Why I Don’t Celebrate Christmas

Christmas is a hugely popular holiday celebrated by some 2 billion people worldwide. Even people in nations with little or no Christian history or tradition (Including China) are celebrating it in increasing numbers.

Christmas is so big that it plays a key role in the economies of many nations.

Why would anyone not want to celebrate Christmas like nearly everybody else?

1. Jesus wasn’t born on or near December 25.

Remember those shepherds who were “living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night”? (Luke 2:8). December weather around Bethlehem is often miserably cold, wet and rainy. No shepherd in his right mind would have kept his flocks outside at night at that time of year!

As an aside, the flocks raised near Bethlehem, which was near Jerusalem, were for sacrifice at the Jerusalem temple. Jesus, the Lamb of God sacrificed for mankind, was born in a manger at the city where the sacrificial lambs were raised.

The Complete Book of American Holidays tells us that Luke’s account of Christ’s birth “suggests that Jesus may have been born in summer or early fall. Since December is cold and rainy in Judea, it is likely the shepherds would have sought shelter for their flocks at night” (p. 309) rather than keeping them outdoors.

Also, Luke 2:1-4 tells us that Jesus was born in Bethlehem because his parents came to that town to register in a Roman census. The Romans were well known as highly efficient administrators. It would have made no sense to have conducted a census in the dead of winter, when temperatures often dropped below freezing and traveling was difficult due to poor road conditions. Taking a census under such conditions would have been self-defeating!

2. The Christmas holiday is largely a recycled pagan celebration.

Consider the customs associated with Christmas. What do decorated evergreen trees, holly, mistletoe, yule logs, a jolly plump man in a fur-lined red suit, sleighs and flying reindeer have to do with the birth of Jesus Christ?

None of these things have anything to do with Him, but they have a lot to do with ancient pagan festivals.

How did December 25 come to be assigned as the supposed date of Jesus Christ’s birth? It is believed that the emperor Constantine adhered to Mithraism, a worship of the sun, up to the time of his conversion to Christianity. He was probably instrumental in seeing that the major feast of his old religion was carried over to his new faith” ( The Christmas Almanac, 1979, p. 17).

It’s difficult to determine the first time anyone celebrated Dec. 25 as Christmas, but historians generally agree that it was sometime during the fourth century—some 300 years after Christ’s death. And then a contrived date was chosen because it was already a popular pagan holiday celebrating the birth of the sun god!

Similarly, virtually all of the customs associated with Christmas are recycled from ancient pagan festivals honoring other gods.

3. God condemns using pagan customs to worship Him.

Since Christmas is supposedly a day to worship and celebrate God the Father and Jesus Christ, wouldn’t it be a good idea to look into the Bible to see what it says about how we should worship God?

The answer is quite clear. God gives specific instruction about using pagan practices to worship Him. Notice what He says in Deuteronomy 12:30-31a (NIV) “and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.” 31 You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates”.

And lest some think this is simply an Old Testament command that no longer applies, the apostle Paul makes the same point in 2 Corinthians 6, where he addresses whether unbiblical religious customs and practices have any place in the worship of God’s people:

The apostle Paul told them in no uncertain terms to leave behind all these forms of worship and worship God in true holiness as He commands. Jesus likewise said His true followers “must worship Him in spirit and truth” (John 4:24)—not revel in recycled pagan customs and symbolism.

4. Christmas is worshiping God in vain.

Since Christmas is a jumble of ancient pagan customs invented by men, and a holiday found nowhere in the Bible, does God honor or accept such worship?

Jesus provides the answer in His stern rebuke of the religious teachers of His day, men who had substituted human traditions and teachings for God’s divine truths and commands: “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites . . . ‘in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ . . . All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:6-9).

In the 17th century Christmas was actually outlawed in England and some parts of the American colonies because of its unbiblical and pagan origins.

5. You can’t put Christ back into something He was never in.Putting Christ back in Christmas may sound like a nice sentiment, but it’s really only a misguided effort to try to justify a long-standing human tradition rather than what the Bible tells us we should do.

6. The Bible nowhere tells us to observe a holiday celebrating Jesus Christ’s birth—but it clearly does tell us to commemorate His death.

