November 2015 Issue of Christian Worker (The Messiah in Prophecy)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • The Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy (Don Walker)
  • Genesis 3:15 (Cody Westbrook)
  • Isaiah 7:14 (Wayne Jackson)
  • Micah 5:2 (Carl McCann)
  • Isaiah 53 (Clay Bond)
  • Daniel 7:13-14 (Kevin Rhodes)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

Copyright © 2015 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#bethlehem, #birth-of-christ, #christian-worker, #jesus-and-the-scriptures, #jesus-christ, #king-jesus, #kingdom-of-christ, #lineage-of-jesus, #messianic-prophecy, #old-testament-lessons, #suffering-servant, #virgin-birth

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Psalm 149 The God Who Will Not Be Conquered

These last 5 Psalms (146-150) are called “Hallelujah Psalms” because they begin and end with that expression: “Praise – Jehovah,” or “Hallelujah.” The author, date, and setting of each Psalm are undetermined, but their acceptance is unquestioned.

Verses 1-5 call for God’s People to praise Him for victory;

Verses 6-9 call for praise and defeat of their enemies.

Verses 1-5: (Verse 1) “A new song” indicates a “new heart,” celebrating a “new victory,” and a “new life.” “The assembly of the saints” is a worship service, where “God is greatly to be feared” (Psalm 89:7). In America, every time there is disaster, trouble, destruction, criminal death, or missing person, there is some candlelight “coming together.” When Peter was kept in prison with the intent of killing him, the church of Christ gathered for prayer (Acts 12:12), not candles! (Verse 2) The people, Israel, especially their religious center, Zion, should rejoice with (verse 3) “dance” and “timbrel and harp,” just as their forefathers had done when God parted the Red Sea for them to escape Egypt and be their own Nation (Exodus 14:21-15:21). (Verse 4) God’s “pleasure” is in His People, who develop beautiful, spiritual character. (Verse 5) “Saints” should be joyful, even on “their beds,” formerly places of sorrow.

Verses 6-9: (Verse 6) While praising God with their “mouth,” “And a two-edged sword in their hand.” This sounds like the Israelites re-building the wall of Jerusalem when they were returned to their Promised Land (Nehemiah 4:17). Apparently, there was no “gun control” then! A dis-armed people can do nothing against the enemies of God! (Verse 7) “Bearing the sword” in “vain” (meaninglessly), or using the power of the sword against “good works,” violates God’s intended purpose for “governing authorities” (Romans 13:1-5). Today, Christians are to praise God while Government uses the sword to be “God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Romans 13:4).

(Verse 8) God’s government, acting as His minister, defeats evil. (Verse 9) God’s “judgment” in writing was: “When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, and when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them” (Deuteronomy 7:1-2). Today, the “sword of the Spirit” in a Christian hand, “is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17), and the “nations,” “peoples,” “kings,” and “nobles” must be conquered by teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20). Since Jesus Christ established His spiritual kingdom on Earth in the 1st Century, there has been NO “Christian carnal war” waged against Muslims, Jews, or anyone else, for that matter, and therefore NO justification for persecuting the churches of Christ! All of those who persecute Christians, even to death, are persecuting Jesus (Acts 9:1-5), and, unless they repent, He will damn them forever (2 Thessalonians 1:3-10)!

“Praise the LORD!”

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #evangelism, #faith, #god, #judgment-in-writing, #kingdom-of-christ, #mission, #obedience, #preaching, #teaching

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Psalm 118

Vs. 1-4 give a burst of praise to be offered throughout all the people;

Vs. 5-14 indicate the deliverance from distress God gave that prompted praise;

Vs. 15-18 give appreciation for the “near miss;”

Vs. 19-29 show rejoicing when one rejected by men is accepted by God.

The “praise the LORD” (hallelujah) occurs in verse 19, and this Psalm completes the “set” used in Israelite services. It is intensely personal (“I, me, my” occurring over 30 times), speaks with the authority of a king (verses 10-12), and fits the entrance of David to Jerusalem following the battle and death of Saul (2 Samuel 5:1-13). Though not parallel in every detail, there is a section that is prophetic of Jesus Christ entering Jerusalem for the last week of His life (verses 19-26). Chapter and verse numbers and divisions were added to the Bible text by uninspired men as an aid for finding statements within the Bible. It seems to be guided by Providence that the middle verse of the entire Bible is Psalm 118:8!

