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Earthbound gods. Powerless gods. When we address God as 'our Father in heaven' we are expressing the utter otherness, uniqueness and holiness of God. He is not a common god. He is not a fabrication of human hands or of human minds. He is over and above and beyond all other concepts of god, and he looks with anger and scorn on all the gods we might think to put in his place. He is called 'the God of gods' - Deuteronomy ; Daniel , The Bible makes repeated references to the false gods which supplant the one true god and incur his anger and derision.

This has always been the case, and always will be the case where the one, true God is not known, or is very poorly known. The God to whom we pray - our Father in heaven is not some psychic or occultish power: he is so far over and above these supposed powers that he can turn their 'counsel' into foolishness for his own purposes. In fact, as far as the Bible is concerned, to seek help from such sources is sin.

Nor is God like us: limited, finite, largely ignorant, weak. He is, as we will see in a little while:. This otherness, this uniqueness of God, which we have seen in the three points above, is what the Bible means by his holiness. It includes his moral perfection and purity, but it is much more than that. It is that quality of God that sets him apart from everything else that is - from his creation, from man, from occultish powers, and from idols. He is not 'common'. He is not ordinary.

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He is utterly unique. He is one of a kind. He cannot be put in a box, or stuck with a label. He cannot be likened to anything with any degree of accuracy because there is nothing like him. CS Lewis, in one of the Narnia books, when describing Aslan the allegorical character representing Christ wrote: 'He is not a tame lion. As it is written a couple of times in the Bible: 'he does whatever pleases him' Psalm ; This holiness, this uniqueness, is also included when we pray to our Father in heaven.

The Derision of Heaven by Michael Whitworth

The God to whom we pray is also powerful. Powerful beyond our imagining. He stands in authority over all that exists. No power can thwart his purposes. No authority can undermine his. It is only this truth that gives any significance to prayer; without it prayer is nothing more than singing in the dark, emotionally soothing and comforting for the moment perhaps, but ineffective. It is only he who is the Almighty Sovereign Lord of all who has any final power and authority to answer our prayers.

It is interesting that both Job, in trying to work out what God was doing, and his friends, assuming that they already knew what God was doing, in Job's suffering, all frequently use the title 'the Almighty' when speaking of God. The Biblical teaching of the Sovereignty of God, which at first seems to make prayer redundant and beside the point, is the only valid basis for genuine, expectant prayer. We could add to the above references the Psalms that mention the righteousness of God, which is part and parcel of his justice. As our Father in heaven God has no limitation of wisdom and knowledge: he is omniscient he sees, hears and knows all things.

He knows everything. This is related to his timelessness his eternity and his omnipresence his being everywhere. Along with his sovereign authority and power this characteristic of God makes prayer relevant and valid. It is no use praying to a god who doesn't know, or who has limited knowledge. Nor is it any use praying to a god who is not wise. In Worksheet 2. This verse is expressly applied to the Messiah in the Targum , i. Aramaic commentary on the Hebrew Bible. Some Christians believe that this verse refers to the birth of Jesus as the Messiah.

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The verse reads in Christian bible versions:. Some commentators view this as an unfulfilled prophecy, arguing that the Jewish people have not all been gathered in Israel. Some Christians also believe that Isaiah is to be understood in connection with Isaiah , Some Christians believe that Jesus the Messiah is the ultimate "house" or dwelling place of God, as is told in John "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory" and "Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

Through him the messianic community becomes a temple in 1 Corinthians "Do you not know that you all are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. It is through the Messiah's exaltation all nations are drawn to him, as in Luke " Isaiah 53 is probably the most famous example claimed by Christians to be a messianic prophecy fulfilled by Jesus. It speaks of one known as the " suffering servant ," who suffers because of the sins of others.

Jesus is said to fulfill this prophecy through his death on the cross.

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One of the first claims in the New Testament that Isaiah 53 is a prophecy of Jesus comes from the Book of Acts chapter 8 verses , which describes a scene in which God commands Philip the Apostle to approach an Ethiopian eunuch who is sitting in a chariot, reading aloud to himself from the Book of Isaiah. The eunuch comments that he does not understand what he is reading Isaiah 53 and Philip explains to him that the passage refers to Jesus: "And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this?

Of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. The suffering Servant , [41] as referring to the Jewish people , suffering from the cruelties of the nations , is a theme in the Servant songs and is mentioned in Isaiah , Isaiah , Isa , Isa , Isa and Isa Matthew gives the Massacre of the Innocents by Herod the Great , as the fulfillment of a prophecy spoken of in Jeremiah. The phrase "because her children are no more" is believed to refer to the captivity of Rachel's children in Assyria.

The subsequent verses describe their return to Israel. This verse near the end of Micah 's prophecy on the Babylonian captivity has been interpreted by Christian apologists, and by Pharisees mentioned in the Gospel of John John , as a prophecy that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.

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The verse describes the clan of Bethlehem, who was the son of Caleb 's second wife, Ephrathah. Although the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke give different accounts of the birth of Jesus, both place the birth in Bethlehem. They respond by quoting Micah, "In Beit-Lechem of Y'hudah," they replied, "because the prophet wrote, 'And you, Beit-Lechem in the land of Y'hudah, are by no means the least among the rulers of Y'hudah; for from you will come a Ruler who will shepherd my people Isra'el.

The idea that Bethlehem was to be the birthplace of the Messiah appears in no Jewish source before the 4th century CE. Many modern scholars consider the birth stories as inventions by the Gospel writers, created to glorify Jesus and present his birth as the fulfillment of prophecy.

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Some portions of the Psalms are considered prophetic in Judaism, even though they are listed among the Ketuvim Writings and not the Nevi'im Prophets. The words Messiah and Christ mean "anointed one". In ancient times Jewish leaders were anointed with olive oil when they assumed their position e. David, Saul, Isaac, Jacob. In many Psalms, whose authorship are traditionally ascribed to King David i. Thus it can be argued that many of the portions that are asserted to be prophetic Psalms may not be.


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The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and his Anointed, saying, 3. He who sits in the heavens laughs; the LORD has them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, 6. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. Psalm 2 can be argued to be about David; the authors of Acts and the Epistle to the Hebrews interpreted it as relating to Jesus.

Saint Augustine identifies "the nations [that] conspire, and the peoples [that] plot in vain" as the enemies referred to in Psalm "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool. Verse 7. In Judaism the phrase "Son of God" has very different connotations than in Christianity, not referring to literal descent but to the righteous who have become conscious of God's father of mankind. Christians cite Herod and Pontius Pilate setting themselves against Jesus as evidence that Psalm 2 refers to him.

Hebrews employs verse 7 in order to argue that Jesus is superior to the angels, i. Texts vary in the exact wording of the phrase beginning Psalm , with "kiss his foot", and "kiss the Son" being most common in various languages for centuries, though not in original Hebrew Manuscripts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls. I keep the Lord always within my sight; for he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. For this reason my heart is glad and my soul rejoices; moreover, my body also will rest secure, for thou wilt not leave my soul in the abode of the dead, nor permit thy holy one to see corruption.

Thou wilt show me the path of life, the fullness of joys in thy presence, and delights at thy right hand forever" Psalms The interpretation of Psalm 16 as a messianic prophecy is common among Christian evangelical hermeneutics. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.

This Jesus God raised up, and we are all witnesses of it" Acts 2: Also of note is what Paul said in the synagogue at Antioch. Two of the Gospels Matthew and Mark quote Jesus as speaking these words from the cross; [54]. From the cross, Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? The other two canonical Gospels give different accounts of the words of Jesus. Some scholars see this as evidence that the words of Jesus were not part of a pre-Gospel Passion narrative, but were added later by the Gospel writers.

This translation is highly controversial. He guards all his bones: not even one of them shall be broken. Ray Pritchard has described Psalm as a messianic prophecy. Christians believe that this verse refers to Jesus' time on the cross in which he was given a sponge soaked in vinegar to drink, as seen in Matthew , Mark , and John It is quite difficult because verse 3 is totally obscure, and the psalm speakers often. In Christian interpretation, it is understood as a reference to Jesus, as a messianic and sometimes eschatological psalm; Radak polemicizes against this view" [ citation needed ] 1.

Here God is speaking to the king, called my lord ; Perhaps these are the words spoken by a prophet. The king is very proximate to God, in a position of privilege, imagined as being on His right hand in the Divine Council. The second-in-command was seated to the right of the king in the ancient Near East. Such images are rare in psalms, but see Psalm If the king trods on the back of his enemies see Joshua , they poetically become his "Footstool" 2. In contrast to v. The Zion tradition see Isaiah ; and royal tradition are here connected.

While v. Psalm is viewed as messianic in both Jewish and Christian tradition. For this reason the verse is among those most frequently used by New Testament authors, either as an explicit quotation or as an allusion. In Acts , Peter refers to the similar glorification of Jesus in the context of the resurrection [65]. Psalm The gospel writers interpret the psalm as a messianic prophecy: "while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, 'What do you think of the Christ?

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Whose son is he? If David thus calls him Lord, how is he his son? According to Augustine of Hippo ,: "It was necessary that all this should be prophesied, announced in advance. We needed to be told so that our minds might be prepared. He did not will to come so suddenly that we would shrink from him in fear; rather are we meant to expect him as the one in whom we have believed.

I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:" KJV. Hebrews quotes this verse as, "I will be his Father, and he will be my Son. The phrase as quoted in Hebrews is generally seen as a reference to the Davidic covenant , whereby God assures the king of his continued mercy to him and his descendants. The Deuterocanonical books are considered canonical by Catholics , Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox , but are considered non-canonical by Jews and Protestants.

Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Christian authors have interpreted Zechariah as a prophecy of an act of messianic self-humiliation. The Synoptic Gospels make clear that Jesus arranged this event, thus consciously fulfilling the prophecy.

Matthew describes the prophecy in terms of a colt and a separate donkey, whereas the original only mentions the colt; the reference in Zechariah is a Jewish parallelism referring only to a single animal, and the gospels of Mark , Luke , and John state Jesus sent his disciples after only one animal.

In the most ancient Jewish writings Zechariah is applied to the Messiah. Zechariah is another verse commonly cited by Christian authors as a messianic prophecy fulfilled by Jesus. In some of the most ancient Jewish writings, Zechariah is applied to the Messiah ben Joseph in the Talmud, [77] [ need quotation to verify ] and so is verse 12 "The land will wail, each family by itself: The family of the House of David by themselves, and their women by themselves; the family of the House of Nathan by themselves, and their women by themselves" , there being, however, a difference of opinion whether the mourning is caused by the death of the Messiah ben Joseph, or else on account of the evil concupiscence Yetzer hara.

The Gospel of John makes reference to this prophecy when referring to the crucifixion of Jesus, as can be seen in the following account:. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. Among Christian believers, opinion varies as to which Old Testament passages are messianic prophecies and which are not, and whether the prophecies they claim to have been fulfilled are intended to be prophecies.

The authors of these Old Testament "prophecies" often appear to be describing events that had already occurred. For example, the New Testament verse states:. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'Out of Egypt I called my son. This is referring to the Old Testament verse Hosea However, that passage reads,. Skeptics say that the Hosea passage clearly is talking about a historical event and therefore the passage clearly is not a prophecy.

According to modern scholarship, the suffering servant described in Isaiah chapter 53 is actually the Jewish people. As noted above, there is some controversy about the phrase " they have pierced my hands and my feet ". For modern Bible scholars, either the verses make no claim of predicting future events, or the verses make no claim of speaking about the Messiah. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


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Jewish scripture quoted to support the claim that Jesus is the Messiah. Main article: Prophecy of Seventy Weeks. Main article: Isaiah Main article: Pele-joez-el-gibbor-abi-ad-sar-shalom. See also: Sayings of Jesus on the cross and They have pierced my hands and my feet. Main article: Davidic dynasty in Bible prophecy.