Your Daily Readings – Verse of the Day – Philippians 3:12 – 14 – The Scriptures by Institute For Scripture Research – 2009 Edition – July 3, 2020

Philippians 3

Phil 3:1 For the rest, my brothers, rejoice in יהוה (Yahshua, Jesus). To write the same matters to you is truly no trouble to me, and for you it is safe.
Phil 3:2 Look out for dogs, look out for the evil workers, look out for the mutilation!
Phil 3:3 For we are the circumcision, who are serving Elohim in the Spirit, and boasting in Messiah יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus), and do not trust in the flesh,
Phil 3:4 though I too might have trust in the flesh. If anyone else thinks to trust in the flesh, I more –
Phil 3:5 circumcised the eighth day, of the race of Yisra’ĕl, of the tribe of Binyamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, according to Torah a Pharisee,
Phil 3:6 according to ardour, persecuting the assembly; according to righteousness that is in the law, having become blameless.
Phil 3:7 But what might have been a gain to me, I have counted as loss, because of Messiah.
Phil 3:8 What is more, I even count all to be loss because of the excellence of the knowledge of Messiah יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) my Master, for whom I have suffered the loss of all, and count them as refuse, in order to gain Messiah,
Phil 3:9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through belief in Messiah, the righteousness which is from Elohim on the basis of belief,
Phil 3:10 to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
Phil 3:11 if somehow I might attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Phil 3:12 Not that I have already received, or already been perfected, but I press on, to lay hold of that for which Messiah יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) has also laid hold of me.
Phil 3:13 Brothers, I do not count myself to have laid hold of it yet, but only this: forgetting what is behind and reaching out for what lies ahead,
Phil 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of Elohim in Messiah יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus).
Phil 3:15 As many, then, as are perfect, should have this mind. And if you think differently in any respect, Elohim shall also reveal this to you.
Phil 3:16 But to what we have already attained – walk by the same rule, be of the same mind.
Phil 3:17 Become joint imitators of me, brothers, and look at those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.
Phil 3:18 For many – of whom I have often told you, and now say to you even weeping – walk as enemies of the stake of Messiah.
Phil 3:19 Their end is destruction, their mighty one is their stomach, and their esteem is in their shame – they mind the earthly.
Phil 3:20 For our citizenship is in the heavens, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Master יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) Messiah,
Phil 3:21 who shall change our lowly body, to be conformed to His esteemed body, according to the working by which He is able even to bring all under His control.

 

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Your Daily Readings – Verse of the Day – Ephesians 3:16 – The Scriptures by Institute For Scripture Research – 2009 Edition – June 29, 2020

Ephesians 3

1 Because of this I, Sha’ul, am the prisoner of יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) Messiah on behalf of you nations – 2 if indeed you have heard of the administration of the favour of Elohim that was given to me for you, 3 that by revelation was made known to me the secret, as I wrote before briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you are able to understand my insight into the secret of Messiah, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His set-apart emissaries and prophets: 6 The nations to be co-heirs, united in the same body, and partakers together (a) in the promise in Messiah through the Good News, Footnote: a See Rom 11:17-24, Isa 14:1. 7 of which I became a servant according to the gift of the favour of Elohim given to me, according to the working of His power.
and to him was that grace given, that he should preach it
8 To me, the very least of all the set-apart ones, this favour was given, to bring the Good News of the unsearchable riches of Messiah among the nations, 9 and to make all see how this secret is administered, which for ages past has been hidden in Elohim who created all through יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) Messiah,(b) Footnote: b See Joh 1:3. 10 so that now, through the assembly, the many-sided wisdom of Elohim might be known to the principalities and authorities in the heavenlies, 11 according to the everlasting purpose which He made in Messiah יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) our Master, 12 in whom we have boldness and access, with reliance, through belief in Him.
He desires them not to faint for his tribulation
13 I pray therefore, that you do not lose heart at my pressures on your behalf, which is your esteem.
and prays that they may perceive the great love of Christ toward them
14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Master יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) Messiah, 15 from whom all fatherhood (c) in the heavens and earth is named, Footnote: c Or lineage, or paternal descent. 16 in order that He might give you, according to the riches of His esteem by power, to be strengthened in the inner man, through His Spirit, 17 that the Messiah might dwell in your hearts (d) through belief – having become rooted and grounded in love, Footnote: d See Gal 2:20. 18 in order that you might be strengthened to firmly grasp, with all the set-apart ones, what is the width and length and depth and height, 19 to know the love of Messiah which surpasses knowledge, in order that you might be filled to all the completeness of Elohim.
20 And to Him who is able to do exceedingly above what we ask or think, according to the power that is working in us, 21 to Him be esteem in the assembly by Messiah יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) unto all generations, for ever and ever. Amĕn.

 

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Revised Biblical Names of Elohim – God, Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh By Bill Perkins

March 10, 2019

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.

Can I give such a gift as this,

To the Son of Yahweh – God

Born in Bethlehem?

Wise men from the East

Came bearing their gifts,

Searching for the One born King of the Jews.

They spread their valuable presents of

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh,

Before the Child and worshipped the One named Immanuel (Yahweh – God with Us).

