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2015 the year of ISIS

Forces of Evil

Behind Acts of Terror

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

CroppedStalin1943.jpg

Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. Holding the post of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, he was effectively the dictator of the state. – Stalin at the Tehran Conference in 1943.

The past century was one of unprecedented evil: 20 million killed in Stalin’s purges, Hitler’s extermination of six million Jews, 1.7 million massacred in the killing fields by Pol Pot, and the millions of lives lost trying to defend or defeat these ruthless leaders. And the carnage escalated quickly into the 21st century as mankind witnessed the fiery deaths of over 4,000 from suicide missions perpetrated against the United States on 9/11 by Al-Qaeda extremists. But an even more sinister and illusive foe has been terrorizing the world with random, demonic acts of evil. The Salafi jihadist militant group that follows an Islamic fundamentalist, Wahhabi doctrine of Sunni Islam, ISIS has become more organized, more powerful and more evil than all other religious extremist groups.

2015 has been a year full of different terror attacks. We were shocked by those in Paris, San Bernardino, which has long battled high crime rates but got its mass shooting in 2015, where the perpetrators were “homegrown violent extremists” inspired by foreign terrorist groups. When we look at all the terror attacks effectuate we may wonder if the the hideous acts of terror around the world by radical Islamic militants were simply the function of an evil twist of character fueled by false religion, or are they provoked still further by a malicious, invisible force? Will the One true God bring an end to all this evil and terror?

Satan, Evil and Intelligent Beings

The Word of God leaves no doubt there is evil in the world. It tells us where it came into the world. It was by the greed of man that man was overtaken to rebel against God.

In the Bible we are told that by the years more and more people came into existence rebelling against their Most High Power. We also come to find out that even by the followers of Jeshua (Jesus Christ) there were those who were taken by fear and by lust of power and money, so that they doubted what Jesus should (Peter) do or betrayed their master teacher for some money (Judas). The apostle who resisted Jesus, Peter, was therefore called a Satan by Jeshua.

Going against the Will of God is considered being an opponent or adversary, which is being a Satan. In several languages it is translated as a personification of an evil doer or evil bringer. In English such a person or being, is also called a ‘devil‘. In the bible we are given several examples of such beings who do evil or who oppose God. As to the existence of a personal devil and his legions of demons, we can see that those possessed with ‘demons‘ are the ones who have a psychological illness. The Bible gives a comprehensive description of Satan, his emissaries and his aims. Satan is represented in Scripture as being the orchestrator and source of evil in the universe — the unrelenting enemy of God and man.

In the Book of books, the Bible, we are shown that even some men of God became a victim of that Satan. Those books show clearly how it is from within those people that filth or evil came over them. They were weak and let themselves being seduced by their own thoughts. We can see that they them selves were at fault and that nobody outside them was to blame for they  going wrong.

A god of this world

From the Scriptures we do know that several men opposed the Divine Creator and placed themselves higher than Him. Though we may not forget that nobody can be greater than God. Even Jesus knew very well that God was the greatest and that he could do nothing without God. Throughout history many people got an important position and as such became gods, i.e. higher placed people. As such we can find angels, Moses, Pharaoh, Apollo, Zeus being called gods, like Jesus was also called a god but none of them were the God of gods. Several of those higher placed beings also became worshipped as gods, whilst others rule the world as a god.

The Apostle Paul recognized the existence of a personal, invisible devil and gave him or them the title “god of this world.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) Paul also called Satan

“the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2)

These words imply not only that there are evil principles at work, but that behind them there are invisible evil powers opposing all that is good.

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Rulers of the darkness of this world

We must not think evil is something of one specific being, a singular “Satan”. In all of us sits a Satan. We all can become victim of Satan, the evil within. If we are not careful and let our imagination go, and let our lust being taken over by our inner lust, we shall also become a Satan, an adversary of God like Peter at one time also was called a Satan.

Today we can see many adversaries of God at work. They are the Satan spoken of  in the Hoy Scriptures. We are also warned of those who oppose the Almighty God, that they will be the rulers of the world and that there shall come a “prince of the devils“. It shall come so fart that the world shall be put in chains by those adversaries of Allah or God. Even the angels, the celestial beings, shall come to see what happens on the world, and they too shall not be able to stop it. It shall continue until the Great or Last Day of this System of things.

Satan may have gained ‘legions of angels’, those beings who have actively supported his evil schemes, they shall be looked on by the faithful to God. Though the world shall continue to bring the unfaithful together trying to get more lovers of God away from Him. We are even told they would not mind to use all tricks to lure those people into their net. that is also what we are seeing today. Several people who have doubts about God and religion try to find a solution for their own life. They think those people from Islamic State or IS, can give them the right answer and give them an eternal happy life.

Islamic State does as if it is fighting for God, but when we look at their works, raping innocent girls, selling women as slaves, burning holy books and prayer houses (mosques and churches) we can see that those actions are against the Will of God. Their aim is to rule the world by creating their own state, the Islamic State. They do know, people are gone far away from God, and as such they are also an easy prey. In this world there is a lot of darkness and they make use of it to gain their power over all those who do not believe in the One True God.

Though they forget there are also others who as opposer of God want to rule the world. And in the bible we are told they too shall rise up against each other and claim to have the right to rule the world. as part of the signs of the last days we shall come to see that there shall start the Big Battle in the land of Euphrates and Tigris (Iraq and Iran) and that religion shall come up against religion, situations we can see today.

Together all those opposed to God shall do their best to have people to believe that either we should do away with all sorts of religion and should not believe in Allah or God, whilst others shall do their best to have people coming to their false religion.  Satan or satans, the adversary or adversaries of God shall come to cooperate as mischief workers amongst men. For them the most important is that nobody shall be a follower of Jesus Christ (a Christian) or would worship God as a united Body in Christ. The Islamic fundamentalist group “Islamic State” is the Satan which shall never let up their unrelenting desire to create a society under their control. (Matthew 9:34; Isaiah 14:12-15)

Continued malicious meddling

What we see happening today is a result of continued malicious meddling by “Satan and the demons”, the adversaries of god and those who are not sound in mind, as they prey upon the weakest of humanity. While fallen man is much to blame for these acts of violence, “wicked spirits” often enter sick or deluded minds, suggesting hideous acts of violence. The Scriptures describe in detail such incidents and the misery caused by evil spirit influence and possession. (Matthew 8:16; Mark 5:15; Luke 4:41; Luke 22:3)

Those who are inclined toward evil leave themselves open to suggestions from these wicked spirits. There are enough ‘lunatics’ or mad people who want to get their ideas into the mind of others. Some succeed cleverly to bring others in the ban of their thinking. Muslim extremists wreaking worldwide panic through acts of terror have been brain-washed by doctrines of ‘demons’, persons who have evil inside and want to bring that evil unto others, them believing that they have a God-directed mission to execute their victims. (1 Timothy 4:1) But, unlike the god of Muslim extremists, the God of real Muslims and the Judeo-Christian God, Jehovah, is a God of love, and He has told His children that there are seven things which are an abomination to Him — among these are hands that shed innocent blood, hearts that devise wicked plans, feet that run swiftly to evil and those who spread strife. (Proverbs 6:16-19) These activities describe well the acts of hateful extremists — no matter their religion.

16 There are six things that Jehovah does hate;+ yes, seven are things detestable to his soul:+ 17 lofty eyes,+ a false tongue,+ and hands that are shedding innocent blood,+ 18 a heart fabricating hurtful schemes,+ feet that are in a hurry to run to badness,+ 19 a false witness that launches forth lies,+ and anyone sending forth contentions among brothers.+ (Proverbs 6: 16-19)

While there are relatively few radicalised Muslims waging a war of terror, it is important to understand that the majority of Muslims are peace-loving. Christians must not succumb to the hysteria that creates fear of the entire Muslim community — most of whom are peaceable and reasonable. Remember Jesus’ admonition:

“Love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:39)

Escalating into devastating worldwide violence of our day

Today’s Headlines Written Nearly 2,000 Years Ago

In His foreknowledge, God could look down to our time and see the hate and greed in the human heart that would escalate into the devastating worldwide violence of our day. In His wisdom, God has permitted this extreme level of evil under “Satan’s temporary reign” that it might teach an everlasting lesson to all mankind. god has given the world in the hands of man. It was man who accused God of not being fair and not giving him liberty. Now man has the liberty to choose how to rule and how to live. History has proven that they made a mess of it. This limited experience living in a world with evil is teaching mankind to hate iniquity and to long for a better day under a righteous ruler — Messiah.

Therefore, to provide hope to His people, God placed in His Word prophetic indicators which would point to the time when Satan’s kingdom of evil would begin to collapse. Four signs were given to the prophet Daniel which would mark the time of the end — the end of this present evil world under the dominion of Satan. (Daniel 12:1, 4; Galatians 1:4)

12 “And during that time Miʹcha·el*+ will stand up,+ the great prince*+ who is standing in behalf of the sons of your people.+ And there will certainly occur a time of distress such as has not been made to occur since there came to be a nation until that time.+ And during that time your people will escape,+ every one who is found written down in the book.+ And there will be many of those asleep in the ground of dust who will wake up,+ these to indefinitely lasting life+ and those to reproaches [and] to indefinitely lasting abhorrence.+

“And the ones having insight will shine like the brightness* of the expanse;+ and those who are bringing the many to righteousness,+ like the stars to time indefinite, even forever.

