Colossians 1:15-20

Christ Is Supreme

15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,[e]
16 for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
17 He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.
18 Christ is also the head of the church,
which is his body.
He is the beginning,
supreme over all who rise from the dead.[f]
So he is first in everything.
19 For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
20 and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas: A BLESSED CHRISTMAS TO YOU!


Dear readers,

It has been a great blessing for me to post these 25 prophecies regarding Messiah. There are many more; I selected a few of the most significant. Perhaps they've piqued your interest, and you'll go searching for more prophesy and fulfillment Scriptures.
       I love it that God, through His scribes, includes some minute details in the prophesies. For example, the very day Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey (Palm Sunday) is predicted hundreds of years before the fact. To the very day! How can anyone fail to believe?
       Here we are on Christmas day, the day we've arbitrarily set aside to celebrate the birth of the Son of God in human flesh--God with us! He Who is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit deigned to step into time just in time to bring salvation down to man--to you, to me. I pray you're gathered with your family or some very special loved ones to celebrate. More than that, I pray there has been a time in your life when you've bowed before God, repented of your sins, and accepted the Gift of Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord. If you haven't done that yet, Christmas Day 2013 would be a glorious day for that. Then you can face the new year confident that, whatever it holds, Jesus Christ will walk through it with you.
       In the words of Tiny Tim in Dicken's A Christmas Carol, "God bless us every one!"

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas



Prophecy #25: Messiah will be a sacrifice for sin.

"But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors."
~Isaiah 53:5-12

Fulfilled: Romans 5:6-8

Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas


Prophesy #24: Messiah would ascend to Heaven.

"Lift up your heads, O gates!
    And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord, strong and mighty,
    the Lord, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates!
    And lift them up, O ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord of hosts,
    he is the King of glory! Selah"

~Psalm 24:7-10

Fulfilled: Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51 and Acts 1:9-11 

Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Prophesy Countdown to CHRISTmas


Prophesy #23: Messiah would resurrect from the dead.

"But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
    for he will receive me"

~Psalm 49:15

And~
 
"For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
    or let your holy one see corruption."

~Psalm 16:10

Fulfilled: Matthew 28:2-7 and Acts 2:22-32

Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas


Prophecy #22: Messiah would be buried with the rich.

"And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth."
~Isaiah 53:9

Fulfilled: Matthew 27:57-60

Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas

Artist: Jacopo Tinore, 1565

Prophecy #21: Messiah's bones would not be broken.

"He keeps all his bones;
    not one of them is broken."

~Psalm 34:20

Fulfilled: John 19:33-36

Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas


Prophecy #20: Soldiers would gamble for Messiah's garments.

"...they divide my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots."

 ~Psalm 22:18

Fulfilled: Luke 23:35 and Matthew 27:35-36 

Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas

Prophecy #19: Messiah's hands and feet would be pierced.





"For dogs encompass me;
    a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet—"

~Psalm 22:16

And~
 
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn."

~Zechariah 12:10

Fulfilled: John 20:25-27 

Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas



Prophecy #18: Messiah would be crucified with criminals.

"Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors."

~Isaiah 53:12

Fulfilled: Matthew 27:38 and Mark 15:27-28

Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas



Prophecy 17: Messiah would be beaten and spat upon.

"I gave my back to those who strike,
    and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
    from disgrace and spitting."
~Isaiah 50:6


Fulfilled: Matthew 26:67

Jesus Christ is THE MESSIAH!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas



Prophecy #16: Messiah would be silent before His accusers.

"He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth."
~Isaiah 53:7

Fulfilled: Mark 15:4-5

Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Prophecy Countdown to Christmas



Prophecy #15: Messiah would be falsely accused.


"Malicious[a] witnesses rise up;
    they ask me of things that I do not know."

~Psalm 35:11

Fulfilled: Mark 14:57-58

Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas



Prophecy #14: Messiah's price-money would be used to buy a potter's field.

"Then I said to them, “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver. 13 Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord, to the potter."
 
 Fulfilled: Matthew 27:9-10
 
Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas

 Kiss of Judas by Caravaggio, 1602
 
Prophecy #13: Messiah would be betrayed.
 
"Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
    who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me."
~Psalm 41:9

Also~
"Then I said to them, “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver. 13 Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord, to the potter."
 
