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January 9, 2021 7:00 am
Turn in your Bibles if you brought one to acts chapter 18.
I don't know if you have movies that you love so much you can watch the same one over and over again.
I mean you know it so well you know the lines before they say that there and say what the characters are going to say well I have a few of those in one of my favorite movies is a one is one called a few good men.
And for those of you who don't know the plot. Let me tell you what it is. The young lady lawyer. They are Tom Cruise is assigned to a taste to defend two Marines accused of murdering a fellow Marine down to Guantánamo, but as Tom Cruise gets into this. He begins to discover that really what happened was not a murderer at all was an accident that occurred during a hazing incident called a code red. Moreover, he begins to suspect that the code red was actually ordered by the commander of the base.
Col. Nathan just up a fellow played by the indomitable Jack Nicholson well at one of the most compelling scenes in the movie is where Tom Cruise has his legal team overall defending these two Marines around them, and with great passion and with great conviction he is reconstructing the way it really went putting all the pieces together explaining why their clients are guilty and why Col. Jessup either climbed through the food rather Col. Jessup is guilty and while he's doing is one of the lawyers, Augustine, Debbie Moore speaks up in great lawyerly fashion and she says to him there's only one problem with your theory.
She said you gotta be able to prove it in a court of law. Do you have any throats. Now you know as Americans. This concept that in order to validate something as true. We need empirical proof we we need verifiable proof.
The kind of proof and we could take into a courtroom and out of court room say yes that's right. This concept runs very deep and true with us as Americans and you know as Americans we don't apply this concept just to scientific truth mathematical truth talk a computer truth or medical through but we as Americans also bring this concept to bear on religious truth on spiritual truth. How many times have you been out trying to share Jesus with somebody and people, because this is after the meal I pushed back and say hey you know what you prove to me that Jesus is the Messiah that is always going to be and then I'll believe I want truth and you know there's a certain sense in which the taxpayer were asking people to lay their entire eternal destiny in the hands of Jesus Christ. Is it unfair that they want to improve that he maybe is really the person he claimed to be. Is that unfair. I don't think so. So what does that leave us as followers of Christ. I mean, is there a way to prove that Jesus really is the Messiah of the Christ the son of God. God wrapped in human flesh and everything else. He claimed to be. Can we do that to people in a way that we could maybe even taken to a courtroom that would stand up will naturally want to talk about today we want to use it if not the life of the apostle Paul is launching pad. So let's talk together here in acts chapter 18 remember what's going on during the end of acts chapter 18 Paul is concluding his second missionary journey. Let's show you a map. The apostle Paul has traveled through Greece is going to fill parties going to Thessalonica, Berea down the Athens and now as you can see in Corinth in the blue part of your map. He spent 18 months in the town of Corinth working with the church there asked chapter 18 he leaves Corinth sales across the Aegean Sea to the city of Ephesus, where he leaves his two traveling companions Priscilla Tukwila and Paul sales on its outer your map here. It's down to the far right sales going to head home to his hometown. The city of Antioch.
He began his second missionary journey in the year 50 A.D. and now he's concluding it in the fall of the year 53 A.D. he's finishing up that during now we got a little bit of background let's pick up verse 21 then the Bible says the apostle Paul said they'll from Ephesus.
Verse 22 and when he landed in Caesarea.
He went up and greeted the church there and then he went down to Antioch is back home.
Second missionary dirt journey is done well. Verse 24. Meanwhile, back in Ephesus of Jewish mandated the policy.
A native of Alexandria in Egypt came to Ephesus. He was a learned man with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. Now we need to know that at the time of the apostle Paul, the city of Alexandria in Egypt was regarded as the scholarly capital of the world. The University of Alexandria was the most prestigious university anywhere in the Roman Empire. The largest library in the Roman world was located here in Alexandria and the apostle Paul's day studying in Alexandria would be today like studying at Oxford or Paul you want to say it's also important for us to know that at the time of the apostle Paul Alexandria was home to the largest and the most influential Jewish community outside of Israel itself. And so therefore any Jewish man who is studying here in Alexandria as Apollo said would be a man with a thorough knowledge of the Scripture exactly the way the Bible says of Apollo that the Bible tells us one more exciting thing. However about this guy Apollo. The Bible tells us that he was a follower of Jesus Christ.
