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Believer’s Basics #7 – Prophecy (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
November 11, 2022 6:00 am

Believer’s Basics #7 – Prophecy (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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November 11, 2022 6:00 am

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We can be strong in the face of persecution like Justin Martyr was, like Peter was, like Paul was, and John, and all martyrs, Christian martyrs of history. Why would anyone blow off hundreds of fulfilled prophecies, over 300 prophecies fulfilled about Jesus Christ coming alone? Why not just convert? Why lock up against God? Why stiff arm God to your own destruction?

I think there are many reasons. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through his series called The Believer's Basics.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Today, Pastor Rick will be teaching in Isaiah chapter 41 as he continues his message called Prophecy. All the things they say that Joseph Smith saw, they make these outrageous claims and have not a speck of evidence to validate what they have said. We have hundreds fulfilled already just about Christ, not counting the ones fulfilled about Israel. Man has sought in vain to harness the future. God allows man to harness the past. We can look back. We can remember. We can remember things as though it were yesterday, but not the future.

That belongs to him. What would man do if he could tell the future? We already know. What would happen in Vegas? What happens in Vegas that stays in Vegas? We wish.

It leaks out. Anyway, consulting the stars. What do the stars have to say about my future? No Christian should be involved with horoscopes.

They are forbidden. Man has sought to make deals with the dead, to contact the dead so they can find out about the future. They've tried to establish omens. Oh, this means that and this means it's superstition. Superstition means there's nothing to support it. You're believing in something that has no basis in truth and in fact is contrary to truth. Otherwise, we'd be given rabbit's foots to all our troops when they go into war.

None of them would be hurt. Man has invested in spiritualism, trying to speak oracles, examining the entrails of animals to tell the future or how the smoke rises off of a fire. Crystal balls, Ouija boards, desperate to get some advantage on the future, but never really thinking about holiness and righteousness. One of the marks that the great tribulation saints will know about antichrist is he's unrighteous and whatever lying wonders he's pulling off, he is not clean. That will be the signature. There will be no doubt.

It will be, well, how was I supposed to know? You don't know full well because of his corruption. To know the future is a power that belongs to the God of the Bible and him alone. He allows lying wonders from time to time. He warns us of these things.

Deuteronomy chapter 13 verses 1 through 3, lay it all out. Someone comes along with dreams and they come along with visions and they tell a prophecy and it happens, but they're leading you from me. So that's that righteous feature missing. You know that I'm testing you and that's why they are given.

But there's no stability that goes along with their once in a while get it rights. So the power to foretell the future is proof of divinity, consistently to tell the truth. Isaiah the prophet said it this way, God speaking through him, let them bring forth and show us what will happen. Let them show the form of things, what they were, that we may consider them and know the latter end of them or declare to us the things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter that we may know that you are gods.

Yes, do good or do evil that we may be dismayed and see it together. The prophet Isaiah is saying you want to prove that your little fake gods are gods? Well let them tell me about the past and let them tell me about the future and let them tell me in righteousness.

Of course they could not. Bible prophecy is the movement of spiritual information from God. And when it's not, when there's spiritual information moving not from God, that is demonic.

It is coming from somewhere else. It is either a lie or it is a test. But Bible prophecy is the movement of true, of genuine spiritual information from God to man. John's gospel chapter 14 verse 29.

And now I have told you before it comes that when it does come to pass you may believe. Now we read that from John chapter 13. We see it reinforced by the Holy Spirit, preserved by the Holy Spirit so that we catch it. So that we say God is making an emphasis here.

Let me not miss it. Bible prophecy is not limited to prediction. The context will of course make that clear as one reads and studies the scripture.

Which as to which facet of prophecy we're dealing with. And before I get into the different types, I want to talk about a Christian man who lived 2,000 years ago. He died 165 years there about after the birth of Christ. His name was Justin. And Justin was a philosopher. And he was a student of philosophy. And you know at that time in all the Greek schools of philosophy, the Roman schools of philosophy, they were all over the place and he was searching for truth. And he tells in a letter to another man that he was walking along the beach one day and he met with an old Christian man.

And he writes about it. And the Christian man says to him, there existed long before the time, the time of the philosophers that Justin was investigating, certain men more ancient than all those who are esteemed philosophers, both righteous and beloved by God, who spoke by the divine spirit. He says before your philosophers, there were these men of God who God loved and they loved God and they spoke by the spirit.

He continues. And foretold events which would take place and which are now taking place. They're called prophets. These alone both saw and announced the truth to men, neither reverencing nor fearing any man, not influenced by a desire for glory, but speaking those things alone which they saw and which they heard being filled with the Holy Spirit. He's talking about the authors or the human authors, the writers, the scribes that is, because God is the author of scripture, but the writers were men, the prophets, the apostles. And he continues, he says, speaking those things alone which they saw and which they heard being filled with the Holy Spirit, their writings are still extant. And he who has read them is very much helped in his knowledge of the beginning and the end of things.

He goes on to say, and those events which have happened and those which are happening compel you to agree to the utterances made by them. So he says to Justin, there's men that wrote before your philosophers. They were men of God, men of character. They were righteous men. They really didn't care what people thought. They cared what God thought because they knew that God's thoughts have the care of people within it.

And these men, these men have better things to say. And the proof of it is that they come true. We have the evidences. Justin took the old man's advice and he turned to the prophets, to the Old Testament prophets concerning their prophecies of Jesus Christ, their predictions. And he became a courageous defender of the faith, so much so, Rome, ramping up their persecution against Christians, called him to court, he and his students, and said, you need to worship our gods. You need to put just a pinch of incense or whatever else we decide on our altar and stop this Christ preaching, or we will beat you and kill you.

Justin said, have at it. So they scourged him and his students, and beheaded him and his students, and he now is known as Justin Martyr. My point is, the prophecies, the predictive element of our faith, established a faith in this Christian, so strong that death couldn't chase it away.

It's suffering. Men don't die, men in Christ, women in Christ, for fables, for the truth that Jesus promised. They spoke the truth as witnesses, not as reasoners.

You catch that? The philosophers, they reason, they guess, they come up with ideas. But the prophets, they didn't speak as men who just reasoned through things, they spoke as men who saw, who were there. That's what Peter said. In fact, right before this passage that we read this morning, Peter said, the Lord promised to me how I would leave this life, my exodus. That was prophecy. And Peter was saying, it hasn't happened yet, but it's going to happen. And until it happens, I will stir you up. That's that passage of scripture we have assigned to our series on the believers' basics.

I will continue to stir you up, though you know these things. Powerful Christianity found in the life of Simon Peter. So, not only can God tell the future, but he controls it, as I said.

And this he is distinct from all others. Biblical prophecy includes messages delivered to man from God, warnings to man from God, judgments to man from God, blessings, future events, encouragements. When we talk about biblical prophecy, we're not limiting it to just predictive.

There are different types. Sometimes it is immediate in its judgments and messages, as it was with Moses and Pharaoh. When Moses said, all right, watch this. It happened. The Nile turned to blood, the plagues that hit Egypt. All the things that Moses warned him of prophetically came to pass.

Sometimes it is delayed. The rapture of the church, we know it's going to happen because of the track record that it belongs to Peter with Sapphira and Ananias. It was instant. You lied to the Holy Spirit. You came to church. You promised in front of everyone what you were going to do. Everybody said, wow, that's impressive. And then you lied. And Ananias dropped dead. Not long after, his wife comes in and Peter says the same men that carted off your husband dead are going to take you. And we're all glad that the church doesn't work that way anymore. Anyway, so predictive prophecy, sometimes it is very quick.

