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Posts tagged ‘House of David’

We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price”

We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price,” even ” the precious blood of Christ.” He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. This being so, eternal torment cannot be the penalty for our sins, because our Redeemer, upon whom they were laid, is not suffering eternal woe. He tasted death for every man, and the evidence that His sacrifice was satisfactory is in that lie was raised from the dead by the power of the Father.* (Eph. 1: 18, 19; Acts 2: 24.) Let those who believe in eternal torment ask themselves the solemn question, ” Has a ransom, a propitiation, a corresponding price, a satisfaction, ever been offered for what is due on account of my sins ?”

Since the Scripture teaching on the Ransom makes clear so much that before was not so, it is not surprising that William Tyndale, the great Reformer, said that the doctrine of the Ransom is the “touchstone to try all teachings.” A few illustrations of the Ransom teaching as a “touchstone” have been given. The student will at discretion apply this “stone” to other religious or so-called Bible teachings. Whatever he finds out of harmony with the Ransom is to be rejected
forthwith; time spent with it is wasted. Although there may be beautiful thoughts expressed by some who openly or covertly deny the Ransom, we are not to go through their error for the sake of a few good things which, by the grace of God, we can get from His Word, without wading through a mass of false teaching.

But some one will say that the Apostle commands us to ” prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thes. 5: 21.) It cannot be that the Apostle means that God’s people are to undertake to acquaint themselves with all the details of all the religious teaching in the world. Life is too short for this. He Himself wrote that there was one foundation, Christ, and other foundation can no man lay. If a teaching be presented for our consideration, we are not to shut our eyes and ears, and, as it were, run away from it without knowing what it is. We are to prove it ; and the first question will be, Does it agree with the one foundation, the fact that Jesus “gave Himself a ransom for all ? ” If it do not agree, even though the words ” r a n s o m ” and ” p r o p i t i a t i o n ” be frequently employed, the task of proving it is finished — perhaps in
one minute — and our obligation toward it is discharged in full. If the teaching presented be found to be harmonious with the Ransom, it will be right for us to examine it more closely, and derive whatever blessing we may from its presentations.

The Ransom as a “touchstone” will not only be a test of all teaching brought to it, but it may also be a test of the student, in that some long cherished beliefs may be found to be inconsistent with the faith in the Ransom. Happy will he be to whom the “touchstone” does not become a “stumbling stone and rock of offence,” as it was to the Jews, and is now to a large number in Christendom. — 1 Cor. 1: 2 3 ; 1 Pet. 2 : 8.

-NCA 1929, April, p. 29

“2 to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their [Lord] and ours: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:2-3 NAS)

“and, “A Stone Of Stumbling And A Rock Of Offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this [doom] they were also appointed.” (1 Peter 2:8 NAS)

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19 NAS)

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In I Corinthians 6, the Apostle Paul exhorts the brethren not to practise sin, because (v. 19) “. . . ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price.”

Bought with a Price

Now just how was this transaction fulfilled? Was the Lord Jesus as a sinless spirit being in heaven, and before He came to the earth, so valuable that His life was of sufficient worth to cover the whole human race? or so valuable as to be worth more than all the human race?

Some Christians think along these lines. Yet this is not the way the Scriptures describe the transaction.

The Scriptures say that He “gave himself a ransom for all.” Ransom means “corresponding price,” or “a price to correspond.” When we go into a shop to buy an article we are told the price. We hand over the counter just exactly the price demanded for the purchase of that article. The seller hands over the article, which now belongs to the purchaser. The article has changed hands at a price satisfactory to both parties. If the shopkeeper likes he may quite rightly and justly give you your money back, and you may justly retain the article also, receiving the price as a gift along with the
purchase. Thus, you see, everything is quite in order, and each party to the transaction is still perfectly satisfied.

Just so, along lines somewhat similar, was the ransom or corresponding price paid for the purchase of the human race, and himself, the price paid by Jesus the Purchaser, was returned to Him when He was raised from death by the Father, to whom He had offered himself without spot.

-NCA 1929,May p. 104

The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus was born, got a beginning, after the many years he was been promised to come. After he learned how to behave and what to do, getting the Bible teaching from his earthly parents (Mary and Joseph) and his Jewish teachers in his parents community (the Essenes) he came into the public around the age of thirty and had himself baptised by his cousin John. At the moment he raised from the water the heavens opened and God declared that there the world could see His beloved son.

“16 And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, [and] coming upon Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”” (Matthew 3:16-17 NAS)

It was by that son of man and son of God that we could find salvation because it was God Who did raise an horn of salvation to us, in the house of David His servant.  As such the salvation is of the Jews, but Jesus, who only wanted to do the Will of his Father, was not recognised by the majority of the Jews as the Messiah. They rejected him, but Jesus invited all to come to him and to accept him as the Way.

It was for all people that Jesus voluntary gave his body to be brought on the ‘slaughter bank’ by impalement, coming his life to  an end. The God of gods Who is the Most High and can not die made Jesus than higher than the angels (though he was lower than them before) and took him to sit at His right hand to become a mediator between God and man.

