Tag Archives: prophecy

The Importance of Prophecy in the Life of Jesus

Prophecy played a vital role in the life of Jesus. Before Jesus began His ministry God sent someone to prepare the way for Him. That man was John the Baptist. John was in the desert preaching repentance to prepare the way for the One who would go to the cross. The work of John was important to direct the minds of the people toward the things of God and to soften their hearts to receive the gospel after Jesus rose from the dead.

When John became popular the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent men to investigate. They may have been curious but their primary motives were probably suspicion, jealousy and possibly fear of losing some financial support if the people followed John instead of coming to the temple and giving offerings there. John saw right through them and called them vipers. They asked John who he was. Their tone was most likely “just who do you think you are? You are not from Jerusalem. You are not one of us. Who gave you the authority to preach to people out here?” These were the same people who questioned the authority of Jesus when He came to the temple. John answered their question by quoting prophecy from the Old Testament. He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness make straight the way of the Lord.”  John was referring to the prophecy in Isaiah 40:3.

John somehow knew that prophecy was about himself. For him that prophecy defined who he was and what his purpose in life was. So prophecy played a vital part in the life of John who in turn played an important part in preparing the way for Christ and His gospel.

In Luke 2:40 NKJV we read this about Jesus, “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.” Jesus grew physically and emotionally just as any human baby. When He was a baby He did not know who He was or what His purpose in life was. So the question is when and how did Jesus learn that He was the Messiah and that His purpose was to bring salvation through the cross? There is no indication that He had any special revelation from the Father by way of visions, dreams, messages from angels or people. Then how did He discover who He was?

The educational system for Jews during the time of Jesus was for boys to attend school at their local synagogue beginning at the age of 6. Girls did not attend school. The boys learned to read and write and to do math. At the age of 10 the boys would begin their study of the Torah (the Old Testament.) They would continue that study thought the age of 12. I believe it was during that time period between the ages of 10 through 12 that the boy Jesus came to understand who He was and what His purpose in life was.

When Jesus was 12 years old he went to a Passover feast in Jerusalem with His family. As the group returned back home they discovered Jesus was missing.
They went back to Jerusalem and found Jesus in the temple discussing religion with the teachers there. His mother Mary scolded Jesus for causing them to worry about Him.
Jesus then said something very revealing. He said, “…Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Luke 2:49 NKJV The business of Joseph was as a carpenter. Jesus was not discussing carpentry with the temple leaders. He was referring to His heavenly Father and the business of true religion. I believe this reveals to us that by age 12 Jesus understood He was the Son of God and not the son of Joseph.

As he was growing up did Mary and Joseph tell young Jesus about the unusual circumstances of His birth? Most certainly not. They would not have told Him that His mother was a virgin and had conceived without a man being involved. It was their secret. As Jesus studied the Old Testament scriptures He would have studied all the prophecies about the Messiah they contained. By age 12 He was smart enough to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Daniel told when the Messiah would be born. Jesus certainly knew when He had been born. So the first clue was that He had been born at the time the Messiah was to be born. Next, prophecy told where the Messiah would be born, in Bethlehem. Jesus would have known where He was born. So how many boys were born in Bethlehem at the time He was? There would not have been very many. That really narrows things down. Prophecy revealed that the Messiah would live in Egypt for a while. Jesus would have known that He had lived in Egypt. Prophecy revealed that He would live in Nazareth. So with those prophecies and His knowledge about His own life Jesus had all the clues He needed to know that He was the Messiah. He did not have to have visions, dreams or angels to learn who He was and what His mission in life was. His heavenly Father had designed all of the information Jesus needed into the prophecies recorded in the Old Testament. Thus prophecy played a vital role in the life of Jesus.


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The Mystery of Adam’s Day


Do you know what the Bible means by the word day? It is crucial that you do if you are to understand Bible prophecy.

The English word day can have several different meanings. It can mean 24 hours. Here is a sentence using the word day with that meaning. There are 24 hours in a day. The word day can also be used to mean daylight hours as in this example. Some animals sleep during the day and hunt at night. Day may also be used to mean a lifetime as in this example. In my Grandfather’s day life took place at a slower pace. Another very significant meaning for the word day is an age or an era. If we speak of the day of the dinosaur we mean the age during which dinosaurs existed. So how are we to know which meaning the word day has when we read it in the Bible? It depends on the context and sometimes on clues or definitions we find in other places it is used in the Bible.

Let’s look at some examples. In John 1:29 NKJV we read ‘The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”‘ So what meaning does the word day have in this verse? An age or a person’s lifetime would make no sense. That leaves daylight or a regular 24 hour day as the choice. Clearly one regular 24 hour is the meaning in this verse.

Now let’s look at an example where day means daylight.
“So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.” 1 Samuel 31:6 KJV These men all died together in one battle that took place during a day. The battle certainly took place during daylight rather than at night.

Can we find an example in the Bible where day (or days) means during a person’s lifetime? In Genesis 35:28 NKJV we read “Now the days of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years.” So it is plain to see here that “the days of Isaac” refer to his lifetime. We could also refer to that time period as “the day of Isaac” or “in Isaac’s day.”

Those examples for the meaning of the word day are all straightforward. Now we come to the more interesting meaning for the word day. It can mean age or era.
There is a verse where I’m convinced that the meaning for the word day is an age but it is almost always interpreted to mean something else. In Genesis 2:17 NKJV God was speaking to Adam and said, “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” We know that Adam did not die during daylight of the day in which he ate and he did not die within a 24 hour day because Genesis 5:5 NKJV says “So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died.” Like me, you have probably heard preachers, teachers, authors and Bible scholars all say that God did not mean that Adam would die a physical death within 24 hours but that he would die spiritually. Adam and Eve lost their immortality. Had they not sinned they would never have died. They would have continued to live immortal lives. When Adam and Eve sinned guilt, shame, fear and separation from fellowship with the Lord was the result. They tried to fix their problems by their own efforts and made clothes from fig leaves. God restored Adam and Eve. That is clear because Adam and Eve traded in their fig leaves for “coats of skins” that God provided for them. They accepted God’s answer for their problem. In modern church talk we would say they repented and got saved.
Lets go back and focus on the physical death of Adam and what the Lord meant when He used the word day. Did he mean daylight or 24 hours? Lets substitute those meanings into the Lord’s words to Adam. “in the daylight that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Adam did not die before dark that day. So that meaning does not fit. “in the 24 hours that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Adam did not die within 24 hours. He lived to be 930 years old. Adam was immortal when the Lord gave the warning to him so the meaning of lifetime did not apply.
There is one meaning left to examine. “in the age that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Age means a long period of time. It can be an indefinite length of time or a definite long period of time. The age of the dinosaur was an indefinite long period of time. We don’t know exactly how long they were around just that they were here a long time. Adam lived a long time. It was a definite long period of time. It was 930 years.
At this point we see that it is possible that God was telling Adam that if he disobeyed then he would die after a long period of time. Is there anywhere in the Bible that God has a specific definition of the word day that is for an age? Yes! Peter said,
“…with the Lord one day is as a thousand years…” So it seems the meaning of what God said to Adam was this, “in the day (that is an age of 1,000 years) that you eat of it you shall surely die. Adam lived 930 years and in the sunset of the 1,000 year day he died just as the Lord had told him.
We can think of the first 1,000 years of history starting from Adam as a day, an age of 1,000 years. It was Adam’s day. It was the day in which he died. This definition for the word day is very important in the study of Bible prophecy and will be explained more in future articles.
One last comment. The story of Adam and Eve was originally written in Hebrew. The Hebrew word that is translated as day is yom. The Hebrew word yom can have the same various meanings that the English word day has.

This is original material copyrighted by the author in 2013.
Scriptures quoted from the King James Version are public domain and denoted by KJV.
Scriptures quoted from the New King James version are by permission from Thomas Nelson Inc and denoted as NKJV.

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