S-a nascut Isus – Lazar Gog

Lazar GogCapitolul 1 din Evanghelia dupa Matei, probabil este cel mai potrivit capitol si pasaj biblic care sa faca legatura intre Vechiul Testament si Noul Testament. Matei, ca unul care a fost aproape de Mantuitorul Isus Hristos, fiind apostolul Sau, ne duce in istorie, pentru ca vrea sa ne arate ca Isus Hristos, macar ca este Fiul lui Dumnezeu, macar ca este divin, El este si o persoana istorica. De fapt, este cea mai istorica persoana pentru ca si cei ce-i neaga existenta, trebuie sa admita ca El a fost si este persoana istorica.

Mi-aduc aminte, eram inca in Romania, pe timpul comunismului, faceam naveta de la Ploiesti la Bucuresti pentru ca lucram acolo, la conducerea Cultului Penticostal, si calatoream cu trenul la Bucuresti. M-am dus la clasa I, am intrat in compartiment si dupa cateva calatorii, una din persoanele care era in compartiment- cu regularitate acolo, erau trei ofiteri de armata si doi civili. Si mai era un loc si m-am pus acolo, ca era cald intre ei. Era undeva prin Martie, era rece afara.
Si unul dintre civili imi zice: „D-le, v-am vazut ca si dvs. calatoriti cu trenul acesta la Bucuresti. Si cum de ati venit sa va asezati aici?”
„Aici am vazut un loc liber si am venit sa ma asez.”
Si ma intreaba: „Dar, ce faceti d-le la Bucuresti?”
Si am zis eu: „Predau.”
„Dar, ce predati, d-le?”
„Teologie.”
„Pfff… teologie? Tu esti o rusine nationala,” [mi-a zis] din senin. „Statul roman investeste in dumneata sa te educe si dumneata faci teologie?”
Am zis: „Statul a investit pana la liceu. Dar, dupa liceuincolo n-a investit statul, asa ca nu m-a educat statul.”

Si-mi spune el: „D-le, daca imi dai un argument ca Hristos al tau exista, ma pocaiesc si eu.”
M-am uitat la ei, ca toti erau cu ochii pe mine, acuma.
Si am zis: „D-le, eu va dau argument, dar ma te ca nu va pocaiti.”
„Nu, d-le, ca ma pociesc! Stii cu cine vorbesti?”
Am zis: „Nu stiu.”
„Eu sunt seful propagandei de partid din Ministerul Transportului si Telecomunicatiilor.”
Si, avea ziarul in mana: Scanteia, ziarul partidului.. Am zis: „Ce cititi, d-le?”
Zice: „Ce sa citesc, d-le? Ziarul partidului. De ce? Ce vrei sa ma intrebi?”
„Pai, ce scrie? Scanteia si dupa aceea, ce data e? Spuneti-mi, ce data e?”
Si imi spune el: „15 martie,” sa zicem, ca nu stiu exact ce data era, dar era luna martie.
Si i-am zis eu: „Ati vazut, asta este argumentul ca Isus Hristos exista.”
„Cum, d-le, ca asta este ziarul partidului!”
„Nu, nu, d-le. Este 15 martie 1985, de la Hristos incoace, nu-i de la Lenin incoace.”
A stat putin, s-a uitat la colegii lui si-a zis: „Cred ca stie ceva.”

M-am intalnit de multe ori dupa aceea cu dansul. A venit special la mine, pe culoar si mi-a zis: „D-le, imi place cum mi-ati raspuns.” Dar, vreau sa va spun ca in aprox. 6 luni de zile s-a predat Domnului si acolo pe tren ne-am rugat Domnului, sa primeasca mantuirea.

Isus Hristos a fost o persoana istorica, Unul care a impartit lumea in doua, istoria lumii in doua: inainte de Hristos si dupa Hristos. Dar, dincolo de aceasta, Isus Hristos este cu totul diferit de orice alta persoana din lume.

psalm 93v1a Jesus king

1. Regalitatea lui Isus Hristos

Matei ne prezinta cateva aspecte legate de persoana Mantuitorului Isus Hristos. Primul aspect care ni-l prezinta Matei este Regalitatea Lui. Matei 1:1 zice „Cartea neamului lui Isus Hristos, fiul lui David….” este primul lucru cu care incepe Matei, pentru ca Matei ne spune: Cel ce s-a nascut, macar ca s-a nascut la ieslea Betleemului, este Rege. Ne prezinta regalitatea lui David. David este fondatorul dinastiei regale, Israelite, si daca va uitati cu atentie la capitolul intai din Evanghelia dupa Matei, Duhul Domnului, prin Matei, ne prezinta vreo 15 imparati care au descins din David si care au fost stramosii pamantesti ai Mantuitorului Isus Hristos. Dar nici unul din ei nu este numit imparat afara de David, macar ca au fost imparati. Singurul care este numit imparat in aceasta evanghelie este David si este numit de doua ori, ca sa confirme si sa intareasca acest adevar in vers. 6 – … De doua ori, pentru ca asa sunt marturiile lui Dumnezeu. Asa sunt argumentele lui Dumnezeu, pe baza a doua sau trei marturii. Deci, Cel ce s-a nascut, Isus Hristos este imparat.

2. Nationalitatea lui Isus Hristos

Photo credit www.wordofmessiah.org

Matei ne prezinta nationalitatea Lui. Uitati-va la partea finala a versetului intai „fiul lui Avraam”. Cu alte cuvinte, Matei vrea sa spuna: Cel ce s-a nascut din David, ca imparat, pe de alta parte, este evreu, pentru ca Avraam este fondatorul dinastiei  sau daca vreti, natiunii israelite. Avraam este parintele lui Israel, dupa cum este si parintele credintei.

3. Umanitatea lui Isus Hristos

Apoi, Matei continua in prezentarea lui Isus Hristos si ne vorbeste despre umanitatea Lui. Uitati-va in Luca 3:38 „fiul lui Enos, fiul lui Set, fiul lui Adam, fiul lui Dumnezeu. -” Cand Luca prezinta genealogia, a Mantuitorului nostru Adam, el merge pana la Adam si spune „fiul lui Adam”, pentru ca Isus Hristos s-a nascut ca om.

Deci este regal, este Rege, prin David. Este evreu prin Avraam. Este om prin Adam. Prin urmare, toata omenirea are dreptul la Isus Hristos. Isus Hristos a venit pentru toata omenirea. Din nou, ne intoarcem la Matei. Cand Matei prezinta genealogia, istoria stramosilor lui Isus Hristos, El o face printr-o maniera speciala. Prezinta 3 grupuri de cate 14 persoane. Uitati-va in Matei 1 vers. 17, spune Deci de la Avraam până la David sunt paisprezece neamuri de toate; de la David până la strămutarea în Babilon sunt paisprezece neamuri; şi de la strămutarea în Babilon până la Hristos sunt paisprezece neamuri.Insa, ultima grupare, de 14 nu mai este de 14, este de 13.  Foarte interesant. Intrebarea este: oare de ce? De ce 13 si nu 14? Pentru ca cel de-al 14 este practic Isus Hristos. Dar, intentionat, Duhul Sfant a omis unul din stramosii lui Isus Hristos, ca sa fie El si sa ramana 13. Stiti de ce? Pentru ca, pe langa faptul ca Isus Hristos a venit sa mantuiasca oamenii, Isus Hristos a venit sa nimiceasca lucrarile diavolului. Ori, in istoria biblica si in gandirea biblica, si in gandirea laica, numarul diavolului este numarul 13. Nu toata lumea se teme de vineri 13, toata lumea se teme de numarul 13. Mantuitorul, Isus Hristos, lasand ultima lista, a treia, doar de 13 persoane, vine sa ne spuna ca Lui nu i-a fost frica sa se lupte cu diavoulul aici pe teritoriul Lui si multumim Domnului ca Domnul Isus Hristos l-a invins pe cel rau. Si de aceea, si noi suntem astazi biruitori prin Isus Hristos.