Then I came to the realization,

That no gift I could give Him,

Would compare to the gifts that

Yahshua – Jesus gave to mankind.

Free Salvation, Forgiveness of our Sins, and Eternal Life

in Heaven with Him for Eternity.

There will be a time in the Future,

That every tear will be wiped from our eyes.

A time will come,

When there will no longer

Be any sorrow, suffering, or pain.

These are the gifts Yahshua – Jesus gives to you and me.

They compare better than Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.

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Your Daily Readings – Verse of the Day – Philippians 1:6 – The Scriptures by Institute For Scripture Research – 2009 Edition – March 15, 2020

Philippians 1

Sha’ul and Timotiyos, servants of יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) Messiah, to all the set-apart ones in Messiah יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) who are in Philippi, with the overseers and attendants:
Favour to you and peace from Elohim our Father and the Master יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) Messiah.
I thank my Elohim in all my remembrance of you.
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy, for your fellowship in the Good News from the first day until now, being persuaded of this, that He who has begun a good work in you shall perfecta it until the day of יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) Messiah. Footnote: a See Mat 5:48.
It is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, all of you being sharers of the favour with me, both in my chains and in the defence and confirmation of the Good News.
For Elohim is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) Messiah.
And this I pray, that your love might extend more and more in knowledge and all discernment, for you to examine the matters that differ, in order to be sincere, and not stumbling, until the day of Messiah, being filled with the fruit of righteousness,b through יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) Messiah, to the esteem and praise of Elohim. Footnote: b Mat 3:8-10, Rom 6:22, Rom 14:17, 2Co 9:10, Eph 5:9, Gal 5:22, Col 1:10, Heb 12:11, Jas 3:18.
And I wish you to know, brothers, that what has befallen me has turned out for the advancement of the Good News, so that it has become known to all the palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Messiah; and most of the brothers, trusting in the Master because of my chains, are much more bold to fearlessly speak the word.
Some indeed proclaim Messiah even from envy and strife, but some also out of pleasure – the former announce Messiah from selfish ambition, not sincerely, thinking to add distress to my chains, but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defence of the Good News.
What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretence or in truth, Messiah is announced. And in this I rejoice, in fact, I shall rejoice.
For I know that this shall turn out for my deliverancec through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) Messiah, Footnote: c See Job 13:16. according to my intense longing and anticipation that I shall not be ashamed at all, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Messiah shall be made great in my body, whether by life or by death.
For to me, to live is Messiah, and to die is gain.
And if to live in the flesh is to me a fruit of work, then what shall I choose? I do not know.
For I am pressed down by the two, having a desire to depart and be with Messiah, which is much better, but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.
And being persuaded of this, I know that I shall stay and continue with you all, for your progress and joy of belief, so that your boasting might overflow in יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) Messiah on account of me, through my coming to you again.
Only, behave yourselves worthily of the Good News of Messiah, in order that whether I come and see you or am absent, I hear about you, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one being, striving together for the belief of the Good News, without being frightened in any way by those who oppose, which to them truly is a proof of destruction, but to you of deliverance, and that from Elohim.
Because to you it has been given as a favour, on behalf of Messiah, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same struggle which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

 

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Your Daily Readings – Verse of the Day – Romans 10:17 – The Scriptures by Institute For Scripture Research – 2009 Edition – March 9, 2020

Romans 10

Truly brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to Elohim for Yisra’ĕl is for deliverance.
For I bear them witness that they have an ardour for Elohim, but not according to knowledge.
For not knowing the righteousness of Elohim, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they did not subject themselves to a the righteousness of Elohim. Footnote: a Or did not obey.
For Messiah is the goal (b) of the ‘Torah unto righteousness’ to everyone who believes. Footnote: b Or end purpose; not termination.
For Mosheh writes about the righteousness which is of the Torah, “The man who does these shall live by them.” Lev 18:5.
But the righteousness of belief speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who shall ascend into the heavens?’ ” Deu 30:12 – that is, to bring Messiah down; or,
“ ‘Who shall descend into the abyss?’ ” – that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead.
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” Deu 30:14 – that is, the word of belief which we are proclaiming:
That if you confess with your mouth the Master יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) and believe in your heart that Elohim has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, and so is saved.
Because the Scripture says, “Whoever puts his trust in Him shall not be put to shame.” Isa 28:16.
Because there is no distinction between Yehuḏi and Greek, for the same Master of all is rich to all those calling upon Him.
For “everyone who calls on the Name of יהוה (Yahweh) shall be saved.”c Joe 2:32. Footnote: c Act 2:21.
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without one proclaiming?
And how shall they proclaim if they are not sent? As it has been written, “How pleasant are the feet of those who bring the Good News of peace, who bring the Good News of the good!” Isa 52:7.
10:16 However, not all obeyed the Good News. For Yeshayahu says, “יהוה (Yahweh), who has believed our report?” Isa 53:1.
So then belief comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Elohim.
But I ask, Did they not hear? Yes indeed, “Their voice went out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” Psa 19:4.
But I ask, Did Yisra’ĕl not know? First Mosheh says, “I shall provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I shall enrage you by an unwise nation.” Deu 32:21.
And Yeshayahu boldly says, “I was found by those not seeking Me, I was made manifest to those not asking for Me.” Isa 65:1.
And to Yisra’ĕl He says, “All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and back-talking people.” Isa 65:2.

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Your Daily Readings – Verse of the Day – John 15:13 – The Scriptures by Institute For Scripture Research – 2009 Edition – March 8, 2020

John 15

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener.
“Every branch in Me that bears no fruit He takes away. And every branch that bears fruit He prunes, so that it bears more fruit.
“You are already clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you.
“Stay in Me, and I stay in you. As the branch is unable to bear fruit of itself, unless it stays in the vine, so neither you, unless you stay in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who stays in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit. Because without Me you are able to do naught!
“If anyone does not stay in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up. And they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
“If you stay in Me, and My Words stay in you, you shall ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.
“In this My Father is esteemed, that you bear much fruit, and you shall be My taught ones.
“As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Stay in My love.
“If you guard My commands, you shall stay in My love,a even as I have guarded My Father’s commands and stay in His love. Footnote: a See Joh 14:15.
“These words I have spoken to you, so that My joy might be in you, and that your joy might be complete.
“This is My command, that you love one another, as I have loved you.b Footnote: b See Joh 13:34 and Joh 15:17.
“No one has greater love than this: that one should lay down his life for his friends.
“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, for all teachings which I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name He might give you.
“These words I command you, so that you love one another.c Footnote: c See Joh 13:34 and Joh 15:12.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, for that reason the world hates you.
“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they shall persecute you too. If they have guarded My Word, they would guard yours too.
“But all this they shall do to you because of My Name, because they do not know Him who sent Me.
“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.
“He who hates Me hates My Father as well.
“If I did not do among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin. But now they have both seen and have hated both Me and My Father, but…that the word might be filled which was written in their Torah, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’ Psa 35:19, Psa 69:4.
“And when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of the Truth, who comes from the Father, He shall bear witness of Me, but you also bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

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Your Daily Readings – Verse of the Day – John 1:1 – The Scriptures by Institute For Scripture Research – 2009 Edition – March 2, 2020

John 1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim.
He was in the beginning with Elohim.
All came to be through Him,a and without Him not even one came to be that came to be. Footnote: a Eph 3:9, Col 1:16, Heb 1:2, Heb 11:3, 2Pe 3:5, Psa 33:6.
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from Elohim, whose name was Yoḥanan.
This one came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all might believe through him.
He was not that Light, but that he might bear witness of that Light.
He was the true Light, which enlightens every man, coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came to be through Him, and the world did not know Him.
He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of Elohim, to those believing in His Name, who were born, not of blood nor of the desire of flesh nor of the desire of man, but of Elohim.
And the Word became flesh and pitched His tent among us, and we saw His esteem, esteem as of an only brought-forth of a father, complete in favour and truth.
Yoḥanan bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has become before me, because He was before me.’ ”
And out of His completeness we all did receive, and favour upon favour, for the Torah was given through Mosheh – the favour and the truth came through יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) Messiah.
No one has ever seen Elohim. The only brought-forth Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He did declare. Footnote: bJoh 5:37, Joh 6:46, 1Jn 4:12.
Now this was the witness of Yoḥanan when the Yehuḏim sent from Yerushalayim priests and Lĕwites to ask him, “Who are you?”
And he confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.”
And they asked him, “What then, are you Ěliyahu?” So he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”
Therefore they said to him, “Who are you, so that we give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”
He said, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of יהוה (Yahweh),’ Isa 40:3 as the prophet Yeshayahu said.”
And those sent were of the Pharisees, and they asked him, saying, “Why then do you immerse if you are not the Messiah, nor Ěliyahu, nor the Prophet?”
Yoḥanan answered them, saying, “I immerse in water, but in your midst stands One whom you do not know, the One coming after me, who has become before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loosen.”
This took place in Bĕyth Anyah beyond the Yardĕn, where Yoḥanan was immersing.
On the next day Yoḥanan saw יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) coming toward him, and said, “See, the Lamb of Elohim who takes away the sin of the world!c Footnote: cMat 1:21, Tit 2:14, 1Jn 3:5 and 1Jn 3:8.
“This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has become before me, for He was before me.’ Footnote: dSee Joh 1:15.
“And I did not know Him, but that He might be revealed to Yisra’ĕl, therefore I came immersing in water.”
And Yoḥanan bore witness, saying, “I have seen the Spirit coming down from heaven like a dove and remain on Him.
“And I did not know Him, but He who sent me to immerse in water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit coming down and remaining on Him, this is He who immerses in the Set-apart Spirit.’
“And I have seen and have witnessed that this is the Son of Elohim.”
Again the following day, Yoḥanan was standing with two of his taught ones, and looking at יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) walking, he said, “See the Lamb of Elohim!”
And the two taught ones heard him speaking, and they followed יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) .
And יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) turning, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” And they said to Him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are You staying?”
He said to them, “Come and see.” They went and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day. Now it was about the tenth hour.
Andri, the brother of Shim‛on Kĕpha, was one of the two who heard from Yoḥanan, and followed Him.
First he found his own brother Shim‛on, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means the Anointed).
And he brought him to יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus). And looking at him, יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) said, “You are Shim‛on the son of Yonah, you shall be called Kĕpha” (which means a Stone).
On the following day יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) wished to go to Galil, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.”
And Philip was from Bĕyth Tsaiḏa, the city of Andri and Kĕpha.
Philip found Nethan’ĕl and said to him, “We have found Him whom Mosheh wrote of in the Torah, and the prophets: יהושע (Yahshua,  Jesus) of Natsareth – the son of Yosĕph.”
And Nethan’ĕl said to him, “Is it possible for any good matter to come out of Natsareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) saw Nethan’ĕl coming toward Him, and said of him, “See, truly a Yisra’ĕli, in whom is no deceit!”
Nethan’ĕl said to Him, “From where do You know me?” יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
Nethan’ĕl answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of Elohim! You are the Sovereign of Yisra’ĕl!”
יהושע (Yahshua, Jesus) answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? Greater than that you shall see.”
And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, from now on you shall see the heaven opened, and the messengers of Elohim ascending and descending upon the Son of Aḏam.” Footnote: eGen 28:12.

 

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Yeshua Was Not Born in December

When was Yeshua Born?

Best Guess: September 29, 5 B.C.E.

Want the details? Read more below.

Biblical scholars readily tell us that it was most likely NOT on December 25th, C.E. 0. Why?

When were shepherds in the fields

Israeli meteorologists tracked December weather patterns for many years and concluded that the climate in Israel has been essentially constant for at least the last 2,000 years. The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible states that, “broadly speaking, weather phenomena and climatic conditions as pictured in the Bible correspond with conditions as observed today” (R.B.Y. Scott, Vol. 3, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1962, p. 625).

The temperature in the area of Bethlehem in December averages around 44 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) but can drop to well below freezing, especially at night. Describing the weather there, Sara Ruhin, chief of the Israeli weather service, noted in a 1990 press release that the area has three months of frost: December with 29 F. [minus 1.6 C.]; January with 30 F. [minus 1.1 C.] and February with 32 F. [0 C.].

Snow is common for two or three days in Jerusalem and nearby Bethlehem in December and January. These were the winter months of increased precipitation in Messiah’s time, when the roads became practically unusable and people stayed mostly indoors.

This is important evidence to disprove a December date for Messiah’s birth. Note that, at the time of Messiah’s birth, the shepherds tended their flocks in the fields at night. “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields,” wrote one Gospel writer, “keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8). A common practice of shepherds was keeping their flocks in the field from April to October, but in the cold and rainy winter months they took their flocks back home and sheltered them.

One commentary admits that, “as these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our Lord was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields; nor could He have been born later than September, as the flocks were still in the fields by night. On this very ground the nativity in December should be given up. The feeding of the flocks by night in the fields is a chronological fact, which casts considerable light upon this disputed point” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary, Abingdon Press, Nashville, note on Luke 2:8).

Another study source agrees: “These humble pastoral folk are out in the field at night with their flock—a feature of the story which would argue against the birth [of Messiah] occurring on Dec. 25 since the weather would not have permitted it” (The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1971, note on Luke 2:4-7).

The Companion Bible, Appendix 179 says:

Shepherds and their flocks would not be found “abiding” (Gr. agrauleo) in the open fields at night in December (Tebeth), for the paramount reason that there would be no pasturage at that time. It was the custom then (as now) to withdraw the flocks during the month Marchesven (Oct.-Nov.) from the open districts and house them for the winter.

The census described by Luke

Other evidence arguing against a December birth of Yeshua is the Roman census recorded by Luke.

“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered… 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…, to be registered with Miriam, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son…” (Luke 2:1-7).

The Roman and Judean rulers knew that taking a census in winter would have been impractical and unpopular. Generally a census would take place after the harvest season, around September or October, when it would not seriously affect the economy, the weather was good and the roads were still dry enough to allow easy travel. According to the normal dates for the census, this would probably be the season of Messiah’s birth.

One author states that this census “could hardly have been at that season [December 25], however, for such a time would surely not have been chosen by the authorities for a public enrollment, which necessitated the population’s traveling from all parts to their natal districts, storms and rain making journeys both unsafe and unpleasant in winter, except in specially favorable years” (“Christmas at Bethlehem,” Holy-Days and Holidays, Cunningham Geikie).

Luke’s account of the census argues strongly against a December date for Messiah’s birth. For such an agrarian society, an autumn post-harvest census was much more likely.

The year of Messiah’s birth

Yeshua wasn’t born in C.E. 0 either. In  525 Pope John I commissioned the scholar Dionysius Exiguus to establish a feast calendar for the Church.. Dionysius also estimated the year of Messiah’s birth based upon the founding of the city of Rome. Unfortunately because of insufficient historical data he arrived at a date at least a few years later than the actual event.

