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Prophecy Has a Point (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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January 25, 2023 6:00 am

Prophecy Has a Point (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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January 25, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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From the time of David, he's going to come to John the Baptist, and that's about a thousand year gap. And there the prophets, the major and minor prophets of our Bible penned their prophecies. But God promised David that his throne would last forever. And he can only do that with someone who is eternal, and that is Christ. So the meaning is the Messiah would come from David, and he would be the ultimate king.

That's Paul's point that Jesus fulfilled these prophecies. 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 the Book of Acts.

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. Prophecy has a Point is Pastor Rick's message title today, and he'll be teaching in Acts chapter 13. Verse 16, Then Paul stood up and motioning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen.

Well, I really like this. Let's start from the bottom of the verse first. You who fear God, those were the Gentiles who feared God, but did not go so far, feared the God of the Jews, Yahweh, but did not go as far as becoming circumcised. They were receptive to the truth, that this was the Creator. They were sick of the idolatry and all of its junk, and so they were looking for truth. And these are the ones that are actually going to get the point of the prophecies that Paul is going to bring up in his sermon. Luke was not, now here's what I find fascinating about this verse.

Luke was not present with them at this time. He got this information secondhand. Well, in other words, Paul may have told him, Barnabas, others there would have told him about this. And what stands out is then Paul stood up and motioning with his hand. Why would he include that?

Why is that important to put in? Evidently, this is an outstanding gesture. Some eyewitness retold this story to Luke. Someone recalled the moment. Someone was moved by all that took place. And it began with this gesture of the hand.

They could still see Paul do this. Luke is known for his careful research. Luke's Gospel, chapter 1, verses 1 through 3, he says, Look, I looked into this stuff.

And eyewitnesses, and he's a physician, he's a medical doctor. And this little detail, preserved by the Holy Spirit, this snapshot in time, has a point. I'm not sure what that point is yet.

Maybe you can meditate on it, consider it, and come up with something. But it stands out to me. Because all of God's word is vital. And it is there for us to ponder.

So he begins this message with a gesture. And verse 17, The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and exalted the people, when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm he brought them out of it. And so he's talking about the Exodus.

Again, likely that was where the reading was in the synagogue that Saturday. And he is emphasizing Israel's appointment as the people of God, as the bringers of the light, the custodians of the word, while he starts at the synagogues whenever he can. And the Gentiles, of course, they're listening to this. They're not resisting this. They're not saying, what about us?

They want the truth of God. And they're not protesting about how God does a thing, because there was nothing to protest. And so beginning with this history of the Jews, Paul is demonstrating that the preaching of Christ is not just something they took out of thin air. He's not a Johnny-come-lately. He's not a self-appointed Messiah. He's saying, our Bible has talked about this man.

He's going to lay it out more so that they understand why he is making this connection. He is going on to say that this man, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, is the Messiah, and he has fulfilled the things, many of the things that the prophets have said. Well, Jesus himself said, do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill them.

That he did, and that he is still doing. So, ensuring that they understood that he is introducing an individual that is qualified to follow, unlike anybody else, again, their Messiah, whom their forefathers and the prophets spoke about, wrote about, preached about, and they knew those scriptures. They knew those scriptures by heart. They were a part of their entire lives, from the time they were very small, even till they left this life. They knew these things, and so he's going to spell it out for them.

Jesus is the Christ that our scriptures prophesied about, verse 18. Now, for a time, about 40 years, he put up with their ways in the wilderness. I like how that's phrased, too. He put up with them. Because God puts up with us, because he's merciful, not because we're so special. The funny thing about not being so special, the funny thing about humility is that there will be times when you won't feel so humble, when you will feel better than others, or at least tempted to, and it's an ongoing work. God's tolerance is God's grace in action. And how about us? We're supposed to be Christ-like.

Christ is God the Son. How tolerant are we with others who need grace? Proverbs 19, The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression. Yeah, there's just things that just, you know, just leave it alone. Just take the hit.

