The Role of Prophecy in Christian Apologetics

ppt Prophecy and Christian Apologetics 4.41 MbPower point and notes (click "Read More" to see notes)   


Notes for "The Role of Prophecy in Christian Apologetics"

Our Goal;

Not to study predictive prophecy in general, but the use of prophecy as evidence in support of Christianity and of the Bible as the Word of God.

Some apologetics is defensive, other apologetics is offensive.

Defensive:    (used to answer the critics, but not to prove the Bible)

History and Archaeology

How We Got the Bible

Science (mostly)

Inconsistencies in the Bible


World View



Claims of Jesus

These are the ones used in Acts 2

The early gospel preachers had approximately this outline:

a.  Jesus fulfilled the OT prophecies of the Messiah, therefore he is the Messiah.

Acts 2:17-21   evidence the kingdom has come

Acts 2:25-28, 34-35   evidence Jesus is messiah because resurrection was prophesied

Acts 3:21-25   A prophet like you (Deut 18:15f) All nations will be blessed (Gen 22:18)

Don’t read, but     Acts 4:10-11    The capstone the builders rejected.

Also Acts 13:32-37   even to Gentiles who did not know the OT.

b. Jesus worked unmistakable public miracles, therefore he is the Son of God.

c. Jesus willingly died on the cross to accept the penalty for OUR sins, therefore he is savior.

d.  Jesus was raised from the dead, so a day of Judgment is coming.

e.  Therefore put your faith in him, repent and be baptized.

Point 1 and 2 are apologetics. 

Definition of prophecy.  Hebrew:  to speak forth   Aaron was Moses’ "prophet"   The prophets were forth tellers principally, not principally foretellers

However, in this course, as it is about apologetics, we will talk about fore-telling

1.  The purpose of prophecy: 

a. To warn and encourage.    Jer 25:8-14      Deut 28:45-48  A warning   Deut 28:58f

As an encouragement  Deut 30:1-5

b. To give evidence that the revelation is from God.  Luke 24:44

Question:  Do other religions have prophets in this sense?

Greek Oracles at Delphi.     To Croesus, king of Lydia:   "If you begin this war (against Cyrus of Persia), you will destroy a great empire"

To Alexander:   You will have great victory.   Not a huge shot in the dark.

Jean Dixon:   President Kennedy will be assassinated in 1963.

Nostradamus:  A dabbler in black magic and mysticism.   Hundreds of "Quatrains."

Predicted the death of King Henry II in a jousting tournament.

Predicted assassination of Kennedy?

The great man will be struck down in the day by a thunderbolt,

The evil deed predicted by the bearer of a petition:

According to the prediction, another falls at night,

Conflict in Reims, London and pestilence in Tuscany   (Century I Quatrain 27)

Predicted the French Revolution?  The rise of Hitler?  The assassination of Kennedy?

Pattern:  Either very vague and applicable to practically anything, or something rather easily foreseen.

National Enquirer:  Do they post last year’s predictions?

Islam:   Claim that Mohammed fulfills John 16, Deut 18, but not specific prophetic content.

3.  Is there such a thing as "double prophecy?"  In other words are there prophecies which

     are fulfilled in more than one way?

Example:  Isaiah 7:13-17  Is this also about Ahaz?  Or is it about the Messiah? (note Matthew 1:23)

Example:  Genesis 49:9-11

Ezekiel 11:16-20   About the return from exile or about the church?

Example Matthew 24:4-44  v 12-14  both?   v. 15-29 about AD 70   v 30-44 end times.

From Chris Maness:  Let us analyze Zechariah 14  Of what is this a prophecy?

Revelation:  Rev 1:1 soon take place (in context: the persecutions of Rome on the church), but is this prophecy applicable in general for all "end times?"

4.  How should we interpret predictive prophecy?

a.  Prophecy should only be "interpreted" after the prophecy is fulfilled (use the Isaac Newton quote)

          Daniel 2:41  ten toes are ten nations of the EU?

b.  Let the Bible interpret for us when possible

•n     Matthew 24:15 "spoken through the prophet Daniel"

•n     Matthew 4:14-16 "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali"

•n     Matthew 2:6,15,17, 3:3  Bethlehem, Egypt, the desert

•n     Matthew 12:39-41 The sign of Jonah

•n     Galatians 4:24  "These things can be taken figuratively"

5.  In OT, the prophets were tested  Deut 13:1-3   * Deut 18:21-22

Prophecy fulfilled was stronger evidence than miracle performed.

6.  Therefore, although most of their short-term prophecies are presumably NOT recorded, some are and let us see them.

1 Kings 20:28  I will deliver this vast army into your hands   1 Kings 20:29-30

1 Kings 20:36   A lion will kill you     1 Kings 20:36

1 Kings 21:19     Ahab’s blood will be licked       fulfilled 1 Kings 22:37

1 Kings 21:23     Dogs will devour Jezebel   2 Kings 9:32-37

Read this one:  1 Kings 22:1-28  esp 28    Ahab will be killed       1 Kings 22:31-36

2 Kings 7:1-2    By tomorrow a seah of flour will sell for a sheckel    2 Kings 7:17-20

2 Kings 19:5-7   He will hear a certain report, go home and cut down. 2 Kings 19:37

Isaiah 37:33-35  and 2 Kings19:32-34   I will defend this city      Is 37:36-37 and 2 Kings 19:35-36

Isaiah 38:4-6   I will add 15 years to your life and save this city

Jer 27:1-11   I will hand you over to Nebuchadnezzar.  You will serve the king    2 Kings 25:1-7

Jeremiah 28:1-17  Jeremiah and Hananiah   Hananiah the false prophet dies.

Jeremiah 32:6-8 42-44  Jeremiah buys a field.  Once more fields will be bought in this land.   I will restore their fortunes.

Daniel 4:24-27  (to Nebuchadnezzar)  You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle…Seven times will pass for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.

                   Daniel 4:28-37  All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar….

(from Eusebius) Greek historian Abydenus:  Nebuchadnezzar the king "was possessed by some god or other."  and that immediately after, he disappeared for some time.

Short term prophecies of Jesus

Matthew 26:34  By the time the rooster crows you will deny me    Matt 26:74

Acts 11:27-28   Agabus predicts a severe famine.

Short term prophecies of Jesus

•n     John 2:19   "Destroy this temple and I will raise it in three days."

•n     Acts 1:4-5   "In a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

•n     Luke 21:20-24   "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near."   (Also Matthew 24:15-25)

•n     "The whole body, however, of the church at Jerusalem, having been commanded by a divine revelation, given to men of approved piety there before the war, removed from the city, and dwelt at a certain town beyond the Jordan, called Pella. Here those that believed in Christ, having removed from Jerusalem, as if holy men had entirely abandoned the royal city itself, and the whole land of Judea; the divine justice, for their crimes against Christ and his apostles finally overtook them, totally destroying the whole generation of these evildoers form the earth. (Eusebius, 3:5.)

•n     "Now this sect of Nazarenes exists in Beroea in Coele-Syria, and in Decapolis in the district of Pella, and in Kochaba of Basanitis– called Kohoraba in Hebrew. For thence it originated after the migration from Jerusalem of all the disciples who resided at Pella, Christ having instructed them to leave Jerusalem and retire from it on account of the impending siege. It was owing to this counsel that they went away, as I have said, to reside for a while at Pella" (Haer 29:7).

