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Bible Study Four: The Promised Messiah

In our previous study, we saw that Jesus was the Promised Seed of the woman [God’s true church]. See Genesis 3:15. After Adam and Eve sinned, their seed produced the first murderer, Cain. Their seed led to the wayward thinking of the antediluvian world, which led to the Flood. Their seed led to the tower of Babylon, when men resisted the direct command of God. Clearly the world was in need of a new seed, a new life, a new power. Men and women needed to be born again, born of God, born from above, to produce a new way of thinking and feeling. God promised that new seed in His Son. In Christ, a new life springs up in the believer. It is a seed contrary to the seed of Satan. More than that, it is at enmity to the ways of Satan. Therefore, God promised, “And I will put enmity between thee [Satan, the serpent], and the woman [the true church], and between thy seed [the seed of rebellion] and her seed [the seed of a new life in the Redeemer/Deliverer/Savior]; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15

Bible students have correctly seen in this prophecy the promise of the Deliverer, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the seed of the faithful, through whom, they receive spiritual life. The seed of Satan is found in all who continue their rebellion against God, His government, and His law.

1. Where do we find some passages referring to the seed or followers of Satan? John 8:44

Speaking to the religious leaders who sought to kill Him, Jesus said to them, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

The name “devil” means “slanderer.” These leaders had made the devil their father by sharing in the same lusts that characterized the fall of Lucifer. When the devil rebelled against God, he became a murderer by bringing the death sentence for disobedience upon himself. All the angels that he took with him also face death. He deceived Adam and Eve with lies and has brought death to the human family. It was by satanic influences that Cain slew his brother Abel. It was by satanic influences that the people cried out, “Crucify Him, crucify Him,” against the world’s Redeemer.

The devil initiated lying and became the “father of it.” When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own, because it is his nature to lie. Tragically, the religious leaders spoke one lie after another against Jesus. They even paid people to lie. This is the fruit of the seed of Satan.

The apostle Paul speaking to the sorcerer Elymas, said, “O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?” Acts 13:10

All of us should help people find their way to the Lord, but Elymas the sorcerer, would interfere with those trying to know the truth. His whole craft was one of deception. Hence, Paul called him a “child of the devil.”

The beloved John was inspired to write, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; and His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one [the devil], and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.” 1 John 3:9-12

John refers to those who are “born of God” as coming from God’s “seed,” Jesus Christ. As John would later say, “He that hath the Son hath life: and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:12. If Christ abides in us, or if His words are written in our hearts, then we have life. Jesus is the Seed, and His words are like seed that are full of power and life. With Christ and His Word inside of us, we will live a righteous life according to God’s law, and we will love one another as Christ loves us. But if we return back to habitual sinning and hate our brother we show that we are “the children of the devil.” If we teach others that it is okay to keep sinning, then we are planting the seeds of Satan.

2. Why did Cain murder his brother? Genesis 4:1-15

Eve may have hoped that her first born son was the promised Messiah. But Cain, her eldest son become the first murderer. He would eventually murder his brother Abel.

The two boys grew up together. Cain would become “a tiller of the ground,” and Abel “a keeper of the sheep.” “In the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock.” Genesis 4:3, 4. God had respect unto Abel’s offering, who sacrificed a lamb representing his faith of the coming Messiah. See Hebrews 11:4. His sacrifice also represented his need of a personal Savior to forgive and cleanse him from all unrighteousness. See 1 John 1:9

But the Lord did not have respect unto Cain’s bloodless sacrifice. Clearly Cain believed in the existence of God. He even believed in offering something to God. But he expressed no need of a Savior. His offering of flour and oil was only to appease God. Cain’s offering represented a form of self-righteousness.

But when God accepted Abel’s sacrifice, and did not accept Cain’s bloodless sacrifice, Cain became jealous of Abel. His jealousy turned into hatred, and his hatred led to murder.

As we consider these early events in human history, with Adam and Eve hiding from God, and Cain murdering his brother, mankind definitely needed a Savior to save them from both the penalty of sin and the power of sin.