 Fulfilled: Matthew 26:14-16
 
Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas

Prophecy #12: Messiah would speak in parables.



I will open my mouth in a parable;
    I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
    that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
    but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
    and the wonders that he has done.





~Psalm 78:2-4




Fulfilled: Matthew 13:10-15 and 34-35 (and elsewhere)
 
Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas

Prophecy #11: Messiah would be a prophet.

"“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— "
~Psalm 69:8

Fulfilled: Acts 3:20-22 
 
Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas

Prophecy #10: Messiah's own people would reject Him.
"I have become a stranger to my brothers,
    an alien to my mother's sons."
~Psalm 69:8


Also~
"He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not."
 ~Isaiah 53:3 
Fulfilled: John 1:11 and John 7:5 Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

[Regarding John 7:5, I am pleased to remind you that, after seeing all that was fulfilled in Jesus' life, at least His brother James did believe and become a follower of Christ. God allowed James to be the divinely-inspired writer for the New Testament book of James.]

Monday, December 9, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas

John the Baptist baptizing Jesus

Prophecy #9: A messenger would prepare the way for Messiah.

"A voice cries: 'In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
    and all flesh shall see it together,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.'”
~Isaiah 40:3-5
Fulfilled: Luke 3:3-6 and John 1:11

Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas

The Massacre of the Innocents by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Prophecy #8: A massacre of children would happen at Messiah's birthplace.
 
"Thus says the Lord:
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
    lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
    she refuses to be comforted for her children,
    because they are no more.”
~Jeremiah 31:15
 
Fulfilled: Matthew 2:16-18
Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas

Prophecy #7: Messiah would spend a season in Egypt.

"When Israel was a child, I loved him,
    and out of Egypt I called my son."

~Hosea 11:1

Fulfilled: Matthew 2:14-15

Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas



Prophecy #6: Messiah will be called Immanuel*.

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
~Isaiah 7:14
Fulfilled: Matthew 1:23

Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

*Means "God with us."

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas

Prophecy #5: Messiah would be heir to King Davit's throne.

"When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
~2 Samuel 7:12-13


also~

"Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore."
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
~Isaiah 9:7
Fulfilled: Luke 1:32-33, Romans 1:3
Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas

Artist: John Singleton Copley, 1776
 
Prophecy #4: Messiah would be a descendant of Isaac.

"But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named." [The LORD speaking to Abraham regarding Isaac and his progeny]
~Genesis 21:12
Fulfilled: Luke 3:34
 

Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas



Prophecy #3: Messiah would come from the line of Abraham.

"I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." [The LORD speaking to Abraham]
~Genesis 12:3
Fulfilled: Matthew 1:1


Jesus Christ is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas



Prophecy #2: Messiah would be born of a virgin.

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
~Isaiah 7:14 [Note: "Immanuel" means "God with us.]
Fulfilled: Matthew 1:22-23; Luke 1:26-31
 

Jesus is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Prophecy Countdown to CHRISTmas




Prophecy #1: Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”
~Micah 5:2 

Fulfilled: Luke 2:4-6.

Jesus is the PROMISED MESSIAH!

Monday, November 18, 2013

How to Die Well in Three Steps

Few spoke, and those who did used hushed tones. The constants in the room were the labored breathing of the dying man, the whooshing of the ventilator, and the beeping rhythm of the heart monitor. Young and old alike, they stood, each keeping his or her own death vigil. Would David speak again? Rally to leave them with some final wisdom? Or would he slip quietly into Eternity, into the Presence of his Savior and Lord, Whom he had so faithfully served these many decades?
       For over an hour,  Michael, the grandson who denied the existence of the old man's God, sat beside his grandfather, holding his hand and occasionally talking softly to him, despite the lack of any response or acknowledgement from David. For the younger man, this could  have one of two outcomes: either David would cheat death and rally to live awhile longer, or he would cease to exist.
       The respiratory therapist came into the room carrying a tote with her supplies.
       "I'm sorry, folks, but I must ask you to either leave the room or move away from the bed," she said. "It's time for Mr. Baugh's breathing treatment."
       As some turned to step into the hall and others moved back from the bed, Michael gently patted his grandfather's hand and slipped his own hand away.
       Suddenly, David's eyes flew open, and he reached his hand toward Michael.
       "Michael!" He spoke with surprising strength. Those who were about to leave spun around to face the family patriarch. "Michael! Please, please come to Jesus." Wearied from the effort, he sank back down into the pillows and closed his eyes.
       A few seconds later . . .
       "Michael!" Again he stretched his hand toward his beloved grandson. "Don't wait. Come. To. Jesus!"
       As if he had spent the last wisp of strength, he collapsed back into the pillows, only to rally a third time.
       David entered Glory a few days later. Michael's story is a work in progress.