Felul in care Matei ne prezinta aceste 3 grupari de generatii din care s-a nascut Isus Hristos, este foarte interesant. De la Avram la David sunt generatiile premonarhie, de la David la robia babiloniana este generatiile care formeaza monarhia lui Israel si apoi, de la Babilon la Isus sunt generatiile post monarhie. Deci, premonarhie, monarhie si post monarhie. Cu alte cuvinte, premonarhia este ridicarea lui Israel, monarhia este regalitatea lui Israel si post monarhia este ruina lui Israel, pentru ca in momentul in care se naste Isus Hristos, Israel este departe de mantuire.

4. Divinitatea lui Isus Hristos

Nu numai regalitatea, nu numai nationalitatea, nu numai umanitatea este prezentata de Matei. Este prezentata si divinitatea lui Isus Hristos. Uitati-va, spre exemplu, la vers. 2 si uitati felul in care Matei prezinta istoria nasterii lui Isus Hristos. „Avraam a născut pe Isaac; Isaac a născut pe Iacov; Iacov a născut pe Iuda şi fraţii lui;” -in traditia iudaica, in traditia israelita, cel care este prezentat ca unul din care descinde cineva, este tata. De aceea, in toate listele acestea, spune: Avraam a nascut… Iacov a nascut… Isac a nascut.. David a nascut… Solomon a nascut…

Matei 1:16, observati cum schimba Duhul Sfant istoria, „Iacov a născut pe Iosif, bărbatul Mariei, din care S-a născut Isus, care Se cheamă Hristos.”  Maria s-a nascut din Isus, nu Iosif. Pana in momentul acesta, toti barbatii au nascut, in traditie. De data aceasta, spune: „barbatul Mariei, din care s-a nascut Isus”, pentru ca Isus nu este fiul lui Iosif. Isus este fiul Mariei. Lucrurile, asa cum le cunoasteti din Scriptura, dar pentru ca suntem la aceasta sarbatoare, sa va readucem aminte, lucrurile s-au petrecut in felul urmator:

In Geneza 3:15 – Domnul Dumnezeu a stat de vorba cu omul, a stat de vorba cu femeia si a stat de vorba cu diavolul- Satana, cel care i-a ispitit si au cazut in pacat. Si in aceasta discutie, uitati ce spune Cuvantul lui Dumnezeu:  Vrăjmăşie voi pune între tine şi femeie, între sămânţa ta şi sămânţa ei. Aceasta îţi va zdrobi capul, şi tu îi vei zdrobi călcâiul.” Inseamna ca si diavolul poate sa aiba copii- samanta diavolului. De aceea, anticrist, va fi o imitatie a nasterii lui Isus Hristos, pentru ca el va fi un om al unui rezultat a unei uniuni nenaturale intre Satana si o femeie- „samanta ta si samanta ei”. Care e samanta ei? Care e samanta femeii? Isus Hristos.

De acum, s-a vestit ca  se va naste Isus Hristos, care este in Biblie samanta femeii. Cum au decurs lucrurile? Uitati cum au decurs lucrurile. In Luca 1:30 –

30 Îngerul i-a zis: „Nu te teme, Marie; căci ai căpătat îndurare înaintea lui Dumnezeu.
31 Şi iată că vei rămâne însărcinată şi vei naşte un Fiu, căruia Îi vei pune numele Isus.
32 El va fi mare şi va fi chemat Fiul Celui Preaînalt; şi Domnul Dumnezeu Îi va da scaunul de domnie al tatălui Său David.
33 Va împărăţi peste casa lui Iacov în veci, şi Împărăţia Lui nu va avea sfârşit.”
34 Maria a zis îngerului: „Cum se va face lucrul acesta, fiindcă eu nu ştiu de bărbat?”

adica, sunt o femeie curata, virgina.

 Îngerul i-a răspuns: „Duhul Sfânt Se va coborî peste tine, şi puterea Celui Preaînalt te va umbri. De aceea Sfântul care Se va naşte din tine, va fi chemat Fiul lui Dumnezeu.

pentru ca omul a cazut in pacat,  si rascumpararea lui nu s-a mai putut face de catre omul cazut in pacat, toti descendentii, de la Adam incoace, pana la noi, ne nastem in pacat. Dumnezeu: consiliul celor trei numit Tatal, Fiul si Duhul Sfant s-au intrunit si au zis: Cum il salvam pe om? Si Unul dintre cele 3 persoane a zis „Eu am sa-l salvez.” Ceilalti doi au intrebat: Cum? Ma voi intrupa, voi trai ca un om, dar fara de pacat, pentru ca acolo s-a dat batalia si a cazut pe pamant omul, acolo, pe pamant, trebuie sa se dea din nou batalia si sa invinga. Si atunci, o alta persoana din cele 3 a zis: Daca Tu faci lucrul acesta, daca Tu te intrupezi, eu fac posibila intruparea Ta. Cum? Am sa-ti pregatesc, am sa-ti construiesc, am sa-ti creez un mic trup, pentru ca El este samanta femeii, nu este samanta barbatului. Evrei 10:5 – De aceea, când intră în lume, El zice: „Tu n-ai voit nici jertfă, nici prinos; ci Mi-ai pregătit un trup; Deci, unul dintre cei 3 a zis: Eu ma intrupez. Al doilea a zis: Daca Tu te intrupezi, Eu iti creez un trup, pentru ca Tu trebuie sa fi samanta femeii, nu a barbatului. Si Dumnezeu, Tatal, a creat un embrion mic, ca sa folosim limbajul anatomic si a luat acest embrion creat, trupul acesta mic si l-a pus in pantecele Mariei, in ovulul ei. Cea de a treia persoana din Dumnezeu, pe care-L numim Duhul Sfant, a zis: Daca Tu te intrupezi, daca Tu ii faci trup, ii construiesti trup, Eu am sa-L animez asa cum L-am animat pe Adam. Ca, dupa ce l-a facut pe Adam, Dumnezeu l-a framantat din tarana pamantului,

(Din primele 21:05 min)

VIDEO by Emanuel Church Anaheim

 

Reclame

Anul Domnului

Dupa Faptele Apostolilor

VIDEO by InternetPilgrim

Anul de indurare al lui Dumnezeu – Paradisul recastigat – Sorin Taban, serie, ultimul episod

Photo credit sites.google.com

O povestioara si parabola plina de invatatura in acelasi timp, dar  frumoasa ca si povestire, spune ca intr-o fantana adanca, erau doua broaste. Una mica, broscuta si bunica ei, o broasca  batrana si satula de zile. Uitandu-se intr-o zi in  sus, broscuta intreaba pe cea imbatranita de zile:

–          Ce este cercul de sus, cel albastru?
–          Aaaaa, e cerul draga mea, cerul!
–          Cerul? Ce mic este bunico!
–          Nu e mic…tu vezi doar putin din el…cand ai sa cresti mare si ai sa  iesi odata afara, ai sa vezi ca-i atat de mare, de nu-l poti cuprinde cu privirea…dintr-o parte a lui rasare soarele dimineata si in cealalta parte apune seara si…

Si a inceput bunica sa-I explice nepoatei cum e cu cerul cel mare creeat de Maretul Dumnezeu. Se spune ca broasca batrana a murit intr-o zi. Si broscuta mica, a ramas cu amintirile frumoase despre bunica. Mereu isi  amintea  povestile spuse de ea. Intr-o dimineata si-a adus aminte despre povestea cu  cerul acela despre care bunica zicea ca-I fara margini, cerul acela mare creat de Dumnezeu. “Saraca bunica” se gandea broscuta cu un zambet sugubat pe buze, “bunica mea era din generatia care mai credeau ca lumea a fost facuta de Dumnezeu”.. . Nu a crezut niciodata intr-un cer mai mare decat il vedea ea deasupra si nu credea nici in Dumnezeu, Creatorul,  dar i-a fost rusine s-o contrazica pe bunica; prea le zicea cu foc saracuta de ea.

Si zilele treceau si broscuta noastra a imbatranit fara sa iasa vreodata din fantana. Intr-o zi a murit si odata cu ea s-a stins si credinta ei: cerul e atat de mic, iar Dumnezeu nu exista… Nimic nu a putut-o convinge ca cerul este de necuprins si ca undeva, deasupra inaltului lui, Isi are casa Dumnezeu, Ziditorul tuturor celor ce se vad sau nu…S-a hranit toata viata cu o minciuna si a murit, fiind convinsa ca cerul era atat de mic, exact cat il vedea ea din fundul fantanii si ca si ea, ca si omul, s-au tras toti din maimuta evoluata si ea, din molusca traznita de fulgerele marelui Big Bang. Credinta ei nu a schimbat cu nimic realitatea; doar pe ea a tinut-o intr-o nestiinta adanca si paguboasa, doar pe ea…

Concluzia acestei fabule este simpla si sunt sigur ca fiecare din voi ati inteles-o. Poti crede orice, dar viata iti va fi schimbata si transformata, innoita si umpluta de miez, de sens, doar daca ceea ce crezi este Credinta Adevarata. Si despre Credinta Adevarata nu afli decat din Biblie.

Photo credit southernbackwoods.com

Am incercat in aceste meditatii, sa explic insemnatatea Craciunului pentru mine. Unii cred ca Mos Craciun este eroul Craciunului. Si este trist daca si tu ai acelasi mod de gandire…Unii cred ca bucuria Craciunului sunt cadourile. Si asta este o intelegere gresita…Altii, cupleaza Craciunul cu beteala, cu stelutele cu leduri, cu funditele rosii, cu bradul impodobit, cu colindele, sau chiar cu un copilas gingas infasat in scutece si culcat intr-o iesle…si isi zice ei in sinea lor ca e cea mai frumoasa poveste pe care orice copil trebuie s-o stie, asa, ca si cunostinte generale; cine stie? Participi odata la un concurs de televiuziune si pierzi potul cel mare, nestiind mitul despre nasterea lui Isus, care cica ar fi fost fiu de dumnezei…Da, pe toate le intalnim  in preajma Craciunului, dar nu ele sunt Craciunul…Unii asteapta tot anul Craciunul pentru ca de fiecare data, in preajma lui, la Sala Palatului, Stefan Banica Jr. tine un concert de colinde…Pentru gurmanzi, porcul este marea bucurie a Craciunului si-l asteapta incepand din ianuarie…Cat de trist! Cat de trist! Credinta broscutei este de multe ori si credinta noastra.

Intelegand ce este cu adevarat Craciunul si realizand cat de multi oameni habar nu au adevarata lui insemnatate,  am dorit s-o spun in gura mare tuturor si am dorit s-o scriu, ca sa ramana scris; poate cineva va citi, va viziona clipurile de la urma si fiind atent la tot ce spun si scriu eu acolo, sa ajunga sa aiba incepand din 2013 un Craciun adevarat, in care, evenimentul central sa fie nimic altceva decat nasterea Domnului Isus Hristos. Craciunul trait cu adevarat este cel in care serbezi ziua de nastere a lui Isus Hristos, Mantuitorul nostrum si in care El este viu in inima ta.

Am inceput expunerea mea aratand ca nu am aparut nici din maimute si nici in urma “marelui Big Bang” sau din nu stiu din ce fel de moluste ciudate si lipicioase. Suntem creati de Dumnezeu. Suntem facuti din tarana pamantului, partea trecatoare a noastra si care se va intoarce din pamantul din care am fost plamaditi de catre Creator. Am citat ce ne spune Genesa despre inceputuri, si anume ca Dumnezeu, care a dorit sa fie inconjurat de oameni, a suflat in om suflare de viata si omul a devenit un suflet viu. Deci, in trupul de tarana, vremelnic, efemer, Dumnezeu a pus viata. Viata inseamna ceva ce nu are cum sa moara. Daca ar muri, nu ar mai fi viata. Avem in noi suflare din Dumnezeu, care nu va muri niciodata ci va trai vesnic. Va trai vesnic pentru ca este din Dumnezeu, din VIATA. Am aratat ca planul initial a lui Dumnezeu a fost sa daruiasca lumii un viitor vesnic, frumos si impreuna cu El. Dar prin neascultarea lui de Dumnezeu, omul  a cazut in pacat si o prapastie uriasa, s-a deschis, sa cascat intre el si Dumnezeu. Odata cu el, pacatul a adus in lume moartea. Asa spuse-se Dumnezeu de la inceput si omul a ajuns sa vada ca ce spune Dumnezeu este chiar adevarul. Fusese avertizat de Dumnezeu sa asculte de El, altfel, va muri negresit. Departat de Dumnezeu, a-nceput sa duca dorul Edenului si al timpului frumos cand, in fiecare dimineata se intalnea cu Dumnezeu si povesteau de toate cele, cand erau prieteni, cand erau sub ocrotirea si dragostea Lui. Si a-nceput sa gandeasca cum sa faca sa-I recastige dragostea. A-ncercat sa-L imbuneze pe Dumnezeu chinuindu-se sa traiasca o viata curata, frumoasa, morala…dar obosea repede si cadea. A-ncercat sa mediteze adanc la Dumnezeu si la ce asteapta El de la oameni. Si a constatat ca mintea lui, murdarita de pacat, nu mai poate discerne bine intre adevar si minciuna, intre alb si negru, intre drept si stramb, intre bun si rau…si lumea s-a umplut de idoli, dumnezei falsi…si a-nceput chiar saracul om dezorientat sa li se inchine cu mare patima…omul a inceput sa caute alti dumnezei, unii care accepta pacatul, care accepta nedreptatea, care nu-i asa categoric impotriva pactului sub atatea forme josnice ale lui…si s-a intamplat exact cum ne spune Biblia: mintea omului s-a ratacit si depravarea si imoralitatea au umplu pamantul si omul a ajuns sa se indeparteze tot mai mult de Dumnezeul cel adevarat si sfant.

Sfantul Apostol Pavel, descrie atat de trist adevarul acesta, in Scrisoarea sa catre biserica din Roma. Dau mai jos textul citat, din dorinta de-a fi foarte clara situatia trista in care a juns omenirea datorita pacatului:

“ Mania lui Dumnezeu se descopera din cer impotriva oricarei necinstiri a lui Dumnezeu si impotriva oricarei nelegiuiri a oamenilor care inabusa adevarul in nelegiuirea lor.  Fiindca ce se poate cunoaste despre Dumnezeu le este descoperit in ei, caci le-a fost aratat de Dumnezeu.  In adevar, insusirile nevazute ale Lui, puterea Lui vesnica si dumnezeirea Lui se vad lamurit, de la facerea lumii, cand te uiti cu bagare de seama la ele in lucrurile facute de El. Asa ca nu se pot dezvinovati;  fiindca, macar ca au cunoscut pe Dumnezeu, nu L-au proslavit ca Dumnezeu, nici nu I-au multumit; ci s-au dedat la gandiri desarte, si inima lor fara pricepere s-a intunecat. S-au falit ca sunt intelepti, si au innebunit;  si au schimbat slava Dumnezeului nemuritor intr-o icoana care seamana cu omul muritor, pasari, dobitoace cu patru picioare si taratoare.  De aceea, Dumnezeu i-a lasat prada necuratiei, sa urmeze poftele inimilor lor; asa ca isi necinstesc singuri trupurile;  caci au schimbat in minciuna adevarul lui Dumnezeu si au slujit si s-au inchinat fapturii in locul Facatorului, care este binecuvantat in veci! Amin.