“And as for you, O Daniel, make secret the words and seal up the book,+ until the time of [the] end.*+ Many will rove about, and the [true] knowledge* will become abundant.”+ (Daniel 12:1-4)

He gave himself for our sins+ that he might deliver us from the present wicked system of things*+ according to the will+ of our God and Father, (Galatians 1:4)

Signs for us to take heed

“many shall run to and fro”

In the past 100 years, numerous modes of transportation have been invented, increasing the speed of travel from 20 mph to over 18,000 mph. This has been a blessing to most of humanity, but it has also brought with it a means for terrorists to spread their evil rapidly far and wide.

“knowledge shall be increased”

Science and Invention magazine cover, November 1928

More than ninety percent of all scientists who have ever lived are alive today, and more than fifty percent of the world’s inventions have been created within the last three decades. Additionally, sophistication in communications allows man to see and hear global news instantly. This has created amazing tools to benefit mankind, but it has also provided terrorists the tools to spread their hate.

• Messiah will begin to “stand up” for Daniel’s “people”

Israel’s rebirth as a nation is a miracle of history. Never before has a nation been destroyed, its people dispersed to the ends of the earth and then — nearly 2,000 years later — regathered and reestablished as a nation. But, one of radical Islam’s most hated enemies is Israel. This horrible reality of terror has been playing out almost every day since Israel’s formation as a nation in 1948. And now, the other countries of the world are experiencing firsthand the fear of living their daily lives in expectation of yet another terrorist attack.

“a time of trouble such as never was”

Yalta summit in February 1945 with (from left ...

Yalta summit in February 1945 with (from left to right) Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. Also present are USSR Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov (far left); Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham, RN, Marshal of the RAF Sir Charles Portal, RAF, (both standing behind Churchill); Field Marshal Alan Brooke and Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, USN, (standing behind Roosevelt). Note ornate carpets under the chairs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unprecedented trouble is the hallmark of our time and is confirmed by these recent tragic events. True, the world has always had trouble, but, prior to 1940, the potential for the annihilation of humanity by the single flick of a switch was unheard of. In the first three quarters of the 20th Century at least 100 million lives had been lost to war (Time Magazine, March 9, 1970). Thirty-four wars were being waged in 1988 alone. And today, “the weak say I am strong.” (Joel 3:10) A few, “the weak,” have brought the strong nations of the world into a state of extreme distress. Weakness, fuelled by jealousy, hatred, misinformation and prejudice punctuates Daniel’s vision of unprecedented trouble.

Maintaining Faith in an Unstable World

All four of these signs given to Daniel should give God’s people hope that the end of Satan’s evil regime is near. Yet, it is still hard to maintain faith in this unstable and frightening world. This makes it even more necessary that we, as Christians, take up the whole armour of God that we might be able to

“withstand in the evil day… having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God…” Ephesians 6:10-17

Yes, in this unstable world it takes an extreme, educated faith to believe that God’s plan will provide a constructive end to all the tears caused by evil — to believe that God is not indifferent to every sorrow. The Scriptures declare that He desires mankind to live in a world without fear, but He now allows Satan (God’s adversary) to rule for a limited time in order that each individual may learn valuable lessons — experiencing the results of evil and selfishness.

The world is quickly learning that it is helpless to win a war against evil. Thus we read,

“This sore travail has God given to man to be exercised therewith.” (Ecclesiastes 1:13)

It is comforting to know that when God finally says through His Son, It is enough — peace be still, we can rest assured that there will be great changes in the earth, and all will begin to see that the permission of evil was both educational and preparatory to the ushering of mankind into the ages of blessing to come, wherein

“all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 28:14)

The promise is that once God, through His Son, puts an utter end to all evil,

“affliction shall not rise up the second time.” (Nahum 1:9; Job 34:29)

What will YOU men think up against Jehovah?+ He is causing an outright extermination.

Distress will not rise up a second time.+ (Nahum 1:9)

29 When he himself causes quietness, who, then, can condemn?

And when he conceals [his] face,+ who can behold him,

Whether it is toward a nation+ or toward a man,* it being the same thing? (Job 34:29)

In other words, the harsh lessons of evil will never be necessary again when all the families of the earth learn, by contrast, that love, peace, righteousness and unselfishness are far more preferable than living in this present evil world. The depth of God’s wisdom is shown in His foresight to devise a plan that provides for man’s free choice and experience with evil, but nevertheless brings redemption through Christ which will result in eternal happiness.

The Desire of All Nations Shall Come

Though God has permitted Satan’s evil influence for a relatively short time, He will soon put a stop to all evil and usher in His everlasting righteous Kingdom. Then the Scriptures assure us that all of “the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness” when the “knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the deep.” (Isaiah 26:9; 11:9)

The path of the righteous one is uprightness.+ You being upright, you will smooth out the very course of a righteous one.+ Yes, for the path of your judgments, O Jehovah, we have hoped in you.+ For your name and for your memorial+ the desire of the soul has been.+ With my soul I have desired you in the night;+ yes, with my spirit within me I keep looking for you;+ because, when there are judgments from you for the earth,+ righteousness+ is what the inhabitants of the productive land* will certainly learn.+ 10 Though the wicked one should be shown favor, he simply will not learn righteousness.+ In the land of straightforwardness he will act unjustly+ and will not see the eminence of Jehovah.+ (Isaiah 26:7-10)

They will not do any harm+ or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain;+ because the earth* will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.*+ (Isaiah 11:9)

The time is coming when Jehovah, the Almighty God shall certainly bring home the world its own badness upon the productive land. The adversaries of God shall receive the consequences of their own error. Badness shall also come upon the wicked themselves. It is also written down that Jehovah shall actually cause the pride of the presumptuous ones to cease, and the haughtiness of the tyrants or ʽa·ri·tsimʹ  Jehovah shall abase. (Isaiah 1:11) Then there shall come the moment that the adversary or all those who are under the spell of the adversary will be destroyed — never to hurt nor deceive the world again. Babylon and the defiled ones with all people shall be paid back according to their activities. According to all that they have done.  The love of God will abundantly bestow blessings of life, peace and happiness upon all.

20 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven with the key of the abyss+ and a great chain in his hand. And he seized the dragon,+ the original serpent,+ who is the Devil+ and Satan,+ and bound him for a thousand years. And he hurled him into the abyss+ and shut [it] and sealed [it] over him, that he might not mislead the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After these things he must be let loose for a little while.+(Revelation 20:1-3)

Yes, the influence of God’s benevolent Kingdom will have an overwhelming transforming effect on the hearts of men. Of this mighty future work we read,

“And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” (Ezekiel 11:19-20)

There is great cause to rejoice, for it is the severity and hopelessness of the world’s problems that mark us at the threshold of these promised Kingdom blessings. Just as the terror of today was prophesied, the resurrection of all who have ever lived is also assured in prophecy. Then, all those who perished in the terrors of this day will be reunited with their loved ones, and

“The desire of all nations shall come.” (Haggai 2:7)

Legitimate Desires

What are Some of These Legitimate Desires?

Ask the homeless family living in times of unemployment,

“What is your desire?”

Their answer will be,

“If only we had a place to call home.”

God promises:

“They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit. They shall not plant and another eat.” (Isaiah 65:21-23)

Ask the father of a child dying of cancer,

“What is your desire?”

His answer will be,

“If only there were no sickness and crippling diseases, no cancer, no blindness, no pain and suffering.”

Thank God! These desires will be fulfilled in His Kingdom:

“And no inhabitant will say I am sick.” “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unstopped, then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy.” (Isaiah 33:24; 35:5,6)

And what will be the desire of the young man on the field of battle,

“If only there were no wars and man could learn to live in peace.”

The Kingdom promise is:

“They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Micah 4:3)

Ask the Mother of the young man killed at the hand of a terrorist,

“What is your desire?”

and she will say,

“If only I could hold him and see him happy again.”

Yes, the most blessed promise of all, lost loved ones will be united once again in the resurrection.

“I will ransom them from the power of the grave…” (Hosea 13:14; Isaiah 25:8)

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35:10)

These are but a few of the legitimate desires, which shall be satisfied. This is the promise of God’s Kingdom to come, where His will shall be done on earth, as it is even now done in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)

Close your eyes for a moment to the scenes of misery and woe, degradation and sorrow that yet prevail on account of sin, and picture before your mental vision the glory of the perfect earth.
Not a stain of sin will mar the harmony and peace of a perfect society, not a bitter thought, not an unkind look or word.
Love welling up from every heart will meet a kindred response in every other heart, and benevolence will mark every act.
There sickness shall be no more — not an ache nor a pain, nor any evidence of decay — not even the fear of such things.
Such will earth’s society be, and weeping bereaved ones will have their tears all wiped away, when thus they realize the resurrection work complete. (Revelation 21:4)

The year of God

2015 might have been the year of ISIS, in 2016 they shall not be off the radar. We know that everything may become worse but those who believe in god have good prospects and may build on their hope which is build on those prophesies from the Holy Scriptures.

