|Elijah||A man just like us|
|Daniel||The Anointed One will come|
|Jeremiah||The One who scattered will also gather|
|Abraham||God himself will provide the Lamb|
|Zechariah||Your King comes to you with salvation|
|Hosea||The Love Test. How can I give you up?|
|Jesus Christ||Prophet, Priest and King|
Elijah - A man just like us! James 517
In what ways was Elijah like us? Why does James emphasise this?
He hated wickedness in the world and in himself.
Not so extraordinary that he didn't need to plead to God for his own salvation.
He was a man of prayer. Diligent, faithful and believing.
He prayed earnestly. What for?
That God would act and change the nation. (Like Intercessors for Britain)
He prayed earnestly - probably for several years - Israel was going to the dogs
Then God answered him. I'm going to send a drought! What an answer.
How do you pray for our nation?
O God, send leaders who fear you more than men?
O God, that men would turn from their sin and repent?
In the days of Elijah God's answer was to send a major national disaster.
3½ year drought. A disaster in which men would see they had no answer.
We sometimes sing "These are the days of Elijah ..."!!
But do we realise what we are singing?
Elijah had heard God correctly.
He had warned them years earlier in Deut 1116,17
But the nasty bits of God's word were ignored - they still are.
1 Kgs 171 tells how Elijah strode into the palace of Ahab and Jezabel
and shouted - "No rain till I say so." He wisely made a isk exit!
No argument. No discussion. No explanation.
God sent him E. across the Jordan. He stayed as instructed by a small ook.
God ordered ravens to feed him there. And they obeyed.
He knew the danger he was in - no protection from 'human rights' laws.
God hid him there. No one saw him go. And no one found him.
What did Elijah, the prophet of God do during those long hot days?
What did Ahab do? He soon forgot the word of the Lord from Elijah.
In Israel it never rains from May to September anyway.
But when Autumn came; the expected rain did not.
Elijah continued to pray that it wouldn't rain. What a responsibility!
Imagine the growing distress - yet continuing to pray for disaster!!
He probably prayed for Ahab too.
That this demonstration of God's power would change his heart.
But it didn't.
Men rarely heed God's warnings to put away their idols, to obey him
and to worship only him. Warnings are rarely effective. Amos 56-11
Signs and wonders seldom cause men to turn to God. Lu 1630,31
Tsunami's, hurricanes, earthquakes, Aids, foot and mouth, war...
In recent years have any of these caused men to cry to the Lord for mercy?
Most criticise the Lord Almighty in either anger or bewilderment.
They imply God can't be loving; we don't deserve this.
Such people totally ignore his justice.
The second winter passed without rain; not a drop.
What was inconvenient, was now becoming a major disaster.
Did Ahab begin to soften? Or was he like Tony Blair during the 2001 F&M.
Elijah continued to pray.
There was one small problem for this faithful Prophet. The ook Kerith dried up.
No problem for God. He just told him to go and live near Sidon.
Sidon?! That is in the very heart of 'Jezebel' country.
But Elijah obeyed and lived with a widow whose oil and flour never ran out.
Ahab sent out search parties, but no one found him.
Not even when God raised the widow's dead son back to life!
Elijah continued to pray.
The third winter passed and still no rain.
One day God told him to meet Ahab and all his false prophets on Mt. Carmel.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Why was this contest so significant?
Why did the people worship Baal?
Supposed to be god of thunder, lightning, weather, agricultural prosperity.
With no rain for over 3 years - this idol god was a spectacular failure.
The Lord Almighty, he is God and he alone.
The long, God-ordered drought and the Carmel triumph proved that.
Not to mention the timely death of the 400 prophets of Baal!
But Elijah still had work to do - this time to pray for the promised rain.
He prayed seven times - till he saw a cloud coming.
Then the faithful true God sent rain in abundance.
But Jezebel was angry - very angry. Elijah wisely fled.
Like Paul who had to flee from many of the cities he preached in.
But God had not finished with Elijah.
Even when the Lord Almighty had so emphatically won the battle,
Ahab and the nation did not repent.
God is not fooled by some temporary emotional response. 1 Kg 1839
What was Elijah's next task?
Anoint two new kings. 1 Kg 1915-17
Anoint and train another prophet to continue the work. Elisha.
Also told that 7,000 chosen by grace - not just Elijah. 1 Kg 1918
A fews years later he proclaimed the truth to Ahab and Jezebel - again.
But this time it got personal.
They had murdered Naboth for a cabbage patch. God had seen this.
God told Elijah both would suffer a shameful ignominious end. 1 Kg 2119 ,23
And it was so. God always keeps his word.
Ahab. 1 Kg 2238 (~5 years later)
Jezebel. 2 Kg 935 (~20 years later)
Ahab's successor Azariah became ill and consulted the god of Ekron.
So Elijah told him he would certainly die. And he did.
3 companies of 50 men could not save the king - not even a whole army.
Finally God chose to raise this great prophet up to heaven in a whirlwind.
Not in a chariot - as some say. 2 Kg 211
His ministry complete, it was time to pass on the mantle.
Elisha made one last request - a double portion of the Spirit of God in Elijah.
Elijah could not guarantee such a request, but said:
If you see what God is going to do to me, your request will be granted.
God opened Elisha's eyes; he saw Elijah taken up,
and he also saw the chariots and horsemen of Israel.
But that is the story of another prophet under the mighty hand of God!
900 years later John Baptist came like Elijah - not just in dress!
Mal 45 Lu 117 Math 1114 1711-13
When Jesus was on the Mountain, Moses and Elijah appeared with him.
What did they talk about? The departure of Jesus - his crucifixion. Lu 930,31
The God-chosen means for the Redeemer to save all believers.
Elijah was just like us; how like him are we?
A man of God, earnest in prayer,
humble, yet courageous in spirit,
God revealed amazing truth to Elijah.
This great prophet was obedient, faithful.
By God's great grace may we become like him.
Daniel - Babylon 605 to 539 BC
Daniel in his late teens was taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar in 605.
Before exile he would have heard Jeremiah preach (began 21 years earlier).
Entered Babylon University with 3 friends - graduated with 1st class honours.
18-17 Resolved not to defile himself with idol meat. (Not because vegetarian)
Nebuchadnezzar troubled by several incoherent dreams. (ch.2)
Threatens to kill all wise men if no revelation of dream.
Daniel and his friends pray earnestly all night.
God reveals Nebuchadnezzar's dreams; clarity puts his troubled mind in order.
'Superpower' Babylon wouldn't last. Followed by 3 other world empires.
Gold, silver, onze, iron = Babylon, Mede/Persia, Greece, Rome.
Revealed as man sees them - strong, valuable, glorious.
Each would trample on Jerusalem until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Lu 2124
This was devastating news for Nebuchadnezzar.
But he was willing to admit it was true. God was at work in this mighty king!
The most significant part of this dream is usually ignored.
A rock was cut out, but not by human hands. 234
This Rock is Christ (the stone that the builders rejected).
Jesus was born of a virgin, by the Holy Spirit, not by the will of man. Jn 113
At the end this mighty Rock destroys the whole statue - suddenly! Rev 1821
Christ, the mighty Rock will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. 244
No trace of the glorious man-made empires will remain.
The Kingdom of God will fill all the earth.
Jesus Christ and his Kingdom will rule here for 1000 years. Rev 20
and then for ever in the new heaven and earth. Rev 21,22. Lu 209-18
Nebuchadnezzar is impressed. And rightly so - for the dream is true. 245
By God's hand Daniel, a young Jewish exile became his PM for 45 years.
(like to Joseph, when exiled in Egypt, who also became PM).
Daniel is seen as honest, courteous, courageous, loyal and wise;
The principal message is that it is 'the Most High God' (x13 in Dan) Ps 2
who orders the timing of world events. He appoints and dis-appoints rulers.
A few years later, Nebuchadnezzar makes an all-gold statue. (ch.3)
In the earlier dream only head was gold.
He thought his 'gold' kingdom was indestructible - and that God was wrong.
Foolishly challenges the God of Daniel's 3 friends
Anger often leads to poor decisions - and Nebuchadnezzar was furious.
They did not presume God would rescue them.
e.g. Steven and James c.f. Peter and John.
Not a hair was singed, only their ropes were burned in the fiery furnace.
They were obedient when told to leave the furnace - and Jesus.
Tree felled and stump bound with iron. (ch.4) 563
Nebuchadnezzar's testimony. Only Gentile chapter in OT.
God's personal warning against pride fulfilled and effective.
It seems that God won his man. We hear no more of Nebuchadnezzar.
Vision of 4 Beasts. (71-14) 553
Lion, bear, leopard and 'most terrible'.
Same 4 world empires as in 'Statue' vision
But revealed as God sees them - destructive beasts.
4th beast is different. Vision now takes us to the end times.
A coalition of 10 evil nations (10 horns) continues Roman empire. Rev 1712
Nameless - it was so terrible. It crushed and devoured all its victims.
From it, a little horn arises, defeats 3/10 and is boastful and blasphemous.
Daniel is deeply troubled. He seeks God's answer. It is revealed. 715-28
The little horn wages war against the saints and defeats them. 721
'Until the Ancient of Days' returns,
and pronounces judgement in favour of the saints of the Most High. 722
The little horn will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints
But only for 3½ years. 725
Then the court will sit,
and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed for ever.. 726
Daniel was deeply troubled. 728
Not by what he didn't understand, but by what he did understand
concerning the future oppression of the saints.
Two years later Vision of Ram (Medes and Persians) and Goat (Greece).
Goat's horn is broken and 4 came up in its place.
4 Generals would succeed the Greek, Alexander the Great.
Another horn grew out of them. (Antiochus IV 'Epithanes' ~170 BC)
Truth thrown to ground 812 Pig offered to Zeus in Temple etc
Maccabees defeat Antiochus after 2300 sacrifices (1150 am +1150 pm)
Their God-ordained victory celeated at Hanukkah by Jews.
Gabriel then explains the final Anti-christ. (Re-run of previous vision)
A master of intrigue will arise ... he will destroy the holy people.
He will cause deceit to prosper and consider himself superior. 824
Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power. 825
Jesus Christ will destroy this horrible Beast at his return. Rev 1920
[2 Thes 2 and Rev 13 gives further details of the Satanic Antichrist
and his False Prophet of the last days.]
