FAITH – HOPE – FORGIVENESS by Growing Older


Old Testament Survey: The Book of Malachi

The Book Of Malachi 

Intro: This is the last call of the Old Testament before the voice of prophecy dies into a silence of 400 years.  The last spokesman utters his soul and retires behind the mystery curtains of the past.

The meaning and the message: This Book is an appeal – powerful and passionate … pleading for God’s people to repent of sin and turn to God … chapter 1:1-2 – vs 6-11

The key thought of Malachi: Malachi 2:17

I. An appeal in viewing their present sin: chap. 1-2

   A.  God speaks; the priests are appealed to: 1:6 – 2:9

         1. 1:8: they offered what they didn’t want, to the Lord

         2. 1:14: what they offered to the Lord was corrupt

   B. Malachi speaks (message from the Lord) 2:10-17

        1. They wearied the Lord: 2:17

        2. They said the evil was good: 2:17

II. An appeal in viewing the Coming Day: chap. 3-4

     A. God will judge the guilty on that Day    

          1. God will send His messenger to prepare the way – 3:1

          2. John the Baptist was that messenger

          3. The Day of His coming:- 3:2

          4. This is the 1st coming of Christ

          5. The religious leaders and people had sank to a new low of formalism and being

              nonchalant about the things of God; they  were living in hypocrisy.

          6. God will judge: 3:4-5

          7. God changes not; He is always the same: 3:6

          8.  Tithing is taught: 3:8-11. Note: vs 11: I Corinthians 16:1-2

     B. God will bless the Godly in that Day

          1. Vs 14: the ungodly find it vain to serve God

          2. Vs 16-17:  the Godly belong to God

          3. God will send Elijah: 4:5

          4. The appeal: 4:4-6

Malachi ends the Old Testament with a final promise of the coming of Christ; then we  have

400 years of silence.

Next, the New Testament opens in the fulfillment of the prophecy with the first coming of Christ, with John the Baptist paving the way.



Old Testament Survey: the Book of Zechariah

The Book Of Zechariah 

Introduction: Like Haggai, Zechariah was a prophet to the Jewish remnant that returned after the 70 year exile.  Much of Zechariah is to be interpreted in light of related prophecy.  This Book is surpassed in prophecies of Christ only by the Book of Isaiah.

The man and the Book: The name Zechariah means: remembered of the Lord.

His work began approximately 2 months after Haggai’s and their works parallel each other. Most of this Book is made up of eight (8) visions encouraging the rebuilding of the Temple and four (4) visions of the Messianic Kingdom.

Eight Visions

 

I.   The Rider On The Red Horse – Chap. 1

     A.  Vs 8: Myrtle Trees =  an emblem of peace; intimating that  all war  was to end shortly

     B.  Vs 8: The Man = Vs 9 “oh my lord”  “And the angel that talked with me …”

           Vs 11-12: the angel of the Lord. … This man is the pre-incarnate Christ, the second

           person of the Trinity.

     C.  Vs 8: riding = implies swiftness in executing God’s will in His providence; hastening to

           help His people.

     D. Vs 8: “in the bottom …” = in a low place or by the river bottom, as in “bottom land”.

          The Euphrates and Tigris River in Babylon, was the scene of Judah’s captivity.       

     E. Red Horse = this implies bloodshed – this implies the vengeance that will come upon the

          enemies of Israel.

     F. Vs 8: red horses “speckled and white” = the white implies victory and triumph for Judah

         Speckled = from a Hebrew word meaning “to intertwine” the red was mixed with the white

         which shows the  wrath (red)  about to come upon  Judah’s  enemies and “triumph” (white)

         for Judah.

     G. Vs 16: prophecy of the Lord’s return and the Temple to be rebuilt

II.  The Four Horns –  Four Carpenters – chap. 1:18- 21

      A. Vs 18:  Horns are symbols of power

           1. Four horns = the four (4) powers that had oppressed the Jews: Babylon, Persia,

               Chaldea, and Egypt.

           2. The head of each power is their king; so a horn  also represents the king of each nation

      B. Vs 20-21: carpenters = craftsman or an engraver. They work in brass and iron as well as

           working in wood.

