Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Spirit of Prophecy . Merry Christmas

IMG_3524 “Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10)



Prophecy authenticates the Bible. Prophecy authenticates Jesus Christ. It comes from another dimension, an eternal dimension that spans time and scans time.

The prophet is an agent of God, an ordinary human gifted to hear from God and speak what he hears. Prophecy is a gift from God, letting mortals know what is happening or going to happen in our dimension, on earth and in time.

IMG_3386In the Bible we have an incredible, or should I say credible, array of prophecies and prophets whose words demonstrate the validity of the Bible and it’s main subject, the Messiah, the Christ, the Lion of Judah, the King of Kings.

It’s true also that prophecy increases in frequency and volume when there is some major move of God afoot. That seems to be the case in our day, but that’s a discussion  for another time.

It was certainly the case as the Holy One announced the advent of His Son in the stars and through His servants the prophets.


DSCN5062It’s also a sad and interesting aside of history that many don’t get it. They don’t hear it. They don’t see it. Thus they miss it’s life changing and eternity changing implications, to their own detriment.

This was the case of King Herod the Great as he heard the Magi, who were king makers from the east, and reported to him they had ridden some seven hundred miles to bring gifts and worship “He who has been born the King of the Jews.”(Matt 2:2) Herod had to ask them about the sign and when the indicator star had appeared. Then he had to ask those familiar with the Scriptures where the King would be born. “Bethlehem in Judah” they replied according the prophet Micah seven centuries ago. These signs in plain view had been missed by Herod, just like they are by many in our day and our place.

IMG_3415Indeed there was a long litany of prophecies, spoken, written and preserved over hundreds and thousands of years concerning the coming King of Kings, beginning in the the Garden of Eden [Gen 3:15], and extending through Abraham, four thousand years ago, David, three thousand years ago, and until time of Herod in Israel during the Roman Empire, two thousand years ago. These were prophecies of incredible specificity and accuracy, as we shall see.

Some of these include:

[1] He will be the seed of woman (Gen 3)

[2] He will be the seed of Abraham (Gen 12)

[3] He will be the seed of Judah (Gen 49)

[4] He will be the seed of Jesse (Isa 11)

[5] He will be the seed of David (IISam 7)

[6] He will be the seed of a virgin (Isa 7)

[7] He will be born in Bethlehem (Mic 5)

[8] There will be a special anointing of the Holy Spirit on Him (Isa 11:61)

[9] There will be a messenger that will go before Him (Isa 40 & Mal 3)

[10] He will be crucified (Isa 50 & 53)

[11] He will rise again from the dead (Ps 16)

[12] He will make a new covenant (Jer 31)

[13] He will receive the kingdom from the Father (Dan 7 & Isa 9)

[14] He will pour out His Spirit on all flesh; sons and daughters will prophesy (Joel 2)

IMG_3412And as we approach Christmas, let’s look anew at some of the prophecies immediately preceding His birth. And as noted before, there is an increased activity when God is getting ready to do something special.

[1] God sent His angel Gabriel to Zacharias the old priest. “You will have a son. Name him John.”

[2] God sent His angel Gabriel to Mary. “You will conceive and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.” “He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

[3] God told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth is pregnant.

[4] God told Elizabeth that Mary was pregnant with her Lord.

[5] God told Simeon he “would not see death until he had seen the Lord’s Christ”

[6] God told also at the same time an eighty-four year old prophetess named Anna that  Jesus was the Christ.

[7] God told Joseph to take the Child and his mother and flee to Egypt for safety, later leading him back to Nazareth where Jesus would grow up.

He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”” (Matthew 2:15)

and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: “He shall be called a Nazarene.”” (Matthew 2:23)

IMG_3447And on it goes. Amazing, and reassuring. Our God is the God of the ages, and the God of eternity. Much more could be said of His prophets and His telling, or speaking forth what He is about to do. But let’s just pause on Christmas Eve, ponder the wonder of it all, and Worship, with the Wise Men, “He who is born the King of the Jews.”


And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. “For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. “For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name. “And His mercy is upon generation after generation Toward those who fear Him.” (Luke 1:46–50)

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; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10–11)

IMG_3526“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”” (Acts 2:39)

Christmas Shalom to you and those you love,


Much of the above material comes from a sermon by Charles Simpson, “The Spirit of Prophecy.”


Bethlehem Star

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.” (Matthew 2:9–10)

Every year in December I pull out the Bethlehem Star DVD that I discovered a few years ago and watch it a few times; worshiping, reflecting, learning, meditating … in awe.

BethlehemStarDVDAs I start a new category on the book’s blog, Bread for the Spirit, this is a fitting first. We’re in the season of Advent, which Wikipedia describes like this:

“Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning ‘coming’. … Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ. For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.”

In the Christian tradition, many churches and families make an Advent wreath with five candles, lighting one candle on each Sunday in December marching up to December 25th when we light the Christ-candle symbolizing the light of the world and celebrate Christmas — the coming and the gift of the Christ Child, One Who would be our Savior, One Who is King and Lord of all.

