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Thursday, December 25 2014

Psalm 34: The Bethlehem Shepherds Prophecy

"I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His Life for the sheep"

The Messiah is the prophesied Bethlehem-born "Good Shepherd" (see Bethlehem In History And Prophecy; also The Messianic Role Of Naomi, Ruth And Boaz and Jesse The Bethlehemite).

Bethlehem Shepherds

"2:4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

2:5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel." (Matthew 2:4-6 KJV)

"10:6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 10:8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." (John 10:6-11 KJV)

One of the most-famous verses of the Bible, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men," is also a prophecy of the restoration of Paradise that is being made possible, for repentant people, by the "Good Shepherd" for His good "sheep" (i.e. separating the repentant "sheep" from the stubborn "goats" - see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners and Parables Of Jesus Christ: Separating The Nations). It was stated to shepherds of Bethlehem.

"2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2:2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 2:18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds." (Luke 2:1-18 KJV)

King David once kept flocks in the very same fields around Bethlehem as the shepherds recorded in the verses above. David's Psalms are filled with prophecies about the Good Shepherd, including the famous Twenty-third Psalm (see Psalm 23: The LORD Is My Shepherd).

Rachel's Tomb

"34:1 A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.

I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 34:2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. 34:3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

34:4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. 34:5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. 34:6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. 34:9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. 34:10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 34:12 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? 34:13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

34:15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. 34:16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. 34:20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.

34:21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. 34:22 The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate." (Psalm 34:1-22 KJV)

Fact Finder: Rachel, who directly became the mother of two of the Israelite patriarchs, Joseph and Benjamin, and indirectly of two more tribal patriarchs as the grandmother of Ephraim and Manasseh (see The Adoption Of Ephraim and Manasseh), was also a shepherdess (Genesis 29:6-9), who, as it happened died and is buried near Bethlehem. What prophecies of the Messiah were fulfilled through Rachel?
See The Rachel Prophecies


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This Day In History, December 25

274: Roman Emperor Aurelian (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars) declared the pagan Sol Invictus ("the invincible sun," from which the heathen "Sunday" originated; see Why Observe The True Sabbath?) to be the state religion of the Roman Empire and the "Church" that it created for itself (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).

336: The first documented observance of "Christmas" in Rome, observed at the time of their sun god (Sol Invictus) festival (see Does Rome Have Christ's Birth Certificate? and Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

496: Clovis and 3,000 of his warriors were baptized into the Church of Rome. Clovis is considered to be the founder of the Frankish kingdom (see the map below), the first Church of Rome king of the Franks, and the only orthodox "Christian" ruler in the west.

597: England adopted the Julian calendar.

795: Adrian I, pope 772-795, died. His relationship with Charlemagne "symbolized the medieval idea of union of church and state in a united Christendom." He was elected with the support of the Frankish party at Rome (see Emperors and Popes).

800: Pope Leo III crowned Charles, King of the Franks (subsequently called Karl der Grosse / Charles the Great, or Charlemagne) "Emperor of the Romans." Some consider this date to be the beginning of "The Holy Roman Empire" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation). The iconography of the Middle Ages shows the Emperor, not the Pope, as "Peter's representative." The emperor was often portrayed as standing alone as "God's earthly vicar" (listen to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy).

Europe
1066: The coronation of King William I (later known as William the Conqueror) of England.

1100: Baldwin of Boulogne, one of the leaders of the Church of Rome's first "Crusade" was crowned the first King of Jerusalem (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1635: French explorer Samuel de Champlain died at age 68. He was the chief founder of "New France" in North America (see also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).

1651: The General Court of Boston levied a five shilling fine on anyone found "observing any such day as Christmas" (see Could Santa Claus Have Become The Pope?).

1926: Hirohito became emperor of Japan.

1941: With France under German occupation at the start of the Second World War, many "Free French" forces retreated to the tiny French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon off the Canadian east coast (St. Pierre and Miquelon are to this day owned by France).

1950: Scottish nationalists stole the Stone of Scone (the "Coronation Stone" or "Stone of Destiny") from the British coronation throne in Westminster Abbey. Weighing 485 pounds / 220 kilograms, it was recovered 4 months later.

1977: Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel met with Egyptian President Sadat in Egypt.

1989: Romanian dictator Nicolea Ceausescu and his wife Elena were executed by a rebel firing squad during the overthrow of the communist government.

1991: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev resigned amidst the political death of the "Soviet Union." The USSR lasted for 70 years; it collapsed due to national bankruptcy.




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