Sometimes it takes time. Delay Jeremiah's prophecies about Israel's captivity, Isaiah's prophecies and the fulfillment thereof, Daniel's prophecies, world history. Well, sometimes prophecy is used at word and they prophesied in scripture speaking of singing songs or giving encouragement or praises to God when King Saul, Israel's first king, when Samuel the prophet came and anointed him to be king. Saul joined a bunch of other prophets and they were prophesying as they were walking. Now they weren't walking around predicting the future.

They were praising God in song and worship. So when the Bible uses the word prophecy again, sometimes in the context of its use, it means encouragement or song or praise to God. Remember, it's the movement of spiritual things, not necessarily new information. It can be a bringing forth of existing information. It's focusing on Christ as far as predictions go because that's where the gold is.

That's where it is worth, that's where it really means something. What would happen if all we had in the Bible were prophecies concerning Israel's future but no savior of humanity, no savior of sinners? That's the reason why we have the prophecies. They all are about Christ. The ones that are about Israel are about Christ, ultimately to turn our attention to trusting in the messages from God to men concerning men.

And so God has opened up the future on the most important things. Now there are four classes of prophecy, at least that I'm going to talk about, those which have to do with the heathen nations concerning Israel. These are well-documented prophecies. In fact, when we read them in Isaiah and Ezekiel and Jeremiah, we become very bored of prophecies foretelling their utter destruction, the demolition of empires, kingdoms, such cities as Babylon, Nineveh, Tyre.

Who could bring down Tyre? They mocked the prophets for making such prophecies about that impregnable offshore fortress that was loaded with wealth. Yet, just as Ezekiel said, the fishermen will be working on their nets because of the ruins of Tyre, and that is exactly what took place. You can't find Babylon. Well, you can find the ruins now, but whole armies have marched over it before it was discovered. That great empire that Nebuchadnezzar said, Is this not the great Babylon that I have built?

crumbled into nothing. Daniel talks about the reigns of Alexander and the Roman Empire and other empires, and they're all gone just as he prophesied. Those prophecies were fulfilled. The graveyards of these empires bear witness to the truth of God's word.

Nobody else has got this. Jeremiah 30, verse 11, For I am with you, says Yahweh, to save you, though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, and I will not let you go altogether unpunished. That has been and is being fulfilled. I have a t-shirt I bought in Israel that has a list of all the nations who tried to get rid of Israel and are no longer empires.

They're defeated, but Israel still stands. There are predictions which deal with the Jewish people themselves. I just spoke a bit about the predictions concerning the heathen nations of Ammon and Moab and the Edomites gone, just as the Bible said. You'll never meet an Edomite.

You might eat somebody that eats mites, but not an Edomite. There are predictions, again, that deal with the Jewish people. Their descent from Abraham, their growth, their oppression in Egypt. Four hundred years, God said.

It happened right on schedule. Their establishment in what we know as the promised land, but first was Canaan. Check out Josiah. Three hundred years before Josiah was born, the prophet said there would come a man named Josiah and destroy this altar, this pagan altar in a city in Bethel. That's in 1 Kings 13, verse 2. Then there's Cyrus, that noble Gentile pagan leader that allowed the Jews to go back to their promised land after 70 years of captivity that was spoken of by Jeremiah, and he allowed the Jews to rebuild their temple. Isaiah, a hundred years before Cyrus was born, said by name that Cyrus would be the one to do this. A hundred years before he was born, a hundred and fifty years before he actually went ahead and fulfilled the prophecy. As I mentioned, Israel's 70 years captivity, Jeremiah 25 and Jeremiah 29 document that.

Interesting that Israel is not said to become a kingdom again until Christ returns, but she is an independent state. And again, Daniel's world history in Daniel chapter 8 and chapter 11. Listen to this from Daniel 12. But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, knowledge shall increase. Are we not living in this time when knowledge is increasing and has increased?

Who can dispute that? See, this is the fulfillment right before our eyes. Talk about things fulfilled, I'll get to them, but concerning Israel, their apostasy and their exile and their repatriation all prophesied, all fulfilled. The waves, persecution that would befall them, the woe that would flow over them as a people, and yet still their persistence and survival and ultimate revival. That's not yet happened as a nation to Israel.

