David Pawson claimed (Book of Revelation, Part 1, about 8:30) that there are two books of the Bible that Satan particularly doesn’t like: Genesis and Revelation. In Genesis Satan’s deceptive practices are exposed. In Revelation his downfall is prophesied – Jesus wins; Satan loses. In particular the first few chapters of Genesis and the last ones of Revelation cause Satan the most grief.
Pawson also suggested that we read Scripture aloud. I have noticed that when I hear myself reading something aloud, it becomes clearer. At the very least reading something aloud makes it difficult for me to skim over the words. I don’t want to skim over those parts of Genesis and Revelation that annoy Satan the most.
I started reading David Pawson’s Practicing the Principles of Prayer this past week. I am beginning to understand prayer as a human privilege. Since prayer is a conversation, it is also never done alone. In order to bring that point home, I keep reminding myself to vocalize my prayers with words, not just thoughts, even if I speak only in a whisper.
I suspect I’ve thought of prayer too often as some sort of mindless, staring-at-my-navel meditation. That, I see now, is done alone and it is not as valuable as I once thought. It has been an awakening for me to get past that. By awakening I don’t mean that “woke” stuff where sleep-walkers bend a knee to the idol-of-the-day, but a real awakening.
I love the traditional celebration of Christmas on December 25th especially as Mario Murillo presented it yesterday in his post. However, placing the actual birth of Jesus at the beginning of the Jewish calendar, that is, on Nisan 1, opens up, for me, an unexpected fulfillment of prophecy.
Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic Christian pastor, made the case that Jesus was born on March 20, 6 BC. If you watch the 28 minute video, When Was Jesus REALLY Born??, (Jim Bakker Show November 12th, 2012), look for the following: 1) In the spring lambing season the shepherds would be in the fields at night attending the birth of the lambs. 2) These lambs from Bethlehem were the temple sacrificial lambs. By pointing out the sign of “a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12 NIV), the angel was telling the shepherds to also attend the birth of Jesus. 3) Central events in the life of Jesus occurred on Jewish holy days: the Lamb Selection Day (Palm Sunday), Passover (Crucifixion), the Feast of First Fruits (Resurrection), and Shavuot (Pentecost). If His birth were a similarly central event it would likely occur on Nisan 1, the beginning of the Jewish calendar. 4) The birth year of 6 BC is suggested by an unusual occultation of Jupiter by the Moon in the constellation Aries that the Magi, or Zoroastrian astrologers, would have noticed in the spring. This would point them to the birth (occultation) of a king (Jupiter) in Judea (Aries). 5) The Tabernacle took nine months to complete like the period from conception to birth of a baby. It was set up on Nisan 1, “on the first day of the first month” (Exodus 40:2 NIV).
As Jonathan Cahn mentioned at the end of the video every time we receive Jesus it is day one, a new beginning. That would include today, December 25th, as well. And so I wish you a Merry Christmas and a new beginning.
The winter solstice doesn’t bother us. It happens this time every year. It comes and goes. A few might care to know, But no one feels any fear.
A birth we celebrate about this time That happened once in ancient days Still moves the heart with joyful gratitude. We rise with shepherds singing praise.
Far be it from Joseph to doubt the angel even when he felt overwhelmed.
There wasn’t a guest room available but they could stay in the courtyard where animals were kept along with the other travelers the inn could not accommodate with rooms. While Joseph prepared a place for Mary and him to sleep her labor began. She gave birth under the stars wrapping her child in cloths and laying him in a manger.
Shortly after the birth shepherds found the child. They told everyone about an angel, the sign of a baby in a manger, and how the horizon filled with a heavenly host giving praise.
For a better understanding of what actually happened, see Matthew 1 and Luke 2. I owe the idea of a “courtyard” to David Pawson who described what the inn may have looked like in a lecture, The Church and Christmas – The Truth About Christmas Part 2 (starting about 20:00).
When I think of Christmas I think of decorated trees, presents, special food, family, quiet, cold wintry nights – and snow. Here are some photographs of snowy scenes from last year. Annette Rochelle Aben reminded me in one of her recent posts of this Christmas song that may fit these photos:
Christmas is the traditional time to celebrate the birth of Jesus although He was not likely born on this date. Joseph Lenard argued that Jesus was born on the Feast of Trumpets (specifically, September 11, 3 BC, at the beginning of the Jewish civil year, Tishri 1, or Rosh Hashanah). David Pawson argued that Jesus was born later in Tishri during the Feast of Tabernacles. Richard Lanser argued that Jesus was born on March 20, 6 BC, on Nisan 1. There may be arguments for other dates that I’m unaware of.
Pawson, however, pointed out something important in his argument. The supernatural event was not the birth, but the conception of Jesus nine months earlier recorded in Luke 1:26-38. He pointed out that a virgin could theoretically give birth to a baby girl through parthenogenesis, but not to a baby boy. This reaffirms the significance of conception in human life.
Regardless of when Jesus was actually born, winter is a good time for a celebration and Jesus is worth remembering at any time of the year.
I am also linking this to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. I began writing the post on Saturday, December 5th, which happened to be my own birthday. That thought led to a realization this past week that has given me many reasons to smile, with gratitude to all of our parents and to the grace of God, that we have all been assigned to this same time together.
And so, my fellow assignees, may all of you, friend and foe alike, have a blessed Advent and a Merry Christmas.