It is God’s wish that  all flesh shall see the salvation of God. And those who want to belong to the Body of Christ do have to take care that many people come to see who Jesus is and what Jesus has done. They have to take care that people come to know what they worship and that they get a  “stedfast” belief in the Word, and become of all accepted worthy, that Christ Jesus came to the world to save sinners,  for the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.

For God did not send His son to the world that he may judge the world, but that the world may be saved through him, and find hope for all of their beloved, a chance to enter the Kingdom of God for free, because the Ransom is paid by Christ Jesus.  And there is not salvation in any other, for there is no other name under the heaven that has been given among men, in which it behoved us to be saved.

As followers of Christ, bought free by him, we should present ourselves also to him and his heavenly Father.  For it was becoming to Him, because of whom are all things, and through whom are all things, many sons to glory bringing, the author of their salvation through sufferings to make perfect.

“And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of David His servant — ” (Luke 1:69 NAS)

“And All Flesh Shall See The Salvation Of  God.’”” (Luke 3:6 NAS)

“”You worship that which you do not know; we worship that which we know, for salvation is from the Jews.” (John 4:22 NAS)

“It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost [of all.]” (1 Timothy 1:15 NAS)

“”For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”” (Luke 19:10 NAS)

“”For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.” (John 3:17 NAS)

“”And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.”” (Acts 4:12 NAS)

“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.” (Hebrews 2:10 NAS)

“Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” (John 14:6 NAS)

The Servant of his Father asks from us also to become servants for God, for Christ and for each-other. To be worthy to come in front of the heavenly Father we do have to Flee from Immorality and have to do our best to stay clean and worthy to enter the gates of the Kingdom. We thereby should always Remember the day that we were running in the darkness and should therefore be patient with others trying to bring them to God. Christians do have the task to tell others why we need a ransom, and to let there eyes be opened to come to see that there is a Ransom for all.

No person has greater love than this one who surrendered his soul in behalf of his friends. In the ransom by Jesus Love is been perfected with us.

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Preceding articles:

You do not belong to yourselves,for you were bought with a price

Joining for a new year in the assurance to be bought with a price

Nazarene Commentary 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 – Flee from Immorality

To be continued with: How Many were Bought

Find also on this subject / Vindt ook over dit onderwerp:

In English Atonement and the race been bought

In het Nederlands: Verzoening en de gekochte race

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Additional articles:

  1. Trouble is coming
  2. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy
  3. God’s Special Gift
  4. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  5. One mediator
  6. Why do we need a ransom?
  7. Ransom for all
  8. Suffering redemptive because Jesus redeemed us from sin
  9. Love been perfected with us
  10. No person has greater love than this one who surrendered his soul in behalf of his friends
  11. Your Sins Are Forgiven
  12. Called Christian
  13. Servant of his Father
  14. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform
  15. Remember the day
  16. Patient waiting
  17. Fellowship
  18. Being of good courage running the race

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  • Moving Through Time: Timeline of Religion (pcr.wpengine.com)
    Since the beginning of time, mankind has formed beliefs of the unexplainable and unknowable. Over thousands of years, these beliefs became traditional, customary, and institutionalized within regional societies. People continue to express an interest in spiritual matters from all corners around the world. Everybody has pondered the meaning of life, what happens after we die, what existed before us, and whether any other life exists in the universe. Mankind may never know concrete answers regarding the spiritual. In fact, humans may destroy the planet before we can discover the remaining life in unexplored regions. Nevertheless, we continue to seek spiritual enlightenment and a connection with our Creator.
  • God is Love (dailybibleplan.com)
    Great freedom comes from understanding the true heart of God.  Praise Him today for His great love for us.  Be blessed knowing that God’s perfect love for you will never fail.
  • ‪#‎LivingthePromise God is preparing me (seanwhitenack.wordpress.com)
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
  • Jesus is Matchless (theencouragementexpress.com)
    people change people as much as ideas change people. The power of personality is strong. One could find many illustrations to prove that often personality is greater than the idea. Such is the case with Christianity. The secret of the power of Christianity is not in its ethics. It is not in Christian ideas or philosophy, although Christianity has a philosophical set of ideas. The secret of Christianity is found in a Person, and that Person is the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • What was Abolished in Christ ? (isaiahministries.wordpress.com)
    It is said of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, that He “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” 2 Tim. 1:10. Death is the result of sin. “Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
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    We read that Christ “was manifested to take away our sins.” 1 John 3:5. He is the sin-bearer, “Who His own self carried up our sins in His body to the tree, that we having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness.” 1 Peter 2:24, R.V., margin. Sin is lawlessness, and Christ was manifested to take away, not the law, but lawless-ness.
  • What does the Bible say about finding a husband? (mmfit1.wordpress.com)
    We must enter into the second most-important relationship of our lives (marriage), not under an emotional cloud, but with eyes wide open.  Our most important relationship, with our Lord and Savior, has to be the focus of our lives
  • Thankfulness from A to Z! (pamelastephens.me)
    Can you think of hymns, or praise songs that truly express your gratitude for an Awesome God?  It is an act of worship to allow your spirit to be transported into the heavenlies with these melodies; but it is more than just a tune, combined with the words it becomes a heart felt prayer as we sing!  Consider, meditate and praise Him for  His blessings from A to Z! “Count your blessings, name them one by one! Count your many blessings see what God has done!”
  • November 16th (learning2walkdaily.wordpress.com)
    Paul is challenging the people to get past the small things that have grown to divide them and focus on Jesus. This has obviously mushroomed over time into many sects, some of which may even be the “official” church of some nations. Now, more than ever, in such an unfriendly time for the church, we should all be heeding Paul’s instruction and simply strive for unity through Jesus Christ.
  • To an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, (activeinspiration.wordpress.com)
    According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