Notice what the apostle Paul, conveying the instructions of Jesus Himself, tells Christians: “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’

“In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes . . . Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Corinthians 11:23-28).

And yes, many believers do what they consider a form of this today in taking communion or “the Lord’s supper.” They fail to realize, however, the full significance of these acts, or that what Paul is actually describing here is the Passover — which is what Jesus Himself called this observance (Matthew 26:18-19; Mark 14:14-16; Luke 22:8-13, 15).

The point is: Jesus expected His followers to commemorate His death – not His birth – by observing the Passover.

I’ve given you my reasons for not celebrating Christmas. What do you suppose God thinks of your reasons for continuing to observe it?

Other resources:

Santa-tizing: What’s wrong with Christmas and how to clean it up by Robin Main. Heavily documented from Scripture and ancient history.

Post on Nov 25, 2006 by Scott Ashley. The Top 10 Reasons Why I Don’t Celebrate Christmas. Edited for brevity.

When Was Jesus Really Born? Jonathan Cahn on the Jim Bakker Show.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptlsXtTf6n0

The Impact of Words

It is so easy to impulsively say what I think, and later regret the impression I left.. There is much in the Bible that urges God’s children to be in charge of their words. Sometimes just stating a fact can be a strong influence for harm and would be better left unspoken.

Conversely, we have all probably been victims of someone else’s impulsive words. We know how it hurts to be wrongly spoken of. So why is it so easy to speak quickly and regret in leisure?

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Perhaps part of the reason for impulsive words is that we want to fill an empty moment. Why not practice speaking blessings? It isn’t necessary to sound like a Pollyanna to make a positive comment.

Even in one’s silent thoughts it is important to “think” positively. One can curse oneself by focusing on failures or instances where “I wish I could have done better”. But when I constantly direct my mind to kind thoughts and ideas, that’s most likely what will come out of my mouth.

Breaking bad habits takes patience and persistence. But it is important, with the help of the precious Holy Spirit, to begin to bear His fruit. In your quiet time, spend time meditating on the positive qualities you observe in others – or wish you could in yourself. Then, speak those thoughts to bless and encourage others. Let peace be the atmosphere you bring with you when you meet others for conversation.

Speak blessings:

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

Luke 6:28 …bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.

Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

James 3:10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Numbers 24:9b “Blessed is he who blesses you, And cursed is he who curses you.”

Deuteronomy 28 (NIV) Blessings for Obedience

1 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:

3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

7 The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

8 The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

9 The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you.

11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.

12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.

13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.

14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.

 

Fruit of the Spirit

Last week’s post spoke of what grafting meant. Only with grafting can a sprout produce consistent, high-quality fruit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering (patience), gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness (humility), and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

The Greek word translated “fruit” refers to the natural product of a living thing. Paul used “fruit” to help us understand the character of the Holy Spirit, who lives inside every believer. The fruit of the Spirit is produced by the Spirit, not by the Christian. The Greek word is singular, showing that “fruit” is a unified whole, not independent characteristics. As we grow, all the characteristics of Christ will be manifested in our lives.

Yet, just as physical fruit needs time to grow, the fruit of the Spirit will not ripen in our lives overnight. As successful gardeners must battle against weeds and insects to enjoy the sweet fruit they desire, we must constantly work to rid our lives of the “weeds” of our old sin nature that want to choke out the work of the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit gives us the power we need to crucify the old sin nature. We can say “no” to sin and accept the “way out” God faithfully provides (1 Corinthians 10:13) by following the Holy Spirit’s leading.

As we give the Spirit more control of our lives, He begins to do in and through us what only He can do – to shape us and grow us to look more like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).

Since God’s goal for all His children is for us to be like Jesus (Romans 8:29), the Holy Spirit constantly works to eliminate the “acts of the sinful nature” (Gal 5:19) and display His fruit instead. Therefore, the presence of the “fruit of the Spirit” is evidence that our character is becoming more like Jesus’.

The word “Spirit” is spelled with a capital “S” which means these nine traits are coming directly from the Holy Spirit, not from ourselves. It is not the result of any effort anyone can make. Not the effort to have faith or to be loving and kind. The fruit of the Spirit has nothing directly to do with any exertion a believer can make.

