Luke chapter 01 - Jesus the Ideal Man, part 2
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The Man Who made the biggest change to human history lived in an obscure city
- Nazareth was an obscure and unlikely place
- My Servant the Branch and a 7 branched candlestick
- The Son of David becomes King when the enemy dies
- The Seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent
- The stigma of illegitimacy
- The Word came to the prophet in the water
- The name of John broke the family tradition
- The great prophecy of Zacharias
- Priests began their ministry at the age of 30
Nazareth was an obscure and unlikely place
LUKE 1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
Nazareth was as small city that was not very well-known to historians.
Yet here history would branch into two paths. Those who found Jesus as their personal Saviour and the rest who never did.
My Servant the Branch and a 7 branched candlestick
Netzer is the Hebrew for "Branch".
Netzeret is "the place of the Branch".
Netzeret became pronounced as Nazareth.
This is the place where God's great Servant started and the world-changing events that branched forth from His Life.
ZECHARIAH 3:8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.
The most significant birth that ever happened and caused seven church ages to branch forth over the next 2000 years.
JEREMIAH 33:15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.
David was king.
Seven church ages will branch out to form the Bride of Christ. Jesus will be the only Head of the church and will be crowned King at the Wedding Supper.
ZECHARIAH 3:8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.
:9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
Seven eyes speak of seven messengers who would be able to see how God's Plan was moving forwards in each of their specific church ages.
The first church age had the truth that was taught by the apostles but lost it as the world descended into the Dark Ages of the fourth church age. This is described in Revelation Chapter 2.
EVIL means moving away from the original Bible teachings of the apostles.
The reverse of EVIL is LIVE. That means moving back towards the original apostolic teachings.
The brave Martin Luther in Germany began the Reformation in the fifth church age that slowly began to restore the church back to the original beliefs of the apostles. This is described in Revelation Chapter 3.
Today, we are in the 7th church age and should be focused on getting back to what is written in the New Testament.
Church history has thus had seven distinct branches as each church age had different circumstances and errors to cope with.
The main road from Egypt to Syria went past Nazareth and you had to branch off to go to that little-known and not a very savoury city.
JOHN 1:46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
God uses the unknown and ignores the famous.
The branch that the seventh age has to follow is to return to the beliefs of the first church age. But you have to leave the mainstream churches in order to branch off. You will not find truth and popularity.
LUKE 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Then, in addition, the Jewish branch got broken off as they were cut off when they killed Messiah.
ROMANS 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
The church must believe the written Word only if we are to stand. If we reject any part of the written Word then we reject Jesus, because He is the Word.
But the Jewish branch has to be grafted back in during the 3.5 years of great Tribulation when the Gentile foolish virgins (saved Christians who have been fooled into believing wrong doctrines) are killed.
ROMANS 11:23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.
So the 7 church ages divide the last 7 years of Jewish history into two "half weeks".
This "dividing of time" between the 3.5 years of Christ's ministry when the Jewish branch was broken or was cut off. Then the painful regrafting of the 144000 Jews during the last half-week of great Tribulation.
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.
God's rules are strict. There is no sex before marriage. Joseph and Mary were engaged but they were not allowed to live together.
Both Joseph and Mary were unknown people. God was making His greatest move and using unknown people in a rather obscure city. We can learn a lesson from this when we try hard to be important and are desperate to be noticed and applauded. Modern-day competitive Christianity is not God's chosen way.
LUKE 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
God had noticed Mary. It was not who she was it was what God was going to do through her.
LUKE 1:29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
This is genuine humility. She knew she was a nobody and could not at all understand why she should be highly favoured.
The way up is down. When we think we are something God has to humble us.
When we think we are nothing then God can elevate us.
LUKE 1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
Fear not. It is always fearful to be in the presence of the supernatural because that is far more powerful than anything that we are used to. We need to develop the fear of God. We need to reverence the Bible as the only God we know today is presented to us through the pages of the King James Version of the Bible.
In the end it will depend on the God that you took from that Holy Book. The Trinity God Who has no name will not be able to save you from great Tribulation.
What you say about the Bible is what you say about Jesus.
Criticize any verse in the Bible and you are criticizing Jesus.
LUKE 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
Now a name is mentioned, Jesus. From this moment onwards the Name Jehovah that dominated the Old Testament is never referred to again. The name Jesus will dominate the New Testament.
The new name replaces the old name.
The Jehovah of the Old Testament became the Jesus of the New Testament.
The Son of David becomes King when the enemy dies
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:
Jesus as a Man is called the Son of God. Never "God the Son" which is unscriptural. God is not flesh and blood.
But the fullness of the Godhead dwelled in Him bodily and that made Him God.
This is why the wise men worshiped Him as a two-year-old Child.
COLOSSIANS 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
MATTHEW 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him:
Jesus is the Son of David.
David was the greatest king of Israel. He was anointed king as a young boy by the prophet Samuel. But he could never take his throne as king until his enemy, king Saul, had been killed. Saul kept trying to kill David. This was a type of Christ.
Christ was anointed King of the Jews on the banks of the River Jordan when the Holy Spirit descended and abode upon Him. The Holy Spirit rested on Him as a public anointing, and never entered Him as the fullness of the Godhead always dwelled within Him, as Jesus cannot change.
JOHN 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
The Devil then got the Jews to kill Jesus and the pagan Roman Empire to kill the Christians.
But the satanic beast of the pagan Roman religion that persecuted the church (the Body of Christ) then infiltrated the Roman Catholic church to continue the persecution of the true church. The pagan doctrines of Trinity, Christmas, Good Friday, a human head of a church, declaring a holy man to be infallible, etc., would undermine the Protestant churches as they formed the image of the beast. These powerful Trinity spirits would unite the churches together to bring them to the battle of Armageddon.
REVELATION 16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
Only then would the beast be destroyed and then Jesus, as the Son of David, will take His throne in the 1000-year Kingdom of peace.
REVELATION 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image.
These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Just as it happened with David, the enemy has to be killed before Jesus can take His throne as King.
LUKE 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
For one thousand years Jesus will rule as King.
The 1000-year Kingdom of peace, as time ends, will seamlessly blend into the new earth where Jesus will be supreme King of all the saved people.
The Seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent
LUKE 1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
The oldest prophecy in Scripture is the Seed of the woman. But a woman has no seed. Her seed has to be given to her by some man and then the seed in her womb is that man's seed.
GENESIS 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
But now she is going to receive a Seed that came from no man. Since no man can claim that Seed as his, the woman can claim the Seed as hers.
And so Messiah, the "woman's Seed" was conceived in her womb as the virgin birth.
The woman's Seed, Jesus, will be day speak forth His saints from the dust of the earth on the Day of the Resurrection. That is what God's original plan was in Eden, if Eve had just waited for the Holy Spirit to overshadow her. Jesus would have been her virgin-born Son. He would have grown up and there would have been no sins to die for. Then He would have spoken His saints from the dust.
GENESIS 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made
The serpent was the most clever mammal that was between ape and man. He introduced Eve to bringing life through sex. The seed of the serpent is bringing life through sex. This is a male sperm cell. It looks just like a snake.
Eve was not condemned because she ate some fruit. Eating cannot defile a person.
MATTHEW 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
She was condemned for having a conception.
GENESIS 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception;
Adam was her husband. She could not be punished for conceiving from her husband.
This was the serpent's seed. The injection of the beast-nature into the human race.
The woman had a veil of virginity to stop her having sex. When that veil breaks, blood is shed. So the original sin was a subtle animal, the serpent, shedding blood.
Thus God required the shed blood of an innocent animal to atone for sin.
Calvary was the showdown. Men born of sex killing the virgin-born Son Who knew no sex.
His heel was bruised and he could not walk for about three days. He was whipped and then struggled to carry His cross. He was nailed to the cross at nine o'clock on Thursday morning and then could not walk at all. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. He had to be three nights in the tomb.
Then He arose in the resurrection on Sunday morning which damaged all human thinking, philosophy, and beliefs. Human wisdom cannot explain the resurrection. Human brainpower was damaged because humans cannot conquer death. From then on human brainpower would oppose the truth of Scripture and reject God's salvation plan. But brain-damaged human thinking endlessly produces both good and evil. The evil will finally come to a climax in our day. Then our unbalanced and selfish human civilization will ultimately be destroyed at Armageddon.
The woman's Seed means no man was the father of Jesus.
Joshua was the son of Nun. He led the Jews into the Promised Land.
Now came a greater Leader. Jesus the Son of no 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.
Mary realized that this was impossible for humans but she believed that God could perform the impossible and she believed God's Word that came to her through the angel.
ISAIAH 45:15 Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.
God hiding Himself in a single human cell.
God prepared a Body for Himself. Mary was just the incubator. No part of that "holy thing" came from her.
I SAMUEL 2:2 There is none holy as the LORD:
HEBREWS 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
God was preparing a Body for Himself in which He would do the greatest possible sacrifice. So none of our sacrifices actually mean anything in comparison.
The stigma of illegitimacy
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.
The prophet to announce the Coming of Messiah was born to a woman who had passed her child-bearing age. God, doing the unexpected and ignoring the famous.
