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    May 5, 1892

    “Prophecies Concerning the Messiah” The Present Truth 8, 9.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Fair indeed was the estate granted to our first parents. Six days had the great Creator employed in fitting it up for them, each day’s work, as it was completed, being pronounced good. As the crowning act, when everything had been prepared for his reception, God made man in His own image, and gave him dominion over the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, the fish of the sea, and, in short, over the whole earth and everything that it contained. The earth was fruitful, and was unencumbered with thorns and thistles. Slight toil, and that unaccompanied by fatigue, would suffice to cause it to yield to him its abundant increase. Moreover, “the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” Genesis 2:8, 9, 15.PTUK May 5, 1892, page 136.1

    All man himself had to subdue, to plant and cultivate, the remainder of the earth, God himself planted the garden of Eden, and man had only the delightful task of directing the luxurious growth, and feasting his eyes and his palette upon the fruit which grew spontaneously. Here was provision for perfect happiness: everything was provided without stint, and of the most exquisite quality, and man had the most refined, delicate taste with which to enjoy it to the full, all his perfectly balanced nature prevented him from marring the pleasure by any excess. With a companion perfectly adapted to him, his counterpart, nothing was lacking that could contribute to his enjoyment of life.PTUK May 5, 1892, page 136.2

    But into this Eden the tempter came. Having been cast as profane out of the mount of God, because of the rebellion to which his pride had urged him on, his soul satisfaction was found in trying to thwart the purposes of God, and in causing others to share his own unhappy lot. Knowing that obedience is life, he planned the death of the human race, by causing our first parents to sin. Where was happiness, he sowed the seeds of discontent; where was meekness, and willing subjection to God’s just and mild requirements, he planted pride and unholy ambition; where was the utmost liberty, because man was walking in the law of God, the adversary of souls brought hard and cruel bondage, and the lonely prison house. By insinuating into their minds the idea that God was a harsh task-master, and that by his gentle rule he was seeking to elevate himself at their expense, he caused them to seek for “larger liberty” in their own way; and thus they found that, although a man’s own way may seem right in his own eyes, “the end thereof are the ways of death.” “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”PTUK May 5, 1892, page 136.3

    But the loving Father did not leave His children entirely in the hands of their merciless adversary. Immediately after our first parents had committed the sin, “brought death into the world, and all our woe, with loss of Eden,” God spoke the words which saved the guilty ones from utter despair, saying to the one who had caused the fall, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15. These words are universally understood as containing the promise of the Messiah, who should destroy Satan and his works, and said at liberty those whom he had bound; and in the succeeding ages, until the day that they were fulfilled, the highest hope of every woman who believed God’s Word, was that she might be the mother of the great Deliverer.PTUK May 5, 1892, page 136.4

    Immediately we find evidence of faith in the coming Redeemer. Abel brought to the Lord and offering “of the firstlings of the flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.” Says the apostle: “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” Hebrews 11:4. This offering showed Abel’s faith in the Lamb of God, who, by His death, should take away sin. Because of his faith he was counted righteous. This exceedingly brief account is complete evidence to us that the plan of salvation was known in all its fulness to the first inhabitants of earth. By this sacrifice Abel showed that he knew how and why the Messiah was to be “bruised.”PTUK May 5, 1892, page 136.5

    The promised Messiah, who was foreshadowed by all the Jewish sacrifices, was the hope of that nation in all its history. So closely is the Messiah connected with the Jewish nation, that we cannot think of one without thinking of the other. Moses prophesied of Christ, when he said to the Jews: “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, liken to me; unto Him ye shall harken.” Deuteronomy 18:15. And so generally was this prophecy understood as referring to the Messiah, that when the Jews wanted to know if John the Baptist was the promised One, they simply asked, “Art thou that prophet?” John 1:21.PTUK May 5, 1892, page 136.6

    The Old Testament is dotted with prophesies concerning the first advent of Christ. To them Jesus appealed to prove His Divine mission, and by them the apostles convinced the people that Jesus is the Christ. After Philip had obeyed the Master’s call, “Follow Me,” he found Nathanael, and said unto him, “We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph.” John 1:45. Jesus Himself said to the unbelieving Jews: “For if ye had believed Moses, ye would have believed Me; for he wrote of Me.” John 5:46. Paul said to Agrippa: “Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come; that Christ should suffer, and that He should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.” Acts 26:22, 23. And Peter said of Christ: “To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.” Acts 10:43.PTUK May 5, 1892, page 136.7

    Since, on the authority of the Scriptures, there was so general an expectation of the Messiah, why was it that when Christ came “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not”? John 1:11. The only answer that can be given is that they did not really believe their own Scriptures; for all the prophecies concerning the Messiah were fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, and could not apply to any other person. It is true that we would not recognise many of these Old Testament prophecies as referring to Christ, if the application were not made by the inspired writers of the New Testament. But the Jews had inspired prophets to enlighten them, so that they were without excuse for their unbelief. The application of many of the prophecies, however, is very evident, and we can readily trace their fulfillment as we read the New Testament narrative. From the multitude of these prophesies, we shall note the fulfillment of a few of the most prominent, as an aide to our faith in the statement that “the Scripture cannot be broken.” E. J. W.PTUK May 5, 1892, page 136.8

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