FRONT PAGE ARTICLE
The Angel said do not fear
by David G. Rose
Do not be afraid! These powerful words reveal great meaning as the story of Christmas unfolds. For the next few weeks, we will see how the coming of Jesus impacted the lowly shepherds, the virgin Mary, the priest Zacharias, and Joseph, the husband of Mary. They each heard the glorious admonition to “do not be afraid.”
There is much fear in America today. Some of the top things we fear include financial, family, and health problems. But Jesus came to earth to bring peace, love, and joy. Whenever Jesus appeared to troubled people, fear left. The first Advent of Christ brought great hope and that hope is as strong today as ever.
1. The lowly shepherds were told to “fear not” when the angels visited them in Luke 2:10-11. Never had there been better news. Jesus, the Christ, was born! The long-awaited Messiah was now on earth! Let all heaven rejoice and let the people be glad.
When the shepherds received this message, Israel was living in fear under the iron rule of the pagan Romans. The Jewish religious leaders were corrupt, and shamelessly teaching heresy. Food was scarce and taxes were overwhelming. There was a sense of doom and despair throughout the land. There was no joy in the world.
The Apostle John presented the Good News in John 3:16-17 NKJV, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Before Jesus came to earth, thinking people knew that things were not right. Anger and violence were common-place. Paupers and aristocrats lived in fear for their very lives. They did not know who to trust or where to find safety. Their tomorrows were bleak and unpromising.
But one ordinary night, everything changed. The angels came to the shepherds and said, “Fear not!” First, they did not have to fear the glory of the angels because they came as friends and messengers of Good News. Second, they did not have to fear the conditions of the world, because the Child that was born would one day rule the nations! Third, they did not have to fear because the outlook for their future, both on earth and in Eternity, was now extremely blessed!
The message of the angels said that things would be getting better. And this message for all people – anyone who was breathing on earth! Are you breathing today? Then FEAR NOT! Christ, the Savior is born! As the hymnwriter has said, Christ brings “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.”
This Christmas season, determine to believe, accept, and commit to abandoning fear and to trust fully in the Christ of Christmas. As it says in Psalm 34:4-5 NKJV, “I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.”
Next week: Mary
Current affiliations include:
DRM - David Rose Ministries
NAIWE - National Association of Independent
Writers and Editors
AG - Assemblies of God
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FBCHC - FT. Bend County Historical Commission
XP - Xulon Press
FBHA - Fort Bend History Association
JPT - Jerusalem Prayer Team
JPN - JUMAA Prayer Network (Reaching Muslims)
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December 5, 2023
Proverbs 9:8-12 NLT - So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you. Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more. Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.
Prayer: Dear Lord - With joy and thanksgiving I come into your Holy Presence. Thank you for the practical instructions you provide for daily living. The scripture today reminds me that people are different. To be successful I must know the resources You provide, so I can deal with complex people. Help me to seek wisdom, act wisely, and to reflect on Christ everyday. In the name of Jesus I pray.
This column highlights various scriptures that are considered prophetical in nature.
After death - Spiritism?
by David G. Rose
After death, what’s next? Spiritism requires people to believe that the living can communicate with the dead through a “medium.” This has become a big business today, especially in America. However, this is contrary to what the Bible teaches. In fact, the scripture is profoundly against attempting to contact the dead (Leviticus 19:31; 20:6.7). Further, the example of Saul shows God’s displeasure when we try to circumvent Him to find answers (1 Chronicles 10:13).
The dead are under the control of God. He alone is the Lord of life and death. No one can violate the power of God. A good example of this is the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). The rich man could not communicate with his dead relatives.
Therefore, we must conclude that when “mediums” claim to connect with the dead, they are actually connecting with demons. These spiritual manifestations are lying and seducing spirits that deceive and manipulate foolish people who want to hear from their dead relatives. 1 Timothy 4:1 NIV, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”
Next week: The false teaching about Soul Sleep
Therefore, comfort each other and edify one another.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
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Guest Columnist: Rev. Tom Miller is ordained with the Assemblies of God, husband to Rhonda (15 grandkids). Tom currently does interim work & fills pulpits in Wisconsin.
A New Name
In Genesis 32, God asked Jacob his name. God already knew ... by the way. God asks lots of questions He already knows the answer to. But God wanted Jacob to acknowledge his name. “My name is supplanter.” “My name is swindler.” “My name is deceiver.”
When Jacob had stolen his brother Esau’s blessing years earlier, his blind father had asked his name; “My name is Esau,” Jacob had said. But now he acknowledges; “My name is Jacob. I’m a deceiver.” He had always tried to manipulate his way to blessing. but now he was repenting. So, God gives him a new name. “You are no longer Jacob. You are Israel.” This was God freely giving what Jacob so desperately wanted.
The same is true for you and me. The blessings we long for will not come through our own striving or deceit. The blessing of God comes as we surrender to His will.
It all starts with a question. What’s your name? In other words, “Who are you now?” For God to change your identity, you have to acknowledge who you are now. You must own who you are, before God can make you into something new.
God said, you will no longer be called Jacob. Your new name is Israel. You will no longer be trickster or deceiver or supplanter – you will be Israel – Prince of God! Jacob was a new man.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Jacob was a brand-new man. Jacob was born again. Jacob was now Israel, Prince of God.
I hope that’s your story too. I hope you have encountered God. I hope He has taken what you were and made you into something new. I hope He has changed you from the inside out and given you a new name.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Romans 8:26 ESV
David Rose Ministries is grateful to be affiliated with NAIWE (National Association of Independent Writers and Editors). This organization provides David with another blog site that reaches a whole new audience. In it, David will focus on his Texas History writings only.
Here is the link: