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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Christmas Devotion:Christmas Story (Luke – 4)

The following is a very popular blog series that was originally posted in 2011.   In this series we took a verse by verse look at the Christmas Story.  For those new to SIH blog may you enjoy this  visit to the Biblical account of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  For those who are long time followers of SIH blog, may these truths be renewed in your hearts and minds.                     ———————————————————-

Here is the conclusion of our verse by verse study of the birth of Christ.  In this blog entry, we will be looking at the conclusion of the account from Luke…

Part #1 – Luke 1:26-38

Part #2 – Luke 1:39-56

Part #3 – Luke 2:1-20

Part #4 – Luke 2:21-40

THE SCRIPTURE:

Luke 2:21-40

THE STUDY:

And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

It was Jewish tradition for a child to be circumcised at eight days after birth.  This circumcision was a visible proof that the child was a part of the Jewish nation.  The child officially received his name at the time of circumcision.  In this case, the baby was named Jesus, “Jehovah our freedom” or “Jehovah our salvation” just as the angel had said.

And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

The ceremony described here had two basic parts to it:

  1. The law of purification applied to the mother of any newborn male child.  This time lasted for a total of 40 days (Lev 12:2-4).  The principle behind the need for this purification was because the woman had brought another man into this world. The male was looked upon as responsible for sin entering this world, and therefore the mother needed to be “purified”.  (Roms 5:12, 19)
  2. Also, a part of this ceremony was to bring to remembrance God’s grace in delivering the Israelites from the Egyptian captivity. (Exo 13:12).   This was done by separating the young child to the service of God.

The offering of animals was a key ingredient to this ceremony.

And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

A Godly priest, Simeon, was waiting for the coming of the Messiah.  Here, the Messiah is described as “the Consolation” or “the Comforter” of Israel.  He would be the One who would bear the sin burdens of His people, giving them rest and peace in the midst of a sinful world.

And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Once again, we see the Spirit revealing to man the true identity of the baby.  When Christ was presented to Simeon, he immediately recognized Him as both Savior of the people of Israel and a light that would open the sin blinded eyes of the Gentiles.

And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

Joseph and Mary were amazed at Simeon’s declaration about the Christ child.

And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

Simeon spoke to Mary saying that the Jewish people would, at first during His earthly ministry, reject Him as their Messiah (the fall), but later as the gospel message spread, would come to a saving knowledge of Him  (the rising again).  His miraculous life would be a sign of His true identity as Messiah and God, which many people would verbally ridicule.

Mary, as she would watch her child being crucified would suffer as if a sword has passed through her.  This same crucifixion would reveal what was in the hearts of men.

And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.  And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Anna, a woman used of God to reveal His word, who was an older lady of at least 84 years,  but perhaps as many as 100+ years old.  She so frequented the temple that it was as if she lived there for most of her waking hours.  During this her time at the temple she was fasting and in prayer.  She, too recognized the baby as Christ and then thanked the Lord and then began telling others about the Messiah that had come.

And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

Joseph and Mary stayed at Jerusalem until all of the demands of the ceremonial law had been met, and then they went back to their home in Nazareth.  It was there that Christ grew physically and emotionally as He showed an incredible knowledge of His Word and the application of it.

It is very difficult to understand how Christ, who was God Himself, could grow physically and emotionally,  but this was all a part of His humanity.

Throughout Christ’s young life it was obvious that the Lord’s presence and blessings were upon Him in a very special way; hence the phrase “and the grace of God was upon Him.”  The word “grace” is from a Greek word meaning “gifts”, “favors” or “benefits”.

This concludes our study of the story of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

The Virgin Birth Proclaimed By Gabriel…

Luke 1:35 (KJV)  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

The Historical Record of Christ’s Birth Explained (Series On SIH Blog): http://wp.me/pU88A-1Ie

Christmas Devotion:Christmas Story (Luke – 3)

The following is a very popular blog series that was originally posted in 2011.   In this series we took a verse by verse look at the Christmas Story.  For those new to SIH blog may you enjoy this  visit to the Biblical account of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  For those who are long time followers of SIH blog, may these truths be renewed in your hearts and minds.                     ———————————————————-

Here is part #3 of our series on Christ’s birth from Luke.

Part #1 – Luke 1:26-38

Part #2 – Luke 1:39-56

Part #3 – Luke 2:1-20

Part #4 – Luke 2:21-40

THE SCRIPTURE:

Luke 2:1-20

THE STUDY:

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

Caesar Augustus was the ruler of the Roman Empire.  Israel was a part of that empire.  Augustus desired to tax the people of Israel, but before he levied the tax upon them, he wanted to count them.  Every male head of the family was to return to his ancestral hometown, with his family, to be counted in the taxation census.

