The Fullness of Time, Pt. 2

Date: 12/11/2021 
The prophecies in the Bible prove that Jesus is who He said he is.

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Doug Batchelor: It's remarkable to look back and to see how the Lord has led through time. And it's through progression and providence, His will is made clear. Throughout scripture, step by step, the Lord has led His people from generation to generation. Even here at Amazing Facts, I clearly see God's guiding all the way from that very first 15-minute broadcast in 1966. From radio, to television, to publishing, to global evangelism, it's evident that God has a divine plan in motion.

Friends, the Lord has a plan for you as well. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "'I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." That great hope is Christ and through Him, Amazing Facts is moving forward. But you might wonder, what is God's specific purpose for your life? As you trust God with your life and walk with Him day by day. He will wonderfully unfold His good plan for you. We pray that today's program will be a stepping stone to strengthen your walk with Jesus, giving you clarity and fulfillment in the days ahead. And remember, stay tuned for the very important free offer following this presentation.

Doug: I'm sure most of you have heard of Alfred Nobel. He did not invent nitroglycerin, but he actually did invent dynamite. Nitroglycerin was very difficult to handle, and they had a lot of accidents and explosions, but by his working with his chemist, they developed this permeable way to saturate a clay-like substance with the nitroglycerin so it could be safely transported, and they called it dynamite. And a lot of explosions and danger in his lab when he was developing it. Matter of fact, it was so dangerous that they had a barge where the lab was built off in the water, so if there was an explosion, there'd be the less fall out and collateral damage as possible.

Well, a few years later, Alfred became very famous and very wealthy from the development of dynamite. Some newspapers heard that he had died and they printed his obituary, but they got mixed up. It was not Alfred, it was his brother. And when he read his obituary, it talked about him as the lord of dynamite and destruction and death. And he was horrified because the man was a pacifist. He thought the development of dynamite would help in construction, and building, and mining, and it would be productive and be safer, and yet they, you know, with every invention, they find a way to use it in war, and so it became associated with destruction. And it broke his heart so much that he thought about his life and he thought about his legacy and he said, I really want to be helping the world. I want to be bringing peace to the world.

And so he developed a foundation and actually made a fund and awards were given out annually to those who had helped human, mankind in the development of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace. We've all heard about the Nobel Peace Prize. He was able to kind of change his legacy now. But not too many people read their obituary. If you do, I bet it would make you nervous. Very few people write their own obituary though some have, but Jesus wrote His own obituary.

There's a lot of prophecies in the Bible that talk about the first coming of Jesus, and we're going to look at some of these prophecies that'll help illustrate the identity of Jesus, so that you have no doubts about it. And so in the message about the "Fullness of Time," we're going to examine, was Jesus the one? Was Jesus the Messiah that the scriptures had foretold? And that's the big question. So we're going to ask a number of questions here and let the prophecies answer.

Now, you can read the prophecy here in the book of Micah chapter 5, verse 2, "But you Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah," that's a little Hamlet, "Yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One who's the ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from old, even from everlasting."

Now, that prophecy is so clear, it can't be misunderstood. That prophecy is so clear, that when the wise men came looking for the one who was born king of the Jews, and Herod got all upset and agitated that there was going to be someone to replace him. I don't know why he was worried about a baby King at that point, because he was already a pretty old man, and he had nothing to worry about, by the time the baby grew up, he called in the scribes and Pharisees and said, where does the prophecy say that the Messiah would be born? They knew, they said Bethlehem. So it was really clear, it's clear from this, was Jesus born in Bethlehem? He was.

Now there's a problem, where did the angel come and appear to Mary? Nazareth, remember we just read that? "An angel came to a virgin that was in the city of Galilee called Nazareth." Nazareth is 70 miles north, and she is found to be with child 70 miles north. And 70 miles back then was more than 70 miles today, because 70 miles today you conquer in an hour. Some of you conquer it in half an hour, depends on how you drive. But back then, it was a pretty serious journey. So, God has to somehow get Mary down to Bethlehem before she gives birth. Enter Octavian Caesar, also known as Augustus Caesar, we've got a month named after him. He was one of the most successful leaders in history. He ruled Rome for about 40 years and it was during the time of what they call the great Pax Romana, that means the Roman peace. So Joseph also went from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth into Judea under the city of David, which is called Bethlehem because he was of the house and the lineage of David. You had to register for your taxes in your hometown. They were worried about people evading taxes back then just like they are now. And so you actually had to go to your hometown in that year and register.