* * * * * * *
       Words have power The Word spoke the whole universe--with the notable exception of man--into being. Words can wound or heal, build or destroy, bless or curse. But there is something very special about last words. Families and friends gather near a beloved one about to pass, hoping to catch a kernel of profound wisdom. Consider the following examples:
  • "This, is the last of earth. I am content." ~John Quincy Adams
  • "Let's roll!" ~ Todd Beamer
  • "Let me go to the house of the Father." ~ Pope John Paul II
  • "Thomas Jefferson still survives." ~John Adams (Actually, Jefferson and Adams died on the same day.)
  • "Turn up the lights. I don't want to go home in the dark." ~O. Henry
  • "Put out the light." ~Theodore Roosevelt
  • "It is well. I die hard, but I am not afraid to go." ~George Washington
  • "I still live." ~Daniel Webster
       The last words that meant the most to David Baugh were those of Jesus Christ: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit is come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8, ESV) Those who knew him best say that he was always ready and eager to proclaim the Good News of Jesus and make every effort he could to draw others--stranger, friend, or family member--to repentance and salvation. He did that with his hard-won dying breath.
       As for the title of this post, "How to Die in Three Steps," one need look no further than the life--and death--of Rev. David Baugh.
  1. Come to Christ, repenting of your sin, acknowledging Him as God's Son, and accepting His death, burial, and resurrection as full payment for your sin.
  2. Live your life as a Christ-follower, seeking always to draw others to Him.
  3. Share His Good News as long as He gives you breath
Having done that, when you meet Him Face to face, He will say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV)




Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Potent Quotables: Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Can a Serial Murderer Be Saved?

Read Acts 26:9-19, then reread it, letting it play as a movie in your mind. Drop yourself down in the middle of the action. Feel the heat of the sun. Smell the horse dung. Cough at the dust raised by the long entourage that accompanied Saul. See the bright flash of pure Light that turns the sun into shadow. Hear the resonant voice of Jesus speak to a suddenly blind, prostrate enforcer.




Saul was sincere and passionate about serving God. To the best of his ability, he obeyed every law he knew--both those which YHWH had commanded and those contrived by generations of Jewish clergy. Ignoring the wisdom of his beloved teacher Gamaliel (Acts 5:33-39), Saul made it his mission in life to stop the people of The Way, Christians, in any way and by all means at his disposal. He rounded them up and cast them into prisons only until they could be killed. Men, women, children, infants--it mattered not to him. These people had to be stopped! If they tried to escape from the persecution into distant cities, he tracked them down. His reputation spread far, so that believers would quake at the name of Saul of Tarsus, a murderer. And all in the Name of YHWH.

But YHWH had other plans for Saul, to be renamed Paul. Those plans were in place before the foundation of the world was laid. First on the list was to get Saul's attention, which our Lord did dramatically on the Damascus road, as you just read. Did Saul believe then? You betcha! Did his direction in life do a 180? Absolutely! Read all of his letters in the New Testament, if you need evidence of that.

Saul, in his sincere efforts to be good was murderously wicked. Trying to be right, he was totally wrong. Notice that Saul wasn't seeking God on the road to Damascus. Why should he? He had God all figured out. He had God in his back pocket. God was on his side cheering him on. Or so he thought until Sovereign God, Holy God, Creator of the Universe, came after Saul, slam-dunking him into the dust.

Was a serial murderer saved that day? You betcha! Is there hope for you, considering all you've done to violate God's law? Absolutely! Paul's story encourages me greatly. If He can forgive a man like Saul of Tarsus, who stood and gleefully watched the stoning of the young deacon, Stephen, cheering on the self-righteous crowd; who signed the death warrants of untold numbers of believers, who masterminded attempted genocide against followers of The Way, He can forgive me. And you. If you haven't done so already, repent and be saved.