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25 December, 2014

The Birth of Christ - Part 3

Bethlehem signifies also the 'house of war'. How remarkable this. Jesus, when lying in the manger, was announced to the shepherds, as "Christ the Lord," the Anointed One, Messiah, the Prince. To Mary, before her conception, the angel said; "You shall bring forth a son, and shall call his name Jesus. 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; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."

To Adam, in Paradise, the promise was given, that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. This implies conflict and conquest. Christ was foretold by Isaiah as a mighty conqueror; "Who is this who comes from Edom, from the city of Bozrah, with his clothing stained red? Who is this in royal robes, marching in the greatness of his strength?" "It is I, the Lord, announcing your salvation! It is I, the Lord, who is mighty to save!"

David, in the spirit of prophecy, beautifully describes the glory and majesty of Christ. "He shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. Those who dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust."

Jesus, by his Spirit in David, thus speaks of himself; "The Lord has said unto me, You are my Son; this day have I begotten you. Ask of me, and I shall give you the heathen for your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."

Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews declares, that through death, Christ destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. Thus fulfilling the first prediction: Satan bruised the heel of the promised seed, when Jesus suffered on the cross; And Christ, by his death, bruised the head, the kingdom of the power of darkness. "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil."

Believers, then, must endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, knowing that the Captain of their salvation was made perfect through suffering. Spiritual armor is provided for the Christian warrior, the girdle of truth, the breast-plate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. The command is given, "Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong."