SGWMSCOG
Hi Jane, thank you for your purchase. Let me confirm that I will be meeting you tomorrow at the train station to pass you your item. How can I know if it is you?
Oh, I will be wearing a blue top, carrying a red bag, and I usually wear black thick-framed glasses. I will be there at 1pm and you can look for me at the exit leading towards Zion Road.
Okay, noted. See you tomorrow!

How Can I Identify Someone I Have Never Seen Before?

In our daily lives, we may describe certain features of ourselves in order to help someone who has never seen us before identify us easily. In our previous article, we have understood that the only route to recognising God is through the Bible, then how exactly does the Bible enable us to identify Him? It is through the prophecies of the Bible.

The Bible contains numerous prophecies of how God will appear to us when He comes to this earth, when He will come and where He will appear. By looking at all the prophetical points, we will be able to find and recognise our true Saviour.

Was this the working method that God used to let people know that Jesus was the Christ 2,000 years ago? Let us find out.

Prophecies Led Us to Jesus

Immanuel Born Through a Virgin

How would God Almighty come down to this earth? Would he just appear out of nowhere? Since the Bible prophesied that God would be born as a ‘child’ and as a ‘son’ (Isaiah 9:6), He must be born through a woman. However, not just any woman. Isaiah prophesied that the Christ would be born through a virgin.

Isaiah 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

According to this prophecy, Jesus was born through Mary, a virgin chosen to give birth to the Saviour.

Matthew 1:18-23  This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”(which means “God with us”).

How did we recognise that Jesus was the Immanuel? It was because Jesus fulfilled the prophecy written by prophet Isaiah.

The Creator Comes from Bethlehem

To us, the Earth can be quite a vast place with hundreds of nations. Did the Bible pinpoint a specific location where God would be born?

Micah 5:2  “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.”

The only one whose ‘origins are from of old, from ancient times’ is God our Creator, and the Bible prophesied that God would come from Bethlehem.

Matthew 2:1-6  After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? … King Herod … called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’ ”

Did You Know A Nazarene born in Bethlehem

Joseph and Mary (through whom Jesus was born) resided in Nazareth, Galilee. Around the time when Jesus was to be born, the Roman emperor called for a census to be taken, and that was why Joseph and Mary travelled to Bethlehem. While they were there, Jesus was born according to the prophecy (Luke 2:1-7).

Though a small city, Bethlehem was the place where God came from 2,000 years ago.

A Light Seen in Galilee

The Bible also prophesied the place God would preach at.

Isaiah 9:1-2  … In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honour Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan— The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

It was prophesied that the people of Galilee (Zebulun and Naphtali are part of Galilee) would see a great light. Who is this light?

Matthew 4:12-16  When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to GalileeLeaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people living in darkness have seen a great light on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

As Jesus fulfilled the prophecy, it goes to show that He is the light, namely, God (1 John 1:5).

The Sacrificial Path

700 years before Jesus came to this earth, prophet Isaiah prophesied in detail how God would suffer in the future because of our sins.

Isaiah 53:1-5  … He was despised and rejected by mankind… But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds (stripes, KJV) we are healed.

As prophesied, Jesus was flogged and pierced.

Matthew 27:26-30;35  … But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him… Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said.  They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again…When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

John 19:34  Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.

The Bible even prophesied precisely the situation after Jesus’ death.
Isaiah 53:9  He was assigned a grave with the wickedand with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
According to the prophecy “assigned a grave with the wicked”, Jesus was crucified with two robbers at His side. Also, as the prophecy said “with the rich in his death”, after His crucifixion, Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb of a rich man.
Matthew 27:38  Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.
Matthew 27:57-60  As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
God already planned His sacrificial path ahead of time, and He willingly came to this earth to fulfill all the prophecies for the forgiveness of our sins.

The New Covenant

On the night before He was crucified, Jesus established the New Covenant Passover to forgive our sins (Matthew 26:17-28, Luke 22:20). Actually, the establishment of the new covenant was also prophesied in the Bible.
Jeremiah 31:31  “The days are coming,” declares the Lord“when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.
Prophet Jeremiah prophesied that the Lord Jehovah would establish the new covenant, and in the New Testament times, Jesus established the new covenant. This is a clear sign showing that Jesus is, in fact, the Almighty God Jehovah.

Fulfillment of Prophecies—an Absolute Sign of the Christ

Like this, Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies in the Bible without missing a single one. It was the absolute sign that He was the Almighty God testified in the Bible.

Some may question if all these were mere coincidental series of events. Professor Peter Stoner calculated that the probability of fulfilling just 8 of the prophecies is a mind-blowing 1 out of 10 chance.1) Keeping in mind that, in actuality, He fulfilled over 100 prophecies, the chances of an accidental fulfillment is virtually impossible.

Some may also say that Jesus knew some of the prophecies and fulfilled them purposefully. Of course, it may be true for certain prophecies (e.g. the prophecy of the Saviour coming on a donkey in Zechariah 9:9), but is it possible to control certain events such as those concerning His birth and death as detailed above? In fact, regarding a prophecy written in Psalm 22:16 that Jesus’ hands and feet were to be pierced (which was fulfilled at His crucifixion), when this prophecy was written, the method of execution of that time involved having people stoned to death. It was only when Israel came under Rome’s occupation that people were put to death through crucifixion.

In our age, God comes again a second time. What prophecies are there in the Bible about Him? Before we find out about that, let us take a lesson from history and find out why the people rejected God who came to save us 2,000 years ago in the next article.

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1)   Stoner, P. W. (1944). The Christ of Prophecy. Science Speaks(pp.107). Chicago, IL: Moody Press.
你好,简,谢谢你下单。确认一下,我们是明天在地铁站见面交易对吧?怎么认出你呢?
我会穿蓝色上衣,带红色包包,戴黑框眼镜。我一点左右就会到,就在通往锡安路的地铁站出口见吧。
好的,明天见!

如何识别初次见面的人呢?

在我们的日常生活中,为了帮助初次见面的人识别我们,我们可以描述自己的某些特点。上一期的文章揭示只有圣经能将我们指向上帝。那么,圣经如何帮助我们识别上帝呢?其实是通过圣经的预言
关于上帝来临的形式、时间和地点,圣经都作了详细的预言。通过查考这些预言,我们就能识别真正的救主。

2000年前,上帝用什么方法来告知耶稣就是基督呢?对此问题进行查考吧。

将我们引向初临基督的预言

藉着童女诞生的以马内利

 

全能的上帝会以什么模样来到世上呢?难道是突然从天而降吗?既然圣经预言上帝会以“一婴孩”、“一子”出生(以赛亚书9:6),那么他就一定要藉着女人出生。当然不是任意一个女人。以赛亚预言基督会通过童女出生。

以赛亚书7:14    因此,主自己要给你们一个兆头,必有童女怀孕生子,给他起名叫以马内利。

照此预言,耶稣要藉着被拣选的童女马利亚出生。

马太福音 1:18-23  耶稣基督降生的事记在下面:他母亲马利亚已经许配了约瑟,还没有迎娶,马利亚从圣灵怀了孕……她将要生一个儿子,你要给他起名叫耶稣,因他要将自己的百姓从罪恶里救出来。 这一切的事成就是要应验主借先知所说的话, 说:必有童女怀孕生子;人要称他的名为以马内利以马内利翻出来就是“上帝与我们同在”。)

如何确认耶稣就是以马内利呢?那证据就是耶稣成就了以赛亚先知的预言。

莅临伯利恒的创造主

地球是汇聚列国的浩瀚之地。那么圣经是否对耶稣的诞生地做出更精确的预言呢?

弥迦书 5:2  伯利恒以法他啊,你在犹大诸城中为小,将来必有一位从你那里出来,以色列中为我作掌权的;他的根源从亘古,从太初就有。

根源从亘古,从太初就有的那一位正是我们的创造主上帝。圣经预言上帝将从伯利恒而来。

马太福音 2:1-6  希律王的时候,耶稣生在犹太伯利恒。有几个博士从东方来到耶路撒冷那生下来作犹太人之王的在哪里?我们在东方看见他的星,特来拜他。”希律王……就召齐了祭司长和民间的文士,问他们说:“基督当生在何处?”他们回答说:“在犹太伯利恒。因为有先知记着,说: 犹大地的伯利恒啊,你在犹大诸城中并不是最小的;因为将来有一位君王要从你那里出来,牧养我以色列民。

你知道吗 出生在伯利恒的加利利人

约瑟和马利亚(耶稣的肉身母亲)住在加利利的拿撒勒。马利亚的产期临近时,罗马皇帝叫天下人民都报名上册,因此约瑟和马利亚去伯利恒。他们到了伯利恒,耶稣就照着预言出世了。(路加福音2: 1-7)

2000年前上帝正是从小城伯利恒而来。

 

加利利之光

 

圣经还预言了上帝传道的场所。

以赛亚书9:1-2  从前上帝使西布伦地和拿弗他利地被藐视,末后却使这沿海的路,约旦河外,外邦人的加利利地得着荣耀。在黑暗中行走的百姓看见了大光;

这里说加利利的百姓(西布伦和拿弗他利地也属于加利利地区)看见了大光。这大光是谁呢?