It's okay. And learn how to do that the right way. I mean, there are some transgressions you cannot overlook. They have to be dealt with. But then there are lesser ones.

And they're best oftentimes just dismissed. The Jews, they boasted about their rich spiritual heritage, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the prophets. They boasted about these things, often overlooking the faithlessness of their forefathers, leaving out that part of their heritage.

And so they boasted to a fault. They had things to certainly rejoice in, but not the way it had ended up. So Paul reminds them that their scripture does not overlook the faithlessness and the ways of their forefathers, but God is merciful nonetheless. And so he says, yeah, your forefathers, they were in the wilderness, and God overlooked much of what they did. He tolerated it.

Verse 19, and when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he distributed their land to them by allotment. And so he's laying out their history to them. His audience is loving this.

They're listening to this demand. He has command of the scripture. Well, that's not enough. It's not enough to be impressed by the speaker.

It's not enough to follow the points being made. The prophecies are there to act upon. And if you're just always learning, but you could just never do it, you're like a soldier that can march, but he just knows nothing about his weapons, and that's a very big part of his role, his position. And so it is with us. So what? You have the sharpest sword.

If it never comes out the scabbard, so what? You know the word of God, but you never use it to edify, to lead someone to Christ. Not all of us can lead someone to Christ. Not everybody is just given that opportunity, but we can contribute in some way, and that is for all of us. Actually, let me reword that. We all can, just that we all don't. And I don't mean to sound condemning in that statement.

It just sometimes doesn't work out that way for everyone. But coming back to this, when he mentions what God had done for them, referring to Deuteronomy 7, the seven nations in the land, you know, the Hittites, the Gergeshites, the Jebusites, the Adasites, all the people that were a problem there, God dealt with them. They could not have overcome those people, and God points that out in Deuteronomy 7.

They were mightier than you, but you won because of God. And so they're pleased with this in verse 20, the audience is. After that, he gave them judges for about 450 years until Samuel the prophet, in verse 21, and after where they asked for a king. So God gave them Saul, the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin for 40 years. The Gentiles got to be saying, man, I wish we had something like that. And well, well, you do. You've got the Christ now.

That's where this is going to end up. But from Hothnael to Samuel, the period of judges, he says it's 450 years. Now there's a lot of discussion about that, a lot of formula or equations to come up with that number. The Jewish historian Josephus makes this comment that the temple construction started 592 years after the Exodus. And he says it was four years into Solomon's reign. Well, we have no reason to doubt this. He's closer to the events than we are. Well, if you take those 592 years from the Exodus to the building of the temple and you factor out 40 years in the wilderness, the 80 years of Saul and David, the 20 years of conquest and stuff in between, you come up with 452 years there about. You give or take. And Paul is rounding off the number.

And so there's nothing inaccurate about that, not to me. Verse 22, and when he had removed him, he raised up for them David as king, to whom he gave testimony and said, I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do my will. David twice refused to remove Saul. He had two opportunities to kill him because Saul was trying to kill David. So it would have been justifiable from that perspective, but not before God in the heart of David. God eventually removed Saul. Chronicles, it tells us God killed him. Well, he used the Philistines to do it on Mount Gilboa. But it was because Saul had turned to witchcraft and had just become just so horrible. And he lays it out in 1 Chronicles 10, verses 13 and 14. So what a remarkable man.

What would you have done if someone's trying to kill you and you have an opportunity to take them out, but you know that this isn't what your calling is. Verse 23, from this man's seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior, Jesus. And he's talking about David's, the line of David. Now, he leaps a thousand years from the time of David. He's going to come to John the Baptist, and that's about a thousand year gap, and they're the prophets, the major and minor prophets of our Bible, penned their prophecies. But God promised David that his throne would last forever, and he can only do that with someone who is eternal, and that is to Christ. And so, the meaning is the Messiah would come from David, and he would be the ultimate king. That's Paul's point, that Jesus fulfilled these prophecies. To this day, the Jews can't tell you what tribe one of them comes from. They cannot identify their Messiah without knowing the tribes, and they've missed the timetable. They will, this will all come back in the days of Antichrist. Technology will get them back, and there will be those Jews who, we know what tribe they come from, but we're not quite there yet.