The fruit of the Spirit is the natural result of the presence of the Holy Spirit residing in a believer. Philippians 2:13 says, “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Conversely, Isaiah 64:6 says, “all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment…” In and of ourselves, we cannot do good. As Hebrews 13:20-21 says, “Now may the God of peace … equip you with everything good that you may do His will.” God accomplishes this as the Holy Spirit indwells believers, changing their character (Philippians 1:6) and manifesting His character.

The most important concept regarding the fruit of the Spirit is that it is the Spirit’s fruit. We are often admonished to be more loving, to have joy, or to be kind, but without the power of the Holy Spirit in us we can’t. It is the Holy Spirit who gives love (1 John 4:7), joy (1 Thessalonians 1:6), peace (Romans 8:6), patience (Colossians 1:11), gentleness (2 Corinthians 10:1), goodness (2 Thessalonians 1:11), faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), humility (James 4:6), and self-control (2 Peter 1:6). Here’s another thought: the precious Holy Spirit is far more than the nine fruit named in Galatians 22. He is also integrity, wisdom, steadfastness. He is an infinite resource of everything we need and hunger for.

As our graft sends out tiny root hairs to drink deeply of the sweet nourishment of the root-stock we grow and are strengthened and begin to blossom and the character of the Holy One can be detected. How gentle and long-suffering He is with His wild shoots grafted in to the root-stock of Jesus.

 

 

 

I AM the Vine

Grafting is a common horticulture technique. It’s an efficient method of propagation that produces offspring genetically identical to the original plant.

What is grafting?

Grafting typically involves joining together parts of two plants to function as a single plant. One of the plants provides the lower trunk and root system. It’s called the rootstock. (That’s Jesus) The other plant provides the upper portion (stems, leaves, flowers and fruit) that has the desirable characteristics (beautiful flowers or delicious fruit) called the scion.

The rootstock and scion must be closely related and compatible for the graft to be successful. (Jesus said a wild branch could be grafted into Him; that’s us gentiles!)

In general, a wound of some type is made on the stock plant. (Jesus was wounded for us.) A piece of the scion plant is then inserted into the wound.

That means the roots of the stock can provide water and minerals to the scion, and the scion can produce food in its leaves and send it down to the roots of the stock. This creates a functioning plant composed of two genetically different parts.

Why graft

As in other methods of vegetative or asexual plant propagation, grafting allows us to create exact genetic duplicates of superior individual plants.

If you find a superior pecan tree, for instance, grafting allows the efficient creation of thousands of pecan trees with those exact, superior characteristics. And grafted fruit trees will bloom and produce sooner than those propagated by seeds (which do not produce genetically identical offspring).

By Dan Gill, The Times-Picayune garden columnist                      Editing and emphasis mine. https://www.nola.com/homegarden/index.ssf/2015/03/how_when_and_why_plants_are_gr.html

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Just as a vine’s branches rely on being connected to the trunk from which they receive their energy to bear fruit, Jesus’ disciples depend on being connected to Him for their spiritual life and the ability to bear strong, healthy fruit. The fruit we produce is that of the Holy Spirit—love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness (humility), and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23 KJV). Our source of life and spiritual fruit is not in ourselves; it is in Christ Jesus. We can live and serve Him only if we are intimately connected to Him in a faith/love relationship as the above description of grafting describes.

Jesus emphasized His point by saying, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). This illustration of the vine and branches is no thoughtless generality or careless simile. It is absolute, stark reality. No believer can achieve anything of spiritual value independently of Jesus. All true branches bear fruit. Just as we know a healthy, living tree by the good fruit it produces, so do we recognize fruitless branches as having no connection to the True Vine. This is why Jesus tells us, “By their fruit you will know them” (Matthew 7:16–20). Those who do not produce good fruit are cut away and burned.

We depend on Jesus for everything, including our very life—“For in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). No one can truly serve God until he is grafted into Jesus. Jesus is our only connection with the God who gives life and who produces in us the sweet, healthy fruit of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, humility, and self-control which are character traits of the precious Holy Spirit.

