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Worshiping Our Christ in All the Books of Prophecy

The Scriptures are all about God revealing Himself to His creatures. The ultimate expression of God's nature and character is Christ. Note the words of Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (KJV). Since the Word of God reveals God, and Jesus is the image of the Invisible God, then we can find and worship our Lord Jesus Christ in every part of the Bible!

1.      In the Books of History we see God's servants Following the Lord Jesus Christ. He was the Creator in the Garden, the Rock in the Wilderness, the Angel of the Lord and so on!

2.      In the Books of Poetry we see God's servants Worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Suffering One, the Good Shepherd, the Redeemer and so on!

3.      In the Books of Prophecy we see God's servants:

  • Seeing Christ (Major prophets) as Ruler, Prince of Peace and so on.

  • Trusting Christ (Pre-exilic prophets) as the Judge, One from Everlasting and so on.

  • Hoping in Christ (Post-exilic prophets) as the Sun of Righteousness, the Coming King and the Lord of All.

I.                     A SURVEY OF CHRIST  IN  ALL THE SCRIPTURES

A.                 ISAIAH (740-681 BC) contemporary with: Hosea (753-715 BC) and Micah (742-687 BC). “Worshiping our God of salvation. Key verse: 53:5-6.

B.                 JEREMIAH (627-586 BC) contemporary with: Habakkuk (612-588 BC) and Zephaniah (640-621 BC). “Worshiping our God of repentance”.  Key verse: 2:19.

C.                LAMENTATIONS (by Jeremiah 627-586 BC) contemporary with: Habakkuk (612-588 BC) and Zephaniah (640-621 BC). “Worshiping our God of hope”.  Key verse: 3:22-24.

D.                EZEKIEL (593-571 BC) contemporary with: Daniel (605-536 BC), Habakkuk (612-588 BC) and Jeremiah (627-586 BC). “Worshiping our God of the new heart”.  Key verse: 36:26-27.

E.                 DANIEL (605-536 BC) contemporary with: Jeremiah (627-586 BC), Habakkuk (612-588 BC) and Ezekiel (593-571 BC)  “Worshiping our God who rules”.  Key verse: 4:17.

F.                 HOSEA (753-715 BC) contemporary with: Jonah (793-753 BC), Amos (760-750 BC), Micah (742-687 BC) and Isaiah (740-681 BC). “Worshiping our God of faithfulness”. Key verse: 3:1.

G.                JOEL (835-796 BC) contemporary with: Elisha (848-797 BC) and Jonah (793-753 BC).  “Worshiping our God of WRATH”. Key verse: 1:15.

H.                 AMOS  (760-750 BC) contemporary with: Jonah (793-753 BC) and Hosea (753-715 BC).  “Worshiping our God of JUSTICE”.  Key verse: 5:24.

I.                     OBADIAH (853 BC) contemporary with: Elijah (875-848 BC), Micaiah (865-83 BC) and Jehu (855-840 BC).  “Worshiping our God in HUMILITY”.  Key verse: 1:3.

J.                  JONAH (793-753 BC) contemporary with: Joel (853-796 BC) and Amos (760-750 BC).  “Worshiping our God of mercy”.  Key verse: 4:11.

K.                 MICAH (742-687 BC) contemporary with: Hosea (753-715 BC) and Isaiah (740-681 BC).  “Worshiping our God of righteousness”. Key verse: 6:8.

L.                  NAHUM (663-612 BC) contemporary with: Zephaniah (640-621 BC).  “Worshiping our God of judgment”. Key verse: 1:7-9.

M.                HABBAKUK (612-588 BC) contemporary with: Jeremiah (627-586 BC), Daniel (605-536 BC) and Ezekiel (593-571 BC).  “Worshiping our God of sovereignty”. Key verse: 3:17-19.

N.                 ZEPHANIAH (640-621 BC) contemporary with: Jeremiah (627-586 BC).  “Worshiping our God of hope”. Key verse: 3:17.

O.                HAGGAI (520 BC) contemporary with: Zechariah (520-480 BC).  “Worshiping our God of sacrifice”. Key verse: 1:4.

P.                 ZECHARIAH (520 BC) contemporary with: Haggai (520 BC).  “Worshiping our God of jealousy”. Key verse: 1:3.

Q.                MALACHI  (430 BC) contemporary with: Ezra?.  “Worshiping our God of First Love”. Key verse: 1:2.

ISAIAH “Worshiping our God of Salvation”

From [1]the revolt of Satan to the rule of the Savior-all is told by Scripture's most eloquent prophet Isaiah He was the Shakespeare of the prophets and the Paul of the Old Testament. Isaiah has more to say about the greatness of God (40,43), the horrors of the Tribulation (24), the wonders of the Millennium (35), and the ministry of Christ (53) than any other book in the Bible.  Isaiah 53 is probably the most important and far-reaching chapter in the Old Testament, as it is quoted from or alluded to 85 times in the New Testament.  Jesus said that Isaiah saw His glory and spoke of Him (John 12:41).  This book is an extended commentary on Jonah 2:9, when that prophet exclaimed from the fish's belly, "Salvation is of the Lord" The word salvation appears 33 times in the writing of the prophets, and of these, 26 instances occur in Isaiah.

I.                     JUDGMENT BY THE LORD 1:1 - 39:8 [with 39 chapters, this first section of Isaiah is like the O.T. declaring the holiness, righteousness and justice of God]

II.                   COMFORT IN REDEMPTION AND RESTORATION  40:1 - 66:24 [with 27 chapters this concluding section of Isaiah is like the like N.T. declaring the grace, compassion and glory of God]

The Book of Isaiah has three major themes. These may be summarized as:

1.      CONVICTION: The overwhelming sense of sin and the wrath of God against sin. This is clearest in the 21x Isaiah uses the word “woe”. In God’s sight our good deeds are “filthy rags” [64:6-7];

2.      CONFESSION: The all pervading awareness of the Power, Majesty and Holiness of God. And 23x he uses the Divine Name of “THE HOLY ONE OF GOD”, a name nearly unique to Isaiah except for 5 other passages.

3.      CONFIDENCE: The crystal clear sight of the Salvation and Coming Victory of Christ.

Jeremiah “Worshiping our God of repentance”

Jeremiah[2]  must have had an incredible childhood. The Scriptures tell us God had chosen him before his birth to be a prophet. His family was notable in their service for the LORD. Life was exciting for the son of a high priest. Jeremiah 1:1. Jeremiah’s woes were unimaginable to our relatively peaceful lives. He lived through the death throes of the nation of Judah. In his lifetime he saw the decay of God’s chosen people, the horrible destruction of Jerusalem and the deportation of the nation to Babylon. He preached for 40 years and saw no visible result among those he served. Instead those countrymen he warned for God sought to kill him if he wouldn’t stop preaching doom (Jer. 11:19-23); his own family and friends were involved in plots against his (12:60; God never allowed him to marry, and thus he suffered incredibly agonizing  loneliness (16:20; there were plots to kill him in secret so no one would find him (18:20-23); he was beaten severely and them bound in wooden stocks (20:1-2); his friends spied on him deceitfully and for revenge (20:10); he was consumed with sorrow and shame and even cursed the day he was born (20:14-18); finally, falsely accused of being a traitor to his own country (37:13-14), Jeremiah was arrested, beaten, thrown into a dungeon, and starved many days (37:15-21). If an Ethiopian Gentile had not interceded on his behalf he would have died there. In the end, tradition tells us he was exiled to Egypt, where he was stoned to death by his own people. He had virtually no converts to show for a lifetime of ministry.

Perhaps the most striking feature of this book is the fact that despite the terrible woes of the life Jeremiah was called to (1:5), he saw that it was all at the Master Potter’s  Hand (18:1-6).  At the point of near despair over his failed ministry, God asked Jeremiah  to go to the Potter’s house and there he would get a message from the Lord (18:2). Although Israel had failed so grievously, the heavenly Potter was able to bless them again if they would but repent and yield to his Perfect Touch.

Lamentations “Worshiping our God of hope”

Jeremiah[3] sits down and looks over the smoldering  ruins of his beloved Jerusalem. His voice rises into the wail of sorrow - a lament. His funeral dirge over the city of God, inspired by the Spirit of God is a message for all the people of God. This book is a master crafted poem with five stanzas. Chapters 1, 2, 4 and 5 each start with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet, 22 in all. This form of poetry called an acrostic ic beautiful in form and powerful in communication. Chapter 3 is the centerpiece of this poem, with three 22 verse acrostics making it 66 verses long. The theme of the book and this middle chapter agree, as Jeremiah discovers - GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS our Great Lord!

I.                     The Outline:

A.                 First Dirge: Jerusalem’s Desolation because of Her Sin (chap. 1)

B.                 Second Dirge: God’s Punishment of Jerusalem’s Sin (chap. 2)

C.                Third Dirge: Jeremiah’s Response (chap. 3)

D.                Fourth Dirge: The Lord’s Anger (chap. 4)

E.                 Fifth Dirge: The Remnant’s Response (chap. 5)

II.                   The Message: Chapter one contains an astounding commentary on Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  There is no SECURITY apart from the LORD.  Jerusalem the city portrays the state of Jerusalem the people chosen by God. Note these grim reminders:

A.                 NO COMFORT  In v.2 “none to comfort” yet the Lord offered comfort continually to His people.

1.                  Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (KJV) This is the very same word as Lam. 1:2. Isaiah 40:1     Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. (KJV)

2.                  Jesus always has offered enduring comfort.   John 15:26     But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (KJV)

B.                 NO REST   In v. 3 “no rest” was found by Jerusalem, yet the Lord offered and promised His rest:

1.                  Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. (KJV)

2.                  Isaiah 57:20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. (KJV)

C.                NO REFRESHMENT  In v. 6 “no pasture” yet the Lord promises to feed His people:

1.                  Psalm 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. (KJV)

2.                  Psalm 81:16 He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee. (KJV)

EZEKIEL: “Worshiping our God of the new heart”

In 598 BC Ezekiel[4] was taken captive with 10,000 other fellow Judeans by Nebuchadnezzar. He arrive in Babylon at the age of 25 (II Kings 24:8-16; Ezekiel 1:1-2). He had a lovely wife (16:2) who died (24:16-18). He lives in a house during the exile to which numerous captives come and seeking counsel of him (8:1; 14:1; 20:1). After five silent years, he begins 20 years of speaking for God. Ezekiel like our Lord Jesus Christ began his ministry by a river at the age of 30. In an astounding vision he sees cherubim portraying the Divine attributes of God. Ezekiel is God’s man. He saw God and it changed his life.

I.                     God’s servants  SUBMIT to him.

A.                 they are open to God's  word    Ezekiel 1:3 the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and there the hand of the LORD came upon him. (NASB)

B.                 they are  listening to God's voice    Ezekiel 1:3 the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and there the hand of the LORD came upon him. (NASB)

C.                they are  waiting for God's hand  Ezekiel 1:3 the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and there the hand of the LORD came upon him. (NASB)

D.                they are  following God's lead   Ezekiel 1:20 Wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go in that direction. And the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels. (NASB)

II.                   God’s servants see him!      Ezekiel 1:22-28

A.                 His glorious MAJESTY  v. 22, 27     “awesome gleam of crystal . . . glowing metal . . . like fire . . . like a rainbow” all of these sights were given to Ezekiel to remind him of how awesome, how glorious and how indescribably magestic God trult is!   As Psalm 29:2, 10 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in holy array. 10 The LORD sat as King at the flood; Yes, the LORD sits as King forever. (NASB). Our first crop of asparagus made me unable to ever eat that formaldehyde laced, canned and  limp mummified green stuff sold as asparagus in the store! Is it any less true about God? Once you see Him nothing else satisfies! The question is have you ever seen Him?

O Worship the King, all glorious above,
And gratefully sing His wonderful love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.

O tell of His might, O Sing of His grace,
Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space!
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.

Author: Sir Robert H. Grant

B.                 His final  AUTHORITY    v. 26a “throne” seeing this throne taught Ezekiel that God was in control. The exile, the enemies of God and all the fears of life melt in the radiance of His Sovereign Throne. By the way, that still is true. Ezekiel was a POW. He was surrounded by murerous enemies who had vandalized his home, dragged him away and savagely ended the lives of thousands of his people . . .yet in the midst of even that, God showed him, He was still on the throne!

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like the sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
‘It is well with my soul.’

Author:            Horatio G. Spafford

C.                His absolute supremacy   v. 26b “high up” speaks to Ezekiel. The throne of God is atop all else. Nothing is beyond it or above it. God reigns!     While Jeremiah (41 years of ministry, 627 - 586 BC) played the funeral dirge of doom over Jerusalem, a lonely exiled prophet named Ezekiel (20 years of ministry, 592 - 572 BC) was watching the gathering storm God would use to sweep Judah into Captivity. Deported to 200 miles north of Babylon Ezekiel was 600 miles from Jeremiah in Jerusalem for the last 12 years of Jeremiah’s ministry. And for 26 years Ezekiel was 200 miles north of Daniel (606 - 533 BC) who was in Babylon for his 73 years of ministry. These three prophets overlapped parts of their prophetic ministries. Ezekiel learned as he lived away from his home and his people, he never was far from his God. God taught him that His presence was not limited to the Temple in Jerusalem. As Ezekiel saw the destruction of his nation he learned God is not thwarted by our disobedience. Though He is grieved and saddened, His plan will not fail.

D.                His unvieled glory  in Christ  v. 26c “like a man” this sight God gave Ezekiel was that the. It was the reminder that our Lord Jesus Christ is as Hebrews 1:3 declares, “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; (NASB)”.

E.                 His unchanging promises   v. 28 “like a rainbow” this reminder created by God as a sign that He keeps His Word. Whatever He says He will do!

DANIEL: “Worshiping Our God Who Rules”

In God's opinion of  History, the Kingdom of Babylon was the richest and most  glorious of all in character. Babylon was the head of gold in the image God revealed to NEBUCHADNEZZAR. As its realm spread across the then known world, it left in its wake the dust of crushed opponents foolish enough to challenge God's chosen instrument of judgment. To the helm of that incredible Empire rose an incredible young man of God -- Daniel. But have you ever considered what it must have been like to be prime minister to the greatest empire in the world in its time?  Untold streams of decisions, meetings, conferences, banquets, clay tablet work (Like our paper work), holdups on the freeways in your chariot as well as all the everyday needs of life. Like going to the sandal shop, stopping at the repair shop to have new wheels put on the chariot and the needs of the horses ... ALL that considered, Daniel was a very responsible man, committed and most of all BUSY!  How did he cope with life at the top. He knelt on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks to his God -- AS HE ALWAYS DID!  In the midst of his cabinet position in a world wide empire and all the pressures that came with such a position, DANIEL FAITHFULLY PRAYED.  Not just at a meal, no, he found a way to stop it all, go to a quiet, private chamber, KNEEL and come into the presence of God in thanksgiving. When life is tough, when it seems like the bad guys are winning, remember there is a God in Heaven Who Rules! When you are spied upon, attacked and cast into the lion’s den by your adversaries, remember there is a God in Heaven Who Rules!

I.                     A  God in Heaven Who Rules should cause each of us to be:

A.                 PEOPLE OF CONVICTION (Present Holiness) 1:8

B.                 PEOPLE OF CONFIDENCE (Past and Future Confidence)

1.                  OUR GOD RULES  Daniel 2:28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; (KJV)

2.                  OUR LORD CARES  Daniel 3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. (KJV)

3.                  OUR GOD MOVES HISTORY ALONG!  Daniel 4:17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. (KJV)

C.                 PEOPLE  OF COMMUNION (Constant Prayerfulness)

1.                  OUR LORD WANTS US TO BRING IT ALL TO HIM!  Daniel 2:17-18 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: 18 That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. (KJV)

 

Three Megathemes (present in all 12 Minor Prophets)

I.                     The Minor Prophets declare GOD IS IN CONTROL.  Indeed, they do more than merely declare it; the Sovereign hand of God is everywhere visible. Overriding the words of these twelve writers is the reality that God is the sovereign Lord of history. They affirm that nothing happens, either to Israel or to the gentile nations, that is not the result of His direct determination.  The destruction by locusts in Joel was God's  doing. Nineveh’s ups (revival with Jonah) and downs (complete destruction in Nahum) was sent -from the Lord.  When Assyria decimated Israel and Babylon wiped out Judah, it was God  who did it.  Any doubts these prophets had over the precise purpose of God's actions-Habakkuk is one who had great problems-evaporate the moment they remember the Almighty God is in control.

II.                   The minor Prophets declare GOD IS HOLY. A comprehension of His utter holiness was the impetus for their scathing indictments of sin. Wherever the sin was found, among God's people or in foreign lands (Edom, as in Obadiah; Assyria, as in Nahum) -it was still an affront to the Lord and must be dealt with.  As nowhere else in the Scriptures,  sin is denounced and repentance is ardently and earnestly demanded.  They declare that with genuine repentance, the judgment of God falls.

III.                  The minor Prophets declare GOD IS LOVINGLY JUST.  God's love and justice appear so harsh that liberals verses dealing with God's love. Such actions betray a basic misunderstanding of the perfections of our Lord. The great love of the Lord for His people (even His love for Nineveh) caused Him to send messengers with His message. They warned of coming judgment. And in time the judgment falls. Sin is always an affront to God. Sin always destroys.  Sin is always judged. But for His own, judgment is to turn them from sin to their Rightful Master. These truths must be emphasized as much today as they were 28 hundred years ago. Individuals are still sinning and running away from God just as Israel did. Nations are still offending the righteousness of a Holy God  just as Israel did.


[1] Adapted from Willmington's Visualized Study Bible,  1984 Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton. Other sources used are: The Word of God; Baxter, Explore the Book; Scroggie, The Unfolding Drama; Christ in all the Scriptures; The Criswell Study Bible; Walk through the Bible; The Compact Guide to The Bible, Lehman Strauss, CHM.
[2] Sources used are: The Word of God; Baxter, Explore the Book; Scroggie, The Unfolding Drama; Christ in all the Scriptures; The Criswell Study Bible; Walk through the Bible; The Compact Guide to The Bible, Lehman Strauss, CHM, MacArthur, Ashamed of the Gospel, p. 76-77, Sanders, Spiritual Discipleship, P. 129-136.
[3] Sources used are: The Word of God; Baxter, Explore the Book; Scroggie, The Unfolding Drama; Christ in all the Scriptures; The Criswell Study Bible; Walk through the Bible; The Compact Guide to The Bible, Lehman Strauss, CHM, .

[4] Sources used are: The Word of God; Baxter, Explore the Book; Scroggie, The Unfolding Drama; Christ  in all the Scriptures; The Criswell Study Bible; Walk through the Bible; The Compact Guide to The Bible, Lehman Strauss, CHM, Jensen, Biblical Viewpoint, Cawood .

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