Although, it's in the works right now. DNA has the discovery of how to understand DNA has really helped with that. And the world thinks it's all about them. God has opened the knowledge of DNA for them. Well, they benefit from it, but the bottom line, it's open so that God can mark the 144,000 Jews that will be evangelical during the Great Tribulation period. Incidentally, you know, Amos said, you know, you talk about the day of the Lord, the day of the Lord, this is not a good day. This is going to be a day of judgment, horrific judgment. Well, we Christians, do we do something similar?

Yes. Oh, the rapture, the rapture. Well, the rapture signals tribulation on earth such as never been.

It's going to be really bad. And I think we should be mindful of that. I'm more interested in getting people qualified to be raptured than to be raptured myself. And, you know, that's just how I see it.

And you know, I like being right because I find it pretty dumb to like being wrong. Verse 24, after the time of David, John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. Well, John's call was to prepare the way for Messiah and to get them ready to receive their Messiah, they had to face their own sins. And so he calls them to repentance and water baptism was to, for them, just saying, I am a sinner and ours has that in it too, but more. Verse 25, and as John was finishing his course, he said, Who do you think I am?

I am not he, but behold, there comes one after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to lose. Verse 26, Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. Well, if you're reading along with me, you're following the punctuation, the quotation marks, you know where John has ended, the quote of John has stopped and Paul then starts addressing his audience. In verse 25, he's talking about John, he's quoting John, and then in that verse, after that verse, in verse 26, he now addresses his audience. He says, Okay, that's the prophecy of the last prophet of Israel. You knew John, the baptizer, to be a prophet. Well, you're going to have to do something with what John was preaching, won't you? Makes perfect sense.

And yet, most of them have not. Paul is attaching his message to the prophets of Judaism. He is saying to them, this Christ that we follow is not a sect, it's not something we've concocted, it is tied in, at some point, the Bible promises Messiah will come. Well, he has come.

What is so difficult to understand about that? Do you think these prophecies just are there and they're never going to be fulfilled? At some point, it's going to be sandals on the ground. And they were, in Christ. So this logical first step to preach this to the Jews, the fulfillment of their prophecies, Peter did the same thing, Acts chapter 3. Those things which God foretold by the mouth of all his prophets, that the Christ would suffer, he has thus fulfilled. I think when we share the gospel with people, it's okay to use prophecy, also in our message, predictive prophecy, end time prophecy, but you've got to tie it in.

You've got to say these things, you've got to make a call. If our God is the God who gives us prophecy, and he is that sovereign to do so, wouldn't it be crazy to ignore everything else he has to say? Doesn't it make sense that there's a point to his prophetic word, and it is to me personally? Peter, when he wrote his letter, he said, so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place.

There's an understatement for you. You do well to hear what the scripture has to say. All of the scripture is prophetic, not all of it is predictably prophetic. But it's inseparable.

It all belongs to the same canon. Verse 27, For those who dwell in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. Well, this is just what you call an anointed sermon. He's still saying they should have known their Messiah, these leaders who tout being doctors of the law.

Well, there's precedence for this in their own law. Hosea, the prophet, chapter 4, God speaking through him, my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. This is true of Christians. There are Christians that don't know the Bible, but I'm a Christian. And they do things, and you say, you know what, the Bible says don't do this.

It's right here. And oh, and then they continue to do it anyway. There's no, not out of weakness, I don't know what it is out of. But anyway, he says, my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge because you have rejected knowledge. I also will reject you from being priests for me because you have forgotten the law of your God.

I also will forget your children. Boy, that's predictive. That's far-reaching. And that prophecy has much fulfillment in the days of the apostles when they were turning their back on inescapable truths. They had the kind of ignorance that led to guilt. There's an ignorance where, okay, you're still wrong, but we understand your motives were not wrong. And then there's an ignorance that is guilty because the motives are wrong.

