Archive for December, 2018

The Gospel according to Luke, chapter 6

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

To: The Church Family of God. (12/6/18) His 9th month, Kislev 28th day, 5779, until sunset.

Let’s review Jesus’ hometown teaching about healings during Elijah’s day. (Luke 4:20-30) First He reminded them of the proverb “Physician heal yourself.” then He let them know their thoughts. They were saying, “do here in your hometown what you did in Capernaum.” Jesus added, (Luke 4:24; “I tell you the truth, no prophet ’teacher” is acceptable in his hometown. But in truth I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s days, when the sky was shut up three and a half years, and there was a great famine over all the land. (26) Yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to a woman who was a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, yet none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”) When they heard this, all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, forced Him out of the town, and brought Him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw Him down the cliff.”) But He passed through the crowd and went on His way.”) Jesus point is, “God chooses whom to bless.” The people felt insulted, they heard of His healing many in Capernaum. He slipped through the crowd and went back to there where He taught in their Synagogues.

We’re born naïve followers of what seems right to our inherited instinctive nature. “I will decide for myself” nature: born sinners, we inherited Adam’s nature, it’s our inherited nature to practice what’s lawless in God’s view. Sin is “Lawlessness toward God. Jesus’ apostle John explained.

 

(1John3:4-5; “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; indeed, sin is lawlessness. And you know that Jesus was revealed to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin.”) The purpose of God the Father’s revealing Jesus to us is; “to take away our sins.” That is, “change our inherited nature.” From our Genesis study, we learned “all except those God revealed Himself to, practiced a way that seemed right.” That record is clear, “God called, revealed Himself to Noah and descendents of choice.” All others, “practiced the way that seemed right to themselves.” (Later He revealed Himself to Abraham and made covenant promises that included followers of Himself, to whom He made binding promises and a covenant. Pointing followers to His Way, admonishing for lawless practices and blessings for turning to Him.) Review Judges 2:11-14.

 

The historical record of all people groups is; they usually follow the way of their ancestral traditions. Traditionally people look to those whose charisma attracts them. It’s idolatry and the worldly way! We studied Jesus’ prophetic words through Isaiah, recorded in chapter 61. We are given to understand “a large portion of that prophecy is for the millennium when Jesus rules as King of Kings with His Saints.” When Satan is bound, unable to deceive and divide. In our study of Jesus’ gospel through Luke, we see that after Jesus overcame Satan’s temptations, debating the meaning of God’s word with him, Jesus went to a synagogue and read from Isaiah 61:. (Through our inherited nature we can’t understand God doing the “choosing, healing, calling, and granting understanding to whom He will.”)

 

Generally Christendom teaches, “a saved by grace theology” but think they can choose when to obtain or choose that grace! The people said to Jesus, “we heard what you did in Capernaum, so do the same for we hometown folks.” Review v 23 above. Jesus explained “God did the choosing through Elijah.” “Physician heal yourself” is what Jesus knew He would hear at His crucifixion. The people of Galilee, “where Jesus grew up” were amazed, saying; “isn’t this Joseph’s son.” When Jesus related how Elisha was sent to selected people, “true to their inherited nature the people got angry.” Also saying, “this fellow citizen we grew up with is claiming to be a prophet.”

 

(Luke 4:31-37; “So Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee; on the Sabbath He began to teach the people. They were amazed at His teaching, because He spoke with authority. (33) Now in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Ha! Leave us alone, Jesus the Nazarene. Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him: “saying” “Silence! Come out of him!” Then, after the demon threw the man down in their midst, the demon came out of him without hurting him. (36) The people were all amazed and began to say to one another, “What’s happening here? For with authority and power Jesus commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” So the news about Jesus spread into all areas of the region.”) Satan and demons not only recognized The Son of God they recognize people imputed with God’s spirit.

 

Jesus’ presence and through His apostles we have a glimpse the Kingdom of God on earth. A time when all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Study Joel) This age is likened to when Elijah was God’s prophet.

 

(Luke 4:38-39; “After Jesus left the synagogue, He entered Simon’s “Peter’s” house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So He stood over her, commanded the fever, and it left her. Immediately she got up and began to serve them.”) Peter was blessed with a wife and a mother in law. He was never a pope, nor was he ever commissioned to assign a successor to himself. The idea of a pope comes from the depth of paganism.

 

(Luke 4:40-41; “As the sun was setting, all those who had any relatives sick with various diseases brought them to Jesus. He placed His hands on every one of them and healed them. Demons also came out of many, crying out, “You are the Son of God!” But Jesus rebuked them, and would not allow them to speak, “continue speaking” because they knew that He was the Christ.”) Professing Christians practicing pagan customs don’t know “the Jesus manifested in the old and new Testaments is The Christ.” Imagining a baby in a manger or an image on a cross isn’t recognizing Jesus the Creator, Re-creator, Healer, Deliverer, Savior, Mediator and coming King of Kings. One who said, “why call Me Lord, Lord and not obey My Word.” The Jesus that’s coming with power to rule. Demons know Him, “the many denominations calling themselves Christian do not.” (The current pope that said he could not judge homosexuals, does not know Jesus!) Followers of Jesus are led to recognize sin, “from Jesus’ point of view.” We must all turn from what’s sin in His View, or be destroyed.” An assembly or individual practicing or condoning what God considers sin shouldn’t call themselves Christian.

 

(Luke 4:42-44; “The next morning Jesus departed and went to a deserted place. Yet the crowds were seeking Him, and they came to Him and tried to keep Him from leaving them. But Jesus said to them, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, for that is what I was sent to do.” So Jesus continued to preach in the synagogues of Judea.”) The gospel is NONE other, than, “good news of Jesus’ coming kingdom.” Details include being called, fathered by God, the resurrections, final judgment and New Jerusalem coming down etc.

 

(Luke 5:1-11; “Now Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, (Another name for the Sea of Galilee.) See the parallel at Matt 4:18) and the crowd was pressing around Him to hear the Word of God. He saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. Jesus got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then Jesus sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing! But at Your Word I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets started to tear. So they motioned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they were about to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, He fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For Peter and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so were James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were Simon’s business partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” So when they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed Jesus.”) To the fleshly minded, believing IN what all the holy scriptures teach about Jesus’ activities is foolishness.

 

(Luke 5:12-16; “While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came to Him who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he bowed down with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” So Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. Then Jesus ordered the man to tell no one, but commanded him, “Go and show yourself to a priest, and bring the offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” But the news about Jesus spread even more, and large crowds were gathering together to hear Him and to be healed of their illnesses. Yet Jesus Himself frequently withdrew to the wilderness and prayed.”) Jesus set up the temple system under Moses and demonstrated respect of the priest duties and the customs while He lived in the flesh. The priesthood was changed when Jesus ascended to His previous position and as mediator of a better covenant. When willing, Jesus can heal sicknesses completely and miraculously as He did in this account. In this Luke account, Jesus healed all who came asking. Likewise after Jesus’ ascension, He healed many when Peter’s shadow passed over them. All demonstrating His power over the physical. The New Covenant doctrine regarding healing and our practices are spelled out in Hebrews. We must note the result of people’s practicing apostasy “yielding to pagan practices” as well. We do take liberty to expound.

 

(Hebrews 6:1-4 “Therefore we must progress beyond the elementary instructions about Christ and move on to maturity,” (The foundational doctrinal beliefs follow, and we need to grow from this foundation.) not repeating this foundation again: (1) “repentance from dead works” (First we’re led to turn from old practices, which are dead works) (2) “and Faith in God,” (Secondly, the called are led to trust in God’s Word, not religions.) (3) “Heb 6:2; Teaching about baptisms,” (Thirdly, we need to understand that water baptism foreshadows our being immersed in Jesus and that the unrepentant will be baptized with fire.) (4) “Laying on of hands, (Fourth, a spiritual transfer demonstrating obedience, at immersion, ordinations and asking for faith healing should be a practice.) (5) “Resurrection of the dead,” (Fifth, resurrections are promised. The first is to spirit like Jesus‘. Second is physically restoring Israelites. Born again is likened to a resurrection in that minds are opened. The unrepentant will die a second death.) See Rev 21:8. (6) “Eternal judgment.” (Sixth, judgment on the last day is forever.) (7) “Move on to maturity. Heb 6:1. We are commanded to overcome to the end, always maturing in Christ.

 

(Hebrews 6:3-6; “This is what we “Christians” intend to do, if God permits. For it is impossible in the case of those who have once been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, become partakers of the Holy Spirit, tasted the good word of God and the miracles of the coming age, and then have committed apostasy, to renew them again to repentance, since they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves all over again and holding Him up to contempt.) Only God can enlighten, open a mind and father with His spirit. Only through “Christ Jesus” can we taste the good word of God and believe IN the miracles of the coming age. Once God has changed our nature, it isn’t likely He’ll lose one.

The Gospel according to Luke, chapter 5

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

To: The Church Family of God. (12/4/18) His 9th month, Kislev 26th day, 5779, until sunset.

Christendom in general adopted paganism, Baal and Diana, “the Goddess of Virginity and Motherhood.” Diana was said to represent generative powers of nature and so was pictured with many breasts. A tower shaped crown, symbolizing the Tower of Babal. A temple dedicated to her in Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world! Diana was not only worshipped in Ephesus but throughout Asia and the world. In almost every worldly religion there’s “a mother and child depicted.” Leading back to the mother goddess of Babylon. (After Nimrod’s death his adulterous wife gave birth to a child who she claims was supernaturally conceived.) She taught that “Tammuz-the son” was a God child; that he was Nimrod, reborn and that she and her child were divine. Thus, Satan established a mother and child worship. (Study what Jesus’ apostle Paul had to contend with regarding Diana.) When people were building the tower of Babel, God changed their languages and they were scattered throughout the earth. God did not change their mind set, only their languages, the scattered people took with them “the worship of a divine mother and child.”

 

Among the Chinese, the Mother Goddess was called Shingmoo or the “Holy Mother.” She is pictured with child in her arms and rays of glory around her head. The ancient Germans worshipped the Virgin “Hertha” with child in arms. The Scandinavians called her “Disa” who was also pictured with a child. The Etruscans called her “Nutria” and among the Druids, the “Virgo-Paritura” was worshipped as the “Mother of God.” In India, she was known as, “Indrani” who was also represented with a child in her arms. The Babylonian Mother was known as Aphodite or Ceres to the Greeks; Nana, to the Sumerians; and as Venus or Fortuna to the pagans in Rome, “her child was known as Jupiter.” For ages, Isi, the “Great Goddess” and her child Iswara, have been worshipped in India, where great temples were erected for their worship. In Asia, the Mother was known as Cybele and the child as Deoius. In Egypt, the Babylonian Mother was known as Isis and her child as Horus. THIS could or may be a reason the genealogy of Mary isn’t given.

 

(Luke 4:1-4; “Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River “where He was baptized” and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days He endured temptations from the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were completed, He was famished. The devil said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man does not live by bread alone.’”) Jesus was tempted in many ways, including how you and I are tempted. Paul wrote as follows.

 

(Hebrews 4:14-16; “Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.“) This same Jesus is the One that gave His chosen people, “the Israelites” the lands of pagan people, who worshiped imaginary gods. Jesus inspired Moses to write.

 

(Deut 18:13-15; “Whoever does these things is abhorrent to the Lord and because of these detestable things the Lord your God is about to drive them out from before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God. Those nations that you are about to dispossess listen to omen readers and diviners, but the Lord your God has not given you permission to do such things. The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you – from your fellow Israelites; you must listen to Him.”) Moses as did Abraham looked forward to Jesus’ millennial rule.

 

(Luke 4:5-8; “Then the devil led Jesus up to a high place and showed Him in a flash all the kingdoms of the world. And Satan said to Jesus, “To you I will grant this whole realm, “Sphere in which power is exercised, domain.” also see Luke 22:53; 23:7; Acts 26:18; & Eph 2:2.) – and the glory that goes along with it, for it has been relinquished to me, and I can give it to anyone I wish. So then, if you will worship me, all this will be yours.” Jesus answered Satan, “It is written, ‘You are to worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.’”) WHO do you think has put most rulers in their positions? Could Jesus have said, “it isn’t your to give?” He didn’t because Satan’s role is, “conquer of nations” he’s destined to play it out until the set time. Satan will know when his time has almost expired; the holy scriptures tell of his last days.

 

(Rev 12:12-18; “Therefore you heavens rejoice, and all who reside in them! But woe to the earth and the sea because the devil has come down to you! He is filled with terrible anger, for he knows that he only has a little time!” (13) Now when the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman, “church, likened to Mary” who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of a giant eagle so that she could fly out into the wilderness, to the place God prepared for her, where she is taken care of – away from the presence of the serpent – for a time, times, and half a time. (15) Then the serpent spouted water like a river out of his mouth after the woman in an attempt to sweep her away by a flood, but the earth came to her rescue; the ground opened up and swallowed the river that the dragon had spewed from his mouth. So the dragon became enraged at the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep God’s commandments and hold to the testimony about Jesus.”) This same powerful Satan was allowed to tempt Jesus in ways likened to our temptations. He knows God’s Word!

 

(Luke 4:9-13; “Then the devil brought Jesus to Jerusalem, had Him stand on the highest point of the temple, and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here, for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning You, to protect You,’ and ‘with their hands they will lift you up, so that You will not strike your foot against a stone.’” (See Psalms 91:11-12) (12) Jesus answered, “It is said, ‘You are not to put the Lord your God to the test.’” So when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from Jesus until a more opportune time.”) That time being when Jesus would be crucified.

 

(Luke 4:14-19; “Then Jesus, in the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and news about Him spread throughout the surrounding countryside. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by all. (16) Now Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was His custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, (18) “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lords favor.”) A good portion of Jesus’ words here are for the millennia. Jesus brings deliverance now but more later. The Greek word translated, “free” is also translated release earlier in the verse. Jesus inspired Isaiah to write about Himself and Israel’s future.

 

(Isaiah 61:1-11; “The spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon Me, because the Lord has chosen Me. He has commissioned Me to encourage the poor, to help the brokenhearted, to decree the release of captives, and the freeing of prisoners, to announce the year when the Lord will show His favor, the day when our God will seek vengeance, to console all who mourn, to strengthen those who mourn in Zion, by giving them a turban, instead of ashes, oil symbolizing joy, instead of mourning, a garment symbolizing praise, instead of discouragement. They “His People” will be called oaks of righteousness, trees planted by the Lord to reveal His splendor. (4) They will rebuild the perpetual ruins and restore the places that were desolate; they will reestablish the ruined cities, the places that have been desolate since ancient times. (5) “Foreigners will take care of your sheep; foreigners will work in your fields and vineyards. You will be called, ‘the Lord’s priests, servants of our God.’ You will enjoy the wealth of nations and boast about the riches you receive from them. Instead of shame, you will get a double portion; instead of humiliation, they will rejoice over the land they receive. Yes, they will possess a double portion in their land and experience lasting joy. For I, the Lord, love justice and hate robbery and sin. I will repay them because of My faithfulness; I will make a permanent covenant with them. Their descendants will be known among the nations, their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will recognize that the Lord has blessed them.” I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; I will be overjoyed because of My God. For He clothes Me in garments of deliverance; He puts on Me a robe symbolizing vindication. I look like a bridegroom when He wears a turban as a priest would; I look like a bride when she puts on her jewelry. (11) For just as the ground produces its crops and a garden yields its produce, so the sovereign Lord will cause deliverance to grow, and give His people reason to .”)

 

Most prophecy isn’t dated as was Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. Much is dual, meaning a portion is fulfilled in this time before Jesus’ second coming and much is to be fulfilled during His millennial rule on earth. To we who God fights for, “spiritual and physical Israelites” He proclaims through Isaiah.

 

(Isaiah 49:1-26; “Listen to Me, you coastlands! Pay attention, you people who live far away! The Lord summoned Me from birth; He commissioned Me when My mother brought Me into the world. He made My mouth like a sharp sword, He hid Me in the hollow of His hand; He made Me like a sharpened arrow, He hid Me in His quiver. He said to Me, “You are My servant, Israel, through whom I will reveal My splendor.” But I thought, “I have worked in vain; I have expended My energy for absolutely nothing.” But the Lord will vindicate Me; My God will reward Me. So now the Lord says, the One who formed Me from birth to be His servant – He did this to restore Jacob to Himself, so that Israel might be gathered to Him; and I will be honored in the Lord’s sight, for My God is My source of strength – He says, “Is it too insignificant a task for You to be My servant, to reestablish the tribes of Jacob, and restore the remnant of Israel? ..I will make you, “Israel” a light to the nations, so you can bring My deliverance to the remote regions of the earth.” This is what the Lord, the Protector of Israel, their Holy One, says to the one who is despised and rejected by nations, a servant of rulers: “Kings will see and rise in respect, princes will bow down, because of the faithful Lord, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.” ..This is what the Lord says: “At the time I decide to show My favor, I will respond to you; in the day of deliverance I will help you; I will protect you and make you a covenant mediator for people, to rebuild the land and to reassign the desolate property. You will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’ and to those who are in dark dungeons, ‘Emerge.’ They will graze beside the roads; on all the slopes they will find pasture. They will not be hungry or thirsty; the sun’s oppressive heat will not beat down on them, for One who has compassion on them will guide them; He will lead them to springs of water. I will make all My mountains into a road; I will construct My roadways.” ..Look, they come from far away! Look, some come from the north and west, and others from the land of Sinim! Shout for joy, O sky! Rejoice, O earth! Let the mountains give a joyful shout! For the Lord consoles His people and shows compassion to the oppressed. ..The Lord Remembers Zion, “Zion said, ‘The Lord has abandoned me, the Sovereign Master has forgotten me.’ Can a woman forget her baby who nurses at her breast? Can she withhold compassion from the child she has borne? Even if mothers were to forget, I could never forget you! Look, I have inscribed your name on My palms; your walls are constantly before Me. Your children hurry back, while those who destroyed and devastated you depart. Look all around you! All of them gather to you. As surely as I live,” says the Lord, “you will certainly wear all of them like jewelry; you will put them on as if you were a bride. Yes, your land lies in ruins; it is desolate and devastated. But now you will be too small to hold your residents, and those who devoured you will be far away. Yet the children born during your time of bereavement will say within your hearing, ‘This place is too cramped for us, make room for us so we can live here.’ Then you will think to yourself, ‘Who bore these children for me? I was bereaved and barren, dismissed and divorced. Who raised these children? Look, I was left all alone; where did these children come from?’” ..This is what the sovereign Lord says: “Look I will raise My hand to the nations; I will raise My signal flag to the peoples. They will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders. Kings will be your children’s guardians; their princesses will nurse your children. With their faces to the ground they will bow down to you and they will lick the dirt on your feet. Then you will recognize that I am the Lord; those who wait patiently for Me are not put to shame. Can spoils be taken from a warrior, or captives be rescued from a conqueror? Indeed,” says the Lord, “captives will be taken from a warrior; spoils will be rescued from a conqueror. I will oppose your adversary and I will rescue your children. I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will get drunk on their own blood, as if it were wine. Then all humankind will recognize that I am the Lord, your Deliverer, your Protector, the powerful ruler of Jacob.”) All preplanned and no one can alter it.

The Gospel according to Luke, chapter 4

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

To: God’s family, His church (12/3/18) Kislev 24th day, 5779, until sunset.

Dr Luke’s account now jumps forward to Zachariah’s miracle son, “John” called “John the Baptist.” (Luke 3:1-3; “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch, over the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, while Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene. During the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan River, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”) (A Tetrarch was a joint ruler, Herod, Philip and Lysanias were three of four subordinates.) (Repentance means, “a turning from.” Baptism means, “an emersion in.” (God’s CALLING is when a person’s sin nature is revealed, their erroneous practices exposed and God gives them a desire to turn.) Baptism should be an outward agreement with God, whereby a person promises to immerse themselves in the Way of God the Father and God the Son. A person can’t turn to without turning from!

(Luke 3:4-6; “As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one shouting in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be brought low, and the crooked will be made straight, and the rough ways will be made smooth, and all humanity will see the salvation of God.’”) Luke is quoting from Isaiah 40:3-5. All the gospel accounts use this citation from Isaiah, only Luke cites the material of verses. 5-6. His goal may well be to get to the declaration of v. 6, where all humanity (i.e., all nations) will see God’s salvation (See also Luke 24:47). Jesus’ return with power and John’s assignment, was revealed to Isaiah by Jesus. (Isaiah’s prophecy is also for Jesus’ millennial rule,)

(Isaiah 40:1-11; “Comfort, comfort My people,” says your God. “Speak kindly to Jerusalem, and tell her that her time of warfare is over, that her punishment is completed. For the Lord has made her pay double for all her sins.” (3) A voice cries out, “In the wilderness clear a way for the Lord; construct in the desert a road for our God. Every valley must be elevated, and every mountain and hill leveled. The rough terrain will become a level plain, the rugged landscape a wide valley. The splendor of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it at the same time. For the Lord has decreed it.” (6) A voice says, “Cry out!” Another asks, “What should I cry out?” The first voice responds: “All people are like grass, and all their promises are like the flowers in the field. The grass dries up, the flowers wither, when the wind sent by the Lord blows on them. Surely humanity is like grass. The grass dries up, the flowers wither, but the decree of our God is forever reliable.” (9) Go up on a high mountain, O herald Zion! Shout out loudly, O herald Jerusalem! Shout, don’t be afraid! Say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” (10) Look, the sovereign Lord comes as a victorious warrior; His military power establishes His rule. Look, His reward is with Him; His prize goes before Him. (11) Like a shepherd He tends His flock; He gathers up the lambs with His arm; He carries them close to His heart; He leads the ewes along.”) This is Jesus’ good news, “gospel” through Isaiah! One of many Jesus’ apostles were expecting Him to fulfill when they were first being called.

