CHRIST THE PROPHET

(Acts 3: 22, 23) 

JESUS of Nazareth the central figure of all ages. 
Was born and reared in the city of Nazareth, with- 
out any opportunity of acquiring an extensive learn- 
ing, yet His marvelous wisdom has startled the world. 
He could look back to the very dawn of creation and 
tell about the patriarchs and prophets. He could look 
forward to the very end of time and tell us the signs 
that would precede His second coming. His divinity 
is easily substantiated by His wisdom (John 7:46). 

Peter's sermon from Solomon's porch (Acts 3:11- 
26). He quotes the prophecy of Moses (Deut. 18:15- 
19), showing that it has been fulfilled in Jesus of 
Nazareth (Acts 3:22, 23). Jesus Christ the consum- 
mation of the line of prophets which began with 
Samuel. 

A close analysis of the prophecy of Moses (Deut. 
18:15-19) reveals four facts: (1) That God would 
raise up a prophet out of Israel; (2) that this prophet 
would be the antitype of Moses; (3) that this prophet 
would speak the will of God to men; (4) that those 
who would not listen to the words of God, spoken 
through this prophet, would suffer the penalty for 
disobedience. 

In this sermon we are studying Jesus of Nazareth 
as the fulfillment of this prophecy (Matt. 16 : 14 ; 21 : 
11; Luke 7:16; 24:19). Let us study some of the 
prophecies uttered by our Christ while He was upon 
earth. 

1. Concerning the fulfillment of the old institution 
(Matt. 5: 17, 18). He did not destroy the law, but He 
fulfilled it upon the cross (Col. 2: 14). To fulfill is to 
complete, or bring to an end. Neither did He destroy 
the prophets, but He was the fulfillment of prophecy 
in Himself. We have both the law and the prophets 
"untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament," 
although the authority of the entire old institution was 
done away in Christ (2 Cor. 3: 14). 

I make an appointment to preach at a certain place 
at a certain time. When I go there and preach at the 
specified time, I fulfill the appointment. That is the 
end of the matter. 

The Old Testament was to lead us to Christ (Gal. 
3:24, 25). But the entire old institution was brought 
to an end in Him; and was abrogated when the new 
institution, or the church, was established on Pentecost 
(Acts 2; John 1: 17). 

The personal ministry of Christ was under the law, 
and not "one jot nor tittle' ' passed away until it was 
completed by His death, burial, resurrection and coro- 
nation (Eph. 2: 13-15). 

2. Concerning the ultimate rejection of the Jews 
(Matt. 8:10-12; Luke 1:3:24-30). This prophecy has 
been fulfilled in subsequent history. The Jews, for 
many centuries, have been the laughing-stock of all 
races. They have been tortured and persecuted by 
the monarchs of all nations, through both medieval 
and modern times. Since the fall of Rome, they 
have been scattered over all parts of the globe; and 
to-day there is not a flag that unfolds its emblems 
to the breezes of the heavens that the Jew can call 
his own. 

3. Concerning the cost of discipleship (Matt. 10 : 32- 
42). Christianity is pre-eminently a religion of sacri- 
fice. The true Christian must put Christ above all 
earthly relationship. How many would fail if put to 
the crucial test! This is quite different from the 
modern wishy-washy conception of discipleship. Jesus 
said that he came not to bring peace, but a sword. 

How often have these words been fulfilled ! How 
often have men been martyred, crucified, burned at the 
stake, disfranchised and disinherited for becoming fol- 
lowers of the lowly Nazarene! Let us have the faith 
that Paul expresses in his second letter to Timothy, 
chapter 4, verses 6-8. 

4. Concerning the destruction of the cities of Gali- 
lee (Matt. 11:21-24; Luke 10:13-15). In Chorazin, 
Capernaum and Bethsaida, many of His "mighty 
works" were done. Near Bethsaida, the five thousand 
were fed. He began His public ministry at Caper- 
naum; and, near there, delivered the Sermon on the 
Mount. To-day the original site of Chorazin is un- 
known, although Jerome says it was situated two miles 
from Capernaum. And merely a mass of ruins marks 
the previous location of Bethsaida and Capernaum, 
both of which were on the shores of Galilee. They 
have indeed been left desolate! 

5. Concerning the establishment of the church 
(Matt. 16:13-20). Fulfilled in the second and tenth 
chapters of Acts. In the second chapter, Peter opens 
the door of the church to the Jews; and in the tenth 
chapter, to the Gentiles. 

6. Concerning His sufferings and death, and resur- 
rection on the third day (Matt. 20 : 17-19 ; 17 : 22, 23 ; 
Mark 10 : 33, 34 ; Luke 18 : 31-33 ; 9 : 22 ; John 2 : 19-21 ; 
6:70). Our Master understood that His death and 
resurrection were to perfect the remedial system. 

7. Concerning His ascension (John 7:33, 34; 20: 
17). All fulfilled in due season. 

8. Concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and of 
the temple (Matt. 24:1, 2; Mark 13:2; Luke 13:34, 
35; 19:41-44; 21:6). Under the rule of Titus, the 
Roman legions triumphantly entered the doomed city 
and sacked it; not one ston'e of the temple was left 
upon another; and the streets of Jerusalem were 
ploughed up. This prophecy was literally fulfilled. 

9. Concerning His second coming. 

a. No one knows the hour (Mark 13: 24-37). 

b. General conditions preceding it (Luke 17:22-36). 
Apply these statements to present conditions in the 
world. 

c. Preceded by a period of wars and pestilences, by 
the rise of false Christs and false prophets, and by a 
general apostasy of the saints (Matt, 24:4-28; Mark 
13:5-23). 

d. The apostles will be especially blessed (Matt. 
19:28). 

Are we entering this period now? 

10. Concerning the general resurrection of the dead 
(John 5:25-29). What we do here below will decide 
our eternal destiny. It all hinges upon doing or not 
doing the will of God. 

11. Concerning the general judgment (Matt. 25 : 31- 
46). Those judged worthy of eternal life will be im- 
mortalized. Those condemned to eternal punishment 
will not be immortalized. 

Thus we see that many of the prophecies uttered 
by Jesus have been fulfilled in subsequent history. So 
will those be fulfilled concerning His second coming, 
the resurrection and general judgment. What a con- 
vincing proof that He is the Son of God! Let us so 
live that we will be ready and glad to meet Him at 
His coming. 

"Christ" is His official title. "Christ" means "the 
anointed one." Three classes of rulers were anointed 
in olden times — prophets, priests and kings. When 
you confess before men that Jesus is your Christ, you 
recognize Him as your Prophet, Priest and King. Will 
you do that now?