Proving divinity.

What is the one miracle that undeniably proves divinity? The ability to accurately predict the future. As you read Isa. 53, keep in mind that this prophecy about Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, was written over 600 years before He came to this earth. This accurate prediction of the brutal suffering and death of the Messiah proves that the Bible was written by God:

  • Messiah would be so brutally beaten that one could barely tell He was human (Isa. 52:14).
  • The Savior would be despised and rejected by men (Isa. 53:3,4).
  • Messiah would be beaten and wounded by men to pay the price for our sins (vv. 5,6).
  • The Savior would not open His mouth when He was accused (v. 7).
  • Messiah would be imprisoned (v. 8).
  • The Savior would be killed with criminals but buried in a rich man’s grave (v. 9).
  • The Messiah would have no deceit in His mouth (v. 9).

Isaiah concludes this amazing description of a murdered Messiah with this stunning sentence, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief” (v. 10). It was God who crushed His only Son on our behalf (v. 12). When God looked at the cross, He saw you. Now, when God looks at you, He sees Jesus.

This prophecy alone should convince anyone that the Bible is supernatural.

Adapted from Don’t Stub Your Toe.
ByTodd Friel

Isaiah 53:4

Surely He has borne our griefs

And carried our sorrows;

Yet we esteemed Him stricken,

Smitten by God, and afflicted.

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Only one third?

This scenario happened three times. However, only the last third were saved from the consuming fire because they came in humility (see v. 13). A total of 153 men were involved. Compare this to the 153 fish Peter caught in his net (see John 21:11). Jesus will come in flaming fire and consume those who refuse to humble themselves and obey the gospel (see 2 Thess. 1:7,8). Our churches are full of those who profess to be saved, but are strangers to genuine repentance. Could it be that down through the ages only one-third of the professed Church will be saved?

2 Kings 1:9 Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty men. So he went up to him; and there he was, sitting on the top of a hill. And he spoke to him: “Man of God, the king has said, ‘Come down!’ ”

10 So Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” And fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.

11 Then he sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty men. And he answered and said to him: “Man of God, thus has the king said, ‘Come down quickly!’ ”

12 So Elijah answered and said to them, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” And the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.

13 Again, he sent a third captain of fifty with his fifty men. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and pleaded with him, and said to him: “Man of God, please let my life and the life of these fifty servants of yours be precious in your sight. 14 Look, fire has come down from heaven and burned up the first two captains of fifties with their fifties. But let my life now be precious in your sight.”

15 And the angel of the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So he arose and went down with him to the king.

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Saved by grace, but…

The Scriptures warn against preaching “another Jesus” (2 Cor. 11:4) and that Satan himself can appear to us as an “angel of light.” Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, said it was an “angel” clothed in light that gave him “another testament”—which has another “gospel” entirely.

Rather than the good news that Jesus paid for our sin, this new “gospel” that the “angel” gave to Smith involves a lifelong labor to earn salvation—a salvation by works and not by faith alone. The Book of Mormon says, “For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23, emphasis added). Spencer W. Kimball, a Mormon prophet and church president, said:

“One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation.” (Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 206)

Yet the Bible makes it very clear that salvation has nothing to do with our works: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9). Titus 3:5 says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” (Adapted from World Religions in a Nutshell.)

2 Corinthians 11:14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

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The law is necessary.

“Lower the Law and you dim the light by which man perceives his guilt; this is a very serious loss to the sinner rather than a gain; for it lessens the likelihood of his conviction and conversion. I say you have deprived the gospel of its ablest auxiliary [its most powerful weapon] when you have set aside the Law. You have taken away from it the schoolmaster that is to bring men to Christ… They will never accept grace till they tremble before a just and holy Law. Therefore the Law serves a most necessary purpose, and it must not be removed from its place.” Charles Spurgeon

“We cannot come to Christ to be justified until we have first been to Moses to be condemned. But once we have gone to Moses and acknowledged our sin, guilt and condemnation, we must not stay there.” John R. W. Stott

Galatians 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

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No profit under the sun.

