The angel said to me, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:30-33
The angel said to me, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”Luke 1:30-33
Let’s take just a moment to look beyond the controversy over when the Lord came and focus on why He came. I think Isaiah gave us the best explanation the Bible offers. What follows is my adaptation of Isaiah 53.
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.
Q. You say in your answer, “By definition a temptation has to be desirable to the person being tempted.” Is it not also a desire to do something that we know is wrong? I understand that when we are being tempted we have a desire in our heart to sin in some way.
I understand from the verses on anger and lust that our hearts can sin even if we don’t act on it and the temptation to sin begins with our heart’s evil desire. With that in mind I too don’t understand how Jesus was tempted in all ways-just as we are and yet was without sin? (Hebrews 4:15)
Q. I have two questions. My first question; in the book of Genesis God says that He would no longer contend with the spirit of man forever and He says that man’s life would be 12o years. Clearly after He said that man lived past that number, so what did He mean?
My second question; in Acts 1:7 Jesus says, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” I know that Jesus also admonishes us to be able to discern the seasons and even rebukes the pharisees for being able to discern the weather but not the season of His then coming and His return in these last days. Can you help me understand and could you put this in context for me?
Q. I had a question on prayer. Does prayer change God’s mind? Or is God changed by prayer? According to Hosea 11:8b it says, “My heart is changed within me. All my compassion is aroused.” Indicating that God changed his mind. Or King Hezekiah when the LORD extended his life 15 years in 2 Kings 20. Also, in James 5:16b it says, “the prayer of a righteous man availeth much…”
On the contrary, in 1 Samuel 15:29 it says “Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; He is not a man that He should change His mind.” Also in Malachi 3:6 says “I the LORD do not change.” And somewhere, I couldn’t find where, it says that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
So I was just wondering if you could help me seek truth with respect to God changing His mind through prayer.
Q. I heard from somebody a while back that “Satan is a created being and can only be at one place at one time, like ourselves. Is it possible for Satan to actually “indwell” in a person? Because of my faith in Jesus, I know that He is with us and indwells in us always, but I thought that He and the Holy Spirit were the only ones capable of “indwelling” anybody.
Q. Heb. 4:15 Says that Jesus was tempted in all ways. Was this the same temptation we experience? If I understand correctly He had no sin nature as we do, so how was it like our temptation? I’m not being contrary I just want to understand.
Q. I have just read in one of your answers that we are not expected to understand the Trinity, but just to believe it. Could you tell me where in the bible I can find the requirement to believe in the Trinity?
Q. What about a person who once believed in Christ fervently, but now has turned away from Him completely? Where it is no longer just a question of broken fellowship because of some present pet sin or weakness, but the person now believes Christianity is all a “sham”, and that they had been previously deluded? (I know such a person) Would not Heb 6 apply here? Does God have responsibility to save such a person who now wants no part of Him, and actively rails against Him? What about the IF of Col 1:23 “IF ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel…” That seems to indicate a condition to me…a condition that one continue in the faith…that is CONTINUE to BELIEVE…what if one no longer continues to believe in Christ?
Q. I have a friend who has begun the study of Revelation with her husband and she asked if I had any material to help them understand it better. I printed out your complete study on the book. It’s the best that I have read.
As a result of my friends interest it has prompted me to “re-study” it and I do have a question concerning Chapter 17 where the woman on the beast is revealed, it says the beast was scarlet. What is the implication of it being this color?