•5.     Medium term prophecies in OT:  fulfilled during the OT times

Genesis 17:6-8   (also Genesis 12:2-3,7 Genesis 15:4-5) 

a. Father of many nations  (Arabs [Ishmael], Edom [Esau], Israel)

b. A covenant.

c. I will give Canaan as an inheritance

Genesis 49 (whole thing)  esp. 49:10-11

Deuteronomy 28   esp.  36-37    49-57     64   68

Joshua 6:26   He who rebuilds Jericho will do so at the cost of his firstborn and his youngest son.    1 Kings 16:34

Isaiah 39:3-7 and 2 Kings 20:16-18    Babylon will conquer Judah and take eunuch to Babylon

Read this one:  Jeremiah 29:8-14  70 years

              Also   Jeremiah 25:8-14    banishment for 70 years

Note:  Daniel knew about both the warning and the encouragement Daniel 9:2

Isaiah 44:28-45:7 45:13  Cyrus is my shepherd.  He will say of Jerusalem, "Let its foundations be laid."

Fulfilled in 2 Chron 36:23   (and in the Cyrus Cyllinder, by the way)

Amos 5:7    I will take you into exile beyond Damascus

6.  OT prophecies fulfilled "Between the Testaments"

Tyre.   Ezekiel 26:  3-5,14  a place to spread fishing nets

Nebuchadnezzar will destroy mainland Tyre 26:8

Many nations against Tyre  26:3

It will be a bare rock; flat like top of a rock    26:4     Alexander

Fishermen’s nets will be spread there    26:5

They will throw stones and timber into the water   26:12

Never be rebuilt   26:14

Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the mainland city but left the island portion untouched

Alexander:  built the causeway 332 BC

Secular historian Philip Myers in his history textbook:

"Alexander the Great reduced it [Tyre] to ruins.  She recovered in a measure from this blow, but never regained the place she had previously held in the world.  The larger part of the site of the once great city is no bare as the top of a rock-a place where the fishermen that still frequent the spot spread their nets to dry.

Now, the original site is not occupied as a city.



Background to Daniel:

Theme:  God Rules the Nations, Do Not Fear!

Main messages:

1.  How to stay pure and uncorrupted-to maintain your integrity in a world

     in which you are surrounded by unbelievers.

2.  God is in control.  He will protect his people.  Do not fear.  God will deal

     with those who persecute or otherwise oppose your service for him.

Principle Audience:

Jews who suffered under the persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanes (167-164 BC)

(Read the book of 1st Maccabees)

Things that make Daniel unique:

1. Daniel is a history book of the future!

2.  Daniel, more than any other book, is the fighting ground for intellectuals

     over whether the Bible is inspired by God.  If they cannot cut down

     Daniel, then their case is lost

Date of writing:   6th century BC.  Daniel lived until at least 536 BC when he had his last vision.

Skeptics:   Daniel written around 160 BC.   It is "pseudepigraphic"    (There were many pseudepigraphic Hebrew writings from 200 BC to AD 200   Baruch, for example, which everyone knew were pseudepigraphic)

3.  Daniel  ↔ Old Testament       as     Revelation    New Testament


1.  Largely Apocalyptic.

2.  Concerning end times.   (eschatology)

3.  Written to a people who are suffering very intense persecution.

6.  Daniel is a very unique "prophet."   In fact, was he a prophet?   Did he occupy the position of prophet among the Jews?  No.   Did he proclaim, "Thus says the Lord" to Israel?  No.   Did he predict the future?  Yes.  If Daniel was a prophet, he was a prophet to the nations.

Historical background.

1.  722 BC    Samaria destroyed by Assyria.

2. 701 BC  Sennacherib attacks Judah, Jerusalem, army destroyed.

2.  612  BC     Assyria/Nineveh destroyed by Nabopolassar (Babylonian) and Cyaxares (Median).

605  BC   Nebuchadnezzar  son of Nabopolassar king of Babylon

                Neb attacks Jerusalem, Jehoiakim submits, captives and

                tribute/treasure taken to Babylon.    (beginning of Jeremiah’s 70

                years?)     (Jeremiah 25:11,12)

597    Neb returns, attacks Jer.  Jehoachin  taken as captive to Babylon. 

          Zedekiah installed as puppet king.

586.    Zedekiah rebels, Neb. Returns, Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple

           leveled.   (beginning of the 70 years of captivity?)

550    Cyrus reigns over Media/Persia

          a. 546  Lydia

          b. 538  Babylon

          c. 530  Egypt

538  Babylon captured by Cyrus’ armies.   Decree to return to native lands. (Ezra 1)    (Daniel 5)   Media/Persia takes over Babylonian empire.

537/6   Jewish captives return to Jer. to build temple

334-331  Alexander attacks and destroys Persian Empire

323   Alexander dies

185-163    Seleucid king Antiochus Epiphanes rules over Jerusalem.

167   Temple desecrated.

164    Macabeean revolt.  Temple cleansed

31  Battle of Actium.  Last of the Ptolemies dies.

6 BC  Jesus born

AD 29  Jesus crucified

70  Jerusalem destroyed

Outline of Class

I.  Practical examples in the lives of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego  (Ch 1,3-6).   Remaining righteous in a pagan world.

II.  Prophecies of the future.  Ch 2,7-12

Ch I    Daniel, Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael     Will they compromise their

           convictions under pressure from the world?


605   Captives sent from Jerusalem for assurance of submission.   Children of the leading families in Jerusalem.

Daniel, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael    children of aristocratic families, taken as captives.

Babylonians try to make them Babylonian

Change their names

Daniel →   Belshazzar   (named after the chier pagan god of Babylon:  Bel)

Hananiah →  Shadrach   etc…   v 5,6

Educate them in their culture.    v 4,5

Isaiah 39:6,7      (the prophecy that "the time will come…all carried off to Babylon.  Some of your descendents who come from you will be taken away…   eunuchs…)

Ch III   The image of gold and the fiery furnace   THE FIRES OF PERSECUTION

Do not conform to the pressure of the religious world to conform.

3:4-6     Imagine you are SM&A   What thoughts go through your mind?

"I will bow my head, but not my heart.  God will understand"

Talk about peer pressure!!

Appn:   Jews in time of Antiochus Epiphanes.  Many wanted to combine Greek culture and philosophy with Judaism.

Appn:   Persecutions of Diocletian:   Some offered the sacrifice to the Roman god.   What should the church do with these people after the persecution ended?

SM&A:   Would God really want me to die now?  Doesn’t he have great things in store for me?   What would it hurt for me to compromise?

Q:   What would you have done?   Really….    My kids….

Me:   Barney Ellison

v. 13. Dragged to furnace.     Neb is furious.    Gives one more chance to repent

SM&A refuse to bow.

I love v 16-18.   Note 

•1.     God is able   

•2.     But even if he does not, we refuse to compromise our devotion to God.

CH II   A Dream of the Future.

v. 1  In the second year of his reign…    604 BC

Neb has a dream.  Interpret it for me.  Fine, tell us.  Neb:  no, you tell me the dream first, so I will know you are not religious fakes.  Or I will kill you all.

v. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among men.     WRONG.

Many so-called charismatics are the same.   God told me…  I know it in my heart…     Do not be intimidated by religious fakes.  The world will be able to tell the difference.

Daniel’s prayer:   God rules the nations.  Do not fear.

v. 28  gives God the glory

The vision

A head of gold.       

Chest of Bronze,

Belly and thighs of silver

Legs of iron, but legs are part iron and part clay

v. 37  God has given you dominion and power.

Head = Babylon

Chest = Media/Persia

Belly and Thighs =  Greece

Legs = Rome.

Skeptics:   head = Babylon   Chest = Media   Belly = Persia    Legs = Greece

Divided kingdom   Diocletian  AD 284   Permanent after Theodosian AD 395

Clay:  Western Rome    AD 476

Iron:  Eastern Rome-Byzantium   until AD 1453

603 BC- AD 1453  over two thousand years.

In time of Rome, God will establish the kingdom of God on the earth.  V 44

Daniel VII     Daniel’s First Vision.   Four Beasts.

This vision focuses on Rome!    (so much for 160 BC date of authorship)

First year of Belshazzar (regency)   553 BC

v.4  A lion    Babylon   lion a major motif.   Eagle:  Jer 48:40  Look, an eagle is swooping down

The heart of a man given to it.   Nebuchadnezzar repents.

v. 5  a bear.  Strength.   Persia/Media   3 ribs = Lydia, Babylon, Egypt.

v. 6  a leopard.  Speed   Greece   four heads = Antigonus, Cassander, Lysimachus and Ptolemy.  (See ch. 8)

v.7    a terrible beast.  This vision about Rome.  Persecutions.

v. 7  10 horns = 10 kings  (v. 24)    


v. 8  another horn.  An eleventh king.  Domitian.  First systematic persecutor of Christians.  AD 81-96.

This horn will speak boastfully.

Domitian was proverbial for arrogance and pride.

Go to v. 20-25.

v. 21  waging war against the saints.   Imagine how 1st century disciples felt when they were persecuted by Domitian, the 11th emperor!!!!   God is in control.  Do not fear.

Subdue 3 kings:     Galba, Otho and Vitellius  defeated by his Father, actually.   How did Daniel know that?

(Revelation 17:1-18   7 heads and 10 horns  (ignoring G, O & V) 

v. 8  the beast who once was (Antiochus Epiphanes), now is not, and yet will come (Domitian) God is preparing his people.    v. 10,11  the eighth king is Domitian.   He is going to his destruction.  God is in control, do not fear)

back to Daniel

v. 25  will try to change the set times.   Domitianus   a new month

                   (got rid of it the day after he died)

v. 25  and the laws.    Set up an entirely new set of laws. (like Napolean)

v. 25   3-1/2 times   ½ of seven   A limited period of persecution.

v. 26,27  so cool   (or go back to v. 9)   Massively inspiring.  But imagine being a 1st-3rd century disciple.

CH VIII    Daniel’s second vision.  A Ram and a Goat.  Greece and Antiochus Epiphanes.

v. 2  in the citadel of Susa.     Later the capitol of Persia.

v. 3  A ram with two horns.   

v. 3  A horn which was longer but grew up later.  What a strange vision!  Persia.     Clearly, Daniel sees Media/Persia as one kingdom!!!

v. 4  Charged West (Lydia)  North (Babylon) and South (Egypt)

v. 5  Suddenly, a goat charges form the West.  Prominent horn: Alexander the Great.  334 BC crossed the Dardenelles. 

v. 5  Without touching the ground.

v. 8  At the height of his power…  323 BC. 

v. 8  Four Prominent horns.   Antigonus, Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy

     (v. 21,22)    Not 3, not 5, 4!!!!!

v. 9  Out of one of them.   Seleucus  312 BC

v. 9  to the South (Syria)   East (Persia, Media, Elam)  toward the Beautiful Land (Palestine)    All this took over 100 years.

v. 11  It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host-Antiochus had a statue of himself put up in the inner sanctuary of the temple.

v. 11  It took away the daily sacrifice.   For three years.

•a.     see how specific!!

•b.    See how the Jews would be helped by this!!!!

v. 12   truth thrown to the ground.     Hellenizing Jews set up as high priests

"Because of rebellion"   God is in control

skip to v. 23-25

•24.    He will become very strong, but not by his own power.

•25.    Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.    Is this subtle?

 Back to v. 14    2300 evenings and mornings = 1150 days.

The actual desecration lasted from early Dec 167 – Dec 25 164 BC

   About 1150 days.

Dec 25, 164  Judas Maccabeeus  successful revolt   Maccabeean kingdom.

Hannukkuh celebrates this.  See 1st Maccabees.

v. 25   Antiochus died the next year.

How Did Daniel know all this?

Intense persecution.      Temporary.     God is in control.    Do not fear.


Darius who was made ruler.   An appointed governor, not a hereditary emperor.  Daniel is not wrong.

9:1   538 BC  The prophecy is coming true. 

Awesome prayer.   We have sinned.  We deserve what has happened to us.

Summarize.  V. 17

v. 20,21  While I was still praying.    Very encouraging.

v. 24-27

v. 24  Seventy "sevens"   =  490    (years?  let the fulfillment interpret the prophecy)

          finish transgression….  anoint the Most Holy    (anoint = Messiah)

v. 25   issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem

          539 BC   Darius  Ezra 1     return and rebuild temple

          520 BC   Darius   Ezra 6   rebuild temple  Never worked on wall

          458 BC   7th year of Artaxerxes  Ezra 7:13-16    specific permission to

                             rebuild the city of Jerusalem.

          445 BC    20th year of Artaxerxes  To Nehemiah  decree not quoted

                   but implied.  Specific permission to rebuild wall.  Confirmed

                   458 BC.

458 – 490 = -32    no!   there was no zero BC    = AD 33

The simple treatment.   The Messiah is coming to Jerusalem around 33 AD.

Read in more detail.  The Messiah is coming to Jerusalem during the seventieth week–between 26 and 33 AD.    Most likely date of crucifixion was AD 29     (Passover Sabbath on a Saturday 29,33)

Let’s back off.   Daniel predicted the year when Jesus would be crucified!!!!

v. 26   The people of the ruler will come.   AD 69  Vespasian   AD 70 Titus

Destroy the city and the sanctuary.   Exactly what happened in AD 70.

Luke 21:20  When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies…

v.  22  the time of judgment on the Jews has finally come.

Matthew 24:12-14  sounds almost exactly like Daniel 8 under Antiochus.

Matt 24:15,16

This is the abomination of desolation of Jesus Christ

My opinion:  God gave the Jews 40 years to consider Jesus, then he cut off their religion forever.

Daniel 9:27  He will put an end to sacrifice and offering.   So much for the premillenial expectation!

Hebrews 8:13    It will soon disappear.

The abomination of desolation.  It is over folks.  Titus performs a pagan sacrifice right on the site of the temple.


v. 16   An overwhelmingly intense vision.

11:2  Three more kings…     Cambysses  530-522   Darius I 522-486  

          Xerxes 1  Attacked Greece  Artaxerxes  Biggest attack on Greece

          Then  a mighty king  Alexander

          Parceled out to the four winds.  Not go to his descendents.    Four successors.

Again, how did Daniel know this?

v. 5  The king of the South  (the Ptolemaic dynasty under Ptolemy 1)

v. 5  But one of his commanders…  Seleucus  I Nicator

Go to outline.   and Read my book p 173 bottom for a while.

v. 28-30  Ships of the western coastlands  (The Romans intervene to save the balance of power!)  