Din pricina aceasta, Dumnezeu i-a lasat in voia unor patimi scarboase; caci femeile lor au schimbat intrebuintarea fireasca a lor in una care este impotriva firii; tot astfel, si barbatii au parasit intrebuintarea fireasca a femeii, s-au aprins in poftele lor unii pentru altii, au savarsit parte barbateasca cu parte barbateasca lucruri scarboase si au primit in ei insisi plata cuvenita pentru ratacirea lor.  Fiindca n-au cautat sa pastreze pe Dumnezeu in cunostinta lor, Dumnezeu i-a lasat in voia mintii lor blestemate, ca sa faca lucruri neingaduite.  Astfel, au ajuns plini de orice fel de nelegiuire, de curvie, de viclenie, de lacomie, de rautate; plini de pizma, de ucidere, de cearta, de inselaciune, de porniri rautacioase; sunt soptitori,  barfitori, uratori de Dumnezeu, obraznici, trufasi, laudarosi, nascocitori de rele, neascultatori de parinti,  fara pricepere, calcatori de cuvant, fara dragoste fireasca, neinduplecati, fara mila. Si, macar ca stiu hotararea lui Dumnezeu, ca cei ce fac asemenea lucruri sunt vrednici de moarte, totusi, ei nu numai ca le fac, dar si gasesc de buni pe cei ce le fac. “ (Epistola sfantului Apostol Pavel catre Romani) Au aparut zeci si sute de dumnezei si sute si mii de religii, care au departat to mai mult pe om, de Dumnezeul adevarat. Prapastia se tot marea, se tot marea…Alti oameni, au crezut ca facand fapte bune, vor putea ajunge la Dumnezeu prin marinimia lor. Faptele bune sunt bune, dare le nu pot sterge pacatele. Aici nu este ca in matematica: minusurile  nu sunt sterse, anulate cu plusurile. Plusurile sunt plusuri si minusurile raman minusuri si trebuiesc rezolvate.

Contributia noastra la mantuirea noastra – Photo hischarisisenough.wordpress.com

Pacatele nu pot  fi sterse cu fapte bune. Unii oameni au gandit si creat tot felul de filosofii prin care au crezut ca vor ajunge la Dumnezeu. Au aparut jertfele care faceau ca mii si mii de animale sa-si piarda viata pentru a sterge vina oamaneilor. Dar, pacatele erau atat de multe, incat nu mai ajungea nici timpul pentru jertfe si nici animalele nu erau suficiente  pentru cat de multe pacate ar fi trebuit sterse…si, mai mult decat atat, inima omului devenise atat de impietrita incat Dumnezeu a strigat prin profetii Lui: “ nu mai voiesc jertfe daca mainile va raman murdare de pacat…nu mai doresc sange de animale daca inima va este departe de Mine!”. Alti oameni mai evlaviosi,  au decis sa mearga regulat la biserica…dar, nici acest obicei, bun dealtfel, nu a adus omului pacea, bucuria si siguranta mantuirii. Orice facea omul, purta amprenta pacatului. Nici o incercare nu reusea sa il apropie pe om  de Dumnezeu. Va aduceti aminte ca in episoadele trecute,  am explicat in detaliu “Dilema lui Dumnezeu” si modul in care a reusit sa o rezolve prin Isus Hristos. Fara varsare de sange nu este iertare, asa ne spune Biblia. Tot ea ne invata ca plata pacatului este moartea si ca dupa moarte ne asteapta judecata. Ai murit necredincios, neimpacat cu Dumnezeu? Viitorul vesnic este trist, in iad. Mori impacat cu Creatorul, te asteapta vesnicia in rai, impreuna cu El. Sunt adevaruri care nu trebuiesc cosmetizate in nici un fel, pentru ca functie de seriozitatea cu care le intelegem, ne pregatim pentru vesnicie. Nimeni nu stim cand vom muri; dar vom muri cu siguranta. Deci, e bine, e intelept  sa ne pregatim pentru vesnicie. Volter spunea: ”nu mi-e frica de moarte ci de vesnicia ei” Sunt biserici in care preotii indeamna oamenii la tot felul de ritualuri, traditii pomeni, fapte bune, mintind oamenii ca acestea vor sterge pacatele celor plecati dintre noi. Adevarul este scris in Biblie si este foarte clar. Dupa moarte vine judecata si nimic nu mai poate  schimba alegerile facute de om in timpul vietii lui.

Pentru ca nimic nu mai reusea sa repare relatia dintre Dumnezeu si om si pentru ca Dumnezeu este sfant, drept dar si dragoste, Dumnezeu a decis sa-si trimita Fiul, unicul Sau Fiu, pentru ca sa moara ca si Miel de jertfa, neprihanit, fara cusur, pentru pacatele mele si ale tale. Jertfa sfanta a lui Isus, adusa odata pentru totdeauna si astfel sa asigure fiecaruia dintre noi, sansa recapatarii cerului, a neprihanirii, a iertarii, a reimpacarii cu El…pentru ca sa putem sa fim eliberati de sub puterea pacatului, de sub robia lui, de sub hidosenia si povara lui istovitoare…Dumnezeu a pregatit o cale, o singura cale de a ajunge din nou in prezenta Lui, calea care este Isus Hristos rastignit. Eu sunt Calea, Adevarul si Viata spunea Domnul Isus despre Sine Insusi. Nimeni nu vine la Tatal decat prin Mine.

Prapastia dintre om si Dumnezeu: pacatul. Photo www.setapartinchrist.com

Ce a vrut sa spuna prin aceasta Mantuitorul? A vrut sa spuna ca doar prin jertfa Lui pacatele pot fi sterse; doar prin jertfa Lui prapastia dintre om si Dumnezeu poate fi unita; doar prin crucea Lui, care ne ajuta sa trecem ca pe-un pod dintr-o parte in alta a prapastiei despartitoare de Dumnezeu; doar prin jertfa Lui putem fi infiati din nou de Tatal Ceresc; doar prin jertfa Lui relatia dintre om si Dumnezeu poate fi refacuta, reparata; doar prin El ca Mijlocitor, putem sta in prezenta lui Dumnezeu prin rugaciunile noastre; doar prin jertfa Lui, Duhul Sfant coboara din nou peste fiintele noastre si ne ajuta prin viata aceasta de pelerini pe pamant. Nimic altceva nu poate rezolva problema pacatului nostru. Nici preotul, nici faptele bune, nici sfintii, nici moastele, nici Fecioara Maria chiar, nici lumanarile aprinse, nici aghiazma, nici posturile, nici pomenile, nici icoanele, nici traditiile de orice fel, nu vor putea sa ne faca placuti inaintea Dumnezeului cel de trei ori Sfant. Doar prin jertfa Domnului Isus putem gasi iertarea pacatelor si impacarea cu Dumnezeu.

