NEW YEAR’s MESSAGE

Greetings on this first day in the year of our LORD 2015. Let this year be one continued as our Great God and King Jesus Christ gave His commission to each of His followers,

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. ~ Mark 16:15

30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent:
31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. ~ Acts 17:30,31

6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. ~ 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10

For our Lord Jesus Christ forewarned: 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. ~ Luke 13:3

Therefore brethren,

21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference;
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. ~ Jude 21-23

Our message to the unbelieving heathen world should mirror our Lord and Saviour’s message:

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. ~ Matthew 4:17

11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. ~ Romans 14:11,12

As an exhorting, as the apostle Paul said: 1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:1; let us be in unity as we read:

9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. …
12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? ~ 1 Corinthians 1:9,10,12,13

3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. ~ Jude 3

24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory, with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. ~ Jude 24,25

SOLI DEO GLORIA!

Street Preaching Jesus Saviour and King

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Ballito Rage Festival 2014

This year was the tenth anniversary (2004-2014) of the Rage Festival in Ballito. From word on the street it appeared that the numbers were down from previous years (an answer to prayer) of matriculants (Grade 12ers) and other Raging party-seekers coming to party, booze and drug their way, expressing what they would think is “freedom” from school, teachers, parents and authority. Well, they had a rude awakening, for the Word of God says:

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. ~ John 8:36

Saturday November 29

On our first day at the Rage Festival, Jarryd Cairns, Reece Cairns and Candice Simpson all from Hillcrest Baptist Church and writer from Living Hope in Pietermaritzburg, went down to the main beach where we saw many youngsters publically consuming alcohol, smoking a “hubbly-bubbly” and being reckless in partying and skateboarding in the streets. Pockets of street parties were also taking place on the main road through Ballito. We engaged some youngsters in conversation and also proceeded to open-air preach the Gospel of God to those on the beach. Many rejected the preaching, but there were many that by the leading of God that also stopped to listen on the beach and up on the boardwalk. Many Gospel tracts were also distributed to all willing to receive literature. We were also confronted by a young girl named Jessica who professed to be a Christian who was clad in a bikini. She was barely sixteen years of age and said that preaching as we did was only “scaring” the revellers off the beach. We shared with this young girl the Biblical way in which to share the Gospel, the way our Lord Jesus Christ did, the Apostle Paul did, Peter the Apostle did, and many other reformed puritans of the 16th and 17th centuries did, as well as us in the 21st century do. We also through much concern brought to her attention that if she being a Christian was encouraging other boys/men to look upon her body due to her immodest dress then she would be encouraging the lust of the eyes in adultery and therefore she would be seen as an adulteress. The proof text was:

27  Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. ~ Matthew 5:27,28

Well, this did not go down too well, as she had told her dad Paul who tracked us down later in the evening with her mother and sister to address why writer had called his innocent daughter an “adulteress”. Obviously the entire story was not revealed to him, but we were also castigated by them for not befriending the sinners first and earning the right to speak to them about the Gospel, like they and the Red-frogs do! We heard first hand from a member of the Red-frogs – a ministry that offers free pancakes and who pick-up drunk teenagers – that they never force the Gospel unless asked to share it. Why wait until someone is blind-drunk or drugged-up to want to be a good-samaritan when it is then too late? What one must understand, on a short mission that is dealing with rebellious persons/teenagers – and I lay the blame squarely with their parents for allowing them to come to Ballito and be reprobate in their actions – is that you can’t go and engage in friendship evangelism as the time period is short. We come to proclaim the Gospel of Christ in obedience to our Lord’s command of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8) to as large an audience as possible, and yes we engaged individuals too in one-on-one conversations showing them from the Holy Scriptures what is required of each person before a Holy, Just and Righteous God who is also merciful and gracious to sinners who will bow their knees and call upon Him in repentance for His salvation.

We had many conversations with youth, drunks, drug-addicts, the homeless, a Muslim, professing Christians and a devil-loving African man that said Satan is his father! Many people from all walks of life were confronted with the Son of Righteousness. We give all glory to God for using simple men to proclaim Truth. However, it is really sad when professing believers object as loud as the unbelieving dark and wicked world do to the preaching of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

001

Brother Jarryd raising the name of our Great God the Lord Jesus Christ! Brother Reece is speaking to a "heckler" (red shirt) who said his father is Satan!

002

A small gathering listening to the Gospel of God (Romans 1:1) being proclaimed by Jarryd.

 003

Please pray for this Muslim woman named Cathy who heard the preaching outside and came out from a deli she works in. Cathy was very receptive, asking questions and listening intently. We pray our Father was dealing with her heart. Much what was shared by us to her was a confirmation of what her husband had shared with her on other occasions. She also took much Gospel literature before going back to work. Soli Deo Gloria!

004

Sister Candice witnessing and discussing issues with a lady named Anna.

The homeless and destitute need the Gospel of God and much prayer. Please remember Gideon and Riaan in your prayers.

Saturday December 6

Jarryd and I went to Ballito to preach at the Rage Festival again on this day. Enroute we visited Stan and Tilly Webster for fellowship and stopped off at the Durban Beachfront and preached Jesus Christ open-air outside Joe Kool’s Restaurant. During this time in Durban we witnessed 1-on-1 with many souls. Please keep Jamisse (Mozambican), Sandile, Malcom (a homeless believer who joined us with tract distribution), Mamsi who came to Jarryd speaking to Malcom as she wanted to hear what was going down. Mamsi was open and teary eyed receiving the Word of Truth. She also enquired of a place where she could go and worship. We trust our Father will lead her in this regard and if she should contact us we are sure Stan, an elder at HBC, would be willing to direct her as he is resident in Durban.

005 006 007 008 009

We also started discussing and praising God on the water-edge with Nathi from Pietermaritzburg whilst the Gospel was being preached to the ears that would listen. Soli Deo Gloria!

Parable of the Great Supper

21 … Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled….
24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. ~ Luke 14:21b-24

010

011

Proclaiming the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ at the water edge on North Beach, Durban. An audience listened to the Word of God.