It will happen. There are Old Testament predictions of Christ's first coming. Details fulfilled like none other, foretelling his virgin birth. He even names what village in Bethlehem. His virtuous life, Isaiah 42, for just one example. Zechariah 9 tells us that he will ride into Jerusalem on a donkey. If he did not do that, someone would have stood up and said, false Messiah, but no one could do that because he fulfilled it.

It happened. So many enemies, you can bet someone would have pointed out some contradiction to the prophecies regarding his life if they had the chance. His death in our place, Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22, just to name a couple of them. The details of Isaiah 53, with the rich at his grave. Well, where did they entomb him?

In a rich man's tomb. A man, Joseph of Arimathea. And so these prophecies, they abound, the destruction, the survival of Jerusalem. In the New Testament, those writers talk about his second coming. They talk about the church, Israel, the world, Antichrist, tribulation and Armageddon. They give us details, prophetic details about all of those. We're watching them take place.

We've watched many of them already done. Jesus said, therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation spoken by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, whoever reads, let him understand. That is a prophecy that it says there will be a third Jewish temple. And not only will there be a third Jewish temple, we've only had two and neither one exists.

They've both been destroyed. A third is going to be built and then defiled by Antichrist. And Jesus says you can, you'll know when you see this happening. Luke 21, verse 20. But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Now if you lived in 1840 and you read this verse, you would say Jerusalem's surrounded by army. There's no Jews there.

There's nothing there. Bedouin, drifters, there's nothing in Jerusalem. When you look at Jerusalem now, it is a thriving city. The best hummus on earth is in Israel. It's in Jerusalem.

The oil just flows right off. Anyway, the bread. All right, I hope I'm getting you hungry for the word. Back to these prophecies. His return and the end of the world. Revelation 21, 1. Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Now, does anybody believe that's happened already?

Because you need help. If you do, you need to get one of the pastors. The new heaven and the new earth is not here yet. It is predicted to happen. And then when the Bible says, when Bible predictions are guarantees, other predictions are forecasts perhaps, educated guesses.

I've used the word predict on purpose. Because we get so used to the word prophecy, sometimes it may lose its impact on us. So I want to keep us close to the understanding that God is calling something before it happens. And when he calls it, it's not a guess, it's not a forecast, it's a guarantee. That's why we love and follow him, because he is worthy.

Because he has placed himself on our hearts. Bible prophecy is a call to Christ and his work. The predictions, the prophecies are not given to us to satisfy some curiosity.

That does some of that, but that's not its purpose. It's given as a resource to reinforce our own faith, that we can bear witness to the unconverted, so that they convert. That we can be strong in the face of persecution, like Justin Martyr was, like Peter was, like Paul was, and John, and all the martyrs, the Christian martyrs of history. Why would anyone blow off hundreds of fulfilled prophecies, over 300 prophecies fulfilled about Jesus Christ coming alone? Why not just convert? Why lock up against God? Why stiff-arm God to your own destruction?

I think there are many reasons, but the bottom is a lack of desire to conform to holiness. The voices of the Hebrew prophets, they looked forward, announced his coming, and sealed it with these validations that we lived through. Peter said this, here's Peter preaching to Gentiles, before Gentiles really began coming into the church. They were already converting to Judaism, some of them, but they weren't coming into Christianity until Peter unlocks the door. Peter says to him, all the prophets witnessed that through his name, whoever believes in him will receive remission of sins.

And of course, after that, the Holy Spirit fell upon those Gentiles, and they became believers. Thanks for joining us for today's teaching on Cross Reference Radio. The daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia.

We hope you've been blessed by this Believer's Basics series, exploring the fundamentals of what it means to follow Christ. If you'd like to listen to more of this series or share it with someone you know, please visit We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit and follow the links under radio. Again, that's That's all for today. We hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the Word of God, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-18 23:24:54 / 2022-11-18 23:33:53 / 9

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