Let us use that bible to guide us through the times coming and let us look forward to the return of Christ.

For sure to all the suffering shall come an end. Looking at the signs described in the Bible we do know we are not so far off from the Last Days. Than we shall have the Day of Jesus, when he shall judge all. Let us make sure that we shall be by the ones justified to enter the small gate of the Kingdom of God, being pleased to be united as partakers of God’s promise, united in the Body of Christ in the Year of God, notifying that the years of ISIS are over.

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Preceding article:

Belgian Bible Students review of 2015

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Additional reading

  1. What is life?
  2. Kitty Werthmann her account of grewing up in Austria under Nazi regime
  3. 150 Years after the 13th Amendment
  4. 2014 Religion
  5. Social media a destabilisation tool in the Middle East and Syrian conflict
  6. Islamophobic hate crimes rise in UK following terror attacks
  7. Wrong choices made to get rid of Assad
  8. Stronger than anything that wants to destroy
  9. Being Charlie 8
  10. French Muslims under attack
  11. Syrian but also Belgian connection to French attacks
  12. Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear
  13. Massive police operation in northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
  14. Coming closer to the end of 2015 and the end for Donald Trump as presidential candidate
  15. Summary for the year 2015 #1 Threat and fear
  16. Summary for the year 2015 # 2 Strewn with corpses and refugees
  17. 2015 Human rights
  18. Stepping Toes 2015 in review
  19. Is ISIS a product of American in-action or a product of direct action
  20. Islamic State forcing the West to provide means for Kurdistan
  21. Paris attacks darkening the world
  22. Brussels-born Salah Abdeslam key suspect Paris terrorist attacks
  23. Trump brand of migrant demonization #2
  24. Bijbelvorsers Blogging annual report and 2015 in review
  25. The Existence of Evil
  26. Evil in the bible
  27. Heavenly creatures do they exist
  28. The “Mighty Ones”
  29. Angels in Old Testament History
  30. Guardian Angels?
  31. The Angels in World Affairs
  32. Evil in the bible
  33. Satan or the devil
  34. Lucifer
  35. Satan the evil within
  36. Christendom Astray The Devil Not A Personal Super-Natural Being
  37. Where does Satan lives?
  38. October month of witches and spirits
  39. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend
  40. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 3 Black Mass, Horror spectacles and pure puritans
  41. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God
  42. The Importance of the Prophetic
  43. Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1: 4-7 Merciful Lord of the Creation to show us the right path
  44. Arguments about believe and About Christianity versus Atheism
  45. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  46. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  47. Sayings of Jesus, what to believe and being or not of the devil
  48. The Soul confronted with Death
  49. Intellectual servility a curse of mankind
  50. Running away from the past
  51. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  52. Challenging claim
  53. Remember the day
  54. A voice cries out: context
  55. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  56. God of gods
  57. The Song of The Lamb #1 Visions, symbols and suggested meanings
  58. Remain lovingly = No path for softies
  59. The chosen ones to fear or not to fear
  60. God my fence, my hope for the future
  61. Jesus Christ is the perfect security in storms
  62. Understand what the will of the Lord is
  63. Kingdom of God what will it be like

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Further reading

  1. A Clash Within Civilization
  2. ‘US Doesn’t Understand What It’s Doing in Syria’ – CIA Veteran
  3. PA security forces warn of permeation of ISIS ideology; Laud Israel-PA-US cooperation
  4. Swedish govt in “panic” after ISIS letters give 3 days to convert to Islam or be decapitated
  5. Christian mothers, wives take up the fight against ISIS, whose women serve as suicide bombers and slaves
  6. Too Great a Sacrifice? The KDF Pull-Out Debate
  7. A Job far away from completion
  8. Indonesia: ISIS considers country un-Islamic
  9. Nearly 19,000 Civilians Killed in Iraq Since 2014, U.N. Reports
  10. From Paris suburb to bloody attack, portrait of IS jihadis
  11. Isis will fail to emulate Islam’s great conquests. Here’s why
  12. Stop ISIS by Welcoming Refugees
  13. Isis Develops ‘Alrawi’ Encrypted Messaging App for Android: Report (1)
  14. Isis Develops ‘Alrawi’ Encrypted Messaging App for Android: Report (2)
  15. Alarming Evidence Suggests ISIS is Now a US-Israel Proxy Army
  16. ‘It’s a criminal gang pretending to be a state’: Discontent grows in ISIS ‘caliphate’ as oil funds dry up
  17. The Great ISIS Recession
  18. The Long Fight Against ISIS
  19. David Cameron criticises BBC for use of ‘Islamic State’
  20. Meet the New Gangster Warlords of Latin America
  21. In God We Trust
  22. The War on Nothing
  23. Today’s Victory Reminder: God Redeems Sinners
  24. Verse of the day – Forsake me not, O Lord
  25. Behold the Lamb of God!
  26. Redemption in Christ
  27. Grace, Redemption, and Bearing Fruit
  28. Looking Back at Life through the Lens of Romans 8:28
  29. Terorisme tidak harus dilihat dari lensa agama
  30. Dunia Orde Baru Akan Menguasai Dunia Dengan Teror

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Jehovah God Maker of the entire universe served by a well-trained army

You are Jehovah alone; you yourself have made the heavens, even the heaven of the heavens, and all their army, the earth and all that is upon it, the seas and all that is in them; and you are preserving all of them alive; and the army of the heavens are bowing down to you.—Neh. 9:6.

“You alone are Jehovah;+ you made the heavens, yes, the heaven of the heavens and all their army, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. And you preserve all of them alive, and the army of the heavens are bowing down to you. You are Jehovah the true God, who chose Aʹbram+ and brought him out of Ur+ of the Chal·deʹans and gave him the name Abraham.+

“You are Jehovah alone;+ you yourself have made the heavens,+ [even] the heaven of the heavens, and all their army,+ the earth+ and all that is upon it,+ the seas+ and all that is in them;+ and you are preserving all of them alive; and the army+ of the heavens are bowing down to you. You are Jehovah the [true] God, who chose Aʹbram+ and brought him out of Ur of the Chal·deʹans+ and constituted his name Abraham.+ (Ref.B.)

You alone are Jehovah:

  • Exodus 20:3: You must not have any other gods*+ against my face.*
  • Deuteronomy 4:35: 35 You—you have been shown, so as to know that Jehovah is the [true] God;+ there is no other besides him.+
  • Deuteronomy 4:39: 39 And you well know today, and you must call back to your heart* that Jehovah is the [true] God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.+ There is no other.+
  • Deuteronomy 6:4: “Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.*+
  • Deuteronomy 32:39: 39 SEE now that I—I am he*+ And there are no gods together with me.+ I put to death, and I make alive.*+ I have severely wounded,+ and I—I will heal,+ And there is no one snatching out of my hand.+
  • 1 Kings 8:60: 60 to the end that all the peoples of the earth may know+ that Jehovah is the [true] God.+ There is no other.+
  • 2 Kings 17:35: 35 when Jehovah concluded a covenant+ with them and commanded them, saying: “YOU must not fear other gods,+ and YOU must not bow down to them nor serve them* nor sacrifice to them.+
  • 2 Kings 19:19: 19 And now, O Jehovah our God,+ save us,+ please, out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Jehovah, are God alone.”+
  • Psalm 83:18: 18 That people may know+ that you, whose name is Jehovah,+ You alone are the Most High+ over all the earth.+
  • Isaiah 37:16: 16 “O Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel,+ sitting upon the cherubs, you alone are the [true] God of all the kingdoms of the earth.+ You yourself have made the heavens and the earth.+
  • Isaiah 42:8: “I am Jehovah. That is my name;+ and to no one else shall I give my own glory,+ neither my praise+ to graven images.+
  • Isaiah 43:10: 10 “YOU are my witnesses,”*+ is the utterance of Jehovah, “even my servant* whom I have chosen,+ in order that YOU may know+ and have faith in me,+ and that YOU may understand that I am the same One.+ Before me there was no God* formed,+ and after me there continued to be none.*+
  • Isaiah 44:6: “This is what Jehovah has said, the King of Israel+ and the Repurchaser of him,+ Jehovah of armies, ‘I am the first and I am the last,+ and besides me there is no God.*+
  • Isaiah 44:8: Do not be in dread, YOU people, and do not become stupefied.+ Have I not from that time on caused you individually to hear and told [it] out?+ And YOU are my witnesses.+ Does there exist a God* besides me?+ No, there is no Rock.*+ I have recognized none.’”
  • Isaiah 45:5:I am Jehovah, and there is no one else.+ With the exception of me there is no God.+ I shall closely gird you, although you have not known me,
  • Jeremiah 25:6: And do not walk after other gods* in order to serve them and to bow down to them, that YOU may not offend me with the work of YOUR hands, and that I may not cause calamity to YOU.’+
  • Joel 2:27: 27 And YOU people will have to know that I am in the midst of Israel,+ and that I am Jehovah YOUR God and there is no other.+ And my people will not be ashamed to time indefinite.*
  • Zechariah 14:9:And Jehovah must become king over all the earth.*+ In that day Jehovah will prove to be one,+ and his name one.+
  • Mark 12:29: 29 Jesus answered: “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel, Jehovah* our God is one Jehovah,*+
  • 1 Corinthians 8:4: Now concerning the eating+ of foods offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing+ in the world,* and that there is no God but one.+
  • 1 Corinthians 8:6:there is actually to us one God*+ the Father,+ out of whom all things are, and we for him;+ and there is one Lord,+ Jesus Christ,+ through whom all things are,+ and we through him.