De aceea in episodul trecut am spus ca fiecare om care afla de Isus, trebuie sa ia o decizie personala in inima lui. Fiecare om poate, fie sa-L accepte ca Mantuitor, Stapan si Domn al vietii lui (si aceasta il va ajuta sa gaseasca adevarata cale  spre  Rai), sau, a doua optiune, alegere, decizie, este respingerea jertfei Lui, decizie care va duce sigur si trist si crunt catre un final vesnic si dureros si care in Biblie este numit “iadul de foc, acolo unde viermele nu moare si unde este plansul si scarsnirea dintilor…) O Doamne, ajuta-ne sa facem decizia corecta cu privire la viata noastra! Amin!

Isus Hristos, Darul lui Dumnezeu s-a pogorat printre noi. Mii de ani in urma, Isus s-a nacut intr-o iesle saraca si trista. A parasit cele mai inalte locuri ale sfinteniei si a venit in cele mai de jos locuri ale rautatii, cu un singur scop; sa moara pe o cruce ca jertfa de ispasire si sa plateasca odata pentru totdeauna pentru vina mea si a ta. Darul lui Dumnezeu, aceasta este insemnatatea Craciunului. Darul poate fi primit cu toata inima sau poate fi refuzat. Acceptarea duce catre cer. Refuzul duce in iad. Isus Hristos, Darul lui Dumnezeu, aceasta este frumusetea si insemnatatea Craciunului.

Craciunul fara iesle nu-I Craciun. Nu cauta degeaba Craciunul pe sub brad, ca nu ai sa-l gasesti. El este inteles bine, ca incepand la ieslea din Betleem si sfarsind glorios la Golgota, pe crucea din dealul iubirii, acolo unde Hristos ispasea vina noastra a tuturor. Darul este primit cu smerenie de catre unii si refuzat cu mandrie sau nepasare de altii. Tu? Tu ce faci? Ce decizi dragul meu? Ce decizi? Nimeni nu va mai putea sa faca ceva pentru tine dupa ce vei pune mainile pe piept. Incerc cu toata fiinta mea sa te conving ca Biblia este adevarata. In ea scrie clar ca dupa moarte vine judecata, unde tot ce ai spus in soapta se va auzi cu voce tare, unde tot ce ai crezut ca e ascuns, va fi scos la lumina, unde raul nu va putea fi explicat si argumentat in nici un fel, unde vei sta inaintea lui Dumnezeu si vei vedea ca esti judecat nu pentru pacatele tale, ci pentru ca ai respins jertfa salvatoare a lui Isus Hristos, singura posibilitate de impacare cu Dumnezeu, de iertare a ta, de castigare prin har a cerului pregatit de El pentru toti copiii Lui.

Stii cand mori? Stii ca trebuie sa fii pregatit? Stii ca poate nu mai ajungi dimineata de maine sau seara de azi? Esti impacat cu Dumnezeu? Ai rezolvata problema pacatelor tale? Isus Hristos, Darul lui Dumnezeu a murit si pentru tine. Poti accepta si crede in  jertfa Lui, sau poti s-o respingi si poti  amana momentul deciziei tale pentru El. Esti gata sa-ti asumi riscurile? Esti gata sa-ti asumi consecintele? Eu nu am avut curajul sa raman departe de Dumnezeu si am ingenunchiat la crucea lui Isus; L-am rugat cu cuvinte simple, ca si cum as sta de vorba cu tine acum, sa ma ierte de toata vina mea multa si grea. I-am spus ca singur nu mai pot duce povara pacatelor mele si ca ma apasa greu. I-am spus ca nu mai am pace si linsite si ca mi-e frica de moarte. L-am rugat sa ma invete ce sa fac si L-am invitat in inima mea; i-am spus tot pacatul meu, viciile mele, patimile mele, rautatea din mine si am deschis inima inaintea Lui ca sa ma curete. L-am invitat in inima mea si El a inceput renovarea, curatenia, innoirea, m-a impacat cu Dumnezeu si a mijlocit pentru mine. Pacea si bucuria iertarii au invadat inima mea si am inteles ca un Isus viu, trebuie urmat zi de zi, ascultat si am inteles ca orice porunca a Lui si orice invatataura pe care a predicat-o, va trebui insusita si traita zi de zi. Am inteles ca vrea sa devin un credincios adevarat, curat, real, autentic, transformat in fiecare celula a vietii mele si ca impreuna cu El trebuie sa lucrez si la salvarea altora. Mantuirea nu se primeste in mod egoist.

Am aflat despre adevar? Trebuie, sunt constrans,  sa spun tuturor din jurul meu, tot ce a facut Isus pentru mine. Nu sunt mai bun ca altii, dar El mi s-a descoperit prin jertfa Lui si mi-a castigat inima. L-am cautat si L-am gasit si am inteles apoi, ca de fapt eu doar am raspuns chemarii si cautarii Lui. “Cautati-Ma si Ma veti gasi, zice Domnul. Ma voi lasa sa fiu gasit de voi, daca Ma veti cauta cu toata inima” Asa zice Dumnezeu in Biblie, singura carte care merita atentia noastra, merita credinta noastra.  Biblia te desparte de pacat si pacatul de desparte de Biblie.

Intelegi acest gand adanc? Citeste Biblia. Daca nu ai una, scrie-mi un email si eu iti voi trimite o Biblie cadou. O voi cumpara si ti-o voi trimite cadou. Va fi o investitie facuta pentru salvarea unui suflet si in cer, ai sa vii bucuros sa ne cunoastem si-ai sa-mi spui ca articolele mele te-au condus la Isus, Salvatorul nostru.

Biblia ne vorbeste de “Anul de indurare a lui Dumnezeu” in care iertarea este gratuita, in dar, prin jertfa lui Isus Hristos. El nu are 365 sau 366 de zile. El se intinde de la jertfirea lui Isus Hristos si iata ca tine pana astazi. Dar Biblia ne spune ca intr-o zi pe care nu o cunoastea nici Domnul Isus chiar, anul acesta al indurarii, al indelungii Lui rabdari se va incheia. Harul si iertarea in dar, vor lua sfarsit. Ce urmeaza dupa? Judecata! Si tot in Biblie gasim un text care spune ca este “grozav lucru  sa cazi in mainile Dumnezeului cel viu”. Cuvantul lui Dumnezeu ne spune ca atunci, cei nemantuiti vor amuti si se vor prosterne inaintea Lui, recunoascand eroarea uriasa de-a refuza jertfa salvatoare a lui Isus; dar va fi prea tarziu. Vor auzi chiar din gura lui Dumnezeu: “Plecati dela Mine blestematilor in focul cel vesnic care a fost pregati pentru diavolul si ingerii lui”. Iar celor mantuiti le va spune: ”Veniti binecuvantatii Mei in odihna Mea”. Tot ce am pus in ghilimele sunt citate din Biblie. Oare le crezi? Si daca le crezi si daca nu le crezi, credinta ta nu le schimba autenticitatea…le vei crede intr-o zi, dar va fi prea tarziu, daca refuzi cat se spune astazi, cat esti in viata, cat poti decide, harul si Darul nespus de mare al iubirii lui Dumnezeu, adica pe Isus Hristos, Mantuitorul nostru. “Cerul si pamantul vor trece, dar cuvintele Mele nu vor trece” aspus Isus ucenicilor Sai. Mediteaza la acest lucru important pentru vesnicia ta. Poate ai sa spui ca nu ai fost ales; poate ai sa spui ca nu ai stiut; poate asa spui ca nu ai inteles; dragul meu, draga mea, daca citesti acum meditatia aceasta este dovada cea mai vie ca EL te cauta si te iubeste nespus de mult. Tu? Cum raspunzi la dragostea Lui? La dragoste se raspunde doar cu Dragoste! Dumnezeu sa iti umple inima de decizii bune!