The Gospels record Yeshua’s birth as occurring during the reign of Herod the Great. Herod’s death is recorded by Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus, Book 17, Chpt. 8) and occurred in the spring of 4 B.C.E. (New Testament History, F.F. Bruce, Anchor Books, p.23). Therefore, Messiah’s birth had to take place at least four years before the traditional date!

Yeshua was not born on December 25, C.E. 0. [Actually there is no such year as C.E. 0. Our calendar jumps from 1 B.C.E. to C.E. 1 with no intervening year of zero.]

The celebration of Messiah’s birth in the the early church

In the first 200 years of Christian history, no mention is made of the calendar date of Yeshua’s birth. Not until the year 336 do we find the first mention of a celebration of His birth.

Why this omission? In the case of the Church fathers, the reason is that, during the three centuries after Messiah’s life on earth, the event considered most worthy of commemoration was the date of His death. In comparison, the date of His birth was considered insignificant. As the Encyclopedia Americana explains,

“Christmas… was, according to many authorities, not celebrated in the first centuries of the Christian church, as the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons rather than their birth…” (1944 edition, “Christmas”).

Speculation on the proper date began in the 3rd and 4th centuries, when the idea of fixing Messiah’s birthday started. Quite a controversy arose among Church leaders. Some were opposed to such a celebration. Origen (185-254) strongly recommended against such an innovation. “In the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners who make great rejoicings over the day in which they were born into this world” (Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908 edition, Vol. 3, p. 724, “Natal Day”).

During this time eight specific dates during six different months were proposed by various groups. December 25, although one of the last dates to be proposed, was the one finally accepted by the leadership of the Western church.

A summary of the debate on the dates of Messiah’s birth appears in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church: “Though speculation as to the time of year of Messiah’s birth dates from the early 3rd century, Clement of Alexandria suggesting the 20th of May, the celebration of the anniversary does not appear to have been general till the later 4th century. The earliest mention of the observance on Dec. 25th is in the Philocalian Calendar, representing Roman practice of the year 336. This date was probably chosen to oppose the feast of the Natalis Solis Invicti [nativity of the unconquerable sun] by the celebration of the birth of the ‘Sun of Righteousness’ and its observance in the West, seems to have spread from Rome” (1983 edition, Oxford University Press, New York, 1983, p. 280, “Christmas”).

Around 200, when Clement of Alexandria mentioned the speculations about Messiah’s birthday, he said nothing about a celebration on that day. He casually reported the various ideas extant at that time: “And there are those who have determined not only the year of our Lord’s birth, but also the day…, the 25th day of Pachon… Furthermore, others say that He was born on the 24th or 25th of Pharmuthi” (“The Stromata, or Miscellanies,” The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1986, p. 333).

Later, in 243, the official feast calendar of the time, De Pascha Computus, places the date of Messiah’s birth as March 28. Other dates suggested were April 2 and November 18. Meanwhile, in the East, January 6 was chosen, a date the Greeks had celebrated as the birth of the god Dionysus and the Egyptians as the birth of the god Osiris. Although pagans commonly celebrated the birthdays of their gods, in the Bible a birthday is never celebrated to the true God (who, of course, had no birth or day of origin).

December 25 popularized

In Rome December 25 was made popular by Pope Liberius in 354 and became the rule in the West in 435 when the first “Christ mass” was officiated by Pope Sixtus III. This coincided with the date of a celebration by the Romans to their primary god, the Sun, and to Mithras, a popular Persian sun god supposedly born on the same day. The Roman Catholic writer Mario Righetti candidly admits that, “to facilitate the acceptance of the faith by the pagan masses, the Church of Rome found it convenient to institute the 25th of December as the feast of the birth of Messiah to divert them from the pagan feast, celebrated on the same day in honor of the ‘Invincible Sun’ Mithras, the conqueror of darkness” (Manual of Liturgical History, 1955, Vol. 2, p. 67).

Protestant historian Henry Chadwick sums up the controversy: “Moreover, early in the fourth century there begins in the West (where first and by whom is not known) the celebration of December 25th, the birthday of the Sun-god at the winter solstice, as the date for the nativity of Messiah. How easy it was for Christianity and solar religion to become entangled at the popular level is strikingly illustrated by a mid-fifth century sermon of Pope Leo the Great, rebuking his over-cautious flock for paying reverence to the Sun on the steps of St. Peter’s before turning their back on it to worship inside the westward-facing basilica” (The Early Church, Penguin Books, London, 1967, p. 126).

The Encyclopedia Americana makes this clear: “In the fifth century, the Western Church ordered it [Messiah’s birth] to be observed forever on the day of the old Roman feast of the birth of Sol [the sun god], as no certain knowledge of the day of Messiah’s birth existed” (1944 edition, “Christmas”).

Is there any evidence from the Bible that will help us fix the date and year of Messiah’s birth?

Actually from the Bible, we can at least determine the probable season and year of His birth. The most convincing proof of when Yeshua was born comes in understanding the evidence that is presented in the book of Luke concerning the birth of John the Baptist.

