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The Birth
The Birth

Bible Teacher Russ Pickett

Bible Teacher Russ Pickett

By Russ Pickett
Saturday, January 30th
2021


Scripture verses are in " MAROON "

Koine Greek words and Hebrew words are in " PURPLE "   ~   Text in " DARK BLUE " are highlighted points

All scripture verses in this document are from the original 1611

Revelations

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         It is commonly believed, and assumed today, that Jesus was born, if not on December 25th, then sometime in that time frame.   However is there a way ... using the Bible ... that we can get a better idea of when he actually was born ?

" And does it even really matter when it was ? "

    There are actually two reasons we should study the birth of Jesus the Christ:

  • First ... so that, working with the prophecies of the book of Daniel, Revelations, and other scriptures, we can get a " clearer picture of when Jesus might indeed return ! "

  • Second ... to dispel any " myths or legends " surrouding when His birth actually occurred.

  As part of this process of searching for Jesus' birth I've done the following:

  • Re-read every scripture I could find in the Old and New Testaments relating to his birth and to the prophecies of His birth ...

  • Read all that I can find in historical documents whether they be biblical or from other historians of the time period ...

  • Watched every internet video of folks trying " feebly " to come up with an actual date of His birth by " twisting " history and dates to suit their purpose.  ( I assume with hopes of somehow becoming famous ? )

  • Accessed every historical Hebrew calendar that provides dates and made every possible calculation to finally help come to the truth ...
    ( Those of the Hebrew faith compare, for religious reasons, times in B.C. with actual A.D. calendar dates )

   And why is that ?   Well because Jesus Himself told us this about His second coming:

  Mark 13:32

But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

         That is " only the Father " knows the exact day and hour of His return.   However we are also told this in II Timothy:

  II Timothy 2:15

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

         We are implored to " Study the bible to show ourselves approved unto God ".   And that means " All Of The Bible ! "

         Now if we can find a " very close approximate year of his birth ", using the scriptures and historical documents, then we can get more of a clear picture of the times that we live in and if the " Second Coming Of Our Lord just might be closer than we think ..... "

         With the above in mind let's explore the scriptures together to see it there is anything we can pull from the Bible to come up with a date, " or at least a time of the year ", when Jesus was born.   " And here is our first clue: "

  Luke 2: 7-8

[ 7 ] And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger;  because there was no room for them in the inn.

[ 8 ] And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

         Now if there were " shepherds abiding in the field " at the time of Jesus' birth then we know a lot more about the time of year.   Any shepherd, even today, in Israel will tell you that there are basically four months when they " ARE NOT OUT IN THE FIELDS " due to cold weather and lack of food for the sheep to eat and the four months are:

" NOVEMBER  -  DECEMBER  -  JANUARY  -  FEBRUARY "

         The Jewish Rabbi's have also noted in the Talmud this concerning the shepherds:   " Shepherds were only out in the fields from March until the next rainy season in autumn. "

         Now another clue within these verses is the statement " keeping watch over their flock by night ".   There is only one time of the year that shepherds watch over their sheep during the night.   " And why is that ? "

         Unless you have sheep of your own then " you probably don't know this about sheep " ..... They only give birth, unlike people, " during one time of the year " and not throughout the entire year.

         They basically only give birth in the Spring and then normally only in the months that we call " MARCH and APRIL " ..... And the main reason the shepherds watch over them " day and night " during this birthing season is to " insure " that any lambs born into their flock don't have any problems during birth ..... Because to them the survival of the flock is also directly tied to their and their family's survival .....


Let's also include this verse here by John the Baptist because it's kind of remarkable:


  John 1: 29

[ 29 ] The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.


