December 21, 2014 Enunciations


Proclamations in clear and definite terms!  God’s plans to come to Earth to save man from his sin and its effects are clearly pronounced in the following chronology about Jesus birth.  You should enjoy the weaving of the different accounts together in their order and sequence and see clearly God’s plan.

Isaiah 7.14, Immanuel means God is with us.  The ‘what’ and ‘how’ of God’s intention.

  • The prophet Isaiah was sent to King Ahaz, grandson of Uzziah, king of Judah, to assure him of God’s deliverance of Judah from the attacks of Syria and Remaliah.
  • God demands that Ahaz ask for a sign that this will be so, but he declines.
  • So, God gives him His sign: verse 14: ‘the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel’.  (ESV)  Immanuel means God is with us!
  • ‘Virgin’ also means young woman, as is necessary to understand verse 16: ‘before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.’  This prophesy was for Isaiah, because his wife became pregnant with a son, Isaiah 8.3, and God reminded Isaiah of the earlier pronouncement to Ahaz in verse 4.
  • God’s prophesy to Ahaz was not about Isaiah’s son but about the future birth of Jesus.

Isaiah 9.6-7, Royal titles of Immanuel; eternal rule.  The ‘Who’ of God’s intention.

  • Notice the titles to be given to Immanuel/Jesus in verse 6: Wonderful Counselor!  Mighty God!  Everlasting Father!  Prince of Peace!
  • Notice, too, that Immanuel’s rule would be forever on David’s throne over Israel.  Immanuel determines what is just and righteous forever!
  • God’s zeal would make this so!  Zeal means ‘great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause’.  You will see from the angel Gabriel’s comment to Joseph, in Matthew 1.21 below, that reconciling you and all people to God was/is the cause which God pursues with great energy!  Have you experienced His zeal?

Luke 1.26-38, Gabriel to Mary.

  • Chosen by God, according to His criteria, not man’s; His ‘favor’!
  • The baby would be a ‘son’ because every human has a progenitor; in this case, THE Progenitor of both the first ‘Adam’ and the Second!  ‘He will be Son of God!’ (verse 37)
  • Name the baby ‘Jesus’.  Connecting to Isaiah 7.14, Jesus is Immanuel!  ‘Jesus’ is the name by which we know God, as Jesus said in John 17.12.
  • He is God of Heaven and Earth!  God welcomed His Son as God to Heaven, as David wrote in Psalm 110.1. And, Jesus was of the kingly line of King David, through his descendant Mary.  Jesus is Immanuel!
  • Why did Gabriel mention Elizabeth’s pregnancy in verse 36?  To establish that Mary’s pregnancy, too, is possible with God!

Matthew 1.21-23, Gabriel to Joseph.

  • Name the baby ‘Jesus’!
  • ‘He will save His people from their sins.’  Salvation is new revelation; Immanuel’s mission!  Reconcile man back to God!
  • Jesus is Immanuel!

Luke 1.39-56, Mary travels to Elizabeth.

  • Why?  To confirm Gabriel’s word that she was pregnant.
  • By this, Mary confirms that her pregnancy is possible with God.
  • Elizabeth confirms this in her welcome of Mary; verses 42-45, especially 45.
  • Thus, Mary delivers her Magnificat or Song of Praise, acknowledging God’s power in the past and present and future.

Luke 2.1-21,  Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.

  • Notice that God used Caesar to get Mary to Bethlehem to fulfill the prophesy of Micah (5.2).
  • Shepherds are told by angels that Jesus has been born and is the Messiah! (Verses 9-14)  They were considered as a lower class of people…untrustworthy.  But, God chose them to be the first see and worship Jesus!  Israel was God’s ‘sheep’; He their Shepherd (Psalm 23).
  • They left their flocks to go and see Jesus the Messiah, to confirm what they had heard!  They, then, told others about Messiah’s birth and the pronouncement by the angels. (Verses 16-20)
  • Mary was astonished by the angelic message heard by the Jewish shepherds (verses 10-11).  ‘Savior’ (said to Joseph); ‘Messiah’ – Gabriel had not said this to her!  He had said Jesus would be Immanuel, God with His people.  So, she was astonished, not knowing the full magnitude of what she had been told by Gabriel or Joseph. 

Matthew 2.1-11, Magi complete their journey to worship the newborn Jewish King.

