Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
Boxing Day, traditionally the day when we open the gifts given on Christmas Day…something perhaps many of us do not do anymore with the temptation and new traditions seeing presents revealed with haste and joy on the day we remember the birth of Jesus Christ. Any yet, perhaps the idea of waiting for a day had some wisdom …for it causes you to pause and reflect, and perhaps wonder. While Christmas is the day when we recall the arrival on earth of Christ as a child, and very much revealing Himself as ‘Immanuel’, which means ‘God with us’, are really ready for the fullness of this gift?
We look upon the Christ child’s face, and even in the thought of ‘God with us’, and perhaps are rightly consumed with the innocence and wonder of this picture, and the fact it recalls to our spiritual beings a very deep desire, that is to once again have God walk amongst us…something that has grieved us on earth ever since Adam and Eve were cast out of Eden. Our sin holding us back from this initiate walk with our Creator on earth, until He chose again to be here amongst us…and here in the face of this baby, we see the face of God, and that wonderful promise.
It is good to rejoice in the wonder of God revealing Him as a child, and growing up amongst many over 2000 years ago, and as a man revealing so much of the saving and loving nature of God as the Messiah ministered amongst us. Professing the truth that we can eternally walk with Him in heaven if we believe and receive Him, and walk with Him. And yet, this meant His death on a cross, and then rising from the dead and ascending to heaven, with the promise He would come again…revealing once more God with us. However, as we open up the box properly to see the fullness of this gift, we see what King David saw more than 1000 years before Joseph and Mary heard from Gabriel who this child is, and always was…God with us, yes, but also the Son, the Anointed One, reigned from everlasting, and seated on an eternal through, reigning with mercy and truth, and an iron rod, over all.
The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion.
Rule in the midst of Your enemies!
Your people shall be volunteers
In the day of Your power;
In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning,
You have the dew of Your youth.
The Lord has sworn
And will not relent,
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
The Lord is at Your right hand;
He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath.
He shall judge among the nations,
He shall fill the places with dead bodies,
He shall execute the heads of many countries.
He shall drink of the brook by the wayside;
Therefore He shall lift up the head.
Praise to God for His Faithfulness and Justice
He will come again as one who will judge the nations, and dash to pieces the wicked, and fully restore His people and His creation. This King of kings, the eternal priest, the one Anointed with Power, and the Prophet, will reveal the fullness of who He is in His return, and perhaps because of this has given us such time since His birth on earth to prepare for this fullness. In reality we have no comprehension for what this will be like. Moses could not bear to look upon such presence, and yet because of the price Christ has paid, in some way we are able to walk as Adam did with God…but with absolute fear and awe know this is the one who created all things, and whose heavenly self hold it in His hand.
This powerful presence of God will be manifest at His return…are we ready?
He ministered amongst us with love, power, and His word, and commissioned us to go and do also to prepare for His return. He will raise up some in the end of days who will reveal more of this power, again to prepare us for His return. How do we prepare? By giving people the chance to receive Him by faith so they can stand in His presence; By decreeing His word so that His creation can receive the redemptive power held within; By planting the seeds of love and faith that allow the redeemed to grow; By walking the length and breadth of the land to redeem it for His kingdom; By revealing and imparting His kingdom so as to extend it in to every aspect of society; Earnestly pursuing the disciplining of nations, not just people; By revealing His love through signs and wonders; and, By drawing the blueprints for His new creation. That is to fully embrace the great commission, and in His power walk it out, and above all pray at the watch of His return. He calls us to watch for His return,an act of great faith as persecutions increase, and yet so necessary. Watching over His word, watching for Him in our actions, watching and waiting for Him in the heavenly place with Him.
Let us not be mistaken, as the time draws near for His return their will be great joy but also tears amongst His people and the nations. The light will become greater, and so to the darkness. Contentions and wars will reflect the creation bending under the strain of it redemptive plan, and the power of the truly all powerful God drawing near. The enemy, Satan, will seek to create great destruction in the battle against inevitable ultimate defeat of him and his minions, including the deceived, and even try to dissuade the faithful through deception and destruction. Nations, and states within nations, will turn against each other, and as people declare afresh their devotion to Christ, others will seek to bring them down, any yet through it all His kingdom will be expanded, and the chosen will be redeemed, and His Word will be spread throughout….sending forth the seeds of restoration. Even Jerusalem itself will see such pain, and yet also redemption as God draws a line, and the courts are seated, and wickedness completely defeated. This victory of Christ completely assured, and already one, and we will see it worked out on earth as it is in heaven.
LET US OPEN WIDE THE BOX OF CHRISTMAS….HE COMES.
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. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary
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.
Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
“Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”
“I will declare the decree:
The Lord has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ”
Now therefore, be wise, O kings;
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
Therefore He shall give them up,
Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth;
Then the remnant of His brethren
Shall return to the children of Israel.
And He shall stand and feed His flock
In the strength of the Lord,
In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God;
And they shall abide,
For now He shall be great
To the ends of the earth;
And this One shall be peace.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
“I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.
“Thus he said:
‘The fourth beast shall be
A fourth kingdom on earth,
Which shall be different from all other kingdoms,
And shall devour the whole earth,
Trample it and break it in pieces.
The ten horns are ten kings
Who shall arise from this kingdom.
And another shall rise after them;
He shall be different from the first ones,
And shall subdue three kings.
He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
Shall persecute the saints of the Most High,
And shall intend to change times and law.
Then the saints shall be given into his hand
For a time and times and half a time.
‘But the court shall be seated,
And they shall take away his dominion,
To consume and destroy it forever.
Then the kingdom and dominion,
And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven,
Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High.
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.’