made the heavens and the earth:

  • Genesis 1:1: 1 In [the] beginning*+ God*+ created+ the heavens and the earth.+
  • Psalm 8:3: When I see your heavens, the works of your fingers,+ The moon and the stars that you have prepared,+
  • Psalm 8:6: You make him dominate over the works of your hands;+ Everything you have put under his feet:+
  • Psalm 102:25: 25 Long ago you laid the foundations of the earth itself,+ And the heavens are the work of your hands.+
  • Psalm 104:5: He has founded the earth upon its established places;+ It will not be made to totter to time indefinite, or forever.+
  • Psalm 136:6: To the One laying out* the earth above the waters:+For his loving-kindness is to time indefinite;+
  • Psalm 146:6: The Maker of heaven and earth,+Of the sea, and of all that is in them,+ The One keeping trueness to time indefinite,+
  • Proverbs 8:29: 29 when he set for the sea his decree that the waters themselves should not pass beyond his order,*+ when he decreed the foundations of the earth,+
  • Job 26: 7: He stretches out the northern sky* over empty space,*+Suspending the earth upon nothing;
  • Job 38:4 Where did you happen to be when I founded the earth?+ Tell [me], if you do know understanding.
  • Job 38:8-11: And who barricaded the sea behind doors+ When it burst out from the womb, When I clothed it with clouds And wrapped* it in thick gloom, 10 When I established my limit for it And put its bars and doors in place,+ 11 And I said, ‘You may come this far, and no farther; Here is where your proud waves will stop’?+
  • Psalm 102:25: 25 Long ago you laid the foundations of the earth itself,+ And the heavens are the work of your hands.+
  • Psalm 104:2: You are wrapped in light+ as with a garment; You stretch out the heavens like a tent cloth.+
  • Isaiah 42:5: This is what the [true] God, Jehovah, has said, the Creator of the heavens+ and the Grand One stretching* them out;+ the One laying out the earth+ and its produce,+ the One giving breath*+ to the people on it,+ and spirit to those walking in it:+
  • Isaiah 44: 24: 24 This is what Jehovah says, your Repurchaser,+ Who formed you since you were in the womb: “I am Jehovah, who made everything. I stretched out the heavens by myself,+ And I spread out the earth.+Who was with me?
  • Isaiah 48:13: 13 My own hand laid the foundation of the earth,+ And my right hand spread out the heavens.+ When I call to them, they stand up together.
  • Hebrews 1:10: 10 And: “You at [the] beginning, O Lord, laid the foundations of the earth itself, and the heavens are [the] works of your hands.+
  • Revelation 10:6: and by the One who lives+ forever and ever,+ who created the heaven and the things in it and the earth+ and the things in it and the sea and the things in it,*+ he swore: “There will be no delay*+ any longer;
    Revelation 14:7: saying in a loud voice: “FEAR God+ and give him glory,+ because the hour of the judgment by him has arrived,+ and so worship the One who made+ the heaven and the earth and sea and fountains of waters.”+

and all their army:

  • Genesis 2:1: 2 Thus the heavens and the earth and all their army came to their completion.+
  • Psalm 148:2: Praise him, all YOU his angels.+ Praise him, all YOU his army.+
  • Jeremiah 32:18: 18 the One exercising loving-kindness toward thousands,+ and repaying the error of the fathers into the bosom of their sons after them,+ the [true] God,* the great One,+ the mighty One,*+ Jehovah of armies+ being his name,+
  • Matthew 26:53: 53 Or do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father to supply me at this moment more than twelve legions of angels?+

all that is on it:

  • Isaiah 45:18: 18 For this is what Jehovah has said, the Creator of the heavens,+ He the [true] God,+ the Former of the earth and the Maker of it,+ He the One who firmly established it,+ who did not create it simply for nothing, who formed it even to be inhabited:+ “I am Jehovah, and there is no one else.+

the seas:

  • Genesis 1:10: 10 And God began calling the dry land Earth,+ but the bringing together of the waters he called Seas.+ Further, God saw that [it was] good.+
  • Exodus 20:11: 11 For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything that is in them,+ and he proceeded to rest* on the seventh day.+ That is why Jehovah blessed the sabbath day and proceeded to make it sacred.*+
  • Job 38:8: And [who] barricaded the sea with doors,*+ Which began to go forth as when it burst out from the womb;
  • Psalm 146:6: The Maker of heaven and earth,+ Of the sea, and of all that is in them,+ The One keeping trueness to time indefinite,+
  • Proverbs 8:29: 29 when he set for the sea his decree that the waters themselves should not pass beyond his order,*+ when he decreed the foundations of the earth,+
  • Acts 4:24: 24 Upon hearing this they with one accord raised their voices to God+ and said: “Sovereign+ Lord,* you are the One who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them,+
  • Revelation 10:6: and by the One who lives+ forever and ever,+ who created the heaven and the things in it and the earth+ and the things in it and the sea and the things in it,*+ he swore: “There will be no delay*+ any longer;

and all that is in them:

  • Genesis 1: 20-21: 20 Then God said: “Let the waters swarm with living creatures,* and let flying creatures fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”*+ 21 And God created the great sea creatures* and all living creatures* that move and swarm in the waters according to their kinds and every winged flying creature according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
  • Exodus 20:11: 11 For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything that is in them,+ and he proceeded to rest* on the seventh day.+ That is why Jehovah blessed the sabbath day and proceeded to make it sacred.*+
  • Leviticus 11: 10: 10 But anything in the seas and in the rivers that has no fins and scales, among all the swarming creatures and of every other living creature* that is in the waters, it is a loathsome thing for you.
  • Psalm 146:6 The Maker of heaven and earth,+ Of the sea, and of all that is in them,+ The One keeping trueness to time indefinite,+
  • Acts 4:24: 24 Upon hearing this they with one accord raised their voices to God+ and said: “Sovereign+ Lord,* you are the One who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them,+
  • Acts 14:15: 15 and saying: “Men, why are YOU doing these things? We also are humans+ having the same infirmities+ as YOU do, and are declaring the good news to YOU, for YOU to turn from these vain+ things to the living God,+ who made the heaven+ and the earth and the sea and all the things in them.
  • Revelation 10:6: and by the One who lives+ forever and ever,+ who created the heaven and the things in it and the earth+ and the things in it and the sea and the things in it,*+ he swore: “There will be no delay*+ any longer;
  • Revelation 14:7:saying in a loud voice: “FEAR God+ and give him glory,+ because the hour of the judgment by him has arrived,+ and so worship the One who made+ the heaven and the earth and sea and fountains of waters.”+

 and the army of the heavens are bowing down to you:

  • 1 Kings 22:19: 19 And he went on to say: “Therefore hear the word of Jehovah:+ I certainly see Jehovah sitting upon his throne+ and all the army of the heavens standing by him, to his right and to his left.+
  • Psalm 148:2: Praise him, all YOU his angels.+ Praise him, all YOU his army.+
  • Luke 2: 13-14: 13 Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army,+ praising God and saying: 14 “Glory in the heights above to God, and on earth peace among men of goodwill.”*

*

Yes, Jehovah God created the entire universe, made up of countless galaxies of stars. Equally marvellous, he created everything on our beautiful planet with its amazing ability to sustain an astonishing variety of life—life that keeps reproducing according to its kind. Witnessing all of this were the holy angels of God, who can also be described as “the army of the heavens.” (1 Ki. 22:19; Job 38:4, 7) Moreover, the angels humbly do God’s will by ministering to sinful humans “who are going to inherit salvation.” (Heb. 1:14) What a splendid example the angels set for us as we serve Jehovah unitedly like a well-trained army!—1 Cor. 14:33, 40. w13 10/15 3:9

Sing to Jehovah, Jehovah's Witnesses' current ...

