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That Prophet Speaks for God
Prophets — Truth or Lies
In our age of fake news, researchers at MIT admit that lies travel farther, faster, and deeper than the truth. But this is nothing new. In the time of Saul and Barnabus, Elymas Bar Jesus was a local purveyor of deceit, lies, and evil schemes. He held sway in the court of Sergius Paulus, the proconsul in Paphos, Cyprus. But Saul recognized him for what he was and ousted the false prophet, so the truth could be preached. Paul dealt with others in Rome and elsewhere who willingly exchanged the truth of God for lies. But, Paul’s advice to the Gentile believers was to reject the empty, foolishness of lies in order to embrace the truth. The truth would renew their minds and overcome spiritual blindness and apathy.
That Prophet is Prophesied by Moses
Paul hearkened back to Moses instructions when writing about false prophets and teachers. Moses warned the people to avoid the diviners, sorcerers, and mediums who dealt in lies and deception. Rather, the people of God were to follow the truth and be blameless. And, God promised that he would raise up a prophet who would teach them the truth. They were commanded to listen, for that prophet speaks for God.
That Prophet Speaks for God
Who was that prophet that would come and fulfill Moses’ prophecy? It was no mystery to the disciples of Christ. In his gospel account, John, made it clear that Jesus was the one who was sent to speak on the Father’s behalf. Unlike the religious leaders of the day, Jesus did not listen to the “Father of Lies.” Rather, Christ came from the Father of Light, to bring the truth that would set people free. The religious and civil elite wanted to kill him, because they could not bear the truth he was teaching. On trial for his life, Jesus made it abundantly clear to the Jewish authorities that he was “that prophet.” And he prophesied of his coming again in power to establish the Kingdom of God. This gives believers hope and confidence as they speak the truth in love to a world that is caught up in deception.
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Christ the Prophet, Priest, and King
Who is Worthy?
What do the authors of the Narnia tales, and the Lord of the Rings have in common? C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien created powerful ‘biblical’ personalities and themes to drive their works of fiction. These men had a basic faith in the God of the bible and the purpose and plan that he would accomplish. God’s plan is a matter of public record in the scriptures. However, it has been ‘sealed’ and it’s message hidden. In vision the apostle John saw the sealed scroll that God the Father was holding. He cried when he realized no man was worthy to open the scroll and reveal its meaning. But there is someone who can open it. Do you know who is worthy? More
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God Does the Improbable
Most people live their daily lives with no consideration for what God has done or continues to do. So it would surprise them to know how God works — how God does the improbable. But, those who have faith, who trust in God, believe that God will give them victory over death. Is there anything more ‘improbable’ than that? Our spiritual ancestors understood God’s power to reward those who seek him. So, they didn’t just believe he exists. They believed in his power to intervene and do the improbable in their lives. Do you? More
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Messiah Will Return
Handel’s Messiah concludes with words from Job who lived four thousand years ago. Job prophesied, “I know my redeemer lives and he will stand on the earth in the latter days.” Job was convinced that long after his death he would witness this event with his own eyes. He was angered by his friend’s threats, because he knew that God was just. Job was confident of a bright future because his redeemer, the Messiah will return. He knew he had a redeemer — someone who would pay his debt, a debt that he could not pay. And this gave Job hope and assurance, for it was God who was his surety! More
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Messiah The Son of God
Handel’s Messiah imparts the understanding of the Messiah’s relationship to the Most High. It is that of beloved Son to his Father. And Messiah the Son of God has an inheritance — this world. From the beginning, it was the Father’s intent that the Messiah should claim his inheritance. His coming would be a blessing to all nations. His rule as King in Zion would herald a time of peace and freedom. But he was not honoured when he came the first time. Will he be welcomed when he comes to claim the throne that is rightfully his?
Why Do the Nations Rage?
Prophecy concludes that when Messiah the Son of God returns as King of Kings, the nations will rage against him. Why? Just as in the Messiah’s first coming, the worldly leaders and religious authorities will be infuriated. Fearful of losing their power and prestige, jealousy and hatred will motivate them to reject their Deliverer. They will rail against the Messiah’s teaching, as if they were chains of bondage. Their slave mentality, they will not recognize the fundamentals of true freedom. These scoffers will not be willing to listen to or obey the Messiah.
The Son will Receive his Kingdom
The yearning of every follower of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is for His return. He will establish his Kingdom on the earth. It will be a time when God’s spirit will be poured out. A time when the Lord God, Messiah the Son of God, will dwell among men. All those who love his coming and submit to his authority will rejoice. The Father will give the Messiah, the nations, as his inheritance. And the saints will rule with him in his everlasting Kingdom. All the saints and the angelic host will sing the anthem, “Hallelujah! Our God reigns!” What a message of awesome hope as sung in Handel’s Messiah.
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Messiah Our Healer and Shepherd
A Passover Message – Messiah Our Healer
In 1740 the Messiah oratorio was first performed. It was a tribute to the Passover season and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This was in keeping with the traditions of primitive Christianity and the observances of the first century Jerusalem church. So Jennens, the Messiah’s lyricist, hearkened back to the prophecy of the Messiah in the book of Isaiah. This passage, often subtitled the “suffering servant,” foretold a message of Christ’s first coming as the Messiah our healer. Isaiah wrote, “With his [Messiah’s] stripes we are healed.” The disciples of Christ’s day witnessed Jesus’ beating and scourging at the hands of Jews and Romans. They could understand these events and the crucifixion of Christ in light of Isaiah’s powerful prophecy. More
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The Authentic Gospel & the Messiah
The Messiah oratorio penned by Handel is a masterpiece of biblical teaching.
With powerful emotion and haunting melodies it preaches the authentic gospel message. The lyricist, Charles Jennens was a non-conformist Christian whose lyrics were designed to preach the ‘authentic gospel.’ It could perhaps be considered now as a “guerilla’ tactic to preach the truth. Carefully Jennens crafted a masterpiece about Jesus, the Messiah, as sung through the voices of many biblical writers. He was not ashamed about the authentic gospel. Rather, Jennens used his talents and the theatre venue to preach the message of hope in the Messiah, and to praise His name.
Do you know that message? Are you living in that hope? Learn more about God’s message of hope to humanity in this series of sermons.
The biblical writers, Jude, Paul, and John, encouraged believers to “fight for the faith once delivered.” They urged their readers to recapture the authentic gospel — what was understood from the beginning. Do you know that gospel? …In this festive winter season it would seem that many have never known ‘primitive’ Christianity. Or, they have forgotten the authentic gospel message.
Handel’s ‘Messiah’ was mysterious to the public who knew little of the bible. So in beginning his work with the message of, “Comfort my people — says your God,” Jennens desire was to speak to the heart of his audience. He wove the scriptures together to appeal to people’s emotions and longings – to comfort the weary with God’s words. And that message still resonates today… More