  • Was this worship prophetic of Gentiles coming to Jesus?
  • In verses 2 and 4, Herod connects newborn King to Messiah.  Micah 5.2 prophesied about the birth city of Messiah.  Herod knew the prophesies, apparently.  The Magi had piqued his interest because he did not want to give up his position to Messiah, just as the Pharisees did not.
  • What was the meaning of Magi gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh?  These gifts were suitable for a king.  Frankincense, when burned as incense, became a symbol of the Divine name, as Malachi 1.11 reveals.  (Eaton’s Bible Dictionary)  Myrrh was used to make the holy anointing oil (Exodus 30.23) and for embalming (John 19.39).  When mixed with wine, it produced insensibility (Mark 15.23).  Notice how these symbolize Jesus’ divinity and mission of providing a sin sacrifice of His body and blood.  Do you see God’s hand in this selection?

Luke 2.22-39, Mary came to Jerusalem Temple.

  • She came to present Jesus, according to the Law (Exodus 13.2, 12; Leviticus 12.3) and to present offering for her cleansing from childbirth (Leviticus 12.4-8).  This occurred eight days after Jesus’ birth and within her first 33 days after giving birth.
  • There, Mary and Joseph encountered Simeon confirmed Jesus as Messiah and gave a prophesy about His convicting of Jewish sin of not recognizing Jesus (Immanuel) as fulfillment of Moses’ Law and about Jesus bringing joy to Gentiles (Magi were first; Luke 2.25-35).  M & J ‘marveled’ at Simeon’s repeating of OT prophesies and his personal words to Mary.
  • Widow Anna overheard Simeon and proclaimed Jesus as Messiah to others in Temple; Luke 2.38.

Matthew 2.12-23, Magi listened to angel’s instructions not to return to King Herod.

  • He kills boys 2 years old and younger for satan.  (Revelation 12.1-6)
  • Joseph listened to an angel and took Mary and Jesus into Egypt until Herod died.  Joseph did not return to Bethlehem or Jerusalem, Judea because of Herod’s son, but relocated Mary and Jesus to Nazareth, Galilee.  While Bethlehem is nearby to Jerusalem, Nazareth is far to the north and near the Sea of Galilee.
  • There is no conflict between Luke’s account that has Jesus being circumcised on the eighth day and Matthew’s account of Joseph taking Mary and Jesus to Egypt.  They are simply sequential and, perhaps, two years apart. It is unknown why Joseph would have stayed in Bethlehem, except that Jesus continued to be celebrated by the people. Of course, God kept him there to fulfill Micah’s prophesy and to guide the Magi.

All of this confirmed Scripture that was foretold by God to prophets earlier and through events controlled by God!  Consider that the various enunciations about Jesus came through…

  • Isaiah, the prophet
  • Gabriel, the angel
  • Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin
  • Mary, Jesus’ mother
  • Caesar Augustus to fulfill Micah’s prophesy about Bethlehem
  • Angels to shepherds
  • Shepherds to Mary and Joseph and everyone that would listen in Bethlehem; first Jewish worshippers
  • Magi, first Gentile worshippers
  • Simeon, the old man who had believed God’s promise that he would hold and see Messiah
  • Anna, the centenarian guided into the Temple at just the right time.

So, what are you enunciating to others about Jesus?

Praise God!!!  Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2014.

December 14, 2014 Abraham’s Yoke

Abraham’s Yoke

Rookies become yoked to the more experienced.  This is true of rookie police officers, fireman candidates, new salesmen, and junior executives.  Before automation, farmers would yoke a young mule or ox to one older to learn to follow his commands for plowing fields.  In Philippians 4.3, Paul entreats a previous student, ‘yokefellow‘, to join him in carrying out the assignment of spreading the Gospel.

Abram became a ‘yokefellow‘ of God when He accepted God’s assignment to leave Ur and walk to length and breadth of The Promised Land.  You have observed his process in the previous study, from hearing and understanding the ‘what’ of God’s promise (Genesis 12.1-3) to, with fits and starts, understanding that God determined the ‘when’ and ‘how’ Isaac would confirm Abram’s new name Abraham, meaning father of a multitude.  You, too, must become yoked to the name ‘Jesus’, as Jesus said in Matthew 11.28-30.

Learning how to be faith-filled.

  • You entered kindergarten when you confessed John 3.16 as your understanding of John 14.6.  This was the beginning of faith, as Paul stated in Hebrews 12.1-2.  What two distinctions did Paul attribute to Jesus?
  • You needed teachers to grow your understanding from kindergarten through your highest level of education.  Even so, in the spirit realm, Jesus pictures for you the completion of the knowledge leading to the faith that you need for eternal and temporal salvation in and from this life (Acts 4.12), as Paul wrote in Ephesians 4.13.  Jesus said the Holy Spirit would be your teacher, in John 14.26 & 16.7-11.  John repeated Jesus’ words in 1 John 2.27.

