Christmas in Prophecy: Revelation to the Gentiles
By Nathan Jones
What witnesses did the Holy Spirit provide that proved the deity of Jesus Christ?
Jesus fulfilled all 108 distinct Bible prophecies concerning the Messiah’s First Coming. Anyone who thinks that is an accident knows nothing — absolutely nothing — about the laws of probability. Prophecy is proof positive that Jesus is God in the flesh. On a recent television episode of Christ in Prophecy, Dr. David Reagan and Nathan Jones, along with guest Dennis Pollock, set out to demonstrate this amazing fact and in doing so revealed the life-changing impact such knowledge can make on a person’s life.
Revelation to the Gentiles
Dr. Reagan: In our study of some of the 108 prophecies Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled concerning the Messiah’s Second Coming, let’s look at the prophetic song of Simeon. Now, who exactly was Simeon to begin with, and what about his song? We find the story in Luke 2 beginning with verse 25.
“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel… Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
Simeon was a remarkable man. He lived in Jerusalem and was “just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.” Simeon had been told earlier through some word of knowledge from God that he would live to see the Messiah.
Dennis Pollock: The Bible grants Simeon a great commendation by labeling him as just and devout. He was waiting for the Consolation of Israel, a special title for the Messiah. The Messiah would console Israel. What Israel so desperately needed and wanted was comfort and salvation.
Verse 25 says the Holy Spirit came upon Simeon. This was an old man, and not a young guy. He sees Mary and Joseph bringing the baby to him for dedication, which appeared to be the man’s job at the Temple. Simeon instantly knows by the Holy Spirit the importance of the couple’s child. The Holy Spirit is all over this story, giving prophecies, singing songs, and filling people with His Spirit. How amazing!
The Bible says by the mouth of two or more witnesses every word shall be established. Jesus was so important that God didn’t stop with just two of three witnesses. The Holy Spirit provided witness after witness after witness to attest to Jesus’ deity and importance.
Go on into the life of Jesus and His miracles confirm His deity. A thief, incredibly enough, while on the cross and about to die horribly, came to realize who Jesus really is and attested to Jesus’ heavenly origins. All these witnesses, both Old Testament and New Testament, witnessed to the deity of Jesus of Nazareth. They proclaim to the world, the Father shouting, “This is My Son. Listen to Him! Receive Him.”
Do you wish to know if Jesus Christ is legitimate or not? Read the Bible. Look at not just one or two witnesses to Jesus’ deity, but the plethora presented in the Gospels. These men, women and angels were not just some old fanatics guessing, “Well, I think He might be the Messiah.” No, this plethora of witnesses, young and old and in-between, rich and poor, wise and people who aren’t so sharp, all separately receive the revelation that Jesus is indeed the Messiah, the very Son of God.
Nathan Jones: And Jesus is not just the savior of the Jewish people, for Luke 2:32 reveals He’d also be, “A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles.” Reaching the Gentiles with God’s salvation was simply unheard of in that time. The Jewish people thought the Messiah was going to come solely for them, but Simeon through the Holy Spirit reveals Christ would also be a light of revelation to the Gentiles. In other words, salvation has finally come to everybody who will receive Him.
Dr. Reagan: How fascinating that across the whole Old Testament, it was so very rare for the Holy Spirit to indwell someone. The indwelling by the Holy Spirit remained a very rare happenstance, and when it did, it was really something. For example, like Samson working by the power of the Holy Spirit and exhibiting tremendous feats of strength.
Then we get to the New Testament, and suddenly after 400 years of silence from God — Bang! The Holy Spirit is let loose all at once. He is encountering people all over Israel with the news that this child was the long awaited Messiah.
Dennis Pollock: It’s a whole new season. The revealing of the Holy Spirit is God’s way of saying there’s a difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament. God spoke through His witnesses confirming that they all knew Him. Back in the Old Testament, a scant few people experienced the Holy Spirit. King David, for example, was one. But then the New Testament era began, and every man, woman, and child, and every plumber, doctor, lawyer, brick layer, and school teacher can be indwelt by the Holy Spirit. If you know Christ as your Savior, then you have the right, the privilege, and the blessing of having the Spirit of God come upon you and live inside you and guide you.
Dr. Reagan: How glorious that today those who receive Jesus as Lord and Savior receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Now empowered, they live their lives holy for Christ.
Dennis Pollock: Yes, we Church Age saints receive something the Old Testament saints never got to keep — the Holy Spirit. That’s why Jesus said that John the Baptist may have been the greatest prophet ever, but he who is least in the Kingdom of God was greater still because after Christ’s resurrection we then could possess that indwelling spirit.