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The Big Little Village

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
December 16, 2020 7:00 am

The Big Little Village

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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December 16, 2020 7:00 am

After giving church and missionary updates, Pastor Greg Barkman speaks from Micah of the significance of Bethlehem, beginning at 31-45.

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Greetings and welcome once again to the midweek service from the auditorium of beacon Baptist Church on Kirkpatrick Rd. in Burlington, NC delighted to be able to get together in this fashion would long to be able to gather together with the assembly of the saints. But that's not wise at this time. So we continue with our schedule of Sunday morning.

Being the only service right now that were doing with people present in Sunday night and Wednesday night in this fashion. However, this coming Sunday night.

We are planning a special Christmas program and so we are planning people present on Sunday night at 6 o'clock. We hope that many of you will be able to join us. I enjoy so much hearing, the beacon congregation singing glory in Excel seized that is one of my favorite Christmas carols.

I don't know I guess it's the melody.

I'm not sure what it is, of course, it's a good message as well, but I just love that particular hymn and it is the on the program on the schedule for this coming Sunday morning so will be looking forward to singing that with people present this coming Sunday, Lord willing, will I trust you are well. There are a number of people who are who are sick in various ways it is that time of year and so people are struggling with illnesses whether covert or cold sore other things.

It's a lot of that going on at this time of year were aware of that.

We trust our health and our well-being into the hands of the Lord I'm so delighted with the response we've had to our faith promise project through this last Sunday we have received 72 cards with omissions total just slightly less than 139,000 in the building fund total of about 11,500 so we are coming along very well were very close to the totals of last year and we still have a little ways to go.

Normally we receive cards through the end of the year, and occasionally even into January, though the cards are coming in January make a little difficult for us to budget because we have to start working on those figures early in the month to get them ready and so if you are planning to join us, the sooner the better. We would appreciate that. Very, very, much some of asked about our annual Congregational meeting. We are planning to have it on the first Wednesday night in February as we normally do. It will be here in the auditorium will be able to have a meal ahead of time. We will gather in this place and practice of social distancing in the various precautions covert prescription restrictions and protocol that were observing. Now we will have a people present service at that time. I'm glad to be able to announce that we have been conducting a lot of our Congregational business by by means of email.

You've responded to that. Well, I thank you for that.

When we send the request out for you to consider something and to return your vote you been doing that in large numbers and I'm very grateful for that. But we really need to get everybody together so the first Wednesday in February.

That's what we plan to do now that that the coven vaccine is is being distributed. It's very possible that this thing could be winding down pretty quickly. Hard to say everything is so new, we've never done this before. Never had this before so we can't say for sure what's going to happen, but it does seem possible to me that over the next few weeks. Things could could turn a corner rather quickly.

We certainly trust that that may be the case. The Scripture in Matthew chapter 1 verse 23 says, behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuelle which is translated God with us.

What a remarkable truth going to be opening the Scriptures a little bit later to that prophecy in the book of Micah tells us of the birth of the Messiah will be in the town of Bethlehem. And with that in mind I read the words of this familiar Christmas Carol, written by Philip Brooks a little town of Bethlehem house. Still, we see the lie above thy deep and dreamless sleep. The silent stars by yet in thy dark stream streets rather shine with the everlasting light, the hopes and fears of all the years are met in the tonight for Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above, while mortals sleep. The Angels keep their watch, of wondering love morning stars together proclaim the holy birth and praises sing to God the king and peace to men on earth, how silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given. So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven note here may hear his coming, but in this world of sin where meek souls will receive him still the dear Christ enters in a holy Child of Bethlehem to send to us. We pray cast out our sin and enter in the born in us today we hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings till will come to us abide with us, our Lord, Emmanuelle, shall we pray heavenly father would glad news. The Angels brought that day to the shepherds in Bethlehem would glad news has been proclaimed to us as it comes down through the centuries that a child has been born to Mary and his name is Emmanuelle God with us, and we stand amazed with wonder.

Considering this truth once again the truth will never fully comprehend the truth that we never get tired of hearing father how grateful we are that you and loving kindness sent your son that undeserving sinners might be. Say father we pray that you will tune our hearts to receive your word and to sing your praises.

We pray Lord that you will it teach us to cast all of our cares upon you to trust you. The everlasting God, a God who is so gracious to give us your side. How will you not with him freely give us all things, and so we are confident that the needs that we have in our lives which are so small compared to the need of salvation will be met by the God who has given us a Savior. So we thank you for these things. We pray that you will guide and direct us and open our hearts to these wonderful truths tonight as we ask it in Jesus name, amen covering our prayer requests at this time early, some of them were grateful that Stephanie Corbett has improved with her battle with Corbett. We are praying for Gibson film Mayor pro tem Mark Sheppard is our government official of this week. Please pray for Tracy area will be having foot surgery on Friday, December 18 continue please to pray for Drew Guthrie as she is dealing with cancer. Pray for Larry Hunter.

He was originally scheduled to have a procedure relating to cancer on Tuesday and through a mix up with the with the doctors a failed communication. He was not able to have that and they are rescheduling it. We trust very soon. Pray for Larry Hunter were mindful that Jane mature has tested positive for covert were praying for her were mindful Jack Lyle has tested positive for covert number praying for him.

We are continuing to pray for Alice Marley.

She's now home recovering from a fractured pelvis and for John Spencer will be having hernia surgery this coming Friday as were also praying for Shirley Watkins who now with some health issues ongoing. We have been asked to pray for false Academy in Raleigh that's been hit hard with covert praying for Harold Lynch, Junior, who was nonpeak resources rehabilitating because of his health problems. We are glad to report the Jack Petrie has now taken up residence in an assisted living facility in Pittsboro near his daughter Cheryl and seems to be adjusting very well. Praying for Ronald Stennett, who has Parkinson's and a crushed vertebrae.

This is Alice Marley's son-in-law, praying for Roger Thompson who has neurological issues, and uncle Sue Vestal and for Mark Verdi who was in the hospital in Ohio with covert brother-in-law to Nancy Verdi and I understand his cases fairly severe were also praying for Josh quite will be deployed for 14 months.

This is an nephew of Ken Elliott were thankful that Stewart walleye is still on schedule to return to Zimbabwe tomorrow. We trust that will take place up until now, there does not seem to be anything too prohibited.

And so we were praying that he'll be able to go ahead as scheduled return to his home in Zimbabwe to be reunited with his family that that lives there number of his family members.

Two of his children, and others are there and to be able to meet with the pastors that he hasn't been able to meet with personally for a long long time. He's looking forward to that as they are as well were praying for missionary Mike Webster who serves in France's dealing with cancer and we continue to pray for Trevor Johnson and for Paul Snyder.

Also missionaries that we are in partnership with who are home because of health issues. We are praying for God's strength to be ministered to several in our congregation who have lost loved ones to death and aunt of art. Pope Beth Barker passed away and a friend of art. Pope Robert trace also passed into eternity and an aunt of Carly Carnes Sarah Perella Sally Hochman died recently. We've been praying for Amy Hills father who went to the hospital with heart issues. He is now out of the hospital and is doing much better physically, but Amy has asked us to pray for his salvation. We are praying for Logan Lee, who has brain cancer, a name that has been given to us by Paul Ellis praying for Dean Vaughn who is Michelle Lau's brother who has cancer and also for Naomi Williams, Amy Freeman's mother was battling cancer and is having a pet scan early next week. Elsa missionary communications we have is thank you card that came to us from Sherry Morris of the heart's cry ministry to pastors and family with deepest appreciation, I want to thank you for your sweet gift of $275 to me for this Christmas. I want to thank you as well for your tremendous commitment. These many years to this ministry your faithful prayers for a hearts cry for my mother and my family have not only been felt proved his amazing watch care in each area of my life press on Sherry Morris. Let's see several things I'd like to read.