马太福音 4:12-16  耶稣听见约翰下了监,就退到加利利去;后又离开拿撒勒,往迦百农去,就住在那里。那地方靠海,在西布伦和拿弗他利的边界上。这是要应验先知以赛亚的话,说:西布伦地,拿弗他利地,就是沿海的路,约旦河外,外邦人的加利利地—那坐在黑暗里的百姓看见了大光;坐在死荫之地的人有光发现照着他们。

既然这预言是由耶稣成就的,那么这大光就是耶稣,即上帝。(约翰一书1:15)

 牺牲之路

早在上帝肉身降世的七百年前,以赛亚先知就预言了上帝将会因为我们的罪受苦。

 以赛亚书53:1-5  .……他被藐视,被人厌弃;……哪知他为我们的过犯受害,为我们的罪孽压伤。因他受的刑罚,我们得平安;因他受的鞭伤,我们得医治。

按照所预言的,耶稣受鞭打,被刺伤。

马太福音 27:26-30;35  于是彼拉多释放巴拉巴给他们,把耶稣鞭打了,交给人钉十字架。巡抚的兵就把耶稣带进衙门,叫全营的兵都聚集在他那里。 他们给他脱了衣服,穿上一件朱红色袍子……跪在他面前,戏弄他,说:「恭喜,犹太人的王啊!」 又吐唾沫在他脸上,拿苇子打他的头……他们既将他钉在十字架上,就拈阄分他的衣服

约翰福音19:34  惟有一个兵拿枪他的肋旁,随即有血和水流出来。 

圣经连耶稣在十字架上殒命后的情况也作出了准确的预言。
以赛亚书 53:9  他虽然未行强暴,口中也没有诡诈,人还使他与恶人同埋谁知死的时候与财主同葬
 按照“与恶人同埋”的预言,耶稣在十字架上殒命时,左右两旁有两个强盗同在。并且,按照与财主同葬的预言,耶稣被安葬在了财主的墓中。
马太福音 27:38  当时,有两个强盗和他同钉十字架,一个在右边,一个在左边。
马太福音 27:57-60  到了晚上,有一个财主,名叫约瑟,是亚利马太来的,他也是耶稣的门徒。 这人去见彼拉多,求耶稣的身体;彼拉多就吩咐给他。 约瑟取了身体,用干净细麻布裹好, 安放在自己的新坟墓里,就是他凿在磐石里的。他又把大石头滚到墓门口,就去了。 
为了饶恕我们的罪,上帝早就预定了自己的牺牲之路,又亲自来到世上成就这一切预言。

 新约

耶稣在十字架上殒命的前一夜,建立了新约逾越节,赐予我们赦罪的祝福。(马太福音26:17-28, 路加福音22:20)圣经也对此作出了预言。
耶利米书 31:31 耶和华说:“日子将到,我要与以色列家和犹大家另立新约”。
耶利米先知预言耶和华上帝将建立新约。到了新约时代,耶稣立下了新约。显而易见,耶稣就是全能的耶和华上帝。

 基督的确实证据——成就所有预言

耶稣无一遗漏地成就了圣经的所有预言,以此证明他就是圣经见证的全能上帝。

有人认为,这不过是一系列的巧合。根据Peter Stoner教授的研究成果,成就8个预言的机率仅仅是1 /10211)然而,耶稣成就了超过一百个预言,这难道还是偶然吗?可能性几乎为零。

还有人会说,耶稣是明知预言的内容,有意照此成就的。这样的说法或许适用于某些预言(例如,按照撒迦利亚书 9:9的预言,救主要骑着驴驹进城),但是关于耶稣的诞生和离世的预言又该怎么解释呢?诗篇22:16节预言耶稣的手和脚都会被扎(这预言通过十字架刑罚成就了)。然而,在记录诗篇的年代,死刑犯通常会被石头打死。以色列被罗马占领后,才出现了十字架的刑罚。

这时代,上帝又再次以安商洪之名莅临世上。圣经中是如何预言耶稣的再临,也就是安商洪上帝的莅临呢?在查考这些预言前,让我们先了解2000年前人们排斥上帝的原因吧!

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1)   Stoner, P. W. (1944). The Christ of Prophecy. Science Speaks(pp.107). Chicago, IL: Moody Press.

ANNOUNCEMENT
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In adherence to the Post-Circuit Breaker Phase One measures, the World Mission Society Church of God Education Centre will remain closed.

All education will continue to be conducted online.

Let us do our part to adhere to the details of the measures and stay safe. Please be physically and spiritually healthy!