Verses 1-4: (Verse 1) It begins and ends (verse 29) with the same gratitude toward God. (Verses 2-4) First the Israelites, then their priests (Aaron), then all others who “fear the LORD” (extends to Gentiles?) should say, “His mercy endures forever.”

Verses 5-14: (Verse 5) God heard and responded to a cry in “distress,” proving (verse 6) “the LORD is on my side,” concluding “I will not fear” men. This is echoed for Christians in Matthew 10:28 and Romans 8:31, then quoted in Hebrews 13:6. (Verse 7) God will be “for” the obedient and against those who oppose them. (Verse 8) States the main premise of the entire Bible: “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in men.” The history of mankind and God’s dealings with them proves this simple truth! People fail, God—never! (Verse 9) States the same thing, applying it even to government personnel! (Verse 10) “All nations” indicates total rejection, both Jew and Gentile, and surely describes the reason Jesus died on the cross (Acts 2:22-24; 13:26-33). (Verses 10-12) David had been “surrounded,” with the ferocity of “bees,” but “in the name of the LORD” would be “destroyed;” “quenched” as if a flash fire of “thorns.” (Verses 13-14) Though “pushed” “violently,” God assisted with “strength,” reason for “song,” and is his “salvation.”

Verses 15-18: (Verses 15-16) There is “rejoicing” “in the tents of the righteous;” because they have seen “the right hand of the LORD” in action on their behalf. Since “God is spirit” (John 4:24), and Jesus added, “a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Luke 24:39), then obviously we are dealing with a figure of speech in Psalm 118:15-16! (Verses 17-18) This refers to David, because Jesus did see death in His experience (Hebrews 2:9).

Verses 19-29: (Verses 19-20) Jesus was obeying the Father when He entered Jerusalem to face the cross (Hebrews 5:5-11), thus passed through “the gates of righteousness,” “through which the righteous shall enter.” The “hallelujah” is given here. No one is more “righteous” than Jesus (1 John 2:1)! (Verse 21) God is to be praised “for” responding to the righteous with salvation. (Verses 22-24) Prophesy Jesus Christ as “the stone” rejected by men in the crucifixion, but exalted to “chief cornerstone” by God (Jesus claimed it, Matthew 21:33-45; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19; Peter preached it, Acts 4:8-12; 1 Peter 2:1-8). Jesus Christ is “the stone” so rejected by those charged with building, but “the LORD’s doing” raised Jesus from the dead to be on David’s throne in heaven (Acts 2:29-32). This began the new Law with Jesus as King over His kingdom, and “the day the LORD has made” for rejoicing being “the first day of the week” (John 20:1, 19, 26; Acts 2:1, 38-41, 42-47; 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2). (Verse 25) The “prosperity” God gives is salvation in Jesus Christ (John 10:10), and not the “Gospel of Greed” as some have twisted this verse to mean! Money-grubbers try to take this spiritual meaning from this passage and force it to refer to money. (Verse 26) The very words of the people welcoming Jesus entrance to Jerusalem for His final week are from this verse (Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9; Luke 19:38; John 12:12-13)! (Verse 27) The idea of tying “the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar” simply expresses how continual the need for approaching the altar for forgiveness of sins. With David, certainly he did this (2 Samuel 6:17-19), and Jesus Christ “was offered once” (Hebrews 9:23-29; 10:12-14) but continually intercedes for the saints (Hebrews 7:24-27). (Verse 28) People who profanely use “OMG” have not obeyed God and fully appreciated who He is and what He does. (Verse 29) After all is said and done, God is to be “thanked” because “His mercy endures forever.”

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #cross-of-christ, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #god, #gospel, #jesus-christ, #kingdom-of-christ, #right-hand-of-the-lord, #throne-of-david

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Psalm 117

Vs. 1-2 give “praise to the LORD.”

This is the last of the “Hallel” Psalms (113-118) which begins and ends with a “Hallelujah.” This 30-word Psalm is the shortest chapter in the Bible. This Psalm is addressed to “Gentiles,” which proves the Jews were never intended by God to be His people forever. God’s plan for salvation always included “Gentiles” as this Psalm shows. God promised a people to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3), and a land (Genesis 13:14-16). The land promise was fulfilled (Joshua 21:43-45) and preserved (2 Chronicles 36:15-23; Jeremiah 25:1-14), the Israelites kept to preserve the lineage for Jesus to be born as the “only begotten Son of God” (Matthew 1:1-25; Galatians 3:1-29; Ephesians 3:1-12). Jesus Christ is now the King of His kingdom of Christians (John 18:36; Acts 17:7; 2:29-38).

