Grace Bible Church
Pastor Robert McLaughlin
Tree Of Life
Week Ending May 23, 2021
“God Reveals The Veracity And Power Of His Word Through Prophecy”
Part I. Watchful, Alert, & Bold Conclusion (Deacon Jason Kauranen)
Please remember Deacon Jason in prayer as well as Deacon John Medeiros and Samantha and everyone behind the scenes at Grace Bible Church for standing in the gap while Pastor is returned to full health and vigor by the Lord, and for all their hard work and faithfulness to the teaching of the Word of God, keeping this ministry moving forward in any and all circumstances. We are very blessed!
In Part 1 we will wrap up the WAB series and then we will move on to Prophecy in the Bible. This final installment will focus on the Bema Seat Judgment, which is distinguished from the Great White Throne Judgment, where all unbelievers will be finally judged after the millennium, and the “sheep and goats” judgment of Matt 24, which takes place at the second coming and judges between the tribulation believers and unbelievers, those who rejected the Gospel preached by the 144,000. The Bema Seat Judgment is where all believers in Jesus Christ are called to give an account for our use of time and resources which were given (the 40 things given to all believers at Salvation) per 1 Pet 1:3 while alive on the earth. This is where rewards will be awarded for faithfulness as ambassadors and priests in producing divine good, and human good will be burned up (1 Cor 3:14-15).
Lam 3:22-23 “The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease; For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”
I thank God for His grace and mercy each morning I am given. However, there is coming a time, for all us Royal Family, when we will not be here anymore. All of our opportunities will have passed by, and we will need to give an account, to Him, for what did we have done with the time that He has graciously given us.
This is why: we watch, we study, we anticipate, we keep doing the work of the ministry…
Being Watchful/Alert/Bold … For when we go home to be with the Lord, by physical death or meet the Lord in the air at the Rapture of the Church, we will need to give an account to TLJC for all we have done in our earthly vessels.
“I CAN ONLY IMAGINE” – What a glorious day that will be … and one that we are anxiously awaiting, to meet and be with the Lord for eternity, whether by physical death or Rapture.
Dying Grace or Rapture Ready
MAT 16:27 “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS”.
This is what is referred to as the Judgement or “Bema” Seat of Christ. I am going to try and teach you or at least give you some information about the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is one of the events following the Rapture of the Church, and as individuals we will come before Our Lord. This study will not and does not cover the final Great White Throne Judgment, or the judgment of the sheep and goats – believers and unbelievers – of the tribulation period.
Many incorrectly teach that this is a judgment for sins, but this is NOT TRUE. They assume “deeds” means sins, yet the word that is used here is not a word for sins. If it was, it would be translated “sins” as it is in other places. The Greek word for sin is “hamartia” which means “missing the mark” or “falling short of a goal.” This word is not found here. The word here is accurately translated – deeds, or work, as in performance of labor. This is a performance evaluation, like we would receive at a job in lieu of a raise or promotion, or a performance in an athletic competition, such as the Olympics. More on that in a moment.
Do not be deceived. Believers ARE NOT judged for sins, and contrary to popular heresy, neither are unbelievers! Jesus Christ was judged by God for ALL SINS (1 Joh 2:2) so sin is never the issue, the issue is FAITH. God offers us a full pardon, but if we reject that pardon, we remain under condemnation by our own choice. Jesus Christ IS that pardon. IF you don’t believe He is, then you don’t believe there is a pardon.
The following is taken from the article “The Doctrine of Rewards: The Judgment (Bema) Seat of Christ” on Bible.org (https://bible.org/article/doctrine-rewards-judgment-seat-bema-christ)
“Both Rom 14:10 and 2 Cor 5:9 speak of the “judgment seat.” This is a translation of one Greek word, the word ‘bema’. While bema is used in the gospels and Acts of the raised platform where a Roman magistrate or ruler sat to make decisions and pass sentence (Mat 27:19; Joh 19:13), its use in the epistles by Paul, because of his many allusions to the Greek athletic contests, is more in keeping with its original use among the Greeks.
This word was taken from Isthmian games where the contestants would compete for the prize under the careful scrutiny of judges who would make sure that every rule of the contest was obeyed (2 Tim. 2:5). The victor of a given event who participated according to the rules was led by the judge to the platform called the Bema. There the laurel wreath was placed on his head as a symbol of victory (1 Cor. 9:24-25).