Cyrenius was the Roman ruler over the area of Syria, just as Herod was the Roman ruler over the area of Israel.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

Joseph, out of necessity, returned to his hometown of Bethlehem, bringing with him his pregnant wife Mary.  King David was from Bethlehem, and Joseph was a descendent of David.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should 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.

During their stay in Bethlehem, Mary gives birth to the Christ.  Die to the great number of people ascending upon Bethlehem (all the male descendants of King David) there was no room for Joseph and Mary in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

The shepherds had their flocks in the field overnight.  In Israel, the night temperature was warm enough to keep the flocks in the field only in late spring through early fall (approx. May-Sept).  Probably, the time of Christ’s birth was not in late December, but much earlier in the year.

Why, then, do we observe His birth in late December?  This is simply a tradition of man that is not sanctioned by God.  The Catholic church began to celebrate His birth at this time of year to try to attract the Pagan worshippers who were observing the winter solstice at this time of year.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

The angel of the Lord (perhaps Gabriel) appeared to the shepherds and delivered to them a message from the Lord.   God’s presence (the person of the Holy Spirit) was clearly seen among the shepherds as they were given this message.   This same Holy Spirit enabled them to understand and submit to the coming of Christ.

The angel’s message was a joyous message telling of the coming of the Messiah, Christ the Lord.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

After the angels leave, the shepherds decide to make the trip to Bethlehem to see the baby Messiah.

Again, notice the faith of the shepherds willing to make this trip based on no proof except God’s message to them. They did not doubt the message, they said “let us now go… and see this thing…”.  They did not say “let’s go and see if the message is true.”

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

After visiting the child, they next began to tell others about Him.  In the same way, we first must hear the word of God, and then come to the Savior; and once we meet the Savior, we then are to tell others about Him.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

The message of shepherds was met with amazement by their listeners.  Mary, however, reflected on the message of the angels, all the events that had taken place, and the message of the shepherds.  Her  faith allowed her to accept all these things without astonishment and unbelief.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

The shepherds continued to tell of their experiences to all who would hear them.

We will conclude our study from the book of Luke in the next blog entry: Luke 2:21-40

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

The Virgin Birth Proclaimed By Mary….

Luke 1:31-34 (KJV)  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

The Historical Record of Christ’s Birth Explained (Series On SIH Blog): http://wp.me/pU88A-1I9

Christmas Devotion:Christmas Story (Luke – 2)

The following is a very popular blog series that was originally posted in 2011.   In this series we took a verse by verse look at the Christmas Story.  For those new to SIH blog may you enjoy this  visit to the Biblical account of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  For those who are long time followers of SIH blog, may these truths be renewed in your hearts and minds.                     ———————————————————-

Our four part study of Christ’s birth in the book of Luke continues with part #2.

Part #1 – Luke 1:26-38

Part #2 – Luke 1:39-56

Part #3 – Luke 2:1-20

Part #4 – Luke 2:21-40

THE SCRIPTURE:

Luke 1:39-56

THE STUDY:

And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.

Elizabeth was Mary’s cousin.  The angel had told Mary about John the Baptist’s conception in the womb of once barren Elizabeth (Lk 1:36).  A now pregnant Mary, acting on faith, makes the trip to Elisabeth’s house, anxious to hear about Elizabeth’s pregnancy and upcoming birth.

And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb;

At the sound of Mary’s voice, the baby moved suddenly in Elizabeth’s womb.  Remember, one of ohn the Baptist’s greatest duties was to announce the coming of the Messiah to earth. (Luke 1:76-79) Here, we see John the Baptist announcing the presence of Christ in the room as Mary entered.  This was the first of many occasions where he would announce the arrival of the Lord.

How did an unborn child (John) recognize the presence of Christ in the womb of Mary?  It was through the divine enabling of the Holy Spirit who had filled John while in his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15)

(Please note that even an unborn child is capable of fulfilling a God given ministry.  This speaks to the personhood and significance of the unborn child.  No one should say that an unborn child is simply a part of their mother’s body and does not have life in and of himself.)

and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.  And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

Now we see The Holy Spirit filling Elizabeth, which in turn gives her the ability to prophesy.  Through the Spirit, due to the movement of John, she understands that within Mary’s womb was the Christ child. Elizabeth, describes the baby in Mary’s womb as “my Lord”, again this emphasizes the life and personhood of the unborn child.

