Adam and Eve

I — God’s Fortitude

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

“So He drove out the man, and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

Genesis 3:24–“Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

We tend to not give much thought to God’s character traits, His personal strengths, even His weaknesses. Perhaps we should take a few days to look at these aspects of God and Jesus. We might, then, understand the two of them a bit more.

A few of the words that come to mind when I think of God are compassion, strength, godliness, cleanliness, love, honour, devotion, and fortitude. While each of these are important–and we will look in depth at each–I think the word “fortitude” describes so many facets of both God the Father and God the Son.

When God created Adam and Eve, He placed them in the Garden of Eden in which He had planted every good and beautiful tree and trees with fruit for them to eat. He formed a river which ran out of Eden by which He watered the garden.

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8 — “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.”

9 — “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”

10 — “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted and became into four heads.”

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Genesis 2:8-10–“Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

“And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.'”

Genesis 2:18–“Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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21 — “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;”

22 — “And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man.”

23 — “And Adam said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'”

24 — “‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.'”

25 — “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

Genesis 2:21-25–“Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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How difficult it must have been for God when Adam and Eve committed the first sin–eating of the forbidden fruit. He had provided much good food for their consumption. Yet, they gave in to temptation and ate the fruit of the one tree from which He had forbidden them to eat. How heartbroken He must have been when He went to the garden for their daily walk together and could not find them.

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7 — “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.”

8 — “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.”

9 — “And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, ‘Where art thou?‘”

10 — “And he said, ‘I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.'”

11 — “And He said, ‘Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?'”

12 — “And the man said, ‘The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.'”

13 — “And the Lord God said unto the woman, ‘What is this that thou hast done?‘ And the woman said, ‘The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.'”

14 — “And the Lord God said unto the serpent, ‘Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:'”

15 — “‘And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.'”

16 — “Unto the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.'”

17 — “And unto Adam He said, ‘Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee saying, ‘Thou shalt not eat of it:’ cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;'”

18 — “‘Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;'”

19 — “‘In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.'”

20 — “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.”

21 — “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins and clothed them.”

22 — “And the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever.'”

23 — “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken.”

24 — “So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden Cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

Genesis 3:7-24–“Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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Much like we as parents must deal with disobedient children, God had to deal with a disobedient creation. Then, each pointed the finger of blame toward another before admitting personal guilt as well. The man and woman who were made after His own image, were cast from the garden due to their disobedient acts.

When God entered the garden looking for Adam and Eve and was unable to find them, He knew something was amiss. How many of us, as parents, would have similar hunches upon being unable to find our children? When He called for them, and Adam responded with fear due to them being ashamed because they were naked, God knew of their disobedience already. Putting a disobedient child out to fend for him-/her- self is one of the most difficult tasks a parent must face. The fact that God had to walk in these shoes first with His own creation tells us it is due to the child’s choices these steps had to be taken. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God; so, He had to put them out of their beautiful garden He created just for them. From that day forth, they were to fend for themselves. Pain, sweat, and death would be served as punishment for their disobedience.

This took “fortitude” for God to take this stand with Adam and Eve. In this one sequence of events, we can see the strength, the courage, the bravery it took for God to stand up to Adam and Eve with a love that did not cast them away from Him–rather it cast them out of the luxurious life He had created for them.

Thus, when you are tempted to ask, “How can a loving God be so cruel as to punish us when we have done wrong?” remember, it was Adam and Eve who punished you. As their seed, we reaped the consequences of their actions along with them. This is why we now have the New Testament plan of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord–God’s Son. This is why we have full freedom to choose to be a recipient of this salvation, or we can choose to ignore it and experience life separate and apart from God. It is not God who punishes us! It is our choice; therefore, it is “we” who punish ourselves.

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16 — “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

17 — “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.”

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.”

19 — “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

John 3:16-19–“Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)”

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Sources:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Genesis 2:8-10. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (1 August 2021). Genesis 2:8 – 2:10 (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Genesis 2:18. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (1 August 2021). GENESIS 2:18 KJV “And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Genesis 2:21-25. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (1 August 2021). Genesis 2:21-25 KJV – And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to – Bible Gateway.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Genesis 3:7-24. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (1 August 2021). Genesis 3:7-24 KJV – And the eyes of them both were opened, – Bible Gateway.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). John 3:16-19. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (1 August 2021). John 3:16-19 KJV – For God so loved the world, that he – Bible Gateway.

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Photo Above: by Roman Grac @pixabay.com.

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My Morning Do . . . Creative Minds

~~ by tkbrown

I have read a number of posts recently on the topics of hope and gratitude. During times like the world has been experiencing through the Covid19 pandemic, it is important to keep fueling both. It may take some effort to do, but the end result is worth far more than any wrangling we may encounter during our endeavor. Making a daily effort to review our sources of hope and the things we have to be grateful for helps too. Faith, too, helps give the strength and resolve needed during times of trial and adversity. My faith in God and Jesus Christ has pulled me through much in the past; so, I can and do always pull strength from the spiritual resources and values in my life.

It is difficult when jobs are lost, income is non-existent or mostly so. Oftentimes, we do not think to be grateful for our work, but it provides much hope in our lives. Subconsciously, we know, so long as we are able to work or have a job to go to, we can get through most anything. When the monetary needs are met in our lives, it reduces the stress level astronomically.

Sometimes school is our main activity. When this is the case, it is important to view it as our job. Our attendance and learning are fuel for our future work lives. School attendance helps one to be in the habit of getting up and getting out–typically on a daily basis. This prepares one for the daily attendance required in work schedules. Lack of attendance in either results in failure.

Even though the need for some required classes cannot be seen, each has a reason for its inclusion. The most prevalent example I saw during my college years was a lack of understanding for the need to take Algebra. Oftentimes, I heard classmates say it would never be used, but its value is in day to day activities. Most never relate the two, but: 2(a+b) = 2ab is nothing more than, (a = the cost of a can of corn, b= the price of a loaf of bread). When these are added together then multiplied by 2, perhaps we are looking at the cost of our weekly need for these items. Algebra is utilized in budgeting among other things. So, it is important to realize that even though school can be humdrum, it is necessary to future needs.

Hobbies are also a source of strength during times of trial. I love to knit and crochet. The idea of taking a straight piece of string and creating something beautiful and lasting has always been intriguing to me. Sewing has a similar effect. Taking a flat piece of cloth and creating a beautiful dress, blouse, shirt, pants, or suit–even something for the home–is a skill to be extolled. Creativity has no bounds in the needlework hobbies. This also rings true of playing a musical instrument, reading, researching, cooking, painting, photography, and the list goes on.

Having something one values in life makes times like these bearable because the voids can be filled with something vital and useful via our hobbies, work, school, faith, family, etc. If one does not stay busy doing something, the desire to live slowly drains from us. This is seen in severe depression. The hopefulness and helpfulness has been lost and must be found again if the desire to live is to be regained.

If you, or someone you love has lost hope due to the downside of the lockdowns and shelter at home orders, seek help from a professional who is trained to help you through this. Above all, do not lose gratitude for what you have. Most cannot honestly say they have nothing for which they can be grateful. If this is one’s view of things, it is time to make a conscious effort to regain gratitude for what is in our grasp. Make it a part of the daily routine to name things for which you can be grateful. Then, it is important to reach out and engage whatever is within your grasp to fuel a new hope for the future. Don’t give up, keep putting one foot in front of the other until you are through the swamp and can see the other side.

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Photo Above: by Sebastien Gabriel on Unsplash.com.

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Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 2)

Scripture is from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

Sermon on the Mount

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Lesson Scripture — Matthew 5:1-20

1 — “And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.”

2 — “Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:”

3 — “‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'”

4 — “‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.'”

5 — “‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.'”

6 — “‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.'”

7 — “‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.'”

8 — “‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.'”

9 — “‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.'”

10 — “‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'”

11 — “‘Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.'”

12 — “‘Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.'”

13 — “‘You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.'”

14 — “‘You are the light of the world, A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.'”

15 — “‘Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.'”

16 — “‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.'”

17 — “‘Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.'”

18 — “‘For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot of one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.'”

19 — “‘Whosoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.'”

20 — “‘For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.'”

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Apostle Selection Completed

Lesson Scripture — Luke 6:12-15

12 — “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God.”

13 — “And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles:”

14 — “Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,”

15 — “Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot, Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.”

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Luke’s Description of the Sermon on the Mount

Lesson Scripture — Luke 6:17-23

17 — “And He came down with them and stood on the level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases,”

18 — “as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed.”

19 — “And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.”

20 — “Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: ‘Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.'”

21 — “‘Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.'”

22 — “‘Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.'”

23 — “‘Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.'”

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Prophecy Related to Matthew 5:1-20

v5 — Psalm 37:11 — “But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”

v6 — Isaiah 55:1 — “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

v6 — Isaiah 65:13, 14

13 —Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, My servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, My servants shall rejoice, but you shall be ashamed;'”

14 — “‘behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and wail for grief of spirit.'”

v7 — Psalm 41:1 — “Blessed is he who considers the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.”

v8 — Psalm 15:1-5

1 —Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?”

2 —He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart;”

3 —He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend.”

4 —In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the Lord; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;”

5 —He who does not put out his money at usury, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.”

v8 — Psalm 24:3-5

3 —Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or, who may stand in His holy place?”

4 —He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.”