 

(Luke 3:7-9; “So John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Therefore produce fruit that proves your repentance, and don’t begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”) All have inherited a, “self importance nature” from Adam. A rebellious outlook that thinks it okay to decide for one’s self, “what is right, wrong, good and evil.” Through John, Jesus puts things in perspective. We each are as grass! The idea is to, “turn to Jesus and from the world.”

 

(Luke 3:10-17; “So the crowds were asking John, “What then should we do?” John answered them, “The person who has two tunics must share with the person who has none, and the person who has food must do likewise.” (12) Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to John, “Teacher, what should we do?” He told them, “Collect no more than you are required to.” Then some soldiers also asked him, “And as for us – what should we do?” He told them, “Take money from no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your pay.” (15) While the people were filled with anticipation and they all wondered whether perhaps John could be the Christ, (16) John answered them all, “I baptize you with water, but One more powerful than I am is coming – I am not worthy to untie the strap of His sandals. He will baptize you, “immerse you” with the Holy Spirit and fire. (17) His winnowing fork is in His hand to clean out His threshing floor and to gather the wheat into His storehouse, but the chaff He will burn up with inextinguishable fire.”) (See Job 20:26 & Isaiah 34:8-10, & 66:24.) Chaff is a metaphor for unbelieving people. Jesus’ Words, (“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” Matt 22:37-40) The threshing floor represents the world. Jesus gave parables that fits John’s words.

(Matt 13:24-30; “The kingdom of heaven is like a person who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, an enemy “Satan” came and sowed weeds among the wheat “Christians” and went away. (Satan plants enemies among God’s people to divide and confuse.) When the plants “Christians” sprouted and bore grain “fruit“ then the weeds (“those presenting themselves as angels of light”) also appeared. So the slaves of the owner came and said to Him, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’ He said, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the slaves replied, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them?’ But He “Jesus” said, ‘No, since in gathering the weeds “unbelievers” you may uproot the wheat “Christians” with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I “Jesus” will tell the reapers, “First collect the weeds “Unbelievers” and tie them in bundles to be burned, but then gather the wheat “My people” into My barn.”’”)

(Matt 19:16-30; “Now someone came up to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to gain eternal life?” He said to him, “Why do you ask Me about what is good? There is only One who is good. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he asked. Jesus replied, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he was very rich. Then Jesus said to His disciples, “I tell you the truth, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven! Again I say, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into the kingdom of God.” The disciples were greatly astonished when they heard this and said, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans, but for God all things are possible.” Then Peter said to Him, “Look, we have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth: In the age when all things are renewed, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And whoever has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for My sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”) The twelve tribes of Israel are yet going to be delivered to the borders Jesus promised Abraham, “Jesus’ 12 apostles already have part of their assignment.

 

(Luke 3:18-20; “And in this way, with many other exhortations, John proclaimed good news to the people. But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil deeds that he had done, Herod added this to them all: He locked up John in prison.”) John’s message is to all Believers IN, but his audience back then was primarily Israelites of the tribe of Judah, “Pharisees/Sadducees” that were ruled from Rome. The Romans had long since adapted pagan practices and beliefs in gods of the imagination.

 

(Luke 3:21-22; “Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. (See Matthew 3:6-17, Mark 1:5-12) And while Jesus was praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are My One dear Son; in You I take great delight.”) God’s Spirit resided in Jesus from conception, this measure is given visibly as a witness to the people. When the people received the Holy Spirit on the Pentecost after Jesus’ ascension, it was visible as a witness. Unless to witness, God doesn’t make the Holy Spirit visible. Jesus explained to Nicodemus, when He was celebrating the Last Great Day of the Feast of Tabernacles. (John 3:8; “The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”)

 

Jesus was about thirty years old when He began teaching. Mary’s husband, Joseph was the primary supporter of the family. Joseph and Mary’s heredity from the fathers go back to Adam, his son Seth, after the flood, Noah and his son Shem. Most notably in the heredity line is David. Study the list, beginning in verse 23-38. Satan knew the plan regarding Jesus’ birth; he set out to counterfeit: duplicate every aspect, causing the many to worship him. Mother and son worship go back long before Jesus’ birth. Satan inspired counterfeit religions, copying resemblances of God’s plan, so humans would look to and worship him as an angel of light. (See 2 Corinthians 11:14) This apostasy is exposed by our Lord’s brother “Jude” and in the book of Judges.

 

(Judges 2:11-14; “The Israelites did evil before the Lord by worshiping the Baals. They abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They followed other gods – the gods of the nations who lived around them. They worshiped them and made the Lord angry. They abandoned the Lord and worshiped Baal and the Ashtars.”) (Ashtaroth was also called “the queen of heaven.” When Jeremiah witnessed to them, they said to him; “We will not listen to what you claim the Lord has spoken to us! Instead we will do everything we vowed we would do. We will sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the goddess called the “Queen of Heaven” just as we and our ancestors, our kings, and our leaders previously did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and had no troubles.” Jeremiah 44:16-17)

Paul contended with these pagans in Greece, understanding, “if the people turned to Jesus, it would interrupt their business.” They said; (There’s danger not only that this business of ours will come into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be regarded as nothing, and she whom all the province of Asia and the world worship will suffer the loss of her greatness.” When the people heard this they became enraged and began to shout, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”” Acts 19:27-28) Nothing has changed! When people today here and see God’s truth, they think, “to follow this our business will suffer, the whole world is worshiping traditionalism.

The Gospel, according to Luke, chapter 3

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

To: God’s family, His church (12/2/18) Kislev 23rd day, 5779, until sunset.

 

Paul understood and reveals how we should reflect on our cleansing “a circumcision of the heart.” (Philippians 2:4-11; “Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, who though He existed in the form of God (as do we, His created people) did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature.” (When people decide for themselves, what is right, wrong, good and evil they in fact are, “regarding themselves as equal with God.) Jesus humbled Himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross! As a result God exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow – in heaven and on earth and under the earth – and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”) It was all preplanned. The life of God the Father’s own begotten, “fathered” Son, the one who said, “let us make man in our image” would come as the Messiah and give His life for our saving. He would grow and learn from things He experienced, so as to be our Mediator before God the Father. His birth, life and suffering was revealed to the prophets. (study Isaiah 52 & 53:)

 

(Isaiah 52:13-15; “Look, My servant will succeed! He will be elevated, lifted high, and greatly exalted (just as many were horrified by the sight of You) He was so disfigured He no longer looked like a man; His form was so marred He no longer looked human – so now He will startle many nations. Kings will be shocked by His exaltation, for they will witness something unannounced to them, and they will understand something they had not heard about.”) (Isaiah 11:1-8; “A shoot will grow out of Jesse’s,David’s Dad” root stock, a bud will sprout from his, “Jessie’s” roots. The Lord’s spirit will rest on Him – a spirit that gives extraordinary wisdom, a spirit that provides the ability to execute plans, a spirit that produces absolute loyalty to the Lord. He will take delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by mere appearances, or make decisions on the basis of hearsay. He will treat the poor fairly, and make right decisions for the downtrodden of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and order the wicked to be executed. Justice will be like a belt around His waist, integrity will be like a belt around His hips. (6-8; “A wolf will reside with a lamb, and a leopard will lie down with a young goat; an ox and a young lion will graze together, as a small child leads them along. A cow and a bear will graze together, their young will lie down together. A lion, like an ox, will eat straw. A baby will play over the hole of a snake; over the nest of a serpent an infant will put his hand.” (9; “They will no longer injure or destroy on My entire royal mountain. For there will be universal submission to the Lord’s sovereignty, just as the waters completely cover the sea.”

Israel is Reclaimed and Reunited (10; “At that time a root from Jesse, “Jesus” will stand like a signal flag for the nations. Nations will look to Him for guidance, and His residence will be majestic. At that time the Sovereign Master will again lift His hand to reclaim the remnant of His people from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and the seacoasts. He will lift a signal flag for the nations; He will gather Israel’s dispersed people and assemble Judah’s scattered people from the four corners of the earth. Ephraim’s jealousy will end, and Judah’s hostility will be eliminated. Ephraim will no longer be jealous of Judah, and Judah will no longer be hostile toward Ephraim. They will swoop down on the Philistine hills to the west; together they will loot the people of the east. They will take over Edom and Moab and the Ammonites will be their subjects. The Lord will divide the gulf of the Egyptian Sea; He will wave His hand over the Euphrates River and send a strong wind, He will turn it into seven dried-up streams, and enable them to walk across in their sandals. There will be a highway leading out of Assyria for the remnant of His people, just as there was for Israel, when they went up from the land of Egypt.”)

 

As Jesus prophecy, we recorded in our last study, He is yet again going to  miraculously restore Israelites as they were delivered from Egypt and when He had Joshua lead them across the Jordan river. God’s Word defines the characteristics of the patriarchs, prophets, Jesus, His apostles, Believers IN and unbelieving people who subscribers of traditionalism. Characteristics of bad people aren’t withheld. (What Believers IN have in common is, “a mind to wait on God’s promises.” (It’s revealed to Believers IN that we will see the majority of Jesus’ promises “after His second coming and our resurrection.” As we learn in Hebrews 11:, (“All these Believers were commended for their faith, yet they did not receive what was promised. For God had provided something better for us, so that they would be made perfect together with us.“ Heb 11:39-40) Jesus’ teaches; “His followers are gifted with faith in His promises, that they will receive an inheritance, a city with firm foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”

 

(“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place he would later receive as an inheritance, and he went out without understanding where he was going. Heb 11:8-20) Likewise, we followers of Jesus are called to separate from the world at large, “this world’s system of things.” Doctor Luke confirms, this is the good news, “gospel” each follower of Jesus is led to believe IN. Jesus came to confirm a fulfillment of all the prophets foretold about Him. Each Believer IN “Christian” is led to understand “we can’t separated the restoration of Israel from Jesus’ good news.”

