Willie Hughes - That the Scriptures May Be Fulfilled - 1937

Matthew 1:22, “Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophets.”

Matthew 2:5, “In Bethlehem of Judaea; for thus it was written by the prophet.”

Matthew 2:15, “That that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying, 'Out of Egypt, have I called My Son.'”

Matthew 2:23, “And He came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets.”

I have noticed in the gospel of Matthew that the expression occurs several times. Matthew points out no less than 13 different scriptures that were Old Testament Scriptures, that were fulfilled in the life of the Lord. There are four men who tried to write the gospel, and there are differences in the way that they have expressed themselves. They dealt with the Gospel in different ways, they had their own minds, but they had no difference of opinion. There is no contradiction in what they write, but their individuality comes out in what they wrote, and in the way they express themselves. There is one thing we notice about Matthew, the frequency of the use of that it may be fulfilled. I thought we might look at this in this light, that if we are to be true Christians all followers of Christ, what had to be fulfilled in Him must be fulfilled in us.

Christianity is not a creed, it is not just some set of beliefs, it is not some certain way of meeting together for religious worship, but Christianity is life received into our soul, and then that life is lived out. The world has changed things so that they all have a creed, certain forms of expression put into words, and this is supposed to indicate the belief of the people who adhere to that creed. It is the expression of their faith. But Christianity is always meant to be expressed in the lives lived, and if it is not in the lives lived, there is nothing in it at all.

We notice here when it speaks of the scriptures being fulfilled, it begins at Jesus' birth. Matthew 1:19, “Then Joseph, her husband being a just man and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately.” The first thing that has to be fulfilled in our lives is the birth of Christ.

Though Christ a thousand times,

In Bethlehem be born,

If He’s not born in thee,

Thy soul is still forlorn.

It is impossible for us to come into the number of God’s people, and not be born into the number. It is possible for us to have the name of Christ, and not to have the nature. It is possible for us to have made a change in our lives and turn from the old things we live for and to come even into God’s true way and the birth not to have taken place. The thing that would concern all of us is whether this thing has taken place in our lives. If this scripture is not fulfilled, it is very, very difficult for the other scripture to be fulfilled. When we preach the gospel, we cannot overlook what Jesus preached to Nicodemus. When I was coming out from home about 30 years ago, there was a number of us travelling together and we had meetings on the boat. One night when we got up to preach, every one of us spoke about being born again. After a few days, we saw written up about the ship about the born again fanatics. I thought perhaps we had talked about it too much, but it is a thought that has never left me. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” “They shall call His name Emmanuel.” There are two names mentioned here as given to Christ and that is Jesus and Emmanuel. This is well worth looking into, that this Person that is born into our lives has two names.

Firstly Jesus, “For He shall save His people from sins.” Now if He is born as Jesus into our lives, He will save His people from their sins. Not that we are saved from all sin is at once. For it says in Exodus 23:29, “I will not drive them out from before thee in one year, lest the land becomes desolate, and the beasts of the field multiply against thee. By little and little, I will drive them out before thee.” If all our sins were taken away at once, we would probably be filled with pride and God could do nothing with us. Sometimes God has to give us defeats, so that we might value His grace. But it is not that those sins don’t matter. In supposing we are saved from our sins, that is not enough.

The other name means “God with us.” The religious God brings us into the religion He is in. I was reading about the ark and came to the place where after the ark was built and all the creatures were bought into the ark. God said, “Come thou and all thy house into the ark.” What a difference if God said, “Go thou and all thy house into the ark.” You will find it a good place, it will save you and I am sending you into the ark. No but God said, "Come thou into the ark, I am going to be in it Myself. I’m going to be in the fellowship. I am inviting you into." Before Jesus was born into this world at all, as the angel was speaking about these things, He said, “I will call His name Emmanuel, which means 'God with us.'”

I have been in New Zealand this year and I went to one place where I have not been for many years. There were no sSaints or workers within miles of us and the first thing we encountered was a flood and we went on and worked a mission and some people made their choice for Christ. In this second mission we had, some people who attended were related to the people form the first mission and two of the young women decided. The day after they decided, I happen to be down a certain road and we met the youngest of these girls and we got off our bicycles. I asked her how she was getting on, she said “It is not as good as you told us in the meeting.” I said, “Ivy that statement proves that you got nothing last night.” She said, “How do you know?”  I said, “You would not say anything like that if you had anything, because we cannot express anything like that how much it is.” But she said, “I don’t see why I can’t go to a dance?” There was no surrender to God. When the true surrender is made, we begin to prove Him and we go on all our lives to prove Him in connection with these two names.