In all of these passages, ‘Paul was picturing the believer as a competitor in a spiritual contest. As the victorious Grecian athlete appeared before the Bema to receive his perishable award, so the Christian will appear before Christ’s Bema to receive his imperishable award. The judge at the Bema bestowed rewards to the victors. He did not whip the losers.’ (quoted from Hoyt). We might add, neither did he sentence them to hard labor.
In other words, it is a reward seat and portrays a time of rewards or loss of rewards following examination, but it is not a time of punishment where believers are judged for their sins. Such would be inconsistent with the finished work of Christ on the Cross because He totally paid the penalty for our sins.”
Now if anyone asks you what “Bema Seat” means or where we get that from, or tries to tell you that believers are judged for sins, you will be armed and ready with truth. We are commanded, “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect;” (1 Pet 3:15)
Upon completion of the contest by the competitors, a winner was chosen, called up to the platform to stand before the judges, and received his reward. In the ancient times, when these games began the reward was a wreath placed on his head as a symbol of victory.
Sounds like a crown to me…but, we’ll get to that a little later.
Here Paul was looking Positive Believers of the CA, again
positive believers (winners) as competitors in the Spiritual realm, winning a contest (advancing to maturity) and receiving an earned (imperishable) reward.
Note: God is not politically correct. Sorry! God does not give participation trophies. He gives logistical grace, but that is like minimum coverage insurance. Every believer – winner and loser- gets that. We see that in the parable of the workers (Mat 20:1-16) where all the workers get paid the standard 1 Denarius (a silver Roman coin which was standard payment for day labor in that time). We see it also in 2 Pet 1:3 “for His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
God provides everything necessary to carrying out His commandments and executing the unique spiritual life which He has designed for us, as we studied previously. Equal opportunity. God provides everyone with everything they need – not everything they want! But when we are judged for what we did with these provisions, there will be winners and losers. Everyone does not get a trophy. Everyone gets a resurrection body, everyone gets a mansion, everyone gets general admission to heaven. But some believers will get more than that. We will look into that today.
2Cor 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed (rewarded) for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
The Apostle Paul here explains that we will receive rewards based on our “deeds” for what we, as an individual, have done through the course of our earthly life. Using our Volition for positive or negative choices, but also what the motivation was behind those decisions. Also, note that Paul says “good” or “bad”.
This can only mean rewards gained for the good things we have done or with the right motivation. Right thing done in the right way ONLY! Our God is not a God of confusion – He is a God of protocol. If He knows everything, son’t you think He knows the best possible way to do something? If He is perfect, then He can’t accept anything less. Intentions are great, but we have to do things HIS WAY. Otherwise, we will suffer loss of rewards for bad or unworthy things with wrong motives in mind.
Note: It is important to be clear – Jesus Christ is the appointed judge, not me or you! Pastor McLaughin has said:
“It is neither the duty, responsibility, or prerogative of the believer to assume the role and function of Jesus Christ as the Supreme Court Judge.”
We must be our own judge, examine our own lives, our own motives and thinking, and our own use of our body, words, and time, with our logistical grace. Keep your own side of the street clean – as unto the Lord, not as unto your neighbors – and don’t judge others who are not in the same place you are. Be helpful, not critical. Be a shepherd. Easier said than done! Jesus Christ is the righteous Judge, period. When someone wrongs us, we are wise to give the matter over to Him, rebound and move forward.
The authority and power to judge was given to Him from the Father. A Royal Family and His enemies will be made as a footstool for His feet.
Joh 5:22 “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son,”
Rom 14:10 “But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt?”
The Apostle Paul exhorts and warns us that we should not try to evaluate the quality of another believer’s life….Why??
2Cor 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,”
It should be very clear that the Judgment Seat of Christ will be for believers only. And even so , the individual believer. But every one of us, together, the Raptured Church!
This event can only fit into the timeline of a pre-tribulation point of view. (that is the one this church GBC takes) Rapture happens before the Great Tribulation and followed by the Millennial reign of Christ (1000yrs). You will see some other passages that are supportive to this fact as we talk about “the rewards” part coming up.
The time and place of this is event, the Judgement Seat, is seen to occur just after the Rapture of the Church. (1Thes 4:13-18)
Now we can learn about: the purpose of the Judgment Bema Seat = the deeds (work) you performed and how (motivation in which) you performed them to glorify the God. \ (either for gain or for loss).
How will HE judge or examine your works or deeds?
Joh 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.
That means that you will be fairly evaluated for all the things you did in time, the time He gave you (right now while you are still breathing).
1 Sa 16:7b …for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
God sees your true motivation, He sees the schemes and plans, even though we may hide them even from our own selves in order to feign innocence…God sees all, and He judges according to the unvarnished truth. He is not fooled by phony hypocritical shows like we are!
What is judged?
1 Cor 3:10 “According to the grace of God, which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
First we must be building on the correct foundation – the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – and on His Word, and what we build must be based in that. But we also must be careful how we build, because a right thing done in a wrong way (or for the wrong reasons) is wrong, and will result in loss of reward.
1Cor 3:13 “each man’s work will become evident (will be made known); for the day (that day of the Bema Seat Judgment) will show it because it is to be revealed (will made clear and unveiled) with fire, and the fire itself will test (for the sake of approval) the quality (of what kind of worth) of each man’s work.”
The deeds done with the purest of materials (gold, silver, precious stones) will become evident, lasting through the fire and will shine, rising up (building) on the foundation,
On the contrary, the things not done correctly, with scrap, “wood, hay, straw” (inferior materials) will not pass the fire test and leave only ashes on top of the foundation for the wind to blow away all waste.
1 Cor 3:14-15 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
He will be saved! This does not speak of loss of salvation! Be aware and clear! He will be saved, yet as through fire – meaning he brings nothing with him, he has lost all that he built up, he is empty-handed. Only he himself survives the fire. All his good deeds done in the power of the flesh and for fleshly rewards are rejected.
Every believer in Jesus Christ goes to heaven, and you can not lose your salvation. But – there is more to the Christian life than getting into heaven! Salvation is not the point of Christianity, it is merely the entrance into a life of potential blessings and rewards which are “exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we can ask or think” (Eph 3:20-21). Our salvation is the door through which we pass into a new life of service to the One Who has given us eternal life even though we deserve hell as sinners and rebels, and opportunity to glorify His name, demonstrating to the world and to angels the riches of His grace! When you truly appreciate what He has done for us, we want more and more to do this.
If we do not recognize His grace and mercy however, and instead live it up like a trust fund child in daddy’s mansion, partying and working for self, storing up treasures, enjoying life, living as any unbeliever, ignoring His commands and ignoring our cross, there will be shame at this time.
1Jo 2:28 Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.
Interesting to note that in this verse the word shame in Greek is aischunō.
(eye-skhoo-no) Aischuno = shame. It is in the aorist subjunctive which point to a future state that is not continuous. We will not spend eternity in shame, there will be no more sorrow, no more pain, these things will have passed away.
1Cor 9:24 “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable (incorruptible crown) one. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;”
1 Co 9:27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave (master the OSN), so that, after I have preached to others (perform deeds), I myself will not be disqualified (eligible for reward).
At this point, you may be asking, “what about the rewards?” What rewards do I refer to, which you will gain or unlock from your escrow account and what will be loss? We will not go into full detail, but I encourage you brethren, write down these Scriptures so you can go back and study further on your own, if you wish. And our gbible.org web site has some great doctrines & info on this from our Pastor and other teachers.
5. The Promises of Crowns, which are used to symbolize victory, authority, and responsibility.
*2 categories of crown that are found in Scriptures:
- Diadem = A Royal crown, the Crown of a king. Rev 12:3; 13:1; 19:12, which is when Our Lord will return to earth, wearing many.
- Stephanos = the victor’s crown, the wreath given to the victorious athlete. These are the ones promised to the believers for the faithfulness to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as follows
5a. The Incorruptible Crown – given to those who master the Old Sin Nature, 1Cor 9:24-27.
5b. The Crown of Rejoicing – given to soul winners, Pro 11:30; Dan 12:3; 1 Thes 2:19-20.
5c. The Crown of Life – given to those who successfully endure temptation. Jam 1:2-3; Rev 2:10.
5d. The Crown of Righteousness – for those who grow to mature believers, stick with the PPOG, and love His appearing. 2 Tim 4:5-8
5e. The Crown of Glory – given to faithful pastor-teachers. Acts 20:26-28, 1 Pet. 5:2-4.
5f. The Order of the Morning Star. Rev 2:26,28 This is the highest honor for a believer to be awarded at the Bema Seat.
The order of the morning star is given to winners as the highest of all decorations in the escrow blessing account, given by God. These winner believers will govern over nations during the Lord’s earthly reign in the millennium.