012

Outside a Spar convenient store in Ballito. There were a few alcohol consuming men who came to listen atop the roof of the Spar. Praise God.

013

Even when there is load-shedding (blackout) the Light still shines in a dark and wicked world!

Whilst there was load-shedding the Gospel of Christ was shared with some youngsters in the dark, who were from upcountry. Their names are: Ailene, Calvin, Nathan, Elias and Zayne. Please keep them in prayer.

We also ministered to some homeless men in the Spar parking-lot named Mark, (an Indian-man who was drunk) and John (who spoke about doing battle against the angels). Mark was really open and listened intently. Please keep these men in prayer.

There were many more persons that had one-on-one ministry that our Lord knows by name. To God be all the glory for answering our prayers of bringing those He wished to have us speak with across our paths. We are truly thankful to our Father in heaven that we did not stay home and allow people to go about without being warned and prayed for. As an encouragement to all Christ’s disciples reading this, stop hedging, and be obedient to Luke 9:23; our Lord Jesus Christ speaking ~

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

SOLI DEO GLORIA!

A Balanced Message

Thank you dearly beloved Brother Marc for a message that did not deviate to the right or to the left, but was Biblically sound, balanced and aiming straight ahead. May God continue to bless your ministry of proclaiming TRUTH! Love and peace to the family of God our Father who assemble in your home. Shalom!

 

Soli Deo Gloria!

Kirk Cameron’s “Saving Christmas” Film

It is with unhappiness and much sadness that I write this article as it relates to two men I came to respect and love in the ministry and had the privilege of meeting, labouring with and being instructed in the ways of open-air preaching and sharing the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. By the providence of our Great God and Saviour I was able to leave the shores of Africa and visit the United States of America in June 2008 and briefly attend the Ambassadors’ Academy 3, a ministry of Living Waters, under the leadership of the two brothers in the faith, namely Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron of The Way of the Master ministry.

Saving Xmas

Just recently I viewed Kirk Cameron’s Facebook page where he had been promoting his “Saving Christmas” film as depicted here-above. I had been made aware of this film through an article that appeared at Christian News Network where it is surprisingly quoted:

Was Santa Claus a Christian? A ‘defender of the faith’? Is this reason to sit on the lap of the bearded man at the mall who “knows if you’ve been naughty or nice”? That is what Kirk Cameron is claiming as proof why Christians should celebrate Christmas in a new documentary that opens this Friday [November 14, 2014] in theatres across the country—an assertion that is raising concerns over Cameron’s confusion of Roman Catholicism with Christianity.

Cameron, best known for his role as Mike Seaver on the 80’s TV sitcom “Growing Pains” and films such as “Fireproof” and “Left Behind,” has been promoting his new film “Saving Christmas,” in which the actor seeks to “keep Christ in Christmas,” stating that some holiday traditions aren’t so bad or pagan after all.

Saint Nicholas, as painted on the Kizhi monastery in Russia. After recently asserting that Christians should celebrate Halloween, in a video clip released last week entitled “Do You Love Santa Claus,” Cameron stated that “maybe someone like Santa Claus is actually on our team.” He then released a second video providing the history of the figure of Santa Claus, who was actually the Roman Catholic Bishop Nicholas of Myra, Turkey under Pope Sylvester I.

“He was a devout Christian,” Cameron states, but not noting Nicholas’ Roman Catholic faith. Read more Here (Full Report)

Another Christian News Network article that should be read appears at this link: ‘Maybe the Grinch Had a Point’: Kirk Cameron’s ‘Saving Christmas’ Won’t Be Saved From Critics.

Whilst I have personally not viewed the film, and will not be viewing the same in its entirety, I have watched the trailer and read some reviews on it, and have also seen the comments on Kirk Cameron’s Facebook page – for the film vs. against the film; pro-Christmas vs. anti-Christmas; man’s pagan traditions vs. Biblical Historical Truth. It all makes for interesting reading, but there can be only one Truth. Just as our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said:

31  . . . If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
36  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. ~ John 8:31,32 & 36

Birth of Christ This is the saddest part of this blog posting. I had placed a comment on Kirk’s Facebook wall, including the birth chart to the left (click on it to enlarge in another tab), and my comment was deleted. You read right – D E L E T E D. It appears that when one confronts error with the literal Biblical Historical Truth you are summarily deleted and not allowed to “play in the play-group.” I am saddened and really disappointed by how professing Christians can censure Christians if they do not agree with their world view! It goes much deeper than that as it is a matter of Truth vs. error and those in error do not want to listen! Well argue with the Word of God then. When one reads the Holy Scriptures, are you able to find “Christmas Day” mentioned in YHVH’s Holy Feast Days in Leviticus 23? Or maybe it was instituted in the New Testament and I have just missed the Chapter and Verse! No, you can’t find it, because it doesn’t exist.

Surprisingly an initial comment with the chart also appears to have mysteriously disappeared on Ray Comfort’s Facebook wall, and this before I reposted three more comments randomly! It is also very surprisingly that Kirk Cameron who is attempting to evangelise the masses has also changed his comment settings and you have to “possibly like” his page before you can comment thereon; or is the comment feature only not available to me? Well, getting back to the initial comment on Kirk’s page which went something along these lines, not verbatim as the original one was deleted:

Christian, please read your Holy Bible and you will find out that Yeshua, our Lord Jesus Christ, was born on 15 Tishri (September/October) at the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) and He was born in a Sukkot (Booth) and not a stable/cave. If you know what to look for start reading: Luke 1 and 2; 1 Chronicles 24:10; Leviticus 23:33-44; Deuteronomy 16:16; and many other Scriptures.

To help with the Scriptures quoted here-above please view the afore-stated Birth of Christ Chart together with the following powerpoint presentation: The Nativity of Yeshua HaMeshiach.

Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron receive literally thousands upon thousands of “hits/likes/shares/comments” on their Facebook accounts and it is mostly by idolising Christian folk. If a message is being proclaimed please make sure it is without error. In the past I too fell into the trap of “idolising” men such as Comfort and MacArthur, and I had to REPENT before God for being so caught up in men’s ministries in idolatry instead of listening to the leading Holy Spirit and walking with God. Don’t say it will never happen to you. For many of you it has already happened and you can’t see the woods for the trees!

The only conclusion I can arrive at is that the literal Biblical Historical Truth that I presented showed up the errors in Kirk Cameron’s “Saving Christmas.” My plea to ALL reading this is: Stop trying to put the Lord Jesus Christ into something He was never in to start off with! Do you think the “Christmas” practices that are undertaken every year were at His birth? Was there a Xmas tree and all the tinsel and trappings in the sukkot Yeshua, our Lord Jesus Christ was born in? Or do you think there is a Xmas tree in heaven before the throne of God Almighty every year to celebrate His Son’s birth? Obviously the first century believers never celebrated this way so why should you/we do so now? YES – certainly preach the Gospel at every opportunity including on December 25, but don’t be pagan like the rest of the heathen world. You can do so separated from the worldly system (see James 4:4). You are to be in the world, but not of the world, as it is written:

15  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
~ John 17:15-17

We are commanded to have unity in the Christian faith. Unfortunately we don’t see unity, but rather divisions. As it is written:

9  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11  For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12  Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? ~ 1 Corinthians 1:9-13

3  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. ~ Ephesians 4:3-6

14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: ~ Ephesians 4:14,15

Christ Jesus made it abundantly clear how we are to remember Him. It is recorded what we are to do in remembrance of Him until He returns for His spotless, unified Bride:

23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; read with Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19,20. [my emphasis]

Maybe Chris Williams, movie reviewer for the Advisor and Source in Michigan has it right. At the second Christian News Network report above, quote: “Williams said that in the end, “Kirk Cameron hasn’t made a movie for Christians. He’s made a movie for Kirk Cameron.””  I would have thought Kirk would contend for the faith and would have told the literal Biblical Historical Truth and stood as a light in this dark wicked world, and “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). We read further in Romans 13:12  “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). The “Saving Christmas” film is not reproving the unfruitful works of darkness, but encouraging them. If this is so, then brother Kirk Cameron in sincere love I call you to repentance.

SOLI DEO GLORIA!

_______________

P.S. This blog posting will be placed on my Facebook wall and Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron will be tagged accordingly.

South Africans Deceived

In accordance with the latest statistics on religious denominations in South Africa, one must go as far back as the Census 2001 to find out what you are looking for. The Census 2011 questionnaire did not even include any questions about religion due to what is perceived as low priority [a]. A 2012 poll indicated that the number of South Africans who considered themselves religious decreased from 83% of the population in 2005 to 64% of the population in 2012 [b]. It is estimated that in the world there are approximately 41 000 “Christian denominations” alone. This blog posting will show that this nation is NOT Christian as the vast majority of the South African population would like to think and believe they are. There is only a remnant of truly born-again disciples of the one and only True and Living GOD Yeshua Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ, in South Africa.

Census 2001

Hereunder are the statistics of the vast denominations and religions within the South African demographics. It makes for some interesting reading of how the people groups classify themselves within the religious framework in South Africa.

Denomination

Adherents

Dutch Reformed churches

3,005,697

Zion Christian churches

4,971,931

Catholic churches

3,181,332

Methodist churches

3,035,719

Pentecostal/Charismatic churches

3,695,211

Anglican churches

1,722,076

Apostolic Faith Mission

246,193

Lutheran churches

1,130,983

Presbyterian churches

832,497

Bandla Lama Nazaretha

248,825

Baptist churches

691,235

Congregational churches

508,826

Orthodox churches

42,253

Other Apostolic churches

5,627,320

Other Zionist churches

1,887,147

Ethiopian type churches

1,150,102

Other Reformed churches

226,499

Other African independent churches

656,644

Other Christian churches

2,890,151

African Traditional Religion

125,898

Judaism

75,549

Hinduism

551,668

Islam

654,064

Other beliefs

283,815

No religion

6,767,165

Undetermined

610,974

Religion

Adherents

2001

%

Adherents

2007

%

Christianity

35,750,641

79.77

29,684,861

73.52

Non-religious

6,767,165

15.10

3,262,428

8.08

Other

283,815

0.63

Buddhism/Chinese folk

12,113

0.03

Islam

654,064

1.46

985,460

1.45

Undetermined

610,974

1.36

Hinduism

551,668

1.23

504,707

1.25

African Traditional Religion

125,898

0.28

6,056,487

15.00

Judaism

75,549

0.17

68,640

0.17

Kindly bear in mind that from the aforementioned statistics which appear at Wikipedia the grouping of all “denominations” that include the Roman Catholics, Zionist churches, Orthodox churches and other churches (that include the Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, and other cultic churches) are misrepresented as being ALL Christianity! They ALL certainly are NOT Christians holding to the Judeo-Christian doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ as contained in the Holy Bible’s Old and New Testaments which also exclude the Apocryphal books of the Roman Catholic church. This shows the deception that South Africans believe when they “agree that all who name the name of Christ are Christian”. This is not so! [*]

Overall, there has been a general decline in the religiosity of South Africans and it shows that even in the latest Census 2011 no questions were asked about religion. The South African Constitution still has in its preamble “God bless South Africa”, but since the democratically elected South African government of 1994, the ANC government has NOT governed this nation in accordance with Romans 13. We are told that the ‘rulers,’ which is the government, are not there to be “policing” good works, but to those that do evil. The Scriptures read as follows:

Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Romans 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

From what will follow, we will see that the ruling government has not ministered for God and eradicated evil from our society. In fact they are not the solution to godly rule, but has become the problem in not executing proper justice and by their promulgating ungodly legislation that pampers to the depravity of evil and wicked men. The latter part of the following Proverb is a true reflection of life in South Africa:

Pro 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

The tyranny of the Marxist socialist government is using the term “democracy” as a front in an otherwise communist state. The laws are ungodly and corruption, fraud, and lawlessness is the order of the day, so how can the government rule with justice? South Africa has the highest rates of murder and rape in the world. According to a factsheet compiled by Africa Check for the South African Police Service (SAPS) for the period 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013, quote: “the violent crimes that cause the most fear and trauma amongst the public has increased. For the first time in six years there is an increase in both the number and rate of murders and attempted murders. Murder is an important indicator both because it is the most accurate of all crime categories and because it is internationally seen to be an indicator of a country’s stability. There was also a small increase in the number of sexual offences recorded by the police.

“The facts about the increases in inter-personal violence are as follows:

  • Incidents of murder increased from 15 609 murders in 2011/12 to 16 259 murders in 2012/13.
  • This means that there was an increase of 650 murder cases or a 4,2% increase when comparing the total numbers of murders with the previous year.
  • This works out to almost two additional murders per day on average during the 2012/13 financial year.
  • Consequently our murder rate increased from a total average of 43 murders per day to 45 murders per day.
  • Using the correct census data for 2011, the murder rate in 2011/12 was 30,3 per 100 000 population and not 30,9 as reported by SAPS in the last reporting period.
  • The murder rate for 2012/13 stood at 31,3 per 100 000 population which reflects an increase of 2,8% in the rate of murders (not 0,6% as presented officially).
  • South Africa’s murder rate is therefore about four and a half times higher than the global average of 6,9 murders per 100 000. [writer’s emphasis]
  • Attempted murder cases increased from 14 859 to 16 363, an increase of 10,1%.
  • Attempted murder rates increased by 8,7% in the past year.
  • Sexual offence cases increased from 64 514 to 66 387, an increase of 2,9%.
  • Sexual offence rates increased from 125,1 per 100 000 to 127,0 per 100 000 population, an increase of 1,5%.

The crimes above are not easy to reduce through policing alone. This is because most (around 60% to 70%) of murders, attempted murders and rapes, occur between people who know each other and occur as a result of a mix of particular social and economic factors. These crimes are often referred to by the police as inter-personal violent crimes. Only between 15% and 20% of murders and attempted murders are the result of aggravated robbery while inter-group conflicts and vigilantism make up the rest. …”, unquote. The remaining crime statistical data can be read at this link: FACTSHEET South Africa: Official crime statistics for 2012/13. [c]

The South African nation shows the depravity of man in this evil and wicked society. And whilst this nation is ecumenical in faith and belief systems worshipping all manner of gods, the blood of the murdered cries out from the soaked earth for revenge, and as a Christian I am comforted knowing that Almighty God will execute perfect justice come the Day of Judgment. Whilst the majority of the population are GOD-hating atheists, agnostics, environmentalists (a.k.a. evolutionists), custom and tradition ancestral worshippers, cultists, and false “christians” – those that are secular humanists, new agers and lukewarm compromising believers involved in a false-gospel, prosperity-teaching, easy-believism religion; the real believers at times seem to be asleep in the pews while this generation spirals out of control walking on the broad way to Hell (see Matthew 7:13,14). Christian soldier, forget about all the dainties of this life and the various church programs that make you feel good – Stop it and report for duty!! If necessary, Repent and seek God’s forgiveness.

Statistical data gives a reflection of what is taking place in any society. Given that in 2007 73,52% of the population were following the “Christianity” faith, it would therefore be expected that at least two-thirds of the population would vote for a Christian party in the 2014 General Elections that took place in South Africa on May 7, 2014. Well, let the truth be known – as with all denominations, there is no unity; and besides, the voters’ true hearts were revealed – they would rather vote for an ungodly communist government dictated by their Marxist ideology, a totalitarianism government that enforces their ungodly agendas that violate every command of YHVH (Yehovah God), as those professing christians agree in principal and by their conscience they have exercised their free speech that they accept the practices of abortions, homosexuality, same-sex marriages, co-habiting partner relationships (fornication), idolatry, alcohol and substance abuse, pornography, prostitution, human-trafficking, the destroying of Biblical family-life, the decline in education and moral values, as well as witchcraft! [d]. In fact as a Christian we are commanded by our Master and King Jesus Christ from His Word,

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

In fact, the government and majority of the population hold to the other extreme and call evil good and good evil, but hear the rebuke to such wickedness through the prophet Isaiah:

Isa 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Isa 5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
Isa 5:22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:
Isa 5:23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
Isa 5:24 Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

From a Christian worldview perspective, the political results below show a sinful outcome that is certainly not God honouring. As a follower of The Way – a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, my conscience would not allow me to vote for any political party due to their many corruptions that are the work of darkness and the Devil! Even the two “Christian” parties have difficulty in finding unity! They might be Christian-based and Bible-believing, but I would truly love to see them preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ from the political platform from which they have an opportunity to do so. Sadly, most of the opportunities are lost. As Christians we are called to “earnestly contend for the faith” as we read:

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Results of the 2014 General Elections

Party

Votes

%

+/−

Seats

+/−

African National Congress

11,436,921

62.15

-3.75

249

-15

Democratic Alliance

4,091,584

22.23

+4.65

89

+18

Economic Freedom Fighters

1,169,259

6.35

New

25

New

Inkatha Freedom Party

441,854

2.40

-2.15

10

-8

National Freedom Party

288,742

1.57

New

6

New

United Democratic Movement

184,636

1.00

+0.16

4

0

Freedom Front Plus

165,715

0.90

+0.07

4

0

Congress of the People

123,235

0.67

-6.75

3

-27

African Christian Democratic Party

104,039

0.57

-0.24

3

0

African Independent Congress

97,642

0.53

New

3

New

Agang SA

52,350

0.28

New

2

New

Pan Africanist Congress

37,784

0.21

-0.07

1

0

African People’s Convention

30,676

0.17

-0.04

1

0

Al Jama-ah

25,976

0.14

-0.01

0

0

Minority Front

22,589

0.12

-0.12

0

-1

United Christian Democratic Party

21,744

0.12

-0.26

0

-2

Azanian People’s Organisation

20,421

0.11

-0.11

0

-1

Bushbuckridge Residents Association

15,271

0.08

New

0

New

Independent Civic Organisation

14,472

0.08

New

0

New

Patriotic Alliance

13,263

0.07

New

0

New

Workers and Socialist Party

8,331

0.05

New

0

New

Ubuntu Party

8,234

0.04

New

0

New

Kingdom Governance Movement

6,408

0.03

New

0

New

Front National

5,138

0.03

New

0

New

Keep It Straight and Simple

4,294

0.02

-0.01

0

0

Pan Africanist Movement

3,815

0.02

-0.01

0

0

First Nation Liberation Alliance

3,297

0.02

New

0

New

United Congress

3,136

0.02

New

0

New

Peoples Alliance

1,671

0.01

New

0

New

Total

18,402,497

100.00

400

Valid votes

18,402,497

98.65

Spoilt votes

251,960

1.35

Total votes cast

18,654,457

100.00

Registered voters/turnout

25,381,293

73.50

Source: IEC

Combined, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) (0.57%) and the United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP) (0.12%) achieved less than 1% (0.69%) of the General Election population’s vote. So in reality, the census figures are skewed, for there is only a remnant of believers. Kindly also bear in mind that from these statistics we are not guaranteed that all who voted for the ACDP and the UCDP are truly born-again believers who hold to the Judeo-Christian doctrine of the Holy Bible. [**] We are reminded in Scripture how we are to conduct our lives for the sole glory of God alone as we read in Second Corinthians:

2 Cor 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2 Cor 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
2 Cor 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2 Cor 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2 Cor 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
2 Cor 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Cor 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

As we read from Matthew Henry’s commentary on the preceding verses, quote:

“The best of men would faint, if they did not receive mercy from God. And that mercy which has helped us out, and helped us on, hitherto, we may rely upon to help us even to the end. The apostles had no base and wicked designs, covered with fair and specious pretences. They did not try to make their ministry serve a turn. Sincerity or uprightness will keep the favourable opinion of wise and good men. Christ by his gospel makes a glorious discovery to the minds of men. But the design of the devil is, to keep men in ignorance; and when he cannot keep the light of the gospel of Christ out of the world, he spares no pains to keep men from the gospel, or to set them against it. The rejection of the gospel is here traced to the wilful blindness and wickedness of the human heart. Self was not the matter or the end of the apostles’ preaching; they preached Christ as Jesus, the Saviour and Deliverer, who saves to the uttermost all that come to God through him. Ministers are servants to the souls of men; they must avoid becoming servants to the humours or the lusts of men. It is pleasant to behold the sun in the firmament; but it is more pleasant and profitable for the gospel to shine in the heart. As light was the beginning of the first creation; so, in the new creation, the light of the Spirit is his first work upon the soul. The treasure of gospel light and grace is put into earthen vessels. The ministers of the gospel are subject to the same passions and weaknesses as other men. God could have sent angels to make known the glorious doctrine of the gospel, or could have sent the most admired sons of men to teach the nations, but he chose humbler, weaker vessels, that his power might be more glorified in upholding them, and in the blessed change wrought by their ministry.” [e]

To GOD be the glory alone!

Act 5:20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.

____________________

Resources:

[a] “Census 2011 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” statssa.gov.za. Retrieved 22 October 2012. ~ Wikipedia

[b] “Fewer religious people in SA – survey”. news24.com. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2012. ~ Wikipedia

[c] Africa Check a non-partisan organisation which promotes accuracy in public debate and the media. www.africacheck.org

[d] It would have been prudent for Christians to have consulted “A Voter’s Guide for 2014” before going to the polls.

[e] Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, e-Sword.

[*] and [**] represent amendments included on July 25, 2014 to clarify the position surrounding true “Christianity” in accordance with the Judeo-Christian faith as contained in the doctrine of the Holy Bible.

Signs and Seasons in the Heavens

In the beginning when God created the Heaven and the Earth, God created all things with a purpose to fulfil His will. More specifically we read the creation account of Day 4 of the Creation Week, in Genesis 1:14-19 which reads as follows:

Gen 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
Gen 1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
Gen 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
Gen 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
Gen 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. (my emphasis and throughout)

God speaks from Heaven by signs and seasons – not just the four seasons as we know them as Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn, but the appointed times and festivals as we read in the Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance under the Hebrew word:

4150 מועד môwʿêd, mo-ade’; or מעד ʿêd, mo-ade’; or (feminine) מועדה môwʿâdâh, mo-aw-daw’; (2 Ch 8:13), from 3259; properly an appointment, i.e. a fixed time or season; specifically a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension, the place of meeting; also a signal (as appointed beforehand):- appointed (sign, time), (place of, solemn) assembly, congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn (-ity), synagogue, (set) time (appointed).

A masculine noun meaning an appointed time or place. It can signify an appointed meeting time in general (Ge 18:14; Ex 13:10); a specific appointed time, usually for a sacred feast or festival (Hos 9:5; 12:9); …

When YHVH created the earth, God set in place an axial tilt of 23.4° which is perfect for the climatic seasons that we experience. It is also perfect to work in harmony with the moon which does not only govern the ocean tides, but also reveals the festival seasons to be celebrated in accordance with the lunar months that dictate the Hebrew calendar. As can be seen from the graphic hereunder the Jewish Festivals as recorded in Leviticus 23 are divinely placed in the harvest seasons of Spring and Autumn.

Earth and Moon Phases

There are also certain lesser Jewish feast days like Hanukkah, Purim and Ninth of Av that are also celebrated, but are not recorded under Leviticus 23. We can also see from YHVH’s prophetic calendar that the pagan man-made holiday of “Christmas” does not find any place or command in YHVH’s feasts. To understand the Feast Holy Days, the main Spring Holy Days have already been historically fulfilled by the first coming of Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ), these being Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits and Pentecost. The remaining main Autumn Holy Days, being Trumpets, Day of Atonement and Tabernacles will be fulfilled at Yeshua’s second coming.

