The True Meaning of Christmas

manger sceneThis is Christmas 2020 style. It may not be the exact date Jesus was born, He was likely born in late August or early September but, if that is true then that means He was conceived around December 25th. So, anyway it was the time of winter which was when the Feast of Dedication was celebrated (John 10:22). Caesar Augustus had ordered a census should be taken so Joseph and Mary, pregnant with child, had returned to Bethlehem, the city of David, as Joseph was of David’s lineage. It was there that Jesus was born in a barn because there was no room for them at the Inn. But, that didn’t stop God from rejoicing –

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (NU-Text reads toward men of goodwill.) – Luke 2:8-14

Now the fields of Bethlehem were where they raised the sacrificial lambs for the Temple offerings. Those sheepherders were the faithful caretakers of God’s property. The angels not only announced the glory of God but they pronounced ‘Peace on earth to men of goodwill’ – but only to those who desired the good that only God can give! That excludes atheists, Communists, Socialists, humanists, Satanists, and false Christians. God did not pronounce the blessing of peace on those who work against His will on the earth!

angel of rev 10-1The angel brought the first message of the Gospel, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people”, a Savior has come to all those hope in God, Christ the Lord. And that message has now spread across the world. Every Christmas is a celebration of that Promise. It is not only a promise of forgiveness of sin but, it is also a promise of heavenly eternity .

When Satan caused Adam and Eve to fall from God’s grace in the Garden, he thought he had won but, God was only beginning. At that time God pronounced a prophesy against Satan that is still coming true –

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” – Gen. 3:15

Satan would ‘bruise Christ’s heel’ as he had Him crucified but, that only added to Christ’s victory over Satan as by that one act Christ forever gave hope to mankind and set them free from sin. The Christmas story is but the beginning of the battle, it is like God throwing down the gauntlet to Satan. God pronounced through His prophet Isaiah the next step –

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” – Isa. 9:6, 7

Hidden in this word is the restoration of the nation of Israel and establishing it as God had intended it to be, the kingdom of David, who is Jesus Christ.

While Jesus was on the earth He ‘bruised Satan’s head’ and when He established the Church, He gave them authority to continue bruising Satan’s head! The Church is His government on earth and it continues to increase and spread across the earth. Wherever the Church is strong there is righteousness, judgement, and justice available to mankind. And there is light. Wherever Satan rules, there is oppression and darkness.

That is why so many people of the earth look to the United States and try to move here, it was founded by those who believed the Gospel of Christmas! It is not that the Church has not been in other places around the world but, Satan is cunning, as deceitful as he was in the Garden of Eden. He entices the Church with questions, “Did God say?” then offers a modification that is only slightly different than God’s true word. Once that deception is agreed to, Satan offers a bold denial of God’s word, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” And with many other enticements and deceits Satan lulls the Church into a lukewarmness and a sleep that stops the Church from hearing God’s word. Satan’s chief spokesman is the spirit of Antichrist and Daniel says of him – “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall wear out the saints of the Most High”. That same spirit has been successful in Europe and now is working in the American Church. But, God is not caught unaware, He has the revival of a ‘latter rain’ of the Holy Spirit to infuse His Church with, greater than the ‘former rain’ that began the Church. And God will have a final harvest of souls greater than any previous. When that harvest is gathered the war in heaven will begin.

“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” – Rev. 12:7-12

When this war takes place and Satan is cast down to the earth, then will begin the final seven years of man’s reign on the earth. It will be a terrible time on earth, especially the last 3½ years as Satan pours out his wrath on earth and the wrath of God against the ungodly begins. Jesus said, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” But, at the end of this time Jesus will return with the armies of heaven and finally settle the score with Satan as Christ throws the Antichrist and the False prophet and those who follow them into the lake of fire and Satan is bound in chains for a thousand years! Some will have given their lives for the Son of God and some will come through this time faithful to Him and they all will be rewarded.

And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” – Rev. 7:14-17

Then will begin the thousand year reign of Christ on the earth and the promise of the Christmas story will be fulfilled in victory. Some may be afraid to face the tribulation period but Jesus says, “Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the crossand follow Me.” (Mar. 10:21). Some believe in a pre-tribulation rapture that will deliver them from the great tribulation and it would be nice if that were true but, whether it is or not, those that overcome the antichrist will do so by the blood of the Lamb, by their testimony, and they will not love their lives even to the death. They will be true to the message of Christmas and a heavenly child who came to die on a cross for us.

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