The Word Became Flesh

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John1:14 ESV

Antwerp - Nativity scene by baroque painter Cornelius de Vos

The Hebrew scriptures foretold the coming of the Messiah and the glories that would follow his arrival. The prophets who were given those comforting predictions did not have a clear picture of the things to come (1Pet.1:10-12). The Pharisees and the teachers of the law knew of the coming Messiah and were looking for his arrival but they were confused as to what to expect. They saw him as a conquering king who would free them from the rule of the Roman empire. Even the disciples had this idea (Acts 1:6). The Jews of Christ’s day were so obsessed with having their freedom that they could not understand a Messiah who seemed powerless to deliver them from the power of Rome. They missed the reasons for the incarnation of Jesus which Jesus himself gave in Luke 4:18-19.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isa.7:14 ESV

The angel Gabriel was sent to a virgin named Mary. He announced to her that she would bear a son and she was to name him Jesus. When Mary inquired as to how this would be possible seeing that she was a virgin, the angel told her that God would implant the child in her womb. He further explained to her that she was the one chosen by God to bring the Messiah into the world. Mary was humbled by the news and gave God thanks for allowing her to be his faithful servant (Luke 1:26-38).

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days. Micah 5:2 ESV

From this prophecy in Micah, the Jewish authorities knew that the Messiah would be born in the town of Bethlehem. They knew that he was born to be a king, but they did not comprehend the nature and scope of his kingdom. Because of this ignorance, Herod became jealous on hearing about the birth of this new king and he set out to destroy him. Even the evil attempt of Herod to thwart the purposes of God was foretold in Jer.31:15.

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. Mat.1:21 ESV

Jesus was to be the woman’s seed who would crush the head of the enemy Satan (Gen,3:15). He would be the Passover lamb of Exodus 112;1-51 and John 1:29. He would make atonement for the sins of the world as prophesied in Isa.53:4-12 and fulfilled Heb.9:28 and many other scriptures.

There were righteous, ordinary persons among the Jews who were eagerly anticipating the coming of the Messiah.  Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist and wife of Zechariah the priest, on seeing Mary became filled with the Spirit and exclaimed loudly, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” (Luke 1:42-44 ESV). Elizabeth was overjoyed to be in the presence of the mother of Jesus.

Simeon, an elderly man was waiting to see the Messiah for himself before he died. For him, the arrival of Messiah was the indication that he could now depart this life having seen God’s salvation for his people (Luke 2:28-32). Similarly, Anna a prophetess who spent her life at the temple praying, fasting and worshipping, approached Jesus’ parents and gave God thanks for the child. She too spoke of the redemption of Jerusalem which Messiah was to accomplish (Luke 2:38).

The incarnation, the mystery of how God put on flesh to become one of us, is the glorious work and plan of a loving God to redeem us from the curse Adam brought. The incarnation demonstrates the power of God to achieve his plans for the redemption of mankind and to defeat the wicked purposes of the devil. The incarnation is God’s promise to Israel and the rest of the world fulfilled in his only Son Jesus. The incarnation is our only hope for deliverance (Acts 4:12). Therefore, let us like Anna the prophetess, give God thanks for providing deliverance, salvation and a glorious hope for us through his Son Jesus who became flesh and dwelt among us.

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Following Cleverly Invented Stories?

For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. 2Pet.1:16-18 NIV

The Apostle Peter  boldly assured his readers that what he presented to them as the Gospel of Jesus Christ was not a fairy tale or an invented fable. He was not telling a tall story to stroke his ego or to pamper his narcissism. He was giving an eyewitness report and there were other witnesses who could verify his report (Luke 9:28-36).  Can your teachers make the same bold claim as Peter? Are you confident that they are not feeding you cleverly concocted theories that they use the Bible to legitimize? Many false teachers have infiltrated Christianity with their damning heresies and lies. “Take heed that no man deceives you.” is the solemn warning of none other than Jesus Christ (Mat. 24:4).

Ask yourself whether these are cleverly invented stories. Be honest with yourself.

  • The white races of Northern Europe, the U.K, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are the lost tribes of Israel and this knowledge unlocks the prophecies of the Bible.
  • That the Azazel goat (scapegoat) in the day of Atonement ritual of Leviticus chapter 16 represents Satan. That Satan is the one who bears our sins. It is not our sins but the Devil’s that has been placed back on his own head you are asked to believe.
  • You are told that the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles represents a time in the future when all who did not accept a certain brand of religion in their previous lifetime will be resurrected and given a chance to accept that religion.
  • You believe for sure that your church is the only true church and that Christendom is deceived

  • You believe that the Holy Spirit is a “force” not the third member of the Godhead.

Someone you hold in high esteem used to admonish, “Don’t believe me, believe the Bible.” Have you checked these things for yourself by consulting the word of God and literature outside of your church? Are you so afraid of your church that you cannot independently and objectively study Bible commentaries and other Bible helps on these subjects? The Internet is a valuable source of information on a vast array of subjects. I urge you to make good use of it.

