Good Tidings… To All People

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  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.”                                Luke 2:8-12

Yes! This is a message which is typical for the Christmas season. I know that it is not yet that season; at least for me it is not. Yet, this message is needed year round.

The message of God’s love for Adam’s race is never out of date, out of time, neither is it too early, ever. God’s message of love and grace is always right on time, and for every season.

The message we need to see today are the words of the angel of the Lord, “Fear not” is first spoken to the shepherds who were watching over their sheep. It is a message of “good tidings,” “great joy” and to “all people.”  What people?  All people.

The birth of Jesus Christ that evening so many years ago is still a message of salvation for all who will hear Him and answer His call, believing Him to the place of loving obedience.

The good news, “good tidings” is that Jesus Christ the Son of God, has come into the world to save us from our sins, through His death on the cross, His burial and resurrection. The “great joy” comes by hearing and believing Him. Who did He come to save? All people who will hear Him and believe.

Betrayed

And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, He said unto His disciples,
“Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of Man is betrayed to be crucified.”
Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill Him. But they said, “Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.”                                                                    Matthew 26:1-5

Some of us; maybe even all of us have experienced betrayal by a friend, family member, or a neighbor. None of us have experienced the betrayal like Jesus did; and He knew it was going to happen. How many of us knew that it was going to happen?

One of His disciples was the one who would betray Him; and he did it with a kiss, a sign of friendship.

Jesus was betrayed because He is the Son of Man, the Son of God and it was in His Father’s plan that Jesus die for the sins of the world, so that all who would come to Him, believing, they might have everlasting life.

The plans of the religious leaders was to be rid of a “Blasphemer”, a “Deceiver”, a fraud; but they, in fact, were rejecting their Messiah, their Redeemer and Savior. They were more afraid of losing their power, popularity and prestige among the people whom they were making the children of hell (Matthew 23:15).

There are still those who would crucify Jesus all over again, because they do not approve of Him, His life, His followers, or His word. Where do you stand today?

Will you, or are you in your heart crying out, “Crucify Him”?  Will you instead cry out to Him, “Lord, have mercy of me; a sinner, condemned and unclean. Save me.” Your choice.

The Ninety Nine and the One

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven. For the Son of Man is come to save that which was lost.
How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
Matthew 18:10-14

I am grateful that I was that one. He came seeking me and found me, and put me on His shoulder and carried me back to the fold.

You may be that one He has come seeking. Believe Him, and He will deliver you.

Shall Gather Out of His Kingdom

The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
                                           Matthew 13:41-43

Within the kingdom of heaven is both good and evil. The children of evil, and the redeemed children of God.

The redeemed children of God were once evil (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), but who have come to faith by the gift of grace through the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The kingdom of heaven, also known as the kingdom of God in Mark, Luke, and John will one day be eradicated of all evil; evil and those who do evil will be cast into eternal fire; and then the righteous shall shine forth in the kingdom of our Father (Malachi 4:1-2).

Where do you stand with Him today? Have you been redeemed? Believing, you can call on His name, and He will hear your cry, and He will save you.

Religion and Repentance

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, ‘We have Abraham to our father:’ for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.  And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”                                    Matthew 3:7-10

John the Baptist was not called to promote a religious system. That is all that the Pharisees and Sadducees had in their hearts and minds.

The Baptist came, was anointed by God, and came calling people to the repentance of sin that their hearts might be prepared for the appearance of the Messiah, that they might believe Him.

That is the calling, from a heart of love for Christ, to call people to believe Jesus Christ, call on His name in repentance and faith. Showing forth fruit of repentance comes from a heart that has been born again, changed to the point of hating sin, first in one’s own life.

Has your heart and life been changed by the power of the Holy Spirit in your life?

“Lord, I Believe”

Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said unto him,
“Dost thou believe on the Son of God?”
He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him?”  And Jesus said unto him,
“Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee.”
And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshipped Him.           John 9:35-38

The man behind the story was born blind. No one had ever heard or known of anyone having their sight given to them who had been born blind. Yet Jesus applied clay to the man’s eyes, then told him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. He did, and then the Jews cast him out of the temple; meaning that he could no longer worship there.

Jesus found him later, having heard he had been “cast out”, and ask him if he believed in the Son of God. Jesus reveals Himself to the man, and the man believes Him, then worships Him.

My eyes have been opened to the seeing of the Lord Jesus. As I grow older I realize more and more who Jesus is. The closer I get to Him the more I realize I need Him, and that am a sinner saved solely by His grace. There is nothing in me worthy of His presence or of heaven, but the new birth of the spirit in me, and the presence of the Holy Spirit of God who confirms my salvation.

He died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and He rose again. Have your eyes been opened to who He is?  Is He calling You. Believe Him today.

Jesus and His Father

Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 124:8

But Jesus answered them,
“My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.”
Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. John 5:17-18

One of the beliefs of the true Christian faith is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Son of Man; the God-Man. He is fully God and fully Man. Any departure from this is not Christian belief.

