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MGJC Blog
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
An Angel Promises the Birth of John to Zacharias IV
Topic: John the Baptist

But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. (Luke 1:13-14 KJV)

It has been long time ago since we started the series on Birth and Preparation of Jesus Christ. Now, I’d like to keep discuss on the birth of John the Baptist in Luke 1. As we studied verses 5-12, we see that an angel visited Zacharias to give him surprising news. That message was he and his wife are going to have child.

Now, as we read in verse 13, an angel told him not to fear the great news. Why? God heard his prayer. How many of us think God is taking His time to answer our prayers? He doesn’t. We think God delays our prayers, but, actually, we are taking our time to receive His answers. God is not lazy.

In the next three verses, we read an angel of the Lord explained what this great news was about. First, Zacharias and Elisabeth shall rejoice upon their newborn. In their old ages, God gave them a gift that brings joy into their lives and community, even to worldwide. That gift was Jesus Christ. We have gift that would bring rich to our souls, Jesus Christ. Nearly 2000 years, God brought His Son to the earth to pay our sins at the Cross. If you are born-again, you received the free gift of salvation from God. But that doesn’t mean we are totally set free. There is a price for us to pay. We need to choose what to do with our free gifts. We can produce it by sharing the gospel to other people or keep it to ourselves. We can rejoice when we’d want to share the gospel to him.

The birth of joy begins when we’d accept Jesus Christ as our Savior.


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Sunday, June 21, 2009
An Angel Promises the Birth of John to Zacharias III
Topic: John the Baptist

And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. (Luke 1:10-12 KJV)

Have you been in fear of the Lord? The word “fear” in this passage is trembling or did something wrong. As we read in Luke 1:10-12, we see that Zacharias was deeply in trouble. We may not understand why he felt like if God would judge him terribly when the angel of the Lord appeared to him. But it was a good sign.

We need to learn to fear in our lives. We need to have reverence for God. Fear teaches us how we need to be right with God. It also teaches us how we need to avoid our evil thoughts and actions against God and our people. Paul said that we are in war against the rulers of the darkness of this world (Ephesians 6:12). Fear in the Lord helps us to avoid all the tempt that Satan would try to deceive us and begin to rely on God.

Zacharias’ fear wasn’t the sacrifice, but it was about giving our praises to Him. Without fearing of the Lord, we would not able to know where we’d spend eternality.


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Sunday, May 17, 2009
An Angel Promises the Birth of John to Zacharias II
Topic: John the Baptist

And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. (Luke 1:7-9 KJV)

As we continue to study on the birth of John the Baptist, we note another thing about his parents. Zacharias and Elisabeth were advanced their ages. What thru can do in their old ages? I’d know when the people would reach 65, it is the time for retirement.

As we read today’s passage, we read that Elisabeth and Zacharias were still in labor. They might feel tire, but they had God in their lives. We will see how this couple received a child from God. I think that believers in Christ should keep working for God until their time to be with Him.

It is interesting that there is a retirement plan for the young adults; even they haven’t experienced full adult lives. We see there is a life insurance plan for toddlers. Having a retirement plan is not against God’s will, but we should be kept working for Him until He’d call us top enter our eternal home.


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Sunday, May 10, 2009
An Angel Promises the Birth of John to Zacharias I
Topic: John the Baptist

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. (Luke 1:5-6 KJV)

Here, we begin the message series on the birth of John the Baptist. Please don’t confuse with the Gospel writer John. As we read in the first half portion of John 1, we read that John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus. His job was to prepare a road for Jesus to walk to His peoples’ lives (see Mark 1:1-2). He baptized them with the water (John 1:31), but Jesus came to baptize them with the Holy Ghost (John 1:33). We will study more in-depth on baptism of the Holy Ghost (Spirit) later on.

But, let’s focus on Elisabeth and Zacharias for the next several messages. The named Zacharias is a Greek form of Zechariah, which means “memory of the Lord.” First part of the name refers to the prophet whom the Jews stoned (Matt. 23:35; Luke 11:51). Some believe this prophet to be identical with Zechariah [11] or [16], though it is possible the reference is to an unknown prophet. Then there is a priest, father of John the Baptist (Luke 1).

Then there is a woman name Elisabeth, God is swearer; oath of God, the wife of Zacharias and mother of John the Baptist (Luke 1:5–57).

As we read, Zacharias and Elisabeth lived during the depression time by King Herod. Just as we are facing the economic system issue, the people of Judea faced taxes that were forced by this pagan ruler. Also, in Luke 1:5, we see that Zacharias was from the descendant of Aaron, who was the priest for the people of Israel.

They were righteous before God, even though there were some doubts. Do you know that God will still bless us, even though we’d doubt His words? Thomas doubted on Jesus’ resurrection until he touched Jesus’ palms. I know there are some people in the world who doubt on their children with severe disabilities. Even you’d have a child with disabilities, it doesn’t mean that your family is in generation curse. You have to release the negative thoughts on your mind and begin to trust on God that He can do anything possible. As we see on our civil rights, they would begin to turn our laws to negative effect to this Christian nation. The problem is not on our money, but it’s on our sinful acts against God. Our previous and current presidents have led our nation astray from God, because we did not fight against abortion, same-sex marriage, teen’s pregnancy, homosexual rights agenda, and so on. It is the time for the churches to make noises against on these issues. We need to stop our doubts on God and begin to trust on Him.


Posted by MGJC Web Ministry at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, May 5, 2012 9:25 PM EDT
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Sunday, November 6, 2005
The Life and Teachings of Jesus—The Birth of John III
Topic: John the Baptist

If you are married to your wife or husband and have a child, do you know what is this child going to be in future? Have you wonder what your child want to be when she/he would finish high school or college? As we are living in the twentieth-first century, we have seen kids would make good or poor choices in their lives. Some of them would decide to go to the right path where God would like them to be. Or some of them would decide to go to the right path where Satan would like them to be. But their decisions of living are depending on their living with parents. It is the beginning point of their lives.

As we conclude this part of series, we will look at the question: What then is this child going to be?

Let’s read Luke 1:62-66:

Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone's astonishment he wrote, ‘His name is John.’ Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God. The neighbors were all filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, ‘What then is this child going to be?’ For the Lord's hand was with him.

In this passage and previous message, we see that many people wondered what’s the child’s name going to be. In Luke 1:60, Elizabeth answered them his name is to be called John. But the people refused that name (v. 61), because they did not see anybody whom carried this name among the family.

Now it’s Zechariah turn to finalize the child’s name. Since he cannot talk to everybody, due to his rebellion against the angel of Lord (see Luke 1:5-25), he wrote that “his name is John” on a writing tablet (1:62-63).

Why he called that name on his child? Zechariah had no choice rather than to follow the angel’s message. If he would call different name of his child, he wouldn’t be talking. As soon as he announced his child to be called John, his mouth was opened and began to talk (v. 64). “The neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things.” (v. 65.)

But everyone were wondered what the child would be (v. 66). Since Zechariah and Elizabeth believed the power hand of God, they would answer them this child would be the massager that would announce the people to repent and ready for the coming of the Messiah.

As we look at John the Baptist and his parents, what are our actions to be? In Matthew 3 and Luke 3, we see that John the Baptist followed the instructions of the Lord that an angel announced to his parents (Luke 1). Do you rely on God with your child’s future? God told Jeremiah that He recognized him as a prophet before he came out from his mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5).

What is your example to pass onto your child? It is your responsible to give example to your child that is God’s way or worldly way to life. If we are not married, it is our responsible to set example godly way to live to the other believers. Paul said, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in faith and in purity.” (I Timothy 4:12.)

Are you saved? Are your love ones and friends saved in the grace of God through Jesus Christ? The purpose of this ministry is to share with you how much God loves you and me and wants to come in our own life to take us through any obstacles in our daily life. As Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms, if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:1-3.)

If you are lukewarm in your relationship with Jesus Christ and want to know Him as your personal Savior and Lord of your life, please consider asking Him to forgive your sins and invite Him into your life. Paul says, "That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believed and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." (Romans 10:9-10.) If you have done in your private room or workplace, then you need to tell to your friends or love ones about what you have done, so they may rejoice with you and want to have that relationship with Christ in their own life. There are many occultisms in the world, which do not know the love of God and His great plan for those who believe in Him. As it is written in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."


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Monday, October 31, 2005
The Life and Teachings of Jesus—The Birth of John II
Topic: John the Baptist

From the previous message, we looked at Luke 1:57-58 and studied about why God allowed Elizabeth to have a baby in her old age. We also studied about why the birthday tradition was not important in the Jewish community. As we studied through these discussions, we found out that God does not care how old we are rather than to have a personal relationship with each of us. Paul said there is nothing will able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37-39).

