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"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible might not tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas 2013

Home Bible Study- Lutz, Florida
Established November 2008

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(2 Timothy 2:15)

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1Timothy 2:3-4

Christmas 2013                    

It’s been my custom to take a brief respite from our current Bible study at this time of year and put pen to paper producing a Bible lesson concerning the birth of our Savior. We’re going to continue this Home Bible Study tradition again this year. 

Please open your Bible to Luke chapter 2.
Most people are familiar with some of the details from this account of Jesus’ birth.

Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem

Luke 2

1: Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of the inhabited earth.

2: This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

3: And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.

4: Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,

5: in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.

6: While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.

7: And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8: In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.

9: And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

10: But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;

11: for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

12: This will be a (what - a) sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13: And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”


Scripture tells us that long before time began the Holy Trinity met in counsel and planned that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ would be the only method and payment for sin in the world (see Acts 2:22-23). 

I want you to read these Scripture references for yourself.  I know some people don’t own a Bible and this is why I include these Bible verses in my lessons.  I prefer to use more than one Scripture reference when I can.  Please turn to 1 Peter, chapter 1.

I’ve decided to use the Amplified Bible’s translation for teaching purposes.

1 Peter 1

19: But (you were purchased – redeemed is a better word) with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a (sacrificial) lamb without blemish or spot.

20: It is true that He was chosen and foreordained (destined and foreknown for it) before the foundation of the world, but He was brought out to public view (made manifest) in these last days (at the end of the times) for the sake of you.
(Amplified Bible)

Now God the Father did not “spring” this surprise upon His creation.
Jehovah Jireh provided His people with a “road map,” if you will, of His arrival. 

It was laid out for all of mankind in the Old Testament.  Prophets of God spoke of things that the people should watch for so that when the Messiah (Jesus Christ) arrived He would be acknowledged by His people.  And the people would then believe that He was the Christ.

It’s a well known fact that the Old Testament contains more than 300 Messianic prophecies.  Many of these are repetitious in nature, like the one that the Messiah will be descended from the house of David.  However, when you omit these repetitious prophecies from the count, there remain 108 prophecies that are separate and unique. 

All 108 of these separate prophecies were fulfilled in the life of Jesus. 
This is beyond the realm of probability from a scientific perspective. 

Mathematically speaking, the odds of anyone fulfilling this amount of prophecy are overwhelming to say the least. 

Mathematicians put it this way:

1 person fulfilling, 8 of these prophecies = 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000 
1 person fulfilling 48 prophecies = 1 chance in 10 to the 157th power

Believers prefer to put it this way:

1 person fulfilling 300+ prophecies = Jesus Christ!

I want to look at 3 prophecies that foretold of the Messiah’s first advent (or arrival).

Born of a Woman

In Genesis chapter 3, at verse 15, we have evidence of the LORD God’s first manifestation of Grace in the Bible.  This is immediately after Adam sinned.
The LORD God also puts His plan to save the entire human race in motion.

Genesis 3
15:  “…And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He (the Christ) shall bruise you on the head (speaks of a mortal wound), And you (Satan) shall bruise him (refers to the promised Redeemer/Savior) on the heel (this is a non-fatal wound or some theologians suggest a direct connection to one of the wounds Jesus suffered on the cross).” 

Above we read that the Messiah would be “Born of a Woman.”
We know from Scripture that the “woman” was the first to disobey God when she ate the forbidden fruit and then she tempted her husband (it may be that Adam bit into the forbidden fruit out of love for her and because he did not want to be separated from her), but God ordained that His Son should be sent forth “Born of a Woman,” and the first promise was that the Seed of the woman, NOT the seed of the man, should bruise the serpents head.

The next prophecy I want to review with reference to Jesus’ birth gets a bit more specific and comes accompanied with a “sign” from the LORD God. 

God used signs in the Old Testament for many purposes.  Ultimately, in the Old Testament signs or wonders served to prove to the Israelites His messengers (such as Moses) were authentic and so were His prophecies.   Please turn to Isaiah, chapter 7.

Born of a Virgin

In Isaiah chapter, God demonstrates His faithfulness to a promise He made with King David concerning the Davidic Covenant by giving the ultimate sign to the “house of David.”  This prophecy was given to the people 700 years before the birth of Jesus.
This sign would be a virgin born Son named Immanuel.

Isaiah 7

14 “Therefore the LORD Himself will give you (what’s the next word) a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel…”
(The name Immanuel means – God with us).

The Hebrew word for virgin is “almah.”  The word is never used in the Hebrew Scriptures of a married woman, but is used of a young woman of marriageable age (Genesis 24:43; Exodus 2:8; Psalm 68:26; Song of Solomon 1:3; 6:8; Proverbs 30:18).   *Within the Israelite culture, one who is a virgin at the time of marriage is understood.
There is another Hebrew word, “betula” that specifically means a virgin.

