Knowing from eternity what awaited Him is one thing as the Lord led me to write about in my November 27, 2022 post, it is another thing experiencing the hatred, persecution and suffering that led to His death!1 Satan--who knows from experience the Bible narrative and its prophecies better than even the most studious of believers--sought to prevent Christ’s mortal entry into the world by destroying His godly lineage in advance. He could not (Genesis 3:1-7, 13-15, 4:1-8, 25-26, 17:1-8, 22:9-18, 25:19-26, 49:1-2, 8-12; Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38; Galatians 3:15-18)! Undeterred because of his hatred for God and man, the devil did not stop trying to keep Christ from coming.
Being the Almighty God, the Father was undeterred from bringing His Son into the world in the face of Satan’s fierce hatred because of His love for and consequent desire to save mankind from eternal destruction (Jeremiah 32:26-27; John 3:16-21). In fulfillment of His Word spoken some seven hundred years before through the prophet (Isaiah 7:10-14), God sent “the angel Gabriel” to deliver His message of blessing and “favor” to a “betrothed” Jewish virgin named “Mary.” She was chosen by God for whom “nothing is impossible” to ‘“conceive’” in her ‘“womb’” ‘“a Son’” by the agency of the ‘“Holy Spirit,’” ‘“to be born’” and ‘“called the Son of God,’” (Luke 1:26-38, NKJV).
Only the apostle Matthew records how Satan persecuting Him before birth, might have destroyed the developing unborn Son in His mother’s womb. Discovering her condition however he did, Joseph, Mary’s “husband, being a just (or righteous) man” did not want to expose her to “public” scandal and the very possible condemnation of death by stoning required in the law under normal circumstances for not being a virgin or adultery (Deuteronomy 22:13-24; Matthew 1:18-19, NKJV).2 Stoning Mary to death would have also killed her unborn Child. But God intervened with Joseph by His angel in a “dream” as he wrestled with his troubling marital dilemma (Matthew 1:20a, NKJV).
The angel encouraged Joseph revealing the activity and purposes of God in Mary’s pregnancy. He was told not to fear embracing Mary as his wife because “that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” validating her truthfulness and faithfulness. Furthermore, Mary would ‘“bring forth a Son’” and Joseph as His surrogate father given the honor of naming Him, ‘“Jesus,’” because ‘“He will save His people from their sins,’” (Matthew 1:20b-21, NKJV).3 Matthew goes on to also affirm Mary’s virgin pregnancy with Jesus, the Son of God, by the Father’s will and exertion of power to accomplish it “fulfilled” Isaiah’s prophecy (Matthew 1:22-23, NKJV). Too, he reports Joseph obeyed God’s message through the angel and kept his wife’s purity until her Son was born (Matthew 1:24-25).
1 Read the November 27, 2022, Christ The Lamb Slain Before Creation, under the category, Instruction.
2 Speaking of Joseph as “just” refers to his character which God plainly shows is important to Him with also Mary and all of the godly persons named in the Christmas
narrative. He leads me to uphold His shaping and forming of the character of Christ in Christians as the nonnegotiable renewing work He does in us for the present
and eternity in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. It is available at your favorite internet bookseller or brick and mortar bookstore and the
Strong Man Store. With the Lord’s leading, I also developed a companion curriculum drawn from the book, The Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and The
Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study for the equipping of the saints in the home and churches. Get the Leader Kits that contain a Soft Cover Edition of my
book, a respective Leader Guide and Participant Workbook as well as CD-Roms featuring PowerPoint Teaching Assistance, Pledge Sheets and Evaluation Forms
for both studies exclusively in the Strong Man Store.
3 As is commonly explained by most expositors the angel would have used the proper Hebrew and Aramaic for the Lord’s name, “Yeshua,” which means “Yahweh
will save” or “the Lord is salvation” or quite literally to the point, “Savior!” Holy Scripture assures the Lord will respond to His name by whatever language is used
to “call upon Him,” (Acts 2:1-6; Romans 10:11-13, NKJV).
It is tragic to hear of and know many professed American Christians that are not willing to accept the coming global persecution of Christians to the death plainly foretold in Old and New Testament Bible prophecy.1 Jesus Christ our Lord--God “the Word” made “flesh,” (John 1:1-3, 14, NKJV) is the most prominent voice of prophecy on this topic among the sons of men ever (Matthew 10:16-23, 24:9; Mark 13:9-13; Luke 21:12-19; John 16:1-3)! Yet, many will not hear Him. As a result, they are making no spiritual, mental or emotional preparation for what the Lord has forewarned us is coming in spite of the fact it is happening to genuine believers in many parts of the world right now.
Giving us a heads up through prophecy long ago recorded in His written Word is another manifest blessing of God’s grace. It is not intended to frighten or ward us off from being Christians though, some are departing from the faith from fear. No, God’s good intent is to keep it real with us and encourage our diligent preparation in the face of His warnings in advance as the Lord Jesus indicated during and at the end of some of His prophetic discourses (Matthew 24:23-25; Mark 13:23; John 16:4). Understanding and accepting God’s purposes in allowing His people to be persecuted to the death through faith in and love for Him will help our preparation.
Indeed, it is written of the Lord Jesus Christ our example in everything that He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” (Revelation 13:8, NKJV). The apostle Peter similarly writes of Him as God’s “lamb” “foreordained before the foundation of world,” (1 Peter 1:18-21, NKJV), while Paul indicates God’s “purpose and grace” were “given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,” (2 Timothy 1:8-12, NKJV). These amazing statements clearly tell us our Lord Jesus had knowledge and understanding of what awaited Him at a future time from eternity before there was ever a creation or such a thing as time! After these, He still had to wait millennia knowing His future before the time.
When Christ did come into the world armed with advance knowledge and understanding of His Father’s will of persecution, suffering and death on a Roman cross for Him, He came with the trail blazing attitude of the Strong Man of God He is (Hebrews 10:5-7)! He does not hide the truth of possibly having the same future from those who would become His followers He also expects to possess His attitude (Matthew 16:24-27; Mark 8:34-38; Luke 9:18-26; John 15:18-25).2 The Lord’s apostles fully understood Him and experienced persecution and suffering to the death. They wrote to instruct us we to follow are not intended to long be exceptions to the rule if as has occurred here in America, there should be a brief respite (Acts 14:19-22; Philippians 1:27-30, 2:5-8; 1 Peter 4:12-19).
1 See the October 23, 2022 post, Revenge Of Those Without God’s Mark, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
2 The attitude of Jesus Christ, the Strong Man of God is exactly what He through the book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, commissioned me to write about to help
professed Christian men know so they might possess it! The book is available at your favorite internet bookseller or brick and mortar bookstore and the Strong Man Store.
I also developed a curriculum drawn from the book, the companion Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study for the equip-
ping of the saints in the home and churches. Get the Leader Kits that contain a Soft Cover Edition of my book, a respective Leader Guide and Participant Workbook as
well as CD-Roms featuring PowerPoint Teaching Assistance, Pledge Sheets and Evaluation Forms for both studies exclusively in the Strong Man Store.
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