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Jesus in the Old Testament - Tyler Brown

Jesus: The Fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant 

Genesis 12:1-3 & Genesis 22:16-18


Genesis 12:1-3: “The LORD said to Abram: Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land I will show you.  I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”


Gen 22 is the story of Abraham obeying God’s summons to sacrifice Isaac, An angel of the LORD stopped Abraham from killing Isaac and this what the angel tells him:

Genesis 22:16-18 “By myself I have sworn,” This is the LORD’S declaration: “Because you have done this thing and have not withheld your only son, I will indeed bless you and make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore.  Your offspring will possess the city gates of their (His) enemies.  And all the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring because you have obeyed my command.”


If we were to compare the Messianic profile that we have looked at so far to the snowball effect, we would still be holding the little snowball in our hands.  If you are looking to get the big snowball that ends at the foot of the mountain, you have to start with a little ball at the top.  After this prophecy, the ball leaves the hand and really starts to grow.  Prophecies will build on other prophecies and the identity of the Messiah will start to take shape.  Even if you are familiar with what has happened so far, I urge you to keep reading because so far we have just seen the tip of the iceberg.  I want you also to keep in mind that a lot of what is in these articles is academic and is not essential for having Christ as your Savior.  The purpose of the articles is to help us see what is going on in the Old Testament, God’s faithfulness in providing for us, and how it applies to us today - thousands of years later.  It is in no way meant to be a burden, you don’t have to fully understand all of this in order to receive salvation through Jesus Christ.  Consider this illustration: We can experience the wonderful taste of pizza, and be nourished by it without knowing the ingredients, but if we really love it we will ask for the recipe. We have tasted the goodness and are looking at the recipe, but the nourishment does not stop if we don’t understand all the ingredients.  Also, in the same way we can have a recipe card and not be nourished by it.  We can carry that recipe  card around all day and our hunger will not be quenched.  We have to stop, do the work and take in the delightful nourishment of what is on the card.  We taste the goodness and joy of Christ through the Holy Spirit by knowing Him through the Word, prayer, faith, and obedience.    So let us abstain from any self righteousness of how much we know, but grow in knowledge and understanding in order to boast about Him and the works He has done for us, and for us to cherish the work He has done.  Keep in mind though that we don’t have to understand everything to know that we have everything in Jesus and to hold Him as our supreme treasure. My hope going forward is that we will have more of an understanding of God’s faithfulness and sovereignty, then in turn our faith will be strengthened through it.  


We have looked at two prophecies so far in the book of Genesis, and it will be very useful to stop and understand the story plot of Genesis. There is a ton of information in Genesis, and how it all points to God’s redemptive plan is not easy to grasp, but we are going to try and make it as easy as possible.  There is one thing that you need to keep in mind for this article: that it is through “the offspring” that redemption comes.  We know from Genesis 3:15 that God is planning to use the offspring of Eve to destroy the serpent's work.  So the author of Genesis wastes no time in starting on the genealogies of the human race, because that is one of the main points of the Old Testament: to funnel the information of how God is going to save His people through this offspring.  So right away In Genesis 4 we see that Eve did indeed have 2 sons, Cain and Abel, and Abel pleased God with his heart and his offering.  Then Cain let sin reign in his life and he ended up killing Abel, along with the hope that the offspring prophesied in 3:15 would come from him.   In Chapter 4 you can read about Cain’s line, which ends with Lamech and him being a murderer, who praises himself to be mightier than Cain (definitely not something we are looking for in a redeemer).  In 4:25-26 God gave Eve “another child in place of Abel'', and his name was Seth.  Then in chapter 5, in contrast with Cain’s descendants, you can read about the more righteous line of Seth: Enoch lived a righteous life and never died, and Noah was determined to be one who would “bring relief from the ground the LORD had cursed”.  So the channel of the Messiah gets funneled to Noah, and specifically his son Shem as revealed in Genesis 9:26 - which is what we looked at last time.  Also we see here in Genesis 9:27, if you remember from the last article,  that the promised offspring will spread the blessing of His works to all peoples of the earth.  Genesis 10 provides us with the descendants of Noah’s children, and this is really where the focus of lineage shifts for the rest of the Bible.  Shem’s descendants are where the offspring will come from, so this is where the majority of the Bible’s focus is on after this point: Shem’s descendants.  Shem’s descendants include: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob - from Jacob came the 12 tribes of Israel, who were the Israelites.  The second half of Genesis 11 is the line from Shem to Abram, and Genesis 12 reveals that the Messianic pathway will be narrowed again through Abram.  


There are three main points of this article: First, God displays His power in delivering our Messiah.  Second, that we inherit righteousness by faith from the Abrahamic covenant. Third, Jesus is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant.


An incredible display of God’s providence in providing the Messiah, that I have overlooked until now, is God’s sovereignty displayed through how He provided the Messianic channel.  Conceiving offspring for the Messianic channel doesn’t seem like a big deal…until you realize that almost all of the Hebrew matriarchs were barren: Sarai, Abrams wife was barren (Gen 11:30); Rebekah, Isaac’s wife was barren (Gen 25:21); Leah, Jacobs wife’s womb had to be opened by God (Gen 29:31); and Rachel, Jacob’s other wife was barren (Gen 30:22).  Them being able to conceive is extremely important because our Messiah would come through “the offspring” of women.  Only through the grace of God did these women conceive, without the offspring, there is no Messiah, end of story.  God has worked miracles from the very beginning to provide for us our Messiah.  I don’t believe in coincidences in the Bible. So when God promises victory through an offspring, and then only by His sovereign hand is there an ability to conceive, I believe it to be intentional.  Only through His grace do we receive this blessing, only through His grace do we have hope, and only through His sovereignty over all creation is this made possible.  Psalms 115:3 “Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases.”  Indeed He was pleased to provide us with a Messiah, and child bearing issues were of absolutely no concern of His. 