           1. These are four other powers who would defeat  the powers represented by the four

               horns

           2. Vs 21: “these  are come to fray …”  the carpenters will “fray” or beat down, to destroy,

               the horns.

NOTES: God will always find men to do his work – there were horns to be cut off. Here are the carpenters or artificers; God will always find the right sort of men. God choose men of ability to empower them to do His will and to defeat the enemy..

God will always find enough men to do His work and His will. There were four horns, so are there four smiths to beat them to pieces.  Empires which have opposed the Lord have been crushed to powder, it always be so. No power can stand against the Lord of Hosts.    

III. The Man With The Measuring Line – Chap. 2

      A. The City of Jerusalem shall be (future tense) restored and made bigger or enlarged: 2:2-5

      B. Those Jews exiled will return to the Land: 2:6-7

      C. Jehovah God will protect His people and He will make their enemies a “spoil:” 2:8-9

      D. Many nations will be converted or joined to the Lord: 2:10-13

      E. Man with a measuring line: 2:1

          1.  He is also represented in Ezekiel 40:3 

          2.  He is found in Revelation 21:15 & Ezekiel 41:1-26

          3. There are several other Scriptures which represent this … The Man is none other than

              God Himself. The Jews are, here, encouraged to go forward with the building of the

              Temple and they are also encouraged for future restoration.

V. Visions Four Through Eight

      A. Four: Joshua, the High Priest and satan- chap. 3

           1. This pictures the removing of iniquity and the future glory of Israel

           2. When we stand before God, to serve Him, or stand up for God, we must expect to

               meet all the resistance satan’s subtlety and malice can give to us

           3. Vs 3: filthy garments = their removal is symbolic of the removing of iniquity from

              Joshua … representing his people.

      B. Five: The golden candlestick and the  two olive trees -chap. 4

           1. Vs 2: candlestick is light = Israel was to send forth the light of the Gospel;

               the Temple was to be rebuilt – vs 9 – so that the Word of God  could be sent forth as a

               light shining in a world full of the darkness of sin.

           2. Vs 11-14: reference to Revelation 11:3-4

      C. Six: The Flying roll; 5:1-4

           1. This represents the Word of God that judges

           2. Vs 2: 30’ X 14’

           3. Vs 4: The Word of God goes against sin and wickedness

      D. Seven: the “epah” vs 6, was the old time Jewish symbol for trade and the woman,

           1. Vs 7: the two women, vs 9; represent Babylonian corruption which leavened the

               commerce of the remnant that had returned. The two women, more specifically, are

               sent to carry away the corrupt woman.

           2. Vs 9: Stork = an unclean bird

      E. Eight: The Four War Chariots; chap. 6:1-8

          1. The judgment of the Lord upon the nations

          2. Vs 9-15: Joshua is crowned as a type of Christ … the immediate meaning of  that is

              simply: Jehovah God, as He sends forth His chariot judgment on the Gentile powers that

              surrounded Israel, has returned with mercies and gracious promises to His remaining

              people.

          3. Vs 1: four chariots represent swift coming, Divine judgment

          4. Four angels driving the chariots are  … vs 5, the four spirits of the heavens.

NOTES: The underlying idea that runs throughout this prophecy is summed up in chapter 1:14-16. This Book takes us to the immediate need of God’s people to the ultimate fulfillment at Christ’s second Coming. We also can realize why these passages are relating to the future is that when the Messiah came and offered Himself to His people, Israel, they rejected Him and crucified Him.

V.   The Law And The Restoration And Enlargement Of Israel: chap. 7-8

       A. To obey is better than fasting: chap. 7:1-7

       B. Their past misery was because of their disobedience: 7:8-14

       C. The people need restoration: chap. 8

VI.  The Four Visions Of The Messianic Kingdom: chaps. 9-14

        A. The Messianic King: chap. 9-10

        B. The rejected Shepherd: chap. 11

        C. The restored and penitent people: chaps. 12-13

        D. Summarized events when Christ returns in glory: chap. 14



Old Testament Survey: Book of Haggai

The Book Of Haggai

Introduction: Haggai was relatively unknown but he voiced God’s message to the leaders of the Jews who had returned after 70 years of captivity.  

 Haggai writes to:

1. Rebuke and to instruct the remnant of the Jews: they were divided.

2. To admonish and to encourage the builders of God’s House.

The man and the Book: Haggai was born in Babylon and he returned to the Land. This was done due to the decree of Cyrus under Zerubbabel.

This Book covers a period of about 4 months, in the year of 520 B.C.  It takes place 16 years after the return of the first group who came back to the Land.

Haggai writes regarding their problem: 14 years of inactivity. The Temple should have been rebuilt but the people didn’t build it.

The people were in apathy and that is why they basically sat there doing nothing in the Lord’s work for those 14 years.

Central message: Chapter 1:7-8 

Haggai’s Four Fold Message

 I.   The Appeal To Rebuild The Temple: Chap. 1

      A. Build The House

           1. Vs 2:  “the  people say”

           2. Vs 3-4: God’s Word says …..

                a. God’s Word came to Haggai, God’s man

                b. God was leading Haggai to rebuke and to encourage – His House needed to be built

      B. Vs 5 – “…Consider your ways:” their thinking; attitudes; direction; needed to change

           1.  Vs 6: God was not blessing them in any labor of their hands, unless they rebuild His

                Temple and restore His worship

                a. God will not bless our labors when we fail to follow His Word.

                b. They thought they could escape poverty by keeping their money and not give it to

                    God’s House; there was not enough to rebuild God’s House because of that

                    Proverbs 13:7 and 11:24

                    Instead of cheating God; they cheated themselves

                c. Sown: but crop failures … bring in little = not enough food to eat

                d. Not filled with drink: nothing satisfied them

                e. Because of crop failures, there was not enough money to buy clothing

                f. Their wages went into a bag full of holes: figurative. No matter how much they

                    made … there was never enough to go around.

           2. Vs 7: Consider your ways. Is it right to build a nice house and neglect God’s house

                consider whether  your lack is due to God’s punishment due to your lack of giving

                God what is really His

 II. A Message Of Support: Chap 2

     A. Vs 4: “… I am  with you …”  – Hebrews 13:5

     B. “Be strong …”  don’t let this discourage you       

     C. Vs 6-7: God is in control

          1. Vs 6: God will shake the heavens etc.

          2. Vs 7: God will shake all nations

          3. Vs 8: poverty should not hinder them …. all things come from God. Depend on Him for

              their financial needs

 III. A Message To Confirm: Chap. 2

      A. Vs 19: “from this day will I bless you.”

      B. The seed has been planted 

           1. Harvest is months away

           2. Harvest of the fruit trees is also a while off

           3. In the past, they have had crop failures

           4. God’s Word says: trust in the Lord and not in nature

           5. Their obedience will bring the blessing of God

IV.  A Message To Assure: Chap. 2

       A. Vs 23: “I will take thee”  “I will make thee  as”  “ I have chosen thee”

            1. I will take thee: God’s leading and protection

            2. I will make thee as a signet:  a  signature ring used as a seal. God will make them

                very precious. He will exalt Zerubbabel to high dignity and power. He shall be

                precious

            3. I have chosen thee: “chosen” here, means appointed. God had a work for him to do.

                God had a plan for Zerubbabel and He has a plan for you.

       B. God’s Word gives assurance

            1. Acts 17:31

            2. Colossians 2:2

Conclusion: Matthew 6:33 is a great rule in God’s Word to follow. When we “consider our ways” and turn back to God, obey His Word in ALL things … He will bless.



Old Testament Survey Book of Nahum

The Book Of Nahum 

Human Writer: Nahum – his name means – “Consolation” or “Comfort.”

He lived during the times of Zephaniah, Habakkuk and Jeremiah. Nahum prophesied during the  time  when Hezekiah was king.

Message or theme: The destruction of the City of Nineveh. The Book of Nahum was written about 150 years after the great revival in Nineveh.

Nineveh was destroyed about 100 years later – just as predicted by the Prophet Nahum.

The City: Probably not the largest city during the time of Nahum..  The people had repented under the preaching of Jonah – But …. they went back into their old sins.

That is why God sent Nahum to preach to them final judgment.

The Assyrians were a worldly and sensual people as well as arrogant. Their empire was built by use of violence and brutality. Note: Nahum 3:1-3

Basic Lesson For Us: God is very well aware of the oppression that Christians suffer and He will repay the wicked for oppression of His people.  Romans 12:19-21

 Outline Of This Book

I. The Doom Of Nineveh – chap. 1

II. Siege And Fall Of Nineveh – chap 2

III. The Cause Of Nineveh’s Ruin – Sin – chap. 3

 I.   The Doom Described

     A. Chapter 1:2-3: The whirlwind and the storm

     B. Chapter 1:6-8: Fire – rocks – overrunning flood – darkness

 II.  The  Siege And Fall Of The City

      A. Vs 2: The emptiers, brought them from their land into captivity

      B. Vs 2: Marred their vine branches: destroyed all the fruit of their land

      C. Vs 3-4: A fierce battle will rage

           1. Made  red: the ancients dyed their bull’s-hide shields red, partly to strike terror into

               the enemy, chiefly lest the blood from wounds which they might receive should be

               perceived and give confidence to the foe

           2. Vs 4: chariots … with flaming torches; that is, the chariots shall be like flaming

                torches,  their wheels in lightning-like rapidity of rotation flashing light and striking

                sparks from the stones over which they pass  (pt 1 & 2  quote from Jamieson – Fausset

                Brown)

 III. The Cause Of Nineveh’s  Ruin  

      A. The sins of that great city are

            1. Murder  3:1

            2. Whoredom and witchcraft: 3:4

            3. Wickedness: 3:19

       B. God’s judgment: Vs 5

           1. He will expose their sin

           2. It was an ancient custom to strip prostitutes naked, or throw their clothes over their

               heads and expose them to public view

           3. Nineveh will be stripped of her glory and defenses: the things that the city had pride in

      C. Nineveh’s future: 3:19

          1. No healing of thy bruise = the city will never be rebuilt

          2. Shall clap the hands = rejoice in your down fall

          3. bruit of thee = the report of what’s happened to Nineveh 

For  hundreds of years, most scholars thought that the City of  Nineveh was a myth. In 1845, the ruins of Nineveh were      found. The mounds across from the Tigris river from Mosul was confirmed to be the ruins of Nineveh.

This Book also teaches that: Even though the ungodly will prosper for a time – God’s judgment will come and God will deliver His people.



Old Testament Survey: The Book of Obadiah

Introduction: We have no history regarding Obadiah – not even his father’s name. We find more than a dozen other Obadiah’s in the Bible, but none are identified with this one.  He is a man of obscurity that was used of God to pronounce one thing: God’s judgment on Edom and final restoration of Judah under God’s Kingdom.

The name Obadiah means – Servant of Jehovah.

The Book: It is the shortest writing of the prophets and the smallest Book of the Old Testament. It’s primary concern is with God’s judgment upon Edom for their alliance with Babylon against their own kin: Israel. Then, the plundering and destruction of Jerusalem, by Babylon.

Date: An exact date is not found. We can speculate that it was written around 887 B.C. 

Edom: During Obadiah’s time, the capitol was Petra … the Rock City.

I.   The Day Of The Lord Is Near

      A.  Every eye shall see Him: Rev. 1:7

      B.  He comes as a thief: II Peter 3:10-12

      C.  Paul looked for it: Phil. 3:20

      D.  We are to wait for His coming: I Thess. 1:10

      E.  No man knows when He will return: Matt. 24:36 

II. Rewards When He Returns: Obadiah 1:15

     A. Galatians 6:7: Reap what you sow

     B. Rev. 22:12: He brings rewards

     C. I Cor. 3:14-15: Rewards can also be taken away from us

         1. Build a work for Christ that will last

         2. Our works will be tested by the refiner’s fire: I Peter 1:7

Even though Obadiah looked for the second Coming; Paul looked for it; the early Christians looked for it; you and I should look for the Second Coming. We must remember; God is on HIS time table and not ours.