The Name above all others!

  • Now, in Matthew 11.28-30, Jesus said you must take His yoke upon yourself; i.e., become yoked to Him, like the inexperienced believer you still are.  Paul illustrated this in Romans 6.16.  What is it you still must learn from Jesus?
  • Notice in Matthew 11.28-30 that Jesus began His statement identifying with where you are, just like His hearers then, in need of relief from the burdens of satan’s abuses around you.  ‘Come to Me…, and I will give you rest.’  He is the only one who can, as He said to the new disciples in John 8.31-32.  How does this explain John 16.33?  How does 1 John 5.4-5 help you to understand?
  • ‘Take My yoke upon you….’  What was Jesus’ yoke?  His name!  The name that God told the angel Gabriel to tell Mary to name the baby to be born to her; Luke 1.31. Gabriel confirmed this name to Joseph, her betrothed; Matthew 1.21.  Notice Jesus’ purpose: to ‘save His people from their sins’, i.e., their acts of rebellion from acknowledging God and for following satan (Jeremiah 13.10).  Why was Mary told something different?  Jesus acknowledged in John 17.12 that His name was God’s name, just as Paul emphasized in Philippians 2.9-11.  There is no name greater than ‘Jesus’!  How does the yoke of Jesus’ name help your understanding of 2 Corinthians 6.14 and Isaiah 42.8?
  • The name Jesus is the yoke for all Christians, as was first stated from observation in Antioch, in Acts 11.26.  Believers ‘looked like Jesus’ in that they were anointed to perform the same acts of healing and deliverance that Jesus had (Acts 10.38), as He said they would, in Matthew 10.7-8.  And, Jesus said He was only doing what He saw God do, in John 5.19-20.  (BTW, this was fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18.18 (John 12.49) and Exodus 34.10, as Jesus stated in John 15.24.)  Why is the yoke of His name what Jesus meant as ‘cross’ in Matthew 16.24?
  • ‘The power of life and death is in the tongue.’  Solomon wrote this Proverb 18.21. Jesus stated this in Mark 16.17, ‘in My name…, they will’; Paul encouraged the use of the name Jesus for deliverance in Philippians 2.9-13; Peter stated that ‘Jesus’ was the source of healing, in Acts 3.16 & 4.12; and John stated this in Revelation 12.11 (the ‘word’ is Jesus, because 1 Corinthians 1.24 and Romans 1.16)!

The yoke of ‘Jesus’ is easy.

  • Jesus said so, in Matthew 11.30.
  • You understand ‘easy’ by reading Mark 16.20.  Jesus went with the disciples who exercised the Great Commission, in verses 15-18.  This is what He said would happen in Matthew 10.7-8 and, actually, did in Luke 10.1-19.  Jesus had given them authority to use His name ‘Jesus’ in doing the work of the Great Commission.
  • Jesus makes your work tasked by God easy because He has already defeated the enemy satan, as in Exodus 12.12 and John 12.31 (foretelling of what happened when, from the cross, Jesus said, ‘it is finished’, and the power of the Law that evidenced sin but could not save, illustrated by the Temple curtain, was torn in two from top to bottom [God did it!]; John 19.30, Romans 7.7-11, Galatians 2.21, and Matthew 27.51, respectively).
  • How does Jesus work through His followers?  By the Holy Spirit; i.e., the Spirit of Jesus: 1 John 4.4, Ephesians 1.13-14, Philippians 1.19 and Acts 16.7.  Being part of the Trinity of God, He has the same name ‘Jesus’ as the Son and the Father.
  • For Christ-followers, all things are accomplished for you by the name Jesus.  Consider Isaiah 26.12 and Philippians 4.13 & 19.  God satisfies you through faith in His name!

Assignment for you.

  • Abraham was yoked to Jesus the Father; Romans 4.21.
  • The disciples were yoked to Jesus the Son; Luke 10.17 & 19.
  • You ARE yoked to Jesus the Holy Spirit; John 14.6, 10-14.  Remember 1 John 4.4 and consider 2 Corinthians 10.3-6 and Ephesians 6.10-11He is the power within you. Speak His name, Jesus!
  • You are a bond-slave of Jesus, bought with the price of His blood; 1 Corinthians 6.19-20.
  • Stay yoked to the Name above every other name and learn from Him!  He is easy! You WILL find rest, temporally and eternally!  (Because satan is defeated, God is exalted, and Jesus IS Lord!)

Praise God!!!  Copyright © Maurice L. Painter, 2014.