Taken from: What did Jesus mean when He said, “I am the True Vine” (John 15:1)? Edited for brevity.                                          GotQuestions.org. https://www.gotquestions.org/true-vine.html

I grew up thinking the fruit of the Spirit were character traits of a Christian, so I worked hard at developing each one; but eventually I gave up. I couldn’t develop patience, for example. I did not tolerate fools gladly! Then one day the Light dawned and I understood that those nine characteristics belonged to the Holy Spirit and He wanted to permeate me with His character!! Oh! What a welcome revelation. Being knit with Jesus as my rootstock and being fed from the richness of my dearly Beloved, the fruit I long to bear is sending out buds and tiny shoots. It is amazing that we are commanded in God’s Word to bear fruit and then the way is provided by Jesus being wounded for us to be grafted in – even wild branches can be engrafted. Our part is to surrender all to Him. He gave everything for me. How can I give less than all I have and all I am in return for His sacrifice and pain to buy me back from Satan and restore me to His original plan for my life? Not to mention the deeply satisfying intimacy of knowing Him and being known of Him in ways that challenge description.

 

Cities of Refuge

In the ancient Middle East it was the custom among the heathen to take a life for a life, an eye for an eye, etc. God set His people apart by directing Moses and Joshua to choose six Levite cities in the Promised Land as places of refuge for the accidental murder of a fellow Hebrew. A person guilty of accidentally killing another could flee the blood avenger by running to one of these cities.

The six cities were to be strategically placed, three on the east and three on the west side of the Jordan River. The avenger was the person who was to protect the family’s rights, so the cities of refuge were provision for the hapless murderer to escape the victim’s family.

There were certain rules to be followed concerning who could come to the city to find asylum from the avenger in each situation (Num. 35: 22-25).

  1. The slaying had to be accidental and not premeditated (Num. 35:16-21).
  2. The person had to flee immediately to the city of refuge. He was safe from the avenger only when he was inside the city.
  3. The person was not safe from vengeance if/when he decided to leave the city. The unintentional killer was a prisoner within the city walls (Num. 35: 26-28).
  4. When the High Priest died the unintentional murderer could safely return home (Num. 35:25, 28).
  5. The law included aliens as well as citizens (Num. 35:15).
  6. The manslayer could not pay a ransom instead of fleeing to or staying in a city of refuge. If a ransom could be paid, a poor person would be at a great disadvantage (Num. 35:31).

In spite of the harsh rules instituted in early Israel, the provision of refuge cities showed God’s mercy for the innocent. Without these cities many people could have been killed who were innocent. This foreshadows God’s grace and mercy toward the innocent and the poor who could not have paid a ransom for their lives. Unnecessary bloodshed was not a part of God’s nature. These six cities were to be easily accessible to all travelers and prominently located. They were to be prepared by the city fathers sitting in the gate waiting for offenders to come. The gates were never closed and where there were crossroads, there were to be signs clearly pointing to the city of refuge.

I found in some Jewish writings that ”No hillock or river was allowed to be in the way, over which there was not a bridge….” “And in every double way, or in the parting of ways, was written, Refuge, refuge” lest he that fled thither might mistake the way.” “The mothers of the High Priests used to feed and clothe those that for murder were shut up in the cities of refuge, that they might not pray for the death of their sons – since the fugitive was to be restored to his country and friends at the death of the High Priest….” (https:www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/lightfoot-new-testament/matthew/centuries/of-the- cities-of-efuge.html)

Kedesh #6946 in Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary means sanctuary, the ultimate refuge.

“I saw no temple in the city for the Lord God Omnipotent and the Lamb are its temple’ Rev. 21:22.

Psalm 20:1-2 (NIV) May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;

may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.

2 May he send you help from the sanctuary

and grant you support from Zion.

Shechem #7926 (Strong’s) between the shoulders, as the place of burdens. “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:17, 18).

Isaiah 14:24-25 (ESV)

24 The Lord of hosts has sworn:

“As I have planned,

so shall it be,

and as I have purposed,

so shall it stand,

25 that I will break the Assyrian in My land,

and on My mountains trample him underfoot;

and his yoke shall depart from them (Israel),

and his burden from their (Israel’s) shoulder.”

Hebron #2275 (Strong’s) seat of association.