  Antiochus returns frustrated and angry to attack Israel

Read 1 Maccabees 1:10-16    also 1:41-64   4:36-40

v. 35 (also Daniel 8:25) Encouragement for the faithful Jews.  God is in control.  Do not fear.

CHAPTER XII  THE TIME OF THE END   (still part of the vision)

Daniel 12       Revelation 20-22

12:3  Those who are wise (like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego)

          will shine….

Theme of Daniel?

Those who lead many to righteousness. …    Do not forsake sharing your faith!!

v. 8  What will happen?

Reply:   Daniel, mind your own business.  Just trust in God.  God is in control.  Do not fear.  Some will be wise.  Some will stubbornly oppose the truth.  You, just keep your head and trust in me.

God’s final encouragement to Daniel (and us)  You will rest and live with me forever.



Messianic Prophecy

Of all the available apologetic material, I believe this is the most powerful for the purpose of helping to create faith in non-believers and in young Christians.  (a possible close second to studying the resurrection and a study of the claims of Jesus? Liar, Lord, Lunatic )

Remember our outline of the sermons in Acts:

Jesus fulfilled the messianic prophecies, therefore he is the Messiah

Jesus worked miracles, therefore he is Lord.

Jesus was crucified for our sins and rose from the dead, therefore he is Savior

In response, you should repent and be baptized.

Jesus:  I am the Son of God.  I am the one sent by God.  I am the one the OT writers were talking about.   Proof:   I fulfilled the prophecies

Luke 24:44

Let us pretend we ourselves are the ultimate skeptic.  We are starting from the point of view that obviously God, Bible, salvation, life after death-these are all the things of fairly tales.  The they are as believable as the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Skeptic’s question #1     How do I know these prophecies were in fact written down hundreds of years before the events-that they are in fact predictive of events which came after them?


1.  The Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible into the Greek.  Done in Egypt, beginning as early as 220 BC and probably finished by at the latest 180 BC.

2.  The Dead Sea Scrolls.  Fragments (or in the case of Isaiah, entire books) of every OT book except Esther.  Mostly from  250 BC – 50 BC.

Conclusion:   All the prophecies we will consider in this study certainly were written before 250 BC, almost certainly all before 300 BC, and quite likely all before 400 BC

430 years.   1578.  The Jamestown Settlement is still in the future.

Question #2    How do I know these things really happened?

*    Josephus:   "When Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him… And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct to this day."

*    Cornelius Tacitus:  "Hence, to suppress the rumor, [Nero] falsely charged with the guilt and punished with the most exquisite tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who were hated for their enormities.   Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius…

*    Jewish Talmud  "On the eve of the Passover they hanged Yeshu and the herald went before him for forty days saying Yeshu… has practiced sorcery and beguiled and led astray Israel.

Note:  Do liars add unnecessary details to their story or do they hold back as much key information as possible?

Note:  Do liars and opportunists normally die for their lie/opportunistic scheme?

Question #3   Are these, in fact, prophecies of the Messiah (or are they being taken out of context)?

Hint:  If the Jews themselves acknowledged them to be messianic, that is very strong evidence.

I have tried to select prophecies which even a Jewish person is likely to admit is about the Messiah.

Question #4    Might Jesus, desiring to make claims to be the Messiah, have read the Bible and subsequently manipulated events so as to appear to have indeed been the Messiah.

A really bad plan!  It includes dying.

Note:  the following are the ones I would use for an evangelistic study.


Isaiah 53:1-13

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering. (v. 3)

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (v. 5)  (John 19:31-37)

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. (v. 7)


v. 9  He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death (Mark 15:43-46)

Micah 5:2

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathrah, 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 old, from ancient times.

Isaiah 9:1,6

In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan….   For to us a child is born… And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Psalm 22:16-18

Dogs have surrounded me;

   a band of evil men have encircled me,

   they have pierced my hands and my feet.

I can count all my bones;    (John 19:3-37)

   people stare and gloat over me.

They divide my garments among them

   and cast lots for my clothing.   (John 19:23,24)

Zechariah 11:12,13

          I told them, "If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it."  so they paid me thirty pieces of silver.      (Matthew 26:14-16)

And the Lord said to me, "Throw it to the potter"-the handsome price at which they priced me!  So I  took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord, to the potter.    (Matthew 27:3-8)

Daniel 9:24-26

          Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.

          Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, until the Anointed One, the ruler comes, there will be seven ‘sevens’ and sixty two ‘sevens’ 

Decree of Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:12-26)  458 BC

458 BC – 490 years = -32    (no zero BC)

According to just these prophecies, in order for any human to claim to have fulfilled all the prophecies of the Messiah (Luke 24:44) he must:

*    Be born in Bethlehem

*    Be raised in Galilee near Nazareth

*    Be despised and rejected by men

*    Be meek and silent before his accusers

*    Be "pierced"

*    Be crucified

*    Have his garments divided and gambled over

*    Be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver

*    Come to Jerusalem to make atonement for sin in about AD 33

*    And many more….

Was all this an accident, or did God plan all along for the Passion of the Christ for forgiveness of sins?    What do you think?

Man, Myth or Messiah?

Other significant messianic prophecies:

*    Genesis 3:15  He will crush your head.

*    Genesis 49:10-11  He will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.

*    Deuteronomy 18:15-19  …a prophet like you from among your brothers.

*    Psalm 16:10,11  Your Holy One will not see decay.

*    Psalm 69:8-9,21  Zeal for your house consumes me.  (John 2:17)

*    Psalm 110:1,4  …to my Lord… You are a priest forever of the order of Melchizedek.   (Hebrews 7)

*    Psalm 118:22-23   The stone the builders rejected…

*    Isaiah 7:14  The maiden will be with child.

*    Isaiah 11:1-2, Zechariah 6:9-15  The Branch, the stump, the root of Jesse.

Zechariah 6:11-13   A symbolic crowning of the Messiah in the form of the high priest Joshua.     Here is the man whose name is the Branch….      There will be harmony between the two.   Before Jesus, Israel had priests and kings.  Jesus is both.

*    Isaiah 42:1-3  My chosen one…. A bruised reed he will not break.

Who would have guessed?

*    Zechariah 9:9-11  …your King… riding on a donkey(Matt 21:2-7, Mark 11:4)

*    Zechariah 12:10-11  the one they have pierced

Zechariah 12:10-11  Some details… By the way, Zech 12:11   The weeping that day will be …like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.    This is a reference to the death of Josiah.  609 BC    (2 Kings 23:29-30, 2 Chron 35:24-25)

Kingdom Prophecies


*    As a general rule, kingdom prophecies tend to be more double and even triple prophecies because of the nature of the Kingdom of God.

Is he talking about physical Israel?     Is he talking about the coming of the kingdom in Acts 2 and the visible manifestation of the Kingdom: the Church?

Or is he talking about the final judgment and the ultimate manifestation of the Kingdom of God:   Heaven?


*    These are more apologetics for the believer than for the non-believer.

*    One thing for sure, Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God a lot.

It is so hard to whittle this stuff down……

One way;  Just choose the kingdom prophecies in a single book.

Zechariah 2:10-12      (also a double prophecy if you start in v. 6)

I will live among you     (Luke 20-21  kingdom does not come visibly,  within you)

Many nations will be joined

Judah will he his portion.       (This is spiritual Judah)

Zechariah 3:8-10

Joshua dressed in white

Sin of the land removed in a single day

Each will invite his neighbor

Zechariah 6:9-15   Put the crown on Joshua.   