Now, let's get something out of the way, and I hope I don't make any enemies. Jesus was not born on December 25. I'll give you three Bible reasons if I can remember them. First of all, we know how long Jesus lived, 33.5 years. We know when Jesus was baptized. Luke chapter 3 says, "As He began to be 30 years of age." Now, this is also very significant, is that Jesus was baptized right on his 30th birthday, which means through the prophecies we're going to see in a moment in Daniel, not only could they tell, you know, where He was going to be born, but knowing when He would be anointed and begin His ministry, all they had to do is count back 30 years and have a good estimate of when He would be born. And there were a few people that have been studying the prophecies that were pretty close. Simon, God had told him, or Simeon rather, in the temple, that the time of the Messiah's coming was there.

So, we know that Jesus, He died what time of year? Spring. He ministered 3.5 years. If you count back 3.5 years from spring, you're going to end up in the fall. Another reason is because we know that shepherds are not guarding their flocks at night, the climate in Israel is very much like northern California and December 25, you're not going to be out in the field with your sheep. The sheep are going to be in the fold, and you're going to be in the house with the fire, as they're not pasturing during that time, they're feeding them hay during that time that they've stored up. And then, we know that they would not call for an international tax where people have to travel the very worst season of the year.

The reason that the 25th of December has traditionally been the time when people celebrate it is because it was already a holiday among the Romans. You know, the shortest day of the year is the 21st of the 22nd of December. Very little difference between the two. You don't notice a difference in the length of the days from the winter solstice until about the 25th. So they saw a notable difference that the days began getting longer again during the 25th and they called it the rebirth of the sun. And so some of the church fathers about three or 400 years after Christ, they said, you know, we might reach more pagans if we just, you know, sort of eclipse their sun worship with worshiping the Son of God. Since we don't know the day of His birth, let's say it's the 25th of December and maybe we could get them to focus more on Jesus.

Now, I don't know that you should make compromises like that, but you might wonder what do we do now as a church. Since we don't know the date, and the world is talking about Jesus, let's make the most of it, and let's talk about Jesus, because am I going to preach about the birth of Jesus in July? Doesn't that seem weird now in our culture? So hold fast to that which is good. Amen? And if someone's going to regard the day, regard it unto the Lord is what the Bible says. Don't do it for elves and for Santa Claus, but sorry, He was not born, even though some of our hymns allude to it, He was not born December 25th.

So, she went down to Bethlehem. In Luke chapter 2, verse 6. "And so it was, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes," swaddling clothes is strips of cloth, the early Pampers, "and laid him in the manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." Isn't that something?

He's, you've heard it before, but it's still staggering when you think that God Almighty of the cosmos comes to the world in the form of a man, and there's no room for Him and He comes to His own people that had all the prophecies and they do not know Him. And the religious leaders totally miss it, and yet it's revealed to a shepherd, and later to some foreign wise men, or Magi. When Jesus was then dedicated in the temple, when He was eight days old, it was fortunate they were in Bethlehem. They said, let's dedicate Him right in the temple, which was only a few miles away, and there He was circumcised and they named Him Yeshua. And that means, God is Savior and the Greek is Jesus, and or it's actually Jesu. And so you know, we say it now in the English derivative of that. If you're Spanish, you say Jesús, but they gave Him the name that means, He will save His people from their sins.

When they went into the temple, the Holy Spirit revealed to Simon, or Simeon, and He blessed them. And he said to Mary His mother, he was also an elder and a prophet in his own right, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword)," He told Mary, "(a sword will pierce through your own soul), that the thoughts of many hearts might be revealed." And she remembered those words and shared them with Luke following the crucifixion. She said, I remember in the temple, he told me that. Luke 2, verse 51, "Then He went down with them and He came to Nazareth, and He was subject to them."

Now some people think well, Jesus tries--He tried to order His life so that He could impersonate the Messiah. How many of you got to choose where you were born? You can't choose that. All these prophecies, these are things that happen by Providence. Now, the reason I also put this verse in here is because some people say, where did Jesus get all that wisdom? Well, after He was born, Joseph and Mary let Him be an apprentice of the wise men in India, and He studied under the gurus. Or He went to the orient and He studied under the wise people there, or He went to Egypt to the, and He studied with, and they find it so hard to believe that He grew up in a carpenter shop with His incredible wisdom and insights that He had.

But if you believe the Bible, it's really clear. He went down with them to Nazareth and He was subject to them. The Bible says, "He grew and He waxed strong." He grew up there and everybody recognized Him. They said, "Is not this the carpenter's Son?" They knew who He was, He had grown up there.

Now, here's where it gets interesting. We talked about where He would appear and some of the circumstances of His birth. Now it talks about when He would appear. Notice this, "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince, there will be seven weeks." So of those 490 years of those 70 weeks or seven, what's seven times seven? There'll be seven weeks. There's a break off of a seven week period and it tells us, "the street and the wall would be built in troublous times." That's during that 49 year period where there was a great battle as they rebuilt the walls in the streets of the temple. It says, "There will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks."