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

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

LK2:1 Now it occurred in those days[1] that a decree[2] was sent out from Caesar Augustus[3] to register[4] all the inhabitants of the land.[5] LK2:2 This was the first census during the time Quirinius[6] was governor of Syria. LK2:3 So everyone traveled to register in their individual towns. LK2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee and the village of Nazareth to Judea and David’s village called Bethlehem.[7] LK2:5 Because his family was of David’s genealogy he registered there with his pregnant fiancée[8] Mary. LK2:6 And it came about while they were there it became the time for her to give birth. LK2:7 She gave birth to a son – her firstborn[9] – and then she wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger because there was no place for them at the inn.[10]


[1] In those days: About 10 AD.

[2] Decree: The Greek is DOGMA.

[3] Caesar Augustus: The Roman Emperor died in 15 AD.

[4] Register: Or, taxed, census, registration.

[5] All the inhabitants of the land: The word may refer only to Judea.

Vespasianus01 pushkin edit.png

Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus, 9th Emperor of the Roman Empire

[6] Quirinius: His full name is Publius Sulpicius Quirinius. Tacitus the Roman historian mentions him: “[Quirinius] sprang from the municipality of Lanuvium – had no connection; but as an intrepid soldier and an active servant he won a consulate under the deified Augustus, and, a little later, by capturing the Homonadensian strongholds beyond the Cilician frontier, earned the insignia of triumph,… adviser to Gaius Caesar during his command in Armenia.” [The Annals, III, XLVIII)] He died 21 AD. Josephus mentions him: “Quirinius, a Roman senator who had proceeded through all the magistracies to the consulship and a man who was extremely distinguished in other respects, arrived in Syria, dispatched by Caesar to be governor of the nation and to make an assessment of their property. Coponius, a man of equestrian rank, was sent along with him to rule over the Jews with full authority.” Josephus mentions that he ordered a taxation which may have caused the need for the census. This led to a Jewish revolt. [Jewish Antiquities, XVIII, 1, 2, 3, 4 [i, 1]] For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Acts 5:37. Another commentary states: “Quirinius stood in exactly the same relation to Varus, the governor of Syria, as at a later time Vespasian did to Mucianus. Vespasian conducted the war in Palestine while Mucianus was governor of Syria; and Vespasian was legatus Augusti, holding precisely the same title and technical rank as Mucianus.” [The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge 1957, Vol. IX, pp. 375, 376] This and other histories and archaeological discovers proves the existence of such a person.

[7] Bethlehem: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew 2:6. [Micah 5:2]

[8] Fiancée: Or, espoused wife, betrothed, engaged, having been given in marriage. The state of engagement made Mary his woman or wife. Though they were not married by the Jewish ritual of the wedding feast, there was no legal condemnation under the Law of Moses.

[9] Firstborn: Or, her first child. The Greek is PROTOTOKON, the first born of a woman. Thus, inferring she had other children. [Matthew 1:25]

[10] Inn: Or, lodging house. This may have been a guestroom, however it may have been a caravanary – a place where those on the trade routes stopped for over night rest. Surely it was primitive and one thing dominated the sense – the odour of animals.

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File:Daphni.jpg

A mosaic from Daphni Monastery in Greece (ca. 1100), showing the midwives bathing the new-born Christ. Originally uploaded to English Wikipedia by User:Ghirlandajo.

Additional notes:

About the birth of Christ there are different opinions, but all historians agree Jeshua son of Josef and Miriam (Joseph and Mary) was born before the beginning of the contemporary time calendar system. We take it he was born on October 17, 4BCE.
All has to be taken in account: cleaning of the stalls, having the sheep out in the fields, position of the stars and lunar circle with the amount of falling stars and special notated events in the air, plus the census and the people in charge at the time, as well as the killing of the babies.

Please do find additional reading:

  1. Astronomical and Historical Evidence for Dating the Nativity in 2 BC
    By Nollet, James A.
    Academic journal article from Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Vol. 64, No. 4
    Article details
    It is commonly accepted that Jesus Christ was born either before 4 BC (working from references in Matthew, Flavius Josephus) or after AD 6 (working from information in Luke). However, Flavius Josephus’s dates are unreliable and sometimes argue against themselves. Astronomically, the eclipse of March 13, 4 BC, is highly unlikely to have been the eclipse which Josephus states heralded the death of King Herod, who, therefore, did not die in 4 BC; neither did Herod die in 3 BC or 2 BC, since there were no lunar eclipses visible in Judea in those years. However, 1 BC had two eclipses; either of these, more likely the latter, was the eclipse which just preceded Herod’s death. Herod, therefore, died either in 1 BC or AD 1, and Jesus, therefore, was born either from 3 BC to 1 BC, or from 2 BC to AD 1. The Quirinius census of Luke’s gospel was not the Quirinius census of AD 6, but rather the Pater Patriae census in 2 BC. Jesus was probably born then in 2 BC. This date is consistent with the records of Matthew, Luke, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Eusebius.
    When I attended Catholic parochial schools, the nuns taught us that Jesus was born “in the Year 0.” (1) Today, it is generally taught that Jesus was born during or before 4 BC. But there is no actual record of this date. This supposition rests solely on Flavius Josephus’s passing remark that a lunar eclipse occurred shortly before King Herod died, and we know there was an eclipse visible in Jerusalem on March 13,4 BC. Since we know from the Gospel of Matthew that Jesus was up to two years old or younger when Herod died, this means Jesus could have been born as early as 6 BC. This date, however, seems to clash with the Nativity account in Luke, which says that the Nativity occurred during a census conducted by the Roman Governor of Syria Quirinius, who we know conducted a census of Judea in AD 6. This article proposes that the likeliest date of the Nativity was not 4 BC, but instead about 1 BC. This is also the year when Herod actually died, and it reconciles the apparent discrepancy of dates in the Nativity accounts of Matthew and Luke.
    There are actually many estimates for the year of the birth of Jesus. Some of the earliest include the placement of the birth of Jesus in the 44th year of the reign of Emperor Augustus, about 3-2 BC by Irenaeus in AD 180. (2) In AD 194, Clement of Alexandria estimated that Jesus was born 194 years before the death of the emperor Commodus who died on the last day of AD 192; therefore Jesus was born around 2 BC. (3) Early in the fourth century, Eusebius wrote that Jesus was born in the 42nd year of the reign of Augustus, and in the 28th year after the death of Cleopatra. (4) Leaving aside the issue of inclusive or exclusive counting, that places the birth of Jesus at around 2 BC. The Gospel of Luke states that there was a “universal census” of the entire Roman world shortly before Jesus was born, when P. Sulpicius Quirinius was governor of Syria. Quirinius was governor twice, in 3 BC and in AD 6. (5) However, we generally and popularly suppose that Luke was referring to the latter term, because that was the year in which a local census for taxation purposes occurred; this would mean that Luke exaggerated when he spoke about a census of the whole (Roman) world.
    According to Josephus, Augustus sent Quirinius to be governor of Syria at the same time that he sent Coponius to be the first procurator of Judea, (6) stating also that this census occurred in the 37th year “after Caesar’s victory over Antony at Actium” (31 BC) (7) which, counting inclusively, brings us to AD 6. However, we will see that Josephus was wrong on many of his dates. Therefore, as a working hypothesis, I regard it as possible that Josephus got his fact wrong about Coponius, confusing Quirinius’s first term as governor with his second term. If so, most of the discrepancy between the dates of the Nativity which exists between Luke and Matthew …
    Read the full-text article

    Eusebius of Caesarea.jpg

    Eusebius of Caesarea Roman historian, exegete and Christian polemicist

  2. The Historical Christ and the Jesus of Faith: The Incarnational Narrative as History
  3. Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity
  4. Nativity Allusions–Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary, 1986
  5. Christmas and Arbitrary choice for 25 December
    The choice of 25 December is considered arbitrary and not based on evidence provided in the New Testament, the Christian text dealing with the life of Christ. Many theories have been put forward for the choice of the 25 December as Christ’s Nativity, but that it fell during Roman Saturnalia is now largely dismissed. It appears to have been fixed in relation to Epiphany (6 January), counting backward twelve days (now the twelve days of Christmas) or thirteen nights by the lunar calendar. It also falls three days after the winter solstice, a date when a number of pagan gods underwent resurrection after the shortest day of the year. This includes Sol Invictus of the Roman state religion during pagan times, a cult associated with the deification of the emperor. Whatever the explanation, it is evident that the early Christian Fathers, in their struggle for political and psychological supremacy, turned the interpretatio romana (the process of romanizing foreign gods) on its ear by expropriating a number of pagan symbols and observances and providing them with new Christian meanings. For this reason, Christmas and especially the foods associated with it represent a fusion of diverse pagan strands varying widely in emphasis from one country to the next. The celebration of Yule in Scandinavia has become one of the most distinctive aspects of the holiday as observed in northern Europe. The tradition of St. Nicholas of Myra in the Netherlands and the Franciscan cult of the Bambino Gesu in Italy are examples of the many forms these fusions have taken. All are expressed symbolically in food.
  6. Christmas [Christ’s Mass], in the Christian calendar

    The observance probably does not date earlier than AD 200 and did not become widespread until the 4th cent. The date was undoubtedly chosen for its nearness to Epiphany, which, in the East, originally included a commemoration of the nativity. The date of Christmas coincides closely with the winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere, a time of rejoicing among many ancient cultures. Christmas, as the great popular festival of Western Europe, dates from the Middle Ages. In England after the Reformation the observance became a point of contention between Anglicans and other Protestants, and the celebration of Christmas was suppressed in Scotland and in much of New England until the 19th cent.

    In the mid 19th cent. Christmas began to acquire its associations with an increasingly secularized holiday of gift-giving and good cheer, a view that was popularized in works such as Clement Clarke Moore‘s poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (1823) and Charles Dickens’s story A Christmas Carol (1843). Christmas cards first appeared c.1846. The current concept of a jolly Santa Claus was first made popular in New York in the 19th cent. (see Nicholas, Saint).

    The Yule Log [Yule, from O.E.,=Christmas], the boar’s head, the goose (in America the turkey), decoration with holly, hawthorn, wreaths, mistletoe, and the singing of carols by waifs (Christmas serenaders) are all typically English (see carol). Gifts at Christmas are also English; elsewhere they are given at other times, e.g., at Epiphany in Spain. The Christmas tree was a tradition from the Middle Ages in Germany. The crib (crèche) with the scene at Bethlehem was popularized by the Franciscans. The midnight service on Christmas Eve is a popular religious observance in the Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches.

  7. Observance of Christmas in early British North America
    The observance of Christmas in early British North America derived from practices familiar in England, where 25 December was celebrated with a good deal of bawdy revelry. Due to this association, as well as the lack of any biblical sanction for that date, observance of Christmas was opposed by Puritans in England and was banned in the Massachusetts Bay Colony between 1659 and 1681.
    In the nineteenth century, Christmas became domesticated, with a shift toward a nuclear family experience of gift giving around a Christmas tree. The tree was popularized by immigrants from Germany, where it had become prominent earlier in the century. Christmas became the principal sales holiday of the year, presided over by Santa Claus, a figure compounded from myth, religious history, and the need for a congenial symbol for the new attitude toward the holiday. He was introduced and promoted by popular literature and illustration, from Clement Moore‘s “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” (1823) to Thomas Nast’s cartoons of the portly character. Charles Dickens toured America in 1867 reading from his enormously popular “A Christmas Carol,” which further reinforced the notions that were crystallizing about how Christmas should be celebrated.

    Charles Dickens-A Christmas Carol-Title page-First edition 1843.jpg

    A Christmas Carol, a early Victorian era Britain novella by English author Charles Dickens, first published by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843. One of the greatest influences in rejuvenating the old Christmas traditions of England but, while it brings to the reader images of light, joy, warmth and life, it also brings strong and unforgettable images of darkness, despair, coldness, sadness and death.

  8. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  9. God’s Special Gift
  10. Birth of Christ – articles
  11. A season of gifts
  12. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  13. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  14. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  15. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  16. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  17. The nativity story
  18. Religious Practices around the world
  19. Idolatry or idol worship
  20. Focus on outward appearances
  21. Speedy Christmas!
  22. Christmas trees
  23. Merry Christmas with the King of Kings
  24. What do you want for Christmas
  25. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  26. Sancta Claus is not God
  27. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  28. ‘Tis The Season To Be Cranky: Religious Right Gears Up New Round Of ‘War On Christmas’ Claims
  29. The atheist’s Thanksgiving dilemma  Whom to thank when there’s no recipient?
  30. Pagan Roots? 5 Surprising Facts About Christmas
  31. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  32. Mocking, Agitation and Religious Persecution
  33. History of Christianity
  34. The imaginational war against Christmas
  35. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious

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  • Merry Christmas From Real Media (thisisrealmedia.com)
    So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
  • Have yourselve a Merry Christmas (prhayz.com)
    Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,  to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife who was with child.  So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
  • Practical Details (loveunderstandserve.wordpress.com)
    Jesus was born at the time of a census called for throughout the Roman Empire. In order to expedite the data collection, the different Israelite tribes were require to assemble in their ancestral hometowns. For Joseph, this was the town of Bethlehem, where his great- (x24) grandfather David was born. This census was most probably being conducted in anticipation of a tax increase and for the purpose of enforcing military service.
  • Did a Census Really Bring Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem? (gospelbondservant.com)
    The census or enrollment, which, according to Luke 2:1, was the occasion of the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where Jesus was born, is connected with a decree of Augustus embracing the Greek-Roman world. This decree must have been carried out in Palestine by Herod and probably in accordance with the Jewish method–each going to his own city–rather than the Roman.

    While Josephus does not mention the Herodian census, Luke carefully distinguishes the census at the time of Jesus’ birth as “first,” (i.e. first in a series of enrollments connected either with Quirinius or with the imperial policy inaugurated by the decree of Augustus).

    The geographical work of [Herod] Agrippa, together with the interest of the emperor in the organization and finances of the empire and the attention which he gave to the provinces are indirectly corroborative of Luke’s statement. Augustus himself conducted a census in Italy in and in Gaul in 727/27* [see Roman dating system, ‘AUC‘] and had a census taken in other provinces. For Egypt there is evidence of a regular periodic census every 14 years extending back to 773/20 and it is not improbable that this procedure was introduced by Augustus.

