Monthly Archives: December, 2016

12-18-2016 ‘WHY BETHLEHEM? WHY SHEPHERDS? Luke 2:8

This week Bro. Leo continues his series on Christmas by looking at a couple details of the birth of Jesus.  Every detail written in the Bible has significance.  This study looks at the significance of Bethlehem, shepherds and the three gifts given by the wise men.

Bethlehem was the one exception of the Levitical Rabinical law concerning raising sheep, only sacrificial lambs could be raised there and only there could they be raised.  Bethlehem is the only place Jesus the Lamb of God could be born.

The Levitical shepherds attended every birth of the sacrificial lambs to see their worthiness for the sacrifice of the temple.  This is why the Levitical shepherds were the first folks to visit Jesus.

In this study Bro. Leo discusses his theory of the birth place of Jesus being in a “migdal edar” tower of the flock.  This theory is taken from the prophecies in Micah 5:2-5, 4:7-9.

The three gifts: Gold represented the kingdom and His right to rule,  frankincense  represented the High Priest-sinless, myrrh represented that Jesus was born to die.

The names: Benoni means so or man of sorrow,  Benjamin means son of the right hand.  From the account of Ratchel giving birth to Benoni/Benjamin in the “migdal edar” (Gen. 35:18).

God is in the details and God is in control!

Scriptures used in today’s study:

Luk 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Luk 2:4 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:)
Luk 2:9 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.
Luk 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luk 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luk 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Luk 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luk 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luk 2:15 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.
Luk 2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
Luk 2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

Mic 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Mic 5:3 Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.
Mic 5:4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
Mic 5:5 And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.

Mic 4:8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.
Mic 4:7 And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.
Mic 4:8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.
Mic 4:9 Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail.

Gen 35:16 And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.
Gen 35:17 And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.
Gen 35:18 And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.
Gen 35:19 And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.
Gen 35:20 And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day.
Gen 35:21 And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar.

Isa 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Isa 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Heb 1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
Heb 1:13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1Pe 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

 

12-11-2016 :”A RABBI’S VIEW OF CHRISTMAS!” John 3:9-16

This week Bro. Leo continues his series on Christmas by looking at a Rabbi’s (Jesus) view of Christmas.  In this study Bro. Leo uses some quotes from a book called “The Book of Mysteries” by Jonathan Chan to illustrate the Biblical fact that the only path of salvation originates in Christmas.  I do not have a copy of the book in front of me, so I will not attempt any of the quotes.  I will simply say that if religion and or men have told you there are certain steps “you” must take in order to “obtain” your salvation the Rabbi”s (Jesus’) words in the Bible say the opposite.

In John 3:3 Jesus tells Nicodemus the only way a man can see heaven is to be born again.  Then Jesus tells him that no man can ascend up to heaven except the man that came down from heaven (John 3:13).  From these two verses we are given the fact that salvation does not originate on earth it originates in heaven and it can not be obtained (we can not “born” ourselves), salvation is received.  In John 6:47 Jesus tells the only way to receive salvation, which is to put our total trust and commitment in Him.  In verse 47 the word translated “believeth” originates from the Greek word “pistis” which means to place complete reliance upon Christ for salvation.

John 1:11-12 further describes salvation in the Christmas story (salvation originating in heaven and descending to us on earth) by comparing lost folks to saved folks and the reason for both.  The lost folks reject Jesus, the saved folks received Jesus.

In “The Book of Mysteries” by Jonathan Chan the author states that salvation is simply the Emmanuel solution, the Hebrew definition being “God with us”.  Mat 1:23 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.

Please take a few minutes to listen to this study.  The quotes from “The Book of Mysteries” by Jonathan Chan do an excellent job of illustrating the Rabbi’s view of Christmas.

Scriptures used in today’s study:

Joh 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
Joh 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
Joh 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
Joh 3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
Joh 3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
Joh 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
Joh 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Joh 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Joh 6:48 I am that bread of life.
Joh 6:49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
Joh 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
Joh 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isa 55:10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Joh 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
Joh 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

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

12-4-2016 “THE REACTION TO CHRISTMAS!” Luke 2:20, Matt. 2:16

This week Bro. Leo continues his series on Christmas by looking at the two opposing reactions to Christmas found in the Scriptures and the cause of both.

In Luke 2:20 the shepherds glorified and praised God for the good news of Jesus.  In Matt. 2:16 Herod murders all the children that were in Bethlehem  and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under.  Had the wise men came back to him, he probably would have murdered them also.

In Luke 2:10-16 we see the shepherds get a revelation and invitation from God concerning the birth of Jesus.  In Matt. 2:1-4 we see King Herod get the same revelation and invitation.

A revelation and invitation from God demands one of two responses, 1) we receive and respond in a positive manner  2) we reject or ignore in a negative manner.

The shepherds, in Luke 2:15-16, received and responded in a positive manner to God’s revelation and invitation.  In Luke 2:17, 20 we see the results of the shepherds response to God’s revelation and invitation to them, they shared the revelation/invitation and glorified and praised God.

King Herod, in Matt. 2, rejects God’s revelation and invitation and responded in a negative manner causing the deaths of thousands of children.  King Herod, like many folks today, was threatened by the news of Jesus.  Herod was unwilling to allow Jesus to rule over him.

When confronted with Jesus we are confronted with our evil ways and we must make a decision, either we 1)  receive Jesus and commit our lives to him and reject evil, or 2) we reject Jesus and continue in our evil ways (John 3:17-19).

In John 3:15 the word “believeth” is translated from the Greek word “pistis”.  Pistis doesn’t simply mean believing that Jesus exists, it means to commit your salvation to Jesus.  Bro. Leo gives a great explanation of pistis using a chair.  You see a chair setting in a room and you believe it is a chair, but you aren’t “pistis” in the chair until you commit to actually setting in that chair.

When you believe in Jesus to the point of “pistis” you will be spiritually reborn (John 1:10-13).  Spiritual birth is the same as physical birth in the sense that no mother gives birth to a child without knowing the experience happened, likewise if you have been born again spiritually you will know that you have experienced it.  If you have not experienced it then you have not been reborn and should seek revelation and invitation from God (Hab. 2:1).

Scriptures used in today’s study:

Luk 2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
Luk 2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

Mat 2:16 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.

Luk 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luk 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luk 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Luk 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luk 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luk 2:15 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.
Luk 2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
Luk 2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
Luk 2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Hab 2:1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.

Mat 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Mat 2:2 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.
Mat 2:3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
Mat 2:4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
Mat 2:16 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.
Mat 2:12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Joh 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
Joh 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
Joh 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.