“God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” 1 Corinthians 1:9.

Psalm 45:6-7 “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. 7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

Bezer #1221 (Strong’s) an inaccessible spot; fortress.

“For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” Colossians 3:3.

Psalm 40:2 “He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock and established my goings.”

Ramoth #7216 (Strong’s) heights.

“He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me upon my high places” Psalms 18:33 (KJV).

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” Ephesians 2:6-7 (NIV).

Golan #1473 (Strong’s) captive.

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

Isaiah 5:13 (AMP) “Therefore My people go into exile because they lack knowledge [of God]; And their honorable men are famished, And their common people are parched with thirst.”

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Let’s take a closer look at Hebron. The word comes from a root (#2275) that means to unite or be joined as in a marriage or a strong alliance as in occult practices. According to Joshua 21:10-13 Hebron was given to the Kohathite branch of the Levites which would have included the High Priests. They received no land but they could live in specifically assigned cities and villages.

Deuteronomy 10:8-9 (NIV) “At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still do today. 9 That is why the Levites have no share or inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance, as the Lord your God told them.”

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The Cities of Refuge city fathers had authority to hold court to determine the murderer’s guilt or innocence. If it was an accident, he was given a place of safety in the city. As long as the man stayed in the city he was secure. The power of the city fathers in the Cities of Refuge was unquestioned.

The foreshadowing of God’s character and His plan for the new nation of Israel is revealed in the names of these six cities of refuge. An amazing God.

These cities of refuge are graphic symbols of salvation to be found in Jesus. The cities are for us today a reminder that Jesus is a place of safety. Just as there was a death sentence on anyone who took the life of another, so there is a death sentence on all born in the human race because of Adam and Eve’s sin and subsequent fallen nature. We are guilty both by birth and by choice.

Following is an interesting article about Abner’s murder by Joab in the gate of Hebron. https://fascinatedbytheword.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/abners-death-in-the-gate-of-hebron/

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons from the Kohathites. Part IV

TEAMWORK

S, J. and I worked as a team when a newly converted gay dancer with the State Arts Bureau asked for deliverance. We chose S as our leader, with J. as a male co-leader.  Again, I was present as a silent watcher/intercessor/servant.

J. was unassuming but mighty in the Lord and I held him in high esteem. He taught English to adult professionals and used this opportunity for witnessing. After the new believers were established he started cell groups specifically for Christian leadership training. I remember the first year how careful he was to lay a solid foundation in the Word. More than twelve to fifteen individuals became a security risk for meetings, so he kept dividing, and by the end of the second year he had possibly two dozen cells-far too many to maintain by himself. I also remember when several Chinese businesswomen told him the Lord was calling them to be pastors. He lived in an apartment just above me and came down so we could talk about this or that problem. He had been taught that women shouldn’t be in positions of authority, but he recognized the call on their lives, so we talked about weakness inherent in male and female leadership so that he could prepare them properly.

J. was not an intercessor in the usual sense of the term, but once in a while he would knock on my door and say the Lord had sent him to pray for me, or my brother. He had not met anyone from my family but when we began to pray the Lord came down in a way I can only describe as awesome and powerful! Onetime, we were praying and the Spirit led me to speak to some demons troubling him. Deliverance! This was an unplanned event but he accepted it so humbly. Of course, confidentiality was extremely important because J was a fellowship leader. The Scripture in 1 Corinthians 13 about concealing what might hurt someone you love comes to mind.

SERVANT

In another university in a different city I acted as a personal intercessor for a European teacher of French. Although he was a Catholic religious and I a Protestant charismatic, he actively sought out my prayers and even allowed me to hold him accountable at times.  This was a heavy responsibility, so I shared everything with a married, Spirit-filled young woman, to help me stay balanced and pure. These types of intimate interrelationships are precious beyond telling – the trust and respect held for one another in the Body of Christ. Nevertheless, I’m not so foolish as to present these people as being perfected already. Commitment to the Lord, knowing who we are in Him, and trust in each other is the key.