From the end of the seven weeks, there would be another 62, total of 69. We're still missing one week. That last week is when things get really exciting. Unto the Messiah the Prince, and it says, "The street and the wall will be built again even in troublous times. And after sixty-two weeks," after the 62 week period of time, "the Messiah is cut off, but not for himself." This is very clear that the Messiah would be cut off, but He's cut off for us, not for Himself.

So, let's look at this. What's the starting point of this prophecy? From the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the prince, there'll be seven weeks and 62 weeks, a total of 69 weeks. Now we know when that was given that you can find that decree in the book of Ezra chapter 7, this is the final decree from Artaxerxes that's given in 457 BC, a date that is very well established in history.

Now, we're looking at this 490 year prophecy. You're hearing me say 490 years, but it says 70 weeks, 70 times seven, is 49 or 490 days. But how many of you know that when you study a Bible prophecy, a time prophecy like this, a day equals a year. You've got that verse in Ezekiel 4:6, "I have appointed thee each day for a year." You also read about that numbers 14:34, they had to wander a year for every day they spied out the land. A day for a year. And then Jesus in Luke 13:32 he says, Go tell Herod, I teach, cast out devils, do cures. Today, tomorrow and the third day, I'll be perfected. Jesus taught three more years, not three more days. And so this is the principle that's used.

So here you've got the first 49 years and what happened? The street and the wall is built in troublous times. Then there's another 62 weeks beyond that, that's another 434 years. So that gets us to 483 years total. You're still with me. That first arc is bringing us for the first 69 weeks. But then there's one week left and it says, "In the midst of the week, in the midst of this final week, he will cause the sacrifice to cease." A week has how many days? Seven days. That goes back to the beginning of the Bible. This prophecy is a prophecy connected with creation, also prophecy connected with forgiveness. Jesus said, how often do I forgive my brother? Seventy times seven. A week has got seven days and a day in prophecy is how much? A year.

So, you got seven years. How long did Jesus minister? Three and a half years. In the middle of this last seven-year period that was cut off for the Jewish nation, he would cause the sacrifice to cease. We're going to read on and find out if all these things happen. Jesus, of course, He is baptized after being, He's 30 years of age, comes to the Jordan river, John, the Baptist says, "'Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.'

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, For God was with Him." Acts chapter 10. He was anointed when He was baptized. The Holy Spirit, Jesus did no miracles before that. His miraculous ministry and His teaching began with His anointing at His baptism. That happened in 27 AD, is when He was baptized. Then He taught for 3.5 years, and He died in 31 AD.

What would He do? It tells us something about His ministry here. You can read, first sermon that Jesus preaches, He stands up in his hometown church. He reads from this prophecy, Isaiah 61. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because the Lord has anointed Me to preach the good tidings to the poor. He sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of prison to those that are bound."

So, talking about the ministry of Jesus, "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God. To comfort all those who mourn." Christ's ministry was one of warning as well as one of comfort, and healing, and preaching, helping people get out of prison, so to speak. Those who heard Jesus speak, and they sent guards to arrest Jesus. They came back and the religious leader said, where is He? You're supposed to have arrested Him? You know what they said? No man ever spoke like this Man.

What about the events surrounding the cross? This is where it is especially fascinating. During the triumphal entry, "Rejoice greatly O Daughter of Zion, and shout O Daughter of Jerusalem, your king is coming to you. He is just having salvation lowly and riding upon a donkey, the colt, the foal of a donkey. That is in Zachariah that is written hundreds of years before the event happened. We know Jesus rode through the golden gate into Jerusalem on a donkey just as it was foretold.

Point number nine, the events around His betrayal. Now as you get near the end of Christ's life, there's more and more prophecies, so we don't miss the most important event. Look at what it says in Psalm 41:9, "Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread has lifted up his heel against Me." Who was that? That's Judas. Right after eating with Jesus, eating bread with Him, he goes out and he betrays Him, and it tells the amount. Zachariah 11, "Then I said to them, if it's agreeable to you, give me my wages. If not, refrain." So they wait out for my wages, 30 pieces of silver. Zachariah 11:13 tells what they did with the money. And the Lord said to me, throw it to the potter, that princely sum, so they set on me. So I took the 30 pieces of silver, the exact amount that Jesus was betrayed for, and threw them into the house of the Lord for the potter. They took the money that Judas threw down on the temple floor and they used it to buy a potter's field, exactly as it had been foretold.