 

(Luke 2:25-35; “Now there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon who was righteous and devout, looking for the restoration of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So Simeon, “directed by the Spirit” came into the temple courts, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for Him what was customary according to the law, Simeon took Him in his arms and blessed God, saying, (29) “Now, according to Your word, Sovereign Lord, permit Your servant to depart in peace. For my eyes have seen Your salvation that You have prepared in the presence of all peoples: a light, for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to Your people Israel.” (33) So Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was said about Him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Jesus’ mother Mary, “Listen carefully: This child is destined to be the cause of the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be rejected. Indeed, as a result of Jesus, the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed – and a sword will pierce your own soul as well!”) These prophetic things revealed to Simeon are basically the same things Jesus had revealed through Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel about Himself. We have the record of the world rejecting Jesus in this current age.

 

(Luke 2:36-40; “There was also a prophetess, “Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.” She was very old, having been married to her husband for seven years until his death. She had lived as a widow since then for eighty-four years. She never left the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. (38) At that moment, she came up to them and began to give thanks to God and to speak about the child to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. So when Joseph and Mary had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And Jesus grew and became strong, filled with wisdom, and the favor of God, “the Father” was upon Him.”) Jesus’ gospel defines Redemption as; “the act of saving something or somebody from a declined, dilapidated, or corrupted state and restoring it.” Followers of Jesus, “Believers IN” are waiting for, the redemption of Jerusalem and Israel. Remember, the word, “Israel” meaning, “God fights.” Spiritual Israelites are, “neither Jew, Greek, slave nor free, neither male nor female – for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:28-29) NOW, Luke’s account of Jesus’ life jumps about twelve years.

 

(Luke 2:41; “Now Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem every year for the feast of the Passover.”) Passover is the fourteenth day of God’s first month, called Nisan or Adar 2, on Israel‘s calendar.” The fifteenth day of God’s first month is the first of seven annual Sabbaths and the twenty first is God’s second of seven annual Sabbaths. The feast of Passover begins the feast of Unleavened Bread. The  event, Jesus and His parents were attending.

 

Only Pentecost of the seven annual Sabbaths comes on a particular day of the week. Pentecost is always on the second day of the week because the count of fifty days is from the Wave Sheaf weekly Sabbath, during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Other annual Sabbaths are counted from the New Moon. (The annual Sabbath falling on the fifteenth day of Nisan or Adar 2, is the Sabbath in question “when they hurriedly buried Jesus before the Sabbath’s beginning.”) Occasionally an annual and weekly Sabbath comes on the same day. Today’s professing Christian establishment caters to the pagan Roman calendar and desires to keep their parishioners blinded to these facts. During Jesus’ millennial kingdom, the whole world will have this knowledge and be obedient to it.

 

(Luke 2:42-52; “When Jesus was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. But when the feast was over, as they were returning home, Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but (because they assumed that Jesus was in their group of travelers) they went a day’s journey. Then they began to look for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. (45) When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for Him. After three days they found Him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. (47) And all who heard Jesus were astonished at His understanding and His answers. When Jesus’ parents saw Him, they were overwhelmed. His mother said to Him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” (49) But Jesus replied, “Why were you looking for Me? Didn’t you know that I must be in My Father’s house?” Yet His parents did not understand the remark He made to them. (51) Then Jesus went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. But His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and with people.”) Perhaps some of what the angel Gabriel had said to Mary had not yet jelled in her mind. 

The Gospel, according to Luke, chapter 2

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

To: God’s family, His church (12/1/18) Kislev 22nd day, 5779, until sunset.

 

Knowing God is to believe IN as He reveals His loving, characteristics. He chooses who He’ll reveal Himself to and work through. If we had no other prophecy than Gabriel’s as spoken to Mary, we’d be Believers IN and know. (a) Gabriel spoke God’s Words. (b) Zachariah, Elizabeth, John and Mary were chosen. (c) Jesus was miraculously fathered by God the Father “Spiritually Begotten” as planned to fulfill all that was written about Him. Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit at conception. (d) Jesus’ linage is from David and heir to the throne of David. (e) Jesus is to reign over the house of Jacob “Israel” forever. (See Galatians 3:29.) It’s gifted knowledge to Believe IN Jesus, be fathered by God the Father and adding to His family.

 

God hides His face from the unbelieving world at large, even leaving His people to themselves when they turn to gods of their imagination. We’re like sheep when our Shepherd isn’t guiding. When left to ourselves we turn to ways, practices and tradition that seems right to our inherited fleshly nature. “When people act as gods to themselves they dishonor God’s truths.” The denomination minded are on the broad way that leads to destruction. (After telling Moses that he would not be allowed to cross the Jordan river, because of his not giving God the glory when giving Israelites water from a rock, God told Moses the Israelites’ future.) (See Deuteronomy 31:18-23; (They will reject Me and break their covenant I made with them. He would be angry, abandon them and hide His face until they were devoured. That disasters and distresses will overcome them so that they will say at that time, ‘disasters overcome us because our God is not among us. “But I will certainly hide Myself at that time because of all the wickedness they will have done by turning to other gods.”)

 

 (God’s face is hid “except from those He chooses to reveal Himself to.) (Since Adam and particularly in this age, in which professing Christians are choosing this world’s traditions over obedience, God is allowing each, go the way that seems right .) Satan becomes the god of all who rely on their intellect. (Except for the few mentioned, like Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Jesus’ followers, this world’s populations have turned to gods of their imaginations.) God has preserved a clear history of the result of people going the way that seems right. History is clear, “God calls whom He chooses.” He chose Noah, Seth and their descendents, up the line to Abraham, through David and Jesus. “The gospel of Jesus Christ and the New Covenant hinges on His promises to Abraham.”

