After giving me a stern glare, they hurried to search my handbag. Yet they found nothing. Failing to find anything, the evil cops questioned me in exasperation about whom I contacted, who the upper leaders were, and so on. I was afraid of saying the wrong thing carelessly and falling into their trap, so I kept silent. Seeing that, five or six evil cops rushed toward me and punched and kicked me. We have enough ways. A little past eight that night, two evil cops handcuffed me and took me to the Municipal Public Security Bureau. Why believe in God?
No matter what he said, I gave no response. He pressed me down to the floor by pulling my hair and kicked my head hard. I was kicked dizzy and felt that the house was spinning. My face felt so painful, as if being burnt by fire. But no matter how they beat me, I just prayed to God silently, clenched my teeth tightly, and said nothing. We have enough ways!
Instantly, the strong current spread through my whole body. I involuntarily cramped, as if numerous bugs were biting my body, and I screamed and screamed in spite of myself. Before I got my breath back, an evil cop took a thick wad of magazines and struck my head hard. Then, he seized my hair and knocked my head against the wall hard.
Darkness came over my eyes, and I fell down on the floor…. Feeble all over, I collapsed after kneeling for a while. Draw near to him constantly…. As long as you have one breath left, God will not let you die. I have enjoyed too much and too great love from God. The devils torment me like this, and their contemptible purpose is to make me betray God. I should be a man with backbone and will and would rather be tortured to death than yield to satan. I forgot about all my pain and had the faith and courage to go on fighting against the devils. Where do they live? Once I closed my eyes, they would punch and kick me.
They even ground my finger joints hard with the tips of their leather shoes. The heart-piercing pain made me suffer unspeakably, and I screamed unceasingly.
They also kicked me about like kicking a ball…. Toward dawn I was covered with wounds and bruises and ached unbearably all over.
At that time, I felt dark inwardly and became more fearful, not knowing what other cruel tortures were waiting for me ahead…. This is what you should do. You should not discard all the truths for the sake of a little enjoyment. I understood that my being persecuted for believing in God today was the most worthy and meaningful thing.
To save me, God has endured all the sufferings.
Such suffering is what I should undergo to be saved. I need to be tempered and built up in such adversity, which is the need of my life. I should be happy. At the thought of that, I felt especially comforted in my heart. Thank you for inspiring me to understand your will. Not knowing when such days would end, I felt very distressed, lonely, and miserable and just wanted to leave that hellhole sooner. However, the more I wanted to free myself from that environment, the darker and worse I felt in my heart.
My tears fell down unknowingly. If in refining you still pursue the truth, can love God truly, and have no doubts about him, and no matter what he does, you still practice the truth to satisfy him and still seek his will and care for his will deep within, this means that you have a true faith in God. Before, when God said you would reign and rule, you loved him, and when he was open to you, you pursued him.
Now when God hides from you and you cannot see him and sufferings come upon you, do you lose hope in him? This is true faith and is the truest and most beautiful love. I felt that God was watching by my side and expecting me to keep my true faith in God before satan and endure the suffering to give up what I love, so that I could still love and satisfy God and stand testimony for God in the environment of suffering and the forces of darkness.
Only that was the most powerful evidence of putting satan to shame. God has been caring for and accompanying me by my side all along. I should restore my previous faith, give my true love to God, and bear testimony for God before satan. When I thought of those, my inward agony was dissolved. I made a resolution that even if I had to undergo all kinds of sufferings, I would love and satisfy God. God is my rear guard; what shall I fear? I will war against satan to the end. I will ready my love and offer it all to God to descend with God in glory.
I pledge my life to offer up my heart and body and exhaust my effort to repay God. God raised up a prison officer to give me many articles for daily use. What would you like to know about this product? Please enter your name, your email and your question regarding the product in the fields below, and we'll answer you in the next hours. You can unsubscribe at any time. Sign in or create an account. Search by title, catalog stock , author, isbn, etc.
Healing the Soul of a Woman: Product Close-up Shop our 40th Anniversary Sale! Have you suffered past abuse, abandonment, or betrayal? After being emotionally wounded, many women wonder if it's possible to fully love and trust again. But it will be ours after we have died unless, of course, we are alive at the second coming of Christ. Because our hope of future blessings rests in the finished work of our Lord, it is a certain hope. Peter gives a three-fold description of this hope: William MacDonald says it is death-proof, sin-proof, and time-proof. Our inheritance will not deteriorate over time.
