going to really convict them. Paul always threw some salt into the wounds. He did it with Scriptures.] …Take heed... [Then he quotes what Isaiah says]: ...'Behold, you despisers, and wonder and perish; for I work a work in your days, a work that you will in no way believe, even if one declares it to you'" (vs 40-41).

The synagogue was in a total uproar! And when the Jews had gone out of the synagogues I imagine there were very various feelings of the Jews. I imagine the rulers of the synagogue said, 'Who wanted this man to speak? Why did you let him speak?' Well, it was a Pharisee! 'Look at what he's done.'

Verse 42: "And when the Jews had gone out of the synagogue... [the Gentiles were still there] ...the Gentiles entreated him that these words might be spoken to them on the next Sabbath"—at the synagogue. I don't think he made it to the synagogue for this preaching.

Verse 43: "Now after the synagogue had been dismissed, many of the Jews and the proselytes who worshiped there followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God." Everybody pay attention to this verse and the next one. Here is a verse that tells us the grace of God and Sabbath-keeping go hand in hand. It says 'continue in the grace of God.' That's the relationship with God.

Verse 44: "And on the coming Sabbath... [He didn't say, 'All you good Gentiles here, I want to tell you a secret. You heard me talk against the Law of Moses? Come back tomorrow, first day of the week.' That would have been the way to handle it if Sunday was going to be the day, but Sunday was never going to be the day.] ...almost the whole city was gathered together to hear the Word of God."

Why? They didn't have telephones, but they ran from place to place and everybody was talking! 'You know, these strangers came in. You should have seen what they did in the synagogue. You should have heard what he said. You should have seen the reaction by the rulers of the synagogue.'

Here, they're going along and having a peaceful Sabbath week after week and coming into the synagogue and here comes Paul and Barnabas and they turn the place upside down, cause a riot, make half the people mad, half the people glad, and the Gentiles are now following them, those proselytes that the Jews worked so hard to get them to believe and to have them circumcised and attend the synagogue. Now they're going with Paul. What's this happening here? They gathered to hear the Word of God!

Verse 45: "But when they saw the multitude, the Jews were filled with envy... ['We never had crowds like this. We never had them come to listen to us. We've got to stop this.' Here are the first liberal Democrats. If you can't refute the message, kill the messenger with slander.] ...and they spoke against the things proclaimed by Paul, and were contradicting and blaspheming."

Paul gave them another warning. How's this for nice goodbye, v 46: "It was necessary for the Word of God to be spoken to you first; but since you reject it and do not judge yourselves worthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles." Whew! Man, when you understand the racial discrimination of the Jews concerning Gentiles, then you will know this was just like slapping a slab of bacon right across the face of the Jews. 'Turn to the Gentiles.'

Notice what they did, v 47: "For so the Lord has enjoyed upon us; 'I have set You for a light of the Gentiles... [We read that—right?] ...that You should be for salvation unto the uttermost parts of the earth.'…. [the Gentiles who have been put into a sub-category by the Jews] …And when the Gentiles heard this, they rejoiced... ['Hooray! Freedom!'] ...and they glorified the Word of the Lord, and believed, as many as were appointed to eternal life. And the Word of the Lord was carried throughout the entire country" (vs 47-49). This thing went like a firestorm in a grass field. POOF! So look what the Jews did. 'We've got to stop this. We have got to turn this around. We're losing control.'

Verse 50: "But the Jews stirred up the devout and honorable women... [Yes, always get the women mad.] ...and the principal men of the city... [Nothing like a political ploy. 'Yes, we will give you money, but get rid of this guy.'] ...and raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their borders. And after shaking the dust off their feet against them, they came to Iconium. Then the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit" (vs 50-52). Notice what happened when they came to Iconium; another synagogue riot.

Acts 14:1: "Now it came to pass in Iconium that they went together into the synagogue of the Jews and spoke so powerfully that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren. For this reason, they stayed a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, Who bore witness to the message of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done through their hands" (vs 1-3). It affected the whole city.

At 5 o'clock they could not go home and watch the television and watch the news or watch the sports and be distracted. So. the whole city became involved. Some were with the Jews and some were with the apostles. Picture a mild riot in the streets and think about the Middle East when you look at the news. I'm sure they were chanting, some were saying, 'We're for Paul. We're for Barnabas.' 'We're for the Jews, we're for the synagogue.' You can almost see it.

Verse 5: "And when an assault was about to be made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers to insult and stone them, They became aware of it, so they fled to Lyconia, into the cities of Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding region" (vs 5-6). They had their run-in with the pagans. Really, you could make a fantastic, exciting movie about this—couldn't you?

Verse 8: "Now in Lystra, a certain man was sitting who had never walked; he was impotent in this feet, having been crippled from his mother's womb. This man heard Paul speaking; who, after looking intently at him, and seeing that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, 'Stand upright on your feet.' And he leaped up and walked" (vs 8-10).

Now here's the sleepy little village again. Exciting things taking place, v 11: "And when the multitude saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices in Lyconian, saying, 'The gods have become like men and have come down to us'.... [Fits right in with Greek mythology. This spread far, wide.] ...And Barnabas they called Zeus... [The chief god of the Greeks.] ...and Paul, Hermes... [the speaker] ...because he was the principal speaker. Then the priest of Zeus, who officiated before their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, desiring to sacrifice with the multitudes" (vs 11-13). 'Oh, let's have a feast—as they say in Spanish fiesta—let's have a feast, this is great, let's celebrate. The gods finally came down to visit us.'