Luke 1:5-17 says:

In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years. Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense.  Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,  for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Zechariah was of the division of Abijah (Luke 1:5,8). Back in King David’s day, the priests had been separated into 24 turns or divisions. These turns began in the first month of the Jewish calendar (1 Chronicles 27:2), March or April of our modern calendar. According to Talmudic sources, the turns rotated every week until they reached the end of the sixth month, when the cycle was repeated again until the end of the year. This would mean that Zechariah’s division served at the temple twice a year.

We find in 1 Chronicles 24:10 that Abijah was the eighth division of the priesthood. Thus, Zechariah’s service would be in the tenth week of the Jewish year. Why the tenth week? Because all divisions served during primary feast weeks of the Jewish year. So all of the divisions of the priesthood would serve during Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread (the third week of the year). Likewise, all of the divisions of the priesthood would serve during the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (the ninth week). Thus, the eighth course of the priesthood would end up serving on the tenth week of the year.

Now we must make an assumption here. Remember we said that Zechariah’s division served at the temple twice a year. The Bible does not specify which of the two shifts of service it was. Regardless, nine months after one of the two dates John the Baptist was born. This would place his birth in March or September.

We will assume that Luke is recording Zechariah’s first shift of service for the year. We will find that assumption tends to prove true as we discover the dates of John the Baptist’s and Yeshua’s’ birth. Therefore, the date of Zechariah’s service would be the Jewish date of Sivan 12-18 (See the Companion Bible, Appendix 179, Section III).

Picking up the story in Luke 1:23-25:

When his time of service was ended, he went to his home. After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, “This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.”

After his service in the temple, Zechariah went home to his wife. Due to the laws of separation (Leviticus 12:5; 15:19,25), two additional weeks have to be counted. Now I don’t know about you, but if an angel had told me that I was going to have a special child, I would get to it just as soon as the law allowed. So we will make a second assumption, that Elizabeth conceived a child two weeks after Zechariah’s return.

Passover (Nisan 15)!  The Jews always looked for Elijah to return on the day of Passover. Even in modern times there is an empty chair and a table setting for Elijah whenever Passover is celebrated. Little children also go to the door of the home and open it in anticipation of Elijah’s coming. The Old Testament prophets had said that God would send Elijah before the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6). According to these calculations John the Baptist was born at Passover. Remember the angel’s words to Zechariah? The angel said that John the Baptist was to come “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1:17). Elijah came at Passover!

Continuing in Luke 1:26-36:

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Miriam. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Miriam, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Yeshua. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Miriam said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”

Luke tells us that Elizabeth was six months pregnant when the angel Gabriel visited Miriam. The beginning of Elizabeth’s sixth month would have been the celebration of the Jewish feast of Hanukkah, which occurs in December of our modern calendar. Hanukkah (Chanukkah) is known as the “Feast of the Dedication” (John 10:22) because it is connected with the dedication of the second Jewish temple and the rededication of the temple after the Maccabean revolt. Miriam was being dedicated for a purpose of enormous magnitude: God’s presence in an earthly temple, i.e. a human body (John 2:18-21).

If Miriam did conceive on Hanukkah, John the Baptist would have been born three months later at Passover. And assuming a normal pregnancy of 285 days, Yeshua would have been born on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Tishri (September 29 by modern reckoning). This is significant because it is the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). It is a high day, a special Sabbath, a time of great rejoicing.

The Feast of Tabernacles and Yeshua

As you have seen, the birth of our Lord can be reasonably shown to have occurred in the autumn of the year on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Tabernacles is a joyful feast. Jewish believers would build a tabernacle or booth known as a “sukkah” out of green tree branches. They would eat their meals and sleep in this sukkah for eight days.

There are some very interesting connections in Scripture with Yeshua and aspects of the Feast of Tabernacles.

John 1:14 says:

And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. [literal translation of the Greek]

Look at what Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi has to say concerning this verse:

To introduce the nature and mission of Messiah, John in his Gospel employs the metaphor of the “booth” of the Feast of Tabernacles. He explains that Messiah, the Word who was with God in the beginning (John 1:1), manifested Himself in this world in a most tangible way, by pitching His tent in our midst: “And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, as of the only Son from the Father” (John 1:14).

The Greek verb skenoo used by John means “to pitch tent, encamp, tabernacle, dwell in a tent.” The allusion is clearly to the Feast of Tabernacles when the people dwelt in temporary booths. In his article “The Feast of Tents: Yeshua’ Self-Revelation,” published in Worship (1960), David Stanley notes that this passage sets the stage for the later self-revelation of Yeshua at the Feast of Tabernacles in John 7 and 8. Stanley writes: “The most basic clue to the mystery pervading this entire narrative [John 7 and 8] is provided by the symbolic action that gives this feast its name: the ceremonial erection of little bowers, made with branches of trees, in which every Jew was expected to live during the festival. These shelters were commemorative of the forty years’ wandering in the desert when Israel had lived as a nomad in such intimate union with her God. For John this dwelling in tents is a primordial symbol of the Incarnation: ‘Thus the Word became a mortal man: he pitched his tent in the midst of us’ (John 1:14). It is this insight which presides over the composition of John’s narrative which we are considering [John 7-8]. All that happened, all that Yeshua said on this occasion has some reference to the Incarnation.”