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

Mary’s great desire was to glorify her God for all that He had done for her.  Note she recognized His grace to her, giving her what she did not deserve “he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden”.  This was her motive for giving Him all the glory.  The more we recognize His grace in our lives, the more we see the need to glorify Him as well.

For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

She began to recount His greatness:

  1. He is mighty
  2. He does great things
  3. Holy is His name
  4. He is merciful
  5. He blesses those that fear Him
  6. He  is strong
  7. He punishes the proud
  8. He humbles the mighty
  9. He fills the hungry
  10. He keeps satisfaction from the rich
  11. He helps Israel
  12. He speaks to His people

And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

Mary then remains with Elizabeth before making the journey back to her home.

We will continue our study in the next blog entry: Luke 2:1-20

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

The Virgin Birth: Proclaimed By The Prophets…

Matt 1:22-23 (KJV)  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

The Historical Record of Christ’s Birth Explained (Series On SIH Blog): http://wp.me/pU88A-1I5

See you in 2013!

Christmas Vacation Notice 2012

Christmas Devotion: Christmas Story (Luke – 1)

The following is a very popular blog series that was originally posted in 2011.   In this series we took a verse by verse look at the Christmas Story.  For those new to SIH blog may you enjoy this  visit to the Biblical account of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  For those who are long time followers of SIH blog, may these truths be renewed in your hearts and minds.                     ———————————————————-

We will now continue our look at the birth of Christ by turning to the account in Luke.  We’ll be breaking up our study into four parts:

Part #1 – Luke 1:26-38

Part #2 – Luke 1:39-56

Part #3 – Luke 2:1-20

Part #4 – Luke 2:21-40

Today, we will start with part number one.

THE SCRIPTURE:

Luke 1:26-38

THE STUDY:

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

The angel Gabriel is used by the Lord to deliver the message to Mary.  Perhaps, Gabriel is the “Angel of the Lord” talked about in the Matthew account of Christ’s birth (Matt 1:20,24, 2:13,19)  Gabriel was also used by the Lord to deliver the Lord’s message to Daniel (Dan 8:16. 9:21)

To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

The espousal was a legally binding promise to marry.  At this point in time, Mary and Joseph had promised to marry but they had not taken the vows nor had they consummated their relationship.

The word “virgin” here is from a Greek word that can mean three different ideas…“a maiden” or “an unmarried daughter” or “a woman who did not have relations with a man”.  How do we know which meaning is meant here? Context dictates the true meaning.

Contextually there are at least, three different proofs that Mary had never had relations with a man:

  1. Luke 1:34 – Mary’s response makes it clear that Mary had never had relations with a man.
  2. Matt 1:21-25 We are clearly told that her pregnancy was the result of the Lord’s divine intervention, this is why Joseph did not break the espousal agreement.
  3. Isa 7:14 – This prophecy was fulfilled by Mary’s pregnancy, it was a miraculous sign from God.

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Here Gabriel tells Mary three different ideas:

  1. she was highly favoured – Lord had chosen to use her in a special way uncommon among  other women
  2. Lord was with her – Lord’s presence was with her in a special way
  3. She was blessed among all women – Lord had chosen to show her a measure of grace above that of other women.

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

This greeting disturbed her, at this point she did not understand what would take place in her life.

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

The angel calms Mary’s fears and then explained how the Lord would show her a special blessing above that of other women.  She would conceive and then give birth to a son.  This son would be named “Jesus” which means “Jehovah is our freedom”, “Jehovah is our salvation”  He would be both God and Savior of His people.

He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Truths about this God, and Savior…

  1. shall be great – Christ would be “High One” or One who is over all creation
  2. shall be called Son of Highest – He would be recognized as Son of Jehovah God
  3. Father will give Him David’s throne – God would give Him authority to rule over Israel of God (Gals 6:16)
  4. shall reign over house of Jacob eternally – His rule over Israel would be an eternal rule
  5. shall be no end to his kingdom – His rule is not limited to that of the Israel of God but over all mankind (Phil 2:10-11)

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

Gen 4:1 “knew” – intimate relations.  She knew she had never had relations this is why she was so confused.  How could she ever become pregnant? This is a proof that she had never had relations with a man.

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

The answer the angel gives to her is in direct response to her concern about how a virgin can become pregnant… Through the power of God the Father, and through the intervention of the Holy Ghost, Mary would conceive a child who would be the very Son of God.

