by Richard Mansel, managing editor
Unlike the deceivers, the True Messiah is authentic and brings blessings to everyone who allows him into their lives. He is consummate goodness (1 John 1:5).
Everyone who is in Christ will be a better and stronger person because of his presence (Ephesians 1:3). When we walk with him, we walk in the light and warmth of the perfect Savior (John 8:12).
God sent man a Messiah because we were consumed with sin. “There is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10, NKJV). We had made little progress since the pre-flood world. “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).
Without an answer, humanity would be lost in their sins. Yet, God had a plan and a mission. He would send a Savior, a Messiah, to lead men from the bondage of destruction into “His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). His grace would triumph over hopelessness and allow access to heaven, something which man was incapable of performing (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Prophecy is a powerful way to delineate between the false and true Messiah. The clarity and consistency of Scripture is a wonder to behold. A study of prophecy clearly shows that man is incapable of being the ultimate author of Scripture (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
A sampling of the prophecies of the coming Messiah is sufficient to validate our point. Hundreds or thousands of years prior to the birth of Jesus, everything was outlined and mapped out in Scripture.
The Old Testament has 6,641 verses containing 1,239 prophecies./1 All of them true and valid.
Scripture says that Jesus would come from the “seed of a woman” (Genesis 3:15). Paul wrote, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law” (Galatians 4:4).
God’s Word teaches that the Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham (Genesis 12:3). We read, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1).
The Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10). We find in the New Testament, “For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah” (Hebrews 7:14).
He would be the heir of the throne of David (Isaiah 9:7). We discover the fulfillment in Luke 1:32-33.
The Blessed One would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) and Jesus fulfilled this prophecy (Luke 2:4). Bethlehem was also the birthplace of David. The word Bethlehem means, “House of Bread,” and Jesus was the “bread of life” (John 6:35).
The Savior would be born of a virgin, so he would be completely unique from the remainder of mankind (Isaiah 7:14). Luke records the fulfillment of this prophecy (Luke 1:26-27).
In order to destroy the Christ, Herod would kill all the male infants in order to destroy him, and Joseph would take his family to Egypt (Jeremiah 31:15; Hosea 11:1). The denouement of these prophecies is clearly spelled out (Matthew 2:14-18).
The Bible is not just a random assemblage of ancient writings. It relates a story of mankind being seduced into the bondage of sin and Christ bringing freedom from our chains. The Messiah would come to earth to free humanity from the clutches of Satan. Christ would lead them into the Promised Land (Revelation 21:1-7).
We cannot let his work be in vain (Acts 2:37-38; Romans 5:6-11). Come to Christ before it is too late (Hebrews 9:27).
1/ Kenny Barfield, The Prophet Motive (Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 1995), 14.