Christianity is so much more than an ‘ism’ (pt 2)

     Last week we ended with the Scripture that stated in part:
     “God…has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things…”  Hebrews 1:1
     The result of God’s proclamation?
     “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Philippians 2:9-11
     Christianity is unique in many ways.  The Bible is unique in itself.  It reveals God’s plan for mankind in great detail in advance of its implementation.  The Bible is the only book on earth that lays out history before it happens.
     Total transparency is another of God’s divine attributes.
     God is and always has been totally transparent; a quality that is virtually non-existent to the world today.  He reveals His total intentions and immutable plan for His chosen ones at the precise time predetermined before the world ever existed.
     “Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.  The lion has roared – who will not fear?  The Sovereign LORD has spoken – who can but prophesy?”  Amos 3:7-8
     Seven centuries before Jesus’ birth Isaiah prophesied that God would reveal the end of His plan from the beginning.
     “I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.’”  Isaiah 46:9b-10
     Now let’s go back in Biblical history and examine God’s transparency in more detail relative to the implementation of His glorious plan.  Recall that God chose and worked through a man named Abraham to be the founder of the nation of Israel and the Church.  God revealed early on that He would tell Abraham in advance what He was going to do.
     “And the LORD said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?  For I have known him… that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.’”  Genesis 18:17-19
     And two thousand years later…
     “…And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, ‘In you all the nations shall be blessed.’”  Galatians 3:8
       God had made an irrevocable covenant with Abraham and his offspring.  God named Abraham’s offspring in advance who would inherit the covenant, i.e.  Isaac, Jacob, Judah…David…
     For example, note the absolute authority given to Abraham’s grandson Jacob who would tell in advance the future of his twelve sons.
     “And Jacob called his sons and said, ‘Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days…listen to Israel your father.’”  Genesis 49:1
     Jacob then proceeded to reveal God’s plan for the future of each of his sons including Judah who would be the kingly tribe out of which would come Jesus Christ, the ultimate Seed of the woman.
     As history unfolded God spoke to the Israelites through Moses and foretold of the coming Messiah of the Jews who would be of the tribe of Judah and of the family of David.
     “And the LORD said to me: ‘…I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.  And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.”  Deuteronomy 18:17-19
     God also warned of false prophets who would rise up and pretend to speak in God’s name but would present his own vision and interpretation of events and offer it to the people as the word of God.
     “…that prophet shall die.”  Deuteronomy 18:20
     To be concluded next week.
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