         " Listen to this " ..... God planned the timing of this perfectly because who better to look after the birth of " the Lamb of God " then those that continually look after the birth of the lambs ... The Shepherds !   ( and now you know why Shepherds were part of the birth of Jesus the Christ )

Let's also include this verse from Luke to see something else interesting:

  Luke 2: 4

[ 4 ] And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem;  ( because he was of the house and lineage of David: )

  The " first thing " to note about " Bethlehem " shown in Luke 2:4 above is this:

         In Hebrew the word " Bethlehem " means " House of Bread ".   And remember what Jesus said in John 6:35:

  The " second thing " to note about " Bethlehem " that most don't know is this:

        When Jesus was born in " Bethlehem ", based on the Jewish Rabbi's in the Talmud, the majority of all lambs used during the yearly " Passover Celebration " in the Jerusalem temple sacrifices were born in " BETHLEHEM " ..... which as we all know is " exactly where Jesus was born. "   ( Jerusalem is only about 7 miles away from " Bethlehem " )

      

      Let's also note this from the Book of Exodus concerning the lambs to be sacrificed:


  Exodus 12: 3

[ 3 ] Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:

( In Hebrew the work take actually means " accept " or " receive " the lamb )


  Exodus 12: 5 - 6

[ 5 ] Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year:  ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:

[ 6 ] And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month:  and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

        So a " Passover Lamb " for the sacrifice was a year old " AND " also had to be born in the Jewish calendar month of " Nisan ".

( " Nisan " in Hebrew actually means " Beginning " and is the 1st day of the 1st month of the Hebrew Calendar )


Passover
Pesach

Nisan 14

       JEWISH PURPOSE:  Remembering the deliverance from Egyptian bondage.   An unblemished firstborn male lamb was sacrificed and its blood poured on the altar.   A lamb was selected for each family, and four days before the lamb was to be slain it was brought into the home for a four-day examination period.


MESSIANIC SIGNIFICANCE:  Jesus is the sacrificial lamb who died for our sins.   On Nisan 14 at the exact time the lamb was to be slain, " Jesus was slain and placed in the tomb ! ".   Jesus also had a four-day examination period before the religious leaders and was found without blemish.


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     Now here is something else to notice:

        The " 10th day of Nisan " was the original day Israel was to select a lamb to prepare for the sacrifice that they were to do on " Nisan 14 " ( noted above in Exodus 12:3 ).

        The " 10th day of Nisan " is known by those of the Jewish faith as the " Day Of The Lamb ! "   The sacrifice of the lamb provided the blood to be applied to their doorposts which protected them from the final plague in Egypt.   " As only God can do ", Nisan 10 based on our current calendar, would fall on what we now call a " Sunday " and was the slated day for Jesus’ formal presentation as the Lamb.

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     And another thing to notice:


Day of Firstfruits

Nisan 17

       JEWISH PURPOSE:  The first of the barley harvest was brought as an offering to the priest in the Tabernacle/Temple.   The priest would present the first of the harvest unto the Lord by waving them back and forth.   This reminded the Hebrews that God gave them the land, and the harvest belonged to Him.


MESSIANIC SIGNIFICANCE:  Jesus is the Firstfruits ( 1 Cor. 15:20-23 ).   Jesus' resurrection marked the beginning of the harvest of souls.   John 12:23-24,32 shows Jesus was likened to a grain of wheat falling to the ground and dying to produce a great harvest.   " Jesus arose from the dead on the day of Firstfruits ! ".


For more on when " Jesus rose from the dead " see my article:


Click Here!

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     And another thing to notice about what we call " Pentecost ! ":


Feast Of Weeks

Pentecost

Shavu'ot

       JEWISH PURPOSE:  Fifty days after the Feast of Firstfruits, two loaves of leavened bread are presented to God.   Also a reminder that the Jews were slaves to Egypt (Deut. 16:9-17).   The giving of the Torah to Moses on Sinai took place this day.   Three thousand were killed that day.


MESSIANIC SIGNIFICANCE:  Fifty days after Jesus arose, a group of Messianic Jews received the Holy Spirit.   Jesus had said prior to his death " Unless I go, the Holy Spirit will not come. But when I go I will send the Holy Spirit unto you. "   God wrote the law ( Torah ) on the hearts of the believers.   Three thousand souls were saved.   " This corresponds to the day of Pentecost in Acts ".