Perishable fruit tucked away in the back of our refrigerator may be forgotten until a pungent odor brings it to our attention. But our inheritance is unlike perishable food. Neither is our inheritance subject to defilement. Someone may try to reserve a piece of cake by defiling it so no one else wants it.
But even sin and impurity can never defile our future inheritance. With anything new, time causes its glory to fade. The blessings which constitute our future hope are absolutely certain for they do not diminish over time. They are also being kept for us. We need not worry about any contingency which might nullify our hope. Our blessings are sure.
What could possibly keep us from enjoying the blessings of our future hope? It could not be the loss or devaluation of these blessings, for they are imperishable, undefiled, and they will not fade away. It is possible that our blessings will not fail, but we will. If verses 3 and 4 assure us that the blessings of our salvation are secure, verse 5 assures us that we are secure.
Our blessings are reserved for us in heaven, and we are preserved for them on earth. We are protected by the power of God. God is our refuge and strength. He is our strong tower. His power protects us.
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Because He is all-powerful, nothing can cause us to lose that which God has provided, promised, and preserved. As Paul has written,. Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? We are also protected through faith.
While Peter was going to fail, as Jesus warned, the Savior had prayed for him that his faith would not fail. Peter could fail and fall, but he could not fall completely. Like us, he was protected by the power of God for a salvation yet to be revealed. We may sum up the essence of his introduction with these observations. The first words of verse 3 are words of praise: The words of this epistle, and of these verses, should be the basis and motivation for our worship and our rejoicing in the Lord. When Jesus warned Peter of his upcoming denial, he adamantly protested.
He assured the Lord that though all others might deny Him, he would not. Peter trusted in himself when he assured the Lord Jesus he would not fail Him. Our salvation is the work of God, and not the work of men. The Father chose us in eternity past. The Spirit set us apart to salvation by causing us to trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
The salvation of which Peter speaks encompasses both time and eternity. God chose us before the creation of the world 1: We now experience some of the benefits of our salvation. The full benefits and blessings await us at the second coming of Christ and will last for all eternity. The hope of our full, future salvation is based upon the work of God 1: Many of the benefits and blessings of our salvation are yet to be experienced in the future.
It is important to note that Peter very clearly states we have not obtained all of the benefits and blessings accomplished through the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord. Many of the blessings of our salvation are still a matter of hope and not a present experience. Some Christians believe all of the blessings are ours to experience now, and our failure to enjoy them is due to our lack of faith in claiming them. This is not what Peter teaches. He tells us they are future, and while they are certain, we must wait until the coming of our Lord to enjoy them.
This future dimension of our salvation is not something we are naturally inclined to believe or welcome. Partly, this is because the present is to have its share of suffering 1: Our future inheritance will not fail us, and we shall not fail to enter into it and its blessings. Our eyes can be fixed upon our future hope because our enjoyment of its blessings is absolutely certain.
One cannot mistake the unity of verses The emphasis of verses is upon the certainty of our salvation and our security in Christ. The emphasis of verses is upon suffering, the suffering we can expect to experience as a result of being saved. It is no accident that Paul speaks first of our salvation, of its certainty and our security, and then of our suffering. Salvation is the vantage point from which our sufferings are to be viewed. To be certain of the future hope of the believer is to be equipped to endure the present sufferings to which we have been called.
How unfortunate that many Christians look at their salvation from their circumstances, rather than looking at their circumstances through their salvation. When some saints suffer, they begin to doubt their salvation and the certainty of their future hope. Other Christians may even encourage such doubts. It was not his sin, but his righteousness which was the occasion for his sin.
It was not his downfall, but his growth which God had in view. Peter turns our eyes toward God and toward the shed blood of His Son, in whom we have not only forgiveness of sins, but victory in Christ. We were not saved merely to cope with life; we were called to be conquerors in Christ.
We are overcomers, especially in the trials and tribulations of life. Let us believe and behave accordingly. The mindset Peter calls for from every saint is demonstrated by his fellow-apostle, Paul. Paul expresses the security of the saint in the midst of suffering, based upon his confidence in the Savior:.