Look at verse 25. Apollo said it instructed the Bible says in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately and Apollo's began to speak boldly there in the synagogue in Ephesus know what the Bible tells us here in verse 25 raises the question and the question is how did Apollo's become instructed in the way of the Lord. How did he come to Christ who told me that Jesus was the Messiah of the Jewish man who discipled them who mentored him spiritually, such that he was able to teach about Jesus accurately and go into the synagogue and defend that position.
Well, the answer is we really don't know the answer. The Bible never really tells us how Apollo came the cries if possible that the evangelist Mark you know who wrote the second gospel, Matthew, Mark, church tradition tells us that Mark went to Alexandria Egypt very early after the resurrection of Jesus and started the church there. He was actually martyred. According to church tradition there in Alexandria so it's very possible that Apollo's who was living in Alexandria is very possible he ran in the Markham St., Mark leading to Christ in Mark discipled. It's also possible that he was traveling outside of Egypt and he ran into some believers somewhere that letting the Christ. It's also possible that he went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Passover or some other Jewish festival and that he met Peter or James or John in Jerusalem and they told him about Christ.
For the bottom line is we really don't know how distracting the Christ what we do know is that he was a mature disciple biblically educated follower price and that he had a passion he had a fervency to tell people about Jesus Christ. Now verse 27 Apollo's wanted to go to Atago the let's go back to our map so you work. Is remember Paul obviously give me Apollo's is over here in Ephesus and he wants to go to Atago. That's the blue part on your map the southern part of Greece were Athens and Corinth were both located why did he want to go there friends. I don't know what Hudson shot Taylor want to go to China wanted that an arm doesn't want to go to Burma: why did William Terry want to go to India I don't know the spirit of God called him to go there. That's why the other passion in the calling when he wanted to go there is missionary the Bible says that the believers at Ephesus encouraged him and wrote to the believers there in Corinth to welcome him and on arriving in Corinth. Apollo's was a great help to those who by grace is believed that one can't help was the one. The Bible says Apollo vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate that you take on one of my people in public debate you better because he was not. He took a lot of public debate proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah. You know what they say with us to well what to do. There's three opinions understand what I'm saying you are, you would you better be good in this guy took a lot of public debate and put him down shot him down, proving from the Scriptures and remember these of the Old Testament Scriptures.
The New Testament Scriptures were written yet, he went into the Old Testament and through the that Jesus was the Messiah.
He was invincible.
The Bible says in public debate. He was a an evangelistic force. He was an apologetic force in that city. That was something to be reckoned with now. That's important. Want to go in our passage because it is a question that I know you came here today with a burning desire to ask you okay will.
Even if you didn't, let's give it your best. What is that you're ready. 123 hi Suman, so what this is great in Alexandria Hall. The always consult enough difference in any of this makes my life.
Let me see if we can explain that connection for you.
Okay, let's go back to what we said at the very beginning of this message. We said that Americans are empirical people that Americans want proof and that this is especially true when it comes to asking Americans to commit their entire eternal destiny to Jesus Christ. So what proof can we offer people that will convince them that might even stand up in a court of law.
It was taken in there. The Jesus is really we said he is (I believe we need to prove to people that Jesus is the Messiah the same way that Apollo proved it had any prove it deep-rooted from the Scriptures right. Look what Jesus said Luke chapter 18 he's heading to Jerusalem for his final visit.
The boys crucified and Bible says he took his 12 disciples aside and said to them, we are going up to Jerusalem and everything that was written by the Old Testament prophets about the Messiah is going to be fulfilled in the Old Testament.