Writing on the wall (ch.5) 539
Daniel pronounces God's judgement of Belshazzar. Mene, Tekel, Parsin. 526
That very night Belshazzar, king of Babylon, was slain. 530
No man can challenge, defy or insult Almighty God and get away with it. 54
e.g. Goliath 1 Sam 1745 Sennacherib 2 Kg 1822,30-35
Daniel's Prayer. (9)
He confessed his and the nation's sin. Prayed earnestly. 91-19
Gabriel comes again and reveals God's answer. 920-27
Reveals 70 weeks of years = (7+62+1) x 7 years.
Almighty God establishes a very clear and longed-for promise. i.e.
God will put an end to sin, atone for wickedness,
to ing in everlasting righteousness. 924
This is Daniel's great desire, and the desire of all who seek the Saviour.
Seal up the vision. God's promise is authentic, sure and unchangeable.
What was going to happen?
Anointed One will be cut off. 926a Christ will be crucified.
Ruler will come who will destroy the city and the sanctuary. 926b
Rome under Titus destroys Jerusalem in 70 AD.
War will continue until the end. 926c
Unending conflict for 2000 years - especially for the Jews.
Then in last 7 years:
Covenant with many for one seven. The Peace Treaty; but oken. 927a
He will put an end to sacrifice and offering. 927b
All synagogues and churches closed.
He will set up an abomination than causes desolation. 927c
Worse than demonic 'Golden Dome'
that declares (in Arabic) that God has no Son.
Until the end that is decreed is poured out on him - by Jesus Christ. 927d
The Most High will ing all the words of this fantastic prophesy to pass.
To Daniel God reveals all the principal events of 2,500 years of world history.
In Ch 11,12 he is shown events of 530-164 BC with such accuracy
that some even say Daniel 11,12 must have been written later!
(See Bible study notes on Daniel)
Jeremiah - Jerusalem 626 to 586 BC
A priest from Anathoth, 3 miles NE of Jerusalem. Taught the scriptures
Persistent - prophesied consistently for 40 years.
Sensitive and earnest - he wept alone over the wickedness of Judah.
All too easy to just criticise, but like his Lord, Jeremiah had real compassion.
414,19-21 821-91 Lu 1334 1941,42
He was not a hopeless misery,
but a griever with assurance of things hoped for (faith). Heb 111
The People - their character and response
They ignored God's word then; and do so now. 253
Like a car alarm in a supermarket car-park!
The Message - from God
Mostly Heew poetry: Accurate, emotional and rational (heart + mind).
What was he shown that no one else saw?
God revealed his plan for their day (God's judgement against Jerusalem).
Also his plan for the distant future (God's judgement for Jerusalem). 30-33
Declares the Lord (x165) or This is what the Lord says ...(x83) = (x 248)
All prophets relevant in every generation. Especially Jeremiah today.
Chosen by God - as all prophets. Before you were born I set you apart. 15
Anointed as a prophet to the nations. 15b,10 Not just to Judah.
I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot ... to build and to plant. 110b
God promised to rescue him and to remain with him. 18,19 1520,21 3911,12
but he must speak all that he hears. 17
God protected him from Satan's clutches, but not from hardship or persecution.
1121-23 1818 201,2, 7-9 268,11 3715,16 384-7,28
He died only when his work was completed (after 40 years).
626 Jeremiah's 1st vision is an Almond tree, God says, "I am watching". 111
Heew 'Shakad' = to watch, keep awake; or almond, earliest to bloom.
Israel first to blossom and last to fruit. i.e. God's plan for his chosen people.
People claimed to be "innocent". They refused to blush. 235 615 33
The heart of God still ached for these rebellious people. 610a,16
If I can find one honest person I will forgive. 51,18 Gen 1823-32
But all were greedy for gain. (basis of idolatry) 613 Col 35
Worshipped idols. Baal, Astarte, Molech. 1113 172 3235
Idol worship is so ridiculous - like a scarecrow in a melon patch! 105 c.f. 6
False prophets say "peace". 614 Is 3010 False hope. 222 531
Warns about false prophets who tell lies. 531 74 96 1414 206 2325,32
They have lied about the Lord; they said he will do nothing! 512
c.f. today 'God of Love', never punishes or disciplines. Heb 127-11 Rev 319
They consistently refused to listen or respond to correction.
230 53,6 610,17,19b 713,24,26,27 117,8 etc
They forsook the Lord and rebelled. 27,17,19,27,29,30 417 519,23 628 913 etc
Therefore ... Complete destruction. 46,16,17 515-17 61,2,19 729 etc
In 622, righteous Josiah, then 27, carries out major reforms in the Temple.
All public idols were destroyed by this zealous king. Revival? No.
Hearts of the people are not changed; so God's message is not changed. 1113
Destruction remains certain. 911 1018
UK and all nations need to hear 1217
Clay pot is re-shaped = a nation that heeds warning. 181-12
Judah refuses to change, so destruction.
Like a 'fired' pot is smashed and is not repairable. 191-13
Jeremiah is put in the stocks. But God's verdict is unchanged. 201-6
Leaders and people refused to listen for 23 years (or next 17 years). 253,4
Thus God decreed destruction of Judah and exile for 70 years. 259-11 2910
Jerusalem and Temple not destroyed until 586.