Sing to Jehovah, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ current hymnal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

+

Preceding articles:

Terwyl ons Jehovah eendragtig soos ’n goed opgeleide leër dien

Jehova ebenfalls wie ein gut ausgebildetes „Heer“ demütig und vereint dienen

Jehovah God Maker van het universum gediend door een getraind leger

Servons Jéhovah Dieu, qui créé l’univers entier et ses innombrables galaxies, dans l’unité

++

Other articles of interest:

  1. God, the Father, the Sole Creator of Heaven and Earth
  2. Creator of heaven and earth and everything aroundיהוה
  3. Almighty God above all other gods greater than all gods
  4. The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods
  5. El Shaddai Who appeared unto Abraham
  6. God about His name “יהוה“
  7. No man see the Almighty God and live
  8. How Many Persons Created the Heavens and the Earth?
  9. God’s Word Framing universe
  10. Coming to the creation of human beings in the image of God
  11. Necessity of a revelation of creation 1 Works of God and works of man
  12. El-Shaddai God Almighty Who no-one may see and live
  13. Al-Fatiha [The Opening/De Opening] Süra 1:1-3 In the name of Allah the Merciful Lord Of The Creation
  14. Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1: 4-7 Merciful Lord of the Creation to show us the right path
  15. Fixing our attention
  16. Only worship the Creator of all things
  17. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  18. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong
  19. Running of good courage, away from the body
  20. Displeasure of יהוה , Jehovah the God of gods, and His wrath against all the gentiles their divisions
  21. Searching, light, fear and deliverance
  22. Give thanks to יהוה! For He is good, For His kindness is everlasting
  23. Psalm 150 Praise Jah, You people!
  24. Praise and give thanks to God the Most Highest
  25. Praise Jehovah
  26. Song of Praise for the Elohim Set-Apart
  27. Songs of Moses and the servants of God

 +++

Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ

Matthew 1:18-25 – The Genesis of Jesus Christ

MT1:18 But thus was the genesis[1] of Jesus Christ.[2] His mother Mary had been promised in marriage[3] to Joseph. Before they came together[4] she was found to be pregnant[5] from the holy Pneuma.[6] MT1:19 But, Joseph her man[7] was righteous[8] and he was unwilling to make a public spectacle[9] of Mary so he intended to release her secretly.[10] MT1:20 But, thinking about these matters, look! an angel[11] of YHWH[12] appeared to Joseph in a dream,[13] saying: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to receive to yourself[14] Mary your woman, for the thing generated[15] by Pneuma in her is holy. MT1:21 She will give birth to a son and you[16] [Joseph] will call his name ‘Jesus’ for he will save[17] his people[18] from their sins.”[19] MT1:22 The whole of this happened so that the things might be fulfilled as spoken through the prophet [Isaiah],[20] saying, MT1:23 “Look! The virgin[21] will be pregnant and will give birth to a son and they[22] will call his name ‘Immanuel’[23] which is translated to mean, ‘With Us The God.’” [Isaiah 7:14] MT1:24 When Joseph awakened from sleep he did as directed by the angel of YHWH and he took along his woman [to his home]; MT1:25 and Joseph did not know[24] Mary until after she gave birth to a son.[25] Joseph called his name ‘Jesus.’

 

[1] Genesis: The Greek is GENESIS and may be rendered “birth.”

[2] Jesus Christ: The first occurrence of this form: the title or designation combined with the name of our Lord. This form occurs 150 times in the Christian Bible, the most often in the Letter to the Romans. The phrase means “Jesus the christened one; or Jesus the Messiah; Jesus the Anointed.”

[3] Promised in marriage: Or, KJV: espoused; TCNT: engaged.

[4] Came together: Inferring sexual intercourse. TCNT: while she was still a virgin; WEY: before they were united in marriage.

[5] Pregnant: The Greek GASTRI and means literally “found in belly” as it is in many languages. Or, KJV: with child; GDSP: about to become a mother.

[6] Holy Pneuma: Or, holy spirit. This is the first occurrence of the phrase referring to the Mental or Intellectual Power of the Absolute God. That is, the invisible force or pressure by which the Creator accomplishes his will and purpose. We will use pneuma throughout as the word “spirit” in English has taken on something of the meaning of “ghost” or a spirit being. The complete phrase “holy pneuma” occurs 100 times in the Bible with the first occurrence at Psalm 51:11. It only occurs three times in the Hebrew Bible. It is most often used in the Acts of the Apostles. For details on this subject see the publication De Trinitatis Erroribus. The word “spirit” occurs 820 times in the Bible with the first occurrence at Genesis 1:2. “Spirit” is used most often in the Book of Acts. The Hebrew is ruach and is variously rendered breath and wind.

[7] Man: The Greek is ANER and may mean “husband.”

[8] Righteous: Or, “just.” He had a well-known reputation so that his character was such.

[9] Public spectacle: Or, KJV: public example; ABUV: not willing to expose.

[10] Release her secretly: Or, GDSP: break off the engagement privately; BECK: divorce her secretly. The Jewish engagement was considered a virtual marriage and thus required some formal divorce or release. It is likely their marriage was arranged by both families upon which the “engagement” began. Since this was a formal matter between families in public then a formal release was binding. Engaged couples could have sexual intercourse without this being viewed as prostitution (or, fornication). However, once doing so the man had to marry the woman, forgo divorce, and give her father a payment for damages to his virgin daughter.

[11] Angel: The first angel mentioned in the Christian Bible. The word “angel(s)” occurs 370 times in the Bible, the first at Genesis 16:7. “Angel” occurs most often in the Book of Acts. This angel is identified by Luke as Gabriel, the angel of the Book of Daniel.

[12] YHWH: The Greek is AGGELOS KYRIOU [without the article] and would surely be a Hebraism in Matthew’s Gospel. Though it should read “angel of (the) Lord” there is a reasonable possibility that the Tetragram YHWH might occur here. There is no question YHWH occurred in the Hebrew Bible and there is a possibility YHWH occurs in some portions of the Christian Bible. Hereafter we will add YHWH in brackets when the “Lord” under consideration is clearly Yahweh or Jehovah.

[13] Dream: The first occurrence of the word in the Christian Bible. The word group occurs 125 times with the first at Genesis 20:3 and most often in the Book of Genesis. There is an interesting statement at Job 7:14; 33:15.

[14] Receive to yourself: Or, NEB: to take Mary home. Note John 14:3 and the same Greek word.

[15] Generated: The Greek is GENNETHEN and is rendered: KJV: conceived; NOR: expect Child within.

[16] You: The Greek is singular referring specifically to Joseph.

[17] He will save: The meaning of “Jesus” is “Yahweh Saves.”

[18] His people: Note it is “his people” indicating some previous relationship with Israel as the “angel of Yahweh.” (Compare Daniel 12:1; Exodus 23:23)

[19] Sins: The key purpose of Messiah’s birth is as a Sin-Bearer (Consider Isaiah chapter 53). Nothing in the name Jesus emphasis any other reason than he will be the main instrument in the forgiveness of the sins of the Jews. Nothing here points to mankind in general. The interpretation of “his people” (TON LAON) could refer to those in the New Israel, the Community of the Saints.

[20] Spoken through the prophet [Isaiah]: That is Isaiah 7:14. NOTE: All true quotes are in BLUE. Hebraisms, paraphrases, allusions or conflates are in GREEN. The words of Jesus are in RED.

[21] Virgin: The Greek is PARTHENOS and reminds one of the Parthenon in Athens. The Greek word PARTHENOS is that one chosen by the Jewish scribes in the third century BC when translating the Hebrew of Isaiah 7:14.

[22] They: Indicating both Joseph and Mary.

[23] Immanuel: See Isaiah 8:8. Possibly one of the sons of Isaiah whose name was fulfilled in the context of Isaiah 8:10 where the Hebrew has the name in the phrase. The Jewish Greek Bible, the Septuagint (LXX), “Yehowah God is with us.”

[24] Did not know: Or, PME: had no intercourse with her. Compare Genesis 4:1 and compare the Greek language with 1 Corinthians 7:1. Mary remained a “virgin” until after the birth of Jesus when she bore four more sons and an unknown number of daughters (Matthew 12:46; 13:55).

[25] Son: KJV: “firstborn son.” (Compare Luke 2:7)

This text of the Gospel of Matthew is a new version, the 21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures [NCMM], as an additional part of Nazarene Commentary 2000©. This rendering by Mark Heber Miller may be considered a literal version with limited paraphrase.

*

BS notes:

Iesou => Jesus = “Hail Zeus”, the name given to the Nazarene Jew at the Council of Nicaea in 325 to come to terms with the three-headed greek-roman gods. Up until about 360, theological debates mainly dealt with the divinity of the son, which had to be the seame one as the son-god of the Romans and the Greeks. The worshipping of that son and the use of the statues in the community should be allowed for all the sorts of worshippers, so that the market vendors could sell their statues at liberty to any worshipper. Jeshua, Joshua (/ˈɒʃə/) or Jehoshua (Hebrew: יְהוֹשֻׁעַ Yĕhôshúa or Hebrew: יֵשׁוּעַ Yĕshúa; Aramaic: ܝܫܘܥIsho; Greek: Ἰησοῦς, Arabic: يوشع بن نونYūshaʿ ibn Nūn, Turkish: Yuşa) Yeshua (ישוע, with vowel pointing יֵשׁוּעַyēšūă‘ in Hebrew) which means “Jehovah saves/Jehovah is salvation” or “the Help(ipa) from Jehovah” or “From Jehovah comes salvation”, for the politicians had to become the second person of their tri-une godhead.  The main god Zeus (Ancient Greek: Ζεύς) had to be the “Father of Gods and men” (πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε, patḕr andrōn te theōn te) and as such should be the god of Greeks, Romans and Christians because Jupiter (Latin: Iuppiter; /ˈjʊpɪtɛr/; genitive case: Iovis; /ˈjɔːvɪs/) or Jove is the king of the gods and the god of sky and thunder in myth.