I am sure that some of you have doubts about some of these things. You owe it to yourself to know where you stand. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He want to lead you away from fables and into the truth of Jesus Christ. Stop resisting Him.

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Sabbath And Holyday Observance

In the past, Sabbath and Jewish holiday observance was practised by a few obscure groups, who were considered to espouse unorthodox and sometimes abberant theology.   Today, Hebrew Roots groups have sprung up in many places. These groups believe and teach among other things,  that observance of the Sabbath and the holydays is essential for Christians. This time of the year, many persons are preparing to observe the Jewish feast days that occur in the fall.  Perhaps you are one of these persons but you are not sure whether these days are mandatory or not.

Jacob Prasch of Moriel Ministries who is a Jewish Christian explains what the New Testament teaches on this subject. This short video will provide a basic understanding that will give guidance to anyone who wants to follow the truth.

Continue reading

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What Will Happen on September 23, 2017? | Answers in Genesis

Could September 23 of this year be a day of great prophetic significance? Let’s take a look at the evidence.

Source: What Will Happen on September 23, 2017? | Answers in Genesis

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Is Your Church A Cult?

Source: Destructive Cults | Cult Methodology

Get the answer to this and many other questions concerning cults and their methodology. Equip yourself with the information that could save you and your loved ones from being the victims of a mind-controlling, money-grabbing, heretical, and destructive group.

Margaret Singer, clinical psychologist and once Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley was the preeminent cult expert of the 20th Century. She counseled and/or interviewed thousands of people affected by controversial groups often called “cults.” Dr. Singer offered meaningful definitions of unsafe groups or “cults” in her book Cults in our Midst.

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The Fruit of the Spirit – Kindness

kindnessOne of the positive aspects of our society is the fact that we witness acts of kindness being demonstrated daily to others. Persons donate money and material things to help victims of tragedies to get back on their feet. They help elderly persons to cross the road safely. Motorists on the main road will allow the other driver coming from a side road to exit. A few days ago, my wife’s money fell from her purse; a gentleman who was passing alerted her to what was happening. These are all acts of kindness that we are familiar with in our society.

King David in 2Samuel 9:1-12 deliberately sought after a descendant of King Saul for the purpose of showing him the kindness of God. Through his servant Ziba, David found out that Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul was still alive. Saul had made David’s life miserable by hunting him down to kill him. David had given him no cause for so doing. In spite of this, David returned all of Saul’s property to Mephibosheth and gave him a permanent place at the king’s table. This is an outstanding example of kindness.

Boaz, another wonderful man, showed kindness to Ruth who was a foreigner (Ruth 2:6-16). Sometimes we respond with kindness to persons from our race or country but treat the foreigner and the person from another ethnic group with unkindness. That is sinful in the eyes of God and ought not to be the practice of followers of Christ.

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). The person who is led by the Spirit of God will perform acts of kindness to his fellow man. God was known to his people in the Hebrew scriptures as a God who demonstrated kindness to people(Jonah 4:2; Ps. 117:2). Followers of Jesus Christ are admonished to be kind to each other (Eph.4:32).

Acts of kindness can range from offering words of comfort and encouragement to giving food, money or other material things to those in need. Followers of Christ will not ignore the stranger on the street who asks for something to eat. Neither should we turn a blind eye to the cries of children who we know are being abused. Kindness should be shown to those who wrong us.

Kindness is a quality of God. God’s children are called to be like him in character. Kindness is one of the hallmarks of a follower of Jesus Christ. Let us walk as he walked.

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The Fruit of the Spirit – Love

loveA list of the fruit of the Spirit in Gal.5:22-23 reveals love as the first and probably the most notable one. The New Testament speaks abundantly of God’s love for us and in turn, teaches us to love each other. This  love which comes from God and is spread in our hearts by the Holy Spirit is not a natural quality found in humanity. This love transcends all human love. It is the perfect expression of a holy God whose intention is to create in man a character similar to his.

John 3:16 speaks to the fact that God so loved humanity that he gave his Son Jesus Christ to rescue us from the ravages of sin. This was done while the whole human race was the enemy of God (Rom.5:8). The love of God for us is totally selfless. We have done nothing to merit that wonderful love. It was God who made the first move to demonstrate his awesome love for us in such a tangible way (John 4:10).

God does not only show us his love; he gives us his love that we can have the capacity to love like him. The Holy Spirit spreads the love of God into our hearts (Rom.5:5). Every believer has been given the Holy Spirit who gives us the strength and the capacity to truly love God and our fellow man. Our love for Jesus is demonstrated by obeying his teachings which include loving each other (John14:15,23; 1John 4:11). The Bible speaks of a love that ought to permeate every relationship of the believer. We are to extend the love of God to husband, wife, children, relatives, neighbors, countrymen, foreigners, the church, and even our enemies. Every believer should pursue a life of love as opposed to a life of self-centredness.

The subject of love is such an important one that the Apostle Paul wrote a whole chapter in the New Testament about it (1Cor.13). Paul’s instruction is that love should form the basis of all Christian action, thought, speech and motivation (1Cor.14:1).

Having love proves that we are children of God and that God is at work in our lives. Every believer who is serious about living for God will pursue a life that is filled with the love of God. He will be careful to remain in Christ who is the Vine, in order for him to bear the fruit of the Spirit – love (John 15:5).

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Windows of Heaven – Ken Boa Welcomes You to Reflections Ministries

October 19, 2016

Source: Windows of Heaven – Ken Boa Welcomes You to Reflections Ministries

This short video is a timely reminder that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for his children. He will one day return and receive us to himself. He is now in the process of transforming us so that we may be like him.

Jesus came into this world to seek and to save that which was lost. He is in the business of saving those who come to him. He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”Mat.11:28 He will not refuse any who come to him. Come and share the home he is preparing for his children. The invitation is to all.

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The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

Among some Christians, the Holy Spirit is treated as the Cinderella of the Godhead. He is relegated to a dusty corner of their theology and he is brought out only on the festival of Pentecost. Some fringe groups do not even dignify him with having the characteristics of God but instead refer to him as the inanimate power by which Jesus and the Father works.

The Bible, on the other hand, paints a picture of this third person of the Godhead who is actively involved in the daily activity of the church and the life of the individual Christian. His work is comprehensive and essential in achieving God’s purposes here on earth. He works in tandem with the Father and with Christ in the process designed to bring man from sin to conforming him to the image of Christ, to bringing mankind to his ultimate destination in the glorious Kingdom when Christ returns.

The Holy Spirit’s Work

  1. The Spirit convicts that world of sin (John16:8-11). Without this ministry, persons would never realize their sinful condition and their desperate need for the saving grace of Jesus.

  2. He regenerates us. The Spirit imparts eternal life through the new birth and this, in turn, implants the divine nature in the child of God. Tit.3:5; 2Pet.1:4; Eph.2:1-6; 2Cor.5:17; Rom.6:3-11.

  3. The Holy Spirit baptizes us. By the Spirit, all believers in Christ have been baptized into one body(the church) 1Cor.12:13; Rom.8:9,15; Eph.1:5.

  4. We are sealed by Him. The promise and gift of the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance. Eph.1:13-14; 4:30; 2Cor.1:22.

  5. He lives in the Christian. The Holy Spirit takes up his residence in us. The body of the Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit.(1Cor.6:19). With him living in us, we can be lights and salt in this sinful world

  6. He fills the Christian for a life of service to God and fellowman (Eph.5:18). We are God’s workmanship created to do good works. The Holy Spirit gives the believer the heart and mind of Christ that exemplifies the good Christ did; so we too can have good works.

  7. He empowers the Christian in order to accomplish the work of the kingdom. Acts 4:8,31;13:9-10. He empowers us in our daily lives to follow His leading. He produces the fruits of the Spirit in our lives. He enables us to crucify the sinful nature and clothes us with the new man which is the life of Christ.

  8. The Holy Spirit assures us of our standing in Christ. He testifies to our spirit that we are children of God (Rom.8:16; 1John 3:24; 5:7-8). He reassures us in times of testing that nothing can pluck us out of the Father’s grip. No wonder the Apostle Paul could say “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2Tim.4:7-8

  9. The Holy Spirit who inspired the scriptures(2Pet.1:21) also illuminates the scriptures so that Christians may know the things given to them by God (1Cor.2:10-16). The things of God cannot be understood or discerned by the unaided human mind. The Spirit gives believers needed insight into the meaning and the application of God’s word for everyday situations.

  10. The Holy Spirit teaches, reinforces and reminds us of God’s word (1John 2:27). He leads us into all truth and helps us to discern error from truth (John 16:13).

  11. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us (Rom.8:26-27). In times when we are overwhelmed with pain, sorrow, and hurt, and we find it hard to pray, the Holy Spirit comes alongside us and prays on our behalf. When we cannot express our deep feelings to the Father, the Holy Spirit reads our intentions and conveys them to the Father.

  12. The Holy Spirit gives gifts to members of the body of Christ (1Cor.12:7-11) for the edification and encouragement of all believers. Every believer is given a gift or gifts that should be used to build up the church as well as to glorify God.

The Holy Spirit plays an active role in the call and in the sanctification of the believer. He is God, sent by Jesus Christ on his ascent to the Father. He abides with us and is in us. Let us recognize how important He is in our lives, yield to him, walk in step with him and depend on his guidance daily.

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Why Christians Should Stop Caring About So Many C… | Christianity Today

Being the hands and feet of Christ in our troubled world requires that we both pay attention and then stay intentional over the long haul. That means rushing forward in an emergency and remaining focused until we help repair, restore, and redeem every dimension of human life, achieving Isaiah 65 transformation.

Source: Why Christians Should Stop Caring About So Many C… | Christianity Today

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