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Who Speaks For God?

Jesus, Messiah Apologetics Prophecy

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-12-26

Scripture: Isaiah 53: ; Matthew 5:17

Author: Mitchell Dillon
16

ILLUSTRATION

My favorite way to address the question of who speaks for God is with this short illustrative story:

Imagine you are a spy working undercover for the CIA. You're in a hostile country, with the goal of sending home enemy secrets. In this setting of danger and intrigue, you find yourself approached by a man that you have never met. He claims to likewise be a CIA agent, and he informs you that he has vital information to share with you, and you are now to follow his orders. What would you do? Obviously, you would demand some kind of proof that this man really is who he claims to be, and that headquarters really has sent him. To do anything less would be to invite disaster.

Likewise, there are many who claim to have vital information from God (headquarters!) for us. Are they really who they claim to be? Do they really represent whom they claim to represent?

There is a way to know, and it can be explained by returning to our story. Only this time, imagine that before you left for your assignment, you had been informed that a new agent would soon approach you. He would be 6’5”, with one blue eye, and the other brown. He would walk with a noticeable limp, and he would identify himself as agent “Truth.” Then he would provide you with instructions as to how you were to complete your mission.

Having been given such detailed information from headquarters beforehand, you would easily be able to identify the true agent.

In a similar way, God has provided a means for us to discern whom He has sent.

APPLICATION

An examination of the organized religions of the world yields a very interesting observation. In most every case the scenario is the same . . . first came the man and then the plan. In other words, at the onset of a new religious movement, first a leader steps forward (the man) and then he delivers a new revelation (the plan). This describes the origin of every organized religion in the world with the exception of one. 

With Christianity the order of events is reversed -- first the plan and then the man! Jesus is the only one who was fully introduced to those who were waiting for him, long before he would come! Headquarters (God), through the writings of the Old Testament prophets, set forth many unique details about Jesus and his mission, centuries in advance. Writing from the 14th century to the 4th century B.C., the prophets revealed that:

  • He would be conceived of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14); 
  • He would be born in the town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2); 
  • He would arrive exactly 483 years after the decree was issued to allow the Jewish people to rebuild the walls of their besieged city (Daniel 9:25); 
  • He would heal the blind and the deaf (Isaiah 29:17-19); 
  • He would present himself as Messiah by humbly riding into Jerusalem on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9); 
  • He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13); 
  • He would be unfairly judged and condemned to die (Isaiah 53:8-9),
  • He would be abandoned by his disciples (Zechariah 13:7-9); 
  • He would be rejected by his own people (Isaiah 53:3); 
  • He would be crucified (Psalm 22:11-16) as an offering for our sins (Isaiah 53:4-6); 
  • He would raise from the dead (Isaiah 53:10-12);
  • He, although a Jew, would become a light to the Gentiles, and bring salvation to the whole world (Isaiah 49:5-6).

Jesus Christ did not come unannounced to deliver a new plan, but to fulfill a detailed plan that had already been given centuries before! This is what Christ himself was referring to in Matthew 5:17 when He said, “Think not that I have come to destroy the law and the prophets; I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”

No other religion can make the same claim. Whether it's Mohammed, or Joseph Smith, or Krishna, or Mary Baker Eddy, or Charles Taze Russell, or Sun Myung Moon, or Buddha, or--well, you get the point. With all of these religions first came the man and then the plan. Each of these religious leaders and their various plans came unannounced, leaving no way to verify their claims.

Not so with Jesus. By fulfilling these (and nearly 300 other Old Testament passages which spoke of him in advance), Christ demonstrated that he really was sent by God.

First the plan then the man! That's how we can know who speaks for God.

Pure Dumb Luck

Christmas Jesus, Messiah Blessings/Blessedness

Source: Unknown

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2014-09-14

Scripture: Luke 1:42

Author: Unknown
2

ILLUSTRATION

A story is told of a man struggling to complete a crossword puzzle. He had only one word left to complete. He racked his brain, but he just couldn't come up with it. Finally, in frustration he turned to his friend and asked, "Help me, please! What is a seven letter word with three "u"s in it?
 
"I have know idea, but whatever it is, it must be very unusual."

APPLICATION

Sometimes we find the answer we seek and other times we happen onto it by pure, dumb luck. Take Mary, for example. Like every believer of her time, she looked for the one who would complete the puzzle, she searched for the missing piece in God's promises to Israel. Of course, she had no idea just how unusual the answer would prove to be.
 
"Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, "God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed" (Luke 1:42, NLT).

Christian Group Protests Israel

Israel Prophecy Jesus, Messiah

Source: "Presbyterians narrowly vote to divest from companies used by Israel" by Associated Press, as published on FoxNews.com, June 21, 2014

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-06-29

Author: Illustration Exchange
1

ILLUSTRATION

The AP reports, "The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on Friday became the most prominent religious group in the United States to endorse divestment as a protest against Israeli policies toward Palestinians, voting to sell church stock in three companies whose products Israel uses in the occupied territories."

While many in the Jewish community claimed the move was "driven by hatred of Israel," the PCUSA claimed that it was not a statement of a "lack of love" for Israel, but rather a rebuke of the actions of the Jewish state.

Still others see the PCUSA's action as part of a broader movement--BDS ("Boycott, Divest, Sanctions" against Israel)--which has been gaining momentum here in the US. Again, the PCUSA denies the claim.

Other Protestant groups which have acted, at least in a limited way, to divest some of their interests in/support of companies doing business in Israel are the U.S. Quakers, the Mennonite Central Committee, and the pension board of the United Methodist Church.

Oddly enough, some of the most ardent supporters of the action are actually Jewish. Members of the Jewish Voice for Peace--a group which advocates for Palestinian rights-- gathered and prayed outside as the vote was being taken. They were wearing T-shirts which read "Another Jew Supporting Divestment."

APPLICATION

As conflict and controversy continue to plague the Middle East, it is natural for members of the Christian community to seek to influence the process toward a peaceful solution. But while some choose to apply financial pressure, the Bible provides us with a different approach--humbly get on our knees and pray.

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Psalm 122:6).

Pray for the promise of Messiah, the Prince of Peace, the be fulfilled.

How Does Your King Come To You?

Jesus, Messiah Palm Sunday Second Coming

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2014-04-07

Author: Mitchell Dillon
6

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French Jews Seeking Identity in Israel

Jesus, Messiah Identity Persecution

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-02-19

Scripture: John 1:12

Author: Elizabeth Bryant
6

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For Modern Jews on Yom Kippur, White Is The New Black

Atonement Israel Jesus, Messiah

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-09-13

Scripture: Romans 3:25 ; 2 Corinthians 5:21

Author: Illustration Exchange
4

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Behold the eScapegoat Who Takes Away Your Sins

Atonement Israel Jesus, Messiah

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-09-07

Scripture: John 1:29 ; Hebrews 7:27

Author: Illustration Exchange
2

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If A Virtuoso Plays In a Subway Will Anyone Notice?

Spiritual Blindness Christmas Jesus, Messiah

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-02-27

Author: Illustration Exchange
14

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Better Than Utopia

Kingdom of God Jesus, Messiah God's Promises

Contributed By: Janet Malone | Date Posted: 2013-01-19

Scripture: Isaiah 11:1

Author: Janet Malone
2

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Who IS Jesus, Anyway?

Jesus, Messiah Humor Women's Concerns

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-01-19

Scripture: Matthew 16:16

Author: Illustration Exchange
1

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