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         So we see from the above that the Hebrew month of " Nisan " ( the first month of the Hebrew calendar ), along with the Feast's and Celebration's of the Jewish faith, play a big part in the life of our Lord Jesus the Christ !   And why shouldn't they:

" Remember Jesus' statement to the woman of Canaan in the book of Matthew ? "

  Matthew 15: 24

[ 3 ] But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

         Jesus wanted to prove to the " lost sheep of the house of Israel " who He was.   What better day than the Sabbath and on the " Day of Firstfruits itself " to send a sign to the Jew's that He was exactly who He said He was.   And what better time of the year then " Passover " itself.   Of course we read later in Acts chapter 10 when Jesus let Peter know that not only was the " house of Israel " included in His salvation but also " ALL " mankind as well:

  Acts 10: 15

[ 3 ] What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

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         So what do we know at this point ?

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         Now " we already knew " that Jesus was crucified in March or April so " that isn't a big surprise to us " ..... However " knowing that Jesus was also born in March or April ..... that is a SURPRISE TO MANY ! "   Now let's go on a search to find out if we can know the actual year, or at least a much closer year, than " A.D. 0 " which is the common current belief !

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         However ... " before we start searching for the year Jesus was born " ... it would help us out " a lot " if we could some how determine " how old Jesus was when He was crucified " ..... and to help us with that we must again look for clues within the Bible itself ..... and here are things we know at this point:


  Luke 2: 21

[ 3 ] And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

So we know from the above scripture that Jesus was " eight days " old when he was " circumcised. "


  Luke 2: 22

[ 3 ] And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;

" The Temple presentation "

         We know at this point that " Jesus was 40 days old " since the Temple Presentation was done forty days, and exactly 40 days", after birth of a Jewish child.   And it Jesus' case there were actually two ceremonies at the temple.

         The first ceremony was called " The Purification Ritual. "   This was the ritual that declared the child ( Jesus ) to be clean after coming into contact with His mother’s blood during childbirth.   This was also the ritual that declared the mother ( Mary ) to be ritually clean after the uncleanness created during childbirth.

         Because Jesus was the firstborn male of this family there was also a ceremony called " The Redemption Ceremony ".   In this ceremony the family basically also had to purchase, via sacrifice, ( redemption ) the firstborn male because all firstborn male offspring ( human or otherwise ) were at the time of their birth basically owned by the Temple and had to be purchased back by the family.


  Luke 2: 41-49

[ 41 ] Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.   [ 42 ] And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.   [ 43 ] And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem;  and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.   [ 44 ] But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey;  and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.   [ 45 ] And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.   [ 46 ] And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors [ didasko ], both hearing them, and asking them questions.   [ 47 ] And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.   [ 48 ] And when they saw him, they were amazed:  and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us ?  behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.   [ 49 ] And he said unto them,  How is it that ye sought me ?  wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business ?

" Jesus' first Temple Teaching "

         These particular verses don't truly add to discoving the year of Jesus' birth however being only twelve years old and answering questions and teaching the Doctors [ didasko ] was, and always will be, " an amazing story about Jesus and it is the first recorded note in the Bible of Him teaching ! "   The Koine Greek word didasko would be better interrupted as " Teachers ".   So at the age of twelve Jesus was teaching the " Teachers " in the Temple " And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. "


  Luke 3: 23

[ 23 ]  And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,

" Why did Jesus wait until He was 30 years old to start His ministry ? "

         All son's born to Jewish families at that time were required to support their family until they were 30 years of Age.   If Jesus had started any sooner " literally no of the Jewish faith would have taken him seriously as a Rabbi or Teacher because He would have been considered to have abandoned His family ! "


         The Bible also provides " Two Methods " for establishing Jesus the Christ’s age when He died on Calvary’s tree for our sins.   When Jesus gave this below parable " all Biblical Scholars have agreed over the ages that he was actually also giving his age by doing so .... "


  Luke 13: 6-9

[ 6 ] He spake also this parable;   A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard;   and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.   [ 7 ] Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none:   cut it down;   why cumbereth it the ground ?   [ 8 ] And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:   [ 9 ] And if it bear fruit, well:   and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.


         The second method is a series of verses from the " Book of John " which are strongly believed to show the " Final 4 Passovers Occuring " during His ministry:

  John 2: 1-4

[ 1 ]  And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:   [ 2 ]  And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.   [ 3 ]  And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.   [ 4 ]  Jesus saith unto her, Woman [ gune ], what have I to do with thee ?  mine hour is not yet come.

