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A Mini-Series is a small subset of lessons from a major series which covers a particular subject or book. The class numbers will be in reference to the major series rather than the mini-series.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

100 - Resurrection Confirmation [B]

Acts 13:13-39 by Robert Dean
As we see Paul focus on the gospel with the Jews in Antioch in Pisidia, we should be aware of some modern evangelistic challenges seen through a comparison of Lordship Salvation and Free Grace. Those in Paul’s audience knew the scriptures, so it was effective for him to string together prophesies pointing to Christ. Review many of these Old Testament promises and see the familiar terms imputation, justification, forgiveness, propitiation, righteousness, and Christ the Servant. How does the resurrection seal the fulfillment of the Messianic prophesies? Do these Jews respond to Paul’s message?
Series:Acts (2010)
Duration:1 hr 5 mins 26 secs

Resurrection Confirmation. Acts 13:13-39


We are continuing to work our way through Paul's presentation of the gospel to the Jews in Pisidian Antioch. If we put ourselves in their place they were hearing this for the first time. They had not heard anything probably about Jesus or the claims of Jesus to be the Messiah and they have invited the apostle Paul because they treated him as a visiting rabbi to give them a report from Jerusalem and to bring a teaching from the Word to the congregation. And in that he gives a review of God's plan for Israel. He goes through the Abrahamic covenant, he touches on the Davidic covenant, and he brings things together in terms of God's promise to David to have a descendant of David to be on the throne forever.

Starting in verse 32 he is focusing on the gospel. This is really important. There have been several issues related to the gospel. On the one hand there has been a challenge to free grace. One spectrum of evangelicalism's presentation of the gospel has been labeled as "lordship salvation." Lordship salvation in a nutshell does not necessarily say you have to make Jesus Lord of your life. That is one manifestation of it. The real core of Lordship salvation is the idea that if you are truly regenerate then you are going to produce fruit that is consistent with regeneration and you will live a certain way. That basically has come to be called fruit inspection. It is that you can somehow quantify this fruit so that you can look at your lifestyle, life change, or absence of sin as the validation of your belief that you are saved.

On the other hand there is the position that has come to be called free grace, which for some people is a redundancy but that is because many people use the term "grace" in a manner that is not free. For example, lordship people firmly believe in grace; Roman Catholics firmly believe in grace; many others firmly believe in grace. But as one lady said one time: "You are earning a lot of grace." You can't earn grace; grace is something that by definition is freely given. So we have consistently had this distinction among Christians from time immemorial, it is not just a modern manifestation.

But the modern manifestation has been crystallized and clarified in terms of certain debates. In the history of this, in the late 70s and early 80s it became crystallized specifically by the rise of Zane Hodges who really took a specific confrontational approach in several very good books, analyzing the scriptural interpretations of the lordship crowd; specifically John MacArthur but also numerous others, most of whom were in the Calvinistic camp. 


It has been a kind of a misnomer and a mischaracterization by many people in the grace camp to try to say all Calvinism is Lordship. Actually there have been numerous movements within four and five-point Calvinism since the sixteenth century that have not held to the lordship approach to the fifth point of Calvinism, the P in TULIP—the perseverance of the saints, the view the saint who is truly regenerate will persevere in being faithful or enduring in his faith in Christ; he is not going to give it up, not going to finally reject Christ, not going to commit certain sins continuously, but if he is truly saved regeneration somehow limits his sin nature. There is no real support for this from Scripture, it is really a theological deduction from their definition of regeneration.

But there are many other Calvinists—Lewis Sperry Chafer was one—who believe that the P in perseverance was Christ persevering in keeping us saved, which is how many of us would understand eternal security. That view was a dominant view among many Calvinists. It is just in the last 40 or 50 years that among Calvinists that the perseverance/lordship crowd has become the dominant thinking within Calvinism.

On the other hand we have the free grace movement, and unfortunately within the free grace movement there has been another split, another conflict over the gospel. It has to do with the understanding that Zane Hodges himself had of the gospel which was not always clear to people who read him because it is easy to read into someone's statement of the gospel that is fairly close to being on target, a correct understanding of the gospel, when the issue that is being addressed on the page of the commentary or whatever is focusing on analyzing and understanding a distortion related to lordship salvation.