Hanukkah

While some Christian believers have said that Hanukkah could be seen as “Christmas”, the real reason for the celebration of the Jewish Feast of Hanukkah is the celebration of retaking the Temple after Antiochus Epiphanes, an evil Greco-Syrian king had desecrated the Temple. There can therefore be no collaborations with “Christmas”. Hanukkah starts 25 Chislev and lasts for eight days. This therefore shows that it is not “Christmas” as we look at the Gregorian calendar days when the celebration takes place:

  • 2014 – December 16-24;
  • 2015 – December 6-14.

Not only does the days fluctuate, but it is never constant for one day December 25 and the Jewish celebration also lasts eight days.

Purim

A lesser Jewish festival held in the Spring in the Hebrew month Adar 14, to commemorate the defeat of Haman’s plot to massacre the Jews as recorded in the Book of Esther. The dates are:

  • 2014 – March 15-16;
  • 2015 – March 4-5.

Passover (Pesach), Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits

These Feast Days were fulfilled in Yeshua Messiah’s death, burial and resurrection during His first coming to the world as the Redeemer. The “Christian” celebration of “Easter” is pagan man-made feast days that has bunnies and chocolate eggs as part of the celebrations that have no foundation or commands from the Holy Scriptures. The dates for the Jewish Feasts are:

  • Jewish Passover
  • 2014 – April 14-22;
  • 2015 – April 3-11.
  • The “Christian Passover/Easter”
  • 2014 – April 18-20.

The dates for the Christian Passover/Easter” are calculated the first Friday after the Pashal full moon. Western churches use the Gregorian calendar, the Orthodox churches use the Julian calendar.

As Yeshua Messiah, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ fulfilled these feast days, He instituted the Lord’s Supper that we are to do in remembrance of His death. We read, as it is written:

1 Cor 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
1 Cor 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1 Cor 11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
1 Cor 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

Pentecost (Shavuot)

This day was fulfilled after Yeshua Messiah ascended to the right hand of our Father YHVH and the Holy Spirit was sent to those who believed upon Him. This celebration takes place in the Hebrew calendar Sivan 6-7.

Ninth of Av (Fast of Tisha b’Av)

This day of commemoration is due to fine misfortunes which befell the Hebrew fathers – on 9th of Av – decreed fathers should not enter the promised land, first and second Temples destroyed, Bethar was captured and the city of Jerusalem was ploughed up. However, this day primarily commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples by the Babylonians in 586BC and by the Romans in 70AD, respectively. The dates are as follows:

  • 2014 – August 4-5;
  • 2015 – July 25-26.

Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah)

This is the Civil New Year in the Hebrew calendar on 1 and 2 Tishri. This feast is yet to be fulfilled in Yeshua Messiah. The dates are as follows:

  • 2014 – September 24-26;
  • 2015 – September 13-15.

Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)

This festival day will be fulfilled at the second coming of Yeshua Messiah and this day is celebrated in the Hebrew calendar 10 Tishri. The dates are as follows:

  • 2014 – October 3-4;
  • 2015 – September 22-23.

Feast of Tabernacles/Booths (Sukkot)

This feast was partially fulfilled at the birth of Yeshua Messiah when He came to “tabernacle” amongst His people, and it will be fulfilled at Yeshua’s second coming. The feast takes place in the Hebrew calendar 15-21 Tishri. The dates are as follows:

  • 2014 – October 8-15;
  • 2015 – September 27 – October 4.

Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah

This is a Shabbat (Sabbath) Day that is declared as the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Inside Israel it is known as Shemini Atzeret and is celebrated on Tishri 22 and outside Israel it is known as Simchat Torah and is celebrated on Tishri 23. The occasion is rejoicing in the Torah (or Law) after the weekly reading of the Torah readings. The dates are as follows:

  • 2014 – October 15-17;
  • 2015 – October 4-6.

As can be seen from the dates for 2014 and 2015 they fluctuate and are never constant due to the Jews celebrating during the moon phases in their Hebrew months, just as YHVH had ordained from His Word given to His people Israel.

Soli Deo Gloria

________________

Blog posting amended on September 15, 2015

15 Tishri ~ You Can Know the True Day of the Lord Jesus Christ’s Birth

We can truly know the correct day of the nativity of the God-man our Lord Jesus Christ, if Christians who hold to Sola Scriptura and who live by every Word of God will only read and trust the Scriptures as they say they always do.

Those who say they celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ on December 25 each year should go back and examine, study and search out the Scriptures that speak of our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who exegete the Scriptures and know much historical accounts of the Word of God, choose to reject the historical evidence presented in God’s Word. To say God reveals every other detail of His story, but remains silent on the incarnation – the birth – of His only begotten Son is to be downright naive. The only possible reason that this might be the mindset of many Christians is that they do not wish to surrender their desire for the heathen day with all its pagan traditions. Too many people – family, friends, children and grandchildren are going to be affected by this change in their life. If there is no change, is this not going to be a compromising of the Word of God?

What we should realise is that daily Christians should be thankful for God coming to this world in the Person of His Son in order to redeem sinners to Himself. I do not think that any Christian denies the birth of our Saviour. It is just a matter of understanding when our Saviour was born into this world. In order to find out we should understand that our Lord Jesus Christ was born into this world still under the Jewish Levitical system and every detail revealed in Luke chapters 1 and 2 are of pertinent importance. Every Word is God breathed and has a real reason why God has revealed it in Scripture for our instruction and teaching and His clear revelation.

At any given time, we have at some time dealt with and made the complex calculations of the Daniel prophecy dealing with the 70th Week, without any problems it would seem, but when it comes to making the calculations surrounding the birth of our Saviour, Christians who are “Daniel experts” have found it a problem to tie up the information given to us to calculate the time of Christ’s birth, even saying we cannot be sure of His birth, but yet how can you then be sure of the complex Daniel prophecy? Is it not a choice to want to speak with authority on the Daniel prophecy, but neglect the birth of the Saviour out of a choice to be wilful ignorant holding to the “Christmas” tradition of man? Whilst some might look into dictionaries to find the meaning of “Christmas” or the “mas” portion of the word, we should in fact look to the very Word of God, examining the law and prophets, the historical events and the translations from the original Hebrew and Greek autographs, if possible. This will reveal the Truth; but we have the added benefit of Bible helps by being able to look into lexicons and concordances without being experts in the Hebrew and Greek tongues.