5 —He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”

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Prophecy Related to Luke 6:17-23

v21 — Isaiah 55:1 — “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the wters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

v21 — Isaiah 65:13

13 — Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, My servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, My servants shall rejoice, but you shall be ashamed;'”

14 — “‘behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and wail for grief of spirit.'”

v21 — Isaiah 61:2, 3

2 —To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,”

3 — to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

v21 — Psalm 126:5, 6

5 —Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

6 —He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

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New Testament Scriptures Related to Matthew 5:1-20

v1 — Mark 3:13 — “And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him.”

v2 — Matthew 7:28, 29

28 — “And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,”

29 — “for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

v3 — Luke 6:20-23 — (See above.)

v4 — Revelation 21:4 — “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

v5 — Romans 4:13 — “For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”

v6 — Luke 1:53 — “He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.”

v8 — I Corinthians 13:12 — “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”

v10 — I Peter 3:14-16

14 — “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. ‘And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled (Isaiah 8:12).'”

15 — “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who askes you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

16 — “having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.”

v11 — Luke 6:22 (See above.)

v12 — I Peter 4:12-14

12 — “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;”

13 — “but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed you may also be glad–with exceeding joy.”

14 — “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.”

v12 — Acts 7:52

52 — “Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers,”

53 —who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it (Exodus 20:1).'”

v13 — Luke 14:34 — “Salt is good, but if the salt lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?'”

v14 — John 8:12 — “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life.'”

v15 — Luke 8:16 — “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light.'”

v16 — I Peter 2:11, 12

11 — “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”

12 — “having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

v16 — John 15:8 — “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so, you will be my disciples.'”

v17, 20 — Romans 10:3, 4

3 — “For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”

4 — “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

v18 — Luke 16:17 — “‘And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.'”

v19 — James 2:10 — “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”

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New Testament Scriptures Related to Luke 6:17-23

v17 — Mark 3:7, 8

7 — “But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea”

8 — “and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan, and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they hard how many things He was doing, came to Him.”

v19 — Matthew 9:21 — “For she said to herself, ‘If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.'”

v19, 20 — Matthew 11:4-6

4 — “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and tell John the things which you hear and see.'”

5 — “‘The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them,'”

6 — “‘and blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.'”

v20 — Matthew 5:3-12 — (See above.)

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

I apologize for the absence of a post last week. Sometimes things happen and prevent me from completing a post. I do hope you will forgive me when that happens. Thank You!

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As we begin studying the Sermon on the Mount, I would like to note, I have included Jesus’ selection of His additional six apostles as depicted in Luke Chapter 6. Luke’s presentation shows this was immediately followed by the Sermon on the Mount.

The Sermon on the Mount covers much territory and lays the foundation for Christ’s ministry here on earth. For this reason, I will divide it into several parts in order to not overwhelm you, the reader, with too much information to be digested at one time. It is important to understand how Christ’s words tie-in to other Scripture in both the Old and the New Testament.

Christ’s ministry took place under the Old Covenant until His death, we will see the vail protecting the Ark of the Covenant rent into two pieces–top-to-bottom. On the day of Pentecost, Christ’s church was established with form. Prior to this time, His kingdom is always referenced as being ‘at hand.’ After the day of Pentecost, His kingdom is always noted ‘in the present form.’ This means His kingdom was publicly established on the Day of Pentecost — when His church was established with the baptizing of three thousand souls.

Hopefully, this information will help you to ‘rightly divide the word of truth’ as we study the course of Christ’s ministry. However, do your own studying to verify whatever I mention in my notes. Do not ever take another person’s word for what the Bible says. Your salvation depends upon this one factor. The scriptures I present above are directly from the Holy Bible (NKJV). When I make a comment in my notes, verify it in the scriptures. Events noted regarding the vail and Christ’s death will be reviewed as we come to them. Study for yourself and prove all that I put forth in my writing.

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In Matthew Chapter 5, Jesus’ teachings show the underdog as more likely to go to heaven than the upper crust. The underdog’s tendency is to present as more meek and merciful and to have faith that studying God’s Word and applying it to daily life leads to purer hearts and righteousness.

Jesus alerts those in his hearing of other people’s tendency to persecute and revile those who follow God–just as they persecuted the prophets. Christ suffered during His life here on earth, and many persecute Him now and deride His teachings and life as untrue. Jesus assures you, when someone persecutes you because you are patterning your life after Him and His teachings, they have their reward already.

These trials are God’s method of refining our Christian hearts and skimming off the impurities each time suffering occurs and is met with a Christ-like attitude. Just as gold must be molten, allowing impurities to rise to the top to be skimmed off, we as Christians must also be refined. We must grow in Christ, increasing in our ability to forgive and move on. This is how maturity in Christ is attained–one trial at a time. This is also how our lives become a living example amidst a sea of worldly souls. Our lives become the light–beacon, if you will–leading others to Christ. This is why we are the salt of the earth.

Never be ashamed to stand up for what is right and be different. This is what Christianity promotes. This, and our faith, is what makes us Christlike–awaiting a home with Him in heaven.

There are those who, even today, say Jesus came to destroy the Old Covenant. He assured the crowd and His apostles this was not so. He came to fulfill the Old Covenant, and until all is fulfilled and heaven and earth pass away, not one iota of the law is destroyed. Anyone who breaks the commandments set forth by the law and by Jesus will never be great in heaven. In order to see heaven, Jesus said our righteousness must be greater than that of the scribes and the Pharisees.

Moving on to Luke’s presentation of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, we see that just prior to this sermon, Jesus chose six more disciples to be a part of His twelve apostles. All followers of Christ were, and still are, known as His disciples. However, only thirteen have been called apostles of Christ. When Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, he revealed his enslavement to Satan, with whom he will spend eternity. Saul of Tarsus was subsequently appointed as the replacement apostle. We know Saul as Paul. He was one of the most grateful, for his sins prior to conversion had been great, and he was the first to admit this. Thus, he worked hard to teach others about Christ and His salvation.

Luke words his portrayal of the Sermon on the Mount a bit different, as we have seen in previous lessons, but it means much the same. He shows that those who have little are more likely to seek God through Christ and to be blessed. Those who have much are not interested in God’s blessings.

In the next lesson, we will continue reviewing the Sermon on the Mount. This is where the parables begin. Each teaches a valuable lesson for living the Christian life. Come back and join us in the feast God’s Word and Christ’s teachings provide, leading to the ultimate reward of a home with Them in heaven. Have a Blessed Week in Christ’s love!

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Lesson One -- Scripture: Zacharias to Have Son . . . 
Lesson Two -- Scripture: Jesus Birth Foretold . . . 
Lesson Three -- Scripture: Zacharias' Son, John, is Born . . . 
Lesson Four -- Scripture: Jesus is Born . . . 
Lesson Five -- Scripture: And Jesus Grew . . . 
Lesson Six -- Scripture: John Begins His Ministry . . . 
Lesson Seven -- Scripture: Jesus is Introduced to the World . . . 
Lesson Eight -- Scripture: Jesus' Ancestral Lineage
Lesson Nine -- Scripture: Jesus is Tempted By Satan
Lesson Ten -- Scripture: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 1)
Lesson Eleven -- Scripture: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 2)

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Photo above by: kieutruongphoto @pixabay.com.

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Jesus is Tempted by Satan

Scripture is from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

Matthew 4:1-11

1 — “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”

2 — “And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.”

3 — “Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.'”

4 — “But He answered and said, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'”

5 — “Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple.”

6 — “and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you.’ and ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'”

7 — “Jesus said to him, ‘It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”

8 — “Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.”

9 — “And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.'”

10 — “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only you shall serve.'”

11 — “Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.”

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Prophecy

v4 — Deuteronomy 8:3 — “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”

v6 — Psalm 91:11, 12

11 — “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”

12 — “In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

v7 — Deuteronomy 6:16 — “You shall not tempt the Lord your God as you tempted Him in Massah.”

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Related New Testament Scriptures

v11 — James 4:7 — “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

v11 — Hebrews 1:14 — “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who will inherit salvation?”

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Mark 1:11-13

11 — “Then a voice came from heaven, ‘You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'”

12 — “Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.”

13 — “And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with wild beasts, and the angels ministered to Him.”

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Related New Testament Scriptures

v11 — Matthew 3:17 — “And suddenly a voice came from heaven saying, ‘This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'”

v11 — Matthew 12:17, 18

17 — “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah 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 will declare justice to the Gentiles.'”

v12 — Matthew 4:1-11 (See above.)

v12 — Matthew 4:10, 11 (See above.)

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Luke 4:1-14

1 — “Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.”

2 — “being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days, He ate nothing, and afterword, when they had ended, He was hungry.”

3 — “And the devil said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.'”

4 — “But Jesus answered him saying, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'”

5 — “Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment in time.”

6 — “And the devil said to Him, ‘All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.'”

7 — “‘Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.'”

8 — “And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'”

9 — “Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here.'”

10 — “‘For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you.'”

11 — “‘and, ‘in their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'”

12 — “And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”

13 — “Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.”

14 — “Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.”

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Prophecy

v4 — Deuteronomy 8:3 — “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”

v8 — Deuteronomy 6:13 — “You shall fear the Lord your God and serve Him and shall take oaths in His name.”

Deuteronomy 10:20 — “You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name.”

v9 — Matthew 4:5-7 (See above.)

v10 — Psalm 91:11 — “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”

v11 — Psalm 91:12 — “In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

v12 — Deuteronomy 6:16 — “You shall not tempt the Lord your God as you tempted Him in Massah.”

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Related New Testament Scriptures

v1 — Matthew 4:1-11 (See above.)

v13 — Hebrews 4:15 — “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

v14 — John 4:43 — “Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee.”

v14 — Acts 10:37 — “. . . that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached.”

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

Here, I have presented the Scriptures which portray Jesus’ forty days and forty nights of fasting and prayer in the wilderness when Satan tempted Him. These Scriptures are found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. While there may be slight differences in the wording of each account of the event, these are no more than would be found if three witnesses in a court of law presented accounts of a specific incident. This is important in the fact that all three testimonials also coordinate with Old Testament prophecy related to these Scriptures and with related Scriptures in the New Testament. Thus, we have ‘rightly divided the Word of Truth’ with regard to this event in Jesus’ life.

Forty days and forty nights is a long time to be without food, but this was done to show that Jesus’ Spirit form and the angels ministering to Jesus was sufficient to satisfy His human needs. This is another example of how God takes care of those who do His will. Jesus was tempted of Satan so we can know He understands the temptations we endure at Satan’s hand.

As our High Priest, Jesus’ understanding of our weaknesses regarding temptation is important. Had He never come to Earth in human form, He could never have truly understood our weakness or the desire to give in when Satan tempts us. God realized this was a faltering point in His righteous understanding of these weaknesses in man. Thus, Jesus understanding of the tendency to give in to temptations gives Him the ability to ‘argue our case’ with God and mediate with Him on our behalf. Hebrews 4:15 tells us this was God’s plan. We can look at the Scripture presented in Romans 3:21-26 to see how this all fits together.

Romans 3:21-26

21 — “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,”

22 — “even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;”

23 — “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

24 — “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”

25 — “whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,”

26 — “to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

This well-known passage from Romans chapter 3 ties in to Satan’s temptation of Jesus and of man in his struggles to overcome temptation. God’s righteousness puts Him in a position of not fully understanding these trials. Through the centuries, the Jewish Law as given to Moses on Mount Sinai allowed Jesus’ forbearance and atonement (propitiation) of their sins to go back and cover all those sins that God had passed over before Christ was born. Now, God is shown to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).

Jesus is now ready to begin His ministry on Earth. In our next lesson, we will see Jesus begin to select His disciples as he begins to preach and to teach the multitudes. Join us as we look closely at each account of this process as presented in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

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Lesson One -- Scripture: Zacharias to Have Son . . . 
Lesson Two -- Scripture: Jesus' Birth Foretold . . . 
Lesson Three -- Scripture: Zacharias' Son, John, is Born . . . 
Lesson Four -- Scripture: Jesus is Born . . . 
Lesson Five -- Scripture: And Jesus Grew . . .
Lesson Six -- Scripture: John Begins His Ministry . . . 
Lesson Seven -- Scripture: Jesus is Introduced to the World . . . 
Lesson Eight -- Scripture: Jesus' Ancestral Lineage
Lesson Nine -- Scripture: Jesus is Tempted By Satan

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Photo above by: kieutruongphoto @pixabay.com.

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Jesus’ Ancestral Lineage

Scripture is from the Holy Bible–New King James Version (NKJV)

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

Matthew 1:1-17

 1 -- "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham."
 2 -- "Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers."
 3 -- "Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram."
 4 -- "Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nashon, and Nashon begot Salmon."
 5 -- "Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse,"
 6 -- "and Jesse begot David the king.
         David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah."
 7 -- "Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa,"
 8 -- "Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah."
 9 -- "Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah."
10 -- "Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah."
11 -- "Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon."
12 -- "And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel."
13 -- "Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor."
14 -- "Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud."
15 -- "Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob."
16 -- "And Jacob begot Joseph,  the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ."
17 -- "So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations."

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth . . .

Here, in the first chapter of Matthew, we are presented the ancestral lineage of Joseph–husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus. This lineage is inclusive back to Abraham in three sets of fourteen generations. The first set presents the line from Abraham to king David. The second set includes those generations from king David to the capture by Babylon, and the third set presents those from Babylon to Jesus.

It is interesting that there are fourteen generations between each division. When we look at Mary’s ancestry (below), we see that the lineage from Adam to Abraham is twenty-one generations–another multiple of seven. This first phase is the pre-Jewish lineage when God dealt with and communicated directly to the heads of family and with prophets. He chose each of these for specific reasons. This process was continued to some degree during the fourteen generations spanning Abraham to king David. He also chose specific leaders–such as Moses and Aaron, then Joshua, followed by the judges–to replay details of the law to His people and to lead them through certain trials.

When king David was a young lad, God’s people had become disgruntled with the ‘leader’ format. They had been clamoring for a king. Finally, God granted their request, and king Saul was appointed the first king. David was chosen as Saul’s successor. Thus, we complete the first fourteen generations and move into the second set when God communicated to His people through the kings and the prophets. This form of leadership was dismantled when they were carried away to Babylon.

The final set of fourteen generations, which takes us to the birth of Jesus, covers the first Jewish dispersion during which about five million Jews were deported to Babylon and then began to spread over Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. There are those who believe some were also able to inhabit the Americas, intermarrying with the natives in the western hemisphere. This final phase before Christ’s birth leads to the end of the Old Covenant and the beginning of the New Covenant. During this time, God’s people were under the direction of kings and other leaders of each country in which they resided. Each phase is governed very differently from the phase before and after. This shows us when the Old Covenant ended, a new phase began. The Old Covenant is no longer in effect.

