The Power of Repentance

Godly Sorrow-

In Matthew chapter five and verse four we read,

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” (Matt. 5:4)

On the surface it would appear that the “mourning” which the Lord is referring to here would be the type of “mourning” that is experienced upon the loss of a loved one. However, in the context of the Scripture we realize there is a deeper meaning.

The “mourning” that the Word of God is talking about here is referring to the repentance that comes into someone’s heart when an individual mourns and is sorrowful over their sins.

First Corinthians chapter five and verse two tells us,

“And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.” (1Cor. 5:2)

The Church at Corinth had allowed blatant ungodliness and immorality to come into their midst. Instead of mourning and repenting that this sin would be taken from them, they allowed it to continue.

In other words, they okayed it by overlooking it.

In James chapter four and verses eight through ten the Bible says,

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:8-10)

Notice that mourning and weeping go hand-in-hand with repentance of sin.

The Bible is talking about repentance before God. It says to “let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness.” It says to “humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He shall lift you up.”

Humble yourselves.

In Second Corinthians chapter seven and verse ten it says,

“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” (2Cor. 7:10)

Godly sorrow produces repentance. Godly sorrow is being sorry that we have sinned against a holy God and disappointed Him. Worldly sorrow is being sorry that we got caught, or that our sin didn’t work out as we had planned.

Once again, the Bible talks about mourning over our sins. In other words, Jesus is saying “Blessed are those who repent and mourn and are sorry for their sins for they shall be comforted.”

If we want to see a manifestation of the Holy Ghost moving in our life, then we must stay in a repentant state before God.

We must always keep an inward look at who we are, what we’re doing, and how we stand before God.

We must strive to attain the attitude of repentance.

It’s an attitude. Repentance is not something that we do one time and then it’s over, but it is an attitude and a continuance.

When I was a young Christian, my Pastor preached a message entitled “Living under the Altar of God” which was about living in a state of repentance.

In my pride, I thought “That’s wrong. I repented when I became a Christian and I don’t have to do that anymore.”

I wasn’t praying daily as I should and allowing the Holy Spirit to search my heart and reveal to me the presumptuous sins that were continuing in my life. The Bible says,

“Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” (Psalm 19:13)

And again in the New Testament,

“If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1John 1:10)

The Bible also says in First John chapter one verses eight through nine,

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:8-9)

Satan loves to condemn us when we sin. He loves to cause us to walk around in a state of heartbreak and defeat for days and keep us from having any victory.

Yes, we need to be sorry and mourn for our sins once they are revealed to us, but then our repentance must be mixed with faith.

God cannot lie.

When God says that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, then that is exactly what He will do.

The Bible says that He is faithful.

That means He will do it every time. The Bible says that He is a just God. He will not only cleanse us from our sins but He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Now it is time to believe it, receive it, and rejoice because of it.

There is a period of mourning and being sorry for our sin. There is a time to repent and change from what we were doing wrong and begin to walk in the opposite direction.

Once we have confessed our sin and forsaken it, God will cleanse us and we are to walk in that newness of life. We are not to drag ourselves around in an attitude of defeat.

We must rise up and walk in victory according to the Word of God.

When we determine to get pride out of the way and repent of our wrong attitudes, then we can begin to walk in the fullness of the Holy Ghost.

Tomorrow– The Power of Meekness

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The Power of Humility

“Humble Yourselves…”

The Bible reads in the fifth chapter of Matthew verses one through three,

“And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mat 5:1-3)

“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Here Jesus is talking about humility or a contrite spirit. He is not talking about being financially or physically poor, spiritually starving, or poverty-stricken, but He is talking about having a humble spirit before God.

In James chapter four and verse six the Bible says,

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)

Grace is not only unmerited favor, but it is God’s power to be able to do what He wants us to do.

To have the grace of God is to be enabled by God.

The Bible says He gives grace unto the humble. He gives the humble the power to live an overcoming and abundant life in Christ.