LUKE 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Mary made an immediate decision. She would believe God's Word even if it seemed impossible.
But there was a far more difficult decision to make.
Mary had to prove to the world that Joseph was not the father of Jesus.
She had conceived. Now she had to go away from Nazareth for three months. Then, when she returned to marry Joseph, she would be three months pregnant.
That would be the scandal of the age. Christ would carry the stigma of illegitimacy.
Speaking to the Jews, Jesus accused them of being of their father the Devil because they could not see that He was fulfilling Scripture.
They immediately said that they were legitimate children. Throwing in His teeth the accusation that they believed that He was illegitimate. Born outside marriage from fornication.
JOHN 8:41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
LUKE 1:39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
The city is not mentioned by name. Once again, God shows that He uses the unimportant and the obscure.
LUKE 1:40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
Mary was carrying the Word in her womb. The Word had an immediate effect upon Elizabeth.
LUKE 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
Both Mary and Elizabeth spoke the same language Hebrew. Thus there was no need for Elizabeth to speak in tongues as they could understand each other.
On the Day of Pentecost they spoke in tongues because there were other nations present who could hear in their own language. That way the Jews had no language advantage over anyone else.
LUKE 1:42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
The mother is the fruit tree.
The baby is the fruit of her womb.
LUKE 1:43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
LUKE 1:44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
John the Baptist leaped in the womb of Elizabeth as he realized that Messiah had come to him. The Word always comes to the prophet. The presence of Jesus was the justification of his ministry.
LUKE 1:45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
Mary burst forth in a beautiful time of praise to God.
LUKE 1:46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
LUKE 1:47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
LUKE 1:48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
LUKE 1:49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
Mary was doing nothing other than believing what God was doing through her.
LUKE 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
Humans come and go but the Plan of God moves on down through the ages.
LUKE 1:51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
Only God is strong. The proud are useless to God.
If you think you are something then you have missed the mark.
LUKE 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
All we can do is allow God to work through us.
Once we start doing things in our own strength that rely on our talents, then we head down the wrong path.
Mary then went to visit and stay with Elizabeth.
The Word came to the prophet in the water
At six months, the foetus is surrounded by a protective layer of water. So Mary brought the Word of God (Jesus) to the prophet of God, John, when he was in the waters of his mother’s womb.
LUKE 1:52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
:53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
Luke, emphasizing Jesus as a Man, stresses how God will deal with men.
God exalts the unimportant men and puts down the important men.
So God deals with mankind in a different way from what we expect.
Rich men have money and can buy comfort on planet Earth but find spiritual emptiness and thus very little accommodation in Heaven. God is more inclined to send them away than to invite them into Heaven.
LUKE 1:54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
LUKE 1:55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
GENESIS 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
The Jews would only rule the earth from this Promised Land when they accepted Jesus as their King.
This promise had been made more than 2000 years before but now God was going to bring forth the confirmation of this covenant. The sacrifice of Christ would enable this promise to be fulfilled.
Not immediately, but after Armageddon.
God is always working in connection with His long-term Plan. We are usually concerned with the short-term distractions of our personal circumstances and thus we lose the significance of what God is doing.
LUKE 1:56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
John could only be born when the waters of the womb broke. Then he would no longer be in the water. So the Word left him as Mary departed. Some thirty years later the prophet John was back in the waters. This time he was in the waters of Jordan, baptizing the people. Then once again Jesus came to him. The Word of God always comes to a prophet who is in the water. This symbolizes that a true prophet stays in the water of the Word.
EPHESIANS 5:26 That he [Christ] might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
A prophet’s ministry is to teach us the Word of God. Believing and obeying the written Word enables us to clean up our act.
When Mary got back to Joseph so that she could marry him, she was three months pregnant.
Thus it was obvious to everyone that Joseph was not the father of Jesus. Thus Mary had to live with the accusation that she had an illegitimate child. Both Jesus and Mary had to endure this reproach.
When arguing with Jesus, the Jews said that they were not illegitimate.
JOHN 8:41 ….Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
By saying this they were implying that He was illegitimate.
So Luke makes it clear that if a man believes, he lays himself open to false accusations and slander.
This is one of the hazards of Christianity.
The name of John broke the family tradition
Then John the Baptist was born.
LUKE 1:59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
:60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
As a doctor, Luke noted the medical detail of circumcision.
The Jews then wanted to call him Zacharias (the name of his father) as if he would follow in his father’s footsteps and be a priest. But that was not God’s will. The baby was going to become a young man who would radically disagree with the Jewish fathers of his father's generation. He would turn that older generation of fathers to the younger generation of their children. Thus the baby needed a different name.