70 years is 586 to 516 (not 605-537 see Dan 92 Zech 112 75)
Jehoiakim surrenders to Nebuchadnezzar without a fight. Remains king.
Daniel and best young men taken to Babylon.
604 Jehoiakim burns scroll with contempt for Jeremiah and God! 3622,23
597 Mr 'face-two-ways' Jehoiakim sides with Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar attacks.
Jehoiakim was captured after siege, his body thrown over city wall. 2219
Uncle Zedekiah appointed by Nebuchadnezzar.
Temple treasure, Ezekiel and others taken to Babylon. 2 Ch 36
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. 2913
This was first promised by God in Deut 429
'The end' will be 'a time of trouble for Jacob'. 307
i.e. in the last days as well as in 586 BC
Your wound is incurable, but I will heal your wounds!
Only later will you understand this miracle. 3012,17,24
'Yet I will not destroy you completely.' (unlike Jerusalem 307,11
I have loved you ... I am Israel's father ...
I will make a new covenant ... I will forgive. 313,9,31,34
Buys his cousin's field as a sign. (At the time a Babylonian army camp)
Nothing is too hard for God. 32
Not even the restoration of Judah. 3016-24 31 336-26 Ro 111,11,26
At this time, the Babylonian siege will succeed. 3226-36a
But later God will gather and make everlasting covenant. 3236b-44
The Righteous anch will surely cleanse and save Judah. 33
Jeremiah beaten and imprisoned for discouraging the soldiers. 3718-21
But he is not silenced! Thrown into cistern. Rescued. 381-13 3915-18
As the Sovereign Lord promised, Jerusalem falls after severe 18 month siege.
City and Temple totally destroyed. 39
Their promised return would also be fulfilled in 538BC.
But that's another story!
[Zedekiah sons killed in front of him, then he is blinded and exiled to Babylon]
Nebuchadnezzar orders special care for Jeremiah. 3912
(Daniel had been his respected PM for 17 years)
Jeremiah given freedom by Nebuchadnezzar. 404
Righteous Gedaliah assassinated by rebel Jews. 407 - 413
Jeremiah's ministry complete, Johanan takes him to Egypt. 4116 - 4313]
Jeremiah Reflects the Saviour
Jeremiah warned the Jews of the destruction of the 1st Temple.
Jesus warned the Jews of the destruction of the 2nd Temple. Both were ignored.
Jesus also warns us of the Judgement - Soon it will be too late.
After Calvary, God waited 40 years (till 70 AD) - the period of testing.
Jeremiah preached and warned the people for 40 years.
Both found that they and their message were rejected.
Both suffered many assassination attempts.
Jer 1118,21 268 3626 384 Lu 429,30 Jn 71 859 1031,39 1150 c.f. Jn 184,5
Both wept - not for themselves, but for the people. 821-91 Lu 1941
In Israel it takes a man to cry. In most countries of the West it is thought cissy.
Stoicism is Greek, not Heew.
One day God will wipe away all the believer's tears . Is 258 Rev 717
Jeremiah's personal lament reflects the crying heart of God. 207-18 Lam 3
Jeremiah's cave (where he prayed) is next to Golgotha (Gordon's Calvary).
Jesus poured out his heart to his Father in Gethsemane - Math 2636-46
and at Calvary - Ps 22 Answer unexpected. Is 556-11
The world talks much about their 'rights';
Christians talk about responsibility and admit that we deserve nothing.
We live in a 'meritocracy'; you only get what you work for
But the Kingdom of God is based on mercy (not getting what we deserve)
and grace (getting what we do not deserve)
Jeremiah didn't deserve his life of trials, rejection and tears. Neither did Jesus.
Jesus didn't deserve to be crucified - we did!
Abraham - Prophet, Patriarch and Preacher
The story of Abram and his descendants begins in Genesis 12.
Why so important?
God's choice of the Jews has profoundly shaped 4000 years of world history.
Jesus chose to be born a Jew.
Men view this apparent favouritism with such obvious disfavour.
Equal opportunity and my 'right to choose' is popular.
But we are not always so keen on another's right to choose; especially God!
God remains the Sovereign Lord and it is always his right to choose.
Abraham was 75 when God said leave your country - so he left! Gen 121
To this great Patriarch God reveals much of his plan to ing salvation to men.
God appeared to him at least 9 times and made him a prophet.
Gen 121-3 127 131-17 1418-20 151-21 171-22 181-33 2111-13 221-18
At the start God gave him a fourfold unconditional covenant promise:
1. I will make you into a great nation. Gen 122
2. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse. Gen 123a
3. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you. Gen 123b
4. To your descendants I give this land. Gen 127 1518
Has the Lord Almighty fulfilled this prophetic covenant?
God attached no time limit or conditions to these promises.
1. Under Joshua and esp. David, Israel did become a great nation.
Amazingly the Jews have remained a nation; even if rebellious against God.
Since 1907 Jews have won Nobel prizes - 22 for Economics, 27 chemistry,
45 physics and 52 medicine. A great people, even if imperfect.
2. Great Britain lost her empire when she renegued on her promises to the Jews.
After WWI she gave 80% of the land to Hashemite king Abdullah - now Jordan.