Now turning our attention to Abraham, Abraham is the father of faith, Romans quotes Abraham’s faith, Hebrews quotes Abraham’s faith, Galatians quotes Abraham’s faith, and I’m sure there are more.  It is for a very good reason.  When we read Genesis 12:1-3, “The LORD said to Abram: Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land I will show you.  I will make you into a great nation, and we consider the faith it would take to “Go” as the Lord commanded.  Let’s look at the faith it took for him to obey.  Abram, before he was called by God,  worshiped pagan gods (Jos 24:2)  yet he still obeyed this foreign “God”.  God told him to “Go”, and he left, no questions asked, he just went!  Second, Sarai was barren; God told him that he would make Abram into a great nation, yet he believed God, even though Abram and Sarai had been trying to have children.  Abram had faith that his new found God would provide the children they would need to become a great nation.  Later he showed, in my opinion, the greatest proof of his faith when he was willing to offer Isaac as a sacrifice to God, believing that God would return Isaac to him. This is proved in Genesis 22:5 where Abraham, on his way to sacrifice Isaac, tells the young men traveling with him to stay behind, that He would go with Isaac up the mountain and “The boy and I will go there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.”  He is faithful that God will return his son to him.  For God had promised to make him a great nation, and how could He do that without an heir?  This statement is proved further in Hebrews 11:17-19 if you would like more clarification. Third, he left the security of his homeland, the land of his father,  to go somewhere that he didn’t even know.  All this being said, surely you can see how Abraham’s faith is incredible, and worthy of being a role model for faith.  


We should also take note of the condition of the prophecy that God gave Abram here.  God told him to “Go out from your homeland…” , So it is only by Abram obeying God in His call to “go” that these things would come to pass.  Hebrews 11:8 says that “By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed…”.  His faith in God produced obedience, and that obedience leads to the prophecy becoming the rock solid promise of God.  Only through Abram’s obedience was He able to be in the line of the Messiah.  If he would have stayed in his home country, we would never have known who Abram was.  If he didn’t “Go” when God called him to, his story would be something like this: “Abram didn’t go, and he died in Haran without an heir and no one was blessed through him.” and that’s a pretty sad ending.  But God knows the hearts of men, and He knew Abram would be faithful, and He knew that His Messiah would come through Abram, and that is why God called him.  


Also we should take note of the importance of Abram’s faith in the New Testament.  Paul provides this twice for us: that we inherit righteousness by faith; in Romans 4 and Galatians 3.  Romans 4 is dedicated to Abraham’s faith being credited to him for righteousness, if you want to learn about how Abraham’s faith is the basis for how we are righteous by grace instead of works, then go to Romans 4.  Paul’s argument is that we are credited righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ, whether you are Jew or Gentile.  Abraham is the father of us all (Rom 4:16) because we have inherited grace through faith, just as he did.  “One believes in the heart, resulting in righteousness.” Rom 10:10.  Paul also says in Romans 4:13-16  that the inheritance of Abraham’s descendants inheriting the world comes through the righteousness that comes by faith, so that the promise would be guaranteed by grace for all who believe.  What exactly does that mean?  It means that we don’t earn our way into salvation, we are all credited righteousness by our faith in Jesus Christ, just as Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness.  Galatians 3:9 proves this: “Those who have faith are blessed with Abraham, who had faith.” Again in Galatians 3:26 “For through faith you are all sons of God in Christ Jesus.” And again in Ephesians 2:8 “For you are saved by grace through faith”.  And again in Romans 5:1 “We have been declared righteous by faith”.  I have no doubts that the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of Genesis 15:6 “Abram believed the LORD, and He credited to him as righteousness.”, knowing full well that this would be the basis for salvation in Christianity.  The main point I’ve been trying to make through Abraham’s faith is that we inherit the blessing of his offspring (Jesus) by imitating Abraham’s faith. 


 This is the third point we are going to look at: Christ fulfills the Abrahamic covenant, and that He is the supreme offspring of Abraham.  Now scripture determines at least twice that the offspring referred to in some of these prophecies is singular, meaning that they point to one person. Here is Paul’s declaration of the singular offspring: Galatians 3:16: “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed.  He does not say “and to his seeds”, as though referring to many, but referring to one, and to your seed, who is Christ”.  This is Paul pointing out that the promises of Abraham were not to all of Israel, but of Abraham, and Christ.  We see this in one other place, Acts 3:25-26 where Peter is describing that Jesus is the Messiah: “You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestor, saying to Abraham, And all the families of the earth will be blessed through your offspring.  God raised up His servant and sent Him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways.” I bolded this to point out the fact of what Peter is saying.  He is saying that the offspring points to one person, “His servant” (Jesus).  You can tell this because He says that God has “sent Him first to you to bless you”.  If the Israelites were already the offspring that “all the families on earth would be blessed through”, then why would they need to be blessed by Christ?  They wouldn’t.  In fact He is even saying that the Israelites, who are Abraham’s offspring, needed to be blessed by this other offspring of Abraham because they were evil.  In other words, the very nation of whom this blessing is supposed to come from needs to be blessed!  The Israelites did in fact bless the world by being the Messianic channel, just as God promised Abraham that he would be a blessing to the world, but the Israelites needed to be blessed by the supreme offspring of Abraham just as much as the rest of the world. This blessing that God is referring to is the inheritance of righteousness by faith that we inherit from the Abrahamic Covenant.  Jesus Christ could do this, but without believing in him the Israelites were rejecting their own Messiah, and rejecting God’s grace.


There is a question that  still remains unfinished though: Did the Israelites bless all the earth?  The answer is yes and no.  Jesus Himself says that “salvation comes from the Jews”(John 4:22), because “they were entrusted with the very words of God”(Romans 3:2).  They knew who God was, God had revealed Himself and His plan to them (1 Peter 1:10-12), and He had chosen them to be the Messianic path to bring to the earth Jesus Christ (Rom 9:4), so you could say yes to that point.  However the prophecy was not fulfilled in them.  Jesus also says that the children of Israel were lost sheep (Matt 10:6,15:24).  They themselves did not bring blessing to all the earth by bringing reconciliation to God for all the lost sinners of the earth, the Israelites did not bless the world with faith being credited to us as righteousness.  That would be the work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who has taken our sin upon Himself and gifted us with His righteousness through faith in Him - by double imputation.  Therefore, Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant.  God fulfilled Abraham’s part in the covenant by having Jesus - God’s own Son - come through Abraham’s descendants, and In Jesus the prophecy is fulfilled by establishing grace through faith to all the nations.