The Branch.  

He will build the temple.

He will rule on a throne.

He will be a priest on a throne!!!

There will be harmony between the two   (no more separate king and priest)

 Those who are far away (physically and spiritually) will come and help build the temple of the Lord.

Zechariah 8:1-7

I will return to Zion

Jerusalem will be the city of Truth

The Mountain of the Lord

Old people, boys and girls playing

I will bring my people back to live in [the New] Jerusalem

Zechariah 9:10

His [Jesus’] rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Zechariah 13:1-3 

A fountain opened on that day  Pentecost

Prophets prophesy no more.

Zechariah 14:  the whole thing!!!

All nations gathered to Jerusalem.

Destruction of Jerusalem (AD 70) prophesied.

You will flee by my mountain   v. 5 (The church fled)

Living water will flow  v. 8

The Lord will be king of the whole earth v. 9

Survivors will go up and celebrate Feast of Booths v. 16-end about heaven.

*    Daniel 2:44  In the time of those kings…

*    Jeremiah 31:31-14 (also Ezekiel 36:24-28)  A new covenant and a new kind of relationship between God and his people.

*    Isaiah 2:2-4   The mountain of the Lord’s temple

Also Isaiah 11:1-9    v. 6 wolf and lamb   infant playing with cobra  v. 11  God will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim a remnant from Assyria, etc.    (Acts 2)

*    Joel 2:28-32      In the last days

*    Ezekiel 17:22-24    Birds of every kind will nest in it.

*    Ezekiel 37:24-28   My servant David will be king…. Prince forever..    An everlasting covenant….  I will put my sanctuary among them.   My dwelling place will be with them.

*    Exodus 19:5-6   A kingdom of priests and a holy nation.    (1 Peter 2:9)


From Shadow to Reality

Types, Prefigures and Foreshadows as evidence the Bible is inspired by God

OT Theme:  The Messiah is coming, bringing salvation.

NT Theme:  The Messiah is here, and he has brought salvation..

John 5:39,40    The entire OT is about me!!!    We will definitely see that.

OT finds its meaning, its fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

2 illustrations:

1.  OT like a play…

2.  OT like a mystery.


1.  Foreshadow:  An object, an event, a person or a situation which stands for something similar but of greater significance in the future.

Ex:  Snake on a pole in Exodus.

2.  Prefigure:   Similar to a foreshadow, but a specific thing which stands for another specific thing in the future.   Ex:  Moses a prefigure of Christ.

3.  Type and antitype:  Webster: A person or thing regarded as the symbol of someone or something which is yet to appear.   (Therefore a type prefigures an antitype)

       Webster:  antitype:  That which corresponds to or is foreshadowed by the type.

Proposed "rules" for concluding a particular type or foreshadow is indeed put there by God.

*    If a New Testament writer says that an Old Testament event or person is a prefigure/prophecy/foreshadow/type, then it is.

*    If an Old Testament passage works as a foreshadow/prophecy            prefigure/type both in the general sense and in the details, it almost certainly is a legitimate example.

*    If one already knows that a general event in the Old Testament is a foreshadow/prefigure the one is more safe in assuming that the details are as well.ost certainly a legitimate example.

Part I  Historical foreshadows and prefigures

The principle of historical foreshadows.

1 Cor 10:11  God caused these things to happen to them as examples, to  teach us something.  God specifically causes specific events to happen, due to an agenda he had for us, not for them!

1.    Ex  Numbers 21:4-9   Why hold up a snake?  God was creating a foreshadow.  

Jn 3:14.    Moses was lifting up the son of man in the wilderness.

The snake stands for sin.  When we are bitten by the venom of sin, it is always fatal.   Romans 6:23  the wages of sin are death.

How could a snake stand for Jesus?  Jesus became sin for us.  We look to Jesus, who took our sin on himself and we are healed from the venom of sin.  Jesus is the antivenom.

2 Cor 5:21  God made him how knew no sin to become sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God.

Q:  is this just a interesting event which Jesus used as a symbol?  No!!!  God caused this to happen, told Moses what to do because he intended all along to use this as a prefigure.  Not luck!!   The Bible is inspired by God, and the events in the Bible are inspired by God.

2.  Adam and Eve.   Types of us!!!!

-created to know and be in relationship w/ God

- given freedom and a choice

- abused their choice

- died  (physical death for them, spiritual death for us)

- separated from God, kicked out of the garden

What a great picture of the human condition….  But it really happened.

Romans 5:12-19

Adam a type of Jesus

Sin of Adam set a pattern and produced a terrible result

Sinless life of Jesus set a pattern and produced a wonderful result.

3.  Noah and the flood.

2 Peter 2:4-9    God uses the story of Noah to teach us about judgment and salvation.

Flood is a type, Judgment is the antitype.   2 Peter 3:3-7. 

Every reality in NT is foreshadowed by an historical event in the OT.  Judgment Day is no exception.

As with the type, so with the antitype.

Judgment day is bad news for most, but not for Noah and family.  1 Pet 3:20-22.

In both cases, a few are saved through water.  Baptism is not a symbol, Noah’s flood is the symbol.

As Jesus was raised, so was Noah

Noah tells us about judgment and salvation by God’s grace.

4.  Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac.

Abraham’s faith is a type of the saving faith we have.  Romans 4:11-12,16.

He is the father (type) of all those who not only are circumcised….

God was telling the Jews all along that salvation is by faith.

Ishmael    Israel   born the usual way

Isaac     the church    born by miracle.

Israel children of God by birth.   Us:  children of God by choice.

This should really bother the Jews.  Ishmael is a foreshadow of us!!!!

We are children of Abraham.  Jesus:  no you are not.

I’m not just making this up:  Gal 4:21-31

As Ishmael persecuted Abraham out of jealousy, so the Jews persecuted the early Christians.  

God had this thing planned all along-to miraculously adopt us into his family.

Type:    Sarah:   Get rid of that woman and her son.  (Genesis 21:10)

Antitype:  God rejecting Israel and accepting the church.    70 AD it happened.

More foreshadows in Abraham.

Gen 22:2-4  Take your son, your only son…

Isaac is a type of Christ, and Abraham is a type of the Father.

Abraham got up early the next day.  God is not holding back.

God was willing to give up his only son.

By the way Mt. Moriah is the site of the temple and the place where Jesus was condemned to die.  Coincidence?

1 Corinthians 15:4  raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

Hebrews 11:19   Figuratively speaking, Abraham received his son back from death.

Isaac carried the wood up Mt. Moriah that was going to be used for his own sacrifice.

5.  Sodom and Gomorrah.

A foreshadow of Judgment and of salvation!   (a common theme in the Bible, so there are a lot of foreshadows in the OT)

Sodom is a type of sin

What happened to Sodom, then, becomes a foreshadow of those who sin.

 (2 Peter 2:6)

The message:  unrepented sin will lead to judgment.  Did god make this symbol subtle?

But there is another message.  What about Lot.   Believe it or not, S&G is about the grace of God.

Type: Lot is us!!   God saved Lot.  Was Lot a way righteous person?

Lot is the tattered but surviving Christian.  He barely makes it, but he makes it!   God is not encouraging us to be like Lot, but he intends to comfort us through Lot.

Lot‘s wife.    Q:  What does God use her as a type of?   Those who are saved, but look back and are lost.

Luke 17:32  Remember Lot’s wife!!!  Luke 9:62  takes on new meaning.