I don't know if you realize this, but there are over 100 prophecies in the Old Testament that deal with the Messiah. In fact, I've given you a sheet inside your bulletin today is yellow with just 60, some of them. These are just the ones that relate to the first coming. The first appearing of the Messiah, not the second appearing and Jesus said that I'm going to fulfill every single one of these and friends the way that Apollo's refuted the Jews in public debate. The way that he proof of the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah is that he took those Jewish people back to these prophecies. He took them back to these predictions that were somewhere between 520 500 years old about the Messiah, and he demonstrated to these Jewish people in Corinth that Jesus Christ fulfilled every one of these prophecies completely and perfectly, and then he turned 11 he said, and so fellows who else could Jesus thing. Who else could he be that we can fill a bunch of these prophecies before, most recently, several months ago, in part 41 of the series message entitled how to prove Jesus as the Messiah.
We covered a whole bunch of these prophecies listed on your yellow sheet you can pick up this tape in the bookstore knocking to do it again. But today what I want us to do is to look at one of these Old Testament prophecies that we haven't looked at your in a long long time. It's called the prophecy of the 77s is found in the ninth chapter of the book of Daniel, and so you brought Bible today. You might want to flip to Daniel chapter 9 and while you're turning to give you a little bit of background. This I believe is the most powerful prophecy about the Messiah anywhere in the Old Testament because it pinpoints the exact year of the messiahs appearing in a way that is indisputable in a way that is unarguable. There's a little background. Daniel is in Babylon, along with all the Jewish people. They were taken there as captives by King Nebuchadnezzar in 606 BC is now 538 BC. Daniel is an old man now in his 90s and one day in 538 BC. He was sitting around and reading the prophecy of Jeremiah and Jeremiah have said. Jeremiah 2910 for thus says the Lord, after 70 years in Babylon I will come to you and bring you back to this place that is Jerusalem. I will gather you from all the nations were I've banished you and I will bring you back okay 606 is when the captivity started 70 years is 536.
Will Daniel assist in reading this in 538 and suddenly realize, oh my gosh in two years. Those 70 years are God's will to be taking us back to Jerusalem and by the way that happened two years later, Cyrus the great, the king of Persia, allowed the first group of Jewish refugees to return to Jerusalem. 50,000 of them in factual findings recorded in the book of Esther of Ezra under the leadership of Zerubbabel. It happened just the way God said, but Daniel realizing that is just a couple years away. Start praying about this return starts praying about the Jewish people starts praying about their future and as a result, the angel Gabriel comes to him here in Daniel nine and gives him the most monumental prophecy. I believe anywhere in the Bible in relationship to the Jewish people and their future and I don't have time to go through the whole prophecy with you that lays out the Jewish future that lays out the antichrist and the end of the age. You can go pick up our take. I did this on tape years ago in the bookstore in Daniel chapter 9 the prophecy of the 77 to get up in the bookstore, but all I want to do today's focus on the one part of this prophecy that talks about the appearing of the Messiah, so book verse 24 Daniel 977.
The Bible says are decreed for your people. The Jewish people and your holy city, Jerusalem, number 77 Cedar are 70 groups, seven league 70 bundles if you will of seven years each, or 490 years and this is why the prophecies called the prophecy of the 77 now the next verse, verse 25 from the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.
There's a starting point on.
Still here trending point, the Messiah comes, will be 69 of these bundles of seven years. That is 69×7 is 483 years, but don't forget the Jews use the lunar calendar and I salute her year is slightly shorter than a solar year that we use in the Gregorian calendar, so when we make that correction. This turns out to be 476 solar Gregorian years that one of the Bible say the Bible says from the starting point to the ending point is going to be 476 years old. What's the starting point. Remember the starting point is from the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem when was that both it was only one such decree ever recorded it was recorded in Nehemiah chapter 1 into it was given by King Artaxerxes the second of Persia in the 20th year of his reign. The Bible says and we can nail that down with absolute and precise certainty. Historically, the 445 BC. That was the 20th year of King Artaxerxes the second okay there's a starting point right 445 BC. You can write that down in the margin to your Bible. That was the starting point. Now the Bible says if we move 476 years forward, we will come to the ending point and what is the ending point. The ending point is, until the Messiah appears and so if we go 476 years forward, from 445 BC.