By the time of the 4° Century CE lots of false teachers had managed to introduce the Roman teachings of their gods back into the teachings of their followers. Lots of people found it easier to adapt to the new religion because it had adapted itself to their faith. for them it was than much easier to accept Jesus to be the King of kings, to be the god of light, the god of thunder, the god of miracles, the god of enlightenment, etc.

+

Preceding articles:

  1. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  2. Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament
  3. Nazarene Commentary to Zechariah and Elizabeth
  4. Nazarene Commentary to An Angel Appearing to a Priest
  5. Nazarene Commentary to Struck Dumb For Disbelief
  6. Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant
  7. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:46-56 – Mary Magnifies God
  8. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:57-66 – Elizabeth Gives Birth To John
  9. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy
  10. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night
  11. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ
  12. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  13. Matthew 1:1-17 The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
  14. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God
  15. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning
  16. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting
  17. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows
  18. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple

Upcoming articles:

  1. Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot
  2. Matthew 2:7-12 – Pawns of Herod, the Magi Find the ‘Child’
  3. Matthew 2:13-15 – Escaping the Slaughter by a Flight to Egypt
  4. Matthew 2:16-18 – Slaughter of the Innocents

 

English: Mother Mary with the Holy Child Jesus...

Mother Mary with the Holy Child Jesus Christ, Oil/canvas, 1913 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

++

Find also to read:

  1. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  2. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  3. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  4. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  5. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  6. The wrong hero
  7. Why think that (2) … Jesus claimed to be something special
  8. A season of gifts
  9. God’s Special Gift
  10. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  11. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  12. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  13. Around pre-existence of Christ
  14. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  15. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  16. Jesus and his God

+++

  • The Theodotus Inscription (larryhurtado.wordpress.com)
    there were Greek-speaking Jews in Jerusalem in the time in view.  Note also the reference to the “synagogue of the freedmen” in Acts 6:9, who are portrayed as tackling Stephen, likely Jews manumitted from slavery in Diaspora locations who had relocated in Jerusalem.
  • Interpreting the story (poemsinseason.wordpress.com)
    Gospel writers Matthew and Luke
    are the approved suppliers
    of the raw materials
    from which we cobble together our Christmas stories;
    faith being the thread that seeks,
    gathers and ties the meaning.
  • Blessed And Holy Christmas To All (mylordmyfriend.com)
    The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is the most wonderful and vital fact to the truth of the Good News, which brings newness of life to all who accept.
  • Most Americans believe in the Virgin Birth – and that torture is cool (patheos.com)
    According to a new Pew Survey of over 1,500 U.S. adults, 73 percent say they believe Jesus was born to a virgin, and 74 percent say they believe Jesus’s birth was announced to the shepherds by an angel (among Protestant respondents, that rate is 91 percent and 90 percent, respectively). 78 percent of women say they believe in the virgin birth, 65 percent of the respondents said they believe all elements of the Christmas story are factually true.
  • Did the early church invent the divinity of Jesus over a long period of time? (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
    How early is the doctrine ofthe divinity of Jesus?When I answer this question, I only want to use the earliest, most reliable sources – so I can defend them on historical grounds using the standard rules of historiography.
  • Basic Living in Christ (fromthepreacherspc.org)
    In chapters 1-2, Paul has maintained that Christ is “all-sufficient” in matters of salvation and overcoming sin… Colossians 2:10
  • Family Night Out rocks – Church social signals start of Christmas season (jamaica-gleaner.com)
    In making reference to the book of Acts in the Bible, pastor of the church, Dwight Fletcher, told The Sunday Gleaner that fellowship is a God-given mandate. He pointed out that it is imperative the people of God build on the traditions of the early church, and added that he anticipates great things going forward.
  • Pastor J. D. Greear Takes on the Holy Spirit In “Jesus Continued…” (blackchristiannews.com)
    Pastor J.D.Greearmay be one of the most influential pastors you’ve never heard of. He’s not preaching prosperity on television or advising the President. He’s never made the “TIME 100″ or The New York Times bestsellers list. ButGreear has built a massive, multi-campusmegachurch amid the modest city of Raleigh, North Carolina, and he is quietly amassing influence among conservative evangelicals.The subtitle of his most recent book, “Jesus Continued…: Why the Spirit Inside of You is Better Than the Jesus Beside You,” caught my attention, and I decided to invite him to discuss the idea at “On Faith and Culture.” Here we discuss how he thinks some of his fellow Christians have misunderstood the Holy Spirit and how he hopes they’ll change.
  • Stormy Seas (alighttomyway.wordpress.com)
    My only hope is to stay in the boat, holding on to my Savior, riding out the storm together. In this account in the book of Acts, God didn’t calm the storm. But the people on board made it safely to shore. This tells me that my circumstances might not change. The cancer diagnosis might not be a mistake. A broken relationship might not heal. Whatever the cause of my anxiety, depression, fear, might not magically disappear.
  • Can God Get to You? (vincefrese.com)

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night

Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night

LK2:8 Now there were shepherds[1] in the same area who were living outside keeping watch at night[2] over their flock. LK2:9 Then YHWH’s angel[3] appeared to them and YHWH’s glory[4] shone all around them and so they became frightened with a great fear. LK2:10 And the angel said to them: “Do not be frightened. For, behold, I declare to all of you a great joy for all the people. LK2:11 Because today there was born to you in David’s city a savior[5] who is Lord Messiah.[6] LK2:12 And this will be your sign – you will find an infant wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” LK2:13 Then suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of celestial armies[7] praising The God and saying: LK2:14 “Glory to God in the heights, and on earth peace among men of goodwill!”[8]


[1] Shepherds: Though Luke compiled his Gospel thirty years later it is still possible he was able to interview one or more of these shepherds. Certainly he could get facts from their children who would have been told the story.

[2] Living outside keeping watch at night: Suggesting it was not yet winter and was mild enough in the fall to sleep outdoors.

[3] YHWH’s angel: A Hebraism that occurs often in the Old Testament. [Genesis 16:7; Exodus 3:2; Numbers 22:22]

[4] YHWH’s glory: A Hebraism. [Exodus 16:7, 10; 24:16, 17; 40:34, 35]

[5] A savior: Or, deliverer. The Greek SOTER is without the article. The designation is used of God and judges of Israel. [Isaiah 19:20]

[6] Lord Messiah: Or, Christ, Anointed Lord, Messiah and Lord, Christ the Lord. [Daniel 9:24, 25]

[7] A multitude of celestial armies: Or, KJV: a multitude of the heavenly host; GDS: a throng of the heavenly army; AMP: an army of the troops of heaven.

[8] Peace among men of goodwill: Or, on earth peace, good will toward men; RSV: among men with whom he is pleased; ABU: peace toward men of his good pleasure; MON: among men who please him. [Isaiah 9:6] Compare Jesus’ use of Isaiah 61:2 at Luke 4:19.

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Preceding: Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:1-7 – A Firstborn’s Birth In Bethlehem

Next: Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ

File:Rembrandt van Rijn - The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds.jpg

The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds – 1634, Rembrandt (1606–1669)

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  • The Peace of the Lord – Sermon for December 29, 2013 (pastorrichert.wordpress.com)
    It seems appropriate to consider why the angels were bringing tidings of peace when this child whose birth they were announcing would lead to so much bloodshed, when he himself would grow up to say, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” [Matthew 10:34]?
  • The First Christmas (1singlefocus.wordpress.com)
    And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!”

    And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the
    shepherds said one to another, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”
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    Celebrate His birth like the Shepherds did: spread the Good News, glorifying and praising God, for Christ the Savior is born!