You should be excited to serve Him. You are to be the best you can be in Christ Jesus our Lord and glorify HIM. You are to keep growing in the grace and knowledge of TLJC, with each day, each opportunity He gives you. The Time Is Short! Think of yourself as an officer in God’s military guard on earth. We are enlisted men and women! Are we AWOL? Have we abandoned our post? Or do we remain on post, in formation, watchful, alert, and bold?
Keep yourself focused on making TLJC the number one priority in your life and keep it real (follow His ways), Do all that God expects of you…Peter writes,
1 Pe1:7 “so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold, which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”
Before we continue to Part II., lets begin with a quote from Lewis Sperry Chafer
“We understand from the written Word of God that there is one supreme purpose which actuates (motivates) God in all He has done, or will do, from the beginning of creation to the farthest reaches of eternity, whether it is in Heaven or on earth.
For this one purpose angels were created; so also the material universe and man, and though hidden behind an unfathomable mystery, we know that even sin was permitted and redemption was provided with a view to the realization of this supreme purpose.
This supreme purpose is the Glory of God.
Since the Bible is God’s message to man, its supreme purpose is His supreme purpose; which is that He may be glorified.”
– Lewis Sperry Chafer
The Bible is a supernatural book. When we take the time to examine the evidence, we will discover that the Bible is the Word of God! There is no other book in the world that can compare to the Bible in terms of accuracy and credibility.
Throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, are examples of scientific truths revealed and written down before mankind had understood them. Time after time, science confirms what the Bible stated long ago.
For instance, God even tells us about the laws of meteorology the study of weather and climate. (Ecc 1:6; PSA 135:7; Job 36:7). Ecc 1:6 describes the pattern in which the wind flows. Psalms 135:7 and Job 36:7 illustrate the process of water evaporation and rainfall.
Outside of the Bible, man did not know these facts until the basic laws were formulated and proven by scientists in the late 1800s. Another scientific fact from God’s word stated by Job in Job 38:30 is the phenomenon that regions of the sea’s surface are frozen. Most of the world did not know that the surface of the deep could be frozen until the seventeenth century, when Henry Hudson explored the arctic regions of the north.
We could list many many more examples, but instead for the sake of space we refer you to the book “Do You Believe That The Bible Is The Word Of God?” by our very own Pastor Robert McLaughlin, available for free order on this website under “Publications”.
Part II. Prophecy
Now we are going to start looking at why there are certain prophecies and also signs of the times that are given to the Church-age believer.
“The word of God is alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and the marrow, and is a critic of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
“All scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: so that the man or woman of God may become mature, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
–2 Tim 3:16
“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
“Study to show yourselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
–2 Tim 2:15
Turn in the word of truth this evening to 1Cor 12
We begin here with four reasons concerning the subject of prophecy.
Tit 2:13 “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;”
- WHY we have prophecy.
- WHERE the prophecies are that God predicted in the Old Testament.
- HOW He predicted them and fulfilled them.
- The ROLE of prophecy and the illustrations God gives us to see the accuracy and precision of His prophecies.Question 1:WHY – what is the purpose of prophecy?
1Co 1:22 “For indeed Jews ask for signs, and Greeks search for wisdom;”
Joh 4:48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe.”
We are headed toward some biblical prophecies which are phenomenal and have been totally precisely and accurately fulfilled. As always with scripture, the more you study it, the deeper your appreciation gets, because more and more is revealed, and you see the layers of revelation and application, and you see the truth of it unfold. Repetition is needed for this reason. Have you ever read something over again, or watched a movie that you’ve seen before, but you notice things the second time around that you missed the first time, or things that didn’t make sense the first time now are clear? This is even more true with scripture, since it is divine in origin and carries the imprint of divine intelligence, which is revealed more and more as the believer learns and applies and grows spiritually. It has many more layers than any human work! Sadly, many believers today, even those who do study doctrine, lost interest or are distracted and only scratch the surface of this truth. We are weak creatures, and forgetful. But developing doctrine-centered routines leads to a doctrine-centered life, and this is the key to endurance and persistence in learning. Those who push on and withstand the cries, snares, and lures of the world will be rewarded with great revelations, and their faith will stand strong in the days of trouble. Those who love God love His Word, and to those He reveals great things. Prophecy is just one way He does this. We aim to remain faithful to Him by remaining faithful to make the manifold splendor of the truth of the Word available to you, and hope to rejoice in the unity that comes from fellowship in humility.
