How To Be Alive In The Spirit

“Living in the Spirit” is not an exciting little detour from the main pathway of our Christian faith. It is not a religious hobby or an optional extra for the diversion of the mystically inclined. Living in the Spirit is the authentic, Biblical way of living the Christian life. It is the New Testament concept of the Christian style of life that God wants all His people to follow. Its roots are firmly planted in the soil of God’s Word. It is as historic as the Apostles themselves and as authentic to Christianity as they are.

Religion or Relationship?

Many people who profess to be “Christians” actually have a religion rather than a relationship with Christ. Paul mentions such people. Their “religion” is often humanistic philosophy with a thin outer layer of “Christianese.” 2 Timothy 3:5

Religion is a humanistic philosophy of rules, regulations and activities by which man seeks to please a superior divine being. The origin of the word is from the Latin re-ligure, i.e. to tie back to. In contrast, a relationship between two persons or groups is the positive way they connect, think, feel and act towards each other. It is the inter-personal communication that binds them together in a common desire.

Christianity is not merely an intellectual belief system. It is an ongoing spiritual encounter with another being and the presence of that being inside the person. This article addresses itself to some of the basic principles of our life in the Spirit. It is dedicated to those who are seeking to take their initial steps in this neglected area of the Christian life. For too many Christians their faith has been reduced to an applied philosophy of religious principles, – a system of ethics. So these chapters are written with the earnest prayer that the issues discussed will be an encouragement to you, increasing your desire and determination to follow the Biblical injunction to “walk in the Spirit.”

To walk in the Spirit, we must cast off the old man. That is the old, carnal way of thinking and be renewed in the spirit of our mind.

Ephesians 4:20-24

20 But you have not so learned Christ,

21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 4

22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,

23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. NKJV

Like so many other things, it is an art to be learned, and the only way to learn is by putting the principles into practice and learning by experience. Possibly, you will make some mistakes. Stay humble, confess your error to the Lord, experience His forgiveness and restoration. He will help you to adjust your walk and encourage you to further endeavors as you seek to faithfully follow His Spirit.

 

For further reading on this important subject please download my free eBook by clicking on the following link:

How to be Alive in the Spirit

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12 Reasons Why Every Christian Should Stand With Israel

Our Huge IOU

I would presume that everyone in the English speaking world will recognize the implication of these three letters. It is the acknowledgement of a debt, i.e. “I Owe You.” It was usually only used for debts of a minor amount. Quite often such small amounts might be even be sealed with merely a handshake, though an IOU might  also be exchanged. A legal document would always be used when a large amount of debt was owed. The purpose of this brief message is to remind every Christian that we all owe a very large debt to the Jewish people. The legal document that records this debt is the Bible. The amount of the debt goes back to the book of Genesis where God made a covenant with Abraham that initially concerned Israel but ultimately concerns everyone, Jew or Gentile who has a covenant relationship with the living God.  In addition to acknowledging a debt, an IOU usually acknowledged a promise to repay the stated amount to the person to whom it was owed. Because of the large debt that Christianity in general and Christians in person, owe to the Jewish people we should carefully study the roots and early history of our spiritual  forefathers to discover the great debt we owe to the Jews.

1.The Bible Is Filled With Israel From Genesis To Revelation

      All Bible believing people should stand with Israel.  In the Bible, God introduces Himself  many times as “The God of Israel”  or the Holy One of Israel, and 2/3rds of the scriptures (Old and New Testament)  are dedicated to the people of Israel, their history and their divinely planned destiny. God will never finish with Israel. He has stated that His love and covenant with  Israel are both everlasting.

Jeremiah 31:3 Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. NLT

Jeremiah 32:40-41

40 “And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, promising not to stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me.

41 I will rejoice in doing good to them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land. NLT

From Genesis to Revelation the Bible is filled with Israel.

Although in the first mention of  Israel is made in Genesis 12 the name Israel is not used, it is obvious to every unbiased reader that Israel would be the name of the great nation that would come from the loins of Abraham.  Genesis 12:1-3

1 Then the LORD told Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you.

I will cause you to become the father of a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and I will make you a blessing to others.

3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you.” NLT

At a later time, this promise was reiterated through Isaac and Jacob, whose name was changed by God to Israel, which also became the name that was given by God to Jacob. Jacob’s struggling with God earned him a new name. For his struggle “with God and with men” in which he had prevailed, his name was changed to Israel (literally, Prince with God). In return, Jacob gave a name to the spot that marked the change; it would be called Peniel-“For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved”

Israel  (means prince with God) – was the name given to Jacob after his great struggle with God at Peniel near the brook Jabbok (Genesis 32:28; 35:10). The name Israel has been interpreted by different scholars as “a prince with God,” “he who strives successfully with God,” “let God rule,” or “God strives.” The name was later applied to the descendants of Jacob, or the Hebrew people. The twelve tribes were called “Israelites,” “children of Israel,” and “house of Israel,” identifying them clearly as the descendants of Israel through his sons and grandsons.

The LORD Fights For Israel

Through the great Exodus wherein God led the descendants of Jacob out of their slavery in Egypt, the embryo nation of Israel was born. God miraculously led them out of  Egypt  and in the process defeated the mighty army of Pharaoh and led His people on dry land drowning the Egyptian army in the process.

Exodus 14:25

25 Their chariot wheels began to come off, making their chariots impossible to drive. “Let’s get out of here!” the Egyptians shouted. “The LORD is fighting for Israel against us!”  NLT

 Exodus 14:29-31

29 The people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry land, as the water stood up like a wall on both sides.

30 This was how the LORD rescued Israel from the Egyptians that day. And the Israelites could see the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the shore.

31 When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the LORD had displayed against the Egyptians, they feared the LORD and put their faith in him and his servant Moses.  NLT

 This Deliverance Became Known As The Passover

This remarkable deliverance has been celebrated ever since by Jews throughout the world in memory of their supernatural deliverance and the subsequent founding of the nation of Israel. The deliverance was effected by the sacrifice of a lamb and was a prophetic precursor of the Lamb of God who would be later sacrificed to atone for the sins of the whole world. God made a sacred covenant with the nation He had rescued. It was a covenant that is still honoured even to this very day.

 

 

Genesis 15:18-21

18 So the LORD made a covenant with Abram that day and said, “I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypt to the great Euphrates River — 

19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,

20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,

21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.” NLT

Genesis 17:1-8

1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.

2 I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to make you into a mighty nation.”

3 At this, Abram fell face down in the dust. Then God said to him,

4 “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of not just one nation, but a multitude of nations!

5 What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram; now you will be known as Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations.

6 I will give you millions of descendants who will represent many nations. Kings will be among them!

7 “I will continue this everlasting covenant between us, generation after generation. It will continue between me and your offspring forever. And I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

8 Yes, I will give all this land of Canaan to you and to your offspring forever. And I will be their God.  NLT

This eternal covenant that God made with Israel for all their generations will be modified somewhat in the Last Days when the Messiah shall have revealed and make Himself  known to the nation of Israel.  God’s reference to “after those days” refers to the Last Days of this present era in which we now live. Please notice  the amendments that God will make. The law will be internalized in their hearts and minds and they will have a new living relationship with God.

Jeremiah 31:33-37

33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

35 Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for a light by day, The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, and its waves roar (The LORD of hosts is His name):

36 “If those ordinances depart from before Me, says the LORD, Then the seed of Israel shall also cease From being a nation before Me forever.”

37 Thus says the LORD: “If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says the LORD. NKJV

 

  1. Christians Have A Common Origin and Destiny With Israel Abraham is the (mutual) father of Jews, and Christians.

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. NKJV

Romans 4:16  Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham , who is the father of us all. NKJV

Galatians 3:7-9
7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham .
8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham  beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”
9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham . NKJV

Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),
14 that the blessing of Abraham  might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. NKJV                                                                       

Many if not most Christians are obsessed with heaven and spending eternity playing golden harps but the Bible reveals a very different eternal destiny. Heaven is but the waiting room for the righteous. Our ultimate destiny is the manifest Kingdom of God in which Jesus rules on earth from the throne of  David in Jerusalem.

Psalms 115:16

16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s; But the earth He has given to the children of men. NKJV

If we truly believe the Bible we must inevitably believe in the future earthly good of Israel.  Isaiah 2:2-5.  Micah 4:1-4

Isaiah 2:2-3 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.
3 Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; he will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem
. (NKJ)

Micah 4:1-2 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from
 Jerusalem.(KJV)

 

3 Because Israel is Obviously a Unique and Special Nation to God

Deuteronomy 26:18
18 Also today the LORD has proclaimed you to be His special people, just as He promised you, that you should keep all His commandments,
19 and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, in praise, in name, and in honor, and that you may be a holy people to the LORD your God, just as He has spoken.” NKJV

Exodus 19:5 ‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a (peculiar) special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. (NKJ)

Deuteronomy 14:2 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a (peculiar) special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. (NKJ)

Psalm 135:4 For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure. (KJV)

 

 

  1. Christians Also Are A Peculiar Treasure To God

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (KJV)

1 Peter 2:9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God’s holy nation, his very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.  NLT

Both Israel and the church are therefore said to be “a peculiar (unique) treasure to God.”  This fact surely forges a link between the two!

 

 

  1. Because God Says He Will Bless Those Who Bless Them.

Genesis 12:3: “I will bless them that bless thee and curse them that curse thee, and in thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”

Isaiah 60:12: ‘For the nation that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined.

Throughout human history many mighty world kingdoms have fallen and disintegrated e.g.  Egypt, Persia, Rome, Greece, Spain, Germany, Britain. In every instance there have been factors of anti Semitism inbred in the system and this has brought about their downfall in accordance with the Bible principle.

 

  1. Because We Owe Them A Great Debt For What We Have Received.

Through Israel the promises and covenants were given. Through them came the law, the prophets and the Messiah Jesus, who has opened up access to God for all. Through the Jewish apostles the gospel first went to the nations.

To the Israelites ‘pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God and the promises, of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all.’ (Romans 9:4-5).

“For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also be of service them in material to them in their material blessings” (Romans  15:27)

 

  1. Because God’s Gifts and Call On Israel Have Never Been Revoked.

Romans 11:28: ‘As regards the gospel they are enemies of God for our sake; but as regards the election they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and call of God are irrevocable.’