God, in His wisdom and timing, still has a work to do; a work for you and me to do.

God must be waiting for something, what it is, we don’t know and it is not for us to know or we’d know it.

Genesis 7:4 & 10: for some reason, God gave 7 more days of Grace before He flooded the earth.

Today, He is still a God of Grace. God patiently waits for souls to receive Christ as Saviour.

He patiently waits for Christians to do a work for God, to live for Jesus, to win souls.

But …. He is Coming: Mark 13:32-33

Vs 2-3: God made them small, vs 2, because of their sinful pride: vs 3

Vs 2: they are despised, scorned, contemptible.

Vs 3:   They deceived themselves by their own sinful pride

           They dwelt in the clefts of the rocks … Petra … the capitol city was a Rock City.

           Their houses were mostly cut into the rocks.

Vs 4: Pride MUST be brought down. No matter how high they tried to exalt themselves…

         God WILL bring them down

Vs 5: The enemies of Edom have ravaged them more than thieves and robbers would have

Vs 6: Even the things that they hid in caves etc. were found and ravaged: I Corinthians 4:5

Vs 7: Brought to their border = they were hemmed in, on every side, by their enemies.

          “They that eat thy bread” = they pretended to be their friends but in all reality: they

          joined together to destroy them.

          “laid a wound” = laid a trap or placed a snare.

          “none understanding” = they we so foolish – they could not see their danger

Vs 8: The Edomite’s were remarkable for wisdom, counsel, and prudence.    

          When God purposes to destroy a nation for its sins, He commonly removes from it the

          wise and prudent, and gives it over to weak and foolish counsels:  Jeremiah 49:7.

Vs 9: The wise men will be destroyed by a violent death

NOTE: The problem here – is the sinful pride of Edom. In verses 1-16, we read of the destruction of Edom because of their sin.  Proverbs 6:16-20 – Proverbs 8:13

Arrogancy means “swelling.” Or like “he has the big head.”

 Verses 17-21: We read of the salvation of Israel.

Vs 17: Deliverance: Psalms 2:6

            Holiness = they shall return to God and separate themselves from idols

            The promise of God – in the Palestinian Covenant – to take what God has rightfully given

            to Israel.

Vs 18: Isaiah 10:17: God’s power to consume his enemies properly belongs only to himself.

           As a people and a nation, they shall be destroyed. It does not refer to every individual.

Vs 19 – 21: Obadiah ends his prophecy with a promise of the restoration of Israel and the

            Messianic Kingdom.



Old Testament Survey: The Book Of Amos

Introduction: Amos was a Jew who prophesied in the Northern Kingdom. Amos was not from the school of the prophets – he had no formal training. He was also a herdsman and a farmer. Yet, he had the same Divine Spirit of God upon him that influenced Isaiah and Daniel etc. God uses anybody that makes themselves available to Him. Remember, God gives abilities to us when we yield to Him. God can and wants to use you.

Date: This was written from 787 – 797 B.C.

The Book: Written during the reign of King Uzziah in Israel after Amos had been expelled from the Northern Kingdom for his bold preaching in Bethel.

Amos deals with the Judgments on the cities surrounding Palestine; Judah and Israel; Jehovah God’s dealing with the family of Jacob and the future glory of the Davidic kingdom.

  1. The Message Of The Book: Amos 3:1-3
  2. The context is this: Can you have God’s presence while you walk contrary with Him?
  3. In Amos day, God’s people broke sweet communion and fellowship with God.
  4. God did not break it from them, they broke from God: that’s sad.
  5. How can a child of God have the power of God on him while not fellowshipping with God.
  6. You cannot walk with God if you are not living for God in your daily life.
  7. Can you have God’s presence while you walk so contrary to him?
  8. Hate The Evil And Love The Good: Amos 5:14-15
  9. The choice between evil and good has gone on since Adam and Eve in the Garden in Genesis 3.
  10. Joshua exhorted God’s people to choose between good and evil in Joshua 24:15
  11. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord …..”
  12. To some, they like the evil better than the good; that’s why we have so much hatred in this world.