So Luke emphasizes that if a man wants to serve God he must be prepared to disagree with his parents if they are unaware of what God is doing in their day.
Truth is more important than family.
LUKE 14:26 (Jesus said) If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
LUKE 1:61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
The weakness of religious people. Their obsession with family traditions.
LUKE 1:62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
Zacharias had to write the name of his son.
He had doubted the words of the angel. Now he himself could not speak.
Lesson. If we doubt any part of God's Word then we have no right to speak to others.
If you are prepared to believe some of God's Word then you must believe all of God's Word.
Any criticism of Scripture is a criticism of Jesus, because He is the Word.
If Jesus is not Lord of all then He is not Lord at all.
With the Bible, it is all or nothing. We are not allowed to disagree with parts.
LUKE 1:63 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.
This should have made the people realize that they should search the written Word for the importance of John's birth.
ISAIAH 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
LUKE 1:64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.
Zacharias had obeyed what God said which contradicted his family traditions. So God unloosed his tongue as he was now prepared to speak what God wanted him to say.
LUKE 1:65 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea.
People knew something special had happened but the Jewish leaders took no notice. Their only concern was for the Temple money-making that secured them a comfortable lifestyle.
LUKE 1:66 And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.
But the common people realized that John was a special son with a special calling from God.
They stored up the memories of these extraordinary events and were prepared to listen to John in later years when he introduced a brand new baptism by immersion for repentance and remission of sins.
The great prophecy of Zacharias
LUKE 1:67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
The Holy Ghost baptism did not make him speak in tongues as all the people that were present spoke Hebrew and could understand him.
Tongues, as done on the Day of Pentecost, enabled people to speak and everyone to hear in their own languages.
Zacharias had the great gift of prophecy.
This is perhaps the most difficult spiritual gift.
Predicting the future is hazardous guesswork. We were all caught out in 2020 by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. It wrecked our plans for that year and defied the prayers of the churches as it cut many church leaders down. It closed the churches down. Pastors and church members huddled for safety in lockdown in their houses. The only people who could combat the deadly virus were the very brave medical staff. No churches predicted it. No churches conquered it as it spread its devastation worldwide.
A true prophecy that predicts the future in specific details is a very rare gift. What people call prophecy today is usually just vague statements that could mean anything.
LUKE 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
The last prophet had been Malachi. According to Dr. Scofield, Malachi prophesied in 397 BC of the coming of Elijah. Now Zacharias was daring to say that his son would stand up in the spirit of Elijah.
LUKE 1:69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
Even more staggering was this prophecy that the horn of salvation, the power of salvation, would be raised up. This could only be Messiah.
LUKE 1:70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
The Old Testament prophets kept speaking of the Coming of the Messiah.
LUKE 1:71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
This was Israel's great hope. That Messiah would rescue them from the flood of anti-Jewish hatred that always seems to sweep through the Gentile nations.
LUKE 1:72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
There is only one nation that God made a covenant with, Israel
LUKE 1:73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
God had made a covenant with Abraham.
GENESIS 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
This is the territory that the Jews will rule the world from in the 1000 years of peace.
God was now going to confirm this covenant in the ministry of Messiah.
GALATIANS 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ,
The sacrifice of Messiah meant that the Jews will eventually be in the 1000-year Kingdom at the end of Armageddon.
Then they will peaceably occupy all the Promised land.
LUKE 1:74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
Jesus was supposed to have a ministry of 7 years and then set up His 1000-year-kingdom of peace with the Jews ruling the world. This kingdom should have started around the year AD 37.
(But everything got postponed when they were fooled into killing their Messiah).
LUKE 1:75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
Holiness and righteousness will govern the world for a thousand years as Jesus rules.
LUKE 1:76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
Zecharias now announces that his son John would be the forerunner of the Messiah to prepare the people to accept Messiah. John was to be the first prophet since the time of Malachi. And Messiah would come in the days of John's ministry.
These were staggering prophecies to make because there had been no prophets for 397 years.
LUKE 1:77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
The Jews never had a water baptism. Now Zecharias was saying that John would focus on the remission of sins. In order to do that, John brought in a brand new water baptism of repentance in order to produce the remission of sins.
MARK 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
LUKE 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
"Dayspring". The sun moves up to replace the darkness.
This was not the natural sun moving up to start a new day.
This was the "Sun of righteousness" rising up to bring forth seven branches of spiritual illumination throughout seven church ages.
The Dayspring. A BRANCH is that which springs upward.
In each age, a messenger would produce Bible truth to guide that age.
This was the Day of salvation that would be launched by the apostles in the first church age. In the seventh age would be the evening light. A flash of light in a very confusing age that has 45000 different kinds of churches and denominations. As well as over 1000 different variations of the English Bible. Thus the Sun of Scripture is darkening. Church-goers are becoming more and more Bible-illiterate.
ZECHARIAH 14:7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
The Day of salvation ends when Jesus catches His Bride up to meet Him in the air.
MATTHEW 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
The Gentiles need a prophet at the end time to restore us back to the beliefs of the apostles in the first church age.
MALACHI 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
Calves in a stall are safe and sound.
By killing Messiah, the Jews postponed their time of safety and it will only happen after Armageddon in the 1000-year-Kingdom of peace.
The Jews, under their corrupt religious leaders, were in darkness under the shadow of death.
John was to introduce them to Jesus Who is the Light of the world.
JOHN 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
JOHN 1:8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
Do not mistake John for being the Light. John was the great prophet but He was not the Light.
It is a serious mistake to think that the prophet-messenger is God.
JOHN 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
Only Jesus, the Word, is the Light.
You only give people light when you explain to them what is in Scripture.
LUKE 1:79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Human beings are endlessly involved in wars and racial tension.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace, the only One Who can truly guide our feet into the ways of peace and truth.
Priests began their ministry at the age of 30
LUKE 1:80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.
John the Baptist needed to know the truth so he had to grow up in the desert far removed from the religious leaders of his day. They could only guide him into error. He had to stay separated from them.
John did not join any one of the religious denominations or groups of his day. That is why God could trust him.
But Jewish children, when they grew up, could only enter the priesthood, or the service of the Lord, at the age of thirty.
NUMBERS 4:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
2 Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers,
:3 From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.
The priesthood was taken from the tribe of Levi.
They served God for twenty years, from the age of thirty to fifty. So, technically, John the Baptist and Jesus had to get to the age of thirty before commencing their ministries. John was six months older than Jesus. When Jesus got to thirty, John had been preaching for six months.
LUKE 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized,
LUKE 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age,
John the Baptist, when he got to thirty, could begin the baptism of repentance to make the Jews aware that the official Temple priesthood was now far off into error.
The Jews had to realize that their religious leaders were totally incapable of preparing them for the First Coming of Christ. The Jews belonged to their synagogues or the Temple, and thought they were safe.
That was a total delusion. They rejected Jesus, and more than a million Jews died when the Roman army under Titus destroyed the Temple in AD 70.
The written Word of God has been rejected by our churches because Jesus stands outside the church door. We think we are safe in our different church huddles and their conflicting beliefs just because we are saved. That delusion will be shattered when great Tribulation strikes like a spiritual tsunami or tidal wave.
That is why another John the Baptist is needed in the last church age as the church leaders have pushed the Word out of the church. The pastor claims to be the head of the church. No body can have two heads, so there is no room for Jesus as the head. Thus our church leaders cannot prepare us for the Second Coming of Christ. Today church members base their beliefs on human opinions and traditions, and dread being asked to prove their beliefs by just connecting Scriptures together. All they can do is frantically quote what their leader says, or what they think he said.
Church-goers have become increasingly Bible-illiterate and struggle to prove any of their beliefs from Scripture.
Calling the antivirus vaccine the mark of the beast in 2021 to avoid having an injection in their shoulder just showed how far some have fallen from Scripture.
A hard fact for the Jews was that the young generation of John the Baptist, Jesus, and His disciples were actually serving God despite being outside the official religious system. They did not belong to any of the Jewish denominations of that day. Only those who were outside the religious groups had the truth.
[We have the same problem today. God describes our official churches as blind and says that He stands outside the church of the Laodiceans (which means “people’s rights”), which is the last church age.]
"The church of the Laodiceans" means that the people have made up their own church beliefs.
They will now regard a church leader as infallible but will not hesitate to criticize the King James Version of the Bible as having mistakes.
How the mighty have fallen.
REVELATION 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
:17 and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
There is an illusion of safety in numbers. But the church leaders do not know what God is doing today as they are all going in different directions, just like blind men groping in the dark.
MATTHEW 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
Be careful. In today’s world the “ditch” represents the 3.5 years of great Tribulation. A grim irony for saved Christians who think they are going up to the Wedding Feast and will find themselves going down to an awful death in great Tribulation.
“How did we all get it so wrong?” they will cry, just like the radio and TV announcers did after Trump’s victory in the 2016 American presidential election.
The Bible calls our churches blind, and we claim that we can see. Time will tell who is right. And, sadly, it will not be us.