Seeing the futility of the transient nature of life is often the first sign of spiritual awakening. So never hesitate to speak with the ungodly about the reality of death. Remind them of its appointment. Make them face the fact that it could seize on them at any moment, and make sure you use the Law to bring the knowledge of sin and prepare the heart for grace.

“What has been, and is now, one of the strongest feelings in the human heart? Is it not to find some better place, some lovelier spot, than we have now? It is for this that men are seeking everywhere; and yet, they can have it, if they will; but instead of looking down, they must look up to find it. As men grow in knowledge, they vie with each other more and more to make their homes attractive, but the brightest home on earth is but an empty barn, compared with the mansions that are in the skies.” D. L. Moody

Ecclesiastes 2:11Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done

And on the labor in which I had toiled;

And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind.

There was no profit under the sun.

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Why open-air preach?

By Stuart Scott

When Jeremiah received God’s word, he was commanded to stand in the gate of the temple and proclaim the Word of the Lord. Like Jeremiah, we have been given the task of proclaiming God’s Word to every creature: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

Open-air preaching is the standard method God has always employed throughout Scripture to reach the common people. As Spurgeon has said, “Open-air preaching is as old as preaching itself.” From Noah, a preacher of righteousness, to the King of kings, Jesus Christ Himself, open-air preaching is God’s normal method of getting the word out.

The word for proclaimin Hebrew is the word qara’, and it means to call, cry, or utter a loud sound, to proclaim aloud or summon. The Greek word used in the NT for the word preach, as in Mark 16:15, is the word kērussō,which means “to officiate as a herald, to publish, proclaim openly.” It is always with the sense of formality, gravity, and an authority that must be listened to and obeyed.

From these descriptions, it is obvious that the preaching spoken of in Scripture is not one-to-one witnessing, but the open proclamation of the gospel. Jesus said, “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops” (Matt. 10:27), and Prov. 1:20,21 says, “Wisdom calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates in the city she speaks her words.” Here are a few additional verses to consider about preaching the gospel: Jonah 3:2; Matt. 4:17; 10:7; 11:1; Mark 1:4,38; 3:14; Luke 4:18,19; 9:60; Acts 5:42; 10:42; 16:10; 17:3; Rom. 10:15; 15:20; 1 Cor. 1:17; 9:16; Eph. 3:8; Col. 1:28; 2 Tim. 4:2; Rev. 14:6.

I have never known greater joy in nearness to Christ than when standing in the public square, proclaiming the things of God with a loud voice in the open air.

“How would the common people have become indoctrinated with the Gospel had it not been for those far-wandering evangelists… and those daring innovators who found a pulpit on every heap of stones, and an audience chamber in every open space near the abodes of men?” Charles Spurgeon

“There is no higher calling than to follow in the footsteps of the Savior and preach in the open air.” Ray Comfort

Jeremiah 7:2“Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the Lord!’ ”

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Do Jews need to be saved?

Some people argue that Jews do not need to be saved because they are already “God’s chosen people.” But the fact that they were chosen as a nation to glorify God does not mean that individuals Jewish people are saved.

Jews, like all of humanity, are commanded to repent and trust the Savior (Acts 2:38), and warned that if they don’t repent, they will perish (Luke 13:3). Jesus, who was Jewish (see John 4:9), is the promised Jewish Messiah (see John 4:25,26). The disciples were Jewish. Christianity was birthed in the land of the Jews. The first three thousand converts to Christianity were Jews (see Acts 2:41), as well as the next two thousand (see Acts 4:4). The apostle Paul was Jewish (see Acts 23:6), commissioned to testify to Jews about their need for “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (see Acts 20:21). The God of Israel (the Jews) made sure the gospel was offered to the Jews first, before the Gentiles (see Rom. 1:16).

God offers eternal life to all humanity, whether Jew or Gentile, “red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight.” Whoever believes in Jesus should not perish but have eternal life (see John 3:15). If anyone ends up in hell it will not be because of their ethnicity or their color, but because of their sin. Rapists, murderers, thieves, liars, blasphemers, adulterers, etc., will get exactly what they deserve, and if Jews die in their sins, their Jewish heritage will not save them from the justice of a holy God. Only the blood of Jesus of Nazareth, the God-given Jewish Messiah, can do that.

Romans 10:1Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.

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