6.  Jacob and Esau.

Esau:  Israel and Old Covenant     first born, should have been favored, but God chose Jacob.

Jacob:  Us!  the church!  The New Covenant.  God is telling us he will set up a New Covenant.

Romans 9:10-13.

God chose Israel.   The Jews deserved the blessing of God.  They were the natural born first son, but God chooses us.  Do you feel special?

Was Jacob more righteous than Esau?

Note:  the message of Jacob and Esau:   God did not choose you because you were so much better than everyone else.

Another message from Esau:  you can sell your birthright (Hebrews 12:16)

7.  The Exodus.

a.  Slavery in Egypt     Slavery  to Sin      John 8:34  Everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

God hates sin.  Sin enslaves.  But God hates it when his people are enslaved to sin.  He sent a savior.   Q:  Who is Moses a type of in this case?

Exodus 3:7-10   I am sending you to set my people free from slavery. 

          It is pretty easy to see the parallel here!

Next:  How do we get out of our sin?  We need a savior, but there is more.  Were they saved yet?  No.

          They had to pass through water.      Were they saved symbolically when they passed through the water?  No!  As with the type, so with the antitype.

Notice:  The army that enslaved them was literally washed away in the water.

1 Cor 10:1-4

B.  Were they in the Promised Land?  Why doesn’t God just send us directly to heaven?

Wandering in the wilderness      being a disciple of Jesus.

They followed the cloud around, we follow Christ around.

Look!!!!  Deut 8:2-5.  Does that sound like the life of a disciple or what?

Being a disciple is all about following and relying on God.

When you are a disciple, God gives you spiritual food (manna) and water.

Q:  did everyone who left slavery in Egypt make it into the Promised Land?   (So much for once saved, always saved)

Why not?    Numbers 11:4-6

They forgot how terrible slavery was!!  Do not look back!!!

Lessons for us?  Hebrews 3:14-4:2  "the bodies that fell in the desert us is, if we fail to rely on God.

How to stay faithful?      Eat the manna  Jesus:  I am the bread of life.

The Promised Land:   Canaan  A land flowing with milk and honey.  A place of rest and of the presence of God.

Even entering Canaan required a savior (Joshua) and required passing through water.  (a type of baptism)

Here is where I always tended to get lost…..   Once Israel got to the Jordan, the type and antitype seem to change.

Pentateuch:  Canaan = Heaven

Other OT:  Canaan = Kingdom of God.  How God deals with us individually and as a group.

From here in OT, Crossing Jordan becomes entering relationship with God

Joshua = savior

Jordan = baptism into Joshua

What did they do as soon as they got across?     Circumcised.  Circumcision is a prefigure of baptism.   Coincidence?  I don’t think so…

Coll 2:11,12  Paul describes an explicit type/antitype relationship.

II  Prefigures of the Messiah.

Assuming   A.  That the OT is absolutely loaded with prefigures and foreshadows.


          B.  The theme of the OT is:    The Messiah is coming.

There should be lots of prefigures of Jesus Christ.   If you seek, you will find!!!

The will be prophet, priest or king….

Again, let us start with a minor example:    

1.  Jonah.   Lessons for the Jews.   God loves Gentiles, You cannot escape God’s calling, 

a. Matthew 12:39,40   Miraculously delivered from death on 3rd day.

b. Born in Galilee, in a town right next to Nazareth.

c. They gambled over Jonah’s fate   (gambling over Jesus’ clothes)

d. Offered repentance to gentiles  (Luke 11:30-32)  

e. Jonah 1:12   Willingly offered his life to save Gentiles.

Evidence:  Remember how prejudiced the authors were.

2.  Melchizedek.    Priest and King.   

Melchizedek is a prefigure of Jesus Christ.

a. Melchizedek means King of Righteousness.

b. King of Salem means King (prince?) of Peace.

Notice:  He was king of Righteousness before he was king of Peace.  We need to have righteousness before we can have peace with God.

c. The King of physical Jerusalem.    (Jesus is king of spiritual Jerusalem)

d. Without descendants.

e. High Priest because of his character, not by descent.

f. Greater than Abraham (Abraham offered sacrifice) (John 8:53-58).

g. Gave Abraham bread and wine (last supper, Lord’s Supper)

h.  Not a Levite  (implies that the priesthood of Jesus is universal; not just for the Jews)

i. A priest and a king (unlike any Jew).

d.  Abraham offered bread and wine to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18).  Coincidence?

3.  Joseph     King  (actually prince)

a.  favorite son if Jacob/Israel       Jesus the only son

b. from there became a slave in Egypt.

c. but God raised him up to the right hand of the king in Egypt.

d.  God in a dream:   you will rule over your brothers as king    Jesus a king

e.  tended sheep (a recurring theme as Jesus is the good shepherd)

f.  jealous brothers conceived a plan to kill him.    (brother Israelites)

g. betrayed by his brothers for 20 pieces of silver

h.  God brought him to Egypt to protect from jealous brothers  (Jesus from Herod)

i.  raised by God to king from very humble situation.

j.  most importantly to be a figure of the Messiah:  saved Israel!!

3.  Moses.   Prophet,  priest (sort of)  and prince (sort of)

a.  Deut 18:17-19.   God told Moses he was a prefigure of Christ.  I will raise up a prophet like you….

b.  death sentence as a baby.  God protected him.

c.  raised from poverty to be prince in King’s house.  Right hand of Pharoah.

d. Hosea 11:1 and Matt 2:13-15  Out of Israel I called my son.  True of both Jesus and Moses.

e. gave up right hand position with Pharoah to be with God’s people.  Stepped down from exalted position to save Israel.

f. led Israel out of physical slavery.    (led spiritual Israel out of spiritual slavery)

g.  Forty years in the wilderness preparing  (only forty days in the wilderness preparing, but what the heck….  He was God!)

h.  God gave Moses Aaron to prepare the way/speak for him   (John the Baptist)

i.  Israel baptized into Moses in Red Sea.      (Jesus followers baptized.)

j.  Produced bread (manna)   So did Jesus  (Jn 6:1-13,  Jesus is the bread of life John 6:32)

k.  Produced water from a rock.   (John 4:13,14)     Coincidence????

l.  Spoke to God on Sinai     (on Hermon)

4.  David.    Jews considered him the most obvious prefigure of the Messiah.

                   (Mathew 12:23  Could this be the son of David?)

                   (Ezekiel 37:24,25)  David my servant

a. A shepherd    Note how David killed a lion and a bear when they attacked the sheep.  Mesianic prefigure!!    (I am the good shepherd.  I lay down my life for my sheep) 

b.  Born in Bethlehem

c.  Persecuted by God’s people.  Similar to Jesus (Psalms 2:1,2  Psalms 22

d.  a. Anointed as king   (Messiah = masah = anointed) at a very young age.

          1 Sam 16:13  The Spirit descended on David.  Coincidence?

e.  Physical king of Jerusalem.  Jesus spiritual king of Jerusalem.

f.  Brought the ark (brought God) to Jerusalem.  So did Jesus!!!

g.  Saved Israel from slavery to Philistia.   Killed Goliath

h.  Saved Israel again in 2 Sam 24   I will not sacrifice to the Lord burnt offering that cost me nothing.    On Mt. Moriah.