a So much war

b.So much violence

c.   So much murder

d.So much immorality

e. Abortion/murder of the unborn is into the millions

f. It becomes evil in the sight of people for God’s people to do good

g. Joshua exhorted the Israelites: God’s people, not the heathen, to choose between Gods              and the false gods. The gods that they worshipped before God redeemed them and                                       delivered them. The Israelites had a problem: sin. They couldn’t decide whether to go                                  back and live in sin or to go forward and serve the God that had saved them.

h. Amos 5:15: hate ALL evil among God’s people: I Thessalonians 5:22.

i. Love, commend, encourage, defend the GOOD. Let your heart be towards good things.

Psalms 34:14 and Psalms 34:8

 

Paul refused to eat meat offered to idols: I Cor. 8:1 & 10:13-14

There was nothing wrong with the meat itself: I Cor. 8:4.

Vs 7-10: be careful lest we tempt others to fall into sin and false doctrine

Sometimes, it is not the thing itself that is the sin, but where we are or what we do with it:                      that is the sin.

Be careful where we go, what we say and what we do lest we become a hindrance to

someone and they not be saved.  I Cor. 6:12 and I Cor. 10:23

III. God Always Keeps His Promises Amos 9:13-15

  1. God reminded Israel of what He has in store for them in the future.
  2. God’s Word also reminds us of what He has in store for those who have received Him as            Saviour.
  3. A perfect salvation
  4. Salvation that lasts: He won’t cast us out
  5. Blessings and benefits: here and now
  6. The Comforter – the Holy Spirit to teach, guide and empower us                                                     John 14:6: a home in Heaven.


Old Testament Survey: The Book Of Joel

Introduction: Joel lived during the time of the Prophet Elisha; approximately 800 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Joash was king.

The Name Joel: Means “Jehovah is God.”  He prophesied mostly about Jerusalem and Judah.

Date: Approximately 800 B.C.

  1. The Plague Of Locust: Chap. 1:11-2:11
  2. Chap. 2:1-11 references to revelation 16:14
  3. This refers to Armageddon
  4. Vs 11: references to Revelation 19:11-21
  5. Joel calls for repentance: 2:12-17
  6. Repentance is a turning back to God as well as a turning from our sin.
  7. The sin that keeps us from Gods blessings.
  8. The sin that hinders our sweet fellowship with the Lord.
  9. The sin that hinders our spiritual progress.
  10. Prophecy 2:28

    “Afterward “= in the last days

  1. “Pour out my Spirit”
  2. This prophecy was fulfilled in Acts 2:15 -21
  3. Acts 2:16: “this is that”
  4. “this” = the happenings of Acts 2:1-14.
  5. The Day of Pentecost begins the “Last Days”, according to this fulfilled prophecy.
  6. The local New Testament Church was empowered on the Day of Pentecost
  7. Acts 2:41: 3,000 souls saved – baptized and added to the local church.
  8. That particular local church was the one in Jerusalem in Acts 1:15.

The Last Days

  1. Afterwards: Joel 2:28 – this is the last days of Acts 2:17
  2. Joel 2:28 was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, therefore, the Last Days began on                             the Day of Pentecost.
  3. This means that we have been living in the Last Days for over 2,000 years
  4. We are living, I believe, in the last part of the Last Days.
  5. We are to LOOK for the return of Jesus Christ.
  6. We are to LIVE for Jesus until His return.

NOTES: Joel 3:14: “Valley of Decision.” The valley in which they are to meet their “determined doom.” The same as “the valley of Jehoshaphat,” that is, “the valley of judgment.”

This is the place where God executes His judgment upon His enemies.

People have decisions to make – to be saved or remain unsaved. Christians also have decisions –

Once we are saved, do I live for the Lord or not. Will I be faithful or remain unfaithful. How long will I serve Him?

Joel tells of the effects of the plagues, past and future. He looks beyond them to plagues of Israel’s enemies to come and calls Israel to repentance. Then, he looks to the end times and God’s triumph over Israel’s final enemies and the promise of God’s blessings upon Israel and the gentile believers.