I have a short personal note here from Tim Easley of international and a set intercession. It's at the bottom of a vague month. The right of a prayer letter. I'll just read the part of his personal note. He writes dear Greg and beacon folk. I hope you have a meaningful Christmas holiday season. Thank you for your faithful gift to our mission. Our missions efforts overseas this Christmas gift is also a big help was on and says a few things and signs and blessings, Tim Easley, Herman Wanda Taylor who were up for our tri-state Fellowship meeting this last Monday right dear brother Greg, we want to thank you for your kindness to provide for a meal.

The restaurant is last Monday night was a joy to be able to be there for the pastors fellowship and the time to visit together is always encouraging.

Thank you so much for your kindness to us was also a blessing to be able to stay in the missionary house. We are always comfortable. There it was so nice to be, they are not travel back to Greenville that evening. Thank you for that special blessing. We appreciate you folks in the ministry at beacon. We are grateful to be ministry partners together. You have a blessed Chris Christmas Herman Wanda Taylor Hispanic ministries with Baptist Church plantar all right. I have several others but I want to read this one from David Vaughn in France first because if I leave it to last time they run out of time and I don't want that to happen. Vaughn serve in the south of France. We actually are partnering with three missionaries in France. I mentioned Mark rather Mike Webster little bit ago. He is in northern France.

Having served many years in French-speaking Qubec and now more recently in French-speaking France and then we also support the Tim and Ruth Bixby.

Also in northern France in the in the Paris area and if I have time I'll read a little little bit from their life and ministry. Tonight, but we also support David and Nikki Vaughn in the south of France and you may not take as well acquainted with them because it's been quite a while since they have visited here and also because we don't get as many prayer letters from them as we do from some missionaries. So that's why wanted to be sure and read this one that the came just a few days ago. I'm reading excerpts from it.

It's about three pages of typed small print, closely spaced, so I won't be able to resolve but I gotta read some excerpts it's it's very interesting I think. Anyway, he says difference with thankful for our little group that is gradually growing again after losing several people in the autumn of 2019, we have not five new people attending two of whom who have asked for membership and the others visibly hungry for God's word and happy to have found us that we are still a very small group is encouraging that 80% of the adults are at midweek prayer meetings by zoom that the quality of these times of prayer mixes typically come away with thankful hearts, the lockdown has obviously hampered our and evangelistic efforts. Please pray for us.

We might not stagnate stagnate in this area continue to find and seize opportunities to share the gospel with those who do not know Christ around us, I pause to say the first part of his letter talk little bit more about the lockdown, which is more severe in France than it is in America and has pretty much curtailed all church meetings for the time being.

Now here's the part I have found fascinating and I wanted to share this with you. He says in my last letter I wrote that we are developing close ties with two small Gypsy churches, composed of people who have come out of a large French Pentecostal Gypsy denomination that were not so familiar with gypsies, big part of the landscape in America, but they are very prominent in a number of European countries and in France there are, I think at least half a million of them are so they tend to be a tightknit group doesn't don't mix and mingle very well with the rest of the population and this is quite a breakthrough that I'm sharing with you tonight. He says they these two churches are now reformed Baptist churches and have adopted the 1689, Baptist confession of faith, which we also use this is a mammoth change in theological perspective for them. These two churches are closely connected. Though they are 90 minutes from each other. There are many family ties among their members and know you know a man in his 60s is the only ordained elder for both groups heart cry mission as agreed to help these two Gypsy church plants. If I would take responsibility to train and prepare for ordination. The two young leaders Michael and Joe Seto who are preaching and doing doing the real pastoral work among them. The church plants desire to call these men for eldership and from our experience with them. They are certainly qualified on every level for this office and then he says some other things. I'm going to skip over this time and pick up here as he talks about the background of these people and their Pentecostal background. He says they say that although they were active members of their Pentecostal church for 20 years they had never heard or understood why Jesus died on the cross.

They knew he had done so that it was important, but they had no idea how it related to them or salvation. They had never heard of justification by faith, not the term nor even the concept they had no concept of Jesus being our substitute to suffer the wrath of God, do our sins in our place. He says these comments are simple descriptions of what I've been told by these people, but they are not intended to imply that all Pentecostal groups would share this degree of deviation from biblical teaching.

Michael told me recently that in the pre-membership class. He was explaining the biblical concept of imputation.

He said that as he taught these gypsies about their about the imputation of our sins to Jesus on the cross and the imputation of his righteousness to us. There were tears streaming down several of their faces as they rejoiced to fully grasp what the gospel was all about. You may ask what did these gypsies here all these years in their churches. I asked precisely this question to one of them.

This man told me to Jesus was not ever presented to them as a Savior to deliver them from God's wrath and reconciled him back to God. They were never told. This is why they needed Jesus or that this is what what they should trust him particularly for he also told me they never once heard that to become a Christian. He needed to repent from sin.

He said the Jesus was presented to them is the one who could heal them of sickness provide them with material prosperity and rescue them from sadness and troubles to make their lives on earth. Happy it was a therapeutic Jesus in the here and now gospel, not a redeeming Jesus in the gospel of eternal life in the world to come. Skip over some other paragraphs to pick up tour of duty. The close he says we cover your prayers for our relationship with the ministry with these dear people we never expected to be involved with the Gypsy community in France a couple of the French people in our church plant or even having a hard time getting used to this new development because the typical French person disdains the Gypsy community in regards them as a bunch of thieves but we have been won over by the sincere Christian faith and love of these Gypsy converts account of the high privilege to be associated with them. I've given you detailed information that you can pray for our ministry on the local church yet level of these four towns, but we want to urge you to think beyond the bounds of our local ministry to these few. Please pray that the Lord would use our reformed Baptist Gypsy friends to cause a true biblical biblical gospel and saving power to spread among the 400,000 to 600,000 gypsies spread throughout France. Pray for a major transformation among the Pentecostal gypsies of this country. Pray that the solid reformed teaching of Michael and Joe Seto which is being broadcast each week over the Internet is available for download would be watched by many, and bear much fruit with sincere gratitude for your prayers and partnership in the gospel signed David Vaughn all right now do I have time. I think I do for a couple more communications going to read a little bit relating to the Bixby's in France. This is in the monthly publication of EMU international comes out of their mission board in Greenville, South Carolina, and it highlights a number of the missionaries are part of their board and their work as we receive some very sad news earlier in October from Tim and Ruth Bixby Bruce father unexpectedly passed away in October 19.

He had recently been diagnosed with cancer, but the prognosis was that he was not in immediate danger, and would undergo treatment.

Born in 1951 Savannah, Georgia Richard Pankey Senior became an airplane mechanic and pilot. It is said that he could fix anything. Rick and his wife Judith residence of Wake Forest, North Carolina, and active members of Friendship Baptist Church in Raleigh. One of his greatest passions was missions and he participated in numerous work teams to foreign countries. He also love singing in the church choir and playing in the orchestra's love of music spilled over to his children and grandchildren, Rick and Judith have a son and three daughters, two of whom are married to ministers.