I mailed money to A, an African student of medicine when he was transferred to another Chinese city after learning Mandarin in Beijing. The Chinese postal workers hated me for that, so finally I started mailing the money as cash, which was risky. A. wasn’t a good communicator, not even telling me if and when he received the money, but at the end of his stay in China he called me with a story. It seems the head of the university where he studied feared and hated him because he was active in organizing protests when the school authorities were abusive. You see, the Chinese educated African students in exchange for foreign currency to pay tuition, room and board. To increase the amount of money the Chinese could keep, they refused to heat the dorms and even limited the amount of food they served. Worse, A. was isolated, his food and spending allowance withheld. He had no other way to get food until I sent money! When he returned to Beijing he was very thin but in high spirits.

KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS

Since returning from China I have been praying for the fulfillment of the redemptive gifting over this area. M is to be a City of Refuge to the weary travelers and ministers who pass through. We who live here are to be hospitable and offer what we have to refresh and restore our brothers and sisters in Jesus to strength and vitality.

I have tried to make my home hospitable to those who need a place to sleep while traveling, or to store things in my garage for a period of time as a concrete way to pronounce redemptive blessings on my American home town. And I can feel the recoil of the enemy. I kept a youth ministry couple in my extra bedroom for nearly a week two different years. Perhaps they will tell others about my extra bedroom.

My purpose in writing is to tell why being “second” is my gifting and that I find it deeply satisfying. Whether I am a door guard or an emergency intercessor, or inspire others to worship and sing to Jesus, it is all a joy. Coming along side those who carry the responsibility of leadership is not always joyful; for they aren’t always kind or understanding of their need, but my obedience brings a sacred intimacy with the Holy Spirit that defies description.

People tend to be unperceptive and I don’t need affirmation in these areas. My walk is with Jesus only and my desire is to be obedient to His promptings. Each committed Christian has a unique story to tell. The inability to tell it just makes the intimacy with Jesus the more treasured.

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Deut. 10:8-9 “At that time the Lord separated the tribe of Levi to bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister to Him and to bless in His name, to this day. Therefore Levi has no portion nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance, just as the Lord your God promised him.

 

PROPHETIC STATEMENT CONCERNING 2019 AND BEYOND

From my prophetic friend:

Beginning in the fall months of 2016 and continuing through the calendar year of 2018, the Father has been using a strategy of “the turn-about”. The turn-about affects the national and international geopolitical governments of man, and creates an effect of taking what was intended for evil by the one-world-government leaders in America and across the globe and thereby “turning things about” – turning things into positive results for the Kingdom government of God. Every mechanism used to deceitfully create nefarious outcomes has been exposed and turned into something God uses for good.

Now, what is next – what will 2019 be like and how will it impact America and the entire earth? The answer is that now “turn-about is fair play”. In other words, what the enemy has created for evil will not only be turned into something good for God’s people, but it will seek “fair play” (justice) and be turned back against the perpetrators and the evil ones. When this occurs, the evil doers will experience seven times the level of destruction that they intended for God’s people and for America. Up to now, turn- around and turn-about has occurred to expose and deliver God’s people. Now, the enemy will suffer extreme judgment for the evil seeds that he has sowed for decades all across the nation and the earth. Now, “fair play” will bring down strongholds – not just expose them – and come back against the evil ones. The bringing down of strong holds (“the deep state”) will last for three years involving 2019, 2020, and 2021.

2019 will become known as “The Year of Man’s Government” as directed by the Holy Spirit. The manifestation of God’s Kingdom Government will become congruent with the Government of Man in America. The process of bringing Kingdom Government back into the realm of Man’s Government will begin to accelerate within the three-year period noted above. This process will conclude its mission in ten years – by the end of 2028. The deep state will be obliterated and completely replaced by moral and ethical government. What happens in America will spread to many other areas of the globe and will bring many other governments into congruence with America.

Summarizing . . .

First came a tectonic shift on the earth (2016).                                                                                Second, came the turn-about (2017-2018).                                                                                      Third, and now, the “fair play” or judgment (justice) comes back upon the shoulders of evildoers (2019-2020-2021).                                                                                                                  Fourth, comes the maturation process lasting a total of ten years that will complete the bringing of America back to its roots of Judeo-Christian heritage (2028).

The Great Awakening has begun. More on this topic later.

