Monday, November 23, 2009


The Prophetic Proofs For The Inspiration Of Scripture

Evidences that show the Bible to be the word of God. 1) Claims. 2) Testimony of Christ.

3)Indestructibility. 4) Unity of Bible writers. 5) Archaeology. 6). Prophecy

Isaiah 41 21Set forth your case, says the LORD; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.

22 Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are,

that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to

come. 23 Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do

harm, that we may be dismayed and terrified.24 Behold, you are nothing, and your work is less

than nothing; an abomination is he who chooses you. 25 I stirred up one from the north, and he

has come, from the rising of the sun, and he shall call upon my name; he shall trample on rulers

as on mortar, as the potter treads clay. 26 Who declared it from the beginning, that we might

know, and beforehand, that we might say, "He is right"? There was none who declared it, none

who proclaimed, none who heard your words. 27 I was the first to say to Zion, "Behold, here

they are!" and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good news. 28 But when I look, there is no one;

among these there is no counselor who, when I ask, gives an answer. 29 Behold, they are all a

delusion; their works are nothing; their metal images are empty wind.


4 Aspects of genuine Prophecy

anticipation – the outlook is futurist anticipates, expects, forecasts something to occur

specification – the nature should be specific details, order, names, locations, etc.

inspiration – the quality should be divine no contradictions, beyond the prophet's ability to effect the outcome

consummation- the end should be fulfilled/realized


Example: Prophecy of Tyre Ezekiel 26

many nations would come against Tyre (Ezek. 26:3) dust scraped from her (26:4)

become a fishing village (26:5) stones, timber and soil cast
into the sea (26:12) city would never be rebuilt (26:5, 14)

1In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: 2"Son of

man, because Tyre said concerning Jerusalem, 'Aha, the gate of the peoples is broken; it has

swung open to me. I shall be replenished, now that she is laid waste,' 3 therefore thus says the

Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will bring up many nations against you, as the

sea brings up its waves. 4 They shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers, and I

will scrape her soil from her and make her a bare rock. 5 She shall be in the midst of the sea a

place for the spreading of nets, for I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD. And she shall become

plunder for the nations, 6 and her daughters on the mainland shall be killed by the sword. Then

they will know that I am the LORD. 7 "For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will bring against

Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots,

and with horsemen and a host of many soldiers. 8 He will kill with the sword your daughters on

the mainland. He will set up a siege wall against you and throw up a mound against you, and

raise a roof of shields against you. 9 He will direct the shock of his battering rams against your

walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers.10 His horses will be so many that their

dust will cover you. Your walls will shake at the noise of the horsemen and wagons and chariots,

when he enters your gates as men enter a city that has been breached. 11 With the hoofs of his

horses he will trample all your streets. He will kill your people with the sword, and your mighty

pillars will fall to the ground. 12 They will plunder your riches and loot your merchandise. They

will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses. Your stones and timber and soil

they will cast into the midst of the waters. 13 And I will stop the music of your songs, and the

sound of your lyres shall be heard no more. 14 I will make you a bare rock. You shall be a place

for the spreading of nets. You shall never be rebuilt, for I am the LORD; I have spoken, declares

the Lord GOD.


Messianic Prophecies



of woman (Gen. 3:15)

virgin (Is. 7:14)

through Abraham (Gen. 22:18)

through David (Jer. 23:5)

Son of God (Ps. 2:7)

born in Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2)

great ones adore him (Ps. 72;10)

massacre of children (Jer. 31:15)

preceded by John (Is. 40:3; Mal. 3:1)

coming into Jerusalem on a colt (Zech. 9:9)

humbled appearance (Is. 53:2)

rich at his death (Is. 53:9)

without sin (ibid.)

would speak in parables (Ps. 78:2)

rejected by brethren (Ps. 69:8)

hated by many (Ps. 69:4)

betrayed by a friend (Ps. 41:9; 55:12-14)

pierced (Ps. 22:16; Zech. 12:10)

forsaken by disciples (Zech. 13:7)

thirty pieces of silver (Zech. 11:12)

potter's field (Zech. 11:13)

intense suffering (Ps. 22:14, 15

death for others (Is. 53; Dan. 9:26)

stricken cheek (Mic. 5:1)

not a bone broken Ps. 34:20; Ex. 12:46


numbered with transgressors Is. 53:12

garments/casting lots Ps. 22:18

resurrection Ps. 16:10

ascension Ps. 68:18

priestly office in heaven Zech. 6:13

universal dominion Dan. 7:14

everlasting kingdom Dan. 7:14; Is. 9:7

mighty God: Isaiah 9:6, 7

Would usher in the last days (Is. 2:2-4; Hos. 3:5)

King/ruler (Is. 9:6; Zech. 9:9, 10; Jer. 23:5, 6; Ps. 110:1-2)

Savior (Gen. 3:15; Zech. 9:9; Is. 53; 59:20; etc.)

Likeness of Moses (Deut. 18:15-19)

Gal. 4:4

Matt. 1:18-25

Gal. 3:16

Matt. 1:1ff; Rom. 1:3

Matt. 27:54; Lk. 1:32

Matt. 2:1

Matt. 2:1-11

Matt. 2:16-18

Matt. 3:1-3; Jn. 1:19-23

Matt. 21:1-5

Mk. 6:3

Matt. 27:57ff

1 Pet. 2:22; Matt. 27:19

Matt. 13:34, 35

Jn. 1:11; 7:5

Jn. 15:24, 25

Jn. 13:18, 21

Lk. 24:39, 40; Jn. 20:25

Matt. 26:31

Matt. 26:15

Matt. 27:7

Lk. 22:42, 44

Matt. 20:28

Matt. 27:30









(Jn. 20:27, 28; Rom. 1:4)

New Testament era (1 Pet. 1:20; Gal. 4:4; Heb. 1:1-2; cf. Acts 2:16ff to Joel 2:28ff)

Matthew 21:1-11


Matthew 1:21; 1 Pet. 2:24

John 5:45-47; Acts 3:22, 23; 7:37



Matthew 16:1-12 Responding To The Lord’s Signs.

While in Israel I had some interesting discussion with a man in an elevator.

The discussion began with a comment about our accents. This gentleman dared me to discern his accent; I guessed rightly that he was from Zimbabwe. As we chatted I mentioned that a lady had recently attended our congregation from Zimbabwe. You may be aware that she had lost her husband in the violence associated with forced takeovers of farms in Zimbabwe. Her husband had been shot and killed and she had moved to her daughter's home here in Newcastle. The gentleman looked surprised. He said, "Yes I know her. They were friends of mine! Mrs xxxxxx moved to Newcastle. You may not be aware", he said, "that her mother was just killed in a similar fashion." I was surprised that we had a mutual acquaintance so far away in an elevator in Israel, and dragging my memories related that I did know that, for she had been at church again last Christmas and had told me the news about her mother. She had considered going back for the funeral, but had concerns for her own safety.

Recognising the "God-shapedness" of the moment, the many asked me to pray for him, right there in elevator about a crisis he himself was experiencing similar to that of Mrs. xxxx. He had just been to a meeting that he had convened in that hotel so that several Jewish leaders might pray for his situation.

After we prayed, I asking the Lord to draw this man near to Himself, and to reveal Himself to this man through this crisis, I asked him what he believed about Jesus.


His answer was interesting.

"I believe that Jesus was a very good and very wise man who did many many good things."

"Do you believe he did the miracles that are recorded in the gospels? Did He walk on water? Did He feed the 5000 from a few loaves and fishes? Did he miraculously heal people?"

"Yes I believe He did those things. But I am not sure I would call them miracles. Only God can do miracles."

"Signs perhaps?"

"Yes Signs would fit very well."

"So he did these things, and He is a good man. Would He be a good man if His teaching was bad?"

"Oh no, His teaching was never bad. His teaching was the highest morality known to man"

"So He was a good man?"

"Yes a very good man, the best of men!"

"A good man who did marvellous signs and claimed to be the Son of God? Would He still be a good man if He claimed falsely to be the Son of God?"

There was no answer for a moment. Either Jesus' claim to be the Son of God was true (and His miracles were signs pointing to this truth, which His perfect life and His good teachings brought greater credibility to this claim), or His claim to be the Son of god was false (thus nullifying the statement that He was a good man or that His signs were miracles wrought by God.)

"Didn't His miracles, signs, didn't they demonstrate the truthfulness of His claim to be the Son of God?"

Again my friend stood in silence as he contemplated the implications of this statement.

"You Christians go to God through Jesus Christ."

"Yes that is right."

"We Jews believe we can go straight to God as our Father."

At this point we left our conversation as the elevator doors opened at our floor.


My friendly discussion emphasises one point. The Pharisees and Sadducees were faced with a dilemma. They could not ignore Jesus.


He had done miracles and signs and wonders.

No one else had ever done these things before.

He had taught a standard of morality that put these folks to shame. He was a truly good man. He claimed to be the Son of God.

What were they going to do with Jesus?