And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.

To prove that this was a message from God and to prove that this miraculous act could be accomplished,  the angel points to another miracle, the conception of John the Baptist in the womb of barren Elisabeth.

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Mary shows her faith in the Lord and his word by submitting to His will and believing these miracles would be done.

In our next blog entry we will continue this series by looking at Luke 1:39-56

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Coming In 2013 …

The Virgin Birth: Proclaimed By The Angel

Matt 1:20 (KJV)  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

The Historical Record of Christ’s Birth Explained (Series On SIH Blog): http://wp.me/pU88A-1I0

A Christmas Devotion: The Christmas Story Explained Part 2

The following is a very popular blog series that was originally posted in 2011.   In this series we took a verse by verse look at the Christmas Story.  For those new to SIH blog may you enjoy this  visit to the Biblical account of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  For those who are long time followers of SIH blog, may these truths be renewed in your hearts and minds.                     ———————————————————-

Here is part number two of our study of the birth of Christ as we find it in the book of Matthew.  If you remember, we had divided up the Matthew passages into two parts:

Part #1 – Matthew 1:18-2:10

Part #2 – Matthew 2:11-23

THE SCRIPTURE:

Matthew 2:11-23

THE STUDY:

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

The identity of this star is up to much debate ranging from the planet Jupiter, to an alignment of planets, or perhaps a comet or meteor.  Different scientists and scholars hold to different views.

One thing, I think, is important to remember… it was possible for the Lord to miraculous create a light in the sky to lead His people.  Remember the “pillar of fire” that led the children of Israel through the wilderness? (Exo 13:21, 14:24, Num 14:14, Neh 9:12 etc.) Could it be that this star was a miraculous act of God prepared exclusively for this one time showing to lead men to Christ?

And when they were come into the house,

Note they come into “the house” not into the stable.  Joseph, Mary and the Baby were no longer in the stable by the time the wise men arrived at Bethlehem.  Most people believe that it took as long as 1-2 years for the wise men to travel from Persia to Bethlehem.  Keep in mind, Herod’s decree was to kill all babies 2 years and under.  Why two years?  Could it be that was approximately how long the star had been appearing in the sky?  And that was how long it took for the wise men to travel from the east?

they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

At the sight of the baby, the wise men kneel down in submission to Him… a sign of their belief in God’s prophecies and the baby being the Christ, their King.  The gifts that were given to Christ was significant.  In the Bible, many times gold is symbolic of kings (Dan 3:1).   Frankincense was used as incense for worship picturing our communion with God (prayers arising to God from earth – Ex 30:34)   The myrrh was used for the embalming of dead bodies (John 19:39).   These gifts teach us that the baby was a King, who was sinless having perfect communion with His Father, and he would taste death for His people.

And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

The wise men then departed to their country (probably Persia), being careful not to go through Jerusalem where Herod lived.  You can see where the Lord gave them wisdom to understand the true person of Christ and to see through the motives of Herod.

And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

God the Father continued to care for Jesus and His family by warning them of the decree of Herod.  Probably this was the same angel that had appeared to Joseph in Matthew 1:20.

When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

From Bethlehem they went to Egypt, trying to escape from the decree Herod had issued.  This was in fulfillment of the prophecy (probably Hosea 11:1.)

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

Herod’s decree is issued and heinous death of infants resulted… this was in fulfillment of the prophecy found in Jeremiah 31:15.

But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.

Again, the Lord, through His angel,  directs the lives of this family by telling them to return to Israel at the death of Herod.

And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:

They return to Israel.  But Joseph would not enter into the province of Judaea because Herod’s son had now taken the throne of his father.  The Lord then directs them to the province of Galilee through the use of a dream.  Please notice how God had gone before this young family every step of the way, leading and guiding them, always for their protection and safety.

And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

They settled in the town of Nazareth which was Mary’s home town (Luke 1:26).  This would be the fulfillment of the prophecy found in Isa 53:2-3.  Nazareth was a despised city, those who were citizens were looked down upon (John 1:46).  By Christ being given the title Nazarene, he was being looked down upon and rejected by many, just as Isaiah 53:2-3 prophetically described Him.

Please note that in the account of Christ’s birth in Matthew, we find prophecies of His origins to range from He came from Bethlehem, He came out of Egypt and He would be called a Nazarene.  Before Christ’s coming to the earth, NO ONE could have reconciled these passages.  It looked as if He was going to be born in 3 different locations!  However, once He came to the earth and lived His life, all three of these prophecies made perfect sense.

