The Road To Bethlehem (Part 1)

Prophesy Fulfilled

 

 

(Revelation 19:10)  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

 

This Week we are going to begin our series on the road to Bethlehem. In this series we will begin with prophesy fulfilled by the birth of Jesus. Starting from perhaps the most well known through some not so well known and ending up on Christmas Eve the birth of Jesus.

 

Before we go directly into this message we need to know that we are not looking into prophesy simply just to be marveled by wonders and mysteries of the prophetic. Rather we need to keep in our focus the “Spirit of Prophesy.”

 

(Revelation 19:10)  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

 

I have endeavored to make every message I deliver be relevant to our everyday lives. Too often in the discussion of prophesy we forget the relevance, as well as bringing any application to it. In today’s discussion we will not only be uncovering the mysteries of the prophetic, but we will discover the depths by which we can make application, and bring the riches of the ages into relevance for our daily lives.

 

What exactly does the testimony of Jesus being the spirit prophecy mean?  First of all we have to know what a testimony is. That seems simple enough. It is the witness of what someone has seen or knows. It is mostly used now as a legal term. In the court of law someone gives their testimony as to what they know to have happened. So then by definition the testimony of Jesus is the revelation of who he is. And thus, if the revelation of who Jesus is, is the whole purpose of prophesy, then as we read the Old Testament Prophets we can look closer for how they reveal the coming of Christ. What that is saying is that there is a reason beyond marveling the masses, for something that God spoke hundreds or even thousands of years before, being manifested or coming true.

 

Now real quickly I have to discuss with you once again “truth.” It has been said by many very smart and intellectual people that believing in Jesus takes a great leap of faith into the darkness. It was the French philosopher Kierkegaard, who expressed the idea that only Christianity could bridge the gap between the aesthetic and the ethical spheres of existence, but in doing so takes a great “leap of faith.” In discovering an objective truth there first has to be an object. And so the objective truth that we are searching for through prophecy is Jesus. Our faith in Jesus is not a blind faith, for if my mind did not fully agree with the logic of this truth, my heart most certainly could not follow.  “Faith is not believing without proof, it was trusting without reservation.”  

 

So today we begin our journey through the valley of skepticism, over the mountains of doubt and around the oceans of indecision to come firmly face to face with the reality of how on that one day in history, some 2006 years ago, God became a man and would soon thereafter, die for our sins, and be raised again from that grave, conquering our greatest foe to give us eternal abundant life.

 

So let me ask you; is the gospel relevant? Is Jesus being who he said he is making a difference in your life today? Have you ever really, I mean really asked him into your heart and accepted His forgiveness? I know that most of those reading these words have. I also know that a few are still riding the fence. And that is the worst place to be. It is not by being apathetic that you will gain any peace. It is in your making a real, logical, and emotional search through the darkness, that you will discover how taking that leap of faith is not one into darkness, but out of it, into the light.  

 

 

So today we take our first step on the road to Bethlehem. In this first step we will be looking at one of the most often quoted and hotly debated prophecies concerning the birth of Jesus. Some 700 years before the birth of Christ the prophet Isaiah wrote this passage telling of the birth of a child.  

  

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

 

At first glance there should be no doubt that he was talking of the coming messiah. However, great intellectual minds, in their endeavor to not believe, have come up with fascinating arguments to dispute this prophecy. The first and the main one being the Hebrew word translated virgin. The word could be translated young woman. And that is very true. It could be. But let me ask you; Isaiah is telling the king that the God of all creation was going to give him a great sign of His ability to save the nation of Israel…. Would a young woman giving birth to a child be any great sign? Young woman gave birth to children every day. Plus 300 years later 70 Hebrew scribes translated what we know as the Old Testament, into the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation, and used the only word that could be translated meaning virgin.  

 

But you know what? Now of that really even matters….. What matters is the fact that this child is called Immanuel…. Read what Matthew had to say regarding this prophetic passage:

 

(Matthew 1:23 KJV)  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

 

It is the fact that the child is “God with us.”  Let’s remember to keep the spirit of prophecy and discover who Jesus really is. We can dig a little deeper today with this prophetic announcement of Isaiah going over to the 9th Chapter. Here Isaiah makes it plainly clear who this child is:

 

(Isaiah 9:6 KJV)  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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

 

Isaiah was not simply speaking of your average child, being born of your average young woman. He was talking about God becoming man and dwelling amongst us. He originally gave this prophecy to tell the king that he could trust in the LORD for God was with them….. But did he listen… are we listening today…???? 

No, we will do everything we can to avoid the plain and simple truth. And that truth is that God loves you and you can put all your trust in Him. He will never leave you nor forsake you. And if he could tell us 700 years before his birth that he was coming, then when he tells us that he has great plans for our lives we can believe that too. It is not a matter of taking a blind step of faith it is a matter of weighing the facts, the testimonies, looking at all the documentation and coming to a rational understanding of the truth.

 

OK, OK,… if any of you unbelievers are even still reading I will bring this message over to you and at least give you some relevant inspiration for your personal introspection.

 

If we look at just the essence of this passage of scripture from Isaiah, we can gain some insight into how we can better savor the fleeting moments of life that we have here to enjoy.

 

 (Isaiah 7:10-15 CEV)  Once again the LORD God spoke to King Ahaz. This time he said,

 "Ask me for proof that my promise will come true. Ask for something to happen deep in the world of the dead or high in the heavens above."

 "No, LORD," Ahaz answered. "I won't test you!"

 Then I said: Listen, every one of you in the royal family of David. You have already tried my patience. Now you are trying God's patience by refusing to ask for proof.

But the LORD will still give you proof. A virgin is pregnant; she will have a son and will name him Immanuel. Even before the boy is old enough to know how to choose between right and wrong, he will eat yogurt and honey, and the countries of the two kings you fear will be destroyed.

 

Whether you believe or not, even if you are not looking for a sign, everywhere you go you will see the truth that God is with us.

 

Christmas is indeed the season to be jolly. It is a time when belivers and unbelievers alike can rejoice over the birth of one man. Jesus is really the reason for the season and whether you believe He is the messiah or not, He still is. And He will always be right there waiting for you.

 

For far too many of us this season brings back sad memories and rather then being a time of rejoicing it becomes a time of sorrow. Some of us do not even know why there is so much pain in our hearts at this time of the year, others know and would rather it just quickly pass so they can get on with the rest of their lives….. My heart breaks for those of you who have experienced loss and old wounds are reopened each Christmas season. The only comfort I can offer is to let you know that there are better times coming.

 

You see, in prophecy there is events that are seen but like a mountain range you do not see the valleys inbetween. Imagine for a second standing on top of a mountain and seeing in the distance a light on every mountain across the range. You do not see the great distance between the mountain tops, but you see the light at the top. What Isaiah saw was the coming messiah, He knew right then that as a child was being born there would be better days ahead. He knew right then that the LORD was with us. He knew right then that all things would become knew.

 

Let’s go all the way to the end of the book of Isaiah and read exactly what the prophet saw:

 

(Isaiah 66:22 BBE)  For as the new heaven and the new earth which I will make will be for ever before me, says the Lord, so will your seed and your name be for ever.

 

Soon and very soon my friends we are going to see the King. But in the mean time, you can take heart in knowing that He is with you even right now. He is indeed Immanuel, “God with us.”

 

Next week are going back to the beginning with the book of Genesis and all the way to the end with the book or Revelation with a few stops in-between, as we continue our road to Bethlehem.