The prophet Isaiah declared in Isaiah chapter 66 and verse two,

“For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2)

In other words this verse is saying,

“This is the man that I’m going to look at,” says God. “This is the man I’m going to recognize. I’m going to consider and take note of the person who is of a poor and contrite spirit and trembles at my word.”

Psalms 51 and verse 17 says,

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)

Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God, or we might even say the kingdom where God rules.

The Gospel of Luke chapter 17 verses 20 and 21 reads,

“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21)

For us to begin seeing the kingdom of God manifested in our life, the first step is getting rid of pride and embracing humility and humbleness before God.

Tomorrow– The Power of Repentance

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In Order to Receive from the Lord

The Sum of the matter is…

Humility and submission, coupled with faith and trust in God, opens the door to receiving from the Lord.

Now God has given unto us the measure of faith. Not by any amount of faith or belief in our strength or abilities does the abundant life come from, but by our belief in the faith and strength and righteousness and love of Jesus Christ.

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22)

This is the only direction for our faith.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)

The Bible says in James chapter four verses eight through ten,

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (Jas 4:8-10)

When we cast forth our pride and draw nigh to God in humility then He shall lift us up.

I want to say that this doesn’t come automatically. We need to search our hearts. We need to ask God to reveal areas of spiritual pride in our lives.

And we all have them. None of us have gained perfection.

When God reveals these areas of pride in our lives we must determine in our hearts to cast them away. When we do that then we draw nigh to God.

So many times we have such a battle in fighting the devil. But God says it’s His battle.

The Bible tells us that light dispels darkness and that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1John 1:5)

When we draw nigh to God through humility and obedience to His word and He draws nigh to us, then the light of the glory of God covers us. All the demons of hell have to leave. They cannot dwell in the light of God.

Hebrews chapter 12 verse two tells us,

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2)

This is faith’s direction.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.”

This takes all of the effort off ourselves and allows us to rest in what Christ did. This is what the Bible talks about when it says that we are to enter into his rest.

Jesus did it all.

“Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” (Heb. 4:1)

“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” (Heb. 4:9)

Tomorrow– The Power of Humility

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Eternal Salvation

“If…”-

“And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;” (Col. 1:21-23)

In the previous verses of Scripture, the Bible says that God will present us holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in His sight if we continue in the faith.

As we happen upon the word “if” in this portion of Scripture, it seems that we have come upon the question of an individual’s possible loss of salvation. The question of “eternal life” and whether or not a Christian can lose their salvation involves a doctrine which is called by many the “Once Saved, Always Saved Doctrine” of salvation.

Let’s look through the Scriptures to see if the whole Word of God refutes or supports this doctrine. In John chapter ten and verses 28 and 29 Jesus says,

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:28-29)

This is one of many portions of Scripture pertaining to “eternal life” that seem to support this doctrine.

However, in order to “rightly divide the Word of God” (Second Timothy 2:15) we must understand that the word “eternal” simply describes the type of Life that God will give but does not preclude that life from being removed from us.

In the same way, the fact that “no man can pluck us out of the Father’s hand” does not preclude us from willingly leaving the Father’s hand on our own.

We read in Romans chapter 11 verses 19 through 22,

Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. (Rom. 11:19-22)

Here the Bible says “if thou continue in his goodness.”

The Bible also says in Hebrews chapter six verses four through six,

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Heb. 6:4-6)

I’m sure many of us have read these Scriptures in Hebrews the sixth chapter; however it is quite possible that some might not have understood them. It is evident that these Scriptures are not describing someone who is minimally in the faith.

This is a description of a person who has tasted of the heavenly gift. They were made partakers of the Holy Ghost. They tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come. This describes an anointed individual. This was an individual walking in the power and the anointing of the Holy Ghost.

But the Bible here says that “if they shall fall away” that it is impossible for them to be renewed again unto repentance. I have met people in that condition. They could not find a place of repentance before God. They had lost their faith in Him.