Verse 1: “Praise the LORD” (Hallelujah), a thought common to Israelites, is directly pointed to “Gentiles” (an Israelite term referring to all non-covenant people). The call is for all people to have one worship for the One God, and for the same reasons. The Law of Moses stood between Jews and Gentiles, requiring Gentiles to observe Moses (Exodus 12:49; Numbers 15:1-31), but now that Law has been removed and Jews are expected to obey the Law of Christ as well as Gentiles (Ephesians 2:11-22). The only unity is found in Christ (Romans 3:19-31).

Verse 2: God’s “merciful kindness” has been demonstrated not only for the Jews, but also the rest of humanity, time and time again. Only in “Harlotwood’s” fantasies does Satan, evil, and wickedness prevail. Another expression for “merciful kindness” is “grace,” best expressed in Jesus Christ. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12). God’s “truth” is the only absolute truth to be found: His promises stand until He fulfills them; His Creation operates by His complex laws; His people (Christians) know His moral code brings purity to the impure; His Bible stands every challenge to its integrity; faith in Him gives certainty to the fearful. There is no other “truth” except that which is based upon God’s truth contained in His Creation and Bible. Solomon’s Book of Proverbs recorded: “So that your trust may be in the LORD; I have instructed you today, even you. Have I not written to you excellent things Of counsels and knowledge, That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, That you may answer words of truth To those who send to you?” (Proverbs 22:19-21)

Because God’s Way is best and planned for all men, indeed, “praise the LORD.”

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #gentiles, #god, #grace, #hallelujah, #jesus-christ, #kingdom-of-christ, #law-of-moses, #worship

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Psalm 110

Vs. 1-7 are a purely prophetic picture of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ said this Psalm was written by the Holy Spirit through David (Mark 12:35-36). All commentators who question or challenge this authorship are unworthy of any consideration, and probably are wrong in many other places in their comments! Commentators who cannot see this absolute conclusion about this authorship are blind, and “if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14). Psalm 110 is one of the purest, clearest, prophecies of Jesus Christ in the entire Old Testament!

Verse 1: Contains a fact about Jesus Christ being King that is quoted by: Jesus Christ to show that David spoke of Him as “Lord” and not “son”(Matthew 22:41-46); Peter quoted it (Acts 2:30-35) to prove that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead to sit on David’s throne in Heaven; probably Paul (Hebrews 1:13) to show that Jesus Christ is NOT an “angel;” and again by Peter (1 Peter 3:21-22) to show that after Jesus’ resurrection, He has all authority “in heaven and on earth” (as Jesus claimed, Matthew 28:18). “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:25-26).

Verse 2: Jesus began His Kingdom Rule “out of Zion” (often a reference to Jerusalem), for after His resurrection, He went outside of Jerusalem and “was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19). Anyone who teaches a doctrine that denies that Jesus is now on David’s throne in Heaven is denying that He was raised from the dead and ascended into Heaven.

Verse 3: “Volunteers” describes the free-will obedience of all who follow Jesus today. Jesus commanded “the wind and the sea” to obey and they did (Mark 4:35-41), but Jesus gave people choice as to whether or not to obey Him (John 6:44-45). Paul preached the Gospel to Bereans, who “received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). There never has been forced obedience by the Holy Spirit!

Verse 4: God has sworn that Jesus Christ is “a priest forever:” (1) on David’s throne, He is Priest and King (Zechariah 6:12-13), but on earth, Jesus was not from the priestly tribe under Moses’ Law (Hebrews 7:11-14), therefore David’s throne is not on earth; (2) only Jesus Christ has ever been a “High Priest” “according to the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:6, 10; 7:11, 17, 21), whose history is in Genesis 14:18-24, and, since no mention is recorded of his beginning, tribe, or death (Hebrews 7:1-4), only Jesus could parallel that background;  (3) Jesus, to be High Priest, “has passed through the heavens” (Hebrews 4:14-15) and was “without sin,” which never was true of anyone else who claimed to have “the priesthood of Melchizedek” bestowed upon him.

