For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan. The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:1-2)
As we begin another Christmas season, let’s review exactly what the Lord’s arrival on Earth has done for us. It’ll help us remember the reason for the season and rekindle our joy in the midst of all the hustle and bustle.
Every year at Thanksgiving I’m reminded of the holiday’s origin, the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. It was the crowning event in Israel’s cycle of fall feasts that also included Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It was a celebration of the harvest, of God’s mercy in forgiving their sins for another year, and a remembrance of the time when He lived among them in the wilderness, setting them apart as His people.
Because we’re adults, we think we’re pretty responsible. We have ourselves convinced that by and large we do the “right thing.” But sub-consciously we’re still governed by something called the “want to vs. have to” principle. Here’s what that means.
Recently I’ve been asked about witnessing to “unsaved believers” as one writer called them. I usually refer to them as Christians-in-name-only. They call themselves Christians and do some things that make them appear to be Christians. They go to Church, make regular contributions, sign up for volunteer service projects, even teach Sunday School, but they’re not born again. Being born again means you know you’re a sinner in need of a savior. You believe Jesus died for all your sins and have asked Him to be your Savior. According to Jesus, people who are not born again will be denied entrance into the Kingdom (John 3:3) no matter how “good” they’ve been on Earth.
So, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. (Phil 3:13-16)
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:11-15)
The Feast of Tabernacles takes place each year beginning five days after Yom Kippur and lasts for over a week. Adherents to tradition make a shelter in their back yard of branches and leaves decorating it with fruit and vegetables to commemorate the time when the Lord dwelt with them in the wilderness. Then they at least take their meals in the shelter and perhaps spend a night or two as well. For this reason Tabernacles is sometimes called the Feast of Booths.
Q. Do you believe there could have been a pre-Adamite civilization and if you don’t would you say why false teachers cling to this? I found some sites that give compelling reasons for its existence, but I have also found sites that come down hard on this teaching. Could you please share your thoughts?
Q. An issue which bothers me is this, I know Jesus was conceived by a virgin. How then is he being linked in genealogy to Abraham and David if Joseph is not his father. Joseph, husband to Mary is also listed in this genealogy as giving legitimacy to the fact that Jesus as a man is a descendant of Abraham. It does not challenge my faith but it keeps on popping up as a question in my mind. Probably the devil trying to twist me around to doubt my faith. What can you say about it.
Q. There is something I want to ask my own church Minister, but never remember to when I see him.
In Mathew chapter 1 verses 1-17 it gives: The book of the generations of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham, showing that Jesus is a descendant of David. Mathew must have known that Joseph was the step-father of Jesus and therefore Jesus could not be a descendant of David through Joseph.
I think that I heard or read somewhere, many years ago, that Mary was also a descendant of David, but do not know if this is true. Is it mentioned anywhere in the Bible? I have not been able to find it.
Q. What, in your opinion, was the content/nature of the seven thunders in the book of Revelation, that John was forbidden to record. The events of Revelation are quite terrifying. What could possibly be worse, so much so that the nature/content of the seven thunders is kept secret?
Q. Thank you so much for being a continued source of reference.
I was in a conversation today with a gnostic and asked him what his point of view was on scripture. After some discussion he tried to tell me that there are inaccuracies in scripture. One of the things he brought up was that the “cast the first stone” story from John 8 wasn’t in the original mms and was added by the Catholic church as part of a conspiracy later. I told him that I was aware that it wasn’t in the older copies of John, but was in the older copies of Luke (which is how I understand it) He didn’t seem to believe that. I then told him that 2 Timothy 3:16 says that scripture is God breathed and that God would not allow His word to be corrupted to which he just replied “yeah, but it was.” Can you offer any more ammunition other than just knowing that he’s clinging to his a prior mind set regardless of the evidence presented?
Q. I am sure you must know about some churches which do not permit wearing gold or ornaments. Can you please explain this belief to me as to where it came from and if its actually true or not…..Can you give me some scriptural references along with it too.
Q. I am a little confused about this bit of the commentary on the fourth chapter of Revelation:
In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” (Rev. 4:6-8) These are the four cherubim who guard the throne of God.
In the beginning there were five, but their leader betrayed both them and his trust, rebelling against God and causing the introduction of a second will in the universe. We call him by his primary activity, Satan, (it means accuser in Hebrew) but in Ezekiel 28:14 he’s called “the anointed cherub.”
Where did you get your information for this statement? I have looked in the word and I haven’t seen anything, I might be looking in the wrong place. Could you help?