In Revelation chapter three and verse five the Bible says,

“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Rev. 3:5)

Here the Scripture refers to blotting someone’s name out of the book of life. A name cannot be blotted out if it had never been written in.

The Bible tells us in Galatians chapter five verse four,

“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” (Gal. 5:4)

The church at Galatia had started well. They had received the Spirit but then some false teachers came in and destroyed their faith in God’s grace. They taught the Galatians that they had to not only believe in Jesus for salvation, but they also had to resume obeying the Law of Moses and put their trust in their obedience of that Law.

The Galatians began to try to obey the Law of Moses and they took their faith that they had in Christ and placed it instead in their ability to obey the law. So here the Bible says they lost their faith in Christ and therefore Christ had become of no affect to them. They had fallen from grace.

We read in Hebrews chapter ten verses 38 and 39,

Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” (Heb. 10:38-39)

Here the Bible says that if a man draws back he draws back to perdition, and that is the same as destruction.

The Scripture says in James chapter five verses 19 and 20,

Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” (Jas 5:19-20)

Here the Bible uses the word “brethren”. The Scripture is talking about saving the soul of a “believer” from death.

What can we say to conclude the things that we have just discussed? We cannot lose our salvation like we lose our keys. We cannot lose our salvation like we lose our pocket change. We stand by faith in Christ.

A person who begins to commit sin in their life, unrepentant and continued sin, and who quenches the Holy Spirit, does despite to the Spirit of grace, and loves the pleasure of sin more than they love the presence of God have begun walking on the wrong path.

They haven’t yet lost their salvation. For the Bible says that if we see anyone err from the truth and we convert them from their sinful way then we have saved their soul from death.

There is a distance that has to be trod before they lose their faith in God.

When we see a brother sinning, we can still go to him and convert him to keep him from falling. It we do such a thing and they are converted, the Bible says we have saved their soul from death. And this is talking about brothers in Christ: believers.

A person can lose their salvation but it is lost by losing their faith in Jesus Christ. As long as a person has faith in Jesus Christ they do not have to ever worry about losing their salvation.

The day someone refuses to believe that Jesus is the son of God and that He died for their sins and rose from the dead, then that is the day that they will no longer be saved.

The Bible says the just shall live by faith. Where there is no faith there is no spiritual life.

That is why it is called “eternal life” that he has given us. If we forever have faith in Christ then we forever have life. No one can pluck us out of the Father’s hand. The only way that we can come out of the Father’s hand is if we choose to leave ourselves.

No devil, no demon, no unclean spirit, nothing can cause us to quit believing in Jesus Christ. That is a choice that only we can make.

Tomorrow– The Sum of the Matter Is…

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The Atonement (Exchange) at the Cross

That We might be made the Righteousness of God in Him-

The Bible says in Matthew chapter seven and verse 14,

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt. 7:14)

We can compare our faith to an automobile.

Faith is the car. The key to start that car is belief in Jesus Christ. The battery to turn the engine over is the Holy Ghost. The fuel to keep the car going is the word of God.

The Bible says “straight is the gate” and “narrow is the way”. It’s a narrow road. As long as we have our car of faith pointed straight towards Jesus Christ we are not going to go off the road.

But the moment we direct our faith in some direction other than Jesus, we are going to run off the road and it is going to be disastrous. Our direction for faith has to be towards Jesus Christ.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2)

The Bible tells us that God has already blessed us with all spiritual blessings,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” (Eph. 1:3)

God wants to manifest the spiritual into the natural for our benefit.

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” (1Cor. 12:7)

Here in First Corinthians the Bible is talking about spiritual gifts, but in the same manner God wants to manifest spiritual blessings into the natural for our benefit.

What does it mean when the Bible says God has given us spiritual blessings but they have not yet been manifested? One example of this would be salvation.