And for 30 years has encouraged the Arabs to fight the Jews. Oil was vital.
3. All nations have been blessed by Jesus Christ, Saviour of Jews and the world.
His word has gone out and been emaced by the furthest peoples.
China, Chile, Ethiopia, the Eskimo's, ... all have heard of Christ crucified.
4. God gave all of Judea to Abraham and his descendants, the Jews, for ever.
This prophecy, this promise of God, remains true even if bitterly contested.
Later they turned against the Lord God; Jews are defeated and exiled - twice.
70 years to Babylon, 2000 years by Rome to whole world.
Now they are back - and they will repent and return to the Lord their God. Ezek 371-14
And their king and Saviour will be Jesus Christ - returned!
Zechariah (next prophet) reveals how and when this will happen.
The land is theirs; and woe to any nation that tries to divide it. Joel 31,2
Abram called on the name of the Lord. 128 134 And was saved. Deut 429
Abram was blessed by God, who sent Melchizedek; like Christ, but not Christ.
For ever Priest of God Most High, King of Salem and king of righteousness,
He brought Abraham bread and wine. 1418
This prophetic act so clearly speaks of Jesus Christ. Heb 71-3
our Priest and King, remembered with ead and wine.
When Abram was 100 and Sarah 90 years old, he believed the impossible -
that God would give him a son. 156
Exactly as promised Isaac was born. 211,2
God always faithfully fulfills all that he has said.
Some 2000 years later God would give Abraham another and greater Son.
Abraham longed for that day when God would present Jesus to this world.
How do we know this? It is the testimony of the Son of God himself.
Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day;
he saw it and was glad. Jn 856
Abraham believed God and he credited it to him as righteousness.
The Lord Almighty also showed him something else that would happen.
Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own,
and they will be enslaved and mistreated 400 years ... and afterward they will come out . Gen 1513
God kept his promise to Abraham. Joseph was sold, imprisoned in Egypt,
became PM. Jacob and the family went there. Became enslaved by Pharaoh.
Then 400 years later Moses seen as a very 'special child' ... Exd 22 Heb 1123
(Aaron was their 1st son. Exd 77)
He was to become the eagerly expected, longed-for deliverer.
Plagues, Passover, Red Sea crossing, 40 years in Sinai, entered promised land.
God then told Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac. (Ishmael didn't count)
2000 yrs later Jesus, the only Son of God would to be obedient unto death;
Jesus was willing be crucified, not my will but yours be done. Mk 1436 Phil 28
Isaac (aged~20 and Abraham 120) would also have had to be willing.
Isaac was like Jesus - Miraculously born and willing to be sacrificed.
Isaac asks his father: Where is the offering? Abraham replies,
God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering. Gen 228
This spontaneous prophecy probably surprised even Abraham.
Heb 1119 tells us Abraham believed Isaac would be raised from the dead.
Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. (not Has provided). Gen 2214
For Isaac there was a substitute ram provided.
But for Jesus there could be no substitute.
Jesus was our substitute. No one else could do what our Redeemer did for us.
God did indeed provide himself a Lamb for the offering. Jn 129
Why did God choose Abraham and the Jews? Why has he chosen us?
Deut 76-9 answers very simply, Because the Lord loved you. Amazing!
William Ewer wrote, "How odd of God to choose the Jews."
Cecil Browne added, "But not so odd as those who choose a Jewish God,
but spurn the Jews."
Has God finished with the Jews?
Has he forgotten his promise to the descendants of Abraham?
Does scripture tell us anything about the future of the Jewish people?
Has the church completely taken over the status of 'favoured nation'?
Both OT and NT emphatically say not. Jer 3135-37 Ro 1020-112a,5 1111,12 1125-29
The wild anches, the Gentiles, have been grafted in;
but God is able to graft them in again. Ro 1123
And he will do so on that great day -
when the full number of the Gentiles have come in. Ro 1125,26
At the end, God will open the eyes of the Jews, they will repent.
There can be no 'back door' for the Jews - or anyone else.
The day will come when they will call upon the Lord and be saved.
But it will follow the time of trouble for Jacob. Jer 307 See also Jer 3012 c.f. 17
Note: I have never heard the church claim this prophecy of a time of trouble.
It is either ignored or they say this only applies to Jacob, to Jewish Israel!
Many of the prophets reveal that God has promised to revive and save the Jews.
Jer 3314-16 Ezek 371-14 Joel 31,2,12-16 Deut 301-10 Zech 121-5 Amos 98-15 Act 16,7 319-21 Is 6010-12
Israel today lacks righteousness. But so does the UK and much of the church.
Abortion, divorce, homosexuality, injustice, greed, multi-faith religion, evolution.
Except there is a repeat of the response to the 18th Century Whitfield / Wesley
preaching, we are imminently in line for God's just judgement.
God's prophetic revelations to Abraham and events throughout last 4000 years
prove God's absolute faithfulness.
God is always faithful - to us and to the Jews.
If God should ever eak his unconditional covenant to Abraham and the Jews,
what hope is there for us when we rebel?
History continues to prove
the quickness of his mercy, the extent of his grace,
the certainty of his prophecy, the sureness of his judgement
and the drama of his life-changing presence.