But it became clear about ten or twelve years ago that Zane had always had a rather odd view of the gospel: that the gospel was simply the offer of eternal life by Jesus. He goes to a couple of passages in John as his support and, of course, these statements were made before Jesus went to the cross. So they would not be passages that focused on the cross, they were passages that focused on Jesus' offer of eternal life to Jews in a dispensation that was prior to His final payment of the cross. So as far as Zane was concerned the gospel was an understanding that Jesus could accomplish what He promised to accomplish, which was to give eternal life, and that you were believing Him for eternal life, and that because what Jesus was giving was eternal life that meant—embedded within the definition of eternal—that it was not a life that could be lost or taken away. 

Now where that went was that if you didn't have an understanding that the life you were getting when you believed in Jesus was something you couldn't lose, then you weren't believing Jesus for eternal life, you were believing Him for a life that you could lose. So if you didn't have an understanding of eternal security in some sense at the moment of trusting in Christ then you weren't really saved.

Notice I haven't mentioned anything about the cross, anything about the fact that Christ died for our sins, or believing that Christ died to provide forgiveness for your sins, or justification. For that reason that view of the gospel which came to dominate the Grace Evangelical Society and others came to be called "the crossless gospel" because you weren't believing that Jesus died on the cross. That is not part of what Jesus offered in John 5. He offered eternal life. He hasn't offered the cross yet because He hasn't gone to the cross yet; it was before the cross.

The reason for bringing this out is because we are going to see the way that Paul to these Jewish unbelievers in this chapter coming up. There are five key prophecies from the Old Testament that are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Paul is looking at a couple of them here. We've looked at Acts 13:33, the quotation there from Psalm 2:7—"From the womb of the dawn I have begotten you." Psalm 110 is clearly a messianic psalm related to the elevation of the Messiah to the right hand of God the Father. Psalm 110:1 NASB "The LORD says to my Lord: 'Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.'" The point is that the Messiah ascends, sits at the right hand of the throne of God in a position of passive waiting for the kingdom to be given which is given by God the Father, the Ancient of Days as stated in Daniel chapter seven, just prior to the Son of Man coming to the earth to defeat the kings of the earth and then establishing His kingdom. Psalm 2 focuses on that battle that takes place, and Psalm 2:7 is the announcement, the validation by God of His previous announcement that the Messiah is the Son of God possessing full deity.

Acts 13:32 NASB "And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, [33] that God has fulfilled this {promise} to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, 'YOU ARE MY SON; TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU.'"

Then he goes to another verse. Notice what he is doing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He is stringing together two or three different prophecies to show how they are fulfilled in Jesus with reference  to the promise, the covenant given to David. This is a quote from Isaiah 55:3 NASB "Acts 13:34 "{As for the fact} that He raised Him up from the dead, no longer to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: 'I WILL GIVE YOU THE HOLY {and} SURE {blessings} OF DAVID.' [35] Therefore He also says in another {Psalm,} 'YOU WILL NOT ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY.'" This is a promise fulfilling the Davidic covenant. God promised an eternal house, an eternal kingdom and an eternal throne to David. Isaiah 55:3 states, "I will make an everlasting covenant with you." That everlasting covenant is defined by the phrase, "the sure mercies of David."

That promise to David was a promise of an eternal house, an eternal kingdom, and eternal throne. David was from the root of his father Jesse. Isaiah 11:1, 10 makes it clear that there will come forth in the future—Isaiah was written about 720 BC. He is in the southern kingdom, the northern kingdom has fallen, and he is warning prophetically that the southern kingdom, the kingdom of Judah which was still ruled by a king who was a descendant of David, would be destroyed by Babylon (and Babylon wasn't even dreamed of at this point as a mighty kingdom). That would in effect cut down the tree of David, so that all that would be left is a stump. So what would happen then if the Davidic tree is cut down. Would God remain faithful and fulfill His promise to Israel—from the stem of Jesse a little green shoot. A branch will grow out of his roots. Isaiah 11:10 NASB "Then in that day The nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious." Usually when we run into this phrase "in that day" in the prophets of the Old Testament it is relating something to the future day of the Lord or future end-time events. This is an important messianic prophesy and what we learn from the verse is that a descendant of David is going to attract Gentiles to Himself when He comes to establish His kingdom for Israel.

There are going to be certain characteristics of this. We need to pay attention here to the word "righteousness." It is important to note that righteousness is really the critical issue in the Old Testament. Job said, "How can a man be righteous before God." The word "righteousness" in both the New and Old Testaments really has two connotations. One connotation is experiential righteousness, i.e. doing good things, living a just life according to the standard that is set forth in God's Word. But even though human beings do good things we are all flawed. This a problem that is stated again and again in the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament. So while man can accomplish certain good things—and there's nothing wrong with doing good to our fellow creatures—it is wrong to think that doing that good curries favor with God, and to think that that becomes the basis for our salvation. That is the problem.