We should find the Messiah staring us right in the balls with the Bible to solicit alluvial subtraction showing 445 BC, and we take with 476 years, we move forward. 476 years that our 60 97 had of course we take away the year zero because there is no such year and what we end up with is 30 A.D. as the year of the messiahs appearing. This is what the prophecy says should happen here. Let's see. Can we think of anybody cooler appeared around 30 A.D. my Jostens claim to be the Messiah and fulfilled everything the Messiah said on. I think of somebody I think Jesus and because the Bible tells us that he began his public ministry in the year 30 A.D. and he showed up on the scene exactly when this prophecy said he was going to be there. You are just returned from a trip following the footsteps of St. Paul and we were in Rome. One day I woke up we get to go out the morning and I turned on BBC world to see what the weather was good be like any added lady on there and she was showing all these fancy images you know with the clouds rolling in the yellow when the red forms and computer-generated and she said in Rome today. It's going to be stormy and wet it's gonna rain heavy so I took my umbrella. I took my jacket. I told my son take your umbrella take a jacket it's going to rain and the and I pray I pray I said oh God please obliterate on us that they send out rain defiance but anyway. But anyway you you know what, we went out that day and am slapping my jacket in my umbrella all over the city will and it didn't rain one was beautiful, sunny all day long and in that amazing what all of our computers and all of our technology and all of our modern science. We can even predict what is going to do 24 hours ahead of time and hear God in the Bible 550 years I have time, predict the exact year that the Messiah is going to show up. And Jesus showed up right on schedule right here in Daniel, now nine, we have an exact chronological prediction of when the Messiah should appear, and you don't need a PhD or seminary degree to understand Daniel nine. You don't need a computer or calculator to figure it out.
Friends you can do it on an applicant's you can do it on your fingers and you tell and and you know in Luke chapter 2.
Do you remember when Jesus at age 12, went into the temple.
The Bible says it was a guy there named Simeon. The Bible says who was waiting for the appearing of the Messiah. There was also a lady and know they are. The Bible says was waiting and praying for the imminent appearing of the Messiah. Now how do these people know that the Messiah was imminent was about to show up any day. We said maybe an angel appeared to him and told that's possible know what else is possible. It's possible they read Daniel chapter 9. They multiplied and subtracted, and he knew he had to be close.
I was in Israel are innocent women on the point tell us that this request for how you know for certain that this is real I mean how do you know for certain that that that that that didn't go back coming they saw Jesus appearing 30 A.D. so they went back and they rewrote the book of Daniel. So the book of Daniel came out with them appearing in 30 BC. I know this is just a big con game. And you know this is just a big hope.
Well, up until 1947. If you'd asked me that question I could to give in your great answer.
I would have to say well we can't be sure but friends we can be sure now because in 1947 the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and among the Dead Sea Scrolls. We have a complete copy of the book of Daniel, dated to 150 BC. That's 150 years before Jesus ever live and guess what Daniel chapter 9 and not copy says exactly what Daniel chapter 9 says in your Bible. Nobody went back and rewrote the spokes and if they didn't, than what other explanation is there than the Jesus is exactly who the Bible claims in the beanie showed up right on schedule. I was in Israel in 1983 and I was riding with this.
Our tour guide was just porpoise my wife, Brenda and I and another couple and we had a tour guide was taking us around. They put me in the front seat with and thus we got to talking and he said the we found that I was Jewish and that he thought I believed in Jesus essentially said to me what proof could there possibly be that Jesus is the Messiah. So I started going through so I gave him.
