Father God, we give You glory, honor, and we praise You for all You did through Your Son Jesus, and we ask for Your help in learning of You and our Savior, and to live with hope, and be filled with joy and peace this holiday season as we study on the birth of Your precious child Jesus. Bless each one of us with knowledge, understanding and wisdom of our Savior's birth this season, and bless us to know that Jesus is the reason for the season. Thank You Holy Spirit for all Your help as we study, and as we live a life to please our Father in Heaven. Please fill us with that joy and peace in the power of the Holy Spirit that (Ro 15:13) speak of, in Jesus name, amen. Bless each member of this community with joy and peace this holiday season, bless their families, provide their needs to be meet, protect them as they travel to visit family and friends during this holiday season. Bring family together and closer to one another this season. We appreciate You, Lord Jesus Christ, because You made away for God to be with us. Thank You that the joy of knowing our Lord is with us, He is our strength, and we shall live by this all year long. We pray this prayer in Jesus' precious name; Amen.
"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
Bible prophecy or biblical prophecy comprises the passages of the Bible that claim to be communications from God to humans through prophets. The Biblical prophets are usually considered by Jews and Christians to have received revelations from God, subsequently recording them in the relevant writings. Such passages are widely distributed throughout the Bible, but those most often cited appear in Ezekiel, Daniel, Matthew 24, Matthew 25, and Revelation. Some prophesies in the Bible are conditional, with either the conditions implicitly assumed or explicitly stated. Some prophetic passages are depicted as direct statements from God, while other statements are expressed as the privileged perspective of the biblical author considered to be a prophet. Believers in biblical prophecy engage in exegesis and hermeneutics of scriptures which they believe contain descriptions of global politics, natural disasters, the future of the nation of Israel, the coming of a Messiah and a Messianic Kingdom — as well as the ultimate destiny of humankind. Hebrew Bible prophets often warn the Israelites to repent of their sins and idolatries, with the threat of punishment or reward. Blessings and ruinations are attributed to the deity. According to believers in Bible prophecy, many of these prophecies are viewed as having been fulfilled within later passages.
A second prophetic theme is the coming of a Messiah: Christians believe that these Messianic prophecies are fulfilled by Christ Jesus, while followers of Rabbinic Judaism still await the arrival of the Jewish Messiah and other signs of Jewish eschatology. Most Christians believe many messianic prophecies will be fulfilled with the Second Coming of Christ, though some Christians believe that all Messianic prophecies have already been fulfilled. Rabbinic Judaism does not separate the original coming of the Messiah and the advent of the Messianic Age.
What is Prophecy?
Unlike any other, only God knows the future. , Isaiah 46:9-10, NKJV. "Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,'" Prophecy shows the reliability of the scriptures, which do not come from men but are sent by God. , 2 Peter 1:19-21, ESV. "And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." Prophecy foretold of a Savior that would die to save us from sins. , Luke 24:46-47. NKJV. "He told them, 'This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.'" Jesus fulfilled the prophecies about the Messiah, our Savior. , Luke 24:44, NKJV. "Then He said to them, 'These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.'" Prophecy is a way for God to communicate to His people. , Hosea 12:10, NKJV. "I have also spoken by the prophets, and have multiplied visions; I have given symbols through the witness of the prophets." God has revealed His plans to the prophets. , Amos 3:7, NKJV. "Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets" God's plans are always for our good. , Jeremiah 29:11, NIV. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future"
Prophecy is one of the gifts of the Spirit to the church. , Romans 12:6-7, NKJV. "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if Prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching" Prophecy helps move the work of God. Ezra 6:14, NKJV. "So the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the command of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia." The gift of prophecy is to build up the church and unify it. , Ephesians 4:11-13, NKJV. "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;" The Holy Spirit distributes individual gifts to members of the church. , 1 Corinthians 12:9-11, NKJV. "to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills."
Be sure to test prophets. , 1 John 4:1, NKJV. "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world." Prophets must speak according to the Bible. , Isaiah 8:20, NKJV. "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Prophets are not usually popular. , Matthew 5:11-12, NKJV. "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Prophecy speaks what is right, not what is popular. Isaiah 30:10, NKJV. "Who say to the seers, 'Do not see,' And to the prophets, 'Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.'"
We are to test prophecies, not ignore them. , 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21, NKJV. "do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good." Beware of prophets who do not keep the laws of God. Matthew 7:22-23, NKJV. "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" We can expect prophet in the last days of earth's history. , Joel 2:28, NKJV. "And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions." Prophecy has important information about the last days. , Revelation 1:3, NKJV. "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near." Prophecy that does not enhance the understanding of God's love is worthless. , 1 Corinthians 13:2, NKJV. "And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing."
To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:"
"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." (Micah 5:2)
Sharing: Christmas Songs Week # 1 O Little Town of Bethlehem
O little town of Bethlehem, How still we see thee lie! Above your deep and dreamless sleep,
The silent stars go by. Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light, The hopes and fears of all the years, Are met in thee tonight.
O morning stars, together Proclaim thy holy birth And praises sing to God, the King, And peace to men on earth. For Christ is born of Mary, And gathered all above, While mortals sleep, the angels keep Their watch of wondering love.
How silently, how silently, The wondrous Gift is giv'n! So God imparts to human hearts The blessings of His heaven. No ear may hear His coming, But in this world of sin, Where meek souls will receive Him still, The dear Christ enters in.
Where children pure and happy, Pray to the blessed child. Where misery cries out to thee, Son of the mother mild; Where charity stand watching, And faith holds hope wide the door, The dark night wakes, The glory breaks, And Christmas once more.