In seeking to describe the Messiah’s first coming to His people, John chose the imagery of the Feast of Booths since the feast celebrates the dwelling of God among His people. This raises an interesting question on whether or not John intended to link the birth of Yeshua with the Feast of Tabernacles.

[from: God’s Festivals in Scripture and History Part II: The Fall Festivals, page 241.]

According to the Companion Bible, Appendix 179:

The word tabernacled here receives beautiful significance from the knowledge that “the Lord of Glory” was “found in fashion as a man”, and thus tabernacling in human flesh. And in turn it shows in equally beautiful significance that our Lord was born on the first day of the great Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, viz. the 15th of Tisri, corresponding to September 29 (modern reckoning).

The Circumcision of our Lord took place therefore on the eighth day, the last day of the Feast, the “Great Day of the Feast” of John 7.37 (“Tabernacles” had eight days. The Feast of Unleavened Bread had seven days, and Pentecost one. See Lev. 23).

From The Seven Festivals of the Messiah by Eddie Chumney we read this:

As we have stated earlier in this chapter, the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles) is called “the season of our joy” and “the feast of the nations.” With this in mind, in Luke 2:10 it is written, “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings [basar in Hebrew; otherwise known as the gospel] of great joy [Sukkot is called the ‘season of our joy’], which shall be to all people [Sukkot is called ‘the feast of the nations’].” So, we can see from this that the terminology the angel used to announce the birth of Yeshua were themes and messages associated with the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles)

Light was also a prominent feature of the Feast of Tabernacles. At the end of the first day of the Feast, the Temple was gloriously illuminated. According to the Mishnah (Succah 5:2), gigantic candelabras stood within the Court of the Women in the temple. Each of the four golden candelabras is said to have been about 75 feet tall. Each candelabra had four branches, and at the top of every branch there was a large bowl. Four young men bearing 10 gallon pitchers of oil would climb ladders to fill the four golden bowls on each candelabra. And then the oil in those bowls was ignited. Picture sixteen beautiful blazes leaping toward the sky from these golden lamps. There was not a courtyard in Jerusalem that was not illuminated by this light (Succah 5:3).

According to Alfred Edersheim (Life and Times of Yeshua the Messiah, chpt. 8):

…the Court of the Women was brilliantly illuminated….In connection with this we mark, that the term ‘light’ was specially applied to the Messiah. In a very interesting passage of the Midrash we are told, that, while commonly windows were made wide within and narrow without, it was the opposite in the Temple of Solomon, because the light issuing from the Sanctuary was to lighten that which was without.

This reminds us of the language of devout old Simeon in regard to the Messiah, as ‘a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of His people Israel.’

John 1:6-9 says:

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

In these verses John refers to Yeshua as “the light”; and as we have also seen, verse 14 says that he “became flesh and tabernacled [literal meaning of the Greek] among us”. Since John chapter one is a passage about Yeshua’s coming, these verses could be references to the Feast of Tabernacles at which time Yeshua was born.

Magi from the east

The Scriptures tell us that there were wise men (scholars) who came from the east looking for the birth of the Messiah, saying “we have seen his star in the east”. Who were these scholars from the east? Why were they looking for a Jewish Messiah?

Matthew 2:1-6 says:

In the time of King Herod, after Yeshua was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage. When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.'” [cited from Micah 5:2]

Babylon was known as “the land to the east.” At the time of the birth of Yeshua, the largest Jewish population was actually in Babylon, not in Palestine! Nearly five hundred years earlier, the entire nation of Judah had been carried away captive into Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. Only a small colony of Jews returned to Palestine after sixty-three years of captivity. The greater number of them remained where they had established homes in the land of Babylon.

The Greek for “wise men” is magoi. Daniel was referred to by this same title (Daniel 4:9). The word is somewhat equivalent to the Jewish term “rabbi.” It is possible that the wise men from the east were Jewish rabbis who had been anticipating the coming of the Messiah because of Daniel’s seventy weeks prophecy [Daniel 9:24]. They had spotted a new star in the sky and took it to be a sign of the coming of the Messiah.

At the very least, even if the wise men were not Jewish, they would have been influenced by Daniel’s writings. At an earlier time, Daniel had been the Master of the Magians of Babylon (Daniel 2:48; 4:9; 5:11), so anything Daniel wrote would have been important to even Gentile magoi. Parts of the book of Daniel are even written in Aramaic (the international language of the eastern Gentiles), so that it could be read by them.

The star and the Feast of Tabernacles

There is one time of the year when Jews would typically look at the stars. That time was during the Festival of Tabernacles. As we already said, Jewish believers would build a tabernacle or booth known as a “sukkah” out of green tree branches. They would eat their meals and sleep in this sukkah for eight days. It was customary to leave a hole in the roof of the sukkah so that one could look at the stars. If the magoi were Jewish, then Jewish “wise men” celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles would have noticed the appearance of a new star.

Of course, if the magoi were Gentiles, it is still likely that a new star would have been noticed by them rather quickly. The Babylonian magoi excelled at astrology. As a matter of fact, the Babylonians are generally credited with the birth of astrology.

