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Tuesday: Persian “Messiah” — 9 Comments

  1. Most readers of this blog view Isaiah's prophecy of the role of Cyrus 150 years beforehand and it affirms our belief in the omniscience of God. However, when we try to use that as an argument for the veracity of the Bible to our non-believing friends, they simply dismiss it, saying there has to be another explanation. The problem is that we already believe in God and his omniscience but a non-believer does not accept any supernatural explanation. And that is at the heart of the issue we face in communicating the Gospel in the modern world.

    Supernatural explanations do not convince unbelievers. The supernatural that we need to present to the world is our changed life. It is only when we present Christ in the way we live that the supernatural events of the Bible make sense.

    Paul wrote:

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
    Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Cor 13: 4-8 NIV

    • So true. It is hard to defend whether someone didn't add these verses after the fact. And while we have accounts of Jesus quoting Scripture, I'm pretty sure we have no record of Jesus ever arguing the authenticity of Scripture. Believing vs. non-believing lives are what have been the strongest testimony for me.

    • There is also a growing tendency to discredit the Bible because of obscure laws such as those regarding slavery and women being property. We understand that God had to lead people from where they were and that they were/we are slow learners. That over view doesn't resonate with folks because it seems the real motive is to cast off morality that doesn't conform to modern "standards." There are "proud moral atheists" out there. As Maurice has opined, a changed life is the best argument.

  2. Cyrus was the LORD's anointed to free His people.
    Jesus Christ was the Triune Godhead's anointed spiritual deliverer.
    Have you and I received the anointing of the Holy Spirit? Are we allowing Him to work through us to help His people physically and spiritually?

    Acts 10:38
    And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed

    1John 2:24-27
    20You have an anointing from the Holy Spirit, and all of you know the truth. 24 let what you have heard from the beginning remain in you. If it does, you will also remain in the Son and in the Father. 25And this is the promise that He Himself made to us: eternal life.27 the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But just as His true and genuine anointing teaches you about all things, so remain in Him as you have been taught.

  3. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders.....Isa 9:6-7.
    Fulfilled after hundreds of years.
    And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:9-10.

    Persian “Messiah”
    Identifying marks of a true prophet.
    There are many signs of a true prophets not only their words but their everyday life.
    Isiah was indeed a true prophet. What he said fulfilled. Deuteronomy 18:15-20. Sometimes their words take from one day to hundreds or even thousands of years eg, Gen 3:15. The promised Messiah. But the bible encourages us to wait for the fulfillment because it will come.
    As a people we must able to identify a true from a false prophet. There are many countries who believe in the democratic voting system of selecting leaders. Some time ago one spiritual advisor to a leader told him she is a prophet and an angel told her he will win. The result was, he lost. There are several false prophets out there who will deceive many. Am I also deceived?
    But do we follow after prophets or do we follow after the word of God for our everyday life. Isaiah himself identified who is a true prophet Isa 8:19-20.

  4. It's comforting to know that God can move the hearts of world leaders. Even those leaders who don't believe in Him and don't typically follow Him. Proverbs 21:1 tells us that "the king's heart is in the hand of the Lord" and Romans 13:1 echoes that "there is no authority except from God". There are many Scriptures reminding us to pray for ourselves as citizens of communities, and to pray for our leaders (1 Tim 2:1-2; 1 Peter 2:17; Jeremiah 29:7; 2 Chron 7:14). When I note how much Jesus prayed in His ministry on earth, it seems the most powerful and important thing we do for our homelands is to pray for the hearts of our leaders. Every day we can lift up our nation, and all nations, with all their favors and faults before the throne of God, and pray that He continues to work in our midst. Here is the beginning of Daniel's prayer as a model for us:

    4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:

    “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.

    7 “Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. 8 We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you. 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. (Daniel 9:4-11)

    We are encouraged to read further in that chapter that the Lord heard Daniel's prayer and acted immediately:

    20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill— 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed (Daniel 9:20-23)

  5. God’s Word has a way of turning an unbeliever into a believer through the power of the Holy Spirit when truth is desired or when the soul is seeking after God.

    God said He did the things that we read about so we would know from the rising of the sun to its setting that He is God and there is no other. From the rise of earth’s history to the very end, we have the opportunity to know God as the true God, even if only though the revelation of nature.

    Isaiah 45:6 “I am the Lord, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. l will gird you, though you have not known Me, that they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other...”

    As humans we have revelation of nature and the Word, but there is always hope through Christ even if one isn’t acquainted with God. God reveals Himself in ways beyond what we can know and understand. He speaks to hearts when we can’t. He’s powerful that way.

  6. The act and intent of anointing is to set apart, empower, or protect a person, place, or thing for divine use – (by Kyle Blevins, Crosswalk.com). God’s Plan set King Cyrus apart for a certain work at a certain time – to prepare for the return of the captives to Jerusalem and to build His ‘house’. I think that without Cyrus' willingness to listen to the voice of God and to open the door, so prompting the return of the remnant, they might have just stayed put. Israel’s God had a plan and a timeline which He followed. Without Him placing Cyrus into the position of power, knowing that He would incline his ear to hear Him, neither one of the acts would have been accomplished.

    I would not say that God *predicted* Cyrus to be the king of Persia, but that he was placed as the "anointed one" to send the Israelites back to their homeland and to build His temple at the appointed time.
    Ezra 1:1-3KJV: “ Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying: Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? His God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.”
    It appears that no one was glamouring to go home when king Cyrus, 'out of the blue', invited everyone 'who is of His People' to go home and to build the temple.

    I see God forming/establishing/using the future’s circumstances, not just knowing them. Cyrus was anointed by God for the specific purpose to let the captive Israelites go home to rebuild his ‘house’. The time had come to use 'the by God established power' for this purpose.
    Our God has a plan, His plan is called “Salvation of Mankind”. All events related to His Plan that have taken place in the past and will take place in the future are ultimately guided by the hand of the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit - Nothing on earth can happen without them!

  7. Interesting to see this prophecy concerning Cyrus called "stunning". Why? Do we realize who the Author is?! Should we be "stunned" by the accuracy and truth of God who created all things?

    God is true and faithful, and His word will come to pass at the appointed time. There is no need to doubt the Bible, including its prophecies. If we truly fear the Lord, we will have “strong confidence”(Prov 14:26). Peter talks of us having a “more sure word of prophecy”, and that we must “take heed” to it as a light in a dark place(2 Pe 1:19).


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