It is much the same with futuristic prophecies for us today.  Great care needs to be taken thinking that we have all the events of the future figured out.  Until these events actually take place, none of us can say for certain, exactly what the future holds for us.

We will continue our study of the Christmas story by looking at the account from the book of Luke in our next blog entry.

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

The Virgin Birth : Proclaimed In The Word

Matt 1:18 (KJV)  Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

The Historical Record of Christ’s Birth Explained (Series On SIH Blog): http://wp.me/pU88A-1HS

A Christmas Devotion: The Christmas Story Explained Part 1

The following is a very popular blog series that was originally posted in 2011.   In this series we took a verse by verse look at the Christmas Story.  For those new to SIH blog may you enjoy this  visit to the Biblical account of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  For those who are long time followers of SIH blog, may these truths be renewed in your hearts and minds.                     ———————————————————-

With the commercialized Christmas season upon us, I thought it would be good to remind us of the birth of Christ.  Over the next several postings we will be looking at both the account of His birth we find in Matthew and, later, the one that is found in Luke.

I’m going to break up our Matthew study into two parts:

Part #1 – Matthew 1:18-2:7

Part #2 – Matthew 2:8-23

THE SCRIPTURE:

Matthew 1:18-2:10

THE STUDY:

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

An espousal is a legally binding engagement.  Back in the NT times, when the couple made it public knowledge that they are intending marriage, they became legally responsible to be faithful to one another.  Although they were not yet actually married, nor did they have marital relations; the law said they had entered into a legally binding agreement, and were to be held accountable if the did not uphold that agreement.

Mary, becomes pregnant during this time of espousal.  Therefore, in the eyes of the law, she appeared to be guilty of adultery, even though she was not yet married to her husband to be, Joseph.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

Although not married, according to the espousal law, Joseph was her husband.  Therefore, if he did not intend to go through with the marriage he must give legal grounds and have her “put away” (ie do away with his legal obligation to marry her – in other words, he was legally severing the espousal contract.)  However, because he still loved her, he did not want to put her to shame by using a public meeting to sever the espousal contract.  He opted for a private meeting with the city elders to sever the contract instead.

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

The identity of this “angel of the Lord” isn’t specified in Scripture.  Some believe it is the same “angel of the Lord” that is talked about in the OT scriptures (Gen 16:7, 22:11, Ex 3:2, Num 22:22 etc).  Others believe this is a more generic term that is used for any angel that does the bidding of the Lord on the earth.  The identity of this angel is not of great significance to our story.  What is important is his message to Joseph…

  1. Fear not to go ahead with the marriage to Mary
  2. Mary has conceived through divine intervention of the Holy Spirit, she has not been unfaithful to you.
  3. She will give birth to a son
  4. You will call Mary’s son “Jesus”
  5. The reason for this name is to reveal His person and one of the purposes of His coming… – Jesus means “Jehovah is our freedom” or “Jehovah is salvation” .  In other words, in this one name “Jesus”, we learn that this baby would be God Himself (Jehovah), who would bring freedom from our sins (salvation)

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

This is a prophecy found in Isa 7:14.  Here the name Emmanuel is Hebrew for “God with Us”.  When Joseph gave the baby the name “Jesus” the same truth was brought forth.  He was Jehovah (or God) with us.

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Joseph, by faith, accepted the message of the angel and then changed his plans to obey the angel.  This was true faith at work!   Every human indication was that Mary was unfaithful to him, but based on the message from God, Joseph chose to marry her, trusting the truthfulness of God’s message.

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king,

“Bethlehem” is from the Hebrew language.  It means “House of Bread”.  This is the birthplace of Christ. Who is self described as the “bread of life” (John 6:32-51).  Truly, Bethlehem is the “house of bread”!

Herod, this was a family name.  There were many individuals who carried the name of “Herod”.  This man, in the account of Christ’s birth, was a man commonly referred to as “Herod the Great” or “Herod the first” or “Herod the Ascalonite”.

behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

The wise men were religious priests from Persia.  By their words and actions, we can see that they were acquainted with teachings about a coming King of the Jews.  Also, they were familiar with the role of the star (perhaps from Nums 24:17).  They had a submissive attitude toward this coming King, they were coming to worship Him and bring Him gifts, even though they were not Jewish but of Persian descent.   All of this seems to indicate it is possible they were actually worshippers and servants of Jehovah.