Let us remember Joh 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
Or how about what Solomon said in Ecc 4:9-12;
“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”
Now, I would like to tell those of you who are ambassadors of Christ, why TLJC uses prophecy which is the fact that many times it has to do with those of us who care about others. Many times, we learn these things for others so that 2Ti 2:15, we can study to show ourselves approved unto God.
Believe it or not, but this is one of the main reasons why God uses prophecy which is to reveal His validity, or His truth. So now that we answered why our Lord predicted and fulfilled prophecy; let’s look at the next three principles with regard to prophecy:
WHERE are the prophecies?
Some have said, “the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed; the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.” The OT prophecies pointed to the coming of the Messiah, but the Church Age was a mystery, hidden from everyone until the Lord came and revealed it. He fulfilled not only the Law of Moses, but like the Law which was meant to reveal to the Israelites their sin, and by proxy their need for the Messiah, He also fulfilled the many prophecies of the OT which pointed to His life, crucifixion, and resurrection. We will examine some of these wonderful prophecies which pointed to Christ and His fulfillment of them in the NT.
Let us begin with the fact that we have noted many times in passages in the N.T., such as Eph 3:1-6; Col 1:25-27; Rom 16:25-26, which all make it crystal clear that the church was a mystery and was not known in the O.T.
Then we read in Col 1:25-27 Of this church [CA] I was made a minister according to the dispensation from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God,
Col 1:26-27 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Also Rom 16:25-26 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith;
The Church, therefore, could not have been in view in the O.T. Prophecy concerning the Tribulation period which is about to come upon the whole earth.
This is the future of planet earth. However, it is not our future. Many other passages make that crystal clear as well, which we have been studying the last month in the first part of the Rapture series, which is available on our YouTube channel in full or in previous Tree Of Life installments. The Lord will return for His bride, and He would not leave His bride to suffer the same wrath as those who rejected Him and His offer of peace and reconciliation!
Jer 30:7 calls the time of wrath, which will include the unregenerate Israel, “the time of Jacob’s distress” or “Jacob’s trouble”. Remember in Gen 32 when Jacob wrestled with the Lord Jesus in Theophany, and as a result, his name was changed to Israel. We know it was the Lord Jesus Christ because scripture tells us that He is the only visible member of the trinity (Joh 1:18, 6:46; 1Ti 6:16) and when his name is changed it says
Gen 32:28 And he said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven or wrestled with GOD and with men and have prevailed.”
And then in verse 30 Jacob states,
Gen 32:30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.”
So, Jacob represents Israel and as the prophet Jeremiah said Jer 30:7 ‘Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s distress, But he [Jacob or Israel, that is true Israel] will be saved from it.”
So this is time of Israel’s distress not the church of Jesus Christ.
Time and again, these prophesies of the Old Testament were fulfilled, yet the Jewish people didn’t recognize, or didn’t accept them when they occurred. Many still do not to this day. Consider the irony of the Lord Jesus Christ fulfilling the prophecy of the Cross in the Jewish Bible, and yet the Jewish people did not believe in Him. That too is a prophecy:
Joh 1:11 “He came unto His own, and His own accepted Him not.”
All of the Old Testament prophecies, which were hundreds or even thousands of years old at the time of Christ, were verified in the accounts of the apostles, and even secular historians, such as Josephus. Therefore, there is so much undeniable proof written in the “roll of the book” to validate that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, as well as the supreme inerrancy of the Bible as the Word of God.
Ps 40:6-8 “Sacrifice and meal offering Thou hast not desired; My ears Thou hast opened; Burnt offering and sin offering Thou hast not required. Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me; I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy Law is within my heart.”
The reference here to scrolls and book is the same: a mention of the written Scriptures. David was ready to do God’s will, and he perceived that God’s will was presented in these writings.
That comment also points us prophetically to Jesus, who fulfilled every Scripture that identified Him as God’s obedient servant. His life from conception to crucifixion and resurrection was prophesied in the Old Testament. Jesus was the prophesied Messiah, who was obedient to God’s will in all things, including His sacrifice for the sins of the whole world (1 Joh 2:2)
In Ps 40:6-8, God is setting aside offerings, and instead performing His will through a human body.
This, according to the book of Hebrews, is part of why we know God intended animal sacrifices as a temporary measure—a shadow or symbol—and planned, ultimately, to use the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to solve our problem of sin.