Zechariah - See your King comes to you with salvation. 99
An exiled priest who had returned from Babylon in 538, 20 years earlier.
They had tried and failed to rebuild the Temple due to local opposition.
The people were poor, frightened and vulnerable; surrounded by destruction.
They had planted much but harvested little. Hag 16 Was God with them again?
God called for Repentance - the people obeyed,
so God was able to give Zechariah 8 remarkable visions. 16b
All in one night in 519BC Visions - while awake. 41
This book is largely about Jerusalem (x36)
and its eternal Priest and King - Jesus Christ,
The Lord Almighty (x45 in 211 verses) King of both the capital city of Israel
and king of the kingdom of God that he would build. Jn 219 Ro 1417
It is thus a 'must' for all world leaders - but they will all ignore or reject it.
Refusing to repent; they will suffer the just judgement of God.
Only time to look at 3 of the 8 visions. (See Zechariah for the others)
3. Man with Measuring Line. 2113
Jerusalem will be a city without walls ...
I myself will be a wall of fire around it ... I will be its glory within. 24,5
This prophecy has yet to be fulfilled. It will be during the Millennium.
Ezek 3811 Rev 207-9 Prov 1810
I am coming, and I will live among you. 210
This has always been God's longing. Exd 258 Jn 1423
Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day
and will become my people. 211 Gen 123b Ro 925,26
Zech' is shown God's long-term plan for his everlasting kingdom of righteousness.
This assurance was the most beautiful music for the uncertain Jerusalemites.
Note it is a kingdom that includes many nations - i.e. us Gentiles.
4. Cleansing of Joshua, the High-Priest. 3110 (~1000 years
Satan is rebuked. Only the Lord Almighty can do this.
Even Joshua needed cleansing. He stands silent before his accuser.
He offers no excuses for his sin, no extenuating circumstances.
Take off his filthy clothes. See, I have taken away your sin. 34
What a relief. How can this be achieved? Is 535,6
And I will put rich garments on you. 34b
Christ bestows upon us his gift of righteousness and truth. 2 Co 521
I am going to ing my servant, the anch. 38 He came. Is 42-6 Jer 3315,16
And I will remove the sin of this land in a single day. He has. Jn 1930 1 Pe 224
The cost to him was supreme.
The undeserved benefit to all repentant believers is immense.
5. Gold Lampstand and Two Olive Trees. 4114
Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty.
What are you, O mighty mountain?
Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. 46,7
No problem is too hard for the Lord.
Like Job, they had lost everything but God!! Job 422
7 Branch Lampstand = 7 eyes of the all-seeing Lord. Rev 112-20 Ezek 118
God is neither unwilling, nor deaf, nor blind.
2 Olive trees = the oil of God's 'outrageous grace'.
God's power never runs out, his plans are never unprepared
and his grace is never lacking.
The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple;
his hands will also complete it. 49 Jn 219 (They did 3 years later)
The foundation that Jesus laid 500 years later will never be destroyed.
Coronation of Joshua the High-Priest. 6915
4 Messages of Zechariah. (only look at two)
1. Men of Bethel asked if they should continue fasting? 71-3
What were their motives? Was it for me you fasted ... or feasted? 74-7
What did they desire most; an easier life-style, or a holy life with God?
3. Jerusalem will be restored. 81-23
I will return to Zion ... Jerusalem will be called City of Truth ...
the Holy Mountain. 83 It isn't yet.
The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there. 85
I will save my people ... I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem. 87,8 (Now as well as after Babylon)
and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God. 87,8
Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong. 813 (see 99 Reasons for Not Being Afraid)
Now I have determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah. 815
The Lord's return will make all the fasts joyful feasts. 819
The Messianic Future
The King is Coming. 99-1012 (some refers to 1st and some to 2nd Coming)
The sceptre will not depart from Judah ... until he comes to whom it belongs. Gen 4910
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion ... your King comes to you,
righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey. 99 Jn 1212-16
He will proclaim peace to the nations.
His rule will extend from the River to the ends of the earth. 910
I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit. 911 Lu 418,21
What a promise for modern 'no hopers'. How are we set free? Jn 832
The Lord will appear over them ... shield them ... save them on that day. 914-16
How attractive and beautiful they will be! 917
Ask the Lord for rain. 101 Ask the Lord, not idols.
e.g. Josh 1519 or Carmel Contest 1 Kg 19
The Lord Almighty will care for his flock. 103 Jn 101-18 Ezek 3411-16
From Judah will come the cornerstone. 104 Is 2816
Surely I will redeem them. 108
Though I scatter them, ... they will return ...
I will ing them back ... I will strengthen them in the Lord. 109,10,12
Jerusalem an Immovable Rock. 121-14
Rome, Islam and the Palestinians
each foolishly claim to have a stronger title to Jerusalem than the Jews.
What does the Lord Almighty say?
All nations who try to remove Israel from Jerusalem will hurt themselves.
In that day The people of Jerusalem are strong,
because the Lord Almighty is their God. 125
At that time Jerusalem will look on me, the one they have pierced,
and they will mourn for him ... 1210
Their return will be both physically to the land
and spiritually with weeping of repentance. (as Ezek 374,9)
No back door for the Jews.
