The Gospel Observer (March 25, 2018)

Contents:

1) Bible Prophecy (6) (Tom Edwards)
2) News & Notes
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Psa22_18

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Bible Prophecy (6)
Tom Edwards

In thinking more of Jesus and prophecies concerning Him, Psalm 34:20 declares,

“He keeps all his bones,
Not one of them is broken.”

The apostle John cites this passage with regard to the Lord in John 19:36: “For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture,

‘NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN.’”

That not a bone of the Lord was broken is also an indication that He had died on the cross — and not merely passed out. John records: “Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out” (vv. 31-34).

Dr. C. Truman Davis, M.D., M.S., wrote an article entitled, The Passion of Christ From A Medical Point of View. In an excerpt from that, he speaks of the need to raise oneself from the hanging position on a cross in order to breathe. He states: “At this point, another phenomenon occurs. As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen. It was undoubtedly during these periods that He uttered the seven short sentences which are recorded.”

So this helps us to better understand the connection of breaking the legs with crucifixion. For it would hinder the victim from being able to raise himself in order to breathe and, thus, speed up his death.

But for Jesus, after six hours of enduring the agony of the cross, along with the pain from the intense scourging that had preceded it, He cried out “with a loud voice,” … ’Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.’ Having said this, He breathed His last” (Luke 23:46).

In the same context of John 19:36, John also shows of another prophecy fulfilled at Calvary, as he mentions in verse 37: “And again another Scripture says, ‘THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED.’” Where we find that back in the Old Testament is in Zechariah 12:10: “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a first-born.”

Not only did the Lord have His side pierced in His death, as we saw above, but also, as David writes in the Messianic Psalm 22:

“For dogs have surrounded me;
A band of evildoers has encompassed me;
They pierced my hands and my feet.
I can count all my bones.
They look, they stare at me” (vv. 16-17).

Also in the next verse of Psalm 22,

“They divide my garments among them,
And for my clothing they cast lots” (v. 18).

This we also see in the New Testament recordings: “And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting lots” (Matt. 27:35).

John brings out a little more on that: “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. So they said to one another, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be’; this was to fulfill the Scripture: ‘THEY DIVIDED MY OUTER GARMENTS AMONG THEM, AND FOR MY CLOTHING THEY CAST LOTS’” (John 19:23-24).

The phrase “this was to fulfill the Scripture” does not mean that the Roman guards did what they did with the intent of fulfilling God’s word. For they probably had no idea they were doing so. The same can also be said in what we saw earlier, that “NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN.” For that was also preceded with, “for these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture” (Jn. 19:36).

I would think there were many poor people living in and around Judea during the time that Jesus dwelt on earth; but it was a rich man who would take care of the Lord’s departed body, as prophesied in Isaiah 53:9:

“His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.”

The New Testament shows that rich man to have been Joseph of Arimathea. Matthew writes: “When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away” (Matt. 27:57-60).

Mark’s account gives the additional information that Joseph was “a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus” (Mark 15:42-43).

It was also then, while Joseph was there, that Pilate had wondered if Jesus was dead by that time. So he summoned the centurion to inquire. On finding out that it was so, Pilate then “granted the body to Joseph” (vv. 44-45).

John speaks of Joseph as being a “secret” disciple of the Lord, due to the “fear of the Jews” (Jn. 19:38).

Luke refers to Joseph as being “a good and righteous man” (Luke 23:50), and one who had “not consented” to the plan and action of the Council (v. 51) who had “all condemned” Jesus “to be deserving of death” (Mark 14:64). So Joseph showed courage in his opposition toward the Council and in His requesting for the body of Jesus.

According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, it was “the condemnation of his Lord [that] awakened the courage and revealed the true faith of Joseph.”

Luke also mentions that this new tomb, which Joseph provided for Jesus, had never been used by any other (v. 53).