We have known many of God’s people, that they start in God’s way and there are some things that nearly fall off them. In our home, we had the usual garden attached to the house, and it was surrounded by a hedge, and it was a beech hedge. It was called a winter beech. The leaves didn’t fall off in the autumn like an ordinary tree. But the leaves would wither and hang on and you know when those leaves fell off, it was when the sap began to come up in the spring and the new leaves pushed the old ones off. The one thing that will deliver us is a birth taking place in our own lives. If God was knocked with us, what a miserable people we would be. We would be no better than any people on the face of the earth.

The second chapter tells us where He was to be born. The wise men came to Jerusalem. The world today think that in connection with the organised religions is the place to find the Christ. Who would think of finding the Way of God without headquarters and without learned men? You can hardly blame the wise man until they were enlightened for going to Jerusalem. When they went there, they began to enquire, “Tell us where He is?” Is He born in a mansion? Give us the address. But they said, “It is not in this city at all, it is down in Bethlehem.” That was the place where the Christ was found.

I was speaking to a sister the other day and we were remarking about the fact it took three missions to bring her to the place where she could make the surrender to Christ and I suppose it was all necessary. She had to be caused to see where Christ should be born. Can’t He come into my heart that is proud? God says no. Can’t He come into my heart that is selfish? God says no. Can’t He put the new wine into old bottles? God says no. If the new wine is put into old bottles, the new wine will burst the bottles. Where is He that is born King of the Jews? Oh, the trouble God has to make us like Bethlehem. To make us willing to be nobodies. If you turn to the Old Testament, you will notice it says, “Though thou be little of the princes of Juda.” We have to become small for Christ to come within us. But most of us would say that we have found it necessary to become smaller to make room for the Christ to grow.

They saw the young child and fell down and worshipped Him. They prepared the gifts before they left their own country and they had it in their minds to find the newborn King, and if He is King, well, we must bring gifts worthy of a king. They may have said, “He is a king and He is a priest and a prophet and therefore, we will bring the gold and frankincense and the myrrh.” They bought them and thought they had suitable gifts. They came to the house where Jesus was, and they saw the King that had been born in the stable, and then did they say, “We have made a mistake.” This king is a very lowly king. Where is the sense of giving such gifts that we have bought for this King of the Jews? Where is the sense of giving such costly gifts to the lowly cottage maid or to the carpenter. I wonder are any of your gifts meaner because it is a lowly way? I wonder if your sacrifice is less or meaner because it is a homeless ministry? I wonder if your gifts to that ministry are smaller or meaner because it is a homeless ministry? It didn’t make any difference to them because He was King in their hearts. As we may be humble people, dressed in humble cloths, people may turn up their noses and say that they don’t want to go to those meetings, because none of them are very important.

There was some question asked in New Zealand and one of them was, “Could we explain why it was that the Bible was translated by men to the world?” They were the most learned man of England and they got together and translated the Bible into the most perfect English possible so that it could be read by English in their own tongue. Why the Bible was for hundreds of years in the hands of the Roman Catholic Church and no one else had it? We might just ask, “Why did not God allowed Moses to be bought up in the Palace that he was ordained to destroy?” Here was the Roman Catholic Church cherishing the book that spoke their gross condemnation. Often for us if it was not for the sympathy of the worldly world, we could never have got on with a mission and although God allowed His Son to go into Egypt, it is fulfilled. “Out of Egypt, have I called My Son.” The first scripture, the birth of Christ must take place, and secondly where it takes place, and third thing that happens is that the Son must be called out of Egypt. The gospel delivers us from the power of the world. Right out from all the things of the world, bearing the reproach of being separated from the world.