Isaiah 53 goes on on noise that I've heard that when the rabbis gone the way of interpreting that so I was like I gave you my SUV Micah chapter 2 owner noise of my rabbis know interpreting that Stargate installed 22 Psalm 110 Nono my rabbis I did when something that I didn't always want to learn about to find out get really frustrated and I said what about Daniel chapter 9 he said I never got that one was that when I told them just what I told you, and I said so friend who can you think of that showed up in 30 A.D. that the qualifications of being the Messiah and claim to be the Messiah other than Jesus. He said there's got to be another interpretation of that pass these on the my rabbis ask us to wait a minute, this passage is not based on theological interpretation is based on multiplication and subtraction and a lesser rabbi can change the laws of mathematics. There's no other way to interpret and he made this comment to me he said well I'm going anyway to ask my rabbi for no other explanation but even if PTS explained that some of the way I still will never believe in Jesus.
What was the store God's problem. Brenda was an information shoot I given him enough information in the front of the car. They tend decisions for Christ if he wanted to. Information wasn't his problem. His problem was the condition of his heart didn't have a heart that was humble and broken and ready to do business with God and submit to God in a heart that was willful and stubborn and obstinate and may I say that you're here today. You've never given your life to Jesus Christ. That is really easy for you to begin thinking what I just can get some more information if I can just learn some or maybe the light will suddenly go all and I'll be ready folks. If you are here today listening to me.
I've given you enough information already. If you want to make a decision for Christ to prove to you that easily send you to listen, don't dupe yourself into believing you need more information. You don't need a very tiny bit of information to make a decision for Christ. What you need. If you haven't made a decision for Christ is a heart that's humble and broken and ready to do business with God on God's terms and surrender to God on God turns and and so at least if you're not ready to do that know what the real issue is don't kid yourself into thinking something is the issue that isn't the issue is always the condition of man's heart and women's heart clinic concluded by saying, as followers of Christ. What we have here is an absolutely airtight proof that Jesus has to be the Messiah and is not based on somebody's theology is based on subtraction and multiplication and now were friends. Why did God go to the trouble of writing this in the Bible 5 1/2 centuries before it happened because as followers of Jesus Christ.
He wants us to have an unshakable confidence and absolute certainty that Jesus as we claim to be and that we can trust you with our life with our children with our grandchildren with our eternal destiny with our future, our plans, our hopes are dreams with everything because usually said he is like Peter said. He said we not follow cleverly devised fables, for we have verified for ourselves and with the Old Testament prophets predicted has come through and the reason God gave us those Old Testament prophecies so you and I could go out every morning and be 110% sure that Jesus is the one we can trust without life are destiny and every part of RV God also did this process in the Bible. So when people say to us may prove to me, Jesus is the Messiah and I'll believe that you would have some really tangible and irrefutable to offer them. So what I want to do in closing is to urge you to pick up a stack of these CDs from this morning a stack of case T familiar for your tables, your desk at work to keep them in your glove compartment of your car and the next time somebody comes up to you and says proves to me that Jesus really is the Messiah. I want to be able to say to them will Conduct for you and you open that drawer or the glove compartment and handle one of these friends. 5 1/2 centuries before it happened. We have the prediction of the year the Messiah has come in and guess what, he came right on schedule. He is, we said we can trust spring Jesus, thanks for encouraging our faith this morning by reminding us once again, that is, Peter said this is not a cleverly devised a this is not a hoax, not a con game.
This is a real and legitimate truth that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God, the Savior of the world. The Christ and then we can trust in Lord what he did for us on the cross as payment for all wrongdoing is resurrection as certainty that we are going to heaven, and more.
We can lay our whole life and future. It is hands without any fear.*Prayer. My prayer is that you would help us not only to walk out of our house assure this but that you would walk us and help us walk out of our houses every morning as missionary we would be missionaries every day everywhere we go because we have the truth, and it has stood the test. So God, may we not be ashamed of telling people about you. May we be excited about because we know you take Daniel nine into a court of law and its proof that will stand up so thanks for talking to us today encourage our faith and change our behavior because we were here today and we pray this in Jesus name God's people said Amen