The manner of His death. They didn't have crucifixion when these prophecies were given in Psalm 22. Jesus on the cross said, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" That's the first verse. Read down later in that very Psalm, and He's giving people the clues that should help them know who He was. "For dogs have surrounded Me, the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet." You read in verse 18, "They divide My garments among them and for My clothing, they cast lots." He details, how could that be a coincidence? "And when they crucified him," you read it now in the New Testament, "They divided his garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take.

And then you read in John 19, "But when they came to Jesus, 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." Psalms had said, "The look on the one whom they have pierced." All these prophecies are so clear, and that, a prophecy is found in Daniel, in Isaiah, and in Daniel nine.

So, it says he'll confirm the covenant with many for one week. But in the middle of the week, he'll bring an end to the offering and the sacrifice. But what happens, there's still three and half more years? The disciples go-- The gospel goes like crazy for three and a half more years. We're looking at the 70-week chart, prophecy of Jesus, the Messiah. You read how Stephen was stoned. Stephen made a great gospel appeal to the leaders of the Jewish nation. The Sanhedrin, their version of the Supreme Court. They plugged their ears, they took him out of the city. They executed him just like Jesus was taken out and executed three and a half years earlier. He was taken out, executed and Jesus said, "Father, forgive them." Steven said, "Lord lay not this sin to their charge." They took away Jesus's clothes and gambled for them. They took the clothes and they laid them at the feet of Saul, who later became Paul. There's an echo of the crucifixion of Jesus three and a half years later. That's AD 34. At the end of this 490 year prophecy, it matches up perfectly. And there you've got a picture on the screen of the whole beautiful event.

Friends, there's no question that Jesus was who He says He was. Can you say amen? He came, He fulfilled the time when He came as a baby. He fulfilled the time when He began his ministry. He fulfilled the time when He died on the cross. And ultimately, with the execution of Stephen, the gospel then went everywhere.

You know, now I'm going to read a quote and this comes from Flavius Josephus, the great Jewish historian. He lived just following the time of Christ, but he was very thoroughly aware. Listen to what he says. "Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man. If it be lawful to call him a man, for He was a doer of wonderful works. A teacher of such men has received the truth with pleasure. And He drew over to Him, both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principle men among us, had Him condemned to the cross, those that loved Him at the first did not forsake Him. For He appeared to them alive again the third day as the divine prophets had foretold these things."

This is incredible friends. This is a Jewish historian. These and 10,000 other wonderful things concerning Him and the tribe of the Christians so named from Him are not extinct to this day. Freely admits that Jesus was the one. Look at how this is incredible. The time of His birth, that He'd be born of a virgin, the place of His birth, the time of His baptism, the time and length of His ministry, the type of His ministry, events of His betrayal, the manner of His execution, His resurrection and ascension. And it is amazing to me that people out there will open the Bible and say no, Jesus was not the one.

If you don't believe this friends, what more evidence could you possibly be looking for? Amen? The Bible is telling us about Jesus. All the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever sailed, and all the parliaments that ever sat, have not affected life on earth as much as that one solitary life. All history is dated from His birth. Institutions of learning are dedicated to Him, believe it or not. Places like Yale, and Harvard, and Oxford were all dedicated to Jesus when they started. Just things have changed over time. Most beautiful songs, most beautiful works of art. He's had more impact on history than any other individual.

But the most important thing is He wants to have an impact in your life. He wants to save you from your sins. All that Jesus did will do us no good unless we invite Him into our hearts.

Doug: What if you had an extraordinary friend, always dependable, consistently inspiring you to noble actions, bringing out your best character traits, and loving you no matter what. Someone who would be with you throughout your entire life. Well, according to the Bible, you can find that friend in Jesus. We have a beautiful, full color resource we'd like to give you, that will help you get to know Jesus like never before. Thousands have become acquainted with Him through this powerful life changing book, and have found in Him a best friend forever. To get your free copy, call the phone number on your screen, and ask for offer number 800, or visit the web address on the screen. And after you read this incredible resource, make sure and share it with a friend.

Doug: The last words of Jesus should be the first priority for believers. He said go and make disciples of all nations. And that's why we're so excited to let you know now that the Amazing Facts AFCOE Program is going to be available around the world through our online course. You'll be able to study this fantastic material on your computer, on your iPad, on your phone, on the go. The course is going to be based upon our best-selling "Amazing Disciples" book. This 175 page book has 13 presentations, but in the different segments, you're going to get the whole presentation from the actual teachers. You'll have weekly downloads, jam packed with witnessing resources. You can follow the 13 week structure or learn at your own pace. There's interactive lessons included with video presentations. And upon your course completion, you'll receive a certificate.

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