Presenting the Promised One

From the messenger of the Lord.

Compiled by ROBERT L. ODOM, Editor "Israelite" Magazine

1.Blend Old Testament Scriptures With the New

"As the Old Testament Scriptures are blended with the New in an explanation of Jehovah's eter­nal purpose, this will be to many of the Jews as the dawn of a new creation, the resurrection of the soul. As they see the Christ of the gospel dispensa­tion portrayed in the pages of the Old Testament Scriptures, and perceive how clearly the New Testa­ment explains the Old, their slumbering faculties will be aroused, and they will recognize Christ as the Saviour of the world. Many will by faith re­ceive Christ as their Redeemer. To them will be fulfilled the words, 'As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name' [John 1:12]."—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 381.

"Christ will be with you as you strive to strengthen your perceptive faculties, that you may more clearly behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. The slumbering faculties of the Jewish people are to be aroused... . Memory will be awakened as Christ is seen por­trayed in the pages of the Old Testament. Souls will be saved, from the Jewish nation, as the doors of the New Testament are unlocked with the key of the Old Testament. Christ will be recognized as the Saviour of the world, as it is seen how clearly the New Testament explains the Old. Many of the Jewish people will by faith receive Christ as their Redeemer."—Evangelism, pp. 578, 579.

2.Paul's Method

"Paul did not approach the Jews in such a way as to arouse their prejudices. He did not at first tell them that they must believe in Jesus of Nazareth; but dwelt upon the prophecies that spoke of Christ, His mission, and His work. Step by step he led his hearers on, showing the importance of honoring the law of God. He gave due honor to the cere­monial law, showing that it was Christ who insti­tuted the Jewish economy and the sacrificial serv­ice. Then he brought them down to the first advent of the Redeemer, and showed that in the life and death of Christ every specification of the sacrificial service had been fulfilled.

"The Gentiles, Paul approached by exalting Christ, and then presenting the binding claims of the law. He showed how the light reflected by the cross of Calvary gave significance and glory to the whole Jewish economy.

"Thus the apostle varied his manner of labor, shaping his message to the circumstances under which he was placed. After patient labor he was successful to a large degree; yet there were many who would not be convinced. Some there are to-day who will not be convinced by any method of pre­senting the truth; and the laborer for God is to study carefully the best methods, that he may not arouse prejudice or combativeness. This is where some have failed. By following their natural in­clinations, they have closed doors through which they might, by a different method of labor, have found access to hearts, and through them to other hearts."—Gospel Workers, pp. 118, 119.

3.Sanctuary Services Used Effectively

"As with holy boldness Paul proclaimed the gos­pel in the synagogue at Thessalonica, a flood of light was thrown upon the true meaning of the rites and ceremonies connected with the taber­nacle service. He carried the minds of his hearers beyond the earthly service and the ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, to the time when, having completed His mediatorial work, Christ would come again in power and great glory, and establish His kingdom on the earth."—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 228.

"Even after it [the ceremonial law] was no longer to be observed, Paul presented it before the Jews in its true position and value, showing its place in the plan of redemption and its relation to the work of Christ; and the great apostle pro­nounces this law glorious, worthy of its divine Originator. The solemn service of the sanctuary typified the grand truths that were to be revealed through successive generations. The cloud of in­cense ascending with the prayers of Israel repre­sents His righteousness that alone can make the sinner's prayer acceptable to God; the bleeding vic­tim on the altar of sacrifice testified of a Redeemer to come; and from the holy of holies the visible token of the divine presence shone forth. Thus through age after age of darkness and apostasy, faith was kept alive in the hearts of men until the time came for the advent of the promised Messiah." —Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 367.

4. Peter's Presentation

"Peter showed them that this manifestation was the direct fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel [Acts 2:16-21; Joel 2:28-32], wherein he foretold that such power would come upon men of God to fit them for a special work.

"Peter traced back the lineage of Christ in a direct line to the honorable house of David. He did not use any of the teachings of Jesus to prove his true position, because he knew their prejudices were so great that it would be of no effect. But he referred them to David, whom the Jews regarded as a venerable patriarch of their nation. Said Peter:

" For David speaketh concerning Him. I fore­saw the Lord always before my face, for He is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: there­fore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: because Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption' [Acts 2:25-27; Ps. 16:8-10].

"Peter here shows that David could not have spoken in reference to himself, but definitely of Jesus Christ. David died a natural death like other men; his sepulcher, with the honored dust it con­tained, had been preserved with great care until that time. David, as king of Israel, and also as a prophet, had been specially honored by God. In prophetic vision he was shown the future life and ministry of Christ. He saw His rejection, His trial, crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension.

"David testified that the soul of Christ was not to be left in hell (the grave), nor was His flesh to see corruption. Peter shows the fulfillment of this prophecy in Jesus of Nazareth. God had actu­ally raised Him up from the tomb before His body saw corruption. He was now the exalted One in the heaven of heavens.

"On that memorable occasion large numbers who had heretofore ridiculed the idea of so unpretend­ing a person as Jesus being the Son of God, be­came thoroughly convinced of the truth and ac­knowledged Him as their Saviour. Three thousand souls were added to the church. The apostles spoke by the power of the Holy Ghost; and their words could not be controverted, for they were confirmed by mighty miracles, wrought by them through the outpouring of the Spirit of God. The disciples were themselves astonished at the results of this visita­tion, and the quick and abundant harvest of souls. All the people were filled with amazement. Those who did not yield their prejudice and bigotry were so overawed that they dared not by voice or violence attempt to stay the mighty work, and, for the time being, their opposition ceased.

"The argument of the apostles alone, although clear and convincing, would not have removed the prejudice of the Jews which had withstood so much evidence. But the Holy Ghost sent those arguments home with divine power to their hearts [Acts 2:37, 38]."—The Story of Redemption, pp. 244-246.

5. A Heart-warming Subject

"Notwithstanding the awful doom pronounced upon the Jews as a nation at the time of their re­jection of Jesus of Nazareth, there have lived from age to age many noble, God-fearing Jewish men and women who have suffered in silence. God has comforted their hearts in affliction, and has beheld with pity their terrible situation. He has heard the agonizing prayers of those who have sought Him with all the heart for a right understanding of His word. Some have learned to see in the lowly Naza­rene whom their forefathers rejected and cruci­fied, the true Messiah of Israel. As their minds have grasped the significance of the familiar proph­ecies so long obscured by tradition and misinter­pretation, their hearts have been filled with grati­tude to God for the unspeakable gift He bestows upon every human being who chooses to accept Christ as a personal Saviour."—The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 379, 380.

6. Many Will Accept Messiah

"When this gospel shall be presented in its ful­ness to the Jews, many will accept Christ as the Messiah. Among Christian ministers there are only a few who feel called upon to labor for the Jewish people; but to those who have been often passed by, as well as to all others, the message of mercy and hope in Christ is to come."—Ibid., pp. 380, 381.

7. Paul's Conversion Related

"In the power of the Spirit, Paul related the story of his own miraculous conversion, and of his confidence in the Old Testament Scriptures, which had been so completely fulfilled in Jesus of Naza­reth. His words were spoken with solemn earnest­ness, and his hearers could not but discern that he loved with all his heart the crucified and risen Saviour. They saw that his mind was centered in Christ, that his whole life was bound up with his Lord. So impressive were his words, that only those who were filled with the bitterest hatred against the Christian religion could stand unmoved by them."—Ibid., pp. 247, 248.

"'I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.' None could deny the apostle's statements, as the facts that he referred to were well known to many who were still living in Jerusalem. He then spoke of his former zeal in persecuting the disciples of Christ. even unto death; and he narrated the cir­cumstances of his conversion, telling his hearers how his own proud heart had been led to bow to the crucified Nazarene. Had he attempted to enter into argument with his opponents, they would have stubbornly refused to listen to his words, but the relation of his experience was attended with a con­y incing power that for the time seemed to soften and subdue their hearts."—Ibid., p. 409.

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Compiled by ROBERT L. ODOM, Editor "Israelite" Magazine

January 1965

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