The Gospel of Luke is the foundation from where we can start our study leading to the calculation of when our Lord Jesus Christ was born. To start from the course of Abia (Abijah) cross referencing the Holy Scriptures to see that it was the eighth course according to 1 Chronicles 24:10 and that the Hebrew calendar was a 360-day lunar calendar that had 51 weeks (357 days) and that due to the priests appearing twice in the year according to the 24 courses of 1 Chronicles 24 plus the three festivals when all the males had to appear before the Lord in accordance with Deuteronomy 16:16, “in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles,” we end up with 51 weeks = one year. We also know that the feast of unleavened bread was on the fifteenth Nisan (Leviticus 23:5-8) and the feast of weeks (Shavuot/Pentecost – Leviticus 23:15,16) appear in the early part of the year, therefore the course of Abia (Abijah) would be in effect week ten (2+8) and the feast of tabernacles (Booths – Leviticus 23:33-43) would appear in the Hebrew seventh month starting fifteenth Tishri (i.e. September/October). We learn that after an angel appears to Zacharias in the temple confirming that his wife Elizabeth would conceive and the child to be born would be named John (the Baptist) (see Luke 1:13) we are also told that John would be a forerunner to the Messiah who “shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias” (Elijah) (see Luke 1:17). We are then told that:

Luke 1:23  And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. Luke 1:24  And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Luke 1:25  Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men. Luke 1:26  And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, Luke 1:27  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

So Elizabeth conceived, possibly after her monthly menstruation in accordance with Leviticus 15:19,25 which was after two weeks to comply with the purity laws which would then bring the conception of John to be in or about the 12th week of the year. If John was then born about thirty-nine weeks (nine months) later then John’s birth would take place at the Passover during or just after the fifty-first week (12+39=51). Also remember that Elizabeth’s cousin Mary also conceived in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. In Luke 1:31-36 we read:

Luke 1:31  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. Luke 1:32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: Luke 1:33  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Luke 1:34  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? Luke 1:35  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:36  And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

Therefore, from these calculations that there is a six month gap between the conception of John and the conception of our Lord Jesus Christ we know that six months would take us from the Hebrew month of Nisan (March/April) to the Hebrew month of Tishri (September/October). Therefore, if John the Baptist was born at the Passover (Nisan), the Son of Man Jesus Christ was born six months later at the feast of tabernacles (Tishri). But how do we confirm these two dates. Well we need to look at what Scripture tells us. Let God speak to confirm His mandate and revelation.

In Jewish tradition of celebrating the Passover here is an extensive quote from a book penned by writer titled The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ which reads as follows:

The Jewish tradition during the Passover feast has a chair left open and a wine goblet set at Elijah’s place at the seder table each year awaiting his arrival.

The word seder is:

Hebrew for “set order”; the ritual Passover meal that is observed in specific order. (Christ in the Passover, Ceil & Moishe Rosen, Moody Publishers, Chicago, page 10 under definitions)

A quote from the book titled Christ in the Passover will also set out the setting of a traditional Jewish Passover seder table:

“Also at the seder table, beside each place setting are small wine goblets – small because four times they will be filled with sweet, red Passover wine during the seder. The custom of drinking four cups dates back to ancient Temple times. The Mishnah [Hebrew for the collection of oral law that forms the basis of the Talmud; compiled by Judah ha-Nasi (c. AD 135 to 220) – page 9 under definitions] teaches that, according to two authorities, Rabbi Yohanon and Rabbi Benayah, these four cups correspond to the four verbs in Exodus 6:6-7, describing God’s redemption: I will bring you out; I will free you; I will redeem you; I will take you to be My people.

“Two of the wine goblets at the table are usually larger and more ornate than the rest. They have silver, intricate pictures of the Bible history crafted into the metal. One of these goblets sits at the head of the table for the ruler of the feast; the other occupies a prominent place at the foot of the table, before an empty chair. It awaits the lips of Elijah, who, according to Malachi 4:5, is to announce the coming of the Messiah. The prophet is the invited guest of honor at every seder, for, should he come, it would indeed be the most festive of Passovers! The Messianic hope prevails more strongly at Passover than at any other time, for Midrashic tradition says: “Nisan is the month of redemption; in Nisan Israel was redeemed from Egypt; in Nisan Israel will again be redeemed” (Exodus Rabbah 15:12 Cf. chap. 6, 64-66) (Christ in the Passover, Ceil & Moishe Rosen, Moody Publishers, Chicago, pages 82-83)

More will be discussed later in this book under the Passover section dealing with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, during the Passover traditions, a child goes and opens the house door to see if Elijah has “arrived”, to accept the invitation to come inside and announce the coming of the Messiah, and as he is not outside the door, tradition has it that the Jewish Passover celebrators keep his place open awaiting the “arrival” possibly next year! This goes on year after year. Now let us read what Scripture says about John the Baptist coming in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). At the transfiguration of Christ, Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus and His disciples Peter, James and John. And this is recorded in Matthew 17:10-13 ~

10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already [see Matthew 11:14], and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. [See also Mark 9:10-13 and Luke 9:33]”

We also read about the account of our Lord Jesus Christ that also confirms why He was born at the feast of tabernacles. A very important Scripture that reveals the Word of God who was with God and who was God becomes flesh and “dwelt” on the earth as we read:

John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Let us examine the word “dwelt” that appears in the Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance as Greek word 4637 skēnoō, skay-no’-o; from 4636, to tent or encamp, i.e. (figurative) to occupy (as a mansion) or (special) to reside (as God did in the tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion): – dwell. The Greek word 4636  skēnos, skay’-nos; from 4633; a hut or temporary residence, i.e. (figurative) the human body (as the abode of the spirit): – tabernacle. The first word skēnoō is the only time it appears in the New Testament. It is also a fact that when “a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed” (see Luke 2:1) took place it was at the time of the feast of tabernacles. For Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem for he was of the house and lineage of David (see Luke 2:4) and the place would have had also all the house of Israel to present themselves before the Lord in accordance with Deuteronomy 16:16 and as determined beforehand that our Lord would be born in the month of Tishri, there would have been an overcrowding where no place would be found in the inn. However, in accordance with the requirements of the feast of tabernacles, all Israelites were to dwell in booths as we read in Leviticus 23:39-43:

Lev 23:39  Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. Lev 23:40  And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. Lev 23:41  And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Lev 23:42  Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: Lev 23:43  That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

We therefore see that they stayed in a tabernacle – a booth for the duration of the feast as commanded by God, which then would dispel the notion of a stable, for the Holy Scriptures do not speak of a stable. The angels said the sign would be, as we read:

Luke 2:12  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

There is nothing that dispels this sign, as in booths mangers were found. We read in the Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance the Hebrew word 5521 sukkâh, sook-kaw’: feminine of 5520; a hut or lair – booth, cottage, covert, pavilion, tabernacle, tent. A feminine singular noun meaning a booth, a thicket. This term is used for temporary shelters used to cover animals (Ge 33:17); warriors (2Sa 11:11); and the prophet Jonah (Jnh 4:5). It is used poetically to refer to the clouds (Job 36:29; Ps 18:11[12]). A specialized usage is employed for booths constructed for the fall harvest festival (Le 23:42,43). The festival was known as the chag hassukkôwth (2282), the Feast of Booths (Dt 16:13,16). This was to remind the Israelites that they lived in booths when the Lord brought them up from Egypt (Le 23:43).

The feast of the tabernacle also fits with our Lord Jesus Christ being born on the first day, being fifteenth Tishri which was a Sabbath and He would have also been circumcised on the eighth day which was also a Sabbath. See also the significance that God rescued His people out of Egypt, a type of the world, and our Lord Jesus Christ was born at the festival to rescue sinners out of the world, too. Another quote from the text of The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ reads as follows:

If Jesus was born on the first day of Sukkot, “The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD” (Leviticus 23:34), then He would have been circumcised on the “eighth great day” a festival following Sukkot. Shemini Atseret (“Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly”) is a festival observed immediately after Sukkot (Tabernacles), i.e., on 22nd Tishri (i.e. the seventh month), as laid down in the Pentateuch: “On the eighth day you shall observe a holy occasion … it is a solemn gathering (Atseret); you shall not work at your occupations” (Lev. 23:36; cf. Num. 29:35). The term Atseret (lit. “concluding festival”) is also applied to the last day of Passover (Deut. 16:8) and, by the rabbis, to Shavu’Ot (RH 1:2; Shev. 1:1). This day was the original “Simchat Torah” (Rejoicing of the Law) {n. Judaism A festival celebrating the Law of Moses and the completion of the year’s cycle and subsequent new beginning, observed on the 22nd or 23rd day of Tishri (September/October) – which is now held the following day in Rabbinic Judaism. [Hebrew śimhat tôrâ, rejoicing in the Torah, Simchat Torah: śimhâ, joy (from śāmēah, to rejoice) + tôrâ, torah.]} (www.answers.com/topics/shemini-atseret).

For a moment stop and consider this, that our Lord Jesus Christ who as a growing boy would have celebrated all the feast days as His Father God Almighty had commanded in the Torah, and most specifically whilst appearing before the Lord at the feast of tabernacles, as all the males had to appear as commanded in the law, our Lord Jesus Christ would have celebrated the holy convocation of how God had delivered His people Israel out of Egypt (bondage). He most probably also heard the account from Joseph and His mother Mary of His first nativity, that He was born at one of the feast of tabernacles and He would most probably have heard how He was laid in a manger and that the shepherds had come to see this wonderful event (see Luke 2:8-14). The people present would have also known about the birth of the Saviour in and amongst them, for the shepherds – the first evangelists – went about broadcasting the news to those present (see Luke 2:15-20). As a young child, in a house, with His mother, later He would also have experienced the wise men from the east coming to worship Him and giving Him gifts (see Matthew 2:11). Our Lord Jesus Christ would have understood that He was the Saviour who was born into this world to redeem His people just as God had redeemed His people. There would have been great celebration to God in heaven by the people, whilst right in their very midst was the Saviour, the Messiah who, too, would redeem His people, Jew and Gentile, one day in the future with His own precious blood as a sacrifice and an atonement, when our Lord Jesus Christ would fulfil another feast celebration at the feast of Passover/unleavened bread. There would have been no “Christmas trees, boughs of holly or mistletoe” in His booth or any booth for that matter. There would have been no intention to celebrate as such, for God had not commanded these particular practices, and certainly there would be no fat-man with a white beard in a red-suit named Satan Claus making his rounds from booth to booth delivering gifts to those in attendance, for the attendees were celebrating and remembering their journey in the wilderness and how God delivered and kept them and lead them into the promised land. And our Lord Jesus Christ fulfiled the feast by delivering and keeping His people and leading them into heaven. Besides, the Jews would have known what the prophet Jeremiah had spoken about “Learn not the way of the heathen” (see Jeremiah 10:2).

You see, the a foregoing Scriptures and many others, confirm the true birth day of our Lord Jesus Christ. There can be no other way, for Christ knows when He was born. Therefore, how can man, Christian or heathen, say the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ was on December 25th? Why would anyone remember and celebrate the birth of God’s Son on a day He has not commanded in Old and New Testaments. In fact, it is clear that God’s Word speaks of another day in which the anointed of God took on human form, as we read:

Galatians 4:3  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: Galatians 4:4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, Galatians 4:5  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

In “the fulness of time” was at the feast of tabernacles, no other time. We are to be witnesses for Christ in this world sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we are given a command how to remember our Lord Jesus Christ, by everyday, or as often as we partake in it, “this do in remembrance of me,” as we read:

Luke 22:19  And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Luke 22:20  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

1Cor 11:23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 1Cor 11:24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 1Cor 11:25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 1Cor 11:26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

SOLI DEO GLORIA!

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