They also have 13 grandchildren having been called about her father's death, Ruth and Tim Bixby began calling for plane tickets for Ruth and their youngest son to fly stateside for the funeral on October 24. The Bixby's were surprised to find very inexpensive tickets so that the entire family of seven could travel from Paris to Raleigh to move through the older children McKay and Miriam and Gabriel returned to France on October 30. While Ruth, Simeon and Zachary. By the way, today is Zachary's birthday and Zachary remained remained with Judith for short time longer in God's providence, the Bixby children were out of school for the fall break. So they did not need to miss any school. Also in God's providence, the Colts, another missionary family joining the Bixby's were already scheduled to visit the Bixby's ins Seychelles so while the Dixit. These were at the funeral. Michael Cole was able to fill the pulpit in search else these two EMU families missed fellowship and with one another, as was previously plant the coals are planning to return stateside early 2021 to begin their long postponed furlough, prayed at the covert crisis in France in the USA will not interfere with their trip or meetings with supporters, so that's a little more background. The death of Ruth Bixby's father. Then we have an update from Josh and Amy Jensen, who also serve the same board who are involved in Bible translation work in Cambodia and I want to read about that.

Ever since a final check on Matthew was completed in early August. The gyri translation team has been busy getting the text ready for distribution. It's taken longer than expected, but Matthew is now typeset and printed as well as being bundled into an app and were starting to distribute the books and at church by church after the consultant finished checking Matthew with our team in August. We called a few gyri pastors together and read through the entire book aloud over the course of three days.

This reading led to several more days of work revising the translation of places that we found problems, mostly awkward or unnatural wording. Once the text was thoroughly revised. We printed several drafts to present to the translation oversight committee. They chose the smaller size blue cover with double columns. The printing was done as a local copy shop with a glued binding were selling copies for one dollars each. The price decided by the translation oversight committee last week, we packed up the first batch of printed Matthews and on Thursday, October 22.

We called together 20 church members from sign Canning village to give our distribution plans a test run. We spent three hours introducing the book, including how to use cross references footnotes and glossary entries and then reading from chapters 12 and 13. We hope to replicate this program in every village that has a church, but instead of limiting the number the 20 we will invite anyone who is interested. Reading at that point to see a little bit of idea goes on in the work of translation vital vitally important in these places where they have no copy of God's word in their language all right with that we will open our Bibles tonight as I told you earlier are focused tonight is actually the prophecy in the book of Micah concerning Bethlehem as being the perfect birthplace of Christ were going to have to start of the New Testament, then work our way back to Micah and then back forward to the New Testament again because it's only with the information we have the New Testament that this prophecy, and Micah really comes into focus and becomes completely clear to us. I don't know how clear it would've been to the original readers and Micah's day the importance of Bethlehem. Of course comes to bear in the a well-known account in Luke chapter 2 and I'll read it and it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

The census first took place while Karen is was governing Syria so all went to be registered.

Everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife who was with child, so it was while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered 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 end, but the circumstances leading to Bethlehem are explained for us in Luke chapter 2.

Otherwise we might wonder how did it come to pass that Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem. How did these residence of Nazareth town in Galilee, the northern part of Israel. How did they come to be in Bethlehem in Judea in the south part of Israel at the time when Mary's child was born and Luke chapter 2 provides the answer.

It has to do with an imperial decree that Caesar Augustus decided that it was time to conduct a census, which also involve taxation of all of the citizens in his vast empire. It would seem that this was something of a rolling census. In other words, each country, each location didn't conducted exactly the same time it took probably over the course of even several years to three years or so for the entire empire to conduct a census but it nevertheless was carried out in the time it come forth to be conducted in the land of Israel.

And furthermore, this census which was universal throughout the Empire was based upon heritage. There was a heritage based requirement that the census be taken place take place in the town, not necessarily of one's birth but of one's heritage that we don't know.

Joseph may have been born in Bethlehem. We really are not given that information, but we are told that he went to Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David. He was a descendent of David and Bethlehem was the city of David, the great king of Israel all that information. Joseph's lineage from David is given to us in the opening verses of Matthew's gospel fact the gospel of Matthew opens with the genealogy of Joseph and then gets into the account of Christ's birth, but it begins this way back and read all genealogy Matthew 11 says the book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Now that of course is this the genealogy of Jesus Christ was really down through it you realize it is genealogy of Joseph and it becomes a genealogy of Christ because Joseph legally adopted Christ to be his son but Mary was not represented in the genealogy that is that is given to us in Matthew that Joseph's genealogy in the traces.

Joseph back to David. He was a descendent of David through Solomon. In fact, you can trace it right through the royal line I could pick it up here somewhere.

David, the king verse six begat Solomon by her her who had been the wife of Uriah Solomon begat Rehoboam re-about long to get a budget by Joe begat Asa Asa begat Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begat Jordan Jordan begat Uzziah, I stopped there, but many of you who know something of the Old Testament Scriptures will recognize those of the king in the line of David desires one of the best known ones where Isaiah said in the king in the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and lifted up, and so this genealogy traces David's royal line from David to Solomon right on down until eventually we get to Joseph. We read in verse 16 and Jacob begot Joseph, and here's where the wording changes suddenly up until this time, it has been the son of Eli Hood begat Eliezer Eliezer begat met my time made time to get Jacob Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. So even the genealogy record of this, the virgin birth of Christ is carefully preserved is carefully declared that Joseph was the husband of Mary, of whom was born the Christ. This is not the Joseph was the father of Christ. He was the husband of Mary, who was born of whom was born Christ. But Joseph was of the line of David. Now there's another genealogy in Luke chapter 3 that's different from this one most Bible scholars believe that that genealogy represents the genealogy of Mary and interestingly Mary turns out to be a descendent of David as well, but not through the royal line.

She traces hers back to David through another son of David Nathan. Nathan wasn't the son of David who became the king after him. Solomon was Joseph's lineage traces through the royal line back through Solomon to David Mary's is a descendent of David, but not through that royal line that's significant. But what that tells us is that whether worth speaking of Christ physical birth to Mary or his legal adoption by Joseph.

He actually was in the line of David. In both cases go through different different. The line of descent, but Mary was a descendent of David. Joseph was a descendent of David.

And so Jesus was a descendent of David by his physical birth through Mary.

He was a descendent of David by adoption by Joseph and was in the royal line in that way. But all that to say that this is what brought Joseph to Bethlehem, he was of the royal line of David.

And that's where he needed to go for the senses to be taken.

So Joseph complied with the Roman census. Mary went within the sum of wondered why she was so close to delivering the child why would Joseph take her that 8590 mile from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Why didn't he leave her in Nazareth. Why didn't he leave her with her parents. Well, there's two answers to that question from the divine standpoint he didn't because God had determined that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. This is how God arranged circumstances for that to take place from a human standpoint I think the answer probably is. Once Joseph took Terry into his own home, to be her protector. Then he was not going to let her out of his immediate presence is immediate protection. He felt an obligation to have her with him at all times so he took her along and that's what brought them to Bethlehem and that became location of the birth of Jesus is really extraordinary how God arranged all of this to fulfill the prophecy of Micah going to look at briefly, in a moment how Mary got there at the right time to deliver the child. That place would almost seem to be beyond human ability to arrange God worked everything out the the census to require the senses on the mind of Caesar Augustus, timing of the senses had to come about exactly the right time. The arrangement to get Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem. All that is quite amazing when you think about it, but it all came to place came into place perfectly so that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. I won't go into the section in Matthew chapter 2 where it's clear that the Jewish scholars recognized that Micah was predicting the location of the birth of the Messiah, the Magi wisemen generally: came from the East and they inquired where is he was three born King of the Jews. We seen his star at least we come to worship him where his teeth were seen to be born. They made this inquiry of the king, Herod, Herod, shall we say was, did not give that news a friendly reception. Not by a long shot, but he immediately turned that question over to the Jewish scholars. Where is the Messiah to be born and I answered accurately in Bethlehem, Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet and they quote this very prophecy which we find in Micah chapter 5 verse two. What is surprising I suppose.

To most people is they heard this report from the Magi.

They identified the right location for the birth of Messiah, but they seem to show no curiosity, no interest, no excitement about the possibility even that there long wait in the Messiah had come, they represent religious people who knew a great deal about the Bible about the Scriptures and you really had no heart, yearning for their Messiah. They really worked toward students of Scripture for the spiritual benefit that it would bring to their soul. Now, having said all that, we turn to the prophecy in Micah chapter 5 and here's what we read in verse two, but you, Bethlehem, Ephrata, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me one to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.

In this prophecy of Micah which most Christians don't know very much about if I said to you. Tell me something about the prophecy of Micah.

What would you tell me if I said give me some of the contents of the prophecy of Micah.

What would you tell me you might know the text that we are looking at tonight probably you would know anything else from the book of Micah, at least if you like most Christians I can tell you that there are actually quite a few statements in Micah that are familiar statements, but many people don't recognize them as coming from the prophecy of Micah for example, it's Micah who says in chapter 1 verse 10. This well-known phrase, tell it not in gas.

In other words, don't publicize shameful reports to unsympathetic persons tell it, not against death was with was a full listing city and what he saying is don't report to the Philistines.

The bad news of calamity that is common, Israel don't publicize shameful reports to unsympathetic persons, don't tell it in Gath. Keep to yourselves, keep it where it belongs, don't tell it to the enemies of God very familiar statement you find it quoted quite often. Micah is also the one that talks about beating your swords into plowshares and also talks about every man sitting under his vine and fig tree.

This picture of peace, prosperity, and say he's the one who tells us that God wants us to do justice and love kindness, and he's the one that states a man's enemies shall be those of his own household picked up by Jesus Christ in Matthew chapter 10 so all of us are familiar statements for the prophecy of Micah Mike is not really quite as obscure as you might think, but it's not the best-known book in the Old Testament.

This prophecy is well known and what is this prophecy again. Well, it is the prediction of where Messiah is going to be born, but you, Bethlehem, Ephrata, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me. The one to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting. In this small and largely insignificant village too small to be noticed little among the thousands of Judah. It's a small town if it were not for the fact that David was born there and has made Bethlehem famous I suppose is his birthplace, it probably would have escaped notice altogether. That is, until of course it became the birthplace of Jesus, but out of Bethlehem is going to come a very significant person.

David, of course, with a significant person that came out of a little village of Bethlehem and he is a forerunner of a more significant person that more significant person. Of course, is the Christ, who is set by God.

Yet out of you shall come forth to me this is the prophet speaking for God in my Bible the word meaning is capitalized to indicate that this is speaking about Yahweh. There is going to come out from Lee set by Yahweh sent by Jehovah, a ruler in Israel, so this is going to be a king but one who has been active for all eternity. The one to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting. This is a short text concise text but it says a lot out of Bethlehem will, the king of Israel, one who will rule Israel and this one is eternal. He is from everlasting. He is Almighty God is a man, you will God with us. He will have quite a mission, goes on to say in the next couple verses I will read them now but he will shepherd his flock. He will read his lead and sustain his people and he will extend his influence to the end of the earth is not going to simply minister to Israel, but he's going to have a world wide influence, and he will be the one to bring peace to this earth.

We left that message at Christmastime. Joy to the world, the Lord is, let Earth receive her King and this message of peace. Peace on earth, goodwill to men. It really is the longing of every heart. What is all this unrest in our country today. What are all these protests all these marches in our country today. Well, there are different elements, of course, different different factors that play into all of this, but more than anything else. It's that people of all kinds, of all stripes of all classes of all political persuasions from the left to the right and everything in between. Our longing for a time when all of this turmoil will be over Satan. Strange thing for people to want to be bringing it into turmoil by stirring up turmoil. Fido is a lot of lot of strange things a lot of inconsistencies that go on but that's really what this is. We we demand peace. We demand and it really marching for Lotta cases are demanding marching for an end to violence and into injustice and end to discrimination they want to see a time when peace shall descend upon the earth and all of these things shall be resolved, but seem not to understand how that is going to happen.