  • Joy. (wccollegedotorg.wordpress.com)
    God chose the shepherds to tell Mary about the baby. What does this say about God? What does this say about the shepherds?  Can God use you to tell some good news?
  • Merry Christmas from Our Family to Yours! (freehealthandwellness.com)
    some of the words to the songs sung at this time of year are beautiful and very meaningful, but why do people wait to sing them now? Why not during the year? Some say that the Christmas story was told in the scriptures of the Gospels.
  • Merry Christmas to All of You!! (menofredemption.wordpress.com)
    behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
  • The Lord Sits #ThroneOfGod #YHWH #Jesus #TheLordsits (mrpatvincent.com)
    The Throne of God is mentioned several times throughout scripture. I won’t bombard you with all of them. Most famously it is described by Ezekiel (chapter 1). I’d like to mention also that the angel Gabriel refers to the Throne of God in Luke 1:32-33 because… he should know, he’s been there. He’s actually seen it!
  • God Love’s You! (thelbdessentialsforlife.wordpress.com)
    John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
  • Let Go and Let God #LetGodAndLetGod #YHWH #Jesus (mrpatvincent.com)
    Give God the reigns of your life. He is a much better driver anyways. Letting go is hard for us humans, isn’t it? We have to be in control of everything. It’s almost as if we’re admitting defeat if we let someone else take over. If someone is more qualified, then why not? And if anyone is more qualified, it’s the LORD. Why is this such a struggle?! It’s OK to let God in. It’s OK to let Him be the deciding factor.
  • Mary pondered these things in her heart: the art of pondering (johndgrigsby.com)
    God had been silent in the Bible for 400 years until the arrival of Jesus.  So the God of the universe had spoke to Mary, gave her a baby, and now these shepherds were witnesses to the authenticity.  I think she just pondered what would be next.  Where would these events take her life next?  Who else would come to visit the baby and how did they know of Him?  Would there be a different way of raising this God child?  She had no idea what would be next, but I think her mind would race with expectations.
  • The Norm Nativity | Angels visit the Shepherds (daily-norm.com)
    Above the stable, a particularly bright star grew even brighter, and in the stars around it, angel Norms started gathering to celebrate the birth, flying then from place to place to spread the great news. One of the first places they visited was a nearby field, where a group of shepherds sat about having a little evening supper after a hard day looking after their not insubstantial flock. When the shepherds caught sight of a group of angels coming towards them, they almost collapsed in shock – their poor little sheep didn’t know what to do with themselves and promptly hid behind their shepherd masters. Only when the excitement of the news relayed by the angels sunk in did the shepherds (and the sheep) begin to settle, jumping up with some excitement and declaring that they must visit the baby forthwith!

Nazarene Commentary to Struck Dumb For Disbelief

Luke 1:18-22 – Struck Dumb For Disbelief

LK1:18 Now Zechariah said to the angel: “How can I be sure of this?[1] For I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”[2] LK1:19 Then the angel answered him: “I am Gabriel[3] who stands in the very presence of The God![4] I was sent to speak with you and to bring you this good news. LK1:20 Now, look, you will be unable to speak or say anything until that day when these matters will be fulfilled, because you did not believe my words that will come to completion at the proper time.” LK1:21 Now outside the worshippers waited for Zechariah and began to wonder because he was taking so long in the temple.[5] LK1:22 And when he did come out he was unable to speak to them – and as a result the people realized that he had seen a vision in the temple – because he could only gesture to them though he remained speechless.


[1] How can I be sure of this: For this question the angel strikes the priest dumb.

[2] For I am an old man and my wife is well along in years: An echo of Abraham and Sarah. The Levitical priestly assistants had to retire at the age of 50 while the Aaronic priesthood could serve throughout their lives.

[3] I am Gabriel: The angel of Daniel 9. His name means “God’s Able One.”

[4] Who stands in the very presence of The God: This may suggest that not all angels serve in God’s Presence.

[5] He was taking so long in the temple: The service with prayers took about thirty minutes.

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Preceding:

The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression

Nazarene Commentary to A Factual and Logical Statement

Nazarene Commentary to Zechariah and Elizabeth

Nazarene Commentary to An Angel Appearing to a Priest

Next:

Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant

Nazarene Commentary to Gabriel’s Appearance to Mary

Nazarene Commentary to Mary Visits Elizabeth

Nazarene Commentary to Mary Magnifies God

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Duccio angel gabriel

Duccio angel gabriel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Mary Did You Know? (devotionsinmotion.wordpress.com)
    Six months after Zechariah and Elizabeth conceived, the angel Gabriel came back to earth and appeared to a young girl named Mary.  She lived in Nazareth and was betrothed to a young man named Joseph.  Gabriel spoke to Mary, saying, “Greetings O favored one, the Lord is with you.”  God’s messenger told Mary not to be afraid.  He immediately launched into the message sent from God.  She was going to conceive and bear God’s only begotten Son.
  • Deafening Silence (ubicrux.com)
    Nine months. Can you imagine being unable to speak for nine months? Especially when your whole life’s purpose — in Zechariah’s case, his Temple duties — required you to speak? Why did God eliminate Zechariah’s ability to speak for so long? I think it’s because God understood that Zechariah needed a “time out.” Zechariah seemed like he had everything in order. He was a priest, a righteous man, a good man. But underneath, Zechariah had a certain hardness of heart that even he did not recognize. When his lifelong prayer was finally answered, he did not react with happiness but with incredulity that God answered the prayer in His way, and not in Zechariah’s way.
  • Advent Figures: Zechariah (encourageandteach.wordpress.com)
    His question demands that God fulfill our requirements, meet our standards. It puts God on trial. This is what it means to disbelieve: to reject the messengers God sends us, to insist that God meet our demands. Rather than bow down before the divine messenger and conform his mind to the message, Zechariah demands that God conform Himself to his earthly way of thinking.And the punishment fits the crime – because if we do not believe, we have nothing to say. Nothing, certainly, in the sense of having no supernatural view, no divine voice to bring to a world turned in on itself. But disbelief makes us mute also in the sense that once we cut ourselves off from the divine message we become a mystery to ourselves. We can no longer speak coherently about who we are and why we exist. In the words of Vatican II, “When God is forgotten, the creature itself grows unintelligible.”

    And so for us in a culture of disbelief, Zechariah is an apt figure. The modern world has heard and rejected God’s messenger – not an angel but Christ Himself speaking through His Body, the Church. And having rejected faith we now know little about ourselves and our purpose.

  • 19th December, Gospel Reading (Luke 1:5-25) (prayers4reparation.wordpress.com)
    Listen! Since you have not believed my words, which will come true at their appointed time, you will be silenced and have no power of speech until this has happened.
  • God Answers Prayers We Have Given Up On (ckisler.wordpress.com)
    When do you think Zechariah and Elizabeth had given up hope for a child of their own? When do you think their last prayer for a child was uttered or even fleetingly crossed their minds with any genuine hope of conception.

    And Yet, Gabriel clearly told Zechariah, “your prayer has been heard.”

  • Celebrate Week 2 (gracenazarene.org)
    As we walk in the light that God gives us, we are growing in the Lord and in obedience.  Everyday God gives us new instruction as He guides us along the way.  He shines His light in the dark so we can follow the path that He has for us.  And the more we walk in the light, the closer we are drawn to Him.  What a great reminder this Advent season that the Christ Child came to be a light in the darkness and His blood that was shed for us not only cleanses us from sin but keeps on cleansing us as we walk in obedience.
  • Clean and Clear (gracenazarene.org)
    Remember our definition for envy is resenting God’s goodness in others’ lives, while simply ignoring God’s goodness in our own lives.  Resenting His blessings in others, while ignoring His blessings in our own lives.

Nazarene Commentary to An Angel Appearing to a Priest

Luke 1:8-17 – An Angel Appears to a Priest

LK1:8 Now [something] happened while Zechariah was serving as priest before The God when it was the turn for his [priestly] division. LK1:9 Then according to the ritual of the priesthood it was his turn to burn incense[1] when he entered the temple of the LORD. LK1:10 Outside the throng of worshippers were praying at the time of the offering of incense. LK1:11 Suddenly YHWH’s angel[2] appeared on the right side of the altar of incense [in the Holy Place]. LK1:12 Now when Zechariah saw the angel he was startled and he began to tremble in fear. LK1:13 Then the angel said to him: “Do not to be frightened, Zechariah! For your prayer has been heard and your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son and you will call his name ‘John’.[3] LK1:14 And you will become filled with joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. LK1:15 For he will be great in YHWH’s sight[4] and he will not drink wine or strong drink.[5] [Numbers 6:3] He will be filled with holy Pneuma even while in his mother’s womb. LK1:16 He will restore many of the children of Israel[6] to YHWH their God. LK1:17 He will be a forerunner before [the Messiah] in the inspiration and power of Elijah – to restore the hearts of fathers to their children [Malachi 4:5, 6] and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to get ready YHWH’s people[7] prepared for [Messiah].”


[1] His turn to burn incense: Something rotated in the priestly divisions. In the first compartment of the Temple called the Holy Place there was an incense altar before the curtain to the Most Holy. [Exodus 25:1, 2, 6; 35:4, 5, 8, 27-29; 30:34-38]

[2] YHWH’s angel: A Hebraism where the Greek could suggest YHWH originally occurred here.

[3] ‘John’: Meaning “Jehovah Has Favored” or “God’s Gift.” One of the most common names in the Western world, occurring as Juan, Yves, Ivan, Sean, etc.

[4] YHWH’s sight: It is possible the Tetragram originally occurred here.

[5] He will not drink wine or strong drink: That is, a Nazarite from birth by God’s choosing like Samson. [Numbers 6:3; Judges 13:7]

[6] He will ‘restore many of the children’ of Israel: The phrase is borrowed from Malachi 4:5-6. This foretold “restoration” by Elijah was that of Israel to their God and also between Hebrew fathers and sons.

