Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Prophecies regarding the Lord on the Cross.
We have been looking at the uniqueness of our Lord’s death upon the cross and the thoughts that He was thinking while He was on the Cross. There were many prophecies that were given that dogmatically refer to the events that would happen before, during, and after the death of the Cross. You can view and download a list of these and more prophecies and their fulfillment here.
- Prophecy: The Promise Seed; GEN 3:15.
2. Prophecy: Virgin Birth; ISA 7:14.
3. Prophecy: The Wooden Cross or tree; DEU 21:22-23.
DEU 21:22-23, And if a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance.
Speaking of the Cross and the tree, notice the King James use of the tree with the Cross; 1PE 2:24, Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
- Prophecy: Passover replaced by Lord’s Supper; EXO 12:3-7.
5. Prophecy: Brazen serpent being lifted up; NUM 21:5-9.
6. Prophecy: A reproach of men, despised by people, being scorned or sneered, PSA 22:6-8.
- Prophecy: Hands and feet being pierced; PSA 22:16.
8. Prophecy: Casting lots for His garments; PSA 22:18.
9. Prophecy: Not one of His bones would be broken; PSA 34:20.
- Prophecy: False witnesses; PSA 35:11.
11. Prophecy: Betrayal of Judas Iscariot; PSA 41:9.
12. Prophecy: Gall and vinegar to alleviate suffering; PSA 69:21.
- Prophecy: Physical abuse and humiliation of Jesus; ISA 50:6, “I gave My back to those who strike Me, and My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spiting.”
14. Prophecy: He would come to die for our sins; ISA 53:5.
15. Prophecy: He would be silent as He approached the cross; ISA 53:7.
- Prophecy: His crucifixion between two thieves; ISA 53:12.
17. Prophecy: The piercing of Jesus’s side; ZEC 12:10.
18. Prophecy: The nailing of Jesus’ hands and feet; ZEC 13:6.
19. Prophecy: He was rejected by His own (the Jews); ISA 53:3.
20. Prophecy: The events up to the cross, ZEC 9:9 & after the Cross.
There are many more that I could give you, but that is not our main subject. One of the main reasons that we stopped our study of the Vine and the branches is to make sure we understand the importance of the free will of man, working together with the sovereign will of God. In other words, it is extremely vital that you understand the Angelic Conflict and the reason why you have been created which is to resolve that conflict by exercising your very own free will or volition. You can order or download the book “The Angelic Conflict” in PDF by clicking here.
You have heard these things so many times before, and you cannot afford to let them slip by. We must all come to know that we are all a part of an invisible spiritual warfare which is designed by the god of this world, Satan, to destroy any momentum that we have from taking in the Word of God. One of the most exciting realities of our spiritual life is knowing and applying the Word of God as it relates to the Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict. This really becomes a reality when the believer learns the real reason why he or she has been created.
Without you thinking that I am exaggerating in any way, there’s a great comfort and security to the belief that you and I have a relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ that can never be broken. This all comes from understanding the reason why there is an Angelic Conflict: It is the result of pre-historic creatures being in opposition to God and being ungrateful for all that He did for them.
This conflict began with the fall of Satan and continued until all angelic creatures had made a decision for or against God. Angels were created in eternity past, before the creation of the human race or in pre-historic times. It could have been billions of years ago…we simply do not know how long! This principle is especially true when it comes to the decisions that Judas chose to make against our Lord and His disciples.
Because of passages like JOH 6:63-71, where the Lord says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you [our Lord says] who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.” As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore. Jesus said therefore to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. And we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.
Because of these prophecies concerning our Lord’s betrayal, there is always a danger that we may think that Judas Iscariot was ordained by God to betray our Lord. This subject is the main reason why I broke ranks and stopped teaching on books of the Bible because there is no way to understand why we have been created if we do not understand the angelic conflict and the importance of glorifying the Lord. Many don’t understand those principles like those who are influenced by Hyper-Calvinism.
Hyper–Calvinism refers to the theology which denies the universal duty of human beings to believe in Christ for the salvation of their souls. In fact, even though they will not say it publicly, they do teach that a person can’t choose to be saved even if they want to. They also teach that you can’t be spiritual unless you are chosen or elected by God to be so. In other words, like the late Doris Day says; “Que-Sera Sera; what will be will be. In other words, the Hyper-Calvinist doesn’t take into account the free will of man. All they really take into account is the sovereignty of God.
So, the question emerges; What is the sovereignty of God? In our Term Book, the definition and description of the sovereignty of God is that the sovereignty of God is His eternal, infinite, and perfect divine volition by which He can do whatever He desires whenever He wants to (You can view and download our Term Book, Terms we use here at Grace Bible Church by clicking here.) In other words, His sovereignty which is a reference to His will can do what He desires to do.
Therefore, the sovereignty of God is His eternal and infinite will that will be expressed in the divine decrees, manifest in the comprehensive divine interpretation of history called dispensations, and the unique plan regarding the mystery doctrine of the Church-age. Because the Hyper-Calvinist only takes into account the sovereign will of God and ignores the free-will of man, Hyper-Calvinism says that no individual can become born-again or saved by their own choice.
Hyper–Calvinism also denies the freedom that comes from Bible doctrine to the apostate theology that man has no right to question God because of ROM 9 and the sovereignty of God.
ROM 9:20-22, On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?
The danger behind Hyper-Calvinism is that those who believe it and live in it become apathetic, careless, indifferent, uncaring, or irresponsible when it comes to the PPOG and PSD’s. In the first place, Hyper-Calvinism will kill Gospel preaching to the lost. This is always the first Biblical mandate and ministry to go in a local church that follows Hyper-Calvinism. We have to remember, that for the Hyper-Calvinist, all they can see in Scripture is God’s sovereignty to the exclusion of man’s volition and responsibility.
Therefore, to call on all sinners to believe on Christ and repent of their sins is, for the Hyper-Calvinist, an outright denial of God’s sovereignty in salvation. Hence, they scorn Gospel preaching! Forget about what the Apostle Paul said in PHI 1:15-18, Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
In their erroneous thinking, they have cut out the imperative and necessity for sinners to hear the Gospel if they are to be saved. ROM 10:8-17, “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.’ For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever, believes in Him will not be disappointed.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?’ Just as it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!’ However, they did not all heed the glad tidings; for Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our report?’ So, faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”
Hyper-Calvinism says that since God has already chosen who will be saved, then God’s elect, the Hyper-Calvinist reasons, do not need to hear the call of the Gospel for Salvation. But to believe this, not only misrepresents the doctrine of election, it denies the fact that God has ordained Gospel preaching as the divine means to bring His elect to saving faith (cf. 1CO 1:18-2:5). Also, Hyper-Calvinism kills prayer. As the Hyper-Calvinist muses on God’s sovereign decree, they conclude: “Well, if I pray, it won’t change things; if I don’t pray it won’t change things.” What a terrible error! First of all, God calls us to pray (1TH 5:18). Second of all, like preaching, prayer is ordained by God as an instrument through which He accomplishes His purposes (PHI 1:9-20). But the Hyper-Calvinist wants to kill such activity because he thinks it to be a sign of unbelief in God’s eternal decree. What foolish and arrogant thinking this is!
How can it be useless to pray if God has commanded His people to pray? To reason otherwise is in itself unbelief in what God has in fact ordained. Then, Hyper-Calvinism kills a grateful spirit in the providence of God. The Hyper-Calvinist is essentially a fatalist. His view of God’s sovereignty takes no account of how God is personally, wisely, and lovingly working all things together for the believer’s good (ROM 8:28). Thus, with all events in life, the Hyper-Calvinist concludes: What is to be will be, so what happened was just what was planned. Where is the thankful heart in this surmising of what God is doing in one’s life?
Instead, it is a grim and sour stoicism which is determined to endure, but with no joy and gratitude in how God is fulfilling His purpose. If we truly understand God’s providence over our lives, then we will be able to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1TH 5:18). Most believers do not know how to defend the inconsistences and the attacks that are made against God by the Hyper-Calvinist individual who is usually blinded by their arrogance because they over-estimate their mental state. Many of them will use three or four syllable words to try and impress their audience but they usually are very subjective and self-asserting. And so, if any believer is willing to know the truth, the Bible says that you can; JOH 7:17.
JOH 7:17, “If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself.”
Now, as we get ready to move on, I want you to know the easiest way to handle any type of doctrine that attacks the character and nature of God, especially those who really think like a Hyper Calvinist and mis- interpret the most important doctrine of all, which is the Doctrine of the Unlimited atonement, whereby, anyone can be saved.
Let me break it all down for you:
- We begin with the fact that when Adam and the woman sinned, they were both representing the human race and therefore, one man’s sin, namely Adam’s, condemned the entire human race. ROM 5:12, Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned
Next, look at ROM 5:18-19, So then as through one transgression [Adam’s] there resulted condemnation to all men [human race], even so through one act of righteousness [TLJC] there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
The character and nature of God cannot be unjust or unfair with His dealings of His creation. Now, once this premise is set, what’s next? The next thing that you need to be convinced of when you became a sinner? This is when you bring up those two important verses that I have quoted hundreds of times. The first one is PSA 51:5, Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. Then added to that is once a person is brought forth in his physical body, God breathes into his soul the neshemah of life (breath of life), then we are told something else we do as soon as we be born! PSA 58:3, The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth.
Now, the point is that every baby brought into the world is automatically condemned as a sinner before they commit their first sin; PSA 51:5. Because of this, to conclude with what I am saying, God is a God of love, justice, faithfulness, power, omniscience, righteousness, and truth…which we can know if we desire to do so. Those who take these principles to the extreme teach that man is either chosen by God to go to heaven and live with Him forever or man is chosen by God to go to eternal damnation. These types of believers usually function under what they call TULIP which is an acronym of five essential tenets or points concerning the Sovereignty of God and the depravity of man. To explain this complex doctrine, theologians often make use of the acronym T.U.L.I.P., which stands for:
(T) Total Depravity.
(U) Unconditional election.
(L) Limited atonement.
(I) Irresistible grace.
(P) Perseverance of the saints.