 

Except for the chosen, such as Moses, prophets, Samuel, David and those led to turn Israel away form worshiping at the pagan high places, images and seers: “God hid His face until sending Gabriel to Zachariah.” Revealing John’s birth and that “John” would be as Elijah announcing the Son of God.

John would be given the holy spirit, “fathered by God” before his birth. When Mary visited Elizabeth, she too was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied. After John’s birth and Zachariah writing, “his name is John” Zachariah too was filled with the Holy Spirit. (Remember the word, “Israel” means “God fights” Israel replaces the name Jacob; Israel has the meaning; “a promise and a call for faith.” Thus followers of Jesus are indeed spiritual Israelites. (In essence, the Lord is saying that Jacob would have victory, receive the promises because God would fight for him.)

 

(Luke 1:67-71; “Then John’s father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, because He has come to help and has redeemed His people. For He has raised up a horn of salvation “Jesus” for us in the house of His servant David, as He spoke through the mouth of His holy prophets from long ago, that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us. (Israel was scattered when Zachariah prophesied, another deliverance is what’s spoken of here. (“Being saved from enemies” is like the release Jesus preached in Luke 4:18-19. (Luke’s narrative shows that one of the enemies in view is Satan, cohort false teachers and the grip they have on humanity.) Zachariah’s prophecy continues.

 

(72-74; God has done this to show mercy to our ancestors, and to remember His holy covenant – the oath that He swore to our ancestor Abraham. (Genesis 12:1-3) This oath grants that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, may serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him for as long as we live.”) Zachariah is repeating prophesy the Lord promise  Abraham. (76-80; And you, child, “John” will be called the prophet of the Most High. For you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways, to give His people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. Because of our God’s tender mercy the dawn will break upon us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”) In the power of Elijah, John the Baptist was a prophet, he revealed knowledge of salvation through Jesus and the forgiveness of sins. John grew, became strong in spirit, and was in the wilderness until the day he was revealed to Israel.”) God did the revealing to His chosen, “the Israelites” and those He would make spiritual Israelites, “those He would fights for.” Not everyone was given to understand that John was the prophesied forerunner. (The Pharisees and Sadducees did not come to his defense when Herod had him jailed.) Now we understand, God foreknew “the Baptist has obtained a better city.” As Satan attempted to destroy Moses through an evil ruler, he attempted to destroy Jesus.

 

(Luke 2:1-7; “Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the empire for taxes. This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone went to his own town to be registered. (4) So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David. “Joseph went to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”) It’s demonstrated again here, “what people think weak, God turns to strength.”

 

(Luke 2:8-14; “Now there were shepherds nearby living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. (10) But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people:. “Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, (14) “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased!” ) This prophesied peace on earth is with whom? Who is God pleased with?

 

(Luke 2:15-20; “When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem, “the city of David” and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord has made known to us.” So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger. When they saw Him, they related what they had been told about this child, and all who heard it were astonished at what the shepherds said. But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean. So the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; everything was just as they had been told.”) These shepherds were close by, arriving when Jesus was still in the manger. Telling their experience of angels revealing Jesus’ birth, made them Jesus’ first witnesses.

 

(Luke 2:21-24; “At the end of eight days, when Jesus was circumcised, He was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.”) It’s good for followers of Jesus to be circumcised. Even Jesus’ circumcision looked forward to our being circumcised of heart. That is, “to have our fleshly nature cut back.” (see Deut 10:16) That glorious day is coming when Jesus returns to bring peace to His chosen. See Jesus’ prophecy through Moses regarding Israel’s millennial deliverance to the borders promised Abraham.

 

(Deut 30:5-8; “Then He “Jesus” will bring you to the land your ancestors possessed and you also will possess it; He will do better for you and multiply you more than He did your ancestors. The Lord your God will also cleanse “circumcise” your heart and the hearts of your descendants so that you may love Him with all your mind and being and so that you may live. Then the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies, on those who hate you and persecute you. You will return and obey the Lord, keeping all His commandments I am giving you today.”) “That you may love Him? Until our hearts are miraculously cleansed by God, we aren’t able to love Him. At 1John 4:19; We’re taught “we love His because He first loved us.”

 

(Luke 2:22-24; “Now when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (Just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male will be set apart to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is specified in the law of the Lord, a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”) Though spirit begotten, “fathered by God” Jesus experienced a fleshly life, born under the law that He Himself authored. Jesus always had a submissive attitude toward His Father and the laws of His own making. (See John 1:1-5, Colossians 1:15-20 & Heb 1:) Jesus inspired Jeremiah’s prophecies.

 

(Jer 4:4; “Just as ritual circumcision cuts away the foreskin as an external symbol of dedicated covenant commitment, you must genuinely dedicate yourselves to the Lord and get rid of everything that hinders your commitment to Me, people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. If you do not, My anger will blaze up like a flaming fire against you that no one will be able to extinguish. That will happen because of the evil you have done.”) Fleshly people in general, have never understood the real meaning of circumcision. Jesus’ gospel and New Covenant is about our being fathered by God and inheriting a nature like Jesus‘. Paul understood and reveals how we should be yielded to Jesus. How we should reflect a cleansing “a circumcision” of the heart. We’ll start there next study if God be willing.