And I'll come to some of this. He says here in verse 27, nor even the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath have fulfilled them in condemning him. And that's where Paul is saying their scriptures, their scriptures, their scriptures was packed with predictions of Messiah's coming. And in these predictions, in these things about Messiah, they characterized his life, his death, and beyond that death, they were without excuse.

Isaiah 9, Isaiah 53, Psalm 2, Psalm 16, Psalm 22, Daniel 9, Psalm 69, Zechariah 13. That's just some of the messianic prophecies. What is their excuse? Well, they don't want to be too, you know, again, self-righteous and judgmental, but you can't turn your back on the facts either. They ignorantly fulfilled the prophecies that they knew by heart because they lost the point. The Bible study has a point.

It's supposed to penetrate. If you just sit there listening and say, I don't follow. Well, what's your problem? Why don't you follow the word? Because you're not in the word.

That's why. You should be in the scripture. You don't have to be, you can't quit your job and just stay home and read the Bible. Although, there are those that are always learning, never coming into the knowledge. They still do things that are prohibited. Their ignorance was a guilty ignorance. How could they have missed their Messiah with all this written about him and they're reading it every Sabbath? Mishandling of scripture, part of their history.

2 Chronicles chapter 15. For a long time, Israel has been without a true God, without a teaching priest and without law. Well, the prophet said there'd be a famine but not a food of God's word.

Why? Because he wasn't going to cast pearl before swine. If they weren't going to handle his word properly, then they weren't going to get his word. Here we are in America, we have the word of God everywhere. There are other places, there are no Bibles. Where in Yemen can you go down and buy a Bible, you know, a study Bible?

Where is downtown Yemen? If you could go into a store and say, where can I find a good study Bible? You got anything here by A.W.

Tozier or Dave Hunt? You'd probably be stoned shortly after. But here, we've got the word, and we need to tell people, why should you get to hear the gospel message over and over and over and reject it? Over and over and over. And then there are other people that don't get to hear it once. Well, the tribulation period is going to change all that, but it's going to be hard listening to men without listening to God. That's how they got there. They listened to men talk about the scriptures without listening to God, until finally the men just talked about the men who talked about the men who talked about the scripture. The Mishnah and the Talmud are evidence of these things.

Why did they need the Mishnah and the Talmud? They had the scripture. And it's practiced in Christianity too. Christodom, I should say. The lowly fishermen, they knew Christ. The detestable tax collectors, many of them came to Christ. What about some of the outcast women?

If you knew what kind of woman it was that was washing your feet, you wouldn't have any part of this. Well, Simon, I got something to say to you too. That's how Jesus responded to that. Jesus read his mind.

Here he is, the woman. This outcast woman is weeping over the Christ because of his mercy and his love for her, genuine love. And there's this Pharisee, all smug about the whole thing. And Christ says, from the moment I came in here, you'd not show me any affection.

Listen, you know, in those days you talk about washing the feet. Well, there were animals all over the place. I don't mean people. I don't mean metaphorically.

I mean, that was funny. Anyway, you had livestock. And what does livestock do? They make a mess of things. Then we eat them for it.

All right. Even the devil recognized he was the Holy One. We know who you are, the Holy One of Israel.

Why did they miss it? Matthew chapter 8. And I say to you that many will come from the east and west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness.

There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. He's saying to this, you got the Scriptures, you call yourself custodians of the Scriptures, and you're not even getting the point of them because here I am right in front of you doing things nobody else can do in Yahweh's name, violating no part of the law, upholding all of it. And you still can't connect the dots because you don't want to.

Man, that's hard. You've been listening to Cross-Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston, of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply visit crossreferenceradio.com. That's crossreferenceradio.com. We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross-Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can subscribe at crossreferenceradio.com or simply search for Cross-Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the Book of Acts, right here on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-25 09:19:17 / 2023-01-25 09:29:41 / 10

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