De aceea m-am hotarat sa scriu experienta reala din viata mea. Poate vei citi si vei intelege ca fara Dumnezeu viitorul vesnic inseamna IAD. Cu El, impacat prin jertfa scumpa a Domnului Isus, ne asteapta vesnicia in RAI. Depinde cum raspunzi dragostei Lui dovedite atat de clar pe cruce la Golgota. Acolo Isus a murit intre doi talhari, a luat asupra Lui pacatele noastre, a fost parasit de Dumnezeu din cauza ca pacatele noastre au innegrit cerul si Dumnezeu nu l-a mai putut privi pe Isus, singurul Sau Fiu…Nu crezi ca merita sa meditezi la Darul Lui? Daca vei intelege aceasta, Craciunul va fi sarbatoarea cea mai frumoasa din viata ta! Dumnezeu sa te binecuvinteze si sa te lumineze ca sa decizi corect pentru vesnicia ta!

24.01.2012

s.t. frate si prieten

Paradisul recastigat

VIDEO by Towards Heaven

Handel’s ‘Hallelujah’ and Vivaldi’s In Excelsis Deo

Uploaded by Georg Friedrich Händel – Oratorio – Messiah,HWV 56,Part 2, No. 44 Chorus
Hallelujah Chorus, Performed by The English Concert & Choir

Hallelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth, Hallelujah!
The Kingdom of this world is become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever, Hallelujah!
King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, and he shall reign for ever and ever, Hallelujah!
(Revelation 19:6; 11:15; 19:16)
Directed from the harpsichord by Trevor Pinnock

Handel’s „Hallelujah”

Vivaldi Gloria RV 589 D major,
Sara Mingardo, Concerto Italiano,

Playlist VIDEOS by  protestant7

Related articles

The most prominent prophecies foretold in the Old Testament and then fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament.

Jesus is King

The most prominent 13 prophecies about Jesus, which were both foretold in the Old Testament and then fulfilled in the New Testament.

  1. Born of a virgin Isaiah 7:14 Matt 1:23
  2. Born in Bethlehem Micah 5:2 Matt 2:1
  3. Lived in Nazareth * Isaiah 11:1 Matt 2:21-23
  4. Rejected by his own Isaiah 6:10, 53:1-3John 1:11
  5. Enters Jerusalem triumphantly Zecharia 9:9 John 12:12-19
  6. Betrayed by a friend Zecharia 11:12-13 Matt 26:14
  7. Died with criminals Isa. 53:9 Matthew 27:38
  8. Buried with the rich Isa 53:9-12 Matthew 27:57060
  9. Lots cast for his clothes Psl 22:18 Luke 23:24
  10. Offered vinegar to drink Ps 69:21 Matthew 27:34
  11. Dying words are given Ps 22:1, 31:5  Matthew 27:46, Lk. 23:46
  12. No bone is broken Psalms 34:20 John 19:36
  13. His side to be pierced Psalms  22:16, Zech 12:10 John 19:34

From Jack Wellman’s book, „Blind Chance or Intelligent Design, Empirical Methodologies and the Bible„, (chapter five).

Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus

Photo credit Wikipedia

1. The Decree of Augustus Caesar and the Birth of Christ
(Luke 2:1-7)

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should beregistered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem,because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

2. The First Visitors – Shepherds (Luke 2:8-20)

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was 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 those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (Photo credit ruthiedean.com)

3. The Second Visitors – Magi (Mat 2:1-12)

2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been bornking of the Jews? For we saw his star when it roseand have come to worship him.”3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. (Photo credit www.asiantribune.com)

Bethlehem: City Location

Modern Bethlehem is an agricultural market and trade center closely linked to nearby Jerusalem. It lies at a distance of 10 kms (6 miles) to the south of the Old City of Jerusalem. It is situated on a mountainous site, 777 meters (2600 feet) above the level of the Mediterranean Sea and overlooks its surroundings. Its surface resembles the shape of a semi circle.  From the west, the town of Bethlehem is bounded by the town of Beit Jala and from the east by the town of Beit Sahour. From the north it is bordered by Jerusalem and the village of Sur Bahir and from the south by Solomon’s Pools and the villages of al-Khader and Artas. Forty thousand people live in the administrative limits of the municipality of Bethlehem and five thousand people in the old center of the town. As a symbol of the increased intermingling of the region’s people, beside Arabic, the native language, English is widely spoken. French, German and Spanish are spoken too. (Source)

The city of Bethlehem (or House of Bread) lies within the territory assigned to the tribe of Judah. It lies in the midst of what was a fertile country, about six miles south by west from Jerusalem. The ancient city was beautifully situated on a commanding ridge, 2700 feet above the level of the sea. The hills around it were terraced, and clothed with vines, fig trees, and almonds, and the surrounding valleys yielded luxuriant harvests of grain. Jacob buried Rachel near its gate, and it was the home of Ruth and the birthplace of David, and ” David’s greater son ” the Lord Jesus Christ. Its population was small in the days of the Saviour, but at present is about 3000, nearly all the inhabitants being Christians. It is said to be one of the cleanest and neatest towns in Israel. St. Jerome lived there for more than thirty years, and there made his famous translation of the Bible into the Latin language. – Ancient Geography (PHOTO credit Photobucket.com)

Bethlehem in Easton’s Bible Dictionary house of bread. (1.) A city in the „hill country” of Judah. It was originally called Ephrath (Gen. 35:16, 19; 48:7; Ruth 4:11). It was also called Beth-lehem Ephratah (Micah 5:2), Beth-lehem-judah (1 Sam. 17:12), and „the city of David” (Luke 2:4). It is first noticed in Scripture as the place where Rachel died and was buried „by the wayside,” directly to the north of the city (Gen. 48:7). The valley to the east was the scene of the story of Ruth the Moabitess. There are the fields in which she gleaned, and the path by which she and Naomi returned to the town. Here was David’s birth-place, and here also, in after years, he was anointed as king by Samuel (1 Sam. 16:4-13); and it was from the well of Bethlehem that three of his heroes brought water for him at the risk of their lives when he was in the cave of Adullam (2 Sam. 23:13-17). But it was distinguished above every other city as the birth-place of „Him whose goings forth have been of old” (Matt. 2:6; comp. Micah 5:2). Afterwards Herod, „when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men,” sent and slew „all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under” (Matt. 2:16, 18; Jer. 31:15).

Bethlehem bears the modern name of Beit-Lahm, i.e., „house of flesh.” It is about 5 miles south of Jerusalem, standing at an elevation of about 2,550 feet above the sea, thus 100 feet higher than Jerusalem. There is a church still existing, built by Constantine the Great (A.D. 330), called the „Church of the Nativity,” over a grotto or cave called the „holy crypt,” and said to be the „stable” in which Jesus was born. This is perhaps the oldest existing Christian church in the world. Close to it is another grotto, where Jerome the Latin father is said to have spent thirty years of his life in translating the Scriptures into Latin. (See VERSION ¯T0003768.) (2.) A city of Zebulun, mentioned only in Josh. 19:15. Now Beit-Lahm, a ruined village about 6 miles west- north-west of Nazareth.
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/B/Bethlehem/

Photo credit http://news.bbc.co.uk

Bethlehem in the Bible Encyclopedia – ISBE beth’-le-hem (bethlechem; Baithleem, or Bethleem, „house of David,” or possibly „the house of Lakhmu,” an Assyrian deity): I. Bethlehem Judah: Bethlehem Judah, or EPHRATH or EPHRATHAH (which see) is now Beit Lahm (Arabic = „house of meat”), a town of upward of 10,000 inhabitants, 5 miles South of Jerusalem and 2,350 ft. above sea level. It occupies an outstanding position upon a spur running East from the watershed with deep valleys to the Northeast and South It is just off the main road to Hebron and the south, but upon the highroad to Tekoa and En- gedi. The position is one of natural strength; it was occupied by a garrison of the Philistines in the days of David (2 Sam 23:14; 1 Ch 11:16) and was fortified by Rehoboam (2 Ch 11:6).