In John chapter one and verse 29, John the Baptist beheld Jesus and said,

“…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

John the Baptist didn’t lie. Jesus took away the sin of the world but before we can be sinless in the eyes of God we have to receive it by faith.

In the same fashion, God has already provided every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ Jesus but is up to us to receive them by faith before they can be manifested and enjoyed in our life.

If we must believe before we can receive, then what are these blessings contained in the Law that Jesus earned by His obedience but are now held in reserve for us in Heavenly places? And how can we believe in them so that they can be manifested in our lives?

We can believe in them when we see them contained in the Law, and we can receive their manifestation when we see in the Scriptures how Jesus rejected them and took upon Himself the curses instead.

Blessings were promised to those who fulfilled the Law and curses were promised to those who broke the Law. Curses were opposite of blessings.

In order that faith can gain hold in our hearts, we must say again that Jesus was the only one to keep the whole Law, yet He rejected the promised blessings and received the curses so that He might impart the promised blessings to us by faith.

God had promised in Exodus chapter 23 and verse 25 that if they would obey, then He would remove sickness out of the midst of Israel,

“And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.” (Exodus 23:25)

Jesus fulfilled the Law in all points so He should have received this promise. Jesus as an Israelite, as the Son of Man obeyed the Law therefore sickness should have been taken out of His midst. He was entitled to this blessing.

However, we read in Matthew chapter eight and verses 16 and 17,

“When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” (Mat 8:16-17)

In Deuteronomy chapter 15 verses four and five, God says that He will take poverty out of our midst,

“Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it: Only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day.” (Deut. 15:4-5)

Jesus should have obtained this promise by His righteousness. No poverty should have been in His midst. He should have had good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.

However, we read in Matthew chapter eight and verse 20,

“And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” (Matt. 8:20)

Jesus walked in obscure poverty. He walked the dusty streets. He did not have it pressed down, shaken together, and running over. He did not have a place to lay his head. Jesus took our sins and curses of disobedience.

In Deuteronomy chapter 28 verses 2 through 6 we read of the promised blessings of obedience,

“And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.

Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.

Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.” (Deut. 28:2-6)

Blessed, blessed, blessed.

Every blessing we just read in Deuteronomy should have belonged to Jesus because of His fulfillment of the Law. When God speaks, makes a covenant, or declares a promise then He will bring it to pass if the conditions are met.

The Bible says that “God is not a man that he should lie.”

When God made His covenant with Abraham’ seed, with David’s descendants, and with the nation of Israel through the Law of Moses, then whoever fulfills those covenants must receive the promises contained therein.

Jesus as the Son of Man, the Seed of Abraham, the descendant of David, and a child of Israel was the only One to ever fulfill man’s requirements in the covenants and thereby earn the promised blessings.

Yet He rejected those blessings when He went to Calvary and hung on the tree, for it is written “Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree.”

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:” (Gal. 3:13)

The Bible says that Jesus exchanged His blessings for our curses and His righteousness for our sins.

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2Cor. 5:21)

This is called the atonement (the exchange).

“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Rom. 5:11)

God makes that exchange when an individual puts all of their faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Jesus was separated from His Father for our sins so we will never have to experience that separation because of our faith in Christ. There is no such thing as purgatory. There is no such thing as penance. We will never know separation from the Lord our God as long as we never reject the faith that we have in Jesus Christ.

Jesus as the Son of Man, without sin, pure, righteous, and obedient should have received on this earth, as a result of His righteousness, blessedness, long life, prosperity, healing, and no separation from God.

Man, on the other hand, with a sinful nature, a wicked heart, disobedient, and unrighteous should receive a cursed life, few days, poverty, sickness, and death with separation from God.

Through our faith in Christ’s atoning work on the cross of Calvary, Jesus transfers His blessed life through His obedience to us and He received all of the curses that rightfully should have been ours.

Jesus even descended into hell as the Son of Man but He ascended out of it victorious as the Son of God.

“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;” (Col. 1:19-23)

This is the fulfillment of all that we have talked about in Scripture.