There is nothing in Scripture to indicate these men were currently practicing “astrologers” nor “mystics” nor “seers”.  It is much more likely they were highly educated scientists studying the heavens (astronomers).  The other possibility was that these men were reformed “astrologers” who were no longer practiced the sinful craft.  Keep in mind, these men appear to be in submission to Jehovah and His Christ.  It is this same Jehovah that makes it clear that astrology and mysticism is sinful and should not be pursued. (see my blog entry “Ask the stars… they will tell you”)

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

Herod, the current “King” of the Jews, was concerned at the news another “King of the Jews” was to be born.  This troubled him, so he gathered together his religiously educated counselors to find out more information.

And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

The counselors quote to Herod the prophecy found in Micah 5:2, which tells of Bethlehem as the birthplace of the coming ruler of Israel.   This Bethlehem was a very small village in the province of Judah (the southern portion of Israel).  That is why it is described as “the least” among the towns (princes) of Judah.

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

Herod would use this information to calculate an estimate of the Messiah’s age, as He sent forth His decree to slay all infants two years and under (Matt 2:16).

And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

Herod had no intention of worshipping Christ, he wanted to kill the Christ child.  Here, we see his deceit and his attempt to use the wise men for his own evil purposes.

To  be continued in part #2 of our study which includes Matthew 2:8-23.

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

“The Old Testament Promise Of Christ” Series (12)

The Old Testament Promises Of Christ (Summary Of Our Study)

John 1:45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

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May The Lord Graciously Heal Our Country…

Sandy Hook Tragedy

“The OT Promise Of Christ (12)”

Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write

In our series we have seen clearly that Jesus (in His life, death and future coming to the earth) has (and will) completely, and exclusively, fulfilled the Old Testament promises of the coming Messiah.  But what does this mean for each and every one of us?  Of what relevance does this truth hold for us?  Let’s take a few moments to consider the importance of the knowledge we have gained throughout this study…

THE SCRIPTURES:

John 1:45
45) Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

John 5:39-47
39) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40) And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
41) I receive not honour from men.
42) But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
43) I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
44) How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that [cometh] from God only?
45) Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is [one] that accuseth you, [even] Moses, in whom ye trust.
46) For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
47) But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF THIS ENTIRE STUDY:

After looking at many of the various Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, we can come to a much fuller understanding of Philip’s statement that is made in John 1:45…

Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
What a wonderful declaration on the part of Philip, unmistakably revealing to His brother that Jesus was the true promised Messiah.

The importance of that knowledge is described in John 5:39-47, which contains the teachings of our Lord concerning His true identity.…

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” 
Jesus tells us of the importance of seeking to find out His true identity, which is the key to the receipt of eternal life. He specifically points to the “Scriptures” (Old Testament text) as the source of truth for us to come to an appropriate understanding of His person and work. (Acts 8:32-35)

And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life, I receive not honour from men.  But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

In this discourse, Jesus is speaking to those who have never come to a saving knowledge of Him.  (John 5:343, John 6:37-40, John 11:25-26)

He characterizes them as:
1.  not coming to Him
2.  not possessing (spiritual) life
3.  not honoring Him.
4. not having love of God

All of which are clear indications that they were in a sinful, unforgiven, and spiritually dead condition (John 3:19, John 12:37-41, Matt 23:37).  He knew the true condition of their hearts.  Although they may not recognize their own spiritual condition, He did.

I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” 
Because of their spiritual condition, they were bent towards rejecting the true Messiah and easily misled to follow a false prophet.  This is the condition of all lost mankind. It is only through the revelation of the Bible, in concert with the intervention of the Holy Spirit, that their spiritually blindness can be overcome (John 8:28-29, John 17:4-6, Heb 5:4-5, Matt 24:5,24) .

How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that [cometh] from God only?” 
A mark of those who are false prophets from God is a desire to receive man’s honor and praise without desiring to glorify and please God in their lives. These perverted desires come from the reign of their sinful flesh over their thoughts and intents of their heart. (Matt 23:5, Phil 2:3, 1 Cor 4:5)

Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is [one] that accuseth you, [even] Moses, in whom ye trust.” 
Christ will not have to accuse the lost before the Father, the word of God will be testimony enough to condemn them to eternal punishment.  They are held directly responsible for receiving His word and then following it.  If they do not take heed to the revelation about Jesus they will be held accountable by God the Father.  (Rom 3:19-20, Rom 7:9-14)

For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.  But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
If someone believes the OT scripture then, based upon it’s revelation about Christ, they must believe Christ and His Words as well.  Why is this?  Because the OT undoubtedly reveals Christ as the Messiah sent from God with His message to do His works.  The Messiah of the OT is the God sent Prophet, Priest and King coming to save his people from their sins. (Gal 3:10, Gal 3:24, Luke 16:27-31)

For what purpose was this study? It was to, unquestioningly, reveal Jesus as the fulfillment of the OT promises of the Messiah and show each one of us our need of salvation.  That salvation is given through the grace of God as He intervenes in our life, gracing us with the ability to turn from our sins and place our faith in Him as our Lord and Savior.