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Galatians 3:22-26

22 -- "But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe."
23 -- "But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed."
24 -- "Therefore, the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith."
25 -- "But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor."
26 -- "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus."

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Notes on Scripture, cont.: by tkbrown

The original King James Version of the Holy Bible used the word ‘schoolmaster’ where the word ‘tutor’ is used in the New King James Version. God has done everything, including the divisions of time and leadership, to lead us to the New Covenant. At the instant Christ died on the cross, the veil was rent twain (torn into two pieces–top to bottom) between the outer tabernacle and the most holy of holies where the Ark of the Covenant was kept (and where God resided in the tabernacle). At that instant, the Old Covenant officially ended, and the New Covenant began.

We notice in Mary’s ancestral lineage, below, it goes all the way back to Adam. This too is done with purpose, for we see “God begot Adam” (v. 38). Thus, we are told, God is the Father of mankind. When He created Adam, He created mankind. We also see, in Luke 3:23, that Joseph–husband of Mary–was ‘the supposed father’ of Jesus. In actuality, he was the ‘step-father’ or ‘legal father’ of Jesus. God was Jesus’ father.

Under the Old Covenant, God dealt almost completely with the men. Very few women are exemplified. We are introduced to Eve, Ruth, Esther, Deborah and a few others, but mostly men are introduced. In the New Covenant, women are exemplified in much larger number, and women determine their own salvation through obedience of Christ’s commands. No individual can obey Christ’s commands for another person. That decision is strictly the choice of each.

That each set of generations presents with a different form of leadership is no accicent. The fact that they, and the period from Adam to Abraham, are all divisible by seven alludes to God’s use of numbers throughout the Bible. When a specific day was given in the Old Covenant to observe a specific feast or sacrifice, it was to be done on ‘that day,’ not another day of His people’s choosing. The same holds true under the New Covenant. There are those who say the Scriptures contradict themselves. If one takes the time to ‘rightly divide the Word’ there is no contradiction.

I hope these two genealogies now present as much more interesting and with much more meaning for application today. I pray that these lessons are beginning to clarify the meaning of ‘rightly dividing the Word of Truth.’ The next lesson will cover Satan’s temptation of Christ in the Wilderness. I invite you back for another morsel of nutrition from God’s Word.

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Luke 3:23-38

23 -- "Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli,"
24 -- "the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph,"
25 -- "the son of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai,"
26 -- "the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah,"
27 -- "the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri,"
28 -- "the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er,"
29 -- "the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,"
30 -- "the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Johan, the son of Eliakim,"
31 -- "the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David,"
32 -- "the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon,"
33 -- "the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah,"
34 -- "the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,
35 -- "the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah"
36 -- "the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,"
37 -- "the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan,"
38 -- "the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God."

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Lesson One -- Scripture:  Zacharias to have Son . . .
Lesson Two -- Scripture:  Jesus' Birth Foretold . . .
Lesson Three -- Scripture:  Zacharias' son, John, is born . . .
Lesson Four -- Scripture:  Jesus Is Born . . .
Lesson Five -- Scripture:  And Jesus Grew . . .
Lesson Six -- Scripture:  John Begins His Ministry . . . 
Lesson Seven -- Scripture:  Jesus is Introduced to the World . . .
Lesson Eight -- Scripture:  Jesus' Ancestral Lineage

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And Jesus Grew . . .

old antique bible as an open book with sunlight bursting from the pages

Scripture is from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown
Matthew 2:1-23

1 — “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem.”

2 — “saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.'”

3 — “When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”

4 — “And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.”

5 — “So they said to him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet.'”

6 — “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel.'”

7 — “Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared.”

8 — “And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.'”

9 — “When they heard the king, they departed, and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.”

10 — “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.”

11 — “And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

12 — “Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.”

13 — “Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word, for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.'”

14 — “When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt,”

15 — “and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, ‘Out of Egypt I called My Son.'”

16 — “Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry, and he went forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.”

17 — “Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,”

18 — “‘A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.'”

19 — “Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,”

20 — “saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.'”

21 — “Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.”

22 — “But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee.”

23 — “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.'”

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Luke 1:30

80 — “So the child grew and became strong in spirit and was in the deserts ’til the day of his manifestation to Israel.”

Luke 2:40-52

40 — “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.”

41 — “His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.”

42 — “And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.”

43 — “When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it,”

44 — “but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acuaintances.”

45 — “So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him.”

46 — “Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.”

47 — “And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.”

48 — “So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, ‘Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.'”

49 — “And He said to them, ‘Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?'”

50 — “But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.”

51 — “Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.”

52 — “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

So, Jesus grew in wisdom, stature and favor with both God and men. As we can see, things began to happen rather quickly in Baby Jesus’ life, but some happened not as quickly as most have touted. For example, most believe the wise men from Parthia visited twelve days after His birth (which is celebrated as Epiphany on January 6). At this time, the Parthian Maji are believed to have paid their respects via gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. According to Joseph Holleman (2019), ‘The journey from Parthia, in Babylon, to Jerusalem is approximately 500 miles. By caravan, with no major detours or disruption, this trek would have probably taken 50 to 60 days. Maybe less.” Thus, the earliest the wise men could have visited Jesus was mid-February, by modern-day calendar.

As we see in Luke 2:22, after the days of Mary’s purification according to the law of Moses, they took Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. Now, according to the Law of Moses as seen in Leviticus 2:1-4 (below), Mary and Joseph would not have left Bethlehem for Jerusalem for a minimum of forty-one days after Jesus’ birth. This says the Wise Men — or the Three Kings — could not have seen Jesus until after Mary’s purification.

When King Herod of Judea heard about the Parthian Maji who were searching for the one who had been born to rule over Judea, he requested an audience with them at his palace in Jerusalem. There, he told them he, too, wanted to worship the Young King, and he asked them to inform him of the Young King’s location. The Maji agreed to grant King Herod’s request. When they had left the palace, an angel of the Lord came to them in a dream and informed them of King Herod’s plot to kill the Young King. Thus, when they left Bethlehem, a different route was taken back to Parthia.

The angel of the Lord then appeared to Joseph in a dream, informed him of King Herod’s plan to kill Baby Jesus, and instructed him to take Mary and the Babe to Egypt where they would be safe. Joseph obeyed the angel. He arose and, in the night, took Mary and Baby Jesus away to Egypt.

When King Herod realized the Maji had evaded him, he decreed that all male children two and under in and around Bethlehem be killed. His stipulation of the age, ‘two and under’ indicates that Baby Jesus was more than a few days old. Herod had questioned the Maji extensively about their revelation of “the newborn king.” So, this indicates that the Child was probably between one and two years of age.

After King Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared again to Joseph in a dream and informed him it was now safe to return to Israel. When they arrived in Israel, Joseph learned Herod’s son was now ruler. This made Joseph fear for Jesus’ life. The angel appeared to him again in a dream to tell him to go to Nazareth in Galilee; thus “fulfilling the prophecy that Jesus would be called a Nazarene.”

Furthermore, if we look again at Leviticus 2:6-8 (below), we see that when Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem to present Baby Jesus to the Lord in the tabernacle, to atone for Mary’s impurity they were to present a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a young turtledove as a sin offering. If they could not afford the lamb, the Law of Moses allowed for them to present two young pigeons or two young turtledoves–one as a burnt offering and the other as a sin offering. The fact that Mary and Joseph met the latter requirement indicates they were quite poor. If the Maji had already been to pay homage to Baby Jesus, they would not have been poor. The gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh would have rendered them able to present a lamb and a bird instead of two birds.

Joseph Holleman elaborated a bit on the probable date of Christ’s birth. (Holleman is CEO of Magister Technologies Inc., and Author of “The Prosperity Clock” book series.) In all likelihood, December 25 was not the date of Christ’s birth. Since we do not know, with certainty, the actual date of His birth. this date has been set aside to remember the glorious event. Below, I have included some of Holleman’s elaboration on the subject.

The goal of the Maji was to pay homage to the infant Jesus just after the time of an extremely rare astronomical configuration, which only they were aware of, that reached its peak on March 2 of 5 B.C. right around the time that Jesus was likely born. This was also likely around the time that they began their journey,” (Holleman, 2019).

The Parthian Maji likely arrived at the place where Joseph, Mary and the infant Jesus were staying around the time of the Summer Solstice, June 21, when the Sun or the ‘Star’ was directly overhead. Jesus was likely born in late February or early March of 5 B.C.; so, he would have been around 3 or 4 months old when they arrived,” (Holleman, 2019).

Each year, Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When Jesus was twelve, they had made a day’s journey back toward home before they realized that the Young Boy was not with them. They had thought He was with a relative or friend who might have had a boy near His age. Upon realization that He was missing, they went back to Jerusalem looking for Him. Three days later they found Him in the temple both asking questions of and giving answers to the teachers who were astonished at His knowledge and understanding. When Mary reproached Jesus regarding the anxiety she and Joseph had suffered, Jesus responded, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business” (Luke 2:49, NKJV). They did not understand that He meant He must be about God the Father’s business, but Mary held all these things close to her heart–we are told.

Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with both God and men. Thus, He must have been a very obedient teen who listened to His elders when they spoke.

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Leviticus 2:1-8

1 — “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,”

2 — “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days, as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean.'”

3 — “‘And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.'”

4 — “‘She shall then continue in the blood of her purification during thirty-three days. She shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are fulfilled.'”

5 — “‘But, if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her customary impurity, and shall continue in the blood of her purification sixty-six days.'”

6 — “‘When the days of her purification are fulfilled, whether for a son or a daughter, she shall bring to the priest a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove as a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting.'”