Verses 5-7: Jesus Christ has been given all judgment (John 5:21-23), and will execute that judgment against “workers of iniquity” on the Day of Judgment (John 5:28-30; Matthew 25:31-46; 2 Corinthians 5:8-10). To “lift up the head” in total and complete victory concludes Jesus’ work, and our “thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57); and, “this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith” (1 John 5:4).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #jesus-as-king, #jesus-as-priest, #jesus-christ, #kingdom-of-christ, #melchizedek, #resurrection-of-christ, #throne-of-david

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Psalm 89

Vs. 1-4 speak of God’s faithfulness;

Vs. 5-14 point to reasons for God’s impressiveness;

Vs. 15-18 show the happiness of those who serve God;

Vs. 19-37 give more details of God’s covenant about a king;

Vs. 38-52 present a problem before God.

This Psalm is from “Ethan the Ezrahite” (1 Kings 4:30-31), one of the men Solomon was wiser than! Many references to a king fit Jesus Christ as the one promised through David’s kingly lineage. Thus, “the assembly of the saints” (verses 5, 7) dwell on God’s “wonders,” selection of Jesus as the Christ, and focus on respect (“fear”) of God, not men (2 Corinthians 4:5).

Verses 1-4: God’s faithfulness is a reason to “sing” (verse 1), for it is based upon “mercy” (verse 2). The “covenant” is to set a descendant (“seed”) of David on a throne “forever” (verses 3-4). This was promised in 2 Samuel 7:11-17, a basis for obeying Jesus Christ in Acts 2:25-33, and remembered in the New Testament (Romans 1:1-4).

Verses 5-14: God can fulfill that covenant because He, alone: does these “wonders” (verse 5); is mightier than the mighty (verse 6); “feared” and “reverenced” in “the assembly of the saints” (verse 7), surrounded by faithfulness (verse 8). It is God, alone who: rules and stills a raging sea (verse 9); defeats “Rahab” (Egypt) and scatters enemies (verse 10); owns “the heavens” and the fullness of the world (verse 11); gave Promised Land to the Israelites, from “north” to “south” and Mounts Tabor and Hermon (east and west) (verse 12); unquestioned authority (verse 13); a throne based upon “righteousness and justice,” actions based upon “mercy and truth” (verse 14). God can promise an eternal king on a throne in Heaven because He promised and gave His people a land on Earth!

Verses 15-18: “Blessed” (happy) are the people who want God to be satisfied with them (verse 15); “all day long” (we say, “24/7”) they rejoice in God’s name (verse 16); because they walk in His “glory” and “favor” (verse 17); who are protected by His “shield” and ruled by “the Holy One of Israel” (verse 18). The virgin, Mary, was pregnant with “that Holy One” (“the Son of God,” Luke 1:35); demons confessed Jesus Christ was “the Holy One of God” (Luke 4:34); the Apostles preached Jesus Christ was “Your Holy One” prophesied by David (Acts 2:27; Psalm 16:10); the Jews had crucified “the Holy One” (Acts 3:14); the Holy Spirit was sent upon Christians in the 1st Century by “the Holy One” (1 John 2:20). It is Jesus Christ being singled out as the fulfillment of God’s plan discussed in Psalm 89:19-37!

Verses 19-37: God has: revealed His plan to David (verse 19); stated His covenant began with David (verse 20), will be fulfilled through David (verse 21); David (and his lineage!) will be protected (verses 22-23). Beyond David, Jesus Christ would be: given authority by God (verse 24; Matthew 28:18); given widespread power (verse 25); confessing God as Father (verse 26; John 5:18); “firstborn” from the dead (verse 27; Colossians 1:15-18); given to “mercy” (verse 28; Matthew 9:27-30); of David’s “seed” (verse 29; Romans 1:1-4). Back to David, God decreed: sins of “his sons” would be punished (verses 30-32); this covenant would not be annulled (verses 33-34); this covenant was sworn by God and upon God’s “holiness” (verse 35); the throne of David would not be on earth for it would “endure forever,” be as permanent as the “sun,” “established forever like the moon,” (verses 36-37) none of which would be true if the fulfillment was in an earthly throne!

Verses 38-52: To the Psalmist, it seems, God’s punishments are so great as to keep His covenant with David from coming true (verses 38-45). Human impatience is voiced in verses 46-48, because humans must certainly die in a relatively short time to us. The plea is for God to remember His Davidic covenant and let it be seen in their lifetimes, that it will be done (verses 49-51). In verse 52, the Psalm ends in faithful confidence, with a positive praise for “the LORD.”

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James  Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #church-of-christ, #daily-bible-reading, #jesus-christ, #kingdom-of-christ, #throne-of-david