“Because you have done this thing and have not withheld your only son, I will indeed bless you and make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore.  Your offspring will possess the city gates of their (His) enemies.  And all the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring because you have obeyed my command.”


I believe the translation from Hebrew to English makes these verses very challenging.  I am going to do my best to make sense of them, but I confess that I am no scholar and this is just my take on these verses, so please read with discretion.   What I believe is going on during the mentions of “offspring”, is the offspring that are as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on a seashore are the fruit of both Abraham and Christ, Christ being the supreme offspring from the line of Abraham.   Like the above paragraph, the term offspring is a double edged sword, where the Israelites did indeed bless the nations by God using them as the Messianic pathway for Jesus Christ, but it was the works of Jesus Christ that the nations were actually blessed.  I look at the different offspring’s this way: “the Offspring (Jesus) - who possesses the city gates of His enemies and will bless all the nations of the earth - will bless the offspring (us) - who are as numerous as the stars of the sky and sand on the seashore.  The promise was made to Abraham and Christ, both.  The blessing of Abraham having a great nation descended from him was the Israelites - and eventually, through the work of his ultimate offspring, us.  Abraham is “father to us all” (Rom 4:16), and in the likeness of his faith we are his offspring, because we belong to Christ (Gal 3:29), who is his offspring.  Christ lives in us (Gal 4:19, Eph 3:17) so we have the blessing of this promise: our faith is credited to us as righteousness - just as Abraham was and we are counted among the stars of the sky and sand on the seashore.


The promise that sticks out the most to me in these prophecies is “Your offspring will possess the city gates of His enemies''.  Now, depending on what translation of the Bible you have, it may read “their” enemies, but with the descriptions given in the New Testament revealing that the offspring is singular in both Acts and Galatians, and the fact that ESV translates it “His”  and NASB/CSB have footnotes for “His”, I would incline to think that this refers to Jesus Christ and His victory over His enemies.  Here’s what God says to His Son in Psalms 110, “Sit at my right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool”.  The entire reason that the Son of God was revealed was to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), who is the enemy.  The works that He wrought on the world was sin, death and separation from God.  Sin and death have been defeated: “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Cor 15:56-57),  and we are no longer separated from God, but reconciled to Him “...we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son…” (Rom 5:10).  There is no enemy of His, or stronghold that will stand before Him, He is victorious in all of His ventures and all of His battles. Our Messiah has power and dominion over all things and we can rest knowing that He loves us and protects us.  


Conclusion 

Christ was the supreme Offspring in the Abrahamic covenant.  He fulfilled it by blessing all the earth with our inheritance of saving Grace through faith like Abraham’s.  God has shown His sovereignty over creation by opening the wombs of the women chosen to bring forth the Offspring of promise, at the precise time that was pleasing to Him.  Christ has the gates of His enemies and nothing can stand between Him and His bride: The Church. 


So far this is what God has revealed to us of the Messiah:


A Redeemer is Coming

Gen 3:15

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All the nations will be blessed through Him

Gen 9:25-27

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Faith in Him will be credited as righteousness to those who believe in Him

Gen 22:16-18


We should always remember that the blessings we cherish were all bought by the precious blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Only by His suffering in our place, His substitutionary death on the cross in place of the death we deserved, and by His resurrection from the dead so that we are justified before God, are we able to partake in these blessings.  “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” John 3:17.  We are saved by having faith like Abraham, which is credited to us as righteousness.  We are among the “nations” who have been blessed by the redeeming blood of the Messiah.  There is no enemy we have to fear because Jesus our King has power and dominion over them all.  We have “been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ.” We are the work of the Lord, bought by Him, and sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our Salvation.  Praise God for our Messiah, and praise Jesus for His humble obedience that made it all possible!

 


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Jesus in the Old Testament - Tyler Brown

New Beginnings, Future Blessings


Genesis 9:25-27 “He (Noah) said: Canaan is cursed.  He will be the lowest of slaves to his brothers.  He also said: Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem; Let Canaan be his slave.  Let God extend Japheth, let Japheth dwell in the tents of Shem; let Canaan be Shem’s slave.”


God’s Judgment

The days before the flood were some of the most imaginative times in history.  When I read Genesis 6:1-4 almost anything seems possible.  Giants were roaming the earth, there were “sons of God” (people can only speculate who they were), and there were powerful and famous men of old.  It’s incredible to think about and the imagination roams.  


One thing was for certain though, “human wickedness was widespread on the earth and every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil”.  God, the all powerful Creator,  the One who created all things by His powerful Word,  the One who blew breath into the lungs of men, had looked down at His image bearers and regretted making them.  Mankind no longer lived to glorify God, they lived to glorify themselves. So God brought judgment on the earth through the great flood and He found favor with only one man, Noah.  Noah was the only one walking with God at this time, all other hearts were turned towards evil deeds and desires.  Not Noah though, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among his contemporaries; Noah walked with God.”(Gen 6:9).  Noah was a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Pet 2:5).  Noah listened to God and “did everything that God commanded him”(Gen 6:22).  In turn, God blessed Noah after the ark had landed and the land was cleansed of evil.  Unfortunately though the flood could not clean the human heart, even after cleansing all the land of evil, God still says that “the inclination of every human heart is evil from youth onward”(Gen 8:21).  


The second fall

After the flood, humanity now had a fresh new start, with a “new Adam” in a sense.  Noah did what was pleasing to the Lord and built an altar to worship Him (Gen 8:20), which resulted in God’s promise of the rainbow and God’s covenant to never curse the ground again or to strike down every living thing (Gen 8:21).  Noah was still human though, and still had Adam’s sinfulness imputed on him.  The next thing we see after God’s covenant with Noah is Noah’s fall (Gen 9:20-23):  Noah plants a vineyard, makes some wine, gets drunk, goes to his tent and gets naked. Ham, his son, sees him naked and he is not ashamed to see it.  Not only is he not ashamed to see it, he is not afraid to proclaim it to his brothers.  