Jeremiah 23 gives us a promise related to David as the Branch. Jeremiah 23:5 NASB "Behold, {the} days are coming," declares the LORD, "When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land." So the Branch of righteousness is distinct from David. He is raising to David as a result of those promises God made to David in an eternal covenant someone who is described metaphorically in this passage as a branch. He is a righteous Branch. That righteousness is going to be an inherent, intrinsic character quality of this individual. He is then described as a king. Royalty is ascribed to Him, which makes sense as He is a descendant of David. He is one who fulfills the promise of an eternal throne, an eternal dynasty. Because He is inherently, intrinsically righteous His rule will be righteous.

It will be the only time in history that we have a truly righteous ruler in any kingdom. There are no righteous rulers today; all rulers today are unrighteous to one degree or another. But if we don't have an understanding of man being inherently flawed—or as Christians describe it, as sinners—because of sin, then we constantly think that human beings can bring in a perfect environment. That thinking is called utopianism. It has never worked and will never work because human beings are flawed, and as long as they are flawed they will always fail when they govern and they are susceptible to power lust and to the abuses of power. The founding fathers understood this and this is why in the Constitution they established three branches of government as checks and balances against one another so that no one branch would rise above the other two. They didn't design it so that passing laws and changing laws would be easy. But today we live in a world where people get frustrated. They operate on the false assumption that people are basically good and those who govern are basically good and have our best interests at heart. They don't! They want to accumulate power and take it away from the people.

Jeremiah 23:6 NASB "In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, 'The LORD our righteousness.'" Jeremiah writes at a time when Nebuchadnezzar has already invaded once and he is writing prior to the final destruction of Judah in 586 BC. He has already announced that they are going to lose and that the Babylonians will destroy them. Now he is saying that all hope is not lost, there will yet be a future and God is going to be true to His promises. He is saying that is the days of the Branch, the righteous Branch, Judah will be saved and Israel will dwell safely. There will be the restoration of the nation in safety and when the righteous Brach rules He will be called 'The LORD our righteousness'.

In the Hebrew this could be translated a couple of different ways because there is no verb there. It could be read as it is literally: Yahweh tsidqenu, which means Yahweh our righteousness. But it could be as how the 1986, more up to date translation of the Tanakh translates it: The Lord is our vindicator. They have inserted the "is" there, which is viable, but this form of the word tsedeq does not mean vindication. It is not translated as that, it is the same form as in Jeremiah 23:5—"I will raise to David a Branch of vindication." No. It is the same form of the word. You can't say that, you have to be consistent in translation. The reason the 1986 Tanakh changes that is to get away from the implications of righteousness.

As we go through these Old Testament passages the issue is whose righteousness get's us to heaven. We are going to see that the Old Testament makes it clear that the righteousness that gets Jews in the Old Testament and anybody in the world, even in the New Testament, is the righteousness of the Messiah. 

The 1917 Jewish Publication Society translation of the Tenakh stated it very clearly "the Lord our righteousness," and that translation is consistent historically with the various Targums or commentaries that had been written in Jewish history on Jeremiah chapters 23 and 33. It is only in modern time that it has been shifted to avoid the messianic Christian interpretation.

Jeremiah 33:14-17 mirrors that verse. "Behold, days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will fulfill the good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah" And then he starts to talk about David, so the promise he is talking about here takes us back to the Davidic covenant. How important it is that when we are helping people to understand the Bible to ground what we are teaching in these promises, these covenants that God made to Abraham, to David, to the Jewish people in terms of their eternal possession of the land. "In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell in safety; and this is {the name} by which she will be called: the LORD is our righteousness. For thus says the LORD, 'David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel'."

Zechariah 3:8 NASB "Now listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you—indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My servant the Branch." So we've moved from the pre-exilic announcement that God is going to raise up a Branch from the root of Jesse to now calling the Messiah the Branch. He is "My servant the Branch."

Zechariah 6:12 NASB "Then say to him, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD." This is speaking of the future temple of the Lord built during the messianic age.

Jeremiah 33:18-22 continues to talk about God's fulfillment of the covenant to David. Verse 20 NASB "Thus says the LORD, 'If you can break My covenant for the day and My covenant for the night, so that day and night will not be at their appointed time."

Ezekiel 21:27 is Ezekiel's cry of woe at the defeat and destruction of Jerusalem. NASB "A ruin, a ruin, a ruin, I will make it. This also will be no more until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it {to Him.}" That is a reference to the Davidic king, the Branch who will rule in Jerusalem.