We are reconciled today. Because of Jesus, we stand before God holy, unblameable, and unreprovable in his sight.

Tomorrow– Eternal Salvation

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The Fulfillment of the Mosaic Law

The Righteousness of God in Christ-

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” (Matt. 5:17)

When we are looking at Christ fulfilling the Law, then we are looking into something that is most instrumental in our faith walk and our faith relationship with God.

Jesus fulfilled the Law in all points and it means something very, very important to us. It has to do with our direction of faith in order that our faith may grow.

There was a blessedness and a righteousness in the law if it could be fulfilled, and Jesus Christ was the only one to fulfill it.

The Bible says that sin is the transgression of the law,

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1John 3:4)

The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ never committed sin and therefore never transgressed the law.

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15)

Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses in order to pass the righteousness found in His fulfillment unto us.

Since the Bible tells us that “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17), we are going to look at some examples in the Word of God in which Christ fulfilled the Law of Moses.

We read in the Law of Moses concerning the circumcision of a male child in Leviticus chapter 12 verses two and three,

“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.” (Lev. 12:2-3)

We see the fulfillment in Luke chapter two and verse 21,

“And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” (Luke 2:21)

In Numbers chapter four and verse three we read of the age of assumption of priestly duties,

“From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.” (Num. 4:3)

Have you ever wondered why Jesus waited until He was 30 years old before He was baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist and revealed unto Israel as the Messiah? He had to be 30 years old in order to fulfill the Law of Moses concerning the assumption of priestly duties before He could establish a new priesthood after the order of Melchisedek.

We read of Christ’s fulfillment in Luke chapter three verses 21 through 23,

Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,” (Luke 3:21-23)

In Exodus chapter 29 verse four we read where the Law gives instructions for the washing of the Levitical priest,

And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.” (Exodus 29:4)

Before a priest could assume his priestly duties he had to be washed with water by another Levitical priest. We read this fulfillment in Matthew chapter three verses 14 and 15,

“But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.Then he suffered him.” (Matt. 3:14-15)

John the Baptist realized that Jesus was the Messiah; the One prophesied Who would deliver Israel. This is why he told Jesus, “I have need to be baptized of thee.” However, Jesus told John that He needed to be baptized of him in order to “fulfill all righteousness.”

In order to fulfill the Law, before He could assume any priestly duties such as offering a sacrifice for forgiveness of sin, Jesus had to be washed by another priest. Since the priesthood was inherited and John the Baptist’s father was a priest, then that made John a priest also.

The Bible says that Jesus was made a priest after another priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek. We first read of Melchizedek in the Book of Genesis.

“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.” (Gen 14:18-20)

Abraham had gone to the battle of the Kings and was returning home after his victory when he encountered this man called the king of Salem, the priest of the most high God named Melchizedek.

We read more of Melchizedek in the seventh chapter of Hebrews,

“For this Melchisedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.” (Heb. 7:1-4)

According to the Law of Moses, a man could not be a priest unless he was the son of a priest. This was the reason that Samuel could be a prophet but never inherit the priesthood from Eli, no matter how godly Samuel was.

Jesus said that He came to fulfill the Law of Moses. We know that Jesus is the Son of God but He walked as the Son of Man anointed with the Holy Ghost.

In order for Him to become a priest Jesus had to be the son of a priest, so in order to satisfy the Law, God manifested Himself upon the earth as Melchizedek thousands of years before the birth of Christ.

In Hebrews chapter seven, Melchizedek was called King of Peace. In Isaiah chapter nine verse six, Jesus is called the Prince of Peace.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isa. 9:6)

A prince is the son of a king.

The Bible says in Hebrews that Melchizedek was “made like unto the Son of God.” How was the Son of God made? He was God manifest in the flesh.

Melchizedek was made in the same fashion, made “like unto the Son of God.” He was God manifest in the flesh.