    The time of the decree is stated only in general terms by Luke, and it may have been as early as 727/27 or later in 746-8, its execution in different provinces and subject kingdoms being carried out at different times. Luke dates the census in the kingdom of Herod specifically by connecting it with the administrative functions of Quirinius in Syria. But as P. Quintilius Varus was the legate of Syria just before and after the death of Herod from 748/6-750/4 and his predecessor was C. Sentius Saturninus from 745/9-748/6 there seems to be no place for Quirinius during the closing years of Herod’s reign.

    Tertullian indeed speaks of Saturninus as legate at the time of Jesus’ birth. It is possible that the connection of the census with Quirinius may be due to his having brought to completion what was begun by one of his predecessors; or Quirinius may have been commissioned especially by the emperor to conduct a census in Syria.

  • Nazareth to Bethlehem (toddthehiker.wordpress.com)
    More than 700 years before the birth of Christ the prophet Micah foretold the place of the Messiah’s birth, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.”  (Micah 5:2)  The reason Joseph and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem in the first place was because of the decree from Caesar Augustus, someone who did not even acknowledge the God of the Israelites.  If not for his decree there would have been no reason for a poor carpenter from Nazareth and his pregnant betrothed to make the difficult trip to Bethlehem.  When you stop to consider the events that took place to ensure the fulfillment of this prophesy you realize just how incredible they are, and perhaps you can begin to understand the sovereignty of God.
  • The Nativity explained: The Census (christiantoday.com)
    A counting of peoples across the Roman Empire, requiring that all people return to the lands of their origin. In Joseph’s case, that was Bethlehem, the city of David.
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    it isn’t as though Rome only had one census that came round every so often. There were tax censuses, designed to give an idea of exactly how much money the government could bring in, but there were also allegiance censuses, where rather than merely counting everyone, people were gathered up and encouraged to swear a pledge of allegiance to Caesar in Rome.
  • The Star of Bethlehem explained? (must read) (religionstudent.wordpress.com)
    The Star of Bethlehem plays a significant role in the nativity story.  Most Christians accept this as part of tradition, while the phenomena is criticized by those who are less likely to buy in to the story.  However, could it be that the Star of Bethlehem isn’t just part of a story?  Could the famous star actually have existed at the time of Jesus? According to “Biblica The Bible Atlas: A Social and Historical Journey through the Lands of the Bible” it may have actually existed.

    First, to support Biblica’s claim, we must first look at the birth of Jesus.  By exploring the two accounts of the Birth of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of Matthew.  Matthew makes the claim that Jesus was born in the time of King Herod (the man who later plans to kill the newborn).  Luke does not only make mention of King Herod, but the author also makes mention of Jesus being born during the time of Augustus Caesar and Quirinius the governor of Syria.  Luke’s account, however, is controversial.  Augustus ruled from 27 BCE to 14 CE and Quirinius governed Syria from 6-7 CE.  The problem comes with Herod who ruled from 37-4 BCE.  This historical fact means that Luke’s mention of Quirinius is inaccurate and should be disregarded (although historical accuracy is not the focus of Luke’s Gospel).

  • Was There Really a Census at the Time? (nostopministries.wordpress.com)
    Luke’s precise language emphasizes a particular census, as if to contrast it with similar ones. In fact, another census did occur ten years later, which Luke refers to in Acts 5:37. The author’s additional information concerning Qurinius’s governorship (Luke 2:2), which is unnecessary for the narrative, reveals a familiarity with the recent past. Luke knew his audience would need clarification between similar events, so he gave them the details necessary to understand the date he meant.The emperor at the time of Jesus’s birth, Caesar Augustus, kept count of the population throughout his empire for taxation purposes. Israel would have been no exception. Even if we have no other accounts of the census taken during that time (which is no proof that the event didn’t happen given the sparse records available), the event seems likely from what we do know of the Roman Empire.

    Quirinius may, in fact, have governed Syria at the time and also ten years later. However, the original Greek suggests another possible reading. Luke’s statement may imply that King Herod performed a Jewish style census (counted according to the historic location of the tribes and clans) to keep the peace. Thus, the command of Caesar was notreally carried out in the Roman method (counted by where the person was born) until ten years later when Qurinius was governor and Herod had died.

  • The Nativity According to Luke | David’s Commonplace Book
    Linus quotes from the Gospel according to Luke. There are two accounts of Jesus’s birth in the New Testament, the account that Luke gives and the account that Matthew gives. Mark ignores the question of Jesus’s birth entirely, preferring to begin with Jesus’s public ministry while John actually begins his account before the nativity and moves from there to Jesus’ career.
  • What Luke Actually Wrote (str.typepad.com)
    The gist of the problem is that Luke claims that the first tax when Quirinius was governor of Syria was at the time of Jesus’ birth – around 4-2 B.C. The Jewish historian Josephus, however, records that the first tax under Quirinius’ administration was in 6 A.D., after Jesus’ birth. There’s no reconciling these reports, unless we actually look back at what Luke wrote and at some historical data.
  • Was Jesus really born? – Virendra Parekh (bharatabharati.wordpress.com)
    “Let me tell you at the outset that Jesus is no mythological mumbo-jumbo like your Rama and Krishna, and even Buddha. On the contrary, he was a solid historical figure whose miracles were witnessed and vouchsafed by many contemporary people,” said a Jesuit missionary to Sita Ram Goel. Let us have a closer look at this ‘solid historical figure’.

    Historicity of Jesus as described in Gospels has been one of the principal dogmas of all Christian denominations. Now, as Ram Swarup used to say, historicity by itself does not mean much. You and I are historical persons, but that fact by itself does not confer greatness or any other virtue on us. However, when historicity of the founder is touted as a point of superiority, we are inclined to examine it a little more closely.
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    Sita Ram Goel has pointed out that word “Christian” does not appear in the Christian literature itself before 140 AD. On the other hand, anti-Christian polemics which appears for the first time around 160 AD, starts by questioning the existence of a character called Jesus Christ.

Old language to confirm the promises

Once more in the Gospel we do find that a person speaks in language borrowed from a half dozen verses in the Hebrew Bible.

At the birth of his son, several times Zechariah or Zachariah, draws from the historical psalms. Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied that by this birth the God of Israel came and set His people free.  It was not God who came on the earth with John the Baptist, but his body was caused to be there on earth by his heavenly Father, Who set the power of salvation in the centre of our lives, and in the very house of David his servant. The priest tells us that this is just as the Most High Elohim promised long ago through the preaching of His holy prophets.

The priest knew that the Only One God is a god of His Word; Everything the God of gods promises comes true. Therefore the world should know that deliverance from our enemies and every hateful hand and mercy to our fathers shall also come true, as He remembers to do what He said He’d do.
Now God was going to make the horn of David to bud as he had ordained a lamp for His anointed.

“”Here I will make a horn grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one.” (Psalms 132:17 NIV)

“He remembers his covenant for ever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations,” (Psalms 105:8 NIV)

“For He remembered His holy promise and Abraham His servant.” (Psalms 105:42 KJ21)

“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.” (Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV)

“and He remembered for them His covenant, and repented according to the multitude of His mercies.” (Psalms 106:45 KJ21)

“to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant,” (Luke 1:72 KJ21)

The child of Elizabeth/Elisheva and Zechariah is recognised by his father as a “Prophet of the Highest,” who will go ahead of the Master to prepare his ways. He would become the man to present the offer of salvation to his people, the forgiveness of their sins. The child grew up, healthy and spirited. He lived out in the desert until the day he made his prophetic début in Israel.

The people of God had to know now the time was coming that Jehovah God His Decree would be established. A truly righteous David-Branch would by the Word of God become into being. The Holy Spirit, God His Force had taken care that a child could come into the world that would become a ruler who knows how to rule justly. He’ll make sure of justice and keep people united.  Seventy sevens were set for the people and for the holy city to throttle rebellion, stop sin, wipe out crime, set things right forever, confirm what the prophet saw, and anoint The Holy of Holies.

“”The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.” (Jeremiah 23:5 NIV)

“”Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.” (Daniel 9:24 NIV)

The  the iniquity of the house of Judah,  the house of Israel could be beard again. Remembering His covenant God now took it in His hands and used those people Zechariah, Elizabeth and Mary to bring in fulfilment what He had promised at the beginning of the universe, in the Garden of Eden. His Word could come in fulfilment with the birth of John the Baptist and his nephew Jesus (Jeshua).

“He remembers his covenant for ever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations,” (Psalms 105:8 NIV)

“for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented.” (Psalms 106:45 NIV)

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Preceding articles:

Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant

Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:46-56 – Mary Magnifies God

Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:57-66 – Elizabeth Gives Birth To John

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Find also to read:

  1. God’s Salvation
  2. Waiting for Gods Salvation
  3. The Christ, the anointed of God

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File:Lucas Cranach the Elder, his studio? - The Birth of John the Baptist - Google Art Project.jpg

The Birth of John the Baptist – 1518, Workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553)

 

  • Luke 1:11-20 NIV – Miracles often depend on faith (pagprayer.wordpress.com)
    Zechariah serves in the temple only twice a year, but only once does he get to assist in the daily offering by going into the holy place.  Out of all of the priests (studies indicate that there were about 18,000 priests), today is the day Zechariah is in the temple, among people who are praying.  His job this day is to offer incense, in the holy place, symbolizing intercession rising up to God.  And Zechariah’s prayer is being answered.  In the midst of worship, God moves.
  • Luke 1:57-80 (oh-mag.com)
    As we read in Luke 1:17, Gabriel had given this exact account to Zechariah on the day that his speech was taken for disbelief. Now knowing that these things were indeed coming to pass, the first words out of Zechariah’s mouth are ones of praise and amazement. In verse 68 he speaks of the Messiah directly, knowing that redemption is at hand (remember, Jesus is just about to be born).  He exclaims that God is in their midst, and that He has not abandoned them.  In verse 69 the prophet says that God has raised up a horn (referring to strength) of salvation from the line of David.  As we have read in Matthew, Jesus does in fact fulfill this role as being in the lineage of David.  Inside Zechariah’s prophecy, we are being reminded of a past prophecy, found in Psalm 132 which talks about the future Messiah and his place of birth and reign.
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    Matthew 1:1-17

    There were no accidents, no mistakes, and no second plans as God laid out for all eternity the plans that brought forth a man who fulfilled over 1000 prophecies by the time of His death.  Let us consider the truths that Matthew is going to lay out before us as he makes the case that Christ is Messiah.