It's only going to happen in one way when this ruler born in Bethlehem will take up his reign of righteousness upon the earth for us what we know now is that only takes place at the second coming of Christ. The two different comings were not that clear Old Testament prophecy. Everything said about the coming Messiah. Some things that related to his first coming. Some things that related to his second coming, but oftentimes they want clearly distinguishing the Old Testament prophecies many times they were rather intertwined. All of these things, he will do all of these things, he will bring all of these things, he will accomplish. Now we know some of them in his first coming where the foundation is laid for all the rest and others of them to come up to be brought about in his second coming. How is this going to be done is bringing about a universal rule of peace was going to come about by the proclaiming of his word.

That's what we are told here actually looking forward verse four and he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord. What is feeding his flock talking about his shape talking about a spiritual relationship. How are the shape of Christ for by the word of God. That's how they are fed, and it is through this proclamation of the word that these things we brought about. Were looking forward to the day the word shall be administered so powerfully that it truly shall subdue all sin, all rebellion, all injustice, all that is wrong and bring about a rule of perfect righteousness that day will not come until Jesus comes again, but in the meantime, we have the powerful word of God that we can proclaim. It's the same word that has the power to accomplish all these things we need to trust it.

We need to proclaim it. We need to be faithful and ministering it.

May God help us to do it but you, Bethlehem, Ephrata, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me the one to be ruler in Israel was going for its art from of old, from everlasting show eval as we close in prayer. Father, we thank you that such a ruler has come, and we thank you that such a ruler is coming and we thank you that the ruler who has come has ministered his word to our hearts and is made us his subjects has placed us in his flock that is feeding us by his word, we thank you that we have the privilege of ministering that word to others. We want to pray for all of our government officials.

We pray for President-elect Joe Biden as he comes to, to assume the leadership of the United States of America.

We pray your blessing upon him your strength be given him your wisdom to guide we pray Lord that you will enable him, yea, that you will guide him into making wise decisions will Lord our country needs divine direction. We pray that you will give that guidance to us one appraiser to Stephanie Corbett is improved from her covert.

We pray for Tracy areas. He faces foot surgery on Friday.

We pray for Larry Huntersville be having upcoming surgery very soon. We are mindful the Drew Guthrie is battling cancer. We commit or to your care. We pray for Jane mature and Jack Lau who've tested positive for covert that you might minister to them and we pray that in your kindness you give them a relatively mild case.

Pray for Alice Marley.

She's home recovering from her fractured pelvis.

We pray for John Spencer as he has really surgery on Friday. We pray for Shirley Walken Watkins and she continues to struggle with health issues.

Father, we are sorry to hear about the outbreak of covert at false Academy in Raleigh, and we commit them to you and pray that you will minister to their needs.

Pray for Harold Lynch, Junior we pray for John Petrie. Thanks. Thanking you that he can be in a facility near his daughter in Prince Pittsboro. Pray for Ronald Stennett for Roger Thompson for Mark Verity struggling with covert and Ohio. We pray for Josh White. We pray for Stewart Denver law, they may be able to make this journey to Zimbabwe tomorrow and schedule. Pray for Trevor Johnson and Paul Snyder and Mike Webster and their various needs. Pray for those who have lost loved ones to death for the family of Beth Parker, Sally Hock, Robert trace. We also pray today for really heal. Pray that you might minister to all of his needs, and we pray for Logan Lee as he is facing treatment for a brain tumor. We also pray for Dean Vaughn. Michelle allows brother and for Naomi Williams that you might help Hershey continues her battle with cancer now. Father, we commit ourselves once again into your care will Lord how good you have been to us. Help us to respond in loving obedience and in faithful service to the one who loved us and gave himself for us as we pray these things in Jesus name, amen

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