For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day 2 Timothy 1: God has not rejected Israel, Paul argues, because God chose them long before time began. What God starts, God finishes see Philippians 1: Faith Tested, Future Triumphant , p. Edmond Hiebert, 1 Peter Chicago: Moody Press, , p. Underlining, bold-facing, italics were created by inserting control codes—but only the codes appeared on the screen rather than the actual underlining, bold-facing, or italics.
You could not see on the screen what you would get. Our Lord Jesus Christ told the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16, the text I used for a recent memorial service. The rich young man, like the money-loving Pharisees Luke The rich young man expected to continue to live in perpetual comfort and ease just as he had on earth. Like the Pharisees, he wrongly assumed men like his servant Lazarus would spend eternity in eternal misery. Jesus shocked His audience by telling them these two men actually changed places after death. In eternity, the servant Lazarus enjoyed the bliss of heaven, while the rich man suffered the torments of hell.
Peter introduces the problem of suffering in his epistle for the first time in the sixth verse of the first chapter. Suffering proves to be the theme of his epistle. Peter informs us that suffering is indeed a part of the normal Christian experience. He also encourages us by telling us the trials and tribulations of this life will be left behind for all eternity. The suffering we endure on earth does not indicate our future estate in the kingdom of God.
Because of this, we must live by faith and believe that what we now see is not what we will get in eternity. Peter gives good reasons to rejoice in adversity in our text. Verse 6 explains the nature and necessity of suffering, while verse 7 focuses on the intended result of suffering—a proven faith which brings glory to God.
Verse 8 further describes faith, with Christ as its object and the fruits of love and joy. The final and glorious outcome of our faith is found in verse 9—the salvation of our souls. May the careful study of this text of Scripture, which introduces the theme of suffering, be used of the Spirit of God to eternally change our perspective on this often misunderstood subject of suffering.
In beginning our study of 1 Peter 1: The Scriptures are forthright, and Peter has no hesitation in saying Christians should expect to suffer. Verse 6 speaks of suffering in very general terms. James also tells us that adversity comes our way in many different forms when he writes:. Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing James 1: Jesus clearly indicated suffering would come our way as did Paul and other New Testament writers:. But you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord delivered me! And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted 2 Timothy 3: But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly, by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated.
For you showed sympathy to the prisoners, and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward Hebrews Like other New Testament writers, Peter wants us to understand that suffering is a normal part of the Christian life.
The Scriptures clearly attest to suffering as an unpleasant experience. Since we live in a fallen world Romans 8: Even though we suffer, we are to rejoice that our salvation is secure, the work of a sovereign God 1 Peter a. How can this be? Peter answers in verses In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials.
Peter puts forward two good reasons to rejoice in the midst of our suffering and sorrow in verse 6. It first implies that suffering is only a possibility rather than a certainty. It is essential that we grasp the necessity of suffering. While in the hospital, you learn that you had not gotten word the Bible study had been canceled. It could have been avoided. But in the sovereign will of God, it was purposed and, therefore, a necessity—a divine necessity.
God is sovereign both in our salvation 1: No suffering occurs without purpose. God is aware of every tear we shed in sorrow Psalm Though difficult, we may rest assured there is no senseless suffering for any saint. Glory lasts forever, and there will be no sorrow or suffering then. Listen to the glorious future that awaits us:. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
The unsaved find a very sad and different story. While they appear to prosper in this life even though they suffer here too , they will suffer for all eternity away from the presence of God see Luke The apostle Paul emphatically contrasts the present trials of life with the future glory which we await:. Paul tells us our suffering is momentary, but glory is eternal. Our suffering in no way compares with the glory we will receive. Our future glory is better, compared to the suffering which Christ endured on our behalf. That the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
No one naturally wishes to hear what the Scriptures repeatedly say: The ultimate purpose of man is not to be happy, to be fulfilled, or even to be saved. Listen to these words of Paul:. In love, 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved Ephesians 1: Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God 1 Corinthians All suffering is ultimately for the glory of God, but in the context of 1 Peter we must say that the innocent suffering of the saints is to the glory of God.
This is a truth many Christians find hard to accept. It is a truth Satan and unbelievers are unable to believe or accept at all. In the early chapters of the Book of Job, we learn that Satan could not imagine a man like Job could continue to trust in God if God caused him to suffer rather than to prosper. Satan found it easy to believe Job would worship God for blessing him. But he found it impossible to believe that Job could bless God if he suffered Job 1: We should learn from Scripture that God is glorified by faith, by the faith of those who trust in Him because of who He is, not because of His blessings.