The year of Yeshua’s birth

Yeshua was born while Herod the Great was still living (Matthew 2:1). Wise men appeared in Jerusalem asking about “one who has been born king of the Jews?” Of course, this upset Herod, who had been given the title “King of the Jews” by the Roman Senate. Herod talked to the wise men secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared (Matthew 2:7). The wise men then journeyed to Bethlehem and found Yeshua, Miriam, and Joseph in a house (Matthew 2:11) and they bowed down and worshiped Yeshua.

When the wise men did not return to give Herod a report, “Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the wise men.  He was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the wise men” (Matthew 2:16).

This tells us that Yeshua may have been born two years before the appearance of the wise men and the death of Herod. Herod died the spring of 4 B.C.E. (according to the Jewish historian, Josephus). Let’s assume that the star appeared at Yeshua’ birth. Let’s also assume that Herod was already close to death when the wise men appeared. It was the custom in ancient Israel to count the years of one’s age from the date of conception – in other words, when a child is born he is one year old until his first birthday (this is still a practice in some oriental cultures). Therefore, Herod actually killed the children one year old and under according to the way that age is calculated today. This would mean that Yeshua had to have been born in 6 B.C.E. (if Yeshua was one year old) or 5 B.C.E. (if Yeshua was under one year and Herod was just being extra careful).

This date for Yeshua’s’ birth fits with other Biblical data such as Yeshuabeing “about thirty years old” when He began his ministry (Luke 3:23). From evidence given to us in John 2:20 about the construction of the temple, we know Yeshua’s’ ministry began in C.E. 26. Counting forward from 6 B.C.E. to C.E. 26 (one year has to be subtracted because there is no year zero) would make Yeshua 31 years old when he began his ministry — that is, about thirty years old. Counting forward from 5 B.C.E. to C.E. 26 would make Yeshua 30 years old when he began his ministry. The birth years of 5 or 6 B.C.E. also fit with the best date for the crucifixion, that is C.E. 30. Personally I opt for the 5 B.C.E. date, because I assume the wise men would want to come at once and the time for a journey from Babylon to Jerusalem takes only four months.

When was Yeshua born? Nothing is absolutely certain, because we are dealing with implications and assumptions, but a good guess from the Scriptures and history is September 29, 5 B.C.E.

Sources of Information for this Article:

  1. The Biblical Festivals: God’s Appointed Times from Hebraic Roots of Christianity by Eddie Chumney.
  2. The Gospel of Luke by William Hendriksen, Baker Book House.
  3. When was Yeshua born? by Christian Renewal Ministries International.
  4. New Testament History by F.F. Bruce, Anchor Books.
  5. When Was Yeshua Christ Born? by Mario Seiglie, The Good News, United Church of God, 1997.
  6. Life and Times of Yeshua the Messiah by Alfred Edersheim, 1890.
  7. The Companion Bible, Published by Kregel Publications.
  8. God’s Festivals in Scripture and History, Part 2 by Samuele Bacchiocchi, PhD. Available from: Biblical Perspectives
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Your Daily Readings – Verse of the Day – 2 Peter 1:3 – December 9, 2019

2 Peter 1

From: Shim‘on Kefa, a slave and emissary of Yeshua the Messiah

To: Those who, through the righteousness of our God and of our Deliverer Yeshua the Messiah, have been given the same kind of trust as ours:

May grace and shalom be yours in full measure, as you come to a full knowledge of God and Yeshua our Lord.

God’s power has given us everything we need for life and godliness, through our knowing the One who called us to his own glory and goodness. By these he has given us valuable and superlatively great promises, so that through them you might come to share in God’s nature and escape the corruption which evil desires have brought into the world.

For this very reason, try your hardest to furnish your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with perseverance, perseverance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if you have these qualities in abundance, they keep you from being barren and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. Indeed, whoever lacks them is blind, so shortsighted that he forgets that his past sins have been washed away. 10 Therefore, brothers, try even harder to make your being called and chosen a certainty. For if you keep doing this, you will never stumble. 11 Thus you will be generously supplied with everything you need to enter the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah.

12 For this reason, I will always remind you about these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you already have. 13 And I consider it right to keep stirring you up with reminders, as long as I am in the tent of this body. 14 I know that I will soon lay aside this tent of mine, as our Lord Yeshua the Messiah has made clear to me. 15 And I will do my best to see that after my exodus, you will be able to remember these things at all times.

16 For when we made known to you the power and the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, we did not rely on cunningly contrived myths. On the contrary, we saw his majesty with our own eyes. 17 For we were there when he received honor and glory from God the Father; and the voice came to him from the grandeur of the Sh’khinah, saying, “This is my son, whom I love; I am well pleased with him!” 18 We heard this voice come out of heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.

19 Yes, we have the prophetic Word made very certain. You will do well to pay attention to it as to a light shining in a dark, murky place, until the Day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts. 20 First of all, understand this: no prophecy of Scripture is to be interpreted by an individual on his own; 21 for never has a prophecy come as a result of human willing — on the contrary, people moved by the Ruach HaKodesh spoke a message from God.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved


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