5.  Joshua. 

6.  Samson.   

7.  Samuel 

8.  Solomon, Daniel, Cyrus, Ezra, Joshua the priest, Deborah, Esther.

III  The Earthly Tabernacle prefigures the Heavenly Tabernacle.

Tabernacle = God dwelling among his people.

John 1:14   Jesus Tabernacled among us.

Q:  What do the Jews do today?

General description:

Outer curtain, courtyard, bronze altar, laver, inner curtain, most Holy Place, show bread, lampstand, golden altar of incense, curtain, Holy of Holies, ark, cherubim, tablets, Aaron’s rod, manna and the Mercy Seat or atonement cover.

Did the Jews want to go into the Most Holy Place?

Hebrews 8:3-6   A better, spiritual sanctuary.

Remember what happened to the curtain when Jesus died.

Hebrews 10:19-22   We enter with conficence   throught the curtain which is his body…. In full assurance.

1.  The Bronze Altar:    To  come before God, a sacrifice is required.  The blood of Jesus comes first.

Hebrews 9:23-26  The items in the sanctuary were a copy of the true one.

Hebrews 9:11  A greater and more perfect tabernacle in heaven.

God was telling the Jews about the ministry of Jesus in heaven.

2.  The Laver.    To enter into a relationship with God, one must be washed in baptism.

          1 Peter 3:21   Not a physical cleansing (as at the laver).

3.  The Bread on the right.   12 loaves for the 12 tribes   =  Spiritual food

Jn 6:35   I am the bread of life.

4.  The golden lampstand.    Seven branches, each with a bowl kept perpetually burning.

                   Zech 4:1-6    The lampstand = the Holy Spirit which we receive when we are baptized and enter a relationship with God.

On the right:   Jesus

On the left:  The Holy Spirit

In the center:  The Father.

•5.     The golden altar of incense.   Not used for sacrifices or offerings.

Rev 5:8  The altar of incense =  or prayers which come right before the presence of God.

6.  The curtain.    The separation between man and God.  Anyone who peered behind the curtain saw God and died on the spot.

Only once a year, only after sprinkling the blood of a bull a ram and a goat, only the high priest could enter.

The cool thing:  In the heavenly tabernacle, there is no curtain!!!  Matt 27:51

At that time, God left the temple in Jerusalem, never to take up residence again.  Jesus entered the new and greater tabernacle in heaven to minister as high priest for us.

Look at Hebrews 10:19!!

IV  OT Priesthood prefigures the NT Priesthood.

V   Law of Moses prefigures the Law of Christ.

VI  The OT Sacrifices Prefigure Sacrifice in the New Testament.

Most disciples get a glazed-over look when reading in Leviticus about all the different sacrifices.   We will solve this problem!!

Not all the sacrifices in the Levitical system were for forgiveness of sin!!

•A.     Sweet-smelling sacrifices.  "An aroma, pleasing to the Lord." Were not for sin.   There is nothing sweet smelling about sin!

•1.     The Burnt Offering (olah)

•2.     The Grain Offering (minchah)

•3.     The Fellowship Offering (shelem)

•B.     The sin sacrifices.

•1.     The Sin Offering (chatat)

•2.     The Trespass Offering (asham)

The Burnt Offering.   =   Total commitment of the worshipper (us!)   Leviticus 1   A pleasing aroma.

God:   Take a valued possession and burn it up on the altar.  Once you burn up something, there is no getting it back.

This offering was voluntary.

Animal from the herd.

Sacrificed.    The head burned entire, but the body thoroughly washed then burned.

Why?    The head is Jesus,  we are the body.  We need washing.  Both us and Jesus are expected to make a total sacrifice of ourselves.

Ephesians 5:1,2  Jesus was a burnt offering.

Romans 12:1,2    "in view of God’s mercy."

Our lives are offered voluntarily as burnt offerings as well.  We offer ourselves, not in order to be saved, but as a response because we are saved.

Are you presenting your life right now as a living sacrifice to God?

The Grain Offering    = giving of the first fruits of our labor to God.

A pleasing aroma.

Leviticus 2

Not voluntary

Grain, oil, incense and salt, but definitely no yeast or honey.

Part burned, part given to take care of the Levites.

Give of the blessings of God to take care of the Temple and the servants of God.

=  Our contribution for the needs of the church and of those who minister to the church.    2 Cor 8,9

Not voluntary.

Give of first fruits  (shows faith that God will bring in the full harvest)

Grain = fruit of hard, sustained labor.

Oil, incense  Oil = Joy  (God loves a cheerful giver)  Incense ( prayer 2 Cor 9:12,14)

No yeast (yeast = sin and hypocricy.  1 Cor 5:6-8).  An offering tainted with greed or bad motives is better left out of the plate.

The Drink Offering (nesek)  =  pouring out our life in devotion to God.

Usually given with the grain offering.

Jesus made a drink offering:   Luke 22:20  "Which is poured out for you."

Paul made a drink offering:  (Philippians 2:16,17)   2 Tim 4:6,7

The Fellowship Offering (peace offering)   Leviticus 3   = Celebrating the blessings of  having a relationship with God.     A pleasing aroma.

Voluntary.   A way to spontaneously celebrate some sort of blessing from God.

Sacrifice made, party happens, all must be finished that day.

Foreshadow:  We should take the time to celebrate on a daily basis the great blessings we have in God.  Do we need to remember to celebrate the little things?  Do we tend to forget the little blessings.

One big theme in the OT we tend to miss.  They had a lot of parties.  God was constantly telling them to celebrate, to party, to rest, to simply enjoy a relationship with God.  God wants us to be happy.   The blessings of being saved are awesome-amazing.  Do you celebrate these things on a regular basis.   Small parties, big parties, private parties, 

Jn 10:10   life to the full

Mark 10:29,30   one hundred fold

Eph 1:3  Every spititual blessing in this life!

Three types of fellowship offerings:

Free-will offering (22:23)  just fired up about God and giving an offering

Vow-offering  (Lev 11:16, 22:23)    given in anticipation of a future blessing

Thank-offering (Lev 7:11-15)   given in response to a specific blessing

The NT equivalent:

1 Thess 5:16     Rejoice always  (free-will)   Pray constantly (vow-offering)  give thanks in all circumstances (thank-offering)

Sacrifices for sin/blood offerings

The sweet savor sacrifices are foreshadows of our worship of God (and Jesus’)

These are never called a sweet savor.  The are a foreshadow of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.    Bottom line, we have a sin problem separating us from God.  These sacrifices are about the sacrifice of Jesus for forgiveness of sins.

Before looking at the two sacrifices, one note.

These sacrifices did not and were  never intended to cover intentional sin.

Leviticus 4:1   4:13   When Israel or an individual sins unintentionally.

What about intentional sin?    Hebrews 10:26-31  Deliberate sin is a problem, even for us.   Be careful.

Sin Offering  (chatat)    Lev 4:1-5:13

In general, for offenses against God’s authority or territory.

Guilt Offering  (asham)

In general, for offenses against a fellow Israelite.

God saw sins against him and sins against our brother as equal.

The details.

The sin offering had to be an unblemished animal  (Jesus was unblemished)

The offender laid their hands on the animal.  (our sin was laid on Jesus  The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all)

The offender actually killed the sacrifice. (God made this Jesus whom you crucified,   brought home the seriousness of the offense.  Offender sees the blood flowing on the ground is likely to remember the seriousness of the sin.  Are you remembering the price paid for your sin?