Though most Jews have not yet responded to the gospel, this has not invalidated God’s plan for them, which He will ultimately fulfill. The covenant with Abraham has not been replaced by the New Covenant, nor been set aside because of their failure to enter the New Covenant. Though the once for all sacrifice of Jesus has fulfilled and replaced the Temple sacrifices, the eternal covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants has NOT been set aside. “A hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the gentiles has come in, and so all Israel will be saved.”(Rom 11:26)

 

 

  1. Because God Has Promised To Bring Them Back To Their Land.

God has promised to turn again to the Jewish people, to bring them back to their land and to cleanse them from unrighteousness.

Amos 9:14-15 “‘I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; l will plant them upon their land and they shall never again be plucked up out of the land which I have given them ‘ says the Lord your God.’”

Ezekiel 37:21-22 “I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all sides and bring them to their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all.” 

The re-gathering of Israel is prophesied in Ezekiel, Isaiah, Deuteronomy, Amos, Hosea, Jeremiah, by Jesus in Luke 21:24, and by Paul in Romans 11. It is a key condition to the full flowering of the Messianic age. God promised Abraham and his descendants the land of Israel as an everlasting possession. He confirmed that promise with Isaac as recorded in Genesis 26:3-4 and again with Jacob in Genesis 35:12.The re-creation and restoration of Am (People) Israel to the Promised Land is one of the greatest miracles of the 20th century. Such a phenomena has never been witnessed before.

 

 

  1. Because The Times Of The Gentiles Are Fulfilled.

‘Jerusalem will be trodden down underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.’ (Luke 21:24)

Jesus foresaw that the Roman Gentile armies would overthrow every vestige of Jewish rule in Jerusalem; but He also saw that that Gentile domination of Jerusalem would finally come to an end. In 70 AD Jerusalem fell to the Roman army.

In 1967, in the course of defending themselves against an attack from their Arab neighbours, the Israelis regained control of the entire City of Jerusalem for the first time since 70 A D. thus fulfilling this prophecy of Jesus. All believers in the words of Jesus should know that the ending of Gentile control of the city is God’s plan. “When you see these things happen look up your redemption draws nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Because We Are To “Comfort God’s People”

 

In Isaiah, Isaiah 40:1-2 God says ‘Comfort, comfort my people says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins’.

This is a call to Christians to comfort the Jewish people. Isaiah also envisions that the leaders of the nations would help the Jewish people and nurture them in their re-gathering.

Isaiah 49:22-23 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and raise my signal to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders. Kings shall be your foster fathers and their queens your nursing mothers. With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you and lick the dust off your feet. Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.”

God says that the Gentiles will nurture the Jewish people and assist them in their reentry to their land. It is our divine mandate to help them for their own sakes and for the fulfillment of their unique call. Gentile believers must do more than observe what God is doing with the Jewish people…God is asking us to get involved in helping them!

 

  1. We Need To Make Reparation For Anti-Semitic Teachings And Actions

Throughout the history of the Church, since the second century, Christian leaders have been guilty of the most vicious anti-Semitic remarks and actions. These attitudes have provided the basis for despots throughout the centuries to this day to ridicule, discriminate, and even kill the Jewish people. Often those who claimed to be followers of the Messiah (The Rescuer of Israel, and the One who has taught us how to love and forgive) have perpetrated these actions  and crimes. Can we blame the Jews for so often resisting a Messiah whose followers were anti-Semitic? In justice as well as in generosity  we need to make reparation for the tragic record of Christianity (both in its Catholic and in its Protestant forms) in its dealings with the Jewish people. We who should have been their nurturers, have so often been their worst and most cruel enemies and tormentors. The spirit of anti-Semitism did not begin or end with Adolf Hitler but can find a landing ground on Christians who have not been awakened to their responsibility towards Israel.

The heretical teaching that the Church has replaced Israel has been taught since the second century. This teaching is faithful neither to the Old Testament nor New Testament Scriptures. Though some  nations and churches denounce anti-Semitism today, anti-Zionism is still widely acceptable. It is actually the new anti-Semitism. Opposition to Israel’s right to fulfill their God given destiny in the land of promise is the most dangerous form of anti-Semitism today.

 

 

 

 

  1. God Is Working With Them To Work Out His Plan For World Peace

Romans 11:15: ‘For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?’

The Messiah is coming back to Israel to be reconciled with His own people. He will reign from there with His overcoming saints‘from every tribe and tongue and people and nation’ over all the nations. (Rev. 7:9; 11:15)

Isaiah 2:3 ‘For out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.’

World peace is coming. The fullness of the Messianic age is coming. But first there will be the destruction of all systems and kingdoms that ignore God’s Messianic plan. Although  world peace is an essential and integral aspect of God’s eternal plan and something that only He can achieve, God plans that mankind will have an important role to play. Hence the importance of   Psalms 122:6-8

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper.
7 O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls and prosperity in your palaces.
8 For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “Peace be with you.”  NLT

 

 

 


If you want world peace, pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
If you want to see the Church restored, pray for and help the Jewish people.
If you want to see the Messiah return, pray for the restoration of Israel.
If you want to see your nation and all the nations (including the Arab nations) blessed, pray for and stand with Israel and the Jewish people, and resist anti-Semitism in all forms.
If you want your own life to be blessed, help and bless the Jewish people
If you want your life to prosper, pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

 

 

 

 

Seven Practical Things Believers Can Do To Help Israel

It is essential and imperative at this critical point in prophetic fulfillment that every Christian should clearly understand the central importance of Israel’s role in the End Times plan of God. The Bible and all its prophecies revolve around the focal point of Israel and the future of the Church is also inevitably linked to Israel. The King is coming to Jerusalem and He will rule the world from there. They eyes of all the world will be focused upon Israel and the leaders of all the nations will be required to visit Jerusalem annually to worship God at the Feast of Tabernacles.

