A Witness to Good News

KEY VERSE: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” —Acts 10:43

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Luke 4:6-19; Acts 10:34-43

WHEN father Adam was created he could have lived happily forever after on this planet Earth. But he disobeyed Jehovah God’s instructions, and was condemned to death, along with the entire human race yet in his loins. The Apostle Paul explains it thus: “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Rom. 5:12) Some two thousand five hundred years after the fall, with all mankind still going down into the grave, the Lord made a covenant with his people at Sinai through Moses. Concerning this Paul says, “Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is a figure of him that was to come.” (Rom. 5:14) Had they kept this covenant the Israelites would have gained life. Additionally, they would have beer specially favored by God above all people as a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.—Lev. 18:4-6

As a nation and as individuals they failed, and all continued to die. Nonetheless, God’s holy prophets continued to hold out the hope of an escape from death and the grave. One wrote: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty [restitution] to the captives, and the opening of the prison [the prison-house of death] to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”—Isa. 61:1,2

But the enemy Death still held sway, and some six long centuries later, following his baptism with the Holy Spirit at Jordan, our Lord Jesus applied Isaiah’s prophecy to himself. This was good news, indeed! Now, at last, after four thousand years of the reign of sin and death, the long-promised Deliverer had come! And he would bring these wonderful blessings by giving his own perfect life as a corresponding price for Adam’s perfect life before the fall. (Luke 4:16-21; Rom. 17:19; I Tim. 2:5,6) However, until this day, almost two thousand more years have passed since Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave and said, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”—John 11:1-25

This seeming delay in the establishment of Christ’s kingdom for the resurrection and blessing of mankind is a mystery to most, but it is revealed to the Lord’s own people. It is simply this: that the Anointed, the Christ is not one, but many. The inspired apostle writes, “When you read this you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ [the Anointed, Diaglott], … that is, how the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.” (Eph. 3:4,6) He further explains, “Just as the [literal] body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with [the] Christ [the Anointed.]” (Diaglott) The good news is that beginning with our Lord Jesus, this Gospel Age is the acceptable time for the Anointed, Jesus and his body members, the church, to complete their sacrifice on behalf of the world. In the typical Atonement Day sacrifices, the bullock and the Lord’s goat were slain, the blood of each was sprinkled on the mercy seat by the High Priest, and their bodies burned outside the camp. In the present antitypical Atonement Day the sacrifice for the sins of the world consists of our Lord Jesus and his faithful followers of this Gospel Age. Drawing on this analogy for the instruction of Jesus’ fellow-sacrificers, the apostle says, “The bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin [as a sin offering] are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us [the church] go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.”—Heb. 13:10-13

And there is yet more good news! In his prophecy, Isaiah suggests that “the acceptable year [or period of time] of the Lord” would be shortly followed by “the day of vengeance of our God,” otherwise described as the time of trouble. We believe the world has already entered upon the foretold time of trouble, that the church is almost complete, and that therefore the time for the fulfillment of the promised blessings is drawing near.—Isa. 61:2; Matt. 24:21

Dawn Bible Students Association
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