Famous Christmas Carols – The Story Behind the Carol – “While By My Sheep I Watch At Night”


This hymn is a German carol from the 1600s, translated to English by Theodore Baker (1851-1934).

Lyrics

While by my sheep I watched at night,
Glad tidings brought an angel bright:

[Refrain:]
How great my joy, great my joy,
Joy, joy joy,
Joy, joy joy,
Praise we the Lord in heav’n on high.
Praise we the Lord in heav’n on high.

There shall be born, so He did say,
In Bethlehem a Child today:

[Refrain]

There shall He lie in manger mean,
Who shall redeem the world from sin:

[Refrain]

This gift of God we’ll cherish well,
That ever joy my heart shall fill.

[Refrain]

Lord, evermore to me be nigh,
Then shall my heart be filled with joy!

[Refrain]

🎁 MERRY CHRISTMAS 🎄

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A Universal Language, Un lenguaje universal, 一種通用語言, Eine universelle Sprache,


While most of my readers speak English, I believe people worldwide will know these songs as music is universal. 

🎁 MERRY CHRISTMAS 🎁

Feliz Navidad

聖誕快樂

Frohe Weihnachten

Translator

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What happened when others thought these were God or gods?


HEROD, PAUL, & JESUS

Each of the above were at one time or another thought to be God or gods. We know that the word of God is for our instruction and we are to be discerning. Lessons can be learned by observing how each one reacted and how Almighty God in Heaven reacted. 

25Truly, truly, I tell you, the hour is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. John 5:25

To begin, perhaps we should look at Bible passages where these events occurred. 

HEROD

Acts 12:21 On the appointed day, Herod donned his royal robes, sat on his throne, and addressed the people. 22 And they began to shout, “This is the voice of a god, not a man!”

HEROD’S RESPONSE

23 Immediately, because Herod did not give glory to God,…

GOD’S RESPONSE

…an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

PAUL

Acts 14:11 When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices in the Lycaonian language: “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates, hoping to offer a sacrifice along with the crowds.

PAUL’S RESPONSE

14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul found out about this, they tore their clothes and rushed into the crowd, shouting, 15“Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. 16 In past generations, He let all nations go their own way. 17 Yet He has not left Himself without testimony to His goodness: He gives you rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling your hearts with food and gladness.”

GOD’S RESPONSE

Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2nd Tim 4:6-8). 

JESUS

Matthew 28:9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.

JESUS’S RESPONSE

Matthew 28:10 10“Do not be afraid,” said Jesus. “Go, tell My brothers to go to Galilee. There they will see Me.”

GOD’S RESPONSE

Heb. 1:8, “But of the Son He says, “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.”

Perhaps this tells the discerning reader why John 1:1 reads, “…and the Word was God.”

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Jesus, Creation and the Word


OUR CREATOR IS THE ONLY GOD

Throughout the Bible, Yahweh identifies Himself as Creator. Many people think of the creation story as being unique to Genesis, however, the story of creation is throughout the Bible.
Isaiah called our God, “the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth…” The Palmists in Psalm 104:5 reminds us that “He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should not be moved.” Psalm 104 tells us much of God and His role as Creator.

One of the most moving prayers in the Bible came from King Hezekiah when the king prayed before the LORD and said, “O,LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubin, YOU are the God. YOU ALONE, of all the kingdoms of the earth; You have made heaven and earth.”A careful reading of scripture shows there is One God and One Creator.

THE WORD AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

In Genesis we read that God addresses Himself in the plural when He speaks of creation.

26 Then Godsaid,“Let Us makemanin Our image,according to Our likeness;and let them ruleover the fishof the seaand over the birdsof the skyand over the cattleand over allthe earth,and over everycreepingthingthat creepson the earth.”27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.…

We find that the part of God’s being called the Word spoke the world into existence.“Let there be…”

When mankind was created in what God termed, “our likeness”, the Holy Spirit was involved as well. 

Genesis 1:1 And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

God breathed life into the man.

CHRIST AND CREATION

Did you ever wonder why New Testament writers clearly associate Christ with creation, since there is only One Creator and He is God? Below are verses concerning Christ and creation:

John 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 

1 Corinthians 8:6 …yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. 

Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Hebrews 1:2 …in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 

Nothing God does or says is without purpose. His word never fails. Everything recorded in scripture has a purpose. So what could be God’s purpose here? We know that all scripture is given by inspiration for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16) So It seems to me that we should look at what the Creator wants us to realize and recognize here.

What is taught about Christ? He was present and involved in the Creation of all things.

Who would be rebuked by this? Would it not be those who say that Christ will destroy His own followers at Armageddon if they believe that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are a part of the One God, YHWH or I AM.

Who is corrected? Could it be those who teach that Christ is created, since ALL things were created through Him? Also, those who teach that Jesus is an angel, because the Bible teaches that angels are subject to Christ:

Hebrews 1:1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. 

How does this train us in righteousness?