Charles Dickens begins his historical novel, “A Tale of Two Cities” by describing, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Perhaps that also reminds us of when we think of the cross — but even more so. For what could man ever have done that would be more terrible than putting to death the innocent and perfect Son of God — our Creator! Yet, at the same time, what could ever be more of a benefit for mankind than that wonderful atonement that Jesus made by His death for every sinner — an atonement that can save us from an eternal separation from God and make possible, instead, an everlasting blissfulness in heaven!

(All Scripture from the NASB, unless otherwise indicated.)
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News & Notes

We extend our condolences to all the family and friends of Mildred McCullers who recently passed away at 101 years of age.  Let us be remembering all of her family and friends in prayer.

Jim Lively had a small growth removed from the top of his head recently and will be seeing his doctor again this Tuesday about it. Let us pray that all will go well for him. [For an update on that, they were able on Tuesday to “freeze” that spot with liquid nitrogen — instead of having to cut out any more. He will now not have to return for about six months for a checkup on it.]

Others to also continue to remember in prayer: Charles Crosby, Doyle Rittenhouse, Shirley Davis, Frankie Hadley, Jim Lively, Pat Joyner, Misty & Jason Thornton, Michelle Rittenhouse, and Mary Vandevander.

The ladies’ Tuesday afternoon Bible class, which recently switched from 7 p.m. to 2 p.m., will not be meeting for the next couple weeks.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class) (New Time)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

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The Gospel Observer (March 18, 2018)

Contents:

1) Bible Prophecy (5) (Tom Edwards)
2) News & Notes
——————–

Psalm22_16

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Bible Prophecy (5)
Tom Edwards

Thinking more on the sacrifice of Christ in prophecy, Psalm 69:21 states,

“They also gave me gall for my food
And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”

This “gall,” which was first offered, is from a Hebrew word that means “…a poisonous plant, probably the poppy (from its conspicuous head); generally poison (even of serpents)…” (James Strong).  In the New American Standard Bible, the Hebrew word is rendered as “bitterness” (2), “gall” (1), “poison” (4), “poisoned” (2), “poisonous” (3), and “weeds” (1).  Some Bible versions translate it as “poison” in Psalm 69:21, such as the Bible in Basic English, the English Standard Version, and the Revised Standard Version.  Matthew 27:34 shows that the “gall” had been added to wine; but, Jesus, “after tasting it…was unwilling to drink.”  For He would not  numb His senses with that, which is made even clearer in the Contemporary English Version: “There they gave him some wine mixed with a drug to ease the pain. But when Jesus tasted what it was, he refused to drink it” (Mark 15:23).  Many translations refer to that drug in this passage as being “myrrh.”  According to Alfred Edersheim, “It was a merciful Jewish practice to give to those led to execution a draught of strong wine mixed with myrrh so as to deaden consciousness” (The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Book 5, Chapter 15, par. 11).  So Jesus went to that cross fully experiencing the torture of it.  And isn’t that amazing, too, that He remained on that cross for the full six hours of intense agony!  He did not deliver Himself from that torment, nor did He call on twelve legions of angels to do so for Him (cf. Matt. 26:51-54).  Instead, He went through with it all!

The second “drink,” the vinegar, is spoken of as being “sour wine” that was in a sponge placed on a reed (cf. Mark 15:36; Matt. 27:48).  This “reed” is referred to as “a branch of hyssop” in John’s account, where he also points out that it was given to Jesus immediately prior to His death.  Notice the passage: “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, ‘I am thirsty.’  A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth.  Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!  And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit” (Jn. 19:28-30).

One of the Messianic psalms is Psalm 22.  It foretells of the suffering of Christ at Calvary.  Notice how it begins: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (v. 1).  From the cross, Jesus made seven statements.  Toward the end of that period, about the 9th hour, which would be around our 3 p.m., “…Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?’ that is, ‘MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?'” (Matt. 27:46).  It is thought that in saying this, Jesus was also directing the hearers to that psalm that was foretelling  various things that were now taking place on that crucifixion day.  Of course, God even knew, prior to the creation of the universe, of these things that would occur on that day!