We are told about the children that were destroyed from two years and under. This is terrible that because Jesus was born, that hundreds of others were destroyed. You come to the mission and you hear the truth, and you hear about Jesus and you embrace it, and make a surrender to Christ, you make the full surrender, the result is that Christ is born into your life, and hardly has this taken place and the persecution begins and lies are spread. There was a sister worker came with us from New Zealand and she got off the train at Albery and was met by one of her friends to whom she preached the Gospel to years before. I began to tell my companion about her. When the gospel came into her district, people began to tell lies and say all sorts of things about her and about the Gospel and she thought to herself, “I have never heard anything like this before.” People saying all these things before they have even heard the gospel. She thought of that verse which says, “Blessed are ye when man shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for My Sake.” She found out this was what it was, and instead of being hindered, she embraced the gospel and has been rejoicing in it for a great many years. Don’t feel bad if God calls you out of Egypt, because it tells us that it must be fulfilled, and then when it is fulfilled, there will be the persecution, you will feel bad when you are hindered, that it cannot be helped. People who allow themselves to be hindered, their fate and their doom is the same as those little children.

The last verse in the second chapter, “That it might be fulfilled He shall be called a Nazarene.” That scripture is a little hard to understand, because you can search the Old Testament Scriptures and you won’t find that expression in it. I have wondered if that vow of the Nazarite is connected very closely. Numbers 6:2, “Speak unto the children of Israel and say unto them, 'When either man or woman shall separate themselves to a vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the Lord.'” That is the next thing to be fulfilled, that after being separated from Egypt, that we are separated to God. Some people are always looking over the fence and wanting the things of the world, but they will never get much out of God’s way and never get much out of the world.

John the Baptist preaching said, “Repent ye, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Some people say, “You don’t need a preacher to get saved.” But the Bible says, “It must be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets.” It mentions five other things, that the birth must take place, and we with it must take place, and the calling out of Egypt, the persecution and then the separation to God. In these five things that pass, in each very small steps, comprise the whole saint life. Christ must be born in us, it must be a humble lowly place, and we must be called out of Egypt, no matter what persecution results, and there must be a separation to God. “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

Then it speaks about the ministry, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” I don’t know what the world would recognise as the three most important things connected with the men of God ministry. The world would perhaps say, "Being able to preach, and personal magnetism, and lastly but not least, the ability to cash." It says here, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness,” and it doesn’t talk about some wonderful sermon. A brother Will Hooper who died in New Zealand last year, he had a wonderful way of pointing with his finger and saying you and that was John the Baptist and you would say, “There are certain things that I don’t want to part with.” John the Baptist says, “Prepare you the way of the Lord.”

The second thing was the camel hair and the third thing was the meat of the locusts and the wild honey. A definite message with the word you and then the clothing and the food. These things are very necessary that God’s servants go forth in a certain manner. Their clothing is different to the clothing of the world, and the clothing is like the man who comes after them. Their manner of life is on the level as Jesus who is coming after them. I wonder if the saints recognise it in their manner of life. I wonder if your clothing and meat are helping to prepare the way of the Lord to people’s hearts. If they are important to the preacher, surely they are important to everyone connected with it. Don’t you feel bad if the gospel of God begins to touch your clothing and your meat. Don’t tamper with your conscience if you are old in God’s way.

Why are you in the family of God today? You might say, “Because the gospel found me just says sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death.” Now turn to chapter 12. The preacher coming to prepare the way, and then the Lord coming to people who sat in the shadow of death. “Behold My servant whom I have chosen.” Sometimes we feel unworthy of the Lord pointing to us and saying, “Behold My servant.” Some of you wonder if you will ever go into the Lord’s work and you will never go unless the Lord chooses you. The longer I am a preacher, the more I see the seriousness of it.

Chapter 21, this gives us a king at the pinnacle of His fame coming to Jerusalem. He is the one who was born in Bethlehem and comes riding in on an ass. “Sitting upon an ass, and a colt and the foal of an ass.” Verse 42, “The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner.” Chapter 26:31, “All ye shall be offended, forward is written I will smite the shepherd and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.” We like to see loyalty to every servant of God.

There is another thing that should be in the lives of all the saints, the knowledge of God for themselves that even the shepherds are smitten and the sheep are scattered and dismayed that they will fall themselves together and go on to the very end. Chapter 27:35, “They parted My garments among them.” The cloths that Jesus wore at the very finish, were such that a soldier could take away and wear. I hope there may be in the heart of every one of God’s people a real desire that the Scriptures might be fulfilled from start to finish in every one of our lives. Amen.