Even the Jews in verse 18 above knew what Jesus was saying, and they did not misinterpret His words, but were correct in what they said. Yet, they did not receive the message of Him or His word.

When we come to the realization of who Jesus genuinely and truly is, then we will either reject Him flat out, or we will trust Him completely.

I have received Him for who He really is; and He is calling You to Himself to receive cleansing and forgiveness of sin, and when You see Him for who He is He will save You and give You eternal life.

Marriage Supper

And a voice came out of the throne, saying, ‘Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great.’  And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.’  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.  And he saith unto me, ‘Write, ‘Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he saith unto me, ‘These are the true sayings of God.’  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, ‘See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’”  Revelation 19:5-10 (KJV)

What a glorious and wonderful day it is for the bride when the day of the wedding finally arrives.  What a glorious and wonderful day it will be for the Groom when the Marriage Supper of the Lamb is finally called.  What a day that will be for all who are called to His Marriage supper.

A day of jubilation.  A day when finally the bride will see their Lord face to face, and be united with Him throughout eternity.

One final note; if we are to understand all of Scripture and Biblical prophecy correctly we must see Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, as the “spirit of prophecy”.  All of Scripture is about Jesus; the fulfillment of it all.

Flesh and Bone, Resurrected Lord and Savior

And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them,
“Peace unto you.”
But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And He said unto them,
“Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have.”
And when He had thus spoken, He shewed them His hands and His feet. Luke 24:36-40

Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob; which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters. Psalm 114:7-8

I, for one, am amazed at the nay sayers who try to argue against the fact  of the truth of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ.

Some try and tell us that He was only raised in spirit. I say to that “Why does a spirit need raised?” Are spirits not alive  and never die? Jesus appearing to those folks above, “for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see Me have.”  Then forty days later ascended to glory in that same flesh and bone body in the presence of all those who were with Him. He is alive, because He is risen.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the bedrock foundation of the Christian faith. Without the death of Christ on the cross, His burial, and the proof of who He is by the resurrection of Jesus Christ we are still gravely in need (1 Corinthians 15).

Believe on the name of Jesus, our resurrected Lord and Savior, call on His name and He will give you everlasting life (John 3:16).

You Knew Not the Time

And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it, saying,
“If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace, but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” Luke 19:41-44

O LORD, how manifold are Thy works! In wisdom hast Thou made them all: the earth is full of Thy riches. Psalm 104:24

When the Lord came the first time many who knew the prophecies of His coming did not know Him when He arrived. Prideful of empty religion, their rules and wrong understanding of mercy and grace kept them from seeing “The Desire of Nations” (Haggai 2:7) when He visited them.

Has the Spirit of God visited you and you have not yielded to His drawing you to the Lord Jesus Christ. He went to the cross and lay Himself down on it; He died, was buried, and He rose again. He is speaking to you. Do not reject Him.  Call on His name and be saved.

Your Faith

Save me, O God, by Thy name, and judge me by Thy strength.
Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.
For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah. Psalm 54:1-3

But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before Him, and told Him all the truth. And He said unto her,
“Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” Mark 5:33-34

It is only by the faith God gives us through His Son Jesus Christ that our lives are made whole. Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried carrying away all the garbage of our sin  and guilt and He left it behind when He rose from the grave.

Believe Him, and be made whole.

Tell the Whole World

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,
“All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”  Amen.   Matthew 28:16-20

They Came Out of Their Graves, After His Resurrection

Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God.”  Matthew 27:50-54

These are the “First fruits” of His resurrection. So shall the rest of those be who die in the Lord Jesus Christ.

He did Rise from the Dead

Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about His head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.  For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.
Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.   John 20:6-10

When they had crucified Jesus

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also His coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
They said therefore among themselves, “Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be:” that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, “They parted My raiment among them, and for My vesture they did cast lots.” These things therefore the soldiers did.   John 19:23-24

To Whom the Lord Reveals Himself

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me: because I live, ye shall live also.
At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you. He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.
John 14:18-21

The Son of Man Glorified

Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said,
“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God be glorified in Him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him.
Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek Me: and as I said unto the Jews, ‘Whither I go, ye cannot come;’ so now I say to you.
A new commandment I give unto you, ‘That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.’ By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.”  
John 13:31-35

The Crucified Savior

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus,
“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
And they parted His raiment, and cast lots.   Luke 23:33-34

Message from GOD

And Zacharias said unto the angel, “Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.” And the angel answering said unto him, “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.  And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.”   Luke 1:18-20

All Things Are Possible With God

And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto His disciples,
“How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!”
And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them,
“Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”
And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” And Jesus looking upon them saith,
“With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”  Mark 10:23-27

I Say Unto You, Arise

…And He cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when He was come in, He saith unto them,
“Why make ye this ado, and weep? The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.”
And they laughed Him to scorn. But when He had put them all out, He taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with Him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And He took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her,
“Talitha cumi;”
which is, being interpreted, “Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.” And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. And He charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat. Mark 5:38-43

The Revelation

He saith unto them,
“But whom say ye that I am?”
And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered and said unto him,
“Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”   Matthew 16:15-19