3. What kind of Savior did men need? Matthew 1:21

The angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph. He told him that Mary “shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” The promised Savior of the world was to save His people from their sins, not in their sins. He would save them from the penalty of sin and the power of sin.

In the book of Hebrews, Paul wrote that Jesus was a partaker of our “flesh and blood,” that He “took on Him the seed of Abraham.” Hebrews 2:14, 16. Why did He become one of us? “That He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2:17, 18. Jesus took upon Himself our flesh and blood and lived a sinless life, that we might find “reconciliation for” our sins, and help each time we are tempted to sin. Paul also wrote that God sent “His own Son in the likeness of our sinful flesh, and condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:3, 4. Jesus condemned sin in our fallen flesh by living a sinless life in our sinful flesh, that the righteousness of God’s moral law might be fulfilled in us. This is the kind of Savior we needed.

4. Where did Jesus receive His humanity? Isaiah 7:14

While the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 would point to the arrival of the Messiah, Isaiah was told the manner of His coming. The “sign” or miracle to look for, was the birth of a son from a virgin. This young virgin lady would bear a son, whose name would be Immanuel, “God with us.”

An angel spoke to Mary and said, “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name JESUS.” Luke 1:30, 31.

She was told, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35

It is a glorious mystery how the Son of God became the Son of man. The Creator became a babe. But He would not put on human flesh when Adam and Eve were still in their innocence. He would put on human flesh after 4,000 years of sin.

The condescension of the Son of God is beyond our comprehension. But it tells us that God was not willing to lose us. He found a way to rescue us from sin through His Son Jesus Christ.

5. Where was Christ to be born? Micah 5:2-5

The prophecies pointed to the little town of Bethlehem. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel.”

6. When was Christ to come? Daniel 9:24-27

The angel Gabriel came to the prophet Daniel and said, “Seventy weeks are determined [or cut off, amputated] upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [Jesus] shall be seven weeks, and threescore [60] and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” Daniel 9:24, 25

Daniel knew that 70 weeks was given for his people to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. Seventy weeks is 490 days. In Bible prophecy, a “day” represents a “year.” See Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6. Therefore, Daniel and the Hebrew nation were given 490 years to prepare for the first advent of Christ.

When Daniel received this vision, it was around the year 538 BC. But he was told that the time prophecy would begin when there was a decree or “commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem.” That decree was given in the year of 457 BC by Artaxerxes.

We were told that the first 69 weeks of the 70 weeks prophecy would bring us “unto Messiah the Prince.” Sixty-nine weeks is the same as 483 days. In Bible prophecy, that is 483 years. When you add 483 years to the year of 457 BC, you come to the year of 27 AD. Remember, you have to add one year because there is no year 0.

It was in the year of 27 AD that Jesus began His three and one-half year ministry at the age of thirty. We know that Jesus was born in 4 BC, because that was the year Herod died, and Jesus was born when Herod was yet alive.

What an amazing prophecy! We were told that the first 69 weeks [or 483 years] of the 70 weeks [or 490 years] prophecy, would bring to the time of Messiah. It was not to bring us to the time of His crucifixion, but to the time of His ministry. This is why Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled.” Mark 1:15. What time was fulfilled? The first 69 weeks [or 483 years] was fulfilled when Jesus began His ministry in 27 AD. The Promised Seed, Jesus Christ, was born of a virgin, born in Bethlehem, and began His ministry right on time.

7. What did John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, proclaim?

Some of the religious leaders had asked John the Baptist if he were the Christ, the promised Messiah. John said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaiah.” John 1:23. John was not the Messiah, but he was to prepare the hearts of the people for the coming of the world’s Redeemer.

The Bible records, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. Jesus is the Lamb that would die for the sins of the world. As it was prophesied, “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him: and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.” Isaiah 53 4-7.

Indeed, Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save it. As John wrote, “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” This is made evident by His death for our sin. As the apostle Paul wrote, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Dear reader, God wants you in heaven. The Father sent His Son to paid the penalty for your sins. By accepting Jesus as your Savior, you will be (1) free from the condemnation of breaking God’s law, and (2) you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to live a new life in Christ.