Romans 8:1-5 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. … 

He hath made all things beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11

God’s creative powers extend to us today “in Christ.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

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…that Rock was Christ


1 Corinthians 10: 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.…

Rocks can protect or be used in construction. In the Bible, water came from the rock.  

Numbers 20:8 Take the rod, and gather you the assembly together, you, and Aaron your brother, and speak you to the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and you shall bring forth to them water out of the rock: so you shall give the congregation and their beasts drink

The term rock, (Suram, Petra) is used in the Bible when referring to God. It is also used to describe the Person of Christ.

Deuteronomy 32: 4 “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is He.

2 Samuel 22:32 “For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?

2 Samuel 22:47  “The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock,
and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation…

Psalm 18:31 For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?—

Psalm 89:26 He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’

Isaiah 30:29 You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel.

1 Corinthians 10: 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.…

1 Peter 2:6,7,8 For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame. So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

See also:

What does it mean that God is the Rock of salvation?

Knowing That Our Redeemer Lives

The LORD our Rock

One In Prayer

God the Rock

Posted in Bible Teaching, Biblical History, Called His name Jesus, Christ, Christianity, Israel, Jesus, Our World Today

JESUS REVEALED IN EXODUS


Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

 

 

LED OUT OF CAPTIVITY 

  • As the LORD God Almighty led Israel out of captivity and slavery, Christ has led us out of sin and bondage. 

Ephesians 4:7 Now to each one of us grace has been given according the to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 This is why it says: “When He ascended on high, He led captives away, and gave gifts to men.” 

PROVISION MADE FOR LIFE’S NEEDS

  • Just as God provided manna and quail for food and water from the rock, Christ provides the Bread of life and Living Water. (Exodus chapters 16-17)

John 6:32 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34“Sir,” they said, “give us this bread at all times.”35 Jesus answered, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst. 36 But as I told you, you have seen Me and still you do not believe.

LORD OF THE SABBATH 

  • The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord God. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath.  (Exodus 20:10)

Matthew 12:…7 If only you had known the meaning of ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.

OUR TABERNACLE 

  • The LORD God Almighty had the Ark of the Tabernacle built so that He might dwell among us. (Exodus 25:9, Exodus 26:31-34)

 John 1:14  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Matthew 1:23 Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us)

Matt 27:50-51 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.

See Also: Jesus in the Book of Exodus 

Finding Jesus In the Exodus: Christ in Israel’s Journey from Slavery to the Promised Land

Jesus Plus Nothing

 

Posted in Bible Teaching, Biblical History, Called His name Jesus, Christ, Christianity, Jehovah's Witness, Jesus

The Story of the White Stone and Those Who Are Born-Again


WHO WILL RECEIVE A WHITE STONE?

To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it. Revelation 2:17

The significance of a white stone isn’t common knowledge today, however, when the apostle John was writing on the Isle of Patmos all people knew the significance of receiving a white stone.

A ‘white stone’ meant a criminal or law breaker was declared ‘not guilty’ if they were presented with a white stone. It was an acquital of the crime of which a person was accused.

In biblical times, juries in a court of law used a white stone for a not-guilty verdict and a black stone for guilty. A white stone also gained the bearer entrance into such events as banquets…Our Daily Bread

Those whose lives were endangered due to their crimes and offenses must have been extremely relieved when the judge handed them a white stone and not a black stone.

THOSE WHO OVERCOME RECEIVE A WHITE STONE

There will be a point where time as we know it will end. Jesus told us in the passage below that the ones who ‘overcome’ will be given a white stone (declared not guilty). Others will find that Christ is at war with them and His weapon will be the sword of His mouth.

So who are the ‘overcomers’ spoken to in Revelation 2:17? They will get not only a white stone, but will also have a new name and be fed with hidden manna?

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:  13‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 ‘But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. 15 ‘So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 ‘Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. 17 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.Scriptures at Bible Hub

Eight times in the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Christ promises blessings to those who ‘overcome.’

WHO DOES GOD SAY WILL OVERCOME THE WORLD?

God has told us in the Bible what it means to ‘overcome.’ Here is what we find.

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4-5

Because the person who has been born of God will overcome, it follows that they will not fall victim to false teachings. Neither will they follow or practice the teachings of humans in place of the Living God and His word. Reread the above passage for what marked those who were not receiving a ‘white stone.’

In Pergamus, there were those who stood fast and remained witnesses for Christ. They did not deny the faith, even when they saw Antipas killed for standing fast and not denying, and even though they were dwelling in the place where Satan’s throne is. We must conclude that these were they who have been born of God or born again – born into a new life that is lived ‘In Christ.”

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… Ephesians 1:3

May we hear and believe the word of our Lord Jesus Christ:

John 3:3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”…7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.

How can these things be? Paul wrote these words to help us understand:

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.

Born again believers who have faith in Christ will receive a ‘white stone.’

Because Jesus has overcome, we are safe in Christ. Thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

 

 

Posted in Bible, Bible prophecy, Bible Teaching, Christ, Christianity, Covenant Promises, Jesus, New Covenant, Our World Today