Blood sprinkled at the curtain in the temple and around the altar.   Kidneys and fat burned on the altar, the body was carried outside to be burned.   (Jesus was carried outside Jerusalem to be killed)  (Hebrews 13:11-13)

Guilt Offering (asham)

Similar to Sin Offering, but

1.   there was no such thing as an offering for a group sin.  Only individual sins against each other were atoned for.  The point:  we are to take personal responsibility for our sins against one another

•3.     The offender had to make restitution to the person offended before bringing their sacrifice to the priest.  (Matthew 5:23,24)


There were seven principle festivals/feasts in the Jewish Calendar.  God was really into his people celebrating their life in him!!!!   Let us take a hint and begin celebrating our relationship with God more!!!

Two categories:

One-day Festivals.  Purpose:   to celebrate and to remember a specific event in our relationship with God.

Passover, Feast of First Fruits,  Feast of Weeks (Pentecost),  Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)

Seven-day Festivals.  Purpose:  to celebrate aspects of our relationship with God.

•A.     The Passover.

The final plague.  God sent the destroying angel to kill all the firstborn in Egypt.

God:   Kill a lamb and sprinkle the blood on the wooden beam above the door of your houses.

Jesus was killed on Passover day!!!!!   Is this coincidence??

The event is a foreshadow of the death of Jesus on the Cross.

The blood of the Passover lamb saved the first born of Israel from physical death.

The blood of Jesus, shed on Passover saves us from spiritual death.

The Passover freed Israel from physical bondage to physical slavery.

The death of Jesus freed spiritual Israel from spiritual bondage to sin.

The Passover required an unblemished lamb.

Jesus was an unblemished lamb.   Jn 1:29  Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

The blood was sprinkled on the cross-beam over the house.

Jesus’ blood was spilled out on a cross-beam

God:  Do not break any of the bones of the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12:46)

(Psalms 22:17, Jn 19:31-33)

The Passover Meal is also a foreshadow of the Lord’s Supper.

The Last Supper would better be titled the Last Seder.  Jesus was celebrating the Passover with his people.  Luke 22:14-16.  It will find fulfillment in the kingdom of God.  That’s right…  The Lord’s Supper.  No more seders.  The Lords supper will replace this foreshadow.

1.  The Passover meal was given as a remembrance of God’s salvation (Exodus 12:14)   commemorate   for generations to come…a lasting ordinance.

2.  The Passover meal includes unleavened bread.  The Jews had to leave their life of slavery so hastily that they had to use unleavened bread.  Meaning for us:  leave your life of sin.  Do not look back.  (Luke 9:62)  Leaven = influence of sin.     LS also includes unleavened bread.

1 Cor 5:7,8  a little leaven works through the whole batch of dough….

Therefore let us keep the festival  Passover, LS

•3.     The Passover meal included eating a sacrificial lamb without defect to remember their salvation from death  (same with us it LS)

•4.     Bitter herbs  Remember the bitterness of slavery in Egypt.  For us:  we ought to examine ourselves

•5.     wine.  Traditionally, three cups.  The third cup was shared after supper.  This was called the cup of redemption.  After supper he took the cup….   The cup of redemption.

B.  The Feast of Firstfruits.    Leviticus 23:9-14.  This was a harvest feast.   They brought the very first green heads of the wheat crop as a confident statement that God will bring in the harvest.   An anticipation-of-the-harvest festival.

What is this a foreshadow of?    The Resurrection of Jesus!!!

Feast of Firstfruits is celebrated  "The day after the Sabbath (Leviticus 23:11)  What Sabbath?   The Passover Sabbath.  In other words, two days after the Passover meal.   Passover Meal (14th of Nisan),  Sabbath (15th of Nisan),  Feast of Firstfruits (16th of Nisan).

Guess what!   Jesus rose from the dead on the day of Firstfruits.

Not a coincidence.   Jesus:   the whole OT is about me.

Jesus is the firstfruits of those who will be harvested for eternal life.

God told us in Leviticus!!!!!

1 Corinthians 15:20,21    The resurrection of Jesus, like the feast of Firstfruits is a promise of a future harvest!

Easter?    Easter =  feast of firstfruits.  We should think of it in this way.

C  Feast of Unleavened Bread.   A 7-day feast.

Exodus 12:17-19  

For seven days no yeast is to be found in your house.   Most Jews think of this as part of the Passover

Feast of Unleavened Bread =  Celebrating a life lived free of sin.  

D   Feast of Weeks/Pentecost.  50 days after the Passover Sabbath (Pentecost) and seven weeks after Firstfruits (Weeks)(Leviticus 23:15-17)

The Feast of Weeks was a harvest festival.  It celebrated the first of the wheat harvest in late May.  Jews were to bring the first fruits of their harvest to offer in Jerusalem

Purpose for the Jews:  To remind them where their blessings come from.  To acknowledge that even though they do the work, God produces the crop.

Foreshadow for us:  Pentecost was a foreshadow of the beginning of the harvest of souls for eternity.

Pentecost was a foreshadow of the day of Pentecost  when the Church began.

Acts 2:38   The first gospel message preached.  The birthday of the church.

The physical harvest festival was a foreshadow of the spiritual harvest

Let us never forget the message of the Feast of Weeks:  (1 Cor 3:5-5)

"I planted, Apollos watered but God gave the increase.

E.  The Feast of Trumpets (rosh hashannah)

The Jewish New Year.

On the day of the New Moon, the ram’s horn was blown. (Lev 23:24,25)

Jewish tradition:   Rosh Hashannah was symbolic of God’s judgement.

It was a day devoted to reflection and repentance

Foreshadow:   The Feast of Trumpets is a foreshadow of the day Jesus comes again, bringing in the final Judgement.

The Feast of Trumpets is a foreshadow of Jesus!!!

The feast of Trumpets:   be ready!  You know not the day or the hour of God’s coming.

Matthew 24:30,31    God told us about the second coming of Jesus all the way back in Leviticus!!

1 Thess 4:15,16  …with the trumpet call of God.

F.  THE DAY OF ATONEMENT  (yom kippur)

  The most significant feast in the Jewish calendar.

This was the day God provided for forgiveness of his people.

Tremendous symbolism.

1.  High Priest sacrifices a bull and a lamb and sprinkles the blood at the altar and around the Holy Place.     The Priest had to have his sins forgiven before he could enter the Most Holy Place to make atonement for the people.

2.  Two goats selected.   One is killed.  His blood for the people.  The body burned outside the camp.

3.  Lay hands on the other goat, symbolically passing all the sin of the people for the entire year onto him.   Send this goat out of the camp into the wilderness.

4.  Put two handfuls of incense into a censer, surreptitiously placing it behind the curtain.   When the Holy of Holies is totally filled with smoke (making it safe to enter)

5.  High Priest enters Most Holy Place, scattering blood on the Mercy seat, making atonement for all the people for that year.

All this is a foreshadow, or course, of the work of Jesus.

1.  Jesus does not need a bull or a ram to forgive his sins.  He can walk right into the Holy of Holies.

2.  Jesus was sacrificed outside the camp, representing the putting of the sin of the people outside the camp.  God removes our sin from his presence.

3.  Jesus enters the heavenly Holy of Holies, once and for all…  No further need for daily, weekly, monthly or yearly sacrifice.   The work of atonement is done.

The Day of Atonement is a foreshadow of the day you, personally, are forgiven of all your sins.

Hebrews 9:11-15.    Amen and amen!!

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