The 1st Coming. 131-9
On that day a fountain will be opened ... to cleanse them from sin. 31
On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land. 132
Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. 137b
The 2nd Coming. 141-21
The day of the Lord is coming ...
I will gather all nations against Jerusalem, ½ city exiled ...
then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations. ... 141-5
the Mt of Olives will be split in two ... then the Lord my God will come.
On that day ... when evening comes there will be light ...
Living water will flow ... (Ezek 47)
The Lord will be king over the whole earth ... Jerusalem will be secure. 146-11
The Lord has promised that a day will come when sin will cease.
A day when Jesus Christ, and he alone, will be King.
And all peoples will rejoice in his holiness.
What a day that will be.
A day better than even our very best dreams!
Hosea - Reveals Christ as Redeemer
Hosea, Joel and Amos were three contemporary prophets to Israel in 750 BC.
Very different in character, but each had the same message.
What was the national situation? Why did God send them?
After David, Solomon had built idols for his many foreign wives. 1 Kg 117
He introduced slavery for his building programme.
When he died Jeroboam led a 'freedom' coup that divided Israel in two.
Solomon's son, Rehoboam held Judah and Jeroboam the 10 northern tribes.
But Jeroboam in his northern kingdom had no Temple;
so he made two golden calves and worshipped them.
Why do men worship idols? Appeasement + what they hope to gain from it.
Why do men worship the Lord Almighty?
Gratitude for grace/mercy + Creator and Master of Universe deserves worship.
After 2 centuries of 14 evil, idol-worshipping kings, Jeroboam II became king.
Israel was enjoying 40 years of peace, prosperity and sin.
Men thought they could side-line the Lord Almighty with impunity.
His inconvenient commandments were completely ignored
by an arrogant, wealthy, unjust, immoral, indulgent, 'we know better' society.
The northern kingdom of Israel was politically secure and spiritually smug.
So what did the great God of grace and truth do?
He sent them 3 prophets to awaken their dull, rebellious hearts:
"The word of the Lord came to Hosea." 11
Like all the prophets he was greatly distressed by the national wickedness.
As a young man he began to see Israel as God saw it:
Men saw peace, prosperity, privilege, a 'never had it so good', party time society.
God saw idolatry, prostitution, injustice, pretence and two-timing unfaithfulness.
He saw a people whom he loved destined for eternal destruction.
What could God do to warn his chosen people of their plight?
What could the righteous young man Hosea do?
Hosea was called to experience something of how God felt. Pain!
His life and the relationship with his wife
would be seen by all to reflect the relationship of God and Israel.
As Israel was unfaithful to God; Hosea's 'wife to be' would also be unfaithful.
God told this young prophet to go ahead and marry Gomer -
God knew she would be an adulteress. 12,3
And he told Hosea his marriage would be a disaster.
A prophet's life is never easy. And so it proved to be.
Why was the naming of their three children so significant? 14-9
Jezreel = I will punish/scatter. Gomer was unhappy about his choice of name!
Lo-Ruhamah = I will no longer show mercy!
How could anyone call their innocent daughter by this name?
Lo-Ammi = Not my people. Hosea knew that this child was not his!
The fun-loving Gomer had found the earnest, grieving prophet poor company.
The righteous Lord had shared his deep sadness with Hosea.
Hosea saw clearly that idol-worshipping, unfaithful Israel
was carelessly walking down a 'one way' road to disaster.
Hosea saw clearly that God cannot ignore sin. Hos 4-14
What had the people of Israel done that God hated?
No acknowledgment of God in the land. 41
You have ignored the law of your God. (by deliberate choice). 46
Drunk with wine which takes away the understanding of my people. 411,14
Stubborn. 416 Arrogant. 55
A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God. 412b 54 91
They are all adulterers. 74 God is angry about their rotten idols.
The people desired ease and happiness, but not God.
They were religious, but had no inclination to seek him. 77b,10,14
So God hated their many presumptuous offerings.
61-6 101 Is 111-17 Amos 521 Mal 16-14
They thought they could worship both God and their idols. Multi-faith is not new.
Because your sins are so many and your hostility (to God) so great,
the prophet is considered a fool. 97b
Ephraim boasts, 'I am very rich. ... They will not find in me any sin.' 128 55 Rev 187
God sees that they are easily deceived and senseless. 711
The merchant uses dishonest scales. 127 (he prospers - temporally. Jer 121)
This was all 2750 years ago. UK today is very similar. So are the consequences!
Therefore, God declares through his prophet:
When they go with their flocks to seek the Lord, they will not find him ...
56,15 Amos 812 Song of Sol. 52-6
I will remember all their evil deeds. 72a 813b 99b Amos 87
There was no repentance, and thus no forgiveness.
I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. 515
Repentance is more than trying to escape the consequences of sin. 714 Deut 429
It is hating sin and realising that the just judgement of God for all sin is death!
The days of punishment are coming, the days of reckoning are at hand. 97a
The day is coming when it will be so bad that
they will say to the mountains, "Cover us." 108b Rev 616
Meanwhile his wife Gomer had left him to live with another man -
as God had told him she would.
What should Hosea do?
He could legitimately have had her stoned for adultery,
but he would have had to throw the first stone.
He could have quietly divorced her.
