Monday, 5 December 2016

Merry Christmas!

I think many of us sometimes underestimate the magnitude of what was accomplished already - in Israel - in history - at the time of Christ. And it leads to all kinds of ideas about much of Messianic-Prophecy still needing to happen in future - when really the Apostles asserted that we already have it!
For example, the Messiah was already born, of a virgin, in Bethlehem of Judea, as Prophesied. The angels already appeared, announcing the King.
And before His showing to Israel, virtually the whole nation, including religious leaders and even Gentiles, turned out to hear John the Baptist - and many were baptised by him. That's huge. And Jesus said John was 'Elias' who according to Prophecy was to come immediately before Messiah.
As if that wasn't huge enough already, the Bible says that Jesus then made and baptised more disciples than John! (Even though it was Jesus' disciples and not Jesus Himself who did the baptising.) Multitudes heard, and were baptised - even in Galilee of the Gentiles, fulfilling Prophecy. Jesus went on to heal multitudes, also fulfilling Prophecy.
He suddenly came to His temple, as Prophesied by Malachi - and that Temple forever ceased to exist, later in that same generation, as Prophesied.
Messiah suffered and died, and rose again, and ascended to heaven and seated - fulfilling Prophecy.
Then after His glorification, when the Day of Pentecost was fully come, the Spirit was poured out, on "all flesh", as Joel predicted. Jews and proselytes from all over heard and believed and were baptised. Soon afterwards all of the sick in Jerusalem were healed in the streets! A great multitude believed, including the priests - multiple thousands of Jews.
And then salvation extended to the Gentiles. Then numbers of individual Jews who hadn't believed already, afterwards became believers, through the experience of Gentile-believers - and that scenario will continue happening for individuals, as the Gospel continues to be preached in all nations, and then the end will come.
So yes, Messianic Prophecies were indeed fulfilled - in Israel first, then among the Gentiles - already, in history. It was large and glorious, and still is.
It's just that only the born-again - only believers - experienced it and shall see it. The Prophets already foresaw that precise scenario.
Meanwhile, until the end, the children of the wicked have been allowed to co-exist alongside the children of the Kingdom - which also is a detail that was Prophesied in Scripture. Kingdom-Prophecy has come to pass, with the exact scenario that was foreseen in the Scriptures.
Truly Jesus is both Lord and Messiah. He is the King Who is glorified in heaven after He came bringing peace and goodwill on earth. To us who believe He is precious.
Now we only await His second coming and Kingdom, with power and great glory, with His angels, the resurrection of the dead, and new heavens and new earth. The consummation of what He has already inaugurated by His physical presence in history and by His cross and resurrection - also as Prophesied.
We are saved in hope. With patience we wait for what we do not yet see. But we have already received and experienced the power of the coming eternal life - in our spirit, through the indwelling Spirit of Christ. We have already, and we also await - both.
The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost!
And all in Jesus.
Merry Christmas!

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