Psalm 31:5 foretells of the last of the seven sayings that Jesus made from the cross.  It declares, “Into Your hand I commit my spirit…”  The fulfillment of that is seen in Luke 23:46: “And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.’ Having said this, He breathed His last.”  (The all caps signify in the New American Standard Bible that that part is a quote from the Old Testament.)

How needful it was for Jesus to make an atonement for every sinner by His death at Calvary.  Without it, sins could never be forgiven; and we would all remain lost and separated from God forever.  But it had been God’s plan before the beginning of time to provide Jesus as a Savior who would come to our rescue.  Isaiah, who prophesied about 700 years prior to Jesus’ sacrifice, writes of this future event in the past tense:

“Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.

“But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.

“All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him” (Isaiah 53:4-6).

Some of this was also fulfilled prior to His crucifixion.  As Matthew writes, “When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.  This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: ‘HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES” (Matt. 8:16-17).

But the ultimate — and even more important than the physical healings — is the great atonement that Jesus accomplished by His death on the cross that sets us free from the bondage of sin and puts us on a road to eternal glory in heaven.

After exhorting the brethren to “be holy yourselves also in all  your behavior” because God, who will judge us impartially, is holy and instructs us to be that way also, Peter then goes on to say, “knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you” (1 Pet. 1:15-20).  Peter also says of Christ that “…He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).  And the Hebrew writer declares, “so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him” (Heb. 9:28).  Because of Christ’s death, every Christian has much to look forward to.  For regardless of how well-blessed one is now, the best is still yet to come for the faithful child of God!

Going back to Isaiah 53, notice verse 12:

“Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the  transgressors.”

Yes, Christ was  numbered with the transgressors.  He was crucified between two thieves who were also being put to death that day.  As Mark records, “They crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left. [And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘And He was numbered with transgressors.’]” (Mk. 15:28).   Though both of these were initially insulting Christ (cf. Mk. 15:32), yet one of them later had a change of heart and said, “…’Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!’ And He said to him, ‘Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise’” (Luke 23:42-43).

Crucifixion did not originate with the Jews.  Stoning was one of the ways that capital punishment was carried out under the Law of Moses.  Crucifixion had begun in the ancient near East and was practiced by the Medes, the Persians, the Carthaginians, the Egyptians, later the Greeks, and finally the Romans in the first century, yet we see reference to it in Psalm 22:16 in foretelling Christ’s sacrifice:

“For dogs have surrounded me;
A band of evildoers has encompassed me;
They pierced my hands and my feet.”

Zechariah writes: “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn” (Zech 12:10).  See also Matthew 27:35 and  John 20:25-27.

Though Jesus knew what coming to the earth to dwell among us would result in,  yet He came anyway!  And how thankful we should be that He did!

(All Scripture from the NASB, unless otherwise indicated.)
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News & Notes

Misty Thornton can use our prayers for her health.  She writes: “My body seems to be turning on itself here lately. One day I am ok, the next day I cannot depend on my own body to do basic tasks.”

Let us also remember in prayer Charles Crosby, Doyle Rittenhouse, Shirley Davis, Frankie Hadley, Jim Lively, Pat Joyner, Misty & Jason Thornton, Michelle Rittenhouse, and Mary Vandevander.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class) (New Time)
Wednesday: 
7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor:
 Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (March 11, 2018)

Contents:

1) Bible Prophecy (4) (Tom Edwards)
2) News & Notes
——————–

Isaiah50_5-6

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Bible Prophecy (4)
Tom Edwards

Knowing that it was His Father’s will to make an atonement for sin by death, Jesus did not try to defend Himself when before the authorities in the three Jewish and three Roman “trials.”  This, of course, had also been prophesied seven centuries prior, when Isaiah foretold the following about the Christ in Isaiah 53:7:

“He was oppressed and he was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So he did not open His mouth.”