         There are two things we notice in this scripture that basically let us know that this was indeed the " 1st Passover " that occurred soon after Jesus started his ministry !

         " First we see " that not only Jesus was called to this wedding but also his " his disciples ".   Most folks don't realize that after Jesus had gathered " his disciples " that He spent time basically training them prior to actually going across the country side on His mission.   It was during this initial training of " his disciples " that this wedding occurred.

         And the " second thing we notice " is that Mary, Jesus' mother, was actually asking Him to insure that the wedding party had " more wine ".   Jesus, knowing that His mother was basically asking for a miracle here, first rebuked her by calling her " Woman ".

         " Imagine if you will " what would happen to you if you ever called your mother " Woman " in a public setting.   However Jesus used the Koine Greek word " gune " in this case and it's proper interprutation into today's english would be " woman, wife, or female ".

         Now to us it might seem that " Jesus was being rude to his mother " however " that isn't the case " and He had two reasons for using that particular word:

  First it was Jesus' way of signifying to Mary that He was already out on His own and she had no control over Him any longer as she did when He was growing up under her care ..... and

  Second it was a kind of " divorcement if you will " from His earthly step-family to protect her and them from what He was now going to do across the land with His teachings.

         Now this is " simply my personal opinion " of the First Miracle of Jesus and why it occurred here.   As noted above it appears to me that Jesus had by this time picked His " twelve disciples " ..... had completed their training ..... had separated Himself from His earthly step-family ..... and performed this " First Miracle " here to basically give His " twelve disciples " one final proof that " He was exactly who He said He was " ..... prior to heading out on His mission to mankind

         And it's also " my personal opinion " that when Jesus and the " twelve disciples " left the wedding feast that day " it was the start of Jesus' 3 year mission to mankind ..... "

  John 5: 1-2

[ 1 ]  After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.   [ 2 ]  Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.

         The " feast of the Jews " here is believed to have been His second passover due to the note concerning the " sheep market ".   Is there any other proof that this was His " Second Passover ? " ..... no there isn't, however based on other timelines it would strongly appear that it was indeed a " Passover ".


  John 6: 3-4

[ 3 ]  And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.    [ 4 ]  And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.

         As you can see in these verses this was indeed a " Passover ".


  John 11:5 thru John 19:14

         And this Passover of course was our Lord's last .....

So now we have basically established that

" Our Lord Jesus the Christ was crucified at the age of 33 ..... "

              So now we will investigate in what year He was possibly born in hopes of finding a time period, " or at least a very close time period ", of when His " Second Coming might indeed occur ! "   Lets remember this as part of our quest:


  " So what clues can we find ? "

         Believe it or not the answer comes from two sources:  not only does it come from " the Bible " but also " from History " as well.   And it all centers around and comes down to the life of " Herod " and we see the story in the Book of Matthew ( " Isn't it amazing that God the Father tied Herod to our Lord ? " ) :

  Matthew 2: 1-3

[ 1 ]  Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,   [ 2 ]  Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews ?  for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.   [ 3 ]  When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

         Now Herod hadn't heard of this so he asked his chief priests and scribes about this .... and they told him that the Christ was to be born in Bethlehem of Judaea.   And Herod said to the wise men:

  Matthew 2: 8-9

[ 8 ]  And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.   [ 9 ]  When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

         So Herod asked the wise men, after they found the baby, to come back and tell him where the baby was so " that I may come and worship him also. "   However the wise men were warned by " God " not to go back and tell Herod that they had actually found the baby Jesus:

  Matthew 2: 12-13

[ 12 ]  And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.   [ 13 ]  And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

         So the " wise men " immediately went back to their homes and did not go back to tell Herod where they had found the baby Jesus.   This, of course, " infuriated " Herod and he took the following action:

  Matthew 2: 16-18

[ 16 ]  Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.   [ 17 ]  Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,   [ 18 ]  In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

         So we see that " Herod " not only lied to the " wise men " but also basically murdered little children and babies because he was afraid of losing his kingship and kingdom.   The best part of this story is that Joseph and Mary ( as we see Matthew 2:13 ) were also warned about Herod and to flee into what today is called the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt.