Why?

In I Corinthians 13, Paul gave an explanation about why the “love” is so powerful tool to establish the relationship than anything else. If there is no love, how Elizabeth conceived a child and rejoiced with her family and neighbors? If we would so focus on our personal holiday, how the love of God effect in us? In I John 4:19 said, “We love because he [God] first loved us.” Because He loves us, He created the world and formed us to live in this planet to establish the loving relationship with us. Because of His love, God gave us the second chance to repent our sins and may have eternal relationship with Him. Because of His love, Elizabeth celebrated what God has done in her life.

As we continue to study about the birth of Elizabeth’s child, why she and her husband, Zechariah, gave the unique name to their child.

Read Luke 1:59-61:

On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”

They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”

The word “circumcision” means removal of the foreskin in males. Throughout the Old Testament, we see that every firstborn must be circumcising in the Jewish community. It is necessary do this, especially with males, to remind their convent with God. It is established by God to signify His relationship with the Israelites.

In Genesis 17:9-14, God made a covenant with Abraham to signify His relationship with Abraham’s future descendants. All male Jewish babies underwent circumcision, a sign their set-apartness as God’s chosen people. I Peter 2:9-10a said,”…you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God…”

It is important to Jew that the only priest must do circumcision the child. Since the Jewish people released from Egypt, God specifically gave this law to the priests, Aaron and his sons, because it needed to be done property and holy by whom charged the Temple. God commanded that only eight-day old males to be circumcised to recognize that this child is belong to Him.

Then in the New Testament tells us that it is not necessary to be circumcised the child, because Jesus Christ has free us from the bondage of our sins (Galatians 5:1-12). Paul said, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

“Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.’ I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!”

Why do we baptize? The baptismal symbolizes that we born again in God’s family (John 3:1-8). It is the similar method as in the Old Testament. But, now, God let us to choose to come into His family. Circumcision and baptismal have nothing to do, but God would like to know what you would do after you have taken the first step of your new life.

Now, in Luke 1:59b, we see that the priest must name the child after the child’s father originally. But in this passage, Elizabeth refused to call her child after his father and named him John (1:60). This is strange for the priests (1:61), because she broke the tradition of family. But Elizabeth did just as an angel told her to do (Luke 1:5-25).

Elizabeth understood that her child will be special one as it prophesied in Isaiah 40:3.

What Zechariah would say about this? Did he agree with his wife about their child? If you have a child, what you would name her/him? Next week, we will conclude this study on the name John.

Are you saved? Are your love ones and friends saved in the grace of God through Jesus Christ? The purpose of this ministry is to share with you how much God loves you and me and wants to come in our own life to take us through any obstacles in our daily life. As Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms, if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:1-3.)

If you are lukewarm in your relationship with Jesus Christ and want to know Him as your personal Savior and Lord of your life, please consider asking Him to forgive your sins and invite Him into your life. Paul says, "That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believed and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." (Romans 10:9-10.) If you have done in your private room or workplace, then you need to tell to your friends or love ones about what you have done, so they may rejoice with you and want to have that relationship with Christ in their own life. There are many occultisms in the world, which do not know the love of God and His great plan for those who believe in Him. As it is written in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."


Posted by MGJC Web Ministry at 12:01 AM EST
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Monday, October 24, 2005
The Life and Teachings of Jesus—The Birth of John I
Topic: John the Baptist

What if you have a son or daughter, would you give him/her a unique name and have a big celebration with your neighbors? Probably. In this generation, having a baby shower is the most common thing to do if somebody would have a newborn child. Unfortunately, our modern day of this celebration has been quite different from what we will see Elizabeth’s baby shower in Luke 1.

1First, let’s read Luke 1:57-66.

When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy."

”On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, ‘No! He is to be called John.’

“They said to her, ‘There is no one among your relatives who has that name.’

“Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone's astonishment he wrote, ‘His name is John.’ Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God. The neighbors were all filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, ‘What then is this child going to be?’ For the Lord's hand was with him.

In this passage, we see that God gave Elizabeth and Zechariah a boy, just as an angel announced them in earlier verses (Luke 1:5-25). Luke 1:57 explained that there was a time to conceive a child. When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby...