  • The Inerrancy of the Bible (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
    In the Church, we witness God’s will happening amid human mistakes all the time. Sincere worship leaders play the wrong chords on their guitars. Obedient prophets get caught up in passion and embellish His message. Pastors lose their train of thought in the middle of an inspired sermon. Earnest theologians publish false teachings that they later wish they could retract. Evangelists mistake God’s promptings and present the Gospel message to souls who are already saved. Dynamic Sunday School teachers get stumped by a question that a child asks them. Christian publishers crank out books with glaring typos and spelling errors. Does the presence of error mean that God can’t be at work? Of course not. Human beings are imperfect bumblers. After we are saved, God chooses to let us keep on bumbling as He works through us to accomplish many good things. Our mistakes don’t slow Him down. Our immaturity doesn’t prevent Him from accomplishing His goals. If God isn’t threatened by mistakes, why should we be? Why does the Bible have to be perfect in order for it to be of value? Why can’t it still be Divinely inspired even if it has some obvious flaws?
  • Luke 1:67-69 – His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, (church4u2.wordpress.com)
    God is looking for the Zechariah’s of our day to fill them with His Holy Spirit and use them in amazing ways.
  • Morning Prayer 12.26.13: St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr (dailyoffice.org)
    You have made my friend a bearer of your love for me; I see the light you made to shine in him. Shower my friend with blessings today, O Lord; make me worthy to receive the gifts he brings each time we’re together, and help me return in full measure the love I feel for him. You have made us one in your Spirit, O Lord; thanks be to God.
  • The Choice Mary Made (backseatwriter.wordpress.com)
    God created Mary, so He undoubtedly already knew how she would react to Gabriel’s proclamation that she would be the virgin to bear the long-awaited Messiah.But what if she had said no?  Could Mary have said, “No, you’ve got the wrong girl”?  Would there have been a Moses-like moment where God said that He created her womb, like He created Moses’ mouth?  If she had tried to flee, would God have brought her back with a Jonah and the big fish sort of event?  Could Mary have wrestled with an angel like Jacob?
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    Often times we don’t get to choose what diseases befall us, what those closest to us will do to cause us pain, or how the world will beat us up.  But we can choose how we react, knowing and trusting nothing escapes God’s loving attention.  When baby Jesus was finally born and presented in the temple, Mary was told her blessing was a double-edged sword.  Her heart would be pierced, just as her Son would be pierced for our transgressions.  My sins and yours.  The world’s greatest gift also came with huge responsibility, pain, and suffering.
  • Vayetze (rockofisraelweeklyparasha.wordpress.com)
    The answer to Jacob’s ladder right before your eyes! Yeshua (Jesus) is the ladder! He was sent to Earth to atone for our sins as the perfect Lamb of G-d, G-d raised Him from the dead through the power of the Ruach HaKodesh, Yeshua went up to Heaven to serve as our King, Priest and Prophet. Moshiach is soon to Return! Oh mishpachah, can you see it? Yeshua is the Son of G-d, our Messiah! We pray through the Name of Yeshua and our prayers go up to HaShem in Heaven, and the answer is sent down to earth through Yeshua’s Name!
  • Fourth Sunday in Advent: Dec. 22 (prayerscapes.wordpress.com)
    The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.
  • Tuesday, December 24, 2013 Advent Weekday (catholicquotesblog.wordpress.com)
  • You Prisoners Of Hope, I Will Restore Twice as Much to You (smritidisaac.wordpress.com)

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).
    +
    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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Unmasking anti Jehovah sites and people

Showing the only One True God and the Way to That God

The Eccentric Fundamentalist

Musings on theology, apologetics, practical Christianity and God's grace in salvation through Jesus Christ

John 20:21

"As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you."

The Biblical Review

Reviewing Publications, History, and Scripture

Words on the Word

Blog by Abram K-J

Bybelverskille

Hier bestudeer ons die redes vir die verskille in Bybelvertalings.

Michael Bradley - Time Traveler

The official website of Michael Bradley - Author of novels, short stories and poetry involving the past, future, and what may have been.

BIBLE Students DAILY

"Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life." Revelation 2:10

God's Simple Kindness

A place to share your daily blessings

takeaminutedotnet

All the Glory to God

Groen is Gezond

van zaadjes in volle grond tot iets lekkers op het bord

Jesse A. Kelley

A topnotch WordPress.com site

JWUpdate

JW Current Apostate Status and Final Temple Judgment - Web Witnessing Record; The Bethel Apostasy is Prophecy

Sophia's Pockets

Wisdom Withouth Walls

ConquerorShots

Spiritual Shots to Fuel the Conqueror Lifestyle

Examining Watchtower Doctrine

Truth Behind the "Truth"

Theological NoteBook

Dabbling into Theology

Beit T'Shuvah

Redefining Recovery

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