On the first Advent Sunday, the “hope” candle is lit. His advent gives us hope of life after death, just as He exhibited it. And the “hope” of good relationships on earth and in eternity, especially a reconnection with our Creator Father, the God of hope.

On the second Sunday, yesterday, the “peace” candle was lit. His advent gives us a restored “peace” with God, a present personal “peace” by knowing Him and His ways, and the promise of eternal “peace” through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Somehow, the yearly viewing of this wonderful DVD reminds me of all of that! I pray you get it and make viewing it a meaningful family tradition, and/or that you gift it to loved ones. They’ll be joyful you did!

Who among us does not enjoy beautiful art, beautiful music, and the discoveries of good science? I think it’s beautiful too that God gave this revelation to a lawyer, not an astronomer or scientist, but someone who is trained to look for clues, prove a case, and puzzle things out. A truth seeker, perhaps with a heart of worship?

This is something akin to what A.W. Tozer writes in his introduction to “The Knowledge of the Holy.” “…this book is  neither esoteric nor technical, and since it is written in the language of worship with no pretension to elegant literary style, perhaps some persons will be drawn to read it. … I yet write not for the professional theologians but for plain persons whose hearts stir them up to seek after God Himself.”

I’ll leave you with this information from the Bethlehem Star web site. And with a sincere prayer for His Blessing on you and those you love  during Advent and Christmas 2013. His Hope, and His Peace be yours in abundance! Amen.



“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” (Micah 5:2)

This One will be our peace. ” (Micah 5:4–5)



“It’s an astronomical mystery. A strange star is claimed to have appeared at the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. This site is an investigation of the story found in the Biblical Gospel of Matthew, a story often called the ‘Star of Bethlehem.’ It brings the words of Roman and Jewish historians alongside the visions of ancient prophets. It mixes “modern” mathematicians with murderous turmoil in the Roman imperial court. It combines all these with astronomical facts which no one disputes. And it concludes that the star was a real event. Come solve this age-old mystery for yourself…”

“Well-researched and reasonable” Former Chief of Planetary Astronomy, NASA, and Technical Editor, Sky & Telescope magazine

“An interesting look… at the star… genuinely thought-provoking” Christianity Today magazine

“Models the scientific method at its best” Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

“A convincing case…a mystery solved” Former Director, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

IF THE STAR was a natural event, does that mean it was not a miracle? Perhaps just the opposite. For, if the stars were arranged to create a sign, that arrangement is as old as time. A Star which is part of the orderly natural universe is a Clockwork Star. A sign put in place before men walked the Earth…”

The Highs of Friendship

Jim & Dwayne from the heights of Wayna Picchu

Jim & Dwayne from the heights of Waynapicchu

Friendship can take a person to new heights on their earth pilgrimage, as well as make the trip worth while!

I’ve believed that as long as I can remember, with my parents modeling it for me and my siblings. I’ve experienced it for myself in every chapter of life.  And I recently experienced it in the heights of the Andes, the center of the ancient Inca Empire.

Ken! Yes...

Ken! Yes…

I joined two long-time friends who flew fighters with me in the military for more than twenty years on a friendship and life adventure to Peru. We flew as captains for American Airlines too, making the travel considerably easier and cheaper.  🙂 We are also Brothers in Christ, each attending different churches in our city. Friends! For three decades now! What a blessing!

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Peru? The exotic Machu Picchu, picturesque and mysterious, was our adventure destination.  And what a joyful experience it proved to be. To experience travel and places of unusual beauty with friends makes the whole experience more meaningful for everyone and something you share in your hearts for the rest of your life…  and eternity.  The laughter, the vistas, the experiences, the meals shared, the new friends met and made along the way, and experiencing it together is food for the soul and joy to the spirit. It’s the way God intended life to be! A double gift to us.

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Friends old and new! The joy of the journey!

Friends old and new! The joy of the journey!

Contemplating and enjoying with friends the beauty of His creation, and the mystery of His involvement with His creatures everywhere on the globe spells relationship with His sons and daughters. It’s beautiful and enjoyable. I think it pleases God too — to watch us and to Be a part of it.

Friendship! It’s worth it! Enjoy friendship today, and every chance you get! Be proactive at making and enjoying friends! At planning and carving out special times, and setting aside your agenda when opportunities present themselves … to help another, share a meal, have coffee, or go on adventures great or small.

Dwayne at the entrance to the famous Incan ruins

Dwayne near the entrance to the famous Incan ruin of Machu Picchu

One of my travel friends has a plaque over the door to his cabin on the White River of Arkansas. “Faith, Family, Friends.” That says it all. It’s what matters now and for eternity.

Among other things, Machu Picchu showed us that wherever men are found, God has “set eternity in their heart.”

The wonder of Machu Picchu? And the wonder of Friendship? To be continued…


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 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)





[A Few Photos]

[Many more photos! :)]