The beauty of God’s Word is that it shows all our hero’s failures, and God always has mercy for the repentant.  Noah was not our Savior, he was not the one who God said would “strike the serpent's head”, but he found favor with God and by the grace of God he saved humanity from complete destruction.  The Bible makes it a point that although Noah was righteous and blameless among the other peoples of the earth, he was not without sin.  The similarities between Adam and Noah are unmistakably clear. Consider the following: 

  • Both were given the same blessing by God: To be fruitful and multiply, and subdue the earth
  • Adam was brought to the garden of Eden - Noah planted a vineyard (both had a garden)
  • Both took fruit 
  • Both ended up naked and then covered
  • Someone was cursed
  • A Prophecy was made


Let’s take a look at the curse Noah made.


“The lowest of slaves”

“Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside” (Gen 9:22).  What happened in that tent, we don’t know, but we do know that through Canaan’s descendants came the detestable acts of sexuality listed in Leviticus 18.  Whether or not anything like that happened in the tent of Noah is speculation,  but we do know that Ham did not have the decency to cover his father or to not flaunt his father’s failure in righteousness.  Ham did not take righteousness seriously and it shows through his son, Canaan’s, descendants who would become “the lowest of slaves” because they were dispicable to the Lord.  God says this of the land of Canaan in Lv 18: “The land has become defiled, so I am punishing it for its iniquity, and the land will vomit out its inhabitants.” vs 25.  Canaan’s descendants had hardened their hearts towards the righteousness of God and let sin rule their lives.  They cared nothing of delighting in God, but wanted to delight in worldly sin.  Joshua eventually led the Israelites (Shem’s descendants) in conquering the Canaanites and King Solomon used the Canaanites as forced labor (1 Kings 9:20-21).  Through this the prophecy of the Canaanites becoming the lowest of slaves has been fulfilled.  


The reaction of the righteous person’s sin ought to be shame.  “Be assured that a wicked person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will escape” says Pr 11:21.  Those who delight in evil are bound for destruction just as the Canaanites were.  They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and just as Ham looked on his father’s nakedness without shame, the Canaanites found nothing evil enough to find shame in.  The Canaanites were guilty of sexual relations between son and mother, grandfathers and granddaughters, aunts and nephews, father in laws to daughter in laws, brother in laws and sister in laws, they engaged in homosexuality, they were sacrificing children by fire to a god named Molech, and they had sexual relations with animals.  All of this can be found in Leviticus 18. For these reasons God had revealed that Canaan would be cursed.  Indeed they were cursed, and made slaves to the Israelites.  


Now that we looked at the curse, we will keep going to the prophecy that was made.  


“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem”

God had revealed to Noah that through his son Shem would come God’s ultimate blessing for all mankind.  When Noah said “Blessed be the Lord”, it was God’s personal covenant name with the Israelites - “Yahweh”.  It is through God giving His grace to Shem’s descendants - The Israelites - that He has revealed His glory, and that His mercies would be poured out on the world through the revelation of His word.  Through Shem’s descendants (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the Israelites) God has set apart a people for His holy purpose, to be a people for Himself for His glory, and a people that would delight in Him so His glory can be revealed.  The Israelites failed in just about every way shape and form in keeping God’s covenants, seen throughout the Old Testament.  So more importantly, God is also laying down His plan for the redemption of all mankind:  Because Shem and his descendants have God as their God, they are the channel that the Messiah will come through.  Romans 9:4-5 shows us the importance of God’s holy people for His plan of redemption: “They are the Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple service, and the promises.  The ancestors are theirs, and from them, by physical descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, praised forever. Amen.”  


Luke, our great historian, has given us the lineage of Christ, the channel in which God has brought our Messiah.  Chapter 3 verse 36 shows us that Christ has descended from Shem, and Noah says “ Blessed be the Lord” because of this.  Indeed! Blessed be God! God has blessed us with grace upon grace through His Son, Jesus Christ.  God deserves all glory and honor because of His  plan of redeeming us through His Son and this blessing was revealed to be through Shem.  Through Shem would come the Messiah who would bring God’s people back to Him, who would be the atoning sacrifice for the people's sins (John 1:29), who would be the righteousness of the people who are stained with sin (1Cor 6:10), who would defeat death by the power of the resurrection (2Tim 1:10), who now sits at the right Hand of God awaiting to judge the living and the dead (2Tim 4:1).  These are just a few of many more reasons that Noah would cry out “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem!”, knowing that the Messiah would right all the wrongs done by humanity, and bring God’s creation back to where it should be: abiding in Him.  


Amazing grace

So far God has revealed that there would come a Messiah who would defeat the works of Satan (Gen 3:15), and now in Genesis 9:25-27 He has revealed that through Shem people would praise God.  


“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem; Let Canaan be Shem’s slave.  Let God extend Japheth; let Japheth dwell in the tents of Shem…” Gen 9:26-27


   Through the work of Jesus Christ our Lord He has not only let Japheth’s descendants “dwell in Shem’s tent”, or in other words: to delight in the glory of God, but He has extended His grace to all mankind.  To dwell in someone else’s tent pretty much means you are given what was already theirs, meaning that God’s blessing would not just be for Shem’s descendants but for Japheth, and eventually Ham’s descendants.  We can discern that the Messiah is a blessing for all people from various scripture, Revelation 5:9 says of Jesus “...You purchased people for God by Your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation.” italics added.  The works of the Messiah are available to any who answer His call (Rev 3:20).  


This is proved in the book of Acts, where chapters 8,9 and 10 line up perfectly with showing that the gift of salvation is available to all, no matter who you are descended from; Shem, Japheth or Ham.  First in chapter 8 the Lord sent Philip to a descendant of Ham, an Ethiopian.  After hearing the good news of Jesus Christ (starting in the book of Isaiah, I would like to point out!)  the man was baptized.  Second was Saul, an Israelite and descendant of Shem, who was persecuting Christians.  He was spoken to by the Lord Jesus Himself, and was baptized.  Third was a Roman centurion named Cornelius, who was a descendant of Japheth, who was already a God fearing man although he was a gentile.  The Holy Spirit led Peter to Cornelius and Peter taught them the good news of Jesus Christ, then the Holy Spirit came upon them and they were baptized.  

This proves our God’s mercy toward sinners who repent, His faithfulness towards His promises of salvation and His grace that has showered us all with eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.  


Now we have this promise “All the prophets testify about Him (Jesus) that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 10:43).  Anyone from any nation who fears Him and does what is right is available for salvation.  God no longer shows favoritism through our lineage, but through our faith.  The purpose of the prophecy of Shem was to set up the channel through who our salvation would come from.  When Peter said that “all the prophets testify about Him” he was saying that there is a line drawn from Genesis 1 to Malachi 4, the entire Old Testament, which points to the pinnacle of the human race, Jesus Christ our Messiah.  The one who was living in the form of God and emptied Himself to become the suffering servant (Philipians 2:6-7); to be oppressed and afflicted, crushed by the wrath of God, so that many (us!) would be justified (Is 53:4,5,11).    Because of His great works  “All the nations will come and worship before You because your righteous acts have been revealed.”(Rev 15:4b).  All nations, every language, every tribe can call Jesus Christ Lord and treasure God’s word in their heart and have the hope of salvation.





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Jesus in the Old Testament - Tyler Brown

The First Gospel

Genesis 3:15

“I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring.  He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”


We are going to try and unpack the “Protoevangelium” - which means the first gospel.   After I wrote this and read it, I couldn’t help but to see that this is the message of the New Testament.  I started to wonder “did I do this wrong?”, because surely here in Genesis chapter three you couldn’t get all of that information.  Then after further thinking, I found that Genesis 3 is the Bible in its broadest terms: Our sin separating us from God, our need for a savior, the promise of a Savior, the cost of saving grace, and the victory over sin.  Here in Genesis 3 God has already set in motion His great and wondrous plan.  I truly love the gospel, and it was with much joy that this was written.


My hope through this article (and every article) is to get you into the Word of God through the references and let God speak to you through His Word and the wonders of the glorious grace that He has lavished on us.  


The serpent

God is cursing and prophesying to the serpent, who Satan has taken control over, in order to deceive Eve into rebelling against God’s law - ”...You must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil…”.  We can identify that the serpent is being possessed by Satan because of the New Testament writers; Paul tells of him in Romans 16:20 “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”  And the apostle John was shown a vision in Revelation 12:9: “So the great dragon was thrown out - that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world.”  That verse seems to really hit the nail on the head for identifying the serpent.  There is also the fact that snakes can’t talk, so there was some sort of supernatural ability going on there.  That is good enough to convince me that Satan is identified as the serpent.  


Satan tempted Eve with the same temptations that we still get today from our old adversary.  He tempted her with the lust of physical pleasure “the tree was good for food”, the lust of visual pleasure “delightful to look at”, and pleasure in pride “desirable for obtaining wisdom”.  So this fruit was going to make her feel good physically, the sight of it made her long to have it, and it was going to make her more knowledgeable.  Was this enough to defy God and turn their back on Him?  Yes, and we have all followed their suit, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. 


These are the same temptations that the apostle John wrote about in 1 John 2:16 “For everything in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions - is not from the Father, but is from the world.”  Eve was deceived by the serpent, but Adam openly took the fruit from Eve, and in doing so he was rejecting the all powerful, all merciful, loving, faithful God, and embraced lies and rebellion.  Humanity falls for these deceptions all the time, that God is holding out on us, that He doesn’t or can not fulfill our needs.  We choose to rebel against God by indulging in things like the fruit, or food, or lustful thoughts, or drugs, or social media, or the latest gossip, spite and hatred or watching a sin embracing movie.  The list goes on and on of what we find more attractive than God.  This is the horror of sin: when we choose to sin we are saying to God, “I would rather have this than you,  I am rejecting you and serving myself.”  So when Adam and Eve took the fruit and ate of it, they rejected God and His word, they rejected His authority and plunged humanity into sin.  This sin would be imputed on every one of their descendants and from birth all humanity would be sinful and reject God.  (Pss 51:5; Rom 5:18)


Effects of the fall

So there is the bad news.  Humanity has now fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23).  Every single person that is of Adam’s descent has Adam’s sin imputed on him, our hearts are tuned for desiring our own glory and we don’t seek God because we want to rule our own lives, and make our own laws that justify our wickedness.  As soon as man sinned he started pointing his finger to justify his sin “Well you gave me the woman, who in turn gave me the fruit…so really whose fault is this God?”  This seems pretty weak, but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have lame excuses to sin as well.  This might be a huge shocker to you, but Adam’s excuse didn’t justify himself before God, and I’m pretty sure he knew that before he said it otherwise there would be no reason for them to hide.   Romans 3:10-12 says “There is no one who understands;  there is no one who seeks God, all have turned away.”  Adam and Eve turned and hid from God, they tried to hide their sin by covering themselves with leaves, they didn’t understand what exactly happened - they were supposed to become wise, but they became ashamed.  


Falling short of God’s glory has given them their wages: death (Rom 6:23).  Now death is reigning on earth instead of life.  I am going to paraphrase Romans 5:12 here:  Because of Adam’s sin - sin has reigned over us, and because sin is reigning in us - we all die.  Or Romans 5:19: Through Adam’s disobedience to God, all have become sinners.  Because we are sinners, we all deserve to be judged, condemned and separated from God.  One man’s sin has led us all into sin.  


And this is right where humanity would be without the good news of Genesis 3:15.  This is why it is called the first gospel; because it gives hope!  It’s good news!.  It’s not hope in humanity, humanity has already failed.  Humanity exchanged their free life of living in God’s perfect world without knowledge of sin for shackles in Satan’s prison of slavery to sin; to long for evil desires and pleasures of our bodies and minds, seeking our own glory and to seek happiness without God.  So humanity is not the offspring recorded in vs. 15, humanity is dead spiritually (Eph 2:1) and incapable of redeeming itself.  


The Messiah

God specifically says that there will be hostility between the serpent’s offspring and the woman’s offspring.  This offspring of the woman points to Jesus, the Messiah.  Let’s turn our attention to the meaning of the word Messiah for a moment.  If you understand what the word means, it will make it a lot easier to understand why we call our Lord Jesus - “The Messiah”. Messiah comes from the root word “mashach” in Hebrew, meaning to rub or smear, like as in anointing objects or people for the purpose of making them holy to worship God.  In Exodus 40 God laid out the rule of “anointing the tabernacle and everything in it…so that it will be holy.” (Ex 40:9).  God is so perfect and holy and glorious that He demands perfection (Matt 5:48), and purity (Hab 1:13).  Just as Moses anointed the tabernacle and people with blood to make them holy, we are made holy by the blood of Jesus.  We are anointed by His blood to be made holy for worshiping Him.  Hebrews 10:10 : “By this will,(God giving His Son as a sacrifice) we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all time.” (parenthesis added) Sanctified literally means to be made holy.  So through Jesus Christ we are seen as holy and are set apart to be able to worship the all holy, all righteous, all powerful God that we have.  Without Jesus’s blood to anoint us, we are not made holy.  None of us have lived a life of perfection needed to be accepted by God,  we need to be washed in the blood of the Lamb - Jesus (John 1:29).


So here in Genesis 3:15 when God could have cursed man along with the serpent for now being unholy and unworthy of His presence, He gives hope instead.  God says; there will come someone who will contend with the serpent, and He will win.  Even though man has fallen from God’s glory and now sin and death reign over him, God is not stopping the story here.  There will be someone to reconcile humans to God.  Why would God do that? For this purpose; “...according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He lavished on us in the Beloved One.” (Eph 1:5-6).  He is displaying His glory and grace, and we praise Him for it!  That even though we are unholy, dead, and hopeless sinners - God’s mercy and grace cover us,  and our Messiah will reconcile us with Him.  


Adam and Eve’s fig leaves didn’t cover their sin,  but God in the riches of His grace covered them.  In Gen 3:21 God shed the first blood recorded on earth to cover their sins by killing an animal to cover their nakedness,  just as one day He would intercede and shed His own blood so we could be washed and clothed in His righteousness.  The Messiah would suffer and die so we can be with Him.  


The payment

Let’s go to the end of vs. 15;  “He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”.  The striking of the head doesn’t come without the striking of the heel.  God is Just, so sin needs to be dealt with, in His holiness He cannot overlook the stain of sin on our hearts.   1 Peter 3:18 says “For Christ also suffered for sins”.  From the very beginning God knew that He Himself was going to pay the price of humanity’s sin, and He was pleased (Is 53:10) to do so.  By God’s will, Christ came to be a substitutionary sacrifice for our sins (Heb 10:10).  Isaiah 53:5: “He was pierced because of our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds.”  We are healed by his wounds…think about that for a few moments…. We are not reconciled to God by Jesus crushing Satan,  Satan being dead does not justify our sinfulness since the fall.  We are justified (Rom 5:1,9), meaning we are seen as not guilty, and we are completely free from condemnation by Christ suffering in our place.  We will stand before God and He will say “Not guilty”, for Christ has paid for our sins, He Himself bore the punishment.  Someone had to take on God’s wrath towards disobedience, and Jesus took our place…”so that we may be with God.” (1 Peter 3:18b).  Oh, the glorious joy we have in Jesus!  The unending gratitude we should feel and the love for our gracious, merciful King!   Indeed,  “Jesus paid it all, and all to Him I owe.”.  Let us never forget why and how and at what cost we are called Children of God!  


Evil endures in this world

Now we’ll back up to the first part of the verse again: “Your offspring and her offspring.”   God is saying that the serpent has offspring -  So how does Satan have offspring?  Jesus says in Matt 13:24-30,36-43 that the Son of Man sows children of the kingdom and the devil sows children of the evil one.  Satan’s children are in our world and have been since the fall of humanity.  So how can we tell who is of the devil?  1 John 3:11-12 sheds some more light on this; “We should love one another, unlike Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother.  And why did he murder him?  Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.”  Cain was of the devil because he let sin rule him instead of ruling over sin (Gen 4:6-7) and he did evil, embracing hate and resentment which lead to murder.   Cain was “of the evil one” because he rejected God’s rule and accepted sin’s rule over him.  There are only two places to be in life, you are either under God or under Satan (Matt 12:30).  Anyone who has hardened their heart towards God can be considered the devil's offspring.  If you are living for yourself, by rejecting God’s gift of salvation through His Son, you are condemned (John 3:18) and on the path for the fires of hell. There is no middle ground where the decent, “good” person goes.  There is only heaven and hell, there is no other place.  There is the place where people go who love God, trust His Word and live to glorify Him in our works of obedience, and then there is the place people go who reject God.  The fires of hell are lit and it is only for God’s glory that He restrains His hand from casting the wicked into the fire, for God does not take pleasure in devouring the wicked, but takes pleasure when the wicked turn from their evil ways (Eze 18:21-23).  We do not know when an unbeliever's last breath will be.  This should bring a sense of urgency and seriousness to sharing our faith with unbelievers in our lives. The seriousness of this shouldn’t tear down hope for the unbelievers in our lives that we love though, the apostle Paul considered himself “the chief of sinners” (1Tim 1:15) considering he persecuted the first Christians.  John Newton - the author of “Amazing Grace” used to sail along the African coastline and enslave anyone he could capture.  One night there was a storm so fierce that John thought he would die, and it transformed his life.  In his old age, even after his mind slipped away from him, he said he could remember 2 things: “That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great savior.”  There is always hope for salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ for those who are lost. Continually pray for them.  