  Matthew 2: 13

[ 13 ]  And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

         A trusted Jewish historian and writer during the above time frame in history was named " Flavius Josephus ".   " Josephus' " written histories are still widely available and include a document titled " Antiquities of the Jews ".   Now it should be noted that " Josephus' " did not " witness " all of the events he wrote about but still it is commonly excepted by today's historians that his writting are a vaild and valuable look into the historical events in this time period.

         In his document " Antiquities of the Jews " he included the historical note " that there was a lunar eclipse shortly before Herod died and the Feast of Passover occurred soon after his death " and all historians agree that this was the one and the same " Herod " mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew.

         Now prior to the division of time we call " A.D. and B.C. " there were 3 different Lunar Eclipses that occurred.   Because of our current knowledge concerning the cycles of the moon, as you know, we are able to not only predict when the next one will occur ... but are also able to go back in time and discover when they occurred in the past.   And that information is shown on the " NASA " website. ( National Aeronautics and Space Administration )

         There is only " 1 Lunar Eclipse " that occurred that actually fits with our discussion here based on the discovery above that Jesus was born in the month of March or April.   And that eclipse occurred on " March 13th in the year 4 B.C. "

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    Now lets have a discussion here to basically tie things up if you will:

         Whatever their theological bent, " All Historians Agree " that Jesus of Nazareth was a real person who was born, baptized, and crucified.

         Based on the information in numerous non-Christian Jewish and Greco-Roman documents, His existence is historically verifiable.   If these documents are compared to one another, an approximate timeline of Jesus' life can also be established, " with or without the biblical records ! "   Based on their research, " scholars conclude that Jesus was born somewhere between 6 and 4 BC. "

         The death of Herod the Great, king of Judea between 37 and 4 BC, is a major clue for historians attempting to pinpoint the year when Jesus was born.   The majority of Historians also agree that Herod died in 4 BC, placing Jesus' birth sometime before that.   Still, there are nearly 33 years of Herod's reign during which Jesus' birth may have occurred, if we go only by this detail.

         The Bible records the infanticide Herod decreed in Bethlehem in his attempt to eliminate the threat of a newborn Jewish King or Ruler ( Matthew 2:16–18 ).   However, there is no extrabiblical historical record of this infanticide, and Matthew does not give the date.   It could be that secular historians deemed the event too insignificant to be recorded ( there may have been as few as 20 children of that age living in the small village of Bethlehem at the time ).

         Providing another clue on when Jesus was born is that first-century Jewish historian " Flavius Josephus " who also tells us that Jesus was crucified, as the Bible records, at the order of Pontius Pilate, a Roman governor of Judea between A.D. 26 and A.D. 37.   This gives us the clue that Jesus could have been crucified as early as A.D. 26.

         If Jesus was born, at the latest, 4 BC, and died, at the latest, AD 37, that would make Him ( at the absolute outside ) 41 years old at His death.   However adding in the biblical records allows us to narrow the window even further.   The Jews of Jesus' day make a reference to their temple being in its 46th year of construction ( John 2:20 ).   Scholars estimate this year to be around AD 27—29, which would agree with Luke's detail that Jesus was " about thirty years of age " when He began His ministry ( Luke 3:23 ).

         If Jesus was around thirty years old in AD 27 - 29, and we know that His birth occurred in or before 4 BC, that would put His birth, at the earliest, around 6 BC  —  any earlier would make Him between 35 and 40 years old in Luke 3:23, at which point He could no longer be considered " about thirty ".   Despite the inability of scholars to pinpoint exact dates, it is reasonable from these facts to conclude that Jesus was born between 6 and 4 BC, during the last few years of the reign of Herod the Great.



    

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   But always remember the words of the Lord Jesus the Christ about his second coming:

  Mark 13:32

But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

         Let me bring this study to a close by urging the reader to study these truths from the " ONLY " true source, " God’s Word ".   As you prayerfully read, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s truths to you.   Please do " not " take anything that I have written for truth, until you " verify " it with " God’s Holy Word ".

May God Bless You

          


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Last modified: Saturday, January 30, 2021

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