Heb 10:6 In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast taken no pleasure.\
The real resolution for sin came in the form of Jesus Christ, who offered a single, once for all payment for sin.
And then we have verse 9:
Heb 10:9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Thy will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second.
This, according to the writer, is part of God’s intention; we were meant to look for a single, once-for-all sacrifice, and this is what Christ provided (Hos 6:6).
This verse is meant to draw a direct contrast between two things. In this case, they are the ideas mentioned in Ps 40:6–8. The point, so says the writer of Hebrews, is that God specifically intends to “set aside” sacrifice, instead highlighting the earthly performance of His will.
That meshes with the other Old Testament quotations, the prophecies, which have been given to prove that God has always intended for a new covenant to come. The old covenant’s sacrifices, then, were only meant to be symbolic of the “real” resolution for our sin, which came through the incarnation and death of Jesus Christ.
HOW were the prophecies fulfilled?
The first prophecy, the oldest of all, had been given by God at the time of Adam and Eve’s sin.
Prophesied: Gen 3:15
Fulfilled in JOH 12:31-33
Genesis 3:8–24 describes the consequences of man’s rebellion against God. In general many times after falling to temptation, humans are ashamed and we foolishly attempt to hide from God. This is what happened in the garden with Adam and Eve, and many of us still do it today…
When confronted with their sin, the man and woman confess, but also attempt to shift the blame to others. Adam even blames God. In response, God issues three individual ”curses” which affect humanity to this day. Mankind can no longer stay in the ”very good” garden, and is banished. Even so, through His grace, God continues to provide for His creation. We call that Logistical grace.
Gen 3:15 “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise Him on the heel. “
Remember that for later.
Prophecies were uttered and recorded. We looked at some of those and what they described, as well as where they can be found. Now let’s look at their fulfillment. This is the real proof of God’s power and faithfulness as well as the veracity of the Word.
It’s very important for us to know that doctrine and we just put it up on youtube for you this past week… and I had NO IDEA we were going to be hitting these prohesies until last Sunday when Deacon Jason Kauranen mentioned them briefly… God is so amazing!
That moment of looking to the brazen serpent foreshadowed the concept of salvation by grace through faith, with the eventual Messiah as the one “lifted up” for others to look to and be saved.
All we have to do is look… anyone can look, and if you are blind you can still look to Christ with the eyes of your soul. It speaks of acknowledgment.
This act of being “lifted up” will “draw all men to Christ.” The context of this “drawing” is the conversation Jesus is having with a crowd in Jerusalem (Joh 12:20–22). The message of the gospel, focused on Christ’s death and resurrection, is one that “calls” to all people (Joh 6:35; 40).
Unfortunately, not all will respond (Joh 6:44). The aftermath of Jesus’ death proves the literal truth of the words “all men.”
He will be executed under a placard sarcastically proclaiming Him as ‘king’ in multiple languages (Jon 19:20). His death will shake the worldview of a pagan soldier (Mk 15:39), witnessed by both followers and enemies (Mk 15:29–32; Joh 19:25).
He will die in between thieves (Mat 27:38), only one of whom will believe (Lk 22:39–43). His body will be attended to by both loyal disciples and secret followers—those of both low and high class (Mat 27:57–61).
Women will be the first to learn of His resurrection (Mk 16:1–6). Gentiles will be converted (Acts 10:44–45). Hardened enemies will become missionaries (Acts 22:6–8). Social barriers will be broken (Gal 3:28). And In eternity, those redeemed by Christ will included members of “every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” (Rev 7:9).
So we have our first prophecy fulfillment in our study:
Joh 12:31 “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out.”
Joh 12:32-33 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.”
As with many of Jesus’ statements, few people hearing Him will completely understand. This is another reason why we need to use our discernment especially when dealing with the Word of God. Most of that confusion is based in their misunderstanding of prophecy (Joh 12:34). Even though Jesus has been clear, at least with His disciples (Lk 9:22; Mk 8:31), most of His followers don’t grasp the idea that His death is going to be a literal one.
Mk 8:31 “And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”
When Jesus calls Himself the “Son of Man,” He’s not just emphasizing His human nature.
He is referring to the prophecy in Daniel wherein the Ancient of Days gives the Son of Man “dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed” (Dan 7:13–14).
Chief Priests are high ranking priests who are qualified to enter the Holy of Holies once a year.
Scribes—from the Greek root word ‘grammateus’—are scholars of the Mosaic Law. *It was the scribes who added the ‘Mishnah’—the supplemental oral law that Jesus condemns the Pharisees for following.
Elders–from the Greek root word ‘presbuteros’—are significant players in the Jewish legal system.
These three—the chief priests, scribes, and elders—make up the Sanhedrin, the legal and political branch of Judaism. Although God had ordained the creation of the Sanhedrin (Num 11:16–18), this iteration is not so honorable. It is they who will turn Jesus over to the Romans to be crucified (Mk 14:53–65).
The sad fact is – the problem is not that most people cannot possibly understand; — the problem is they choose not to. The betrayal of Jesus by Judas was also foretold by David:
Prophesied: Psa 41:9
Fulfilled: Mk 14:10-11
We are going to first look at Mk 14:10, with Matthew’s account to follow, then David’s and then I am going to close it out with something really cool we discovered with John’s account…and it has to do with “trust.”
Scripture records many people who actively tried to kill Jesus. But now He is becoming too popular to kill without risk of revolt or uprising (Mk 14:1-2). They fear the brutal response of the Roman military, for good reason. If the Jewish leaders can’t control their people, Rome will do it for them.
The Sanhedrin have wanted to get rid of Jesus since the beginning of His ministry, and they have allied with anyone else who also saw Jesus as a threat or a problem (Mk 3:6). Now they have a man on the inside, someone disposable and unconnected. The Jewish leadership needs to arrest Jesus when He is relatively unprotected (Lk 22:6). They need someone close to Jesus to spy for them….and in walks Judas, the perfect patsy – he is willing, cheap, and he is an unconnected nobody, not a politician, easy to deny or discredit. Judas is disposable to them. It’s likely Judas heard that the chief priests and Pharisees are looking for someone who can give them access to Jesus away from the crowds (Joh 11:57), and he sees his chance.
Mk 14:10 “And Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests, in order to betray Him to them. And they were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time.”
Not only do the Jewish leaders see Judas as the perfect pawn, so does Satan himself! (Lk 22:3)
All accounts of Judas show that he was greedy, treacherous, and phony/dishonest. He pretended to care about giving to the poor, but then skimmed off the donations (Joh 12:6). Sounds all too familiar!
These perspectives are all hindsight however, revealed to us after the fact; at the time of this meal, Jesus is the only one who knows which person is false. It will not be until later that Matthew, John, and the rest learn the tragic details. While Jesus is aware, the rest of the company has no idea that Judas is the betrayer. They are accustomed to hearing difficult pronouncements from Jesus. In fact, they each express fear that they will be the one to fall, despite having no plan to wrong Jesus in any way (Mat 26:22)
Again at this time, only Jesus knows that He is speaking of Judas (Mat 26:14–17), one of the twelve men who has traveled with Him for much of the previous three years.
Judas will suffer greatly for his betrayal. This statement raises many important issues.
Judas will suffer because He is not a true believer in Christ, despite his earlier actions (Mat 7:21–23). Judas will not lose prior salvation (Joh 10:28), he will prove by his actions that he never had it (Joh 14:15).
The sad fact is – that we will always have Judas’ in our lives. The idea that Judas would have been “better off” unborn also hints at the reality of an eternal hell (Mk 9:48). If Judas’ fate is worse than never existing, it implies something other than nonexistence (Mat 25:41, 46).
Now let’s take a look at David’s account:
Psalm 41 is a psalm of David.
Ps 41:9 “The man at peace with me, in whom I trusted, who was eating my bread, has magnified his heel against me.”
During Absalom’s rebellion, David’s trusted counselor Ahithophel turned traitor and joined Absalom in the revolt against the king. (2 Sam. 15:31; 16:15)
A person who ate bread with someone was thought to be his friend. (Gen. 31:54).
It was not God but “the Devil . . . [who] put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray him [Jesus].” John 13:2.
Jesus called attention to the fulfillment of David’s prophetic words when He referred to his betrayer and told his apostles:
John 13:18 “I am not talking about all of you; I know the ones I have chosen. But it is in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, ‘He that used to feed on my bread has lifted up his heel against me.’”
Now for John’s account.
Here in John’s account, Jesus refers to His prior comment about the happiness of obedience in Joh 13:17, by saying this does not apply to everyone present. In making this remark, Jesus also emphasizes that Judas’ betrayal is not a surprise. Jesus knew what He was doing and who He was choosing. That, in part, was meant to fulfill the prophetic statement of Psalm 41:9.