He could have done nothing - and just hoped that one day ...
But God told Hosea to 'redeem' her. 31
It cost him 6oz of silver (£20) + ½ ton of barley (£40).
Nearly 800 years later it would cost God's Son far more than it cost Hosea.
Jesus would speak tenderly to her (the needy sinful people)
and make the valley of Achor (Trouble) a door of hope. 214,15
God (and Hosea) had tried everything to keep 'his wife'.
God reveals his heart: he warned, he punished, he pleaded.
All his efforts had failed. Yet God still yearned to have mercy.
Whenever I would heal Israel, the sins of Ephraim are exposed. 71
I long to redeem them, but they speak lies against me. 713b
How can I give you up, Ephraim? 118
But for his mercy to be enacted, there must first be repentance.
God shows Hosea that one day Israel would repent - however unlikely it seems:
Yet I will show love to the house of Judah;
and I will save them - not by bow or sword ... but by the Lord their God. 17
Yet the Israelites ... will be called 'sons of the living God'. 110
In that day ... you will call me 'my husband'... I will betroth you to me for ever
in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion ... in faithfulness. 216-20
In that day ... I will plant her for myself in the land;
I will show my love to the one I called 'Not my loved one'.
I will say to those called 'Not my people', 'You are my people';
and they will say, 'You are my God'. 221,23
I will ransom them from the power of the grave ...
Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction? 1314 1Co 1555
Hosea did not live to see the day of redemption by God - except by faith.
But, like Abraham (Jn 856), Hosea believed God,
he saw this certain hope shining in the distance. Heb 1113
This obedient prophet still speaks and prophesies the truth of this sure hope.
In those dark days it was easy to see what was wrong with the world,
but only Hosea, the prophet of God, reveals accurately what God will do.
Our Redeemer, our Substitute would come to this sin stricken world.
As Isaiah said down in Judah, "What more could have been done for us?" Is 54
Jesus Christ - Prophet, Priest and King
Jesus fulfilled all the Law and the Prophets. Math 517 - How?
What was the purpose of the Law and the Prophets?
Both reveal what is right and true.
They also reveal sin because we are unable to keep it.
The Law is a schoolmaster to point us to Christ. Gal 324
How does Jesus fulfil the Law? Only man to have kept it perfectly.
He fulfills 4000 years of prophecy by becoming our Redeemer at Calvary.
His righteousness far exceeds that of Pharisees;
and he gives us his righteousness. Thus we can enter heaven. Math 518,20
As prophet he well understood the task he came to fulfill for us.
He repeatedly prophesied that he would be crucified.
He prophesied before he came to earth! Ps 22 Is 53 Gen 228,14 Dan 924-26
Jesus, the Word, gave the Word of God to these mighty prophets.
To each of them he gave himself, not just the words they wrote down.
During his ministry he repeated it 13 times - but they didn't understand.
Math 1621 1712 2133-44 262 Mk 912 1045 Lu 944 1831-34 Jn 219 314 651 1015 1224,33
The Messiah crucified was no historic tragic accident,
but the carefully thought through and agreed plan of God.
Even before creation he knew this would be ultimate cost -
and still went ahead!
Prophets understand the past, perceive the present, and predict future.
Jesus did each of these perfectly.
Aged 12 he asked and answered the most difficult questions. Lu 246,47
To the OT prophets, God revealed the truth.
They were able to discern the national or personal situation from God's view.
What was shown to Jeremiah? Present sin, destruction, God's faithfulness.
What was revealed to Daniel c.f. Nebuchadnezzar?
Only Kingdom of God is eternal, superpowers all fall.
What did Nathan, Elisha, Ezekiel and Zechariah see? Present truth and future.
Jesus spoke all that he heard from his Father. Jn 519
As Prophet, the Son of God saw, he heard, he spoke with power.
e.g. (just a few examples!)
Jn 150 I saw you under the fig tree ... Why so significant to Nathanael?
Mk 25 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
"Son your sins are forgiven." Jesus did not only see faith.
Jn 416-26... The fact is, you have had five husbands ...
Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem ...
you will worship the Father in spirit and truth ... Jn 442 Act 812,14
Jn 151 You shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.
Like Jacob Gen 2812 Shepherds Lu 213,14 Rev 711,12 Rev 191-8
The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Rev 1910b
Jn 219,22 Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.
Jn 1125,26 I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live,
even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
Math 2613I tell you the truth, wherever this Gospel (of undeserved forgiveness)
is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told,
in memory of her. It is so beautiful - 'Outrageous grace!'
Jn 131 It was just before the Passover Feast.
Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.
Jesus did not guess, or vaguely hope, he knew for sure.
He knew it was the awaited day for him to be crucified.
And he knew he would be resurrected and return to heaven, to Father.
Jn 1321 I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.
He knew it had to be. Jn 1318 And he knew who it would be.
So he washed their feet, spoke these words and sat him next to him.
Jn 1336 Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later ...
Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times. Jn 141-3
Jn 1430 ... the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me.
Jn 1526 When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.
Jn 1620 I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices.
You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.
Math 24 Events and warnings concerning the last days.
Jn 1930 It is finished
Jn 2118,19 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted;
but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."
Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.
Then he said, "Follow me!"