That is the message of verse 7: According to Peter, suffering is closely related to faith. It is a test which exposes false faith and reveals the genuineness of true faith. Our Lord spoke of this in the parable of the soils:. Did they want success? In the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses reminds the Israelites who are about to enter the promised land how God tested them by adversity:.
Testing proves the preciousness of our faith. When a semiconductor company produces microprocessors such as the Intel , they are manufactured in batches. All go through the same testing process, but some chips come through better than others. The testing process sets the best chips apart from the rest. The trials and tribulations of life prove not only the genuineness of our faith, but they strengthen and purify our faith as well see also James 1: God wants our faith to grow, and suffering is one of the best stimulants to that growth.
Peter likens the purification process by which God purifies and strengthens our faith to the process by which gold is purified and made precious. He first compares the gold purification process to the purification of our faith which suffering produces. He then contrasts the preciousness of our faith with the lesser value of highly refined gold. Gold is the asphalt, the pavement of heaven; purified faith is the basis for our praise in heaven.
Gold is purified by fire. The hotter the fire, the more impurities are burned off, and the more precious the gold becomes. So it is with our faith. Thus we see that suffering serves a very beneficial function in the life of the Christian. It tests our faith and proves it to be genuine. Beyond this, it purifies and strengthens our faith, making it more precious than fine gold. And in the final analysis, our proven faith glorifies God. And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.
It is easy to see why suffering righteously requires faith on the part of the saint. Our hope is to be completely fixed on the grace to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ 1 Peter 1: We look forward to the glory to be revealed at the coming of our Lord. And yet our present experience is one of suffering, an apparent contradiction to our future hope. Faith is required because our hope must be based upon Scripture and not upon sight.
Our hope is based upon the promises of God, while at the moment we experience the painful reality of suffering. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen Hebrews In verse 8, Peter does not attempt to minimize dealing with the unseen. But his emphasis is on who is unseen and how our faith enables us to relate to Him. The object of our faith is the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is the preeminent One in this verse. Peter has been speaking of the proving and purifying of our faith. In verse 8 he gives us three specific ways a genuine and precious faith will be evident:. By faith, we trust in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. We not only live by faith, we love by faith. Love is rooted in and closely related to faith:. Faith is necessary in order to believe in Him. We must believe both that He is, and that He is good—the rewarder of those who seek Him Hebrews Faith is the basis for belief. Faith is also necessary in order for us to rejoice. Peter not only expects us to rejoice in our salvation 1: And he does not mean a second-class rejoicing.
We are to rejoice because suffering proves and purifies our faith, thereby bringing glory to God. We are also to rejoice because suffering is a part of a divine process which results in the salvation of our souls, as Peter will show in verse 9. In the early verses of this first chapter, we were told by Peter that salvation is the basis for our confidence and rejoicing. Now Peter will tell us that salvation is also the outcome of our faith and our suffering. Because salvation is a process, Peter can speak of salvation in terms of a past event, accomplished by God in Christ, a present experience for the believer and a future hope.
The birth of a child is a process. A child is conceived in the womb and over a period of months continues to develop. The mother not to mention others becomes more and more aware of the child and its approaching birth. They are endured not only because they cannot be avoided, but also because of the joy they bring at the birth of the child.
Suffering is an inescapable part of the process by which God has ordained our salvation. Suffering strengthens and purifies our faith, and the outcome of our faith is our full and final salvation at the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Suffering does not save us; faith does, but suffering proves and strengthens our faith. Peter wants us to think of suffering in a completely different way than before we trusted in Christ. Now we should view suffering as a cause for rejoicing. To begrudgingly concede that suffering is inevitable and unavoidable for the Christian is not enough.
Nor is a stoic acceptance enough when suffering comes our way. It is a part of the process which leads to the glory of God and to our full and final salvation at the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. We dare not view suffering as our culture sees it. The Law was given to demonstrate our sin:.
Are we better than they? Only Jesus can claim to be good, without hesitation or reservation. That mercy has been provided in the person of Jesus Christ, who bore the penalty of our sins and who offers us His righteousness in the place of that wrath. We must trust in His death, His burial, and His resurrection on our behalf, knowing that in Him we are not only forgiven but declared righteous before God on the basis of what Jesus Christ has done. I want to challenge and exhort you to apply this passage in 1 Peter by meditating upon the psalm of Asaph in Psalm In this psalm, through a painful process Asaph comes to view suffering as Peter does.
Asaph could not understand why the wicked seemed to prosper while the righteous suffered. The wicked were arrogant and boastful about their sin and even seemed to dare God to act. Asaph confesses he was tempted to throw in the towel before he realized this would be detrimental both to him and to the congregation who knew him. From a temporal point of view, the wicked did sin and were prospering. But from an eternal perspective, they would soon experience divine judgment, forever. Asaph gradually realized that the prosperity of the wicked had turned their hearts from God, but his suffering had turned him to God, even though he initially protested.
Suffering draws us to God, and that is our good. He inspired words challenge us to rethink our value system so that we see suffering as a blessing and prosperity and ease as a curse. The preciousness of our faith which is demonstrated through suffering and trials, is referred to as being found at the revelation of Jesus Christ. This suggests that the immediate proof may not be evident. Is this not parallel with the teaching of 1 Corinthians 3: When I completed my first year of seminary, our family returned to Washington State for the summer where I worked as a school teacher in a state prison.
Even the food was good—at least it was better than the cafeteria food I had in college. My wife used to warn me not to tell her what I had for lunch because it would probably be something more expensive than we would eat for dinner. One particular day, we had just come back to class after a steak lunch. I will never forget one of the inmates complaining about the way his steak was cooked. My wife and I hardly ever ate steak, and here was an inmate complaining about the way his steak had been prepared, as though he were eating in a gourmet restaurant and paying for his high-priced meal.
When things are bad, some people do not know just how good they do have it. When Christians encounter suffering, they often lose their perspective and begin to complain about things which are really not as bad as they appear. Tears in our eyes distort our perspective. Asaph, in Psalm 73, starts looking on his world with myopia.
He supposes all the wicked prosper and suffer no pain, while the righteous always suffer unbearably. It simply is not that simple. The writer to the Hebrews addresses a group of professing Christians who are beginning to suffer persecution for their faith:. For you showed sympathy to the prisoners, and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and an abiding one Hebrews And yet, despite all these saints endured, they had not suffered as badly as many who had gone before them.
You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin Hebrews Those to whom Peter writes are undergoing suffering for their faith. Peter does not offer them pity or sympathy. How can one be pitied in circumstances in which they should rejoice? But often we do pity ourselves when we suffer. Peter puts suffering into its proper perspective in verses He has already caused us to look God-ward to see that our salvation, and our suffering, come from the hand of a sovereign God who chose us in eternity past, who has drawn us to Himself through His Spirit, and who has cleansed us through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ 1: Through Him, we have been born again to a living hope.
Now, Peter turns our attention to the future, the hope we have in Christ of a salvation which is absolutely sure 1: As we live our lives in this sinful, fallen world among those who hate God, we do suffer for the time being, but our suffering has been sent our way by God to produce a very positive effect. On the one hand, it demonstrates the reality of a genuine faith, and on the other it strengthens our faith—all to the glory of God. In this we are to rejoice as we await the outcome of our faith, the salvation of our souls 1: When we think of success or suffering, we often think in terms of comparison.
Asaph compared his suffering to the success of the wicked in Psalm Peter and the other disciples compared their faithfulness and their greatness with one another Matthew In verses , Peter helps his fellow-believers keep their suffering in perspective by making two comparisons.
He first compares the Old Testament prophets to New Testament saints. Secondly, Peter compares New Testament saints to angels. What he concludes from this comparison might surprise you. How often we look back to the Old Testament saints to whom God spoke directly and wish we could have lived in their times. If only I could have had God tell me personally what to do and what He was going to do.
Our study will therefore focus on the two comparisons of: The Old Testament prophets contributed far more to us than they realized at the time of their prophecies. As Peter calls our attention to these prophets, he points out the ways in which their ministry touched our lives.
Like our Lord in the text above, when Peter calls our attention to the prophets he seems to be reminding us that we must also suffer like the prophets for the sake of Christ and His kingdom. The blessings we have received through these prophets, which Peter summarizes in our text, came at great cost to them. Likewise, the Holy Spirit would empower the preaching of the Gospel so that men might be saved John The prophets spoke to the men and women of their own time, but they also spoke of things yet to come to pass.