Why God waited later of Elizabeth’s time to give her a son? This question is not for Elizabeth to hear God to answer. It’s not for Elizabeth to worry how she could take care her son. As we read about Abraham, God gave him a son for His purpose. It doesn’t matter to God about how old we are, because He knows about us before we born (see Jeremiah 1:5).

Nowadays, we felt that having a birthday is so important to our lives. Throughout the Bible, we see that any of people didn’t celebrate this kind of traditional holiday, except two kings from the Paganism, King Pharaoh and King Herod.=

God has time to do everything in our personal life; such as He has time for Elizabeth to give a child.

Are we having time for God to allow intervening into our lives? When you look into your mirror in the morning, what do you see inside of yourself? When it was time for Elizabeth to have a child, her neighbors and relatives came to her to rejoice with her, because they understood what the Lord had shown her was a great mercy (Luke 1:58).

Are you ready to celebrate with God in His kingdom? In Matthew 25, Jesus told a story about what happened to ten virgins when they aimed for a wedding ceremony. The first five virgins made to the party because they understood what this is all about, but the last five didn’t make to the party due to laziness. The purpose of this ministry is to share with you how much God loves you and me and wants to come in our own life to take us through any obstacles in our daily life. As Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms, if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:1-3.)

If you are lukewarm in your relationship with Jesus Christ and want to know Him as your personal Savior and Lord of your life, please consider asking Him to forgive your sins and invite Him into your life. Paul says, "That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believed and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." (Romans 10:9-10.) If you have done in your private room or workplace, then you need to tell to your friends or love ones about what you have done, so they may rejoice with you and want to have that relationship with Christ in their own life. There are many occultisms in the world, which do not know the love of God and His great plan for those who believe in Him. As it is written in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."


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Saturday, September 10, 2005
The Life and Teachings of Jesus—The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold (Part III)
Topic: John the Baptist

Have you asked God an awkward question about why this and why is that? Have you refused to listen to someone and you miss the opportunity? We all had experienced some rejections or miss the opportunity in our own life. From Luke 1:18-20, we will see how Zechariah misses the opportunity and needs to face the punishment until his son’s birth.

From the last two studies, we looked at John the Baptist’s family background and what an angel of the Lord had spoken to Zechariah. In Luke 1:13-17 says, “But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord. And he will go before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteousness—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’”

Remember Malachi prophesied that there was going to be a messenger before the Lord (Mal 3:1). The angel prophesied that this messenger will be a joy and delight to Zechariah, and many will rejoice because of his birth (Luke 1:14). Also, he will be filled with the Holy Spirit and power of Elijah to make ready a people prepared for the Lord (Luke 1:15-17). But there was a conflict in the heart of Zechariah. Let’s read in Luke 1:18.

Zechariah asked the angel, ‘How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.

In this verse, Zechariah asked the angel a good question, but he blew it by adding how old his wife and he was. Let’s begin with his question: How can I be sure of this? When Moses climbed up to the burning bush and met the Lord, he asked Him how he could bring the people of Israel escape from Egypt. “How can I be sure of this is You, Lord?” Moses would ask. As we read in Exodus 3-4, we see that God gave Moses some of the signs He made. In Luke 1:13, an angel of the Lord said to Zechariah that his prayer has been heard. God will answer your prayer if you put your faith and trust in Him.

But we cannot argue against God. Paul asked us a question of arguing against God, “Does not the potter have the right to make out the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” (Romans 9:21.) It is hard for us not to argue against our families for what is the best for us as individual. As in Luke 1:18b, we find some excuses not to obey our parents. But do not mix with Matthew 10:34-36 on gaining God’s messages to our own life and obeying our own people. As God said, we need to honor our parents (Deuteronomy 5:16).

Do you know why the American families have created many problems? One of the reasons is that they do not have the relationship with the One who created of this world. We could worship Buddha or Hindu, but does he give the answer to our problems? How is our material thing? Do they give the solution to our financial issues? Buddha, Hindu, or other gods from any otherworld religions can’t answer the prayer of our needs. Even some Christian denomination groups worship the idols, such as the Mother Nature of the creation, rather than God, by misinterpreting the Scripture. Only Jesus can answer to our requests, because He proved Himself to be our God by showing us His resurrection and His love and justice. The only way He can answer to our prayers is that we don’t need to excuse ourselves from Him.