May the Lord bless our study of His Word.

If you have any questions about salvation you are welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation and important truths about salvation.

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage –

“The Old Testament Promise Of The Christ” Series (11)

The Messiah Would Be “The Desire Of All Nations….”

Hag 2:6-9  For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it [is] a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry [land]; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.  The silver [is] mine, and the gold [is] mine, saith the LORD of hosts.  The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.

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“The OT Promise Of Christ (11)”

The Desire Of All Nations

I thought it would be appropriate for the last part of our study to look at the OT promise that the Messiah would be “The Desire Of All Nations”.  After looking at some of the Messianic prophecies of Christ, we have seen demonstrated that He is the source of all blessings of forgiveness, justice, righteousness and peace that this world will ever possess.  No wonder the Bible tells us that He is to be desired by all His people throughout the world.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Hag 2:6-9
6) For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it [is] a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry [land];
7) And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.
8) The silver [is] mine, and the gold [is] mine, saith the LORD of hosts.
9) The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.

Isa 25:9
9) And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this [is] our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this [is] the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Luke 2:10-11
10) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Rom 8:19-25
19) For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20) For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope,
21) Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22) For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23) And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.
24) For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25) But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].

Gal 3:6-9
6) Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7) Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8) And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, [saying], In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9) So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Titus 2:11-14
11) For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

2Pet 3:11-14
11) [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,
12) Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14) Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

Rev 22:20
20) He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

THE STUDY:

Before we begin our study, I think it is important to understand what is meant by the title “Desire’.  In the Haggai 2 text, “Desire” carries with it the ideas of longing, value and satisfaction.

In other words, when Haggai 2 calls the coming Messiah “The Desire of all Nations”, it is saying that His people found in all the nations of the world would long for His coming.  Why would His coming be so greatly desired?  It is because He would be very valuable to them as the only One able to fulfill their every need.  It would only be through Him that they would find total, and complete, satisfaction.

Let’s take a look at this wonderful OT prophecy that declares His great value to all the nations of the world.

THE PROPHECY:

Luke 2:10-11   &   Gal 3:6-9
In Luke 2:10-11, the announcement of Jesus’s birth, is described as “good tidings” (pleasing news) that will bring great joy to all people… And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.Why is this the source of such great joy and desire?  Because it would be through the Messiah (Christ) (and his work on the cross at His first coming), that allows individuals of all nations to find salvation from their sins.  This is why, at His first coming, He was the “desire of all nations”.

Another OT prophecy of the Messiah is mentioned by Paul in Galatians, in this prophecy the Messiah’s birth into the world is said to result in all the nations being blessed, again this is referring to His death on the cross allowing salvation of both Jew and Gentile… “…And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, [saying], In thee shall all nations be blessed.

In this text, it is emphasized that the blessing that is poured out upon individuals results in their entrance into the spiritual, eternal nation of Israel… “So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Hag 2:6-9   &   2 Pet 3:11-14
In this Haggai prophecy of the second coming of the Messiah, we find Him being described as the “Desire of all Nations”. .. “I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts….” In 2 Peter we are told that the entire world will undergo a great makeover as the Messiah judges the world for her sins and creates a perfect, eternal, dwelling place on a new heavens and new earth.

It is this wonderful eternity that He will share with his people that will result in their final, complete satisfaction and fulfillment.  It is this great day that is looked for with all desire… “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things…”

Isa 25:9   &   Rom 8:19-25   &  ­Titus 2:11-14
The wonderful day of His second coming spoken of in 2 Pet 3:11-14 is also talked about in Isa 25.  It is for this event that believers in all the nations of the world eagerly await.  It is at this time that the salvation of His people will be brought to completion as He delivers them from the presence of sin and gives them entrance into His glory… in that day, Lo, this [is] our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this [is] the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

This longing for His second coming, and our removal from sin’s presence, is also spoken of in Rom 8:19-25… For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God… Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God…. even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body…For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].

