and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to observe
all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to
the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19-20).
February 18, 2018
1) Bible Prophecy (Tom Edwards)
2) News & Notes
One of the reasons we can accept the Bible as being divinely
inspired is because of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
Consider, for instance, the following which pertain to the first
promise of the Messiah and those prophecies concerning and pointing
to the time of and around His birth:
According to Genesis 3:15, Christ would be born of a woman.
But before one would say, “Well, what is so special about that?,” we
must realize that what makes it extraordinary is that Jesus had been
with God before the world began and the same in Deity (cf. Jn.
1:1-3); but instead of just coming into this world, already
appearing as a man, as some angels have done, Jesus entered,
instead, in the form of an infant that had to grow and develop into
But notice what else Genesis 3:15 shows in God’s statement to Satan
(who was in the form of a serpent):
“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
The term “seed” is sometimes used in the Bible to refer to
descendants. Notice, for example, Genesis 22:17-18 where God
tells Abraham, “indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly
multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which
is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their
enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be
blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
In this passage, “seed” is not only used to refer to Abraham’s
descendants (as also seen in Psalm 105:6), but, in addition, to a
specific One, as Paul shows in Galatians 3:16: “Now the promises
were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, ‘And to
seeds,’ as referring to many, but rather to one, ‘And to your seed,’
that is, Christ.”
That the serpent would “bruise” Christ on the heel, while Jesus
would “bruise” the serpent on the head, figuratively refers to the
crucifixion of Christ and what Jesus was able to accomplish by
it. For though Jesus had to go through great suffering and
death, yet He also, through that death, was able to “render
powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and
might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery
all their lives” (Heb. 2:14-15).
Also, in going along with Christ’s birth (and even though He has
existed prior to the creation), is that the birth would be from one
who was a virgin. As also prophesied, “Therefore the Lord
Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child
and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14).
Mary conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit. The account declares
concerning Joseph and Mary that “before they came together she was
found to be with child by the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 1:18).
Having not initially known that, Joseph was planning on sending Mary
away secretly; but, prior to doing so, an angel of the Lord
assured him that “the Child who has been conceived in her is of the
Holy Spirit” (v. 20).
Matthew then points out that “…this took place to fulfill what was
spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE
WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME
IMMANUEL,’ which translated means, ‘GOD WITH US’” (v. 23).
And to think that even way back during the time of Adam and Eve,
while they were still in the garden of Eden and before they became
parents, God had indicated Satan’s defeat at Calvary by Jesus’ death
on the cross that brought about that triumph – and a triumph, as we
see in the New Testament, that would lead to the victory of many!
As we continue on, not only would Jesus be born of a virgin and of
the lineage of Abraham, but He would also be a descendant of David
(Acts 2:29-32; Matt. 1:1). Jesus Himself acknowledged this as
well: “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things
for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the
bright morning star” (Rev. 22:16). But, of course, as Paul
shows, Jesus being “born of a descendant of David” was only
“according to the flesh” (Rom. 1:3). For that is the part of
Christ that did have a beginning, while His true essence has always
existed. And when it comes to the Deity-side of Jesus, He was
“declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the
dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord”
(v. 4). While on earth, Jesus was the “Son of Man” (Luke 22:48) as
well as the “Son of God” (John 10:36).
It is also interesting to see that the very place where Jesus would
be born was prophesied several centuries prior. For Micah
wrote about 700 to 681 B.C. and foretells:
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity” (Micah 5:2).
“Ephrathah” is an ancient name of Bethlehem. It is also seen
as Ephrath (Gen. 35:16,19; Gen. 48:7). That Bethlehem would be the
place of Christ’s birth is also referred to in Matthew 2:5-6.
For in answering Herod’s question concerning where the Messiah was
to be born, the chief priests and scribes said to him: “…’In
Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the
prophet: “AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST
AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER
WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.”’” See also Matthew 2:1.
A terrible event of great sadness was also prophesied that would
have one of its fulfillments to take place around the time of the
birth of Jesus:
“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’” (Jer. 31:15).
This second fulfillment of this dual prophecy is seen in Matthew
2:16-18: “Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi
he became very enraged and sent and slew all the male children who
were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and
under, according to the time which he had determined from the
magi. Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet
was fulfilled…,” which goes on to cite Jeremiah 31:15, as seen
above, but with just a slight change in wording.
Why is Rachel the one mentioned as mourning for her children?
Though there are several different Ramahs in the Bible, this
particular one was in the territory of Benjamin, which was settled
by those who could trace their lineage back to Jacob and
Rachel. Hence, we read of Rachel weeping over her children
(descendants) to figuratively express the sorrowful events that
would come to them (and though she had long been deceased). “Ramah
was intimately connected with one of the saddest epochs of Jewish
history.” The leading residents of Jerusalem who survived
Nebuchadnezzar’s attack on the city had been placed under guard at
Ramah, while the Babylonians continued to plunder Jerusalem, destroy
the temple and the palace, and cause other ruin. Jeremiah had
also been held captive at Ramah (Jer. 40:1). The Cyclopedia of
Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature further states:
“Perhaps there was also a slaughter… of the captives as, from age,
weakness, or poverty” who “were not worth the long transport across
the desert to Babylon. There, in that heart-rending scene of
captives in chains wailing over slaughtered kindred and desolated
sanctuaries, was fulfilled the first phase of the prophecy uttered
only a few years before: ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and
bitter weeping: Rachel weeping for her children… ’ That mourning was
typical of another which took place six centuries later, when the
infants of Bethlehem were murdered, and the second phase of the
prophecy was fulfilled (Matt. 2:17).”
Let us close with the following prophecy concerning Jesus who was a
very special “seed” indeed — and of far superior worth and value, as
Isaiah 9:6-7 sets forth:
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Eternal Father [the Father of Eternity], Prince of
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.”
How glad and thankful we can be that Jesus fulfilled these
prophecies written about Him, that He came to our rescue, and that
He manifested His love in the greatest of all ways!
(All Scripture from the NASB, unless otherwise indicated.)
News & Notes
Alice Jean Corbitt Young (Anita's mother-in-law) passed away
February 14 at the age of 87. She had lived in Ware County all her
life and was preceded in death by two of her daughters (Jean Hancock
and Barbara Darsey) and two of her sons (Albert and Robert). She had
also outlived her husband James and all seven of her siblings.
Among her survivors are two daughters: Mary Hampton (husband Danny)
and Sandra Morgan (husband Stanley); one son: James (wife Harriet);
and 30 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren, and a great great
grandchild, along with many other relatives. We extend our
condolences to all her family and friends.
Though Penny Medlock is now doing better, the illness seems
to have made its way to her mother Deborah who has seen a
doctor for it and is being treated with medication.
Cedell Fletcher has been back in the hospital.
Charles Crosby is doing well, but still has several more
weeks before receiving the new knee.
Let us also remember in prayer Jim Lively, A.J. & Pat
Joyner, Shirley Davis, Frankie Hadley, Meadern Anderson, Mary
Rogers, Belinda Medlock, James Green, Bennie Medlock, Judy
Daugherty, Misty & Jason Thornton, Michelle Rittenhouse,
Rachael Gerbing, Jarvis Williams, and Mary Vandevander.
WordPress version of this bulletin:
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that
is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ
(John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5;
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom.
10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the
remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4;
Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be
lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00
a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 7 p.m. (Ladies' Bible
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912)
http://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with
pictures in WordPress)
(Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but
back to March 1990)