Read Luke 1:19-22 and see why Zechariah can’t speak. He rejected the Word of God’s promise by excusing himself. In this text, Zechariah saw a vision—a vision from God. We do not know how long he was in the Temple, but we understand that he saw a messenger of the Lord.

Now he can’t speak to his people for days rather than making signs (Luke 1:22). But look when Elizabeth became pregnant. “When his time of service was completed, he returned home. After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and five months remained in seclusion. ‘The Lord has been done this for me,’ she said. ‘In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.’” (Luke 1:23-25.) Are you the one of them, who wants doing God’s favor in your life? Take a break time from your regular hours and give your time to Jesus Christ.

Are you saved? Are your love ones and friends saved in the grace of God through Jesus Christ? The purpose of this ministry is to share with you how much God loves you and me and wants to come in our own life to take us through any obstacles in our daily life. As Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms, if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3.)

If you are lukewarm in your relationship with Jesus Christ and want to know Him as your personal Savior and Lord of your life, please consider asking Him to forgive your sins and invite Him into your life. Paul says, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believed and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10.) If you have done in your private room or workplace, then you need to tell to your friends or love ones about what you have done, so they may rejoice with you and want to have that relationship with Christ in their own life. There are many occultisms in the world, which do not know the love of God and His great plan for those who believe in Him. As it is written in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”


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Saturday, September 3, 2005
The Life and Teachings of Jesus—The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold (Part II)
Topic: John the Baptist

From the previous study, we looked at the background of John the Baptist’s parents, Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, a descendant of Aaron (Luke 1:5). Zechariah and Elizabeth were “upright in the sight of God” as Luke reported. Of course, we looked to their marriage and how we could have successful single and/or marriage life in Jesus Christ as priesthood. In I Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priests, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession. You were chosen to tell about the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his wonderful life.” That’s from the New Century Version. Revelation 17:8 tells us that whose names are not written in the book of life since the beginning of the world. What is this mean that God keeps record what we did with the salvation of Jesus Christ, while we are on the earth, and He will judge us according to that gift of salvation. If God didn’t find one of our names in the book of life will go to the eternal death.

Read with me in Luke 1:11-17.

Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him [Zechariah], standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord. And he will go before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteousness—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’”

Luke 1:11 tells us that angel was appeared to Zechariah at the right side of altar of incense. To me, it seems that Zechariah was in the Temple of the Lord. From the Old Testament, the Temple was the Israelites place of worship. It was the most magnificent by King Solomon. As we see at the end of II Chronicles, the Babylonian destroyed the Temple, because the Israelites turned against God. From the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, we see that the people of Israelites began to rebuild the Temple.

As we see in the verse 11 in Luke 1, an angel or messenger of the Lord appeared to Zechariah at the right side of the altar of incense. This is the most significant of phrase. Throughout the Bible we read about the right hand of God. In the Book of Revelation said that Jesus is sitting at the right side of God. But, wait, what is on the left side? Do this mean people, who use their left hands, would directly go to the Hell? I don’t think so, because Jesus said that God so loved the world that He gave us His Son to save us from the world (John 3:16-17). He prayed at the last moment of His life before the crucifixion, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” (John 17:15.)

As we see Zechariah’s emotion in Luke 1:12, he was afraid when he saw the angel. We will see how Mary responds to the angel with this kind of emotion. The NIV Bible says that Zechariah was startled and was gripped with fear. What if you had a nightmare on the End Time, would you be scared? Daniel said that he became weak and sick for several days after he saw the vision of End Time (Daniel 8:27a). There is no doubts about we are living at very last day of our breaths. As we look at the events around today’s globe, we see many tragedies in Israel, the land that God puts the foundation of the world.

Look in Luke 1:13. The angel said to Zechariah that he does not be afraid. We do not have to be afraid when it comes to the crisis. Isaiah 55:8-9, the Lord says, “My thoughts are not like your thoughts. Your ways are not like my ways. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Do not fear when it comes to crisis in your or my relationships. The word fear means afraid or setting our emotions in awkward situation. It also can be as in painful situation, especially in broken relationship, for at a certain amount of time. Do not fear when your or my business has been crashed down. Because on the second part of Luke 1:13 says “your prayer has been heard.” God has a great plan for each of our life (see Hebrews 11:40). He also said that He has a future and hope for our own life (see Jeremiah 29:11). We can’t go wrong, if we put God in our lives and trust Him and not lean under own understanding way in life (see Proverbs 3:5-6), because God told us so.

Read Luke 1:13c and see what God would do for Zechariah and Elizabeth. From Luke 1:13-17, the angel said to Zechariah that God would give you a boy in their old ages. In Genesis 21:1-7, we see how God had promised and gave Abraham and Sarah a child, Isaac. Isaac means laugher. Here was when God gave the first Patriarch a son, Isaac. As we continue read through Genesis, we see that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were the Patriarch of the land of Israel, which it forms to twelve tribes of Israel from twelve sons of Israel or Jacob. This will lead to the 144,000 of Israelites that God will save before the Antichrist will show himself to the media (Revelation 7:1-8), plus those whose are living for Jesus Christ will be saved. But let’s go back to John the Baptist. Now we come to the description of John the Baptist that an angel is going to announce. (Next time, we will finish on this message series before we look to Mary and Elizabeth.)

As we read in Luke 1:14-15a, the angel of the Lord prophesied that John the Baptist will bring such a joy to the people and he will be great in the sight of the Lord. According to John 1, Matthew 3, and Luke 3, John the Baptist was preaching God’s message to the people by repenting their sins. Look in the second part of that verse, John will not drink any alcohol and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit (as Luke wrote about the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:1-13). In John 14:16-17a, Jesus promised His disciples that He will ask His Father to bring the Holy Spirit upon them, which will be fulfilled in Acts 1. Do you have the Holy Spirit in your present life? I’m not writing this message from my own idea, because the Bible declares that no one can contact with God unless the Holy Spirit would agree with God. We have the three persons inside in us. They are the soul, the spirit, and the living God. In the marriage, we would have God or material things, mate, and ourselves in our life. To have successful marriage, each of us needs God first.

In Luke 1:16-17, the angel declared that forerunner for Messiah will bring the people to God and he will go before Him to prepare the coming of Christ. “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” (Malachi 4:5-6.)

Are you saved? Are your love ones and friends saved in the grace of God through Jesus Christ? The purpose of this ministries is to share with you how much God loves you and me and wants to come in our own life to take us through any obstacles in our daily life. As Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms, if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3.)

If you are lukewarm in your relationship with Jesus Christ and want to know Him as your personal Savior and Lord of your life, please consider asking Him to forgive your sins and invite Him into your life. Paul says, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believed and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10.) If you have done in your private room or workplace, then you need to tell to your friends or love ones about what you have done, so they may rejoice with you and want to have that relationship with Christ in their own life. There are many occultisms in the world, which do not know the love of God and His great plan for those who believe in Him. As it is written in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”


Posted by MGJC Web Ministry at 12:01 AM EDT
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Saturday, August 27, 2005
The Life and Teachings of Jesus—The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold (Part I)
Topic: John the Baptist

Before the coming of the Messiah, there was a prophecy about the messenger, who was going to prepare the way for the Almighty One. In John 1, every person thought he was Elijah or the Prophet (John 1:21) when he preached the Good News of God’s Kingdom. As it is written in the Old Testament, "I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way—a voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him." (Mark 1:2-3 from Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:1.) That person was John the Baptist. In the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we will see his character and mission for the Messiah to come. But before we look to John the Baptist’s characters, we need to look how he was arrived to this physical world.

As every person in the world came from their parents, John the Baptist came from the loving and godly people named Zechariah and Elizabeth. In today’s text, we will look to his parents’ background and how does this passage can be related to our society. If you have Bible on the side of you, turn to Luke 1:5-10; otherwise, you can read the passage that is next two paragraphs.

"In the time of Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well; along in years.

"Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside." (Luke 1:5-10.)

In this passage, we found that this event happened during the reign of King Herod. Also, it was a time of depression in the land of Israel, because they were begging for the Messiah to bring the peace. In the next chapter of Luke, Caesar Augustus issued decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world (2:1), which caused everyone went to his town to register (2:3).

In Luke 1:5, there was a priest named Zechariah, who lived during the reign of King Herod in Judea. As we look at Zechariah, he was a faithful man and priest, who came from the division of Abijah. Abijah means "God is my father." As we read in the Old Testament, there was Samuel’s corruption son (I Samuel 8:3) and a descendant of Aaron who led the eighth division of service in David’s sanctuary (I Chronicles 24:10). Also, Zechariah had a wife named Elizabeth, who was also a descendant of Aaron (Luke 1:5c). In Luke 1:6 says that they were upright in the sight of God, observing His commandments and regulation blamelessly.

As we look to their marriage life, let’s look into our world point view on the marriage. When I was at Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, I met couple Christian people who shared with me their pass marriage life. As we discussed on the issue, they demonstrated me what they missed in their lives that caused in broken relationship with Jesus Christ. As we see on the media, many people would want to have marriage life because of the lack of love. Hebrews 13:4-5 says, "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’" If you are single as I am, don’t pressure yourself to try to find your mate, because God said that He will take care of your needs and He will celebrate the wedding feast with you in His place. Is the Church, which it represents as His bride?

In Luke 1:7 tells us that Zechariah and his wife had no children because of their old ages. Why God didn’t give them children? As we look Abraham and Sarah, God them a son, Isaac. But when the couple are faithful to God daily, He does not leave in one place. Instead, He waits until they are ready for a child. For instant, when I pray to God, He waits until I am waiting to receive His answer. Maybe you have a situation where you are not getting the answer to your needs.

But nowadays, some couples would decide to have long-term relationship and decide to astray from God. We see the news about the number of the people who decide divorce from each other or to have abortion—a murder of unborn baby. Yes, the baby came from God, and He will answer to your needs, but abortion is not an option. It will take a time. Even Zechariah and Elizabeth can refuse the waiting period that God is going to give a child, but they obeyed the Lord, as we will go further to see in Luke 1.

From Luke 1:8 to 1:10, we see that Zechariah was on the duty before God as being as priesthood. The Greek word for "priesthood" is hierateuma. It denotes "a priesthood" (akin to hierateuo), "a body of priests," consisting of all believers, the whole church (not a special order from among them), called "a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:5.)." It’s "a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9)," the former term is associated with offering spiritual sacrifices, the latter with the royal dignity of showing forth the Lord's Excellencies.

As in Luke 1:9, Zechariah was chosen by lot and according to the custom of the priesthood. In the Old Testament, God chose the people of Levite, a descendant of Levi who serve God and worked in the temple. Priests were Levites, but not all of them, some had lesser duties. "And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside." (Luke 1:10.)

In the New Testament said that those who believe in Him is called a holy priest. "But you are a chosen people, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession. You were chosen to tell about the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." (I Peter 2:9.) Even Jesus gave us the Great Commission to tell about the Good News of His kingdom (Matthew 28:18-20). In the household, we are called to serve each other.

When we come to the marriage, there is a different rule between the husband and wife to live God’s way. In I Timothy 2, Paul said that a man should be ahead of his household. The woman does not allow to teach or to have authority over a man, but to listen quietly (I Timothy 2:12). But the women should be reverent in the way they live (Titus 2:3a). As we read Titus 2:3-6, Paul told us that the job description for women should be supposed to do in the family. Nowadays, there are some marry women go out to work and make salary for families. From Genesis 1 to Genesis 2, God created the universe with His mighty hand and He created Adam, the first person that He ever created. Adam was a man, who lived in the Garden. God called Adam to have dominion over the earth. Then He created a woman, Eve, from the one of Adam’s bones. God didn’t call Eve to have the same right that Adam received. But when we see in Genesis 3, the serpent tricked Eve to understand what’s good and what’s bad, which caused Eve received the same right as Adam. To have successful marriage life as in priesthood, we need to let God gives us the duty assignment of household.

Are you saved? Are your love ones and friends saved in the grace of God through Jesus Christ? The purpose of this ministries is to share with you how much God loves you and me and wants to come in our own life to take us through any obstacles in our daily life. As Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms, if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:1-3.)

If you are lukewarm in your relationship with Jesus Christ and want to know Him as your personal Savior and Lord of your life, please consider asking Him to forgive your sins and invite Him into your life. Paul says, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believed and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10.) If you have done in your private room or workplace, then you need to tell to your friends or love ones about what you have done, so they may rejoice with you and want to have that relationship with Christ in their own life. There are many occultisms in the world, which do not know the love of God and His great plan for those who believe in Him. As it is written in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”


Posted by MGJC Web Ministry at 12:01 AM EDT
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