[7] To get ready YHWH’s people: The allusion to Malachi 4:5-6 gives an inspired interpretation to the prophecy. Peter alludes to a similar “restoration” at Acts 3:21. John the Baptist would go ahead of Christ by six months to prepare Israel for Messiah’s appearance by a baptism of repentance. All of Jesus’ apostles and early disciples were most likely disciples of John first.

 

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Preceding:

The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression

Nazarene Commentary to Zechariah and Elizabeth

Next:

Nazarene Commentary to Struck Dumb For Disbelief

Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant

Nazarene Commentary to Gabriel’s Appearance to Mary

Nazarene Commentary to Mary Visits Elizabeth

Nazarene Commentary to Mary Magnifies God

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Cappella tornabuoni frescoes in Florence. Annu...

Annunciation of the angel to Zecharia. – Cappella tornabuoni frescoes in Florence. Annuncio dell’angelo a San Zaccaria. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • With God Nothing is Impossible (thebeggardanced.com)
    As a priest of Israel, during the time that Jesus was born, you could only minister at the altar of Incense that stood before the great curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place once in your life. There were so many priests that they were divided into divisions and that division would serve for a two-week period at the great Temple in Jerusalem. Two priests were appointed by casting lots to serve each day, and as a result only 28 priests would have the privilege of representing their nation before God through supplication and prayer within the Holy Place.

    It was with great excitement that Zechariah of the division of Abijah (Luke 1:5) was called upon to, “enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.” (v. 9) While he was serving as a priest before God Luke tells us, “The whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.” (v. 10)
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    Zechariah, when confronted by Gabriel himself, still couldn’t believe and wanted a sign. What a contrast with the young girl Mary who, when she came face to face with Gabriel said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38 Sometimes in life, regardless of our learning and our status, we understand less about the workings of God than a theologically uneducated person who simply has an honest heart for truth. Mary had faith and needed no further proof that God was leading her, while Zechariah couldn’t accept by faith Gabriel’s announcement and asked instead for proof. It is fitting that Luke should remind us, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37 Regardless of what difficulties and problems you encounter, that text is as true for you as it was for Mary and Zechariah.

  • Thursday, 19 December 2013 : 3rd Week of Advent (Gospel Reading) (petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com)
    Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I believe this? I am an old man and my wife is elderly, too.” The angel replied, “I am Gabriel, who stands before God, and I am the one sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news! My words will come true in their time. But you would not believe, and now you will be silent and unable to speak until this has happened.”
  • Thursday (December 19): “Do not be afraid because your prayer has been heard.” (shechina.wordpress.com)
    Do you believe that God will fulfill all his promises just as he said? Advent is a time to renew our hope and confidence in God’s faithfulness to the covenant he made with his people. In preparing the way for a Savior, we see the wondrous miracle of two barren couples who conceive and bear sons – Samson in the Old Testament (Judges 13) and John the Baptist in the New Testament (Luke 1:5ff) – who are called by God to bring hope and deliverance at a time of spiritual darkness and difficulty for the people of God.
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    When God draws us into his presence, he wants us to be still and quiet before him so we can listen to his voice as he speaks to our hearts and reveals his mind to us.  Do you listen attentively to the Lord and do you ponder his word in your heart with trust and confidence?
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    In the annunciation of the birth of John the Baptist, the angel explains to Zechariah the role his son is to play in preparing the way for the Messiah. John will be great in the sight of God. He will live as a Nazarite (see Numbers 6) – a person set apart for the Lord. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even within his mother’s womb. And he shall be sent to the people of God, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers and children to God and one another, by turning the “disobedient to the wisdom of the just.” The name John means “the Lord is gracious”. When God acts to save us he graciously fills us with his Holy Spirit and makes our faith “alive” to his promises. Do you pray that “the hearts of parents and children may be turned to God and one another”?
  • The Daily Gospel and Readings 19 December 2013 (prayersandmeditations.com)
    There was a certain man from Zorah, of the clan of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren and had borne no children.
    An angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, “Though you are barren and have had no children, yet you will conceive and bear a son. Now, then, be careful to take no wine or strong drink and to eat nothing unclean.
    As for the son you will conceive and bear, no razor shall touch his head, for this boy is to be consecrated to God from the womb.
    It is he who will begin the deliverance of Israel from the power of the Philistines.”
  • Advent Series, part II – Zechariah (matthewjabate.wordpress.com)
    Gabriel informed Zechariah that his son would fulfill Biblical prophecy in Malachi 4:6, which stated that “he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children.” This was an unbelievable revelation for Zechariah to digest in one sitting. His son would pave the way for the coming of the Messiah. The sheer magnitude of this more than likely allowed Zechariah’s unbelief to come out; therefore, Gabriel told him that he would be unable to speak until God’s word took place (Luke 1:18-20, ESV).
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    Zechariah lived to see the Lord respond to his longings. He knew that the God of his ancestors answered prayer and moved among his people. Little did Zechariah know that God Almighty had chosen him and Elizabeth to bring about his purposes and plans. We must beware of unbelief when the Lord answers our prayers.
  • Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1:5-25. (diizebuno.wordpress.com)
    You must be silent. Then God will be born in you, utter his word in you and you shall hear it; but be very sure that if you speak, the word will have to be silent. The way to serve the word is to keep silent and listen. If you go out, he will most surely come in; as much as you go out for him, he will come in to you; no more, no less
  • The Nazarene. (mjseymour1959.wordpress.com)
    The Temple is the kingdom of the Messiah. It is clear that Gentiles have trusted in the LORD since the time of the Nazarene (Branch) through the building of the church done by Jesus the Nazarene who as we have shown is literally “the Branch.”
    These two references to the Branch must speak of the same person. It is obvious that Joshua who is being addressed cannot be the branch which he is told will come in the future. Joshua, who bears the same human name (Joshua is the Hebrew form of the Greek Jesus), is a symbol and type of the “Branch” because he had a leading part in building the second Temple which was under construction when this message was given to him. The Messiah is spoken of here as in other Branch prophecies, all of which follow:
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    the man, “the Branch,” to come shall be of the house of David, he will be a judge, he will be a king, he will be a priest, he will be the Lord Our Righteousness, he will save Israel and Judah, he will build the Temple of God, in him will the Gentiles trust. Attention given to the context of these Branch prophecies will show that the Branch is the same person who will fulfill the David prophecies. They clearly refer to the Messiah and Jesus of Nazareth has astonishingly paralleled these predictions, so wonderfully fulfilled, yet unwittingly completed by those who reject him. Attention given to the context of these Branch prophecies will show that the Branch clearly refers to the Messiah, and Jesus has astonishingly paralleled these predictions, especially the last, that is, ”in him will the Gentiles trust.”
  • God Has a Plan – 12 Days of Christmas Devotional Day 3 (gloriousfilms.com)
    For childless couples, praying to God for a child can become a desperate cry of the heart that is not always answered by God.  Though some people take it better than others, many react with understandable bitterness.  But no matter how one reacts, there is something deeply heartbreaking about not being able to have a child.  It has been described as experiencing the death of a child, except there are no memories of its life. Now that is difficult stuff.One can only image the pain of the childless couple Zechariah and Elizabeth, whose misfortune was compounded by the suspicions of family and friends around them who viewed barrenness as a sign of God’s disfavor. In ancient Israel, if you couldn’t have children, it was assumed you must be committing some sin against God for which He was punishing you (although barrenness did befall disobedient persons and entire nations in Scripture, this was certainly not the rule).
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    we can learn something very important from Zechariah’s ordeal. The lesson goes beyond “God answers prayer” or “God loves the humble.” It goes beyond even “God is with us in our pain,” or “Trust in God.” All of these things are very important, and very true. But the deeper thing Zechariah discovered is that God has a Master plan, and that his life – and all of our lives – are intertwined in it. His suffering and his joy were both the result of God working out His divine plans on the earth. Even his momentary lack of trust in God was used by God to work out God’s plans (Zechariah got some quiet time, and his muteness brought even more attention to the special nature of his coming son and the Messiah he preceded). Zechariah was lucky because he lived to see this intersection very clearly. But we must remember that this happened when Zach was very old.
  • Israel’s Kings as Messiahs or Christs (mindingthetruth.com)
    In a previous post, I pointed out that in the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures Israel’s kings are spoken of as God’s anointed ones. In the Hebrew texts the word for “anointed one” is mashiach (משיח), which is anglicized as “messiah.” And in the Septuagint (LXX), the ancient Greek translations of the Hebrew Scriptures used by early Christians, mashiach was rendered christos (χριστος), which is anglicized as “christ.” Here are some examples of this usage of the term mashiach in the Hebrew texts and christos in the Greek translations. This usage, of course, is critical for rightly understanding Jesus as mashiach or christos. Against the background of Israel’s kings as mashiach or christos, it is evident that the claim Jesus is the Messiah or Christ is the claim that Jesus is the king appointed by God.

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