You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
8 And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 'And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger.' 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 'Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.'
Just outside the city of Bethlehem, in the countryside, were shepherds tending their flocks, just as God watches after his flock. So these shepherds were awake in the night doing their job, keeping a watchful eye for animals or thieves who might take some of their sheep. Thus the sheep were protected. Note that these poor shepherds were faithfully doing their jobs, while the priests and elders of the country were home sleeping and not doing their job watching the sheep of the people. The priests in general were void of knowledge of doctrine, though they had all the information available to them to know that it was now that they should be n the watch for the coming of the savior. Yet they did not have even a clue as to the importance of the time in which they lived.
Daniel prophesied as to the time in his 'weeks' prophecy, pin pointing the year of birth. Moses prophesied as to the loss of rulership. And now the census was being taken right before their eyes. Even the Magi knew of the prophecies of the star which would guide them and mark the place of Christ's birth. They knew of the year, because their journey began quite some time prior to the birth of Jesus.
But Israel was clueless. The greatest event since creation was happening right under their noses and no one had a clue. Or rather a very few knew of it. Certainly Zacharias and his wife knew, for they produced John the Baptist just six months earlier. We will see a few others later on, who knew of the significance of this birth. But now the announcement to the world came unnoticed. Only the shepherds who were alert and on the job were to receive the good news. Millions of angels too, were there to celebrate. But the city and the nation slept, satisfying their own selfish needs for sleep. Those who reject God, are sleeping in their spiritual life. They pursue their own desires in their day to day lives and disregard God as being any part of their existence. Those who seek God are awake in their souls and seek Him continually. We do this by our daily study of doctrine, and the constant process of our thinking as we tumble doctrines in our thoughts, examining, discovering, searching answers.
The priests had failed for many generations, and now they were found to be asleep right at the greatest moment, or what could have been the greatest moment, of their lives.
An angel appeared and made an announcement, Isa. 9:6, a child is born, a wonderful counselor, mighty God, eternal Father, prince of peace. This is the announcement. The angel is not identified. He reassures the shepherds that his appearance is nothing to fear. This is perhaps Gabriel, since he has made the other important announcements to Mary and Elizabeth, but whomever it is, his appearance was impressive.
The night sky was lit up and became like day. The message was given. Man, not angels, but mankind has been given a savior. Born in Bethlehem and could be found in a manger, in a barn, and wrapped in the swaddling clothes of a person wrapped for burial after death.
Now how many children in the city would fit this description? Only one. In fact there would be only one child on the entire planet that would fit this description.
Then suddenly who should appear, not people seeking the incarnation of God, but angels, elect angels. The two thirds that did not follow Satan. And the celebration began. Their priorities were in order. Glory and praise was given to God for He is the source of all things. He is the source of peace among men as well. Peace comes from the intake of Bible doctrine and the advancement to spiritual maturity. A person who attains spiritual maturity attains Gods peace, Gods rest. That which was denied the Israelites who crossed the parted sea, because they refused to pursue their spiritual growth. They ignored God and spent all their time complaining or hustling in life.
Among men with whom He is pleased, refers to mature believers. Not just believers, but mature believers. There are a lot of believers in this world that ignore God and they act no different than unbelievers. The content of their soul is the darkness of this world, the wisdom of this world. They lack knowledge of Bible doctrine in their soul so their behavior is no different than any other unbeliever in this world. The only thing they have going for them is the fact that they are saved and will go to heaven. But in this world they will find themselves under discipline.
Mature believers are the only ones with whom God is pleased. They are the reflection of Christ by virtue of the doctrine resident in their souls. Note that God doesn't get pleased with the person, but with the doctrine that is resident in them. Their stability and blessing comes from the source of doctrine and God is doctrine.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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