Signs = 90 x Deut 13 The False Prophet

1 "If a prophet or someone who has dreams arises among you and proclaims a sign or wonder to you,
2 and that sign or wonder he has promised you comes about, but he says, 'Let us follow other gods,' which you have not known, 'and let us worship them,'
3 do not listen to that prophet's words or to that dreamer. For the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul.
4 You must follow the Lord your God and • fear Him. You must keep His commands and listen to His voice; you must worship Him and remain faithful to Him.


The Lord Jesus used Signs and Miracles to point to the greatest miracle that had ever occurred.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


There was never a greater sign or wonder than this. And the Lord Jesus' miracles all pointed to this one thing.

Hebrews 2:3  how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was first spoken by the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him. 4 At the same time, God also testified by signs and wonders, various miracles, and distributions [of gifts]from the Holy Spirit according to His will.

The miracles of Jesus had an evidential value, they made credible His claims to be the Son of God and the saviour of the world.

An interesting phrase is brought to our attention in John 2: 23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

HCSB 24 Jesus, however, would not entrust Himself to them, since He knew them all
25 and because He did not need anyone to testify about man; for He Himself knew what was in man.

They believed in Jesus because they had seen the signs He did, but Jesus did not believe in them.

He didn't believe that they had been sincere and developed in their belief.

There were others who saw the same signs.

Matthew 16:1     Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven.

HCSB The Pharisees and Sadducees approached, and as a test, asked Him to show them a sign from heaven.

This was not a request that the Lord do something that would confirm their faith. This was about something else all together.

HCSB The Pharisees and Sadducees approached, and as a test, asked Him to show them a sign from heaven.

As a test. This wasn't a stand alone event. A few days or weeks previously they ahd asked the same thing.

Matthew 12: 38 Then some of the  scribes and
Pharisees said to Him, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You." 39 But He answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at Jonah's proclamation; and look—something greater than Jonah is here!

They then rejected the Lord's miracles claiming they were something done by Beelzebub, Satan and his demons.

Now they call for Him to do a "sign from heaven". The implication was that they wouldn't believe no matter what, because they didn't believe His miracles were signs from heaven anyway. Their requests were not sincere.

They didn't and wouldn't believe in Jesus.

Their Request was a test. A trap. Some way of catching Jesus out and condemning Him.

There was no sense in which they sincerely believed in Jesus or would believe in Him.


The Lord teaches us how to deal with Staunch Sinners

Both groups came "testing Him." "Testing" means to try. The only other usage of this word in the NT is in Heb.11:29, where the writer speaks of the Egyptians "attempting" to cross the Red Sea. Just as the Egyptians tried to overcome Moses and the Hebrews, the "Pharisees and Saducees" tried to overcome Jesus.

Their test for the Lord was to "show them a sign from heaven." They had already witnessed many signs or miraculous deeds. They had seen Him heal the sick, give sight to the blind, make the lame to walk, cast out demons and many other supernatural works.

They did not deny His supernatural power. In fact in 12:24 they attributed His power to Satan. One Jewish superstition was that demons could perform earthly miracles but only God could perform heavenly ones.

They wanted "a sign from heaven" or from the sky. They thought this was beyond His ability. They wanted to publicly discredit His power as not being from God.

What they could not see because of their spiritual blindness is that Jesus Himself was a "sign from heaven." When Simeon saw the 8 day old Messiah in the temple, he prophesied, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against" (Lk.2:34).

Remember Pharaoh and Moses? The more signs Moses gave of God's power, the harder Pharaoh's heart became.

The French atheist Voltaire was of their mindset when he declared, "Even if a miracle should be wrought in the open marketplace before a thousand sober witnesses, I would rather mistrust my senses than to admit a miracle."

A human heart set on darkness will grow darker still. Spiritual eyes that reject the light will hide from the light.


He Rebukes Their Silliness

Matthew 7: 6 Don't give what is holy to dogs or toss your pearls before pigs, or they will trample them with their feet, turn, and tear you to pieces.


2    He answered and said to them, "When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red';

3    and in the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.


They were Experts at the Irrelevant.

He calls them "hypocrites." He says, "You know how to discern the face of the sky but you cannot discern the signs of the times." Let me paraphrase, "You who are supposed to be the leaders of God's people can understand some common warnings by looking at the sky. Yet, you are so blind you cannot see what God is doing all around you!"

Notice how all around us man is increasing in knowledge and understanding. We live in an information age. Technology is sprinting forth at an ever-increasing pace. We know more than any generation that has gone before us but we are oblivious to the things of God.



He Repeats the Scriptures

4    A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." And He left them and departed.

Jesus understood their motive. He said, "A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign." They wanted a sign because they did not believe. They would not believe even with yet another sign. Mark says Jesus "sighed deeply in His spirit."

The only sign they would receive is "the sign of the prophet Jonah." To understand this, turn back to 12:39-41. It refers to Jesus' death, burial and resurrection. Of course, they would refuse to believe that sign as well. 28:12-14 tells us that they paid off the soldiers to say His resurrected body was stolen.


He Rejects The Sinners

"And He left them and departed."

They are abandoned by God (v.4b).

With that final statement, Jesus "left them and departed." The Greek word behind "left" means to "utterly abandon." It is the same term used to describe Matthew leaving his job at the tax office and of the accusers of the woman caught in adultery. It means to "forsake for good."

Because of their wilful spiritual blindness, because they would not believe, Jesus abandoned them. He would offer them no more grace. Though God is "rich in mercy" He will utterly forsake those who regress into spiritual blindness (Rom.1:24-28). Judgment eventually falls.

Piety Without Reality

5    Now when His disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.

6    Then Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees."

11    How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? --- but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees."

12    Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Power Without Relationship

A Selfish Life

An Unsatisfying Life.

The Lord teaches us how to deal with Stumbling Saints

To every one else, the disciples seemed like the sinners and the Pharisees like the saints. The Lord saw it the other way around.

Sometimes we feel a little lost in the criticisms of others.

The disciples were probably tired and unthoughtful about the things they said.

5    Now when His disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.

6    Then Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees."

7    And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have taken no bread."

8    But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, "O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?

9    Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up?

10    Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up?

11    How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? --- but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees."

12    Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.



8 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, "O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? 9 Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up?

They Needed To Rely Upon The Lord

They follow after Jesus (v.5).

After Jesus abandoned the "Pharisees and Saducees" in their own spiritual darkness, His disciples followed Him "to the other side" of the Sea of Galilee.

Don't overlook the importance of their dedication. All their lives they had been taught to respect and believe the religious systems represented by the "Pharisees and Saducees." By following Jesus, they were rejecting their own cultural identity. They did so because they had seen the light and wanted greater light still!

Not everyone who had seen Jesus' light was faithful to follow Him. Turn to Jn.6:66-69. You can almost visualize their spiritual sight growing sharper and clearer when Peter asks, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

They listen carefully to Jesus (vv.6-11).

As they rowed across the sea, it dawned on them that they had no food or "bread." It was late in the day and their stomachs began to growl with hunger.

There were few cities on that side of the lake and certainly no McDonald's or convenience stores where they could buy food. They faced an evening without supper. I can almost hear them grumbling hungrily.

Jesus used their discourse and a teachable moment. He said, "Take heed and beware the leaven of the Pharisees and Scribes." The disciples didn't understand. They were more concerned at that point with their hungry bellies than the spiritual truths Jesus had stated to the religious leaders. They said, "It is because we have taken no bread."

How often we are like them. While we may not hunger for bread, we desire other needs for life, a new job, a more reliable automobile, a larger home, etc… Instead of seeing the big picture, the spiritual and eternal truths God wants to teach us, we worry over mundane temporary physical needs.

Jesus was not concerned with them missing a meal. He was very concerned that the truth of the gospel not be polluted by the "leaven" of the religious leaders.

He calls them "you of little faith." They didn't miss the point because they lacked information or because they were not intelligent. They missed the point because they were not exercising "faith."

BUT They Needed To Rely Upon The Lord


Prov 3:5, Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths


Do you remember these words?

It is the main thing the Lord cals you to do as a believer.

It's what being a believer is all about.. trusting the Lord.

Your faith life started with trusting the Lord to save you.

It continues as you trust the Lord for His guidance and leading throughout your life.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths

They were relying on themselves rather than trusting Jesus in faith. How often we fall into that trap!

They Needed To Remember The Lord

Jesus reminds them that He had fed "five thousand" with "five loaves" and they had retrieved 12 baskets of leftovers. Only recently He had fed "four thousand" with "seven loaves" and they had "seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left over" (15:37). If Jesus had wanted to, he could have easily created more food than they could ever eat.

How often we need to go back and remember all the way that the Lord has lead us. Those incidents that showed the Lord's hand in our lives. Those coincidents that are too many to number. Those times of the Lord's wonderful blessing. If He has been with us then, will He not be with us now? Remember!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The Briefing Library: Christian unity and denominations

The Briefing Library: Christian unity and denominations

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