Ezek 34:23 NASB "Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd."

Hosea 3:4 NASB "For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or {sacred} pillar and without ephod or household idols. Afterward the sons of Israel will return [what is going on now] and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days [future]."

Jer 30:8 NASB 'It shall come about on that day,' declares the LORD of hosts, 'that I will break his yoke from off their neck and will tear off their bonds; and strangers will no longer make them their slaves. But they shall serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.' See also Psalm 132:12, 17; 89:29, 36, 37.

Acts 13:35 brings in a third passage. He has brought in Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 55:3, now he brings in Psalm 16:10 NASB "For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay." Here David is speaking, and he is speaking about himself because he is convinced that he is going through problems, that he will die, but there be a resurrection for him. But God the Holy Spirit, through inspiration with Paul, is bringing out another application. He can do that because it is under the inspiration of the Spirit. If we were to read Psalm 16:10 we would not get the doctrine of resurrection out of it in the sense that it applies to Jesus. That comes under the divine inspiration though of the Holy Spirit with the apostle Paul. David is convinced that there will be a resurrection for himself and that he will stay in the grave but one day, some day, there will be a resurrection for him; and that is what he is talking about.   

Paul under inspiration of Scripture takes this and applies it to the resurrection of Jesus, that His body saw no corruption, no decay, no deterioration in the grace whatsoever because He was raised from the dead almost instantly after His death—three days later but considering the time frames it wasn't hundreds or thousands of years—and given a new resurrection body. This was also stated by Peter on the day of Pentecost. Notice it is "Holy One," singular, not a plural.

Paul states: Acts 13:36 "For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay; but He whom God raised did not undergo decay." He is not contradicting David's belief in a future resurrection. David did indeed see corruption but Jesus Christ did not. Paul is making a connection here. He has talked about the Davidic king who will come and sit at the right hand of God the Father who will then defeat the enemies of God (Psalm 2), and when that happens the "sure mercies of David" will be given to them in fulfillment of the Davidic covenant. This is seen and vindicated and validated by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, as prophesied in Psalm 16:10. This he does in these verses to establish that Jesus can do what He claimed to do as He had victory over physical death.

From that Paul is going to draw a conclusion. Acts 13:38 NASB "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, [39] and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses." What he is saying there is not that there are some things you could be justified in the Law of Moses. You couldn't be justified by anything from the Law of Moses, but in Jesus you will be justified. In verse 38 he said: "through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you." This is the verb katangello [kataggellw] – angello in the Greek is the word to announce something; it is intensified with the prefix. It means to proclaim or preach something. It refers to preaching the gospel, as we see in 1 Corinthians 9:14 NASB "So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel."

What is the proclamation of the gospel? We've had this problem historically understanding the gospel. Does the gospel mean believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and if you truly believe, if you genuinely believe, if you rightly believe, then you will see a certain change in your life and by that you will now you have believed? Most people are smart enough to know if they have believed something. It is simple; it is not hard, but people will get all wrapped around the axle and say: "I'm not sure." Well, do you believe it? Yeah. Well then you know it; that's it. Notice that "believe" is the only condition that is stated in verse 38. They preached forgiveness of sins. Notice it doesn't say they preached eternal life.

Has Paul got a different gospel than the apostle John? No, the gospel manifests it self; there are different facets. One facet relates to eternal life, another facet relates to regeneration, becoming a new creature in Christ, another relates to redemption, another to forgiveness. They are different facets of the gospel, but proclaiming any one of those facets is proclaiming the gospel. If you believe in Jesus for forgiveness of sins you don't have to believe it again for eternal life, and you don't have to believe again for redemption, for propitiation, for reconciliation; they are all different aspects of the same gospel. But Zane Hodges comes along and says you just have to believe in Jesus for eternal life, but if you believe in Jesus for anything else you are not saved. That is as phony a gospel as John MacArthur's gospel. This is what caused such a tremendous split in the free grace movement about five or six years ago.

The gospel is clearly stated here as related to the forgiveness of sins. The word for forgiveness is aphesis [a)fhsij]. It means a release or a pardon, the cancellation of a debt, that that debt was wiped out. When Christ died on the cross the debt was paid, so the issue now isn't do you want to pay the debt or not, the issue now is do you want to accept the payment of the debt or not and when you accept it you get Christ's righteousness.

" … and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses." Not everyone who believes and continues to believe, not everyone who believes and had fruit, not everyone who believes and abides, not everyone who believes and goes to church, is baptized or whatever else they want to add, but just simply faith alone. Everyone who believes is justified. It is a present tense for continuous action that if you believe you are justified, and that is the Greek word dikaioo [dikaiow] which is a legal term meaning to declare righteous before God. And you couldn't be justified from all things by the Law of Moses. That is the sense of the verse. 