The surrounding country is fertile, cornfields, fig and olive yards and vineyards abound. Bethlehem is not naturally well supplied with water, the nearest spring is 800 yds. to the Southeast, but for many centuries the „low level aqueduct” from „Solomon’s Pools” in the ArTas valley, which has here been tunneled through the hill, has been tapped by the inhabitants; there are also many rock-cut cisterns. 1. Early History: In 1 Ch 2:51 Salma, the son of Caleb, is described as the „father of Bethlehem.” In Gen 35:19; 48:7 it is recorded that Rachel „was buried in the way to Ephrath (the same is Beth-lehem).” Tradition points out the site of Rachel’s tomb near where the road to Bethlehem leaves the main road. The Levites of the events of Jdg 17; 19 were Bethlehemites. In the list of the towns of Judah the name Bethlehem occurs, in the Septuagint version only in Josh 15:57. 2.

David the Bethlehemite: Ruth, famous chiefly as the ancestress of David, and of the Messiah, settled in Bethlehem with her second husband Boaz, and it is noticeable that from her new home she could view the mountains of Moab, her native land. David himself „was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem-judah, whose name was Jesse” (1 Sam 17:12). To Bethlehem came Samuel to anoint a successor to unworthy Saul (1 Sam 16:4): „David went to and fro from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” (1 Sam 17:15). David’s „three mighty men” „brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Beth-lehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David” (2 Sam 23:14,16). Tradition still points out the well. From this town came those famous „sons of Zeruiah,” David’s nephews, whose loyalty and whose ruthless cruelty became at once a protection and a menace to their royal relative: in 2 Sam 2:32 it is mentioned that one of them, Asahel, was buried „in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Bethlehem.” 3. Later Bible History: After the time of David, Bethlehem would appear to have sunk into insignificance. But its future fame is pointed at by Micah (5:2): „But thou, Beth-lehem Ephrathah, which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall one come forth …  http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/B/BETHLEHEM/

Photo credit scripture-for-today.blogspot.com

Bethlehem in Scripture 

1 Chronicles 11:18 Then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate and took it and brought it to David. But David would not drink it. He poured it out to the Lord.

1 Chronicles 2:51 Salma the father of Bethlehem, Hareph the father of Bethgader.

1 Chronicles 4:4 and Penuel fathered Gedor, and Ezer fathered Hushah. These were the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, the father of Bethlehem.

Luke 2:15   When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”

Luke 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,

Matthew 2:16  Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.

Matthew 2:6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Micah 5:2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

Ruth 1:22  So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.