Christ the victor

Satan won the battle of tempting man into living in rebellion to God, but Jesus came in and won the war.  The devil’s works were to bring rebellion against God, and to bring death.  So how did Jesus defeat this?  What is God’s plan of adoption for His children? It’s called double imputation:  It’s when Jesus takes our sin and places it on Him, and He takes His righteousness and puts it on us (Rom 5:19, 2 Cor 5:19-21). Jesus; who lived in the form of God, emptied Himself of all glory and came to earth to assume the form of a servant and die on the cross in obedience to the Father (Phil 2:6-8), and in doing so He undid the works of the devil (1John 3:8).  Christ suffered for sins that we may be with God (1Peter 3:18), meaning He bore our sins so that we are seen righteous by God, and in turn Satan’s work of making God’s creation rebel against Him has been atoned for.  Christ defeated death through the resurrection; “Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die” John 11:26.  Christ defeated spiritual death: the sting of death is no more, because the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law (1Cor 15:56) ,AND JESUS FULFILLED THE LAW ON OUR BEHALF!  Praise God!  Jesus is our righteousness,  it does not come from ourselves but from Him alone.  Don’t ever forget that!  We receive His righteousness when we confess Him as Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead (Rom 10:9-11).  So when you feel like a sinking ship in your spiritual walk of holiness and that sin is conquering you - remember Jesus is your righteousness.  As we battle sin and fight to discipline ourselves to a godly life, and we inevitably stumble - remember Jesus is our righteousness. When a brother or sister sins against you and you feel broken or let down or angry towards them - Christ is their righteousness.  So treat them accordingly with love and grace. 


Don’t submit to guilt and hide from God or turn from Him, but go to God, who is faithful and just to forgive you when you confess (1 John 1:9).  Don’t let the evil one weigh you down with shame, turn to God, just as Samuel had to tell the Israelites: “ Even though you have committed all this evil, don’t turn away from following the Lord.  Instead worship the Lord with all your heart.” 1 Sam 12:20.  When you are being unrighteous there is only one place to go for righteousness:  Our righteous Savior.  There is no more joy than the joy of living with God as your King.  


The devil’s great work was to make us unholy, unrighteous sinners destined for death and separation from God, but Jesus cleanses us, places His righteousness on us and has placed us before the throne of God (Heb 4:16).  This is all without merit, we have done nothing to deserve such a gracious gift.  Good works don’t cancel out sin, they are just the fruit we bear as followers of Christ who live in obedience to His commands.  We need Jesus our Messiah for reconciliation to God: for Jesus “is the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me” John 14:6.  God has saved us by His grace (Eph 2:8),  we have done nothing to merit our salvation besides having the need to be saved.  Therefore it is only by Jesus Christ that the works of the devil have been defeated and we are reconciled to God (Rom 5:10). 


Promises

Let’s end with rewinding the clock thousands of years to when God gave the promise of a Coming One who would end the works of the devil.  At this point nothing else is known of how or when this Coming One would save mankind from their failure.  They had just been stripped of everything good that they knew; the garden, fellowship with God, perfect fellowship with each other and ignorance to sin.  So when God promised that one day these things would be restored, they waited.  After some time Gen 4:26 says “…people began to call on the name of the Lord.”  People started calling out to God, “Ok Lord, when is this going to happen?”  “Who is the one who will deliver us from our sin?”  “We miss our fellowship with you Lord, reconcile us.”   


Christ has defeated the works of the devil and has struck his head,  “through His (Jesus’s) death He might destroy the one holding the power of death - that is the devil.”(Heb 2:14).  The sin that separated us from God has been atoned for by our Savior’s blood, and the death caused by sin has been conquered, we are made alive in Christ and will be resurrected and glorified by the work He has done in His great love for us.  The offspring in Genesis 3:15 is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ who died for the world so that all would be blessed (Gal 3:13-14).   Jesus was struck on the heel, He suffered and died for our sins…but he defeated death through the resurrection and in doing so struck the serpent's head.  In completing all that God had put before Him, He is glorified and at the right hand of God where he will rule eternally (Heb 1:3; Heb 12:2; 1 Pet 3:22; Eph 1:20-21; Rom 8:34; Acts 2:33).  


I pray Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians for us to understand His gospel: “I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through His Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Eph 3:16-19.


P.S: If this is your first time hearing the good news of Jesus Christ or this is the first time the Lord has moved your heart and you have seen the immensity of your sin and the goodness of the Lord Jesus’s work on the cross, and you wish to be part of God’s kingdom, please contact a Christian friend or any of us at Grace Fellowship.  If you would like to open your heart to God and confess Him as Savior and your Lord, open your Bible to Romans 10:9-11 and read it until you understand it, then flip to 2 Corinthians 5:15 and read it until you understand it.  Then bow your head in prayer and confess that you are a sinner who needs saved, and that you confess Jesus is your Lord - He is the one true Son of God - and you believe in your heart that He died, was buried and was raised from the dead.  Confess to the Lord that you want to stop living for yourself, but to live for Jesus who bore your sins, in humble obedience to the one true God.  After you have prayed, please find a Church who will baptize and disciple you to become like our Lord and start living the Christian life!   This one prayer will not guarantee your salvation, it is not a get out of hell free ticket, but it is the starting point on which all who have the hope of salvation start their Christian journey.  





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Jesus in the Old Testament - Tyler Brown

Genesis zero:

The Preexistence of Jesus Christ


It has been my pleasure at Grace Fellowship over the last several months to read the Call to Worship during our church services. As we have been going through the book of Matthew, he has used several Prophecies to claim Jesus is the Messiah, that he is the Anointed one that God has brought to the world, that the world may be saved through Him, reconciling God’s lost children to Him, to bring Him glory. When studying our Call to Worship I have been blessed to have my eyes opened to God’s plan of redemption, salvation and glory throughout the Old Testament. Although I am still in study of this and will be for the rest of my life, I have been blessed again with the support and resources to be able to share my study of the Messiah in the Old Testament. I pray that this will be a blessing to you as it is to me, that your faith will be strengthened as you see God’s plan unfold, and that you see God’s mercy and love and faithfulness throughout scripture.  