This great desire of God’s people for His coming and total deliverance from sin is also covered in detail in Tit 2… “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

THE FULFILLMENT:

Partial fulfillment during the first coming of Christ… but much of the fulfillment is yet to come.  See above verses for details.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

When we, as His people, take the time to stop and consider all of the blessings that will flow to us in eternity (based upon the work of Christ at His first coming), we can all all heartily join the Apostle John as He eagerly desires for the Lord to come back the second coming….”He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.(Rev 22:20)

May the Lord bless our study of His Word.

If you have any questions about salvation you are welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation and important truths about salvation.

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage –

http://www.settledinheaven.org

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month):

www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

“The Old Testament Promise Of Christ” Series (10)

The Old Testament Promises Us That The Messiah Would Be the Servant of God.


Zech 3:8 (KJV)   Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they [are] men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.

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“The OT Promise Of Christ (10)”

A Servant Of God

The Old Testament presents the Messiah as the Servant Of God sent into the world to save His people from their sins.  Let’s take a few moments to study this aspect of the life of the Messiah and see the One that perfectly completed this wonderful promise from God.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Zech 3:8 (KJV)
8) Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they [are] men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.

Isa 42:1-4 (KJV)
1) Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
2) He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
3) A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
4) He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.

Isa 52:13-15 (KJV)
13) Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
14) As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
15) So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for [that] which had not been told them shall they see; and [that] which they had not heard shall they consider.

Isa 53:10-12 (KJV)
10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12) Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Matt 12:14-21 (KJV)
14) Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.
15) But when Jesus knew [it], he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;
16) And charged them that they should not make him known:
17) That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
18) Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
19) He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
20) A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
21) And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

Rom 5:17-19 (KJV)
17) For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
18) Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life.
19) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Phil 2:5-8 (KJV)
5)  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

THE STUDY:

What a seeming contradiction.  We have already seen that the Messiah was promised to be a reigning King over the spiritual nation of Israel throughout eternity.  These promises are found in the midst of the same Old Testament that tells us the coming Messiah would be a Servant of God.  These two apparently contradictory prophetic revelations are, in actuality, two wonderfully harmonious promises that set Christ apart from all others who have ever lived.

THE PROPHECY:

Zech 3:8
In Zechariah 3:8 we find that the coming Messiah, described here as “The Branch”, is clearly declared to be the servant of God….  for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.”   In this text, He is called “the Branch” to help remind us of His beauty and fruitfulness resulting from His perfect submission to His Father… (Isa 4:2)In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth [shall be] excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.

Isaiah 42:1
In Isa 42:1, we read another promise of the Messiah involving His servitude to His Father…Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth;…”

This prophecy continues by describing the workings of Christ and his faithfulness in His death and executing judgment on the earth.

Isaiah 52:13-15 & Isa 53:10-12
Likewise, in both Isa 52:13-15 and Isa 53:10-12, we have the same promise that His servanthood would be shown through His suffering, death and exaltation… vs 13 “Behold, my servant shall deal prudently,…” & vs 11 by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities…

THE FULFILLMENT:

Matt 12:14-21
In Matthew 12, we find that Jesus is clearly declared to be the fulfillment of the Isa 42 prophecy…  “… But when Jesus knew [it], And charged them that they should not make him known:That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased:…”

Rom 5:17-19
The death of Jesus on the cross is described as “the obedience of one”We are told that it was His obedience on the cross that resulted in the giving of His righteousness to His people… “so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”  Once again, we can see that the life of Jesus reveals to us that He is the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies of servanthood and humility.

Phil 2:5-8
A spirit of humility and servitude was clearly revealed in the life of Jesus.  Once again, it is His death on the cross that is pointed to as the ultimate demonstration of His willing obedience to the Father… “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

It is this same spirit of humility, submission and self-sacrifice that should be shared by all those who have trusted in Jesus.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

The servanthood of Christ not only involved delivering the message of His Father and doing His Father’s works, but also giving His life on the cross as the supreme act of submission and obedience to the will of His Father.  Through His entire life, Jesus displayed the ultimate spirit of selflessness and humility for the sake of His chosen people.  In doing so, He showed Himself to be the suffering servant of the Old Testament Messianic prophecies.

As followers of Jesus, let us all display that same type of self-sacrificial spirit as we seek to serve Him with our lives.

May the Lord bless our study of His Word.

If you have any questions about salvation you are welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation and important truths about salvation.

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”