God the Father spoke into existence a body so that he could appear as Melchizedek, the King of Peace, the King of Salem, the Priest of the Most High God. This was done so that thousands of years later Jesus Christ could be born of a virgin, grow up, and become a priest after His order.

This fulfilled the Law saying that a priest had to be the son of a priest.

Thereby, Jesus Christ was able to be baptized in the River Jordan, washed by a Levitical priest, ordained as the Son of a Priest in another priesthood, and could go about forgiving men of their trespasses and performing priestly duties.

The Bible says in Acts ten and verse 38,

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38)

Why did God go through such intricate detail over an expanse of thousands of years just so Jesus could fulfill the law in all points?

First, the Bible teaches in the Book of Hebrews that before the old covenant (the Law) could be done away with and a new and better covenant could take its place, it had to be satisfied, or fulfilled.

Secondly, Jesus had to obtain the righteousness and the blessings that were contained in fulfilling the Law in order that He could transfer them unto us through our faith in His atoning work at Calvary.

God ordained from the beginning of time that it would be so.

The problem is not whether we have enough faith. The answer is to direct our faith towards the righteousness obtained by Jesus Christ through His fulfillment of the Law but yet rejected when He took our sins at Calvary.

The Bible calls it the “atonement” which means the “exchange.”

“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Rom. 5:11)

It’s not whether you think that you are knowledgeable enough, or strong enough, or in the word enough. It is totally by your faith in Jesus Christ that you have the righteousness that Jesus Christ obtained.

When God looks at you he sees the same righteousness that Jesus had. We have been made the righteousness of God in Christ.

Tomorrow– The Atonement (Exchange)

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Faith is Multiplied by Christ’s Fulfillment of the Prophets

Jesus Christ: “This Day is this Scripture Fulfilled in Your Ears”-

All the holy prophets prophesied of the coming Messiah, God manifest in the flesh.

Even in the Garden of Eden in Genesis the third chapter verse 15, Satan was told by God that the seed of woman would bruise his head.

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Gen. 3:15)

Now, woman does not have seed but man has seed. However, there was a time in history (the only time) when a woman conceived seed without the aid of man because God put the seed in her.

“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:34-35)

In Genesis chapter 22 and verse 18, Abraham was told that in his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed.

“And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” (Gen. 22:18)

So God and all His prophets prophesied of the coming Messiah, God manifest in the flesh. To obtain faith, which is part of the fruit of the spirit, to obtain salvation, before we can receive the Holy Ghost, we must receive a heart belief that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is that Messiah.

In Isaiah chapter nine and verse six we read,

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

Here is the prophecy of the coming of the Son of God. Not just a prophet, not just a teacher, not just a good man, but the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace.

We can read the fulfillment almost 732 years later in Matthew chapter one and verse 21,

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21)

We can imagine that the expanse of time between this prophecy and the fulfillment must have seemed like an eternity to the children of Israel. However, God’s timing is perfect.

“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,” (Gal. 4:4)

God spoke it, God declared it, and it came to pass.

In Isaiah chapter seven and verse 14 we read of the prophecy of the virgin birth,

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

The prophet said a virgin would conceive. Some scoffers and agnostics say that the word translated “virgin” in the prophecy really just means “young woman”, but God said it was going to be a sign. A young woman having a child is not a sign, but in this verse it says there’s going to be a sign.

A virgin would conceive and bear a child calling his name Immanuel, which means “God with us”. The Messiah was to be born of a virgin.

We see the fulfillment in Matthew chapter one and verse 18,

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” (Matt. 1:18)

Jesus Christ was born of a virgin. The Bible says, “before they came together.” Jesus had nothing to do with it. God’s prophecy was fulfilled.

The exact place of His birth was prophesied. In Micah chapter five and verse two the Bible says,

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)

Here the prophet speaking of the Messiah says that His goings have been “from everlasting”, in other words with “no beginning and no ending.”