7 — “‘Then he shall offer it before the Lord and make atonement for her. And she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who has borne a male or a female.'”

8 — “‘And if she is not able to bring a lamb, then she may bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons–one as a burnt offering and the other as a sin offering. So, the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.'”

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Next week, we will look at John’s ministry as trailblazer for Jesus and His ministry.

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Sources:

Abbott, Shari. (5 January 2020). “Did the Wise Men Arrive 12 Days After Jesus Birth? Or Was it Much Later?” Reasons for Hope–Jesus. (4 April 2020). https://reasonsforhopejesus.com/did-the-wise-men-arrive-12-days-after-jesus-birth-or-much-later/.

Holleman, Joseph. (7 August 2019). “How long did it take the 3 wise men to find Jesus?” Quora. http://www.quora.com. (12 April 2020). https://www.quora.com/How-long-did-it-take-the-3-wise-men-to-find-Jesus.

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Week One -- Scripture: Zacharias to have Son . . . 
Week Two -- Scripture: Jesus' Birth Foretold . . . 
Week Three -- Scripture: Zacharias' son, John, is born . . .
Week Four -- Scripture: Jesus is Born . . .
Week Five -- Scripture: And Jesus Grew . . . 

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Jesus Birth Foretold . . .

old antique bible as an open book with sunlight bursting from the pages

Scripture is from New King James Version (NKJV)

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

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Lesson Scripture — Matthew 1:18-25

18 — “Now the birth of Jesus was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.”

19 — “Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.”

20 — “But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.'”

21 — “‘And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save his people from their sins.'”

22 — “So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:”

23 — “‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel.’ which is translated ‘God with us.'”

24 — “Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,”

25 — “and did not know her til she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.:

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Luke 1:26-56

26 — “Now in the sixth month [of Elizabeth’s pregnancy with John — Week One] the angel Gabriel was sent by God to the city of Galilee named Nazareth,”

27 — “to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.”

28 — “And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!'”

29 — “But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.”

30 — “Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.'”

31 — “‘And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son and shall call His name Jesus.'”

32 — “‘He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.'”

33 — “‘And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of His kingdom there will be no end.;:

34 — “Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?'”

35 — “And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.'”

36 — “‘Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.'”

37 — “‘For with God nothing will be impossible.'”

38 — “Then Mary said, ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.”

39 — “Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste to a city of Judah.”

40 — “and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.”

41 — “And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”

42 — “Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!'”

43 — “‘But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?'”

44 — “‘For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.'”

45 — “‘Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.'”

46 — “And Mary said: ‘My soul magnifies the Lord.'”

47 — “‘and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.'”

48 — “For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.'”

49 — “‘For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.'”

50 — “‘and His mercy is on those who hear Him, from generation to generation.'”

51 — “‘He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.'”

52 — “‘He has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly.'”

53 — “‘He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent a way empty.'”

54 — “‘He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy.'”

55 — “‘As He spoke to our fathers, to Abram and to his seed forever.'”

56 — “And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her house.'”

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

Joseph and Mary are told of Jesus’ impending birth. Joseph in his dream is told not to fear taking Mary as his wife — she has not been unfaithful — she will give birth to a man-child whose name shall be Jesus — the Son of God. Joseph is relieved to learn this because he had been unsure how to handle the situation. He married her, but did not ‘know her’ until after the birth occurs.

When Mary is told of the birth, she asked how this could be, since she had not been with a man. The angel assured her the child is conceived by God through the Holy Spirit. This satisfied Mary’s discomfit. Since she w as also told of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, she went to visit Zacharias and Elizabeth.

As soon as Elizabeth heard the sound of Mary’s voice, the babe in her womb — John — leaped for joy. So, John — in the womb — recognized Jesus’ presence and rejoiced.

Thus, we have knowledge of Jesus’ conception and Joseph’s acceptance of this. Next week, we will look at the actual birth of John and his role as trailblazer for Jesus’ ministry here on earth.

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Week One -- Scripture: Zacharias to have Son . . . 
Week Two -- Scripture: Jesus' Birth Foretold . . . 

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Thanksgiving

~~ a Devotional ~~

~~ by tkbrown

Note: If we believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, if we believe that He was sent to this earth to die for the sins of all mankind, if we believe He rose again three days after His death, and if we believe He ascended to heaven to be with God, His Father, once again, then we must believe He will come again to receive us unto himself, when it is time!

— Philippians 4:4 — “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say rejoice!”

Philippians 4:5 — “Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.”

Note: I am amazed at all God has provided for me and mine. He has left no need lacking. With a prayerful heart, I give Thanks this day for His abounding provisions. He makes His love for me known by providing all for which I have need!. I am, daily, amazed at the unlimited bounds of His love.

Philippians 4:6 — “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God,”

Philippians 4:7 — “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

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~~ Please join with me in an ongoing Prayer of Thanks. ~~

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