"...And when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard this, they ripped their own garments in disbelief, and rushed into the multitude, shouting out and saying, 'Men...'" (vs 13-15). 'We're happy you're doing these things. We have needed a way to bring the Greek philosophy and the Greek gods into this new Christianity. We're so happy for this opportunity.' That's what the Greek Orthodox would tell you. No!

"'...why are you doing these things? We also are men, with the same nature as you, and we have been preaching the Gospel to you, so that you will turn from these vanities to the living God, Who made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all the things in them; who in the past generations allowed all people to go in their own ways; though, indeed, He did not leave Himself without witness, in doing good to us from heaven by giving rain and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with good and gladness.' And even by saying these things, they could hardly keep the multitudes from sacrificing to them" (vs 15-18).

That was something! After this reception, shows the vicissitude of some of the Gentiles. Sound like the Middle East? 'Oh, hooray for this leader.' Get rid of him. 'Oh, hooray for this leader.' Someone comes along, 'Oops, that's the wrong the guy.' Oh, hooray for this leader. They did the same thing here.

Verse 19: "Then the Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there... [The word probably got back to them:. 'Did you hear what's going on down there? Did you hear that these Gentiles are being converted from this pagan religion by Paul and Barnabas? Where is this going to go?'] ...and after persuading the multitudes, they stoned Paul... [How's that for a wonderful reception? Anyone want to volunteer to be an apostle? 'He who has ears to hear,' you better listen!] ...and dragged him outside the city, supposing that he was dead."

I'm sure they didn't use little pebbles. I'm sure that Paul was debilitated the rest of his life because of this. You get hit in your back and your ribs with a good-sized stone—they left him as dead.

Verse 20: "But while the disciples were standing around him, he arose; and he went into the city with them. And the next day, he departed with Barnabas to Derbe." We'll finish this chapter and see this is how the Church began. We don't know how it's going to end. But God says that the Gospel is going to be preached as a witness in all the world.

We do know it's going to end with martyrdom. That we know, because we're told that. The mark of the beast is coming. By the way, a little sidebar: Germany in July is going to go cashless. It's coming, it's coming. They are setting up the system so they can bring on the mark of the beast, but they must get the system set up first. The mark of the beast will come last. We don't know what it's going to be like to preach the Gospel at the end. But we also know that it's going to get so bad that we have with the Internet, we have something that is really, really going to work—ChurchatHome.org You won't have to go out and get stoned. Be at home. If it comes time for martyrdom, they'll come and arrest you. Don't worry about it. Christ is for you, you're going to make it.

Verse 21: "And after preaching the gospel to that city and making many disciples, they returned to Lystra and Iconium and Antioch.... [Went right back where they came from.] ...Where they established the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and declaring that we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God" (vs 21-22). They had it then—we'll have it now.

"And when they had chosen for themselves elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they committed them to the Lord, on Whom they had believed. And they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they came down to Attalia; and they had sailed to Antioch, where they had committed to the grace of God for the work, which they had fulfilled. And when they arrived, they gathered the church together and declared all that God had done with them, and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. And they stayed there with the disciples for a long time" (vs 23-28).

This is how the Gospel was originally preached. Now today we do the same principle. We talk about the things that are in the world today that have been prophesied and we bring it in a relevant way to their lives. We talk about the false Christian religion of this world and how God's way is different than that. How did you get from what the Bible says to where you are now, and how are you going to go from where you are now, so you can return to God?

But we're still preaching the same Gospel—the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, Christ returning to rule the world. We're living in the age, we know it's the end-time. We don't know how long we have to go. We don't know how intense it's going to be in preaching the Gospel. But it's going to be out there.

I know Stephen was telling me the other day, he showed me one of the programs that I did that was put on YouTube, one of the Church at Home. And he says, 'Dad, you're out there everywhere on the Internet.' I said, 'I didn't know that.' So it is reaching various people at various levels and we'll have varying degrees of effect. But at least that's going to be a witness in our day.

Hopefully, they won't come and stone us here in Hollister at the present time. But I do know this: We have got to take these examples and use them in what we are doing and ask God for the help and the strength to really preach the Gospel the way that we need to. Not rest on our laurels on anything, but keep going forward in everything that we do. So, we can

  • preach from the Old Testament
  • preach from the New Testament
  • preach with the contemporary things are taking place right now

—and we can let everyone know that all of this has been prophesied in the Word of God and you need to repent and turn to God.

Scriptural References:

  • Isaiah 42:1
  • Isaiah 61:1-3
  • Isaiah 42:1, 3
  • Psalm 110:1-2, 4-5
  • Genesis 14:18-20
  • Isaiah 42:4-10
  • Isaiah 52:13-15
  • 1-Corinthians 2:9-10, 9, 12
  • Isaiah 51:1-2, 4-6
  • Isaiah 53:1-3, 5-12
  • Acts 13:14-52
  • Acts 14:1-3, 5-6, 8-28

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Luke 4:18
  • Isaiah 64
  • Galatians 3
  • Psalm 2

Also referenced:

  • Sermon Series: Transhumanism
  • Book: The Appointed Times of the Messiah (coming soon)

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 02-14-12
Formatted: bo—2-15-12

Copyright 2012—All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes, no part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner. This includes electronic and mechanical photocopying or recording, as well as the use of information storage and retrieval systems.

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