We read the fulfillment in Luke chapter two verses 11 and 15,

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.” (Luke 2:15)

Jesus, if He were only a man, would have no control as to the place of His birth.

Even the traitor’s price that was paid for Him just before His betrayal and crucifixion was prophesied of almost 485 years before Christ. In Zechariah chapter 11 and verse 12,

“And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.” (Zech. 11:12)

We read the fulfillment in Matthew chapter 26 and verse 15,

“And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.” (Matt. 26:15)

Not 29 and not 31, but 30 pieces of silver. This is the exact fulfillment of God’s word. God knows the ending from the beginning. When God says it’s going to happen, then it is going to happen.

Jesus was the only one to fulfill these Scriptures; therefore Jesus Christ alone is the only begotten Son of God.

The manner of His death and the way in which he was killed by crucifixion was prophesied of approximately 1800 years before Christ in Psalms chapter 22 and verse 16,

“For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.” (Psalm 22:16)

There is something very remarkable about this prophecy. At the time of this prophecy, the manner of execution among Jews was stoning to death, not piercing the hands and feet. This came almost 1800 years later when the Roman Empire began the crucifixions in which the hands and feet of those executed were impaled upon a cross.

God knew exactly how it was going to happen.

We see the fulfillment of this prophecy in John chapter 20 and verse 25,

“The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25)

Here we read of Thomas referring to the “print of the nails” made when they pierced His hands and feet in order to nail Jesus to the cross.

One particular fact of the shameful treatment that Jesus Christ received during His crucifixion was prophesied nearly 1000 years earlier in Psalm 22 and verse 18,

“They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” (Psalm 22:18)

Again we see that this was a prophecy that Jesus had no control over because He was hanging on the cross at the time it happened. We read the fulfillment in Mark chapter 15 and verse 24,

“And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.” (Mark 15:24)

This New Testament Scripture is almost verbatim word for word the fulfillment of that Old Testament prophecy. These are details concerning His death prophesied of over 1000 years before His birth.

These things have never happened to any other individual in History except for Jesus of Nazareth. He is the Messiah. He is the Christ. He is the Son of God.

In the Book of Psalms we read of one very unusual fact concerning the Messiah that was to come,

“He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.” (Psalm 34:20)

In John chapter 19 and verse 33 we read something very remarkable happening to fulfill this prophecy,

“But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.” (John 19:33-34)

When an individual was crucified, it wasn’t the nailing of his hands and feet that caused death. As long as the individual could pull up with his arms and push up with his feet in order to take a breath, he would remain alive.

It was only when that individual was no longer able to raise themselves up in order to breathe due to exhaustion and pain that they then suffocated to death. Crucifixion was a slow and torturous death.

Since Jesus and the two thieves with Him were crucified on the eve of a Sabbath and Holy Day, the Romans were willing to show the Jews a favor and end the crucifixion before sundown.

They came to the thief that was crucified to the right of Jesus and they broke his legs. They came to the one crucified to the left of Jesus and they broke his legs. The Roman soldiers saw that Jesus was dead already, but instead of breaking His legs they thrust a spear into His side to make sure that He was dead.

It wasn’t a matter of the soldier trying to fulfill a prophecy. He didn’t even realize what he was doing. It was God’s sovereign hand moving at that time in order that His word would be fulfilled in Christ.

God was determined to fulfill His prophecies concerning the Messiah in Jesus of Nazareth and nothing was going to hinder it. There would be no gainsayer that could say Jesus didn’t fulfill this little prophecy or that little prophecy. Jesus fulfilled them all.

Psalms 16 verses eight through ten declare the promised resurrection,

“I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” (Psalm 16:8-10)

We find the fulfillment of the resurrection spoken of in Luke chapter 24 verses 45 and 46,

“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:” (Luke 24:45-46)

Every single prophecy prophesied of concerning the first coming of Christ was fulfilled by Jesus Christ alone. Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is the Son of God.

Tomorrow– Jesus is the Fulfillment of the Law

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