The use of the plural in reference to both suffering and glory is noteworthy, for just as the sufferings of our Lord were many see Hebrews 5: For a long time, Peter, like his Jewish brethren, resisted this reality. How great a debt of gratitude we should have toward these Old Testament prophets who spoke of our salvation and who ministered to us, suffering greatly as they did. The Old Testament prophets contributed greatly to the cause of Christianity, and the cost to them was great. But the prophets did not fully grasp the meaning of their ministry at the time.
It is a very different thing for us to look back on their ministry from the vantage point of the gospel than for them to look forward, without knowing all that their words meant. But he also indicates they did not fully comprehend all of this. Consider, for instance, Agabas in the New Testament, who informed Paul that the Jews would arrest him when he reached Jerusalem Acts This revelation produced an immediate reaction, and unanimously, Paul was urged not to go to Jerusalem. Gently rebuking them, Paul conveyed his firm resolve to go to Jerusalem even though death might await him there.
Interestingly in this prophecy, it seems clear Agabas did not urge Paul to go to Jerusalem; he either says nothing at all, or he joins with the rest in begging Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. Agabas had a message from God, a message which others had confirmed Acts Agabas does not seem to have been told the meaning—that Paul was being prepared for his suffering and arrest, rather than being prevented from experiencing it.
Prophets do not know everything, and neither do they necessarily even understand what they have said. Few of the prophecies fulfilled in the first coming of our Lord were recognized as such at the time they were given or even later on. When we come to the Gospels, we frequently find an expression like this: The prophecy of the virgin birth of Christ in Isaiah 7: So it was also with the prophecies that Jesus would come up from Egypt Matthew 2: Jesus having come from Nazareth was viewed as a problem rather than as a prophecy John 1: Unless Paul had told us, who would have imagined that our Lord was the Passover 1 Corinthians 5: At least one prophecy which Israel understood as Messianic was Micah 5: The people were unclear about which prophecies were truly Messianic and which were not.
They were not clear even about just who the Messiah would be. They had been asking Him questions seeking to embarrass and discredit Him publicly. Let them answer His question. Here was another mystery, solved only in the coming of our Lord as God incarnate. It was used of Isaiah But it was also used of Messiah see When Jesus explained His sufferings and glories to His followers, He did not do so from a single Old Testament text but from all the texts together.
Only then do the pieces fit together to produce a picture:. Peter said the same thing as he declared that Jesus was the Messiah to those in Jerusalem:. When Paul explains the marvelous plan of God to save both Jews and Gentiles in Romans , he cites nearly two dozen Old Testament texts from at least nine Old Testament books.
While the Old Testament prophets made a monumental contribution to the cause of the gospel, they were confused. They were confused because they could not understand how the events they predicted would take place. There are differences of opinion concerning how the words of verse 11 should be translated. The NASB translates the words of the original text to inform us that the prophets not only struggled to learn the circumstances surrounding the time of the fulfillment of their prophecies, but they also were perplexed as to who would fulfill them.
Until now, I have failed to understand the degree to which Peter indicates the prophets were ignorant and confused. I thought the prophets understood they were writing of Messiah, of His sufferings, and of His glories. To me, the mystery was how these two seemingly incompatible elements suffering and glory could harmonize in one person. The prophets did not puzzle over the intertwining of suffering and glory; they were totally befuddled by the details of their prophecies. The words of the disciples to our Lord must be a reflection of the desire of the prophets of old:.
They were not told how their prophecies would culminate in the coming of Messiah. They were, however, given revelation in response to their inquiry. This response differed from prophet to prophet. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.
And he placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land; 3 and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices. All of the prophets were informed concerning one thing: The details of the prophecies pertaining to the distant future were not revealed to them. Their ministry in these matters was not for themselves but for those who would live centuries after them.
Thus, they were informed of the link which God had purposed between them and the New Testament saints. This we also see in the Book of Hebrews:. They would have to wait to learn the answers to all their questions. But let these prophets know this: Theirs was the privilege of playing a part in this plan. They, like every saint throughout history, would have to live by faith, suffering now while assured of the glory of God, their future hope.
The prophets of old shared one thing in common—suffering. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened Luke 2: After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory Revelation Amazingly, with all the glory we find associated with angels, Peter tells us their eyes are fixed on the earth.
There is a greater glory yet to be fulfilled, and the angels cannot wait to witness it.