Many prophecies in the OT were typological. That means earlier figures which served to foreshadow what would come in the future. The NT authors saw David as a “type” or a foreshadowing of the Messiah who was to come.
Therefore, when Christ’s life was similar to David’s, the NT authors are saying that Christ was “fulfilling” what came before. That is, as with David, so with Christ. Not everything in David’s life was prophetic of Christ, nor was David an example of sinless perfection – he was a sinner like the rest of us. Yet, David was “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam 13:14). This is another example that sin is not the issue, but rather He is interested in our heart – our thinking and motivation. He knows we will fail, but He wants us to cling to Him and rely on Him and live in His system, the PPOG, so that sin does not hinder our growth or turn our hearts permanently away from Him. God is able to use us in spite of us, and David is proof of this for sure.
The Word of God is so full and timeless.
I am always amazed by its richness, precision, and depth. As I was studying this past week, the Holy Spirit revealed a few more things to me from this verse in the Psalms:
Psalm 41:9 which I would like to close with.
Ps 41:9 “Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.” (NKJV)
When David wrote this Psalm, he’d been betrayed by a person in whom he had trusted. More than that though, David was writing under the influence of the Holy Spirit and this verse had fuller ramifications. According to Jesus, Psalm 41:9 didn’t solely apply to David but was also Messianic prophecy.
In John 13:18, during the “last supper,” when Jesus was gathered at a table with His disciples, He said to them, “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against Me.’”
Jesus said Scripture was to be fulfilled as He was citing Ps 41:9, and we know the “familiar friend” to whom Jesus was referring was Judas Iscariot, the betrayer. Judas did, in fact, share bread with Jesus that evening, dipped from the same bowl in which Jesus had dipped bread. And, later that very night, Judas betrayed Jesus (Mat 26:47).
But there’s more. The entire verse alludes to Judas Iscariot. Judas was one of the twelve disciples who followed Jesus during His earthly ministry. Judas wasn’t simply familiar to Jesus, Jesus befriended Judas and loved him. Jesus trusted him, if we connect Ps 41:9 which Jesus quoted and which Judas fulfilled.
But it is a fair to question— how, or if, “in whom I trusted” applied to Jesus’ trust towards Judas. John 2:24-25 tells us Jesus knew the heart of all men, so if Jesus knew Judas was the betrayer from the beginning, why would He trust Him? How could speaking about the betrayer as, “in whom I trusted” fit into Messianic prophecy?
It wasn’t about Jesus’ trusting in the character of Judas. But of Jesus purposefully placing Judas in a position of overseeing a “trust.”
Scriptute tells us it was Judas who was assigned with overseeing the finances, or the purse, for the group (Joh 12:4-6). Jesus gave that position to him. The word “trust” has another meaning, a legal meaning, as in a trust fund.
Collected funds or properties can be held in an account called a “trust.” And, the one assigned to oversee that “trust” is known as a “trustee.” That title is given regardless of whether the person’s character is trustworthy.
By assigning Judas over the purse, or trust funds, Judas was given a position of “trust.”
This is also similar to how God entrust a husband to love their wives, and parents to raise their children. Nothing belongs to us, everything belongs to God.
That means even the detail of Judas’ being assigned overseer, or trustee, of the group’s purse was a fulfillment of prophecy. Wow! This one really made me think! The depths of God’s Word truly are unfathomable! It doesn’t stop there!
In Psalm 41:9, the verse also says the betrayer will lift up “his heel against me.” This refers to the earlier Messianic prophecy that was spoken by God after the fall of Adam. Our 1st prophecy we just covered…
Gen 3:14 “So the LORD God said to the serpent: . . . He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
That prophecy is specifically talking about “that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan” according to Rev. 12:9. But it was fulfilled, too, in the betrayal of Judas,
Joh 13:27 “Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him”
Satan schemed to kill the Son of God, meaning to bring an end to God’s purpose. He tried to end Jesus Christ’s mission by enticing men to crucify the Lord. But, in essence, all the devil did was strike at the Lord’s heel. For when Jesus lay down His life at the Cross, that was His mission.
There, Jesus bruised the head of that serpent Satan, with a fatal blow.
For, Jesus was raised from the grave on the third day!
Through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross, He gave His own life so whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!