Let's begin one of the most important journeys you'll ever take: learning why the First Coming was absolutely Divinely orchestrated beyond human capacity or reason. If I wanted to send you a letter, I could send it by email, or snail-mail right? But either way I sent it, I would have to have an address, and with each stroke of the key or pen, as we include that address, we would be narrowing the possibilities of who this letter was for, until it was down to one. You receive mail each day, specifically naming you, above almost 7 billion other people and addresses all over the entire globe. God, through His Prophets, and in His Word, did the same thing to direct us to a lonely, seemingly insignificant night, with two dirt-poor, young nobodies, in the middle of nowhere.
Through different prophecies, at different times, by different people, in different places, He gave us ONE piece of information at a time, all placed together to give us this one place, one time, one Person in history. First, watch the very distinct lineage that God maps out over time, revealing the entire family line of Jesus (DNA Check): Genesis 22:18-19. God names Abraham, narrowing the Messiah to a Jewish descendant: Genesis 21:12. Then, God narrows it to one half of Abraham's descendants (Isaac): Numbers 24:17. Now, he narrows it to one half the descendants of Isaac (Jacob): Genesis 49:10. Now, Jacob has twelve sons, of whom the Twelve Tribes of Israel originate, and God names the single Tribe from which Jesus will come (Judah): Isaiah 11:1, 10, 12. This now shows that Jesus would rise from a geza. Jesse was an insignificant remnant of the Royal lineage, a choter, would sprout from there to carry the torch to the Messiah (which included at least eight sons): Jeremiah 23:5-6. And then, these sons of Jesse were narrowed to one: David. What was so significant about this? The lineage is given in Matthew (Joseph) and Luke (Mary), showing that through both of these simple, nobody parents had the lineage for Jesus to be the Messiah. Don't just take the Bible's Word for it, listen to history. The son of a Roman centurion, Quintis Tertullian, (a Roman lawyer) made an incredible conversion to Christianity in about AD 185. He wrote a letter to Emperor Antoninus Pius, and stated that Jesus' lineage could be proven in the census archives from the reign of Augustus, if he would just look. (An Exposition of the Gospel of Luke, by Rev. Dr. MacEvilly, pg47). Imagine a lawyer writing to a Senator, telling them to check his own records about something—think it would be true? Next, Scriptures told something very amazing and significant—that our Messiah would come supernaturally from a young Virgin: Isaiah 7:14. And we all know the Gospel accounts of Mary, and her miraculous conception, but, did you know that in the Jewish Talmud, which is a Jewish collection of writings including the oral laws, interpretations of Scriptures and traditions from Orthodox Jewish history (painfully kept through history as sacred), the writers, the Sanhedrin, who were the religious and civil body of law in Jesus' day (Pharisees & Sadducees), despised Jesus, denied Jesus, and actually are responsible for His trial and death—even they in history attest to the fact that Jesus was born to a young girl without a husband. [From the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin Yeb. IV 3;49a: "I found a genealogical roll in Jerusalem wherein was recorded, Such-an-one is a bastard of an adulteress." R. Shimeon ben Azzai] Even in their spite and hate, they lay proof into history of our Lord's Virgin birth as foretold. Therefore, we know thus far that Jesus came through the entire line of prophesied lineage, and was even born to a young mother without a husband, proven through New testament accounts, and chiseled in history through secular writers. Now, watch this amazing prophecy, for those that have never heard: Daniel, writing as a prophet over 500 years before that Little babe was born in a manger, wrote of an exact time he would come: Daniel 9:24-26.
It boldly, unapologetically proclaims that from the time a foreign king gives permission to rebuild their destroyed city of Jerusalem, until the time the Messiah comes, will be exactly 173,880 days (all stand or fall on this passage). Artaxerxes, King of Persia (over the Israelites) on Nisan 1, 444 BC (March 28), gave the command to rebuild this City of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1). This 173,880 day countdown ends in Jesus' life, on the day we see Him ride into Jerusalem on a Donkey as they all cry, "Hosanna" (Palm Sunday). So, we know that Jesus was born exactly when prophesied in all of mankind's history. Now, are you ready for the nail in the coffin? We have the perfect lineage, proven as well as anything in history. We have the exact date in time, proven as well as anything in history. Now, look at the place: Micah, a prophet from Judah, wrote about one of the tiniest, and least known places on earth, as the place of our Savior's birth, over 700 years before He would be born: Micah 5:2. “Goings forth from everlasting", means this is obviously God, not a simple king; and, this "Little Town of Bethlehem" is correct, because there were only about 300 to 1000 (at the very most) living in this town. Now realize, that Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth. They had to travel a great distance to reach this town for a census, which is so awesome of God to work this way, because remember, we know the archives of Augustus are supposed to have had information about this census, and the necessity of Joseph's ancestry to travel there. So, there had to be historical proof they were in that town, at that time. [Now get this in your head]: 700 years before Jesus laid in a manger, a prophet named one of the smallest, most insignificant places on earth as the birth place, and in the exact time given over 500 years before, a couple with the exact lineage prophesied by numerous people over hundreds of years, was forced to go to this place (recorded in history) at this time. (None could dispute it was uncontrollable by man) The woman of whom, was known by the public to be with Child, before marriage. And this is just a handful of the over 300 prophecies concerning every detail of His life and death. Can you possibly think that these kind of uncontrollable, intricate details, could all accidentally come true in one person, at just the exact time written about by various, unrelated authors? [The chances have been shown to be statistically impossible]
But the problem is, most people only hide behind, "intellectual" reasons for not believing, because if they would just look at the real evidence, with a truly open mind, it would be overwhelming. Many of the people in Jesus' day did know about the Scriptures we've quoted. They did know the time, place, and lineage. It was so well known, and prophesied that Magi from other countries came on the exact timescale to see the Messiah. After probably hearing the prophesies of Daniel and others, hundreds of years before, while they were there in captivity. So why would many Jews not follow Him as Messiah?
For the same reason that many of you may be hesitant right this moment, to follow Him. For the same reason that society, and many, many churches are trying to change everything we know about our Jesus. They rejected Him because He wasn't what they wanted and needed to meet their own needs. [So do we] Even those that did follow Him had trouble seeing the world, and the lost as lovingly as He did. [And so do we] Many who believed on Him, and wanted His blessings, miracles, and security, did not want the cost of following and loving Him. [Nor do we] They wanted a Jesus that would serve them, not expect them to have to do anything in love. Jesus worked very hard to deter and discourage selfish and false followers, even though they may have intellectually believed, because He didn't care about numbers, or ministries. He wanted people who were as passionate for Him, as He was for them. He wanted those crazy enough to think He was more important than anything else, as He does about us. Are you willing to show Him that He is everything to you?
Of all the prophesies concerning Jesus' First Coming—of which we only covered a handful, there are many more prophesies concerning His Second Coming. We have the privilege of looking back on all the prophesies fulfilled from the First Coming, as well as, seeing all of the beginning stages of many unmistakable, and amazing prophesies about the Last Coming, around us everywhere. Prophesies that Israel would reunite from every nation of the world miraculously in the last days to return to a land that is desolate and rejected, only to see it sprout and flourish again. To see every nation surrounding it become, "intoxicated" with Israeli's destruction, until that hatred of Israel becomes a thorn to the whole world. That there would be a complete and utter moral decline and rebellion against God in the last days. That we would be able to buy, sell, and trade with a system of numbers only, in the last days. That Russia and Iran and others would be united in the Middle East against Israel in the last days. That a country East of the Euphrates would field an army of over 200 million in the last days (China). That we would be able to literally melt skin from bones before bodies fell on the ground, and destroy life on over 1/3 of the earth and sea with our ability to wage war in the last days.
On that first Christmas night, over 2000 years ago, many missed it—many missed it on purpose. Most will miss it the Second Time as well—for the same reasons. He came the first time as a Humble, Sweet Child, who would die horrifically as a rejected Criminal, to give us a chance to accept a way out of our sins. To have a chance to love and be loved incredibly; to give us a hope and a future beyond imagination. But He won't force anything on us. When He comes back this time, it will be different! He will be coming to judge those that choose to live for self, and reject their Creator. He will be coming to rid His creation of all that choose to bring pain and division, and make this a perfect place as it has been before. He will not come next time as a Humble Servant, but as a Ferocious Warrior. Not because He is legalistic, spiteful or judgmental—with all He’s done to love and save us—don’t you dare say that—but because everything He's ever asked of us, was to show our willingness to love others perfectly, not just to demand obedience. And because of His crazy love for those that love Him, it gives Him no choice but to rid the world of those that would hurt them. Most of the world is about to miss it—miss Him. What will you do with the Evidence you have seen? What will you do with the Love you have realized?
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