The next Bible prophecy on my short list concerns Jesus’ birthplace.
I think the majority of people know Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
But at the time of Jesus’ birth there were two Bethlehem’s.
However, in Micah chapter 5 we are told in which Bethlehem the Messiah will be born. 

Micah 5

2:  (This is the LORD God speaking) “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you (note the capitalization this denotes deity) One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel, His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.

Two Bethlehem's existed in Israel when Micah wrote/spoke of this prophecy.   
One of these two Bethlehem’s was in the north near the Sea of Galilee, and the other in the south near Jerusalem, in the area known as Ephrathah also known as the City of David (see Genesis 35:16). 

Luke 2

4: Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem (Ephrathah), because he was of the house and family of David,

I don’t want to get side-tracked with ancient Jewish history for this lesson.   
But Jesus’ birthplace, Bethlehem Ephrathah, means “fruitful.” 
King David’s father (Jesse) was from Ephrathah.  He was from Bethlehem in Judah
(I Samuel 17:12).  At that time in history, King David’s descendants did not obey God’s Laws ( see 1 Kings 14).  Scripture says they are like a tree that someone has cut down, but from that tree’s roots (from King David’s family), a Branch (a new King) will grow (Isaiah 9:21) “His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”

Micah prophesied, One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.”
And He will be born of a virgin in Bethlehem Ephrathah

700 years before Jesus’ birth the prophet Isaiah prophesied,

Isaiah 9

6: For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

7: There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace.

Jesus Christ was God’s Christmas gift, to His creation and God only gives the best!

Can you picture someone not opening all their gifts at Christmas?
I mean they opened all the other gifts with enthusiasm but there was one gift, which had been carefully chosen just for them, they ignored.  After the holiday, when all the decorations were taken down, boxed up, and stored away; this gift was packed away too and forgotten. 

Couldn’t happen, you say?  Sadly, there is such a gift and the majority of people choose to ignore it on a daily basis and not just at Christmas.

Scripture says,
“For God so loved the world, that He (what’s the next word) gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16)


James 1

17: Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights,


Ephesians 2

8: For by grace you have been saved through faith (alone – see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4); and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

Why did God give us the gift of Jesus? 
Jesus Christ was born to die for the sins of every man, woman, and child.
This is an indisputable fact.  Jesus was sent and Christ died for the ungodly!

Romans 5

6: For while we (sinners) were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

In other words, when Jesus laid down His life for all of mankind we were enemies of God because of our sinful/unholy condition.  We didn’t know God; our thoughts were not of God, or His commandments.  We were selfish, inconsiderate, sinners!  And we were “robustly” sinning and enjoying it when, God stepped in the gap to save us.

Romans 5

8: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

In the book of Hebrews, we find this information:

Hebrews 2

9: But we do see Him (Jesus Christ) who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste (what) death (for how many) for everyone. 

What we learn from these Scripture verses is this first and foremost.  Jesus died for all.   
All means all and not some.  This means Jesus paid your sin penalty, and mine, along with everyone else's.  Should you choose not to accept God’s gift of free grace – you won’t go to hell and ultimately the Lake of Fire for yours sins – those have been taken care of by Jesus and God is satisfied.  You’ll spend an eternity separated from the love of God, suffering indescribable agony, because of your UNBELIEF and not because of your wrongdoings!

The Apostle Paul, a Believer, with deep gratitude for this gift of grace wrote:

2 Corinthians 9

15: Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Now, what’s a gift?
A gift is something of value that is given to another person without any strings attached!  
In other words, you don’t have to do anything in exchange for the gift… 
It’s a gift.  If you have to do something to “earn” it, it’s no longer a GIFT.

At Christmas time especially, we give gifts to one another to whom we care about, who have been kind to us over the past year, or who have given a gift to us first.  We certainly don’t give a gift to someone who’s been unkind to us such as an angry neighbor, or a rude boss and we rarely if ever give gifts to complete strangers (charities aside). 

Yet God gave us His perfect “gift” when we were His enemies.
He didn’t give us this “indescribable gift” because we deserved it.
In fact, truth be told, it were just the opposite.  What we deserved was punishment and death from our Righteous Judge; the same penalty Jesus paid.

Scripture says Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8).
Jesus died so that you and I may have eternal life but it’s not automatic.
You must accept the gift – you do that by “owning” (believing) the gospel.

Believe me when I say the most valuable gift this Christmas Season isn’t under the tree.
All those gifts will be used up one day.  But the human soul lives forever.
Life is about what happens beyond the grave and not about the here and now.
These 70 or 80 years are nothing compared to eternity!

My friend you have a choice to make. 
Where will you spend eternity?
I pray you choose wisely.

Merry Christmas from everyone at Home Bible Study

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GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
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