  1. Studyyour Bible afresh and understand that it is foundationally a book about Israel. Read and study it with that fact in mind. Earnestly seek to understand what the Bible has to say about God’s plan for Israel and the Jewish people. Seek to read your Bible through the lens of God’s eye.  Zechariah says that Jerusalem is the Apple (Iris or lens) of His eye.

Zechariah 2:8-9 for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye. NKJV

God also clearly declares His intention to “live in Jerusalem.”

Zechariah 2:10 The LORD says, “Shout and rejoice, O Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you. NLT

  1. Prayfor the peace of Jerusalem and for God’s purposes for the Jewish people. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. They shall prosper that love you” (Psalm 122.6).

    3. Teach your church to stand with Israel. Organize a pro Israel event or seminar in your church or city each year to encourage biblical solidarity with God’s plan for the Jewish people and Israel. This will bring a blessing on your church and city.

    4. Support (financially and otherwise) Christian agencies that help the Jewish people return to Israel and settle in their land. E.g. “The International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem” – Christian Friends Of Israel,  Bridges For Peace Jerusalem etc

    5. Share the Messiah with the Jewish people in the context of their own faith, destiny, and scriptures.

    6. Refuse to support anti-Semitic sentiments in public and social life. Where appropriate speak out as the Spirit leads in wise and loving ways e.g. notify politicians and/or media of your views.

    7. Visit Israel if possible. This is a practical way to learn about the people and support them and their economy. “Walk about Zion and go all around her. Count her towers mark well her bulwarks. Consider her palaces that you may tell it to the generations following.” (Psalm 48:13)

In this time of international travel should we not all consider making Jerusalem our destination of choice?

 

JERUSALEM THE ETERNAL CITY?

Jerusalem is presently Front page news because the USA has just moved their Embassy to Jerusalem. This is causing many people to wonder what might be the future of this special city?

Four hundred years before Jesus, the prophet Zechariah gave a remarkable series of prophecies about the events that would affect Jerusalem in the end times, right before what we call the Second Coming of the Messiah. These prophecies are recorded in Zechariah 12:1-6. Specifically, the prophecies are as follows!

The Jews will be back in the land of Israel!

The Jews will be back in the city of Jerusalem!

The Israeli army will be like a “firepot among pieces of wood.”  Jerusalem will become the focal point of world politics!
All the nations of the world will come together against Jerusalem.

Please note that these are prophecies have not yet been fulfilled but will soon be gloriously fulfilled !

The Jew Is Back In His Land And His City.

Despite the minuscule size of the present nation, its military forces are considered to be among the most powerful in the world. They have truly been like a “flaming torch among sheaves” in war after war. Israel became the focal point of world politics in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War. When the West came to the aid of Israel, the Arabs pulled an oil boycott bringing the Western nations to their knees. The result was that all the nations of Western Europe withdrew their support from Israel and either took a neutral positions or else lined up with the Arabs in their determination to annihilate the Jewish state. Concerning the last prophecy cited above, in just the past few years, all the nations of the world have come against Israel, forcing her into a suicidal appeasement policy of trading land for peace. However, Zechariah lists some other end time prophecies regarding Jerusalem that have not yet been fulfilled. These exciting prophecies are contained in Zechariah 12:8-10. They state that the Lord will defend Jerusalem against its enemies and that the result of all the end time battles will be the repentance of a great remnant of the Jews “who will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10). In response, the Lord will save this remnant by opening a fountain of salvation in Jerusalem “for sin and for impurity” (Zechariah 13:1). In chapter 14, Zechariah describes in detail how the Lord will rescue Jerusalem at the last moment when there appears to be no hope: “then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle” (Zechariah 14:3). He will speak a supernatural plague that will kill all the enemy soldiers in their tracks (Zechariah 14:12). Verse 9 tells us that the outcome of this momentous day will be the coronation of Jesus as “king over all the earth.” This wonderful promise introduces us to the fourth category of prophecies that relate to Jerusalem. Millennial Jerusalem A glorious day is coming for Jerusalem, for when the Lord returns, He is going to reign over all the world and His reign of peace, righteousness and justice will be based in Jerusalem: “For from Zion will go forth the law, even the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3 and Micah 4:2). Jerusalem will be the political, economic and religious centre of the world (Micah 4:1-7). The city will be very different from the one we know today. The great worldwide earthquake that will occur when Jesus returns will radically change the earth’s topography, including that of Jerusalem (Isaiah 40:4, Revelation 6:12 and Revelation 16:18). The Bible indicates that Jerusalem will be greatly expanded in area and will be lifted up higher, perhaps becoming the highest point on the earth (Zechariah 14:10). The city will be considerably enlarged and greatly beautified, and the most magnificent temple in history will be built in the midst of it under the personal supervision of the Messiah. That temple is described in detail in chapters 40-48 of Ezekiel. The glory of Jerusalem in those days is best summarized in Isaiah 62:1-7 where we are told that the city will be “a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord” (verse 3). The prophet also says the city will be “a praise in the earth” (verse 7). For the first time in its long bloody history, it will be a refuge of peace (Joel 3:16-17 and Zephaniah 3:14-20).It is essential that all Christians awake to the fact that these amazing prophecies will soon be fulfilled. We are living at the very time that Zechariah predicted.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS COMING TO EARTH SOON

What is the Kingdom of God? It is the central theme of Jesus’ teaching and the foundational message of the Church founded by Him through His disciples. As Mark explains in his Gospel account, “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel”.

Unfortunately, in reading Jesus’ statement that “the kingdom of God is within you,” many have mistakenly limited the Kingdom of God to a philosophical perspective or a way of thinking. In reality, the coming Kingdom of God is far more than what is in the hearts and minds of Jesus’ followers. In fact, it is the Kingdom that God’s faithful elect will enter at Christ’s return and that will be established here on earth.

When we as true believers, completely surrender to God and His rule, the invisible Kingdom enters into us. When finally the full Kingdom is established on earth, then we may literally enter the Kingdom. Every believer must be keenly aware of the serious implications of the Kingdom’s arrival and be fully prepared for it. This is the message that the Church was truly destined to proclaim. The Kingdom has already come in the hearts of those who have truly understood the message and actually made Christ the King (ruler) of their lives, but Jesus is returning soon to reign as the manifest King over this entire earth. The world scene is about to be radically transformed as the King of the universe takes His place on the throne in Jerusalem. Believing Jews and Gentiles will be united as the “One New Man” in order to take their place in the government of the near future.

In my eBook, “The Kingdom of God is Coming to Earth Soon” I deal with the following topics;

The Original Concept of The Kingdom.

The “Now and Not Yet Kingdom”.

What is The Kingdom of God

Israel – A Theocracy.

Restoring The Kingdom.

Reigning in Life.

The Character of Kingdom People.

The Principles of the Kingdom.

The Mysteries of The Kingdom.

Receiving the Unshakable Kingdom.

The Glorious Manifest Kingdom.

Why is the Church Silent?

 

For your free copy of my eBook please click on the following link.

The Kingdom of God is Coming to Earth

Worship

Many Churches announce Sunday morning as their Worship Service, but what does this usually consist of ?   To begin with someone may offer a welcome to  all attending. It may then consist of the opening prayer which is not actually a prayer of petition but a recitation of various appropriate scriptures. Usually the gathering also sings a conglomeration of hymns and choruses led by an appointed  worship leader. The choruses usually come first. These are generally the shorter popular religious songs. Following after these choruses comes a hymn or two. These are usually slower, perhaps with somewhat deeper meaning. The service usually features a sermon on a suitable subject.  Of course there is always an offertory hymn preceded by a brief word of encouragement to give generously. In some cases there may also be a table of communion when congregants are offered small pieces of bread and a small glass of wine. The whole service is usually restricted to one half hour followed by some mutual “fellowship”.

What might happen if Jesus unexpectedly literally showed up?  What if He walked into the auditorium?  Would the order of service be changed? How might it become different?  Would there be more enthusiasm?  How might the service differ from the usual Sunday morning service?  What if the opening prayer was truly an earnest, honest plea to God to take the oversight?  Would the worship include all the popular choruses and hymns perhaps a little more enthusiastic than  normal ?  Might the service become less like a funeral service and more like a resurrection party?  If our prayers and petitions are genuine why would not Jesus show up?   At the next Worship Service, why not expect God to show up?  Why should we not pray and petition honestly?  Why not truly beseech God until He answers our prayer?  Why not worship in such a fashion that God cannot stay away?  Then we would truly have a genuine worship service!

Are You Coping?

One of the basic  meanings of “coping”  is to manage your life  well.
In other words, are you on top of things, or is life getting on top of you?
There many reasons in life’s journey  why circumstances can seem to get out of
our control, creating stress and even depression with emotional sadness.
One such circumstance  is sickness, particularly if there seems to be no
good end in sight. What can one do in such circumstances that appear to
be completely beyond of personal control.  Perhaps the Bible can help us?

Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you.  Here are some
simple thoughts that may  help you. Palm 55:22

Cry  To cry is not a shameful thing to do.  Many brave people have cried.  Even many strong persons in the Bible had reason to shed tears at times. It often provides emotional release from pent up dark negative emotions that nothing else can release. It can  provide release and relief that nothing else can.

Open your heart in some way to let hurtful thought out and all allow positive
thoughts and feelings in.  Tell God exactly how you are feeling. Ask God to erase every negative and fearful thought from your heart and mind.

Pray.  Many people think that they cannot pray, but prayer is simply talking
to God as you would talk to a close and trusted friend.  Set a chair in front of
you and imagine that such a friend is sitting there. Perhaps you may want
to close your eyes and use your imagination.  God is the creator of the whole
universe. If  He can truly create and sustain the whole universe, surely
He can take care of your worries and fears. Ask Him for His advice, comfort
and consolation.  Remember that prayer is a two way activity. Even as you
talk to Him, He can also speak to you in the quiet recesses of your soul.

Inspire yourself in the Lord.
David Encouraged Himself in the Lord”. 1 Samuel 30: 1-25 key verse-6.
We all need encouragement from time to time. All of us at some time or another face a real crisis when everything seems to fall apart. There are times of discouragement, when things go wrong for most people. Problems and heart heartaches may come from many directions.  Remember that God’s greatest promises often arrive during our times of deepest sorrow and grief.  May I remind you that  God has the heart of a good shepherd who will always hear your most desperate cry.  Please read and memorise these words from the Bible.  We encourage you to recite them strongly and positively,  three times every day!  (Morning, noon and night).

Psalm 23

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 

3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Never give up praising and glorifying God.  Your circumstances will often tempt you to give up this new routine you are developing. Don’t allow such temptations to turn you back to your previous negative silence.  Positive thoughts and statements will assist you to live more positively which is far better than being constantly negative.  If you know anyone that truly believes in God and has a living relationship with Him spend some quality time with them. Ask them to pray for and with you.

Give God the glory for any improvement. Even though the improvement seems to be very small, endeavour to keep believing for more positive  improvements in the future. Keep looking up to God and believing for His help!   Trusting God does not mean that you should not also trust in your doctor and what he or she may prescribe for you. This also requires positive faith in order to achieve the result for which you are praying. However, one thing you definitely need whether you are believing in God or your doctor is positive faith.

When is the End of the Age?

You have probably heard or even used this phrase some time in a conversation without truly understanding what it really means. Many people have possibly thought that it means the  destruction of this world in which we presently live. They have possible wondered  what might happen after this age, wondering what might happen to the earth and what may possibly survive  the horrendous events that would perhaps vanish?  Would any humans survive such an startling event and especially whether they in particular might survive it?  If they possess any thoughts about the possibility

Actually the end of the age (“end of the world” population in the KJV) refers to the end of this present era and the commencement of the next dispensation. It is the period that precedes the second coming of the Son of Man as the Righteous Judge. The end of the age includes the rapture, the tribulation, the second coming, and the judgment of the nations, all of which help to usher in the age to come.

Jesus refers to “the end of the age” a couple times in Matthew 13, as He explains the meaning of some parables. For example, in the parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus warns of a judgment to come in which “the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire” (Matthew 13:40). This will happen, Jesus says, “at the end of the age” (verses 39–40). Later, Jesus likens the kingdom of heaven to a dragnet that brings up all sorts of fish. Then the sorting comes: “They sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age” (verses 48–49). In both parables, the end of the age is associated with a separation, a sorting, and a burning fire (verses 40 and 50). Jesus used the phrase the end of the age to refer to that time in the future when the kingdom of God is established, true justice reigns, and the wicked are judged.

In Matthew 24, Jesus’ disciples come to Him with a question about the end of the age: “What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3). What follows is called the Olivet Discourse. It is the Jesus’ summary of end times’ events particularly as they relate to Israel. The disciples thus understood the end of the age to mean “the final judgment that accompanies Jesus’ second coming.” The end of the age will be a great calamity for those who persist in their rejection of Christ. Judgment will fall swiftly and with finality. For the children of God alive during that time, the end of the age will be a time of wonderful salvation and fulfilled hope.

One “age” or era leads to another. Jesus spoke of both “this age” and “the age to come” (Matthew 12:32). The current age, the one in which we live, is the age of grace, which we also call the church age. In this dispensation, all mankind is called to repent of their sin and turn to Christ for salvation. This age has lasted for 2,000 years because God “is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). But this age must eventually come to an end. At the end of the age (literally, the consummation of the age), the age of grace will be complete, and a far more glorious age will be ushered in. Until then, “now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2)—repentance should not be delayed.

All of these references refer to the days in which we are now living and will happen  in the very near future. Everyone who reads or hears these warnings needs to take imminent appropriate action. They need to earnestly call on God for His saving grace. Just as judgment will come upon the godless, so the mercy and salvation of God will eternally save all who cry out for His salvation that Jesus Christ has procured for will who call on His name.  If they do not presently sense their need for salvation they will in the very near future as the world begins to fall apart.

Jesus, Fulfilling Prophecies

Did Jesus of Nazareth fulfill all 108 First Coming prophecies?

Jesus did indeed fulfill all 108 distinct Bible prophecies concerning the Messiah’s First Coming.Anyone who thinks that is an accident knows nothing — absolutely nothing — about the laws of probability. Prophecy is proof positive that Jesus is God in the flesh.

The Scepter Shall Not Depart

Every year at Christmas we are reminded of the remarkable prophecies concerning the birth of Jesus, and how they substantiate His deity and the faithfulness of God. Let’s take a look at some of those prophecies.

The first that come to mind are those that establish the general time period when the Lord would appear. There are two in particular I’d like for us to consider. The first in Genesis 49:10. “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people.”

When one thinks of a king, we usually think of a crown and a throne, but kings also wield a scepter. The one who holds the scepter is the one who also holds all the power in the land. The line of King David flowed from the tribe of Judah, and so Judah through King David and his lineage held the rightful power over Israel. This power included making laws and also the authority to wield capital punishment over its subjects.

The Jewish people throughout much of their early history held the right and power to put to death those who disobeyed their laws, that is, until Shiloh came. Who is Shiloh? Shiloh stands out as a Messianic term for the Messiah. Jesus the Messiah is Shiloh.

By the time Jesus had arrived on the scene, up to that point the Sanhedrin still wielded the power to put Israel’s criminals to death. But, when the Romans took over, they took that power away from the Jewish people. Hence, when Israel’s religious leaders plotted to crucify Jesus, they had to get Pontius Pilot’s permission to kill Jesus because the Jews had lost the power to enact capital punishment. The scepter — the power — to rule uninhibited had been removed from Judah. The loss of that power occurred nearly the exact time Shiloh showed up!

Messiah Shall Be Cut Off

Another prophecy predicting the general time period of the Messiah’s first advent can be found in Daniel 9:20-27. It concerns the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 Weeks of Years.

What an amazing prophecy this is! The angel Gabriel personally delivered this message when he came and appeared to Daniel while he was deep in some intense praying. Gabriel declared a number of prophecies, but the one that we are focusing on here is that after “7 sevens” and “62 sevens,” meaning 483 years, the Messiah would be cut off. This amazing prophecy declared that the Messiah would one day come, and when He did, He was going to be “cut off,” meaning He’ll die. A lot of the Jews couldn’t accept a prophecy that foretold the death of the Messiah.

This prophecy pinpoints the timing of the Messiah’s arrival and departure. The 483 year countdown would commence once a command was given to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls. Mathematicians and theologians have done some complicated figuring to calculate the starting event that would lead to the general time period of the Messiah’s arrival. Once the command was given in 445 B.C. by the Persian King Artaxerxes through a decree issued to Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-8), take 483 years from that decree and we end up right at the time of Jesus, particularly right at the time of His death.

Such an utterly amazing prophecy! The prophecy leaves no doubt that only Jesus of Nazareth could be the Messiah the Angel Gabriel was referring to. Jesus arrived precisely on time to fulfill the 70th Week of Daniel prophecy.

Probabilities and Prophecy

The world would shout “Coincidence, coincidence!” But, we all know better than that. Quite a lot of study in the Scriptures has been made over the centuries concerning whether a prophecy fulfilled is merely coincidence or probability.

It’s impossibly hard to have a coincidence show up 483 years later when you need it to happen.I’m not a mathematician, but there was a mathematician who made such calculations. He has since passed away, but his name was Peter Stoner. The man possessed the most brilliant mind, and yet he demonstrated that rare gift of being able to take complicated mathematics and explain them in easy to understand illustrations.

For example, Dr. Stoner acknowledged that there are 108 distinct messianic prophecies made in the Bible that Jesus Christ fulfilled at His First Coming. He wondered what were the chances of just eight being fulfilled in the life of one man. Stoner performed all the mathematical calculations and he figured out that the possibility was 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That number is a 1 followed by 17 zeros! That number stands so big that the human mind can’t grasp it. And that calculation is based not on all of the 108 prophecies, but merely eight.

Dr. Stoner brought that ungraspable number down to my level in order to explain it. He said this is what 1 in 10 to the 17th power would look like. Take the entire state of Texas, which is a very huge state, and fill it two feet deep in silver dollars. Mark one coin and throw it out of an airplane. Once the coin had landed, churn up all those coins statewide with bulldozers so that the coin is totally buried. Next, take a blind man and drop him in. When the blind man reaches down and picks up the very first coin, that would be the coin with the mark.

That is 1 in 10 to the 17th power! Impossible? It sure would be, unless something divine happened. That divinity was none other than the arrival of the Son of God, Jesus Christ! Dr. Stoner proved we are not talking about coincidence here when it comes to Jesus Christ fulfilling hundreds of years-old prophecies.

Are You Serving The Real Jesus Or A Western Version Made In Your Own Image?

That’s quite a compelling question, isn’t it? It’s kind of like asking how much of Christ is in your Christianity. Take Christmas, as an example. I think many of us would agree that Christmas has become so commercialized that Christ is hardly noticed, much less celebrated and revered. Easter would be in the same category. How in the world a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ could have ever evolved into an affinity with Easter bunnies and Easter eggs, I’ll never know. Such is the tenuous nature of idolatry.

Is it possible for Jesus Christ to be lost in Christianity, the very religion whose name it bears and professes? We know that without a relationship with Christ, just another religion is all that remains. We also know from Scripture that someone can profess to know Christ but in works actually deny Him (Titus 1:16). But isn’t it also true that in works many may profess to know Him, but in authentic heart-knowledge, they do not?

Here’s a quick contrast:

The biblical Jesus warns us of sin, judgment and hell, but the Westernized Jesus never says anything negative.

The biblical Jesus gives you salvation, hope, peace and joy, but the Westernized Jesus gives you happiness, wealth and sentimental feelings.

The biblical Jesus brings division when necessary, but the Westernized Jesus promotes unity and tolerance at all costs.

Would you agree that Jesus was perfect in all His ways? Yet His perfect love made some people angry. It brought a strange kind of trauma into their lives. His words disturbed and unsettled many and even caused riots. That’s because His love was a holy love. And holiness always repels the carnal mind and makes people hostile. Jesus was perfect in love, and yet they killed Him for it. Such is the spirit that’s in the world and in religion. Holiness always provokes hatred and makes proud people mad while ministering life and a heavenly fragrance to the humble.

The Aroma of Christ

I’ve been around persecuted Christians and have received much from their spirits. When you are around someone who suffers, an aroma of Christ pervades the very atmosphere. The Western church must cultivate this holy quality, but it can’t be done until we understand meekness, brokenness and suffering—all qualities of the real Jesus, the Lamb of God. Sentimental love, so common in Western nations, rooted in the fear of man, will never possess those qualities. Listen to the words of Watchmen Nee describe the breaking of the alabaster box by the woman who anointed Jesus for burial (John 12:1-8).

The breaking of the alabaster box and the anointing of the Lord filled the house with the sweetest odour. Everyone could smell it. Whenever you meet someone who has really suffered—been limited, gone through things for the Lord, been imprisoned, and is satisfied with the Lord and nothing else—immediately you sense the fragrance. There is the savour of the Lord. Something has been crushed. Something has been broken. And there is a resulting odour of sweetness.”

Jesus, the Express Image of God and the Brightness of the Father’s Glory

Many other people only know God as a Creator and a Judge. They have a distorted perspective of Him and see Him as a sort of policeman or traffic cop, who only springs into action when they are caught in a wrongdoing. Without the Lord Jesus coming into our world as God Incarnate, living among us, and revealing the deepest profundity of the fatherly heart of God, this is the conclusion many mere humans will formulate of Him. This perception of God does not draw me close. It does not pull on my heartstrings. It does not stir up any faith and praise or deep desire to know Him. This demeaning view of God is not enough. Unless we come to truly know Him as a loving Father, we will have a crippling walk with God and be at a grave disadvantage in relation to Him. We will never function aright until we see Him aright.

This is the God Jesus reflected. This is the loving Father He came to reveal to us. This is the real Jesus.

A Glorious Transformation Coming Soon

Zechariah 12:7-8

8 In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them.  NKJV

His identification is verified in this instance because when Israel looks upon Him in verse 10, they recognize Him as  Yeshua i.e. the One who was once pierced at Calvary. Did Jesus then say to Israel Matthew 23:39.

39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!'”  NKJV

What time or occasion could be more timely or appropriate  for Israel as a nation to repent and say ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!‘” This could be the very time that Israel as a nation goes into a time of deepest repentance and mourning concerning Yeshua who has just delivered  Israel from seriously threatened destruction. It could also be the time of her acceptance of  Yeshua as her Messiah.  I believe that following this timely appearance, Yeshua will remain in the midst of Jerusalem.

Joel 2:27-32

27 Then you will know that I am here among my people of Israel and that I alone am the LORD your God. My people will never again be disgraced like this.

28 “Then after I have poured out my rains again, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions.

29 In those days, I will pour out my Spirit even on servants, men and women alike.

30 “I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth — blood and fire and pillars of smoke.

31 The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon will turn bloodred before that great and terrible day of the LORD arrives.

32 And anyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved. There will be people on Mount Zion in Jerusalem who escape, just as the LORD has said. These will be among the survivors whom the LORD has called. NLT

 Zechariah 8:3

3 “Thus says the LORD:’I will return to Zion, And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.  Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the LORD of hosts, The Holy Mountain.’ NKJV

 

 The Coming Transformation:

The fulfillment of this amazing prophecy in Zechariah 12 will initiate  tremendous changes throughout the whole world. The transformation will initially be a spiritual one but the immediate repercussions will be military, religious, social and political. Glorious transformations will occur in the aftermath of Holy Spirit outpourings firstly on Israel (Zechariah 12:10) afterwards upon all flesh (Joel 2:28).

  1. The Messianic Transformation Of  Israel.  Zech 12:10, Rev 6 etc, Israel will become a Messianic nation symbolized by the 144,000 in Revelation 7. They will comprise an army of servants of God that together with Messianic Gentile believers will bear faithful witness of the kingdom.
  2. Transformed Spiritual Atmosphere around the world of awe and wonder. The change in the heavens will transmit to the earth changing the conscious awareness of the nations. Every nation will become conscious of the God of the universe.
  3. A Transformation Of The Church. Joel 2:28 Spirit on all flesh, Acts 3:21, God’s presence in the midst (centre) of Israel (Joel 2:27) will precede the promised outpouring of the Spirit on all flesh. The proclamation and harvesting of the kingdom of God will increase exponentially.
  4. Transition Of The Church Into Kingdom Mode. Luke 12:3232 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom NKJV The universal Church will be transformed inwardly and outwardly. It will be unrecognizable to the traditional Church of this present era.
  5. World Wide Influx Of Muslim, Hindus Etc become believers in Messiah. Powerful shockwaves will reverberate around the religious world as multitudes of former adherents from all false religions accede to a new revelation of Jehovah God and His Messiah.
  6. A Kingdom Witness Around The World. Matt 24:14. The Gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed powerfully around the entire earth with amazing supernatural results.

I believe that this is a message from God to His Church universal and to all nations on earth. It is a subject that should be closely examined by every Church and every Christian. I would challenge every preacher who reads this article to preach on it, either to urge people to pray for Israel or to deny its validity,  relevance and importance. One way or another, make a firm decision about this. Whilst certainly not wanting to suggest any time lines for the immediate future, I do feel that we are much closer to radical times than we have ever realized. Events may well become accelerated and the future that has always seemed eons away may actually be now on the proverbial doorstep. The sudden emergence of the earthly Kingdom of God could eventuate much sooner than we have anticipated and we need to be actively conscious of this possibility.

The Throne Of David

The King of this illustrious Kingdom will occupy the throne of  David in Jerusalem. The Angel Gabriel made two promises to Mary. First – she would be the mother of a Holy Child. Secondly – this child would one day sit on the throne of His father David. The first promise has already been fulfilled. The second remains to be fulfilled. It will be fulfilled soon, because the God of  Israel by His only begotten Son Jesus, has started to bring His First-born son Israel back to the Promised Land of Israel. The people of Israel, the land of  Israel, the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, are being prepared for the Coming of the Lord.

“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 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. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  (Luke 1:26-33 NKJV)