The question is Job 9:2 NASB " … how can a man be in the right before God?" If we want to focus the gospel it is related to all of these things, but this is the core issue. It is the Hebrew word tsedek, which has to do with not only experiential righteousness, used to describe the positive application of believers, but it also refers to the forensic or legal declaration of someone brought before the judge—the declaration of their righteousness, that they have met the standard of righteousness. They may not be righteous but they are declared righteous.

The answer to Job's question doesn't have to do with doing righteous deeds. Why? Because at the very core of our being we are viewed as so flawed that while we can do relative righteousness, things that when compared to other people are good, but in terms of the absolute righteousness of God they are not.

Isaiah 64:6, quoting from the 1918 translation of the Jewish Publication Society's translation of the Tenakh: "And we are all become as one that is unclean …" When it says "we are all: who is left out? That includes every single human being. "… and all our righteousness (all the good deeds that we do) are as a polluted garment." On other words, it is stained and we cannot gain favor with God no matter how good our deeds are. That is what Isaiah says. 

God is described as absolute righteousness. In Psalm 9 we are told that He will judge the world by righteousness. That is His absolute standard. So if our righteousness is as filthy rags and He is going to judge us on the basis of our righteousness we are not in a good place. Psalm 9:8 NASB "And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity [uprightness]."

Psalm 11:7 NASB "For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face." He can only approve that which is righteous. So if our righteousness is as filthy rages how can God ever approve us. The answer is given in Genesis 15:6 NASB "Then he [had already] believed in the LORD; and He reckoned [imputed] it to him as righteousness." Righteousness comes by faith, not by works. It was because Abraham trusted God, not what Abraham did, that he was given righteousness.

In Isaiah 53, one of the most significant messianic passage, we are told how God deals with the unrighteousness of man and how He is going to justify the sinners, the unrighteous, that are mentioned in Isaiah 64:6. 

Isaiah 53:4 NASB "Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted." It is the core corruption that is sin. It is substitutionary; He bore our sins; He took our suffering upon Himself. The idea that runs through this is that there is this one individual, the servant, who takes upon Himself our problems. He solves the problem. That is substitutionary. This is the same picture as on the day of Atonement when the lamb is brought out, when the goats are brought out, where the high priest places his hand on the goats, and recites the sins of the nation. They are transferred to the goat and that is the picture that the goat is going to be sacrificed and the other one sent out into the wilderness bearing the sins of the people. But the blood of the bulls and goats couldn't permanently take away sin. But this is the servant of God who is going to permanently take away sin. It is God bringing the judgment upon the servant.

Isaiah 53:5 NASB "But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being {fell} upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed." What the servant would go through was not because of what He did but because of our sin. Notice that this verse has shifted from talking about the disease metaphor to talking about sin and iniquity, because that is the problem. The crushing here is something that would produce death. He takes pour place in terms of a punishment—substitution.

Isaiah 53:11 NASB "As a result of the anguish of His soul, He [God the father] will see {it and} be satisfied …" He is looking upon the spiritual transaction, the substitutionary payment on the cross. He will be satisfied—propitiation, the essence of what is depicted on the day of Atonement: God's justice being satisfied by the blood being put on the mercy seat over the broken Ten Commandments. " … By His knowledge [by knowing about the servant] the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities." The Servant is righteous but the people aren't. The Servant's righteousness is true righteousness, and by His righteousness many shall be justified. Why? Because He shall bear their iniquities.

Well how do we get the righteousness of God, as Job asked? It has to be given to us, and it is given to us by the One who paid the penalty for our sins. The New Testament tells us how this is fulfilled in Jesus. This is what Paul says in Acts 13:38, 39: "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed [justified, declared righteous] from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses."

Isaiah 42:6 NASB "I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations [Gentiles]." That is what is getting ready to happen in Acts 13 because some of the Jews are going to respond but most of them are going to reject. So Paul is going to turn from the Jews because they have willingly rejected the offer of eternal life and the offer of forgiveness, the offer of justification, and he is going to turn to the Gentiles because the gospel is to be a light to the Gentiles.

Is 49:6 NASB "He says, 'It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel (That is too narrow a focus for salvation; they're not just their to save the Jews) I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth'."

That gives us an understanding of how the gospel is presented from the Old Testament: going from all of the prophecies and weaving them together, and we have to know that to be effective witnesses.