Ruth 4:11  Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem.

~~~~~~~~~~

Bethlehem (Ephrath) (in Judah): Belt Lahm. associated with Rachel, Gen. 35. 19 (cf. Matt. 2. 18); in Judah, Judg. 17.7; home of Ruth, Ruth 1. 1 &c.; of David, 1 Sam. 17. 2; 2. Sam. 23. 15; Mic. 5. 2; Ezr. 2. 21; Neh. 7. 26; birth-place of Jesus, Matt. 2. lff.; Luke 2. 4 (cf. John 7. 42)

  • Genesis 35:19 – So Rachel died, and she was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem),
  • Matthew 2:18 – “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
  • Judges 17:7 – Now there was a young man of Bethlehem in Judah, of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there.
  • Ruth 1:1 – In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man ofBethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.
  • 1 Samuel 17:2 – And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered, and encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in line of battle against the Philistines.
  • 2 Samuel 23:15 – And David said longingly, “Oh, that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!” 
  • Micah 5:2 – But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
    from you shall come forth for me
    one who is to be ruler in Israel,
    whose coming forth is from of old,
    from ancient days.
  • Ezra 2:21 – The sons of Bethlehem, 123.
  • Nehemiah 7:26 – The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, 188.
  • Matthew 2:1 – Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem.
  • Luke 2:4 – And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
  • John 7:42 – Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?”

SOURCE: http://www.bible-history.com/

orasul betleem

Photo credit www.homeofourfathers.com

 History of Bethlehem

Three thousand years before the birth of Christ, Bethlehem was already known as a Canaanite settlement. Canaanite tribes who settled in Palestine, built small cities surrounded by walls for protection against the attacks of raiders. One of these cities was Beit Lahama known today as Bethlehem. So, the word Bethlehem is derived from Lahmo the Chaldean god of fertility, which was adopted by the Canaanites as Lahama. In accordance with the Canaanite practice of building temples to their gods, they built a temple for Lahama on the present mount of the Nativity which overlooks the fertile valleys of the region. Walls, ramparts and other structures in different sites in Bethlehem clearly establish its Canaanite origin 3000 years before the birth of Jesus.

Bethlehem was mentioned around 1350 BC in the Tell al-Amarna letters, from the Egyptian governor of Palestine to the Pharaoh Amenhotep III. It was depicted as an important staging and rest stop for travelers from Syria and Palestine going to Egypt. The letters also signify that it was a border city of mid-Palestine and an outpost looking out towards the desert. The Philistines had a garrison stationed in Bethlehem because it was a strong strategic point. They entered the land of the Canaanites, mingled with its people and settled in the southern coasts between Jaffa and Gaza. The Philistines had achieved military supremacy over the greater part of the country around 1200 BC, and called it Palestine.

The narrative of the Old Testament mentions Bethlehem in the first book of the Bible when Jacob, son of Abraham, and his family were journeying to the city of Hebron passing by Bethlehem (Ephrata) (Genesis 35: 16-19). There, his wife Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin, and he buried her by the side of the Bethlehem Road where her tomb has been a shrine to this day: „And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.” In that time, Bethlehem was a small, walled town erected on a hill in the northern part of the present town of Bethlehem. The name of Bethlehem (Ephrata) „the fruitful” itself suggests a pastoral and agricultural life. The tale of Ruth, the Moabite, and Boaz suggests an atmosphere of idyllic rusticity that is still obvious today (Ruth 2-4). Ruth’s grandson was King David of whose lineage Christ was born.

A decree of Caesar Augustus, ordering the taking of a census in all the provinces of the Roman Empire, brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Micah, spoken 750 years before: „And thou, Bethlehem Ephrata, art a little one among the thousands of Juda: out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler of his people”(Mikha 5:2). When Jesus was born in Bethlehem,  Herod the Great was a vassal of Rome and in 6 AD Palestine was incorporated in the imperial province of Syria.  Emperor Hadrian in 135 AD profaned the sanctity of the Grotto of the Nativity and turned it into a pagan shrine.

From Hadrian’s time until the reign of Constantine, the population worshipped Adonis in the cave where the infant Jesus was born. Palestine, consequently, was officially pagan as was the whole Roman empire until 313 when Constantine proclaimed Christianity as the religion of the state. In the year 325 the Bishop of Jerusalem, St. Maccarius, took the opportunity of acquainting the Emperor Constantine with the neglected condition of the Holy Places in his diocese. Thus, the Emperor ordered the construction, at public expense, of monumental churches to commemorate the three principal events of Jesus’ life: Nativity, Crucifixion and Resurrection. One of these was a church enshrining the scene of the Nativity. Christian traditions were so clear and deeply rooted that there was no problem in locating the correct place. Among the trees, not far from the village, was a cave which the local people and their parents had known for generations to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ. The cave was made the center of a scheme for the church and work began the following year (326 AD)

Toward the end of the 4th century, Bethlehem became a very important center of monastic life. In 384 AD St. Jerome arrived from Rome with a group of pilgrims. He came to Bethlehem to continue his work in the atmosphere of monastic life. He devoted himself to the tremendous task with which Pope St. Damasus had entrusted him, namely to review all old Latin translations of the Bible and produce a new version, the Vulgate, based on original Hebrew and Greek texts. Two Roman ladies of noble origin, St. Paula and her daughter Eustochium moved to Bethlehem in 386 to lead an ascetic life along with St. Jerome. They founded the earliest monastic community in Bethlehem which has lasted, with some interruption, to this day. Paula used her riches to build a hospice for pilgrims and two monasteries, one for St. Jerome and his followers, and the other for herself and the nuns.

When the Roman empire was divided in 395 into two empires, eastern and western, Palestine was attached to Byzantium, the eastern part. In the following years the life of the Latin-speaking communities of Bethlehem faded from view, eclipsed by the growth and more spectacular austerities of an eastern monasticism. As a result, the town of Bethlehem prospered and its population increased with the spread of churches, monasteries, and convents in Bethlehem itself, and the surrounding areas.  In AD 527 Justinian became Emperor in Constantinople. Under his reign Palestine witnessed a time of prosperity and expansion for its churches and for monasticism. Afterwards, in 529, the Samaritans rebelled against the Byzantine state and overran the country, plundering and destroying as they went. Churches and monasteries, towns and villages were all pillaged or gutted by fire. The walls of Bethlehem and its main church were destroyed. The revolt was soon quelled. At the same time the church was rebuilt in a grand style. The town wall and the defenses of the monasteries were repaired.

A few years later (614) the country was invaded by the Persians. According to an oral tradition, they did not cause any damage to the Church of the Nativity because they saw the pictures of the three Magi dressed as Persians, carrying gifts to Christ at his birth. Outside and above the roof of the narthex, the gable end overlooking the atrium was decorated with a mosaic scene of the birth of Christ with his mother holding the Child to her breast. In 637, soon after his entry into Jerusalem, the Muslim Caliph ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab visited Bethlehem. The relations between ‘Umar and the ecclesiastical authorities were friendly and a written agreement was granted to the Patriarch Sofronious. The tolerant policy was maintained by Umar’s successors till 1009. In that year a fanatic Caliph, al-Hakim, the one who had destroyed the Holy Sepulcher, declared a real persecution against Christians. However, Bethlehem was once more spared because al-Hakim wished to continue receiving the tribute Christians had been paying since Umar’s day.

The conquest of Palestine by the Crusaders in the year 1099 began a new chapter in the history of Bethlehem. Within a short time the Franks took over from the local clergy and installed a community of Augustinian canons under a prior who conducted services in the Latin language. The Crusaders reconstructed the town and made it a fortified outpost. They remained for about two centuries during which the town of Bethlehem prospered. Some of them intermarried with the local people and settled down. The 12th century opened Bethlehem to European social and ecclesiastical influences to an unprecedented extent. From every country, pilgrims could now visit the Holy Places bringing with them offerings to the church and prosperity to the merchants whose shops were built in front of it. In 1100, the Crusader King Baldwin succeeded in having Pope Pascal II establish a bishopric in Bethlehem.

In 1187, Saladin the Ayyubite captured Bethlehem. Although the Church of the Nativity was unharmed, the relations with the West were abruptly cut off, and the Latin Bishop and Canons were forced to leave. The life of the local people was seriously affected by the expulsion of the Latin community and the temporary interruption of the stream of western pilgrims on which the Bethlehemites primarily depended. However, because of two treaties, one signed by emperor Frederick II and Malek el-Kamel, sultan of Egypt, and the second by the king of Navarre and the Sultan of Damascus, Bethlehem was in Christian hands from 1229 to 1244. The Canons of St. Augustine could return to their convent and the Basilica was once more opened to the Christian world.

In 1250, the Ayyubid Dynasty was replaced in Egypt by Circassian Mamlukes, and the accession of the fanatical Sultan Rukn ed-Din Beibars brought an end to the tradition of tolerance that helped safeguard the Holy places. In 1263, Beibars ordered the dismantling of the towers and walls of Bethlehem. The church itself was not damaged, which gave rise to a legend that a serpent bit the marbles and cracked them, so that the Sultan could not take them to Cairo, as he wished. However, the Christians were banished from Bethlehem.

In the following century, western influences were reinforced; monks from the order of the Franciscan Friars Minor were established in Bethlehem in the old Augustinian priory, where they still reside.  The Franciscan Fathers had acquired possession of the grotto in 1347 and also, the right to administer the Basilica and to care for its maintenance. The Franciscan Custos, Giovanni, obtained from the Sultan Qaita Bey consent to renovate the roof of the Church of the Nativity. A few years later European influences at Bethlehem were set back by the expulsion of the Catholic Latin clergy for the second time.

With the Turkish occupation in 1517, the period of conflict between the Franciscans and the Greeks for the possession of the Sanctuaries began. Consequently, the Basilica passed from the Franciscans to the Greeks according to the favor enjoyed at the Sublime Porte (Ottoman Caliph) by the nation which supported the communities (Catholics or Orthodox). Under the Turkish regime the question of ownership and rights in the Holy Places took on an increasingly political and even international dimension. The first question in the dispute between France and Russia was concerned with the possession of the key to the main doors of the Basilica. The second was concerned with the mysterious removal, one night in the year 1847, of a silver star bearing a Latin inscription, which was put into a slab of marble beneath the altar of the Nativity. However, between the 17th and 18th centuries Bethlehem was on the verge of modern times. Long and continuous contact by the local people with travelers from Western Christendom had familiarized them with the manners and tastes of Western countries, and improved their economic condition.

Palestine was under Egyptian rule for ten years beginning in 1831. However, during this period, robbery and violence were too common, and the murder of a favorite of Ibrahim Pasha in 1834, resulted in the destruction of the Moslem quarter of the town and the disarming of the whole population. By 1841 Bethlehem was again under Turkish rule. The result was unemployment, oppression, compulsory military service and heavy taxes imposed on the inhabitants. This oppressive situation forced the people of Bethlehem to emigrate abroad, especially to the Americas, to earn a living and improve their life-style. By the end of the 19th century, several European missionaries came to Bethlehem and built schools.

The Turkish rule ended in 1917, and Palestine was placed under the British Mandate. At that time, the inhabitants of Bethlehem numbered about 8000. When the British withdrew from Palestine in 1948 the population of Bethlehem was 11,696. Wars between Arabs and Jews continued and the latter occupied most of Palestine and declared their state ‘Israel’. The town of Bethlehem remained unoccupied and towards the end of 1948, the union of the eastern part of Palestine and Trans-Jordan was declared under the name of the Hashemite  Kingdom of Jordan. A second war between the Arabs and Israelis broke out in 1967, and the latter occupied the remainder of Palestine including Bethlehem. Bethlehem remained under the Israeli occupation until December 22, 1995 when the Palestinian Authority took over in compliance with the Oslo Accord of 1993.

In September 1993 Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accord. Among its provisions, the accord called for a five-year interim period of Palestinian Autonomy in the West Bank and Gaza at the end of which the final status of the occupied territories will be decided. However, the implementation of the accord met setbacks resulting from the intransigence of the Israeli extremists.

 

Was Jesus Really Born in Bethlehem?

Scholar and historian John Dickson says why it’s reasonable to believe Jesus was in fact born in Bethlehem.

VIDEO by Theology, Philosophy and Science

Blogosfera Evanghelică

Vizite unicate din Martie 6,2011

free counters

Va multumim ca ne-ati vizitat azi!


România – LIVE webcams de la orase mari