Just added note from a series on Revival to the Notes page.
Also, I’m trying something new by recording chapter-by-chapter Bible studies on YouTube. I’m calling the series “Daily Bible Study” and posting them each day on our church’s Facebook page. Below is the playlist with the videos I have uploaded so far.
Recently, I preached a sermon titled “It Is Written” from Matthew 2:1-12 in which I highlighted a few of the many prophecies concerning Christ’s Birth, Sacrifice, and Second Coming. I wanted to make that information more readily available, especially since I know it is difficult to keep up with taking notes or finding the passages when so many are used in a sermon. I have expanded the list somewhat from what was covered in that sermon but it is by no means exhaustive. Those that have tried to find all the Messianic prophecies often number them to be more than three hundred. – MBG
Prophecies Concerning the Birth of Christ
The first prophecy concerning Christ’s coming. Note that He is described as the seed or descendant of a woman.
Immanuel means “God with us”.
Descendant of Abraham
Paul states in Galatians 3:8-9 that the “seed” here is Christ.
Descendant of Jacob
Descendant of Judah
Meaning also He was of the tribe of Judah
Descendant of Jesse
Jesse, father of king David
Descendant of David
Born in Bethlehem
Quoted in Matthew 2:5-6
Appearance of Star
Gifts from the Magi
Slaughter of the Innocents
Herod’s heinous act is tied to this prophecy in Matthew 2:18
Sojourn in Egypt
Quoted in Matthew 2:15
Living in Nazareth
Quoted in Matthew 2:23. Nazareth means “branch”
Prophecies Concerning the Ministry, Death, and Resurrection of Christ
Date of Death Predicted
69 weeks or 483 years from the rebuilding of Jerusalem to Messiah being “cut off”.
Preceded by a Forerunner
John the Baptist
Ministry in Galilee
Preaching and Healing
Christ applies this to Himself in Luke 4:17-21
Rejected by Israel
Riding on Donkey
Betrayed for 30 Pieces of Silver
The value of a slave – Exodus 21:32
Betrayed by a Friend
Silent Before His Accusers
Note vs. 16 – “they pierced my hands and my feet”. Jewish executions were traditionally stoning so this is a remarkable detail.
Mocked by the Crowd
Offered Gall and Vinegar
Gambling for Garments
Bones Not Broken
Buried in Rich Man’s Tomb
Used by Peter in Acts 2:27
Salvation Through His Sacrifice
Ascension to Heaven
Used by Peter in Acts 22:33-35
Promise to Return
Prophecies Concerning Christ’s Second Coming
No One Knows the Time
Matthew 24:36, 42
Dark Times Preceding HIs Return
I Thessalonians 4:16-17
Judgement of Believers
2 Corinthians 5:10
Return at Armageddon
Returning with His Saints
Returning with Angels
II Thessalonians 1:7
Returning in Clouds
I believe the clouds are the shekinah glory
Return to Mount of Olives
Will Rule and Reign
Note especially verse 7. The details concerning His government were not fulfilled in this First Coming and must refer to His Second Coming.
I just wrapped up uploading the notes for over two hundred lessons from various series I have taught during Sunday School or Wednesday Bible Studies. This is the largest amount of material that I have ever made available, far surpassing the material for over one hundred fifty podcasts.
If we are not careful we can easily misinterpret the Scriptures. One of the easiest ways this happens is by ignoring Scriptural or historical context. This happens often when we focus on a verse or phrase that can have a different meaning when removed from that context.
A perfect example of this is the use among America Christians of II Chronicles 7:14. This verse is printed on posters, shirts, and coffee mugs in any Christian store you walk into. It will be preached on and quoted as a Biblical command that if America would get right with God then He could bless America like He did in the “good ol’ days”.
But is that the true teaching of the verse? I believe if we would examine this verse in its proper context we will see its primary application does not correspond to America at all.
To get a feel for the context of II Chronicles 7:14 we can get a good feel for the context by looking at the events leading up to it. We can trace this by looking at the the preceding chapters of II Chronicles.
Chapter 1 – the early reign of Solomon, includes God appearing to Solomon in Gideon when Solomon asked for and received wisdom.
Chapter 2 – preparation for building the Temple
Chapter 3 – The construction of the Temple
Chapter 4 – The making of the furniture and implements for the Temple
Chapter 5 – Beginning the dedication of the Temple
Chapter 6 – Solomon’s address and prayer at the dedication of the Temple
Chapter 7 – Ending the dedication of the Temple, followed by God’s second appearance to Solomon.
So we see that after the construction and dedication of the Temple, God appears to Solomon and speaks in chapter 7 from verses 12 to 22. What is the purpose of the message of this passage? God Himself tells us in vs 12: “I have heard thy prayer”. What prayer? The prayer of Solomon in chapter 6. For what purpose? The dedication of the Temple, as God also says in vs. 12: “and [I] have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice”.
So the passage begins as a response to the dedicatory prayer of Solomon in chapter 6. Here let’s look at a remarkable feature of the next verse of chapter 7 is that they are largely God expressing His response to Solomon’s prayer by practically quoting it:
God in chapter 7
Solomon in chapter 6
“If I shut up heaven that there be no rain,…” – 7:13
“…when the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain,…” – 6:26
“…or if I command the locusts to devour the land,…” – 7:13
“…if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillers;…” – 6:28
“…or if I send pestilence among my people;” – 7:13
“…if there be pestilence,…” – 6:28
“If my people, which are called by my name,…” – 7:14
Solomon refers to Israel as as “thy people” or as “thy people Israel” a total of ten times in his prayer.
“…shall humble themselves,…” – 7:14
This phrase has no parallel to chapter 6 in letter but does in spirit.
“…and pray,…” – 7:14
“…if they pray…” – 6:26
“…and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;…” – 7:14
“…if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin,…” – 6:26
“…then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin,…” – 7:14
“Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants,…” – 6:27
“…and will heal their land.” – 7:14
“…send rain upon thy land,…” – 6:27
“Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.” – 7:15
“Now, my God, let, I beseech thee, thine eyes be open, and let thine ears be attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. ” – 6:40
Verse 16 finishes the first section of God’s message to Solomon with the promise concerning God’s dedication to the Temple: “For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. “
The final six verses of chapter 7 are God reaffirming the Davidic Covenant with Solomon. That details of that covenant can be found in II Samuel 7:1-12.
To summarize, the surrounding passage of II Chronicles 7:14 is about God responding to King Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Who is God addressing in this passage? Solomon.
What is God responding to? The dedication of the Temple and Solomon’s dedicatory prayer.
Who is the “my people” of 7:14? Israel.
Where is the land that God promises to heal in 7:14? The Promised Land.
What is that land healed from? The drought, famine, pestilence, etc., that God would send to bring Israel out of their sin and back to Him.
Can these verses apply to America?
In their primary application, no. These verses are clearly linked to Israel. They are not addressed to the church or America.
Why then do we see it so often as a patriotic promise in America? Largely through lazy application of the Scriptures and the commercialization and politicization of Christianity in America.
I see something similar in the use of Psalm 33:12: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD”. Note that it does not say, “if a nation has God then it is blessed.” It is not a conditional statement at all. It is acknowledging the fact that there exists a people or nation that was chosen by God. This is amplified in the rarely quoted second half of the verse: “…and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” What nation was chosen by God in the days of the writing of the Psalms? Israel.
Another reason this verse may be misinterpreted is through the use of Replacement Theology. This false teaching holds that God has replaced Israel in His plan and promises with either Christianity or another nation such as Britain or America.
Can we still learn from these verses?
Absolutely! Paul wrote in Romans 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Though II Chronicles 7:14 was not addressed to us we can still find countless truths in it that can find applicable in our lives.
Here’s a few examples of some truths we can apply from this passage:
When sin caused Israel to turn away from God they were commanded to repent and seek Him. We too are commanded to repent of our sin and seek God, first in our salvation and then when we backslide in our relationship with God.
II Chronicles 7:14 begins with the word “if” which makes it a conditional statement. If man would repent, then God will respond.
Note that God said “my people” needed to get right with Him. Not the wicked. Not the Edomites, Jebusites, Amalekites, or any other nation. If only we applied this today! We try to get everyone else to repent but ourselves!
God doesn’t just seek for us to perform the actions or repentance or service to Him. It is our heart that needs to be affected. It is not enough to speak words in prayer or to flee from wickedness. He wants us to humble ourselves. That is not an action, it is an attitude.
I was recently able to record a two-part lecture series that covers the basics of Baptist beliefs and history. These were done as prerecorded services at Faith Baptist Church in Decatur, TX, during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have given these lectures a few times and hope that they will be a blessing to others.
Unless you are a student of Baptist History then you may have not run across the theory that Saint Patrick was a Baptist. W.A. Criswell preached an entire sermon about it in 1958 and if you do a Google search you will find many blogs presenting arguments for and against. I would like to give you my opinion.
Who was Patrick?
The main source for information about Patrick are his autobiographical Confession and one Epistle. There appears to be little doubt that these Latin documents are authentic.
According to the Confession, Patrick was born in Roman Britain in the 4th or 5th century A.D. He says his father was a “deacon” (Latin diaconum) and his grandfather a “priest” (Latin presbyteri) but that Patrick was not a believer in his youth. He was kidnapped by Irish pirates at the age of sixteen and escaped home six years later. He began to study and train for the ministry.
Patrick famously returned to Ireland as a missionary. Details of his work there are fragmentary. The more famous aspects of his ministry you hear today, namely using a shamrock to illustrate the Trinity and banishing snakes from the island, are most certainly legends with no fact behind them.
What impact did Patrick have? In his own words:
“How has this happened in Ireland? Never before did they know of God except to serve idols and unclean things. But now, they have become the people of the Lord, and are called children of God. The sons and daughters of the leaders of the Irish are seen to be monks [Latin monachi] and virgins of Christ!” – Confession, Paragraph 41
Why Doubt that Patrick was Catholic?
A few reasons:
The first is one of Chronology. The Roman Catholic church was not yet the dominant power that it would become in the coming centuries. A compelling case can be made that the ministry of Patrick was retroactively adopted by Rome.
The second is the Language. Some of the words he used in Latin can have loaded meanings when translated to modern terms. Take the Latin word presbyteri that he uses as the office that his grandfather held. Most scholars seem to translate this as priest but it could be term for an elder or presbyter in the church. If you believe Patrick to be Catholic, you would translate it priest with little thought to other possible meanings. These ecclesiastical terms can have multiple meaning across denominations, traditions, regions, and centuries.
The third is Practice. Patrick seems to have only baptized adult candidates and there are no references to him performing infant baptism. He never speaks of other Catholic hallmarks such as the Eucharist or Confession. Admittedly, there are few things, such as the women who become virgins for Christ (nuns?), that are closer to Catholicism by today’s standards. However the bulk of Patrick’s ministry does not match up well with Catholic practice.
The fourth is Theology. Patrick’s writings we have today do not contain core Catholic teachings. He makes many allusions to Scripture prove that he had an intimate knowledge of the Bible. A couple of quotes that illustrate the Gospel he preached:
“It was there [Ireland] that the Lord opened up my awareness of my lack of faith. Even though it came about late, I recognized my failings. So I turned with all my heart to the Lord my God, and he looked down on my lowliness and had mercy on my youthful ignorance. He guarded me before I knew him, and before I came to wisdom and could distinguish between good and evil. He protected me and consoled me as a father does for his son.” – Confession, Paragraph 2
“These are not my own words which I have put before you in Latin; they are the words of God, and of the apostles and prophets, who have never lied. ‘Anyone who believes will be saved; anyone who does not believe will be condemned’ – God has spoken.”– Epistle, Paragraph 20
So, was Patrick a Baptist?
I personally don’t think so. But I also don’t think he was a Catholic.
The earliest centuries of Christian history or difficult to navigate. We try to categorize people or movements based on modern thought or denominations but that has many shortcomings. Patrick doesn’t fit the mold of Catholicism, but neither does he quite fit the mold of Baptists.
I think its best to let men like Patrick be themselves and speak for themselves. What is evident is that the actions of Patrick radically reshaped the history of Ireland and helped turn its people from paganism to Christianity. From his own testimony it sounds to me like he preached the true Gospel. Therefore, it seems that God greatly used Patrick and that his testimony and missionary example are still relevant today.