We as Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah, or the Christ - these are the same title, Messiah being Hebrew, Christ being Greek. But before we start looking at God’s promises of the Messiah, I want to establish that Jesus Christ is part of the eternal Trinity. He was there before Creation, He was there during Creation, and He came from heaven in which He had glory and left it in the ultimate act of humility. Why does this matter on account of learning about the Messiah? I think very simply to protect ourselves from false doctrine. My wife just brought to my attention last night the Jehovah Witness religion, and at first I thought that any belief based on Jesus Christ couldn’t be too bad. From what I understand now, after researching them a little is the fact that they don’t believe in Jesus’s deity - that Jesus is not the Son of God, but an archangel. This is not what scripture teaches at all, and what a terrible way to take away from God’s glory and His demonstration of love. Jesus being God is one of the most fundamental things we learn as Christians, and one of the first things you hear is John 3:16 “He gave his only Son”.  


Here is what the Lord Jesus says of Himself.  

John 17:5 - “Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with that glory I had with you before the world existed.” 

So we can see that Christ was with the Father before the world existed and that He had glory. I take this glory to mean splendor, or elegance, or magnificence. I believe that just by being in heaven, God’s glory (His very essence of nature) washes over all who are there and everything in it.  


Jesus descended from heaven:


John 6:33 “For the bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Vs 35 tells us that Jesus is this bread. Jesus descended from heaven to give life.

John 6:38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.” 

John 6:62 “Then what if you were to observe the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?” 

John 8:23 “You are from below,” He told them. “I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.” 

John 16:28 “I came from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” Jesus descended…and will ascend after his work is complete


I think it would be fair to say that John wanted us to plainly see Jesus’s deity and is going to great lengths to instill this fact in our minds. Scripture not only tells us that He was in heaven and divine before the world, but that He created the world. If you go to Genesis 1:1 you will read something like “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The Hebrew word here for God is “Elohim”, it is plural, meaning more than single, or multi-parted. I’m not going to get too in depth on the trinity, because it is a very difficult concept, but I want us to see that the teaching of the trinity was in the very beginning. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit created the world. This shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise considering the next verse introduces the Holy Spirit. Gen 1:2 “the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” 


 The New Testament gives us Christ as Creator as well.


John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. (underline added)


Colossians 1:15-17 He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. (underline and parentheses added) 


Hebrews 1:2-3 In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made the universe through Him. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word.   


God the Son is part of the God that was before all things, created all things and sustains all things. And He became flesh nearly 2,000 years ago to become our Redeemer, our Messiah, our Anointed One that would bring a new covenant with His blood, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (Matt 26:28). Why did God Himself come to save us? Why is it so important that we see Jesus as the Son? First of all, God in Himself is infinitely valuable, so His death on the cross was the only sufficient sacrifice to be made for sin. But what I really hope you can take with you and hold in your heart is the nature of God He reveals in doing this, the humility He displays to save His people. It’s what He shows us of Himself in coming to earth and being our sacrifice for salvation, that kind of love and faithfulness is something we need to see. We need to understand that Jesus is God to be able to perceive what kind of God we have. We have a radical God, a God that stopped at no lengths to show His love, faithfulness and dedication to His people. When you study the life of Jesus like we have over the last years in Matthew, you can’t help but notice that Jesus is not a tame people pleaser. He is radical! I don't mean insane radical, I mean devoted, loving, compassionate…the kind that makes you want to throw your own desires aside to help the people around you. When I stop and think about how radical God is about His faithfulness, it makes me want to be radical, to be disciplined, to live a Christ centered life, to share my faith, to love others, to exalt God, to live for His glory, to not put myself before others, to live a holy life…the list goes on. So many good things come from focusing on what we have in recognizing our God’s love for us. His love that sacrificing Himself was not out of the question to reconcile us.  


I want to answer one more question before the end. Why does it take away God’s glory to not see Jesus as God? I mean God is still all powerful and Lord of heaven and earth so what does it hurt….

When we don't see Jesus as God, we reject what God has shown us about Himself, and we lose the splendor and majesty of what Jesus did, and take from Him His deserved glory. I’m talking about His humility described in Philipians 2:6-11:


[Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when He had come as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point to death on a cross. For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow - in heaven and on earth and under the earth - and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.]


See, by removing His deity, we remove His humility and it completely destroys wonderful scripture like this. Christ was existing in the form of God-the all powerful creator, He emptied Himself of this and became a servant, becoming human and humbled Himself to die on a cross. Because He did these things He is exalted, and every tongue will say that He is Lord, and it brings glory to God! Seriously, who wouldn’t want this God to be their God? If someone rejects God, they are not seeing who he truly is, no one can turn from this kind of love after their eyes have been opened to it. Pray for those who haven’t seen, who are still walking around blind because of Satan's deceptions. Pray that they would see God’s love. I believe it is only when we truly see His love, and how deep it goes, it is only then that we are willing to cast ourselves aside and put God and others first. Fear of not going to hell will only take a person so far, fear does not change a person’s will to live a godly life, or to love others as themselves. Perhaps for a little while it will drive them, but it is not lasting, God did not intend for us to have faith through fear, but through His love. Perfect love drives out fear (1John 4:18), so that when we believe the love God has for us, we no longer have fear, no fear of punishment, no fear of hell, because we are in God and know that we are in His love. The joy of God’s love makes us want to be like Him, to become like His Son, the visible image of the invisible God. I am saying these things to dare you to see God’s love, accept it, and let His love fill you with peace and joy, rejoice in this love, rejoice in God, because it will bring God glory...and yes it will make you feel good. It will feel good to follow His commands, to love others, to give rather than to receive, to live in His word and apply it to your life, it feels good to be free from sin! Christ didn’t break the shackles of our slavery in sin for us to not enjoy Him, or to not be joyful.  


Conclusion

Jesus was in the beginning, He created all things and sustains all things. He was there when Satan fell from heaven (Luke 10:18), He was there when Adam and Eve took the forbidden fruit, He was there before Abraham (John 8:58), and He was there when the Old Testament was written. So we are going to unfold Christ in the Old Testament, how God reveals His plan through prophecy and how we can identify the Messiah through the Old Testament. God gave us clues on what the Messiah would look like and what He would accomplish, and through these we can correctly identify and strengthen our faith, that it all points to and is fulfilled in Jesus Christ our Lord.