Jesus remained silent even when many corrupt witnesses had come forward to falsely accuse Him with malicious charges that might lead to His death.

For instance, Matthew’s account of Jesus before Pilate says, “And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He did not answer.  Then Pilate said to Him, ‘Do You not hear how many things they testify against you?’ And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so the governor was quite amazed” (Matt. 27:12-14).

Isaiah 53 is clearly prophetic about the Christ, and which is also made evident by Philip in Acts 8.  For Isaiah 53:7-8 is the very passage that the Ethiopian eunuch had been reading, on his way home from Jerusalem, when the Spirit told Philip to “go up and join the chariot” (Acts 8:29).

Philip did so.  And when he asked the eunuch if he understood what he was reading, he answered, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” (v. 31).  He then invited Philip into the chariot, and Luke shows the passage the eunuch wanted to know more about:

“HE WAS LED AS A SHEEP TO SLAUGHTER;
AND AS A LAMB BEFORE ITS SHEARER IS SILENT,
SO HE DOES NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH.
IN HUMILIATION HIS JUDGMENT WAS TAKEN AWAY;
WHO WILL RELATE HIS GENERATION?
FOR HIS LIFE IS REMOVED FROM THE EARTH” (vv. 32-33).

When the eunuch asked Philip for the explanation of this passage, Luke then records that Philip, “beginning from this Scripture… preached Jesus to him” (v. 35).

It is also interesting to note that in preaching Jesus, it must have also included preaching of the need for baptism.  For after hearing Philip and seeing some water along the way, the eunuch then said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” (v. 36).

That Jesus would be mocked and insulted was also prophesied.  Notice, for example, Psalm 22, in which David is foretelling of the crucifixion:

“All who see me sneer at me;
They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying,
‘Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him;
Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him’” (vv. 7-8).

Matthew’s account also brings out the fulfillment of this. For it speaks of those who as they passed by the cross of Christ “were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’ In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, ‘He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, “I am the Son of God”’” (Matt. 27:39-43).  (See also Luke 22:63-64.)

Isaiah also speaks in Isaiah 50:5-7 of more of the humiliating treatment Jesus would go through — and willingly so:

“The Lord GOD has opened My ear;
And I was not disobedient
Nor did I turn back.
I gave My back to those who strike me,
And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard;
I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
For the Lord GOD helps Me,
Therefore, I am not disgraced;
Therefore, I have set My face like flint,
And I know that I will not be ashamed.”

Again, we turn to the New Testament and read of the Lord’s determination to do His Father’s will — regardless of how difficult it would be, such as concerning the cross: “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done” (Matt. 26:42).

How many of us can say as Jesus did of God, “for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him” (Jn. 8:29).  The ultimate of that obedience is seen in Christ’s willingness to leave His blissful existence in heaven to dwell on earth in human flesh and eventually suffer a most torturous death on the cross.  As Paul cites the Lord’s humility and obedience as an example for us, he goes on to say of Jesus, “who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:6-8).

That Jesus would be spat upon, as foretold in Isaiah 50:6, can be seen in fulfillment in Matthew 26:67-68: “Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him, and said, ’Prophesy to us, You Christ, who is the one who hit You?’”

The spitting is also seen when Jesus was taken by the soldiers of the governor into the Praetorium with all the Roman cohort around Him. There, they “stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. After twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.  After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him” (Matt. 27:27-31).

Giving His back to those who struck Him (cf. Isa. 50:6) must have been quite an ordeal in itself. It is said that the preliminary scourging, prior to the crucifixion, was so severe that the one receiving it would sometimes die prior to being nailed to the cross.  After the people had chosen the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus, Pilate had “Jesus scourged and  then “handed him over to be crucified” (Matt. 27:26).

That the Lord also had His beard plucked (Isa. 50:6) is not mentioned in the New Testament, but this prophecy shows it was done.   To the Oriental, it is said that the beard is “a symbol of dignity“ and, therefore, “an extreme insult” to have it plucked (Cambridge Bible).

One such example is that of David’s men who had half of their beards cut by Hanun, who had been deceived into thinking that David’s kind gesture in sending his servants to Hanun to console him in the loss of his father was supposedly a means to spy out the city and overthrow it (see 2 Sam. 10:1-4).   As a result, David’s men “were greatly humiliated.” So David instructed them to “Stay at Jericho until your beards grow, and then return” (v. 5).  According to the Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge, “D’Arvieux gives a remarkable instance of an Arab, who, having received a wound in his jaw, chose to hazard his life rather than suffer the surgeon to cut off his beard.”

May we never forget all that the Lord was willing to go through in order to make salvation possible for us and for every lost soul.  And these prophecies indicate that the Lord had a clear knowledge of what He would have to endure in order to become our Savior — and, in spite of that, He still willingly and fully went through with it all!

(All Scripture from the NASB, unless otherwise indicated.
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News & Notes

There will be a gospel meeting at the North Valdosta church of Christ March 11-16. Jonathon Reeders (of Tallahassee, FL) will be the guest speaker. The church meets at 4313 North Valdosta Road, Valdosta, GA, about 1 mile east of I-75.  Week nights will begin at 7:30.  The sermons and other times will be as follows:

Sunday:

9 a.m.  …….Your Place in God’s Story
10 a.m. ……The Battle Between Two Giants
11 a.m. ……A Village Believes

Mon:………..Who is the Lord?
Tue:………….The Altar, the Prophet, and the Lion
Wed: ………..Elijah on Two Mountains
Thu: …………Miracles of Jesus
Fri: …………..Follow Me

The above sermons have also been made available at the following website: https://sites.google.com/view/northvaldostacoc/gospel-meeting-2018

Let us continue to remember in prayer Jim Lively,  A.J. & Pat Joyner, Charles Crosby, Shirley Davis, Cedell Fletcher, Frankie Hadley, Judy Daugherty, Misty & Jason Thornton, Michelle Rittenhouse, and Mary Vandevander.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class) (New Time)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (March 4, 2018)

Contents:

1) Bible Prophecy (3) (Tom Edwards)
2) News & Notes
——————–

zech11_12-13

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Bible Prophecy (3)
Tom Edwards

As we consider more on the prophecies concerning Jesus, hear what Moses foretold about Him in Deuteronomy 18: “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him” (v. 15).   God then said to Moses:  “…and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.  It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him” (vv. 18-19).

Moses was of the nation of Israel. The human flesh of Jesus also descended from that nation.  For Moses had declared to his people that this prophet would be “from among you, from your countrymen.”

That Christ would speak all of His Father’s words is what He also emphasized numerous times.  For instance, John 12:49: “for I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.”

That Jesus fulfilled this prophecy in Deuteronomy 18 is seen in Acts 3.  For here, Peter speaks about the second coming of Christ; and points out that He is the One “whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. Moses said, ’THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to everything He says to you. And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days” (vv. 20-24).

Though we normally think of Christ as being mildly mannered in His dealings with others, yet there was that time prophesied of His righteous indignation toward those who were corrupting the house of God.  Psalm 69:9 reads, “For zeal for Your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.”

This was the very passage the Lord’s disciples recalled when Jesus “found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables; and to those who were selling the doves He said, ‘Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.’ His disciples remembered it was written, ‘ZEAL FOR YOUR  HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME’” (John 2:14-17).

And though where this selling was going on was “not  in the holy of holies, nor in the holy place, nor in the court of the priests, nor in the court of the Israelites, but in the court of the Gentiles” (John Gill), it was still considered part of the temple.

The Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem is prophesied in Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

The New Testament shows that Jesus had sent two of His disciples to bring to Him the donkey they would find there, along with a colt (Matt. 21:1-3). Matthew then says, “This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: ‘SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION, “BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU, GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY, EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN”’” (vv. 4-5).

Judas’ betrayal of the Lord was also prophesied.  Psalm 41:9 declares,

“Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.”

In turning to the New Testament, we see the fulfillment of this in John 13:18.  The setting is during the time that Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper and had washed the disciples’ feet.  He then says in the previous passage: “I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ’HE WHO EATS MY BREAD HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.’”

Zechariah mentions the exact amount that Judas had accepted to betray Jesus in Zechariah 11:12-13: “I said to them, ‘If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!’ So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. Then the LORD said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.’ So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD.”

The fulfillment of this is seen in Matthew 27. After betraying the Lord, Judas “felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ But they said, ‘What is that to us? See to that yourself! And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, ‘It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it the price of blood.’ And they conferred together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: ‘AND THEY TOOK THE THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER, THE PRICE OF THE ONE WHOSE PRICE HAD BEEN SET by the sons of Israel; AND THEY GAVE THEM FOR THE POTTER’S FIELD AS THE LORD DIRECTED ME” (vv. 3-7).

Several explanations are given for why Matthew refers to this prophecy in the Old Testament as having been spoken by Jeremiah.  One such reason is that “In ancient times, according to Jewish writers, ‘Jeremiah’ was reckoned the first of the prophets, and was placed first in the ‘Book of the Prophets,’ thus: Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the twelve minor  prophets. Some have thought that Matthew, quoting this place, quoted the Book of the Prophets under the name of that which had the ‘first’ place in the book, that is, Jeremiah; and though the words are those of Zechariah, yet they are quoted correctly as the words of the Book of the Prophets, the first of which was Jeremiah” (Albert Barnes on Matthew 27:9).

It is amazing that the precise number of “thirty pieces” of silver was prophesied — and not 25, 28, 35, 46, etc.  Judas, the chief priests, and the elders acted and made decisions of their own accord. Yet the Lord has proven through prophecy His ability to know of future choices and decisions that others would make.

Zechariah also prophesied of the apostles’ desertion of Jesus in Zechariah 13:7:

“Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd,
And against the man, My Associate,’
Declares the LORD of hosts.
‘Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered;
And I will turn My hand against the little ones.”

It was when the Roman soldiers, who were accompanied by Judas the betrayer, came out to arrest Jesus on the night of His last supper and after His praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, when this prophecy was fulfilled: “At that time Jesus said to the crowds, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me. But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets.’  Then all the disciples left Him and fled” (Matt. 26:55-56).

Seeing these Old Testament prophecies cited, explained, and fulfilled in the New Testament should help all to believe in the Bible’s Divine inspiration.   God truly is all-knowing!

(All Scripture from the NASB, unless otherwise indicated.)
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News & Notes

There will be a gospel meeting at the North Valdosta church of Christ March 11-16. Jonathan Reeder (of Tallahassee, FL) will be the guest speaker. The church meets at 4313 North Valdosta Road, Valdosta, GA, about 1 mile east of I-75.  Weeknights will begin at 7:30.  All the sermons will also be made available at the following website: https://sites.google.com/view/northvaldostacoc/gospel-meeting-2018

Sunday:

9 a.m.    Your Place in God’s Story
10 a.m.     The Battle Between Two Giants
11 a.m.     A Village Believes

Mon:  Who is the Lord?
Tue:   The Altar, the Prophet, and the Lion
Wed:  Elijah on Two Mountains
Thu:   Miracles of Jesus
Fri:     Follow Me

Let us also continue to remember in prayer the family and friends of Alice Jean Corbitt Young who had recently passed away.

Let us also remember in prayer Jim Lively,  A.J. & Pat Joyner, Charles Crosby, Shirley Davis, Cedell Fletcher, Frankie Hadley, Judy Daugherty, Misty & Jason Thornton, Michelle Rittenhouse, and Mary Vandevander.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class) (New Time)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)