“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” This is a question Jesus asked Peter. If you were asked, how would you answer?
This is a big decision to make, and it’s important to be certain with your response. Never live life with uncertainty, being half in half out or just unsure. I encourage you to make a move. Consider the game of chess. Prior to making a move, it’s wise to first take a look at the pieces on the board. But unlike a game of chess, this is your life. If you haven’t decided to put your faith in Christ, invest some time in this move. Let’s begin.
So how does the Bible start out?
In the book of Genesis we find that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. He created everything including man and woman. God being one of pure love knew love can be given but not received by force. Love is a choice. God created a beautiful place with one condition, not to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Man and woman eat. And so it begins. With knowledge comes the battle between flesh and spirit – good and evil. Ever wonder where that comes from – good and evil?
So, God goes to great lengths to teach us how to live righteously. Throughout the old testament as well as this last decade you see how we, man, bounce between good and evil. We continue missing the mark as we did in ancient times. After the first sin, God brings forth prophets because a day is coming. We’ll talk about 3 of these prophets today, Moses, Isaiah, Micah. By the way there are many others.
So What is a Prophet?
Answer: In a general sense, a prophet is a person who speaks God’s truth to others. The English word prophet comes from the Greek word prophetes, which can mean “one who speaks forth” or “advocate.” Prophets are also called “seers,” because of their spiritual insight or their ability to “see” the future. ~ answer by gotquestions.org
Before I introduce these 3 let’s first take a look at the Bible. These books were written and copied into manuscripts to be passed on from generation to generation.
How reliable is this Bible?
Moses 13-12 Century B.C.
Prophet who led Israel out of Egypt, but due to the people turning away from God wandered in the desert for years. Moses over the course of many years leads his people to the promised land.
15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.
One story about Moses found in the book of Numbers chapter 21.
The Bronze Snake
4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea,c to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
6 Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
8 The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.
A prophet like me, Moses says…
Moses lifted a post with a bronze snake as God directed, Jesus was also lifted so that all who look to him in faith and believe in him will be forgiven and given eternal life. A Prophet and so much more…
This is just one of many ancient scriptures from the time of Moses that point to Jesus.
So how about the Prophet Isaiah? The original Book of Isaiah was written about 900 years before the birth of Jesus. I believe one of the earliest full manuscripts we have today dates back about 200-100 B.C.
The book of Isaiah is full of tons of prophecy.
Let’s take a look into Isaiah 52
13 See, my servant will act wisely;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him —
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
and his form marred beyond human likeness—
Who is he talking about? He goes on to say this in the next chapter, 53
Isaiah 53 (NKJV)
1 Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they[a] made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.
I can only think of one whom Isaiah is referring to: His name is Jesus.
This Prophet lived approximately 400 years before the time of Jesus.
Micah 5:2 “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.”
Birth place was prophesied centuries before Jesus was born with pinpoint accuracy. This Bethlehem referenced was no large city but a small town with less than a few hundred people. Even the non-believing Jewish leaders believed the Savior would come from Bethlehem. They just couldn’t believe he did when he did…
These are just a few of over 300 scriptures from ancient B.C writings stating future events that would take place at the coming of the Messiah, our Savior, Jesus.
Those who followed Jesus wrote testimonies which became books which we find in the New Testament today. In the book of John, a disciple who walked with Jesus, records a conversation Jesus is having with Nicodemus, a religious Pharisee of that time who was seeking truth.
14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.
16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
Jesus was crucified and on that 3rd day was raised from the dead. After this, on the day of Pentecost the Believers met and the promised Holy Spirit came, many of the believers began speaking in other tongues which drew crowds. Many who came found these believers speaking in their own native languages.
Peter began to address the crowd explaining some of the other fulfilled prophecies from both Joel and David, from ancient scripture. In his message he cites Joel Chapter 2.
29 In those days I will pour out my Spirit
even on servants—men and women alike.
30 And I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth—
blood and fire and columns of smoke.
31 The sun will become dark,
and the moon will turn blood red
before that great and terrible day of the LORD arrives.
32 But everyone who calls on the name of the LORD
will be saved,
You see, on the day Jesus was crucified, at noon darkness filled the land, and at the moment of his death an earthquake shook the land. Even the Roman Soldier in front of him said “surely this was the Son of God!”. What had happened that passover weekend was amazing and it couldn’t be ignored. So as Peter full of the spirit revealed these prophesies people from the crowd asked, “what must we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles — all who have been called by the Lord our God.” 40 Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!”
41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.
3000 people… 3000 witnesses many who seen what happened, felt the earth shake, and could not deny the truth made the decision to believe and were baptized and added to the church that day. They didn’t make this decision for promises of a more satisfying life – in fact, it was much the opposite as you seen from the video. Early Christians were severely persecuted. They still are today. But when God is for you with the eternal promise of Heaven approaching, who can be against you. The time here is very short, but life is eternal. Death is a lie. And Jesus loves you and suffered the cross so that you can be made free, These 3,000 always knew Jesus “existed”. To believe in someone is so much more than believing in their “existence”. Regardless of where you are in your faith journey, he loves you and he is inviting you to put your faith in him today. Let this World, and what it offers, deceive you no more. The desires it creates within us will steal from you the joy God brings. Repent means to change your mind. Repent today and turn to Jesus, the one who has never stopped loving you. The one that is for you and not against you.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (Jesus words)
God has a plan for you. Just say, “no more will I be deceived into ignoring the Gospel (the good news of Jesus) and the Truth”, but believe and be baptized in his name. Both in water and spirit be baptized into a new life with Jesus. Life to the full, abundant life, eternal life in Christ.
If something has been pulling you to accept Jesus and be baptized, know you are experiencing God’s invitation in these moments. He wants to bring you closer to him. Accept his invitation, ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. And next, get in touch with a Christian friend and tell them you want to be baptized. Just like those who were bitten by the snakes – in need of healing, we too are imperfect people in need of his undeserved saving grace and forgiveness. The truth has been revealed through Jesus. Undeniable truth which leads me to undeniable Grace and Love. With a thankful heart may your focus always be on him.
Do you want to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Pray a prayer of repentance and acceptance today. You can use your own words or use something like this example shown below. May God be with you and bless you through your day and new journey in Christ.
Lord Jesus, I ask You to forgive my sins and save me from eternal separation from God. By faith, I accept Your work and death on the cross as sufficient payment for my sins. Thank You for providing the way for me to know You and to have a relationship with my heavenly Father. Through faith in You, I have eternal life. Thank You also for hearing my prayers and loving me unconditionally. Please give me the strength, wisdom, and determination to walk in the center of Your will. In Jesus’ name, amen.