Kohathites III – Temple Servants

This is part III of the lesson on Kohathites. In this section I tell stories about some of my experiences as a Kohathite in real life.

TEMPLE SERVANTS

Several years after the above Scriptures were given to me the Lord gave me more about who the Kohathites were. In I Chronicles 16:4 King David appointed some Levites to make petition before the Ark of the Covenant. Some of these same men were gatekeepers (verse 38).

I Chronicles 16:4 “And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, and to record, and to thank and to praise the Lord God of Israel.”

Minister (#8334) to attend as a menial or worshipper; to contribute to: – serve, wait on.

Record (#2142) to mark so as to be recognized; to remember, by implication to mention: – to call to remembrance….

In Ezra 7:24 porters are mentioned. #8652/8651 calls them doorkeepers. I Chronicles 15:23-24 names several individuals who were doorkeepers for the Ark. The Hebrew definition of a door keeper is #7778/8179 a janitor: – doorkeeper, porter. To split or open; to act as a gatekeeper; keeper of a palace gate.

This definition has a lot of meaning for me because in Asian cultures specific individuals have the keys to various doors. The keeper of the keys may be a janitor, a lowly person, but with more power than the occupants of the building. I and my students have stood outside a classroom door waiting for the one with the key to unlock the padlock so we could have a lesson. In the spiritual sense, the gate keeper was a door guard with much power to present himself to the Lord on behalf of others.

Asaph was a well-known Kohathite and a recorder in the temple during David’s time.  He also was a musician and his descendants were musicians. One of Asaph’s contemporaries was a gate keeper and musician: Jeduthan (#3038/3034). His very name means laudatory; open, extended hands as in reverence and worship; make confession, give thanks. What a beautiful name! Apparently this man also had prophetic abilities (II Chron. 35:15). Jeduthan wrote Psalms 39, 62, and 77.

Jeduthan’s sons were gate keepers. One of his sons was Obed-edom (#5654/5647) whose name meant to serve, till, enslave; bond servant, worshipper. Obed-edom’s house was where King David left the ark after the Lord struck down Uzzah for touching it to steady it during a rough cart ride while it was being moved to Jerusalem. You can read the story in II Samuel 6.

DOORKEEPER

My first ministry experience was back in the late 70s when a friend asked me to take her through deliverance. I didn’t want to work alone (Kohathites form alliances, remember?), so we agreed on a third woman to do the actual ministry. I was to be the silent, prayerful “watcher” (not the priest; just a servant).

The one going through deliverance experienced a mental shut-down; that is, her brain couldn’t retain the words of confession and repentance she was repeating after the “minister.” I stopped them and asked the “minister” to speak just one or two words at a time so the one experiencing the opposition could say just one or two words of renunciation at a time. After a few minutes she was able to relax and we continued peacefully to a sweet conclusion.

This experience confirmed something about being in the place God wanted me and the satisfaction that resulted. Not long after that I sometimes traveled with a lady minister who recognized my gifting and used me as an intercessor. I didn’t really understand how valuable my gifting was and wondered why she asked my opinion from time to time. Fortunately I was wary.

ALLIES

I first became involved in strategic-level warfare in Beijing in the 1990s. To be as concrete as possible I will use initials so that you can follow my story without betraying anyone’s identity.

The 30-something team members in Beijing were extremely varied in religious and cultural background. We made teams according to our giftings and preferences with the goal of praying through the city of 12 million according to historical sites dedicated to devils. Everyone helped to compile a history by researching folk stories and finding out what Daoism, Buddhism and animism involved. We compiled lists of city officials, their phone numbers and addresses, etc.  Then groups went on-site to do warfare prayer which was risky, so no one was coerced. Only three of us chose to stay home and do intercession for the teams. As you might imagine, we became very close and maintained our relationships long after the two-year warfare thrust. The leader of the warfare and I became close as well. (Kohathites are a gift of the Lord to the Body and they make alliances.)

At each meeting, the first item of business was confession of sin – out loud to each other.  That sure helped us to stay as close to the Lord as possible! Who wants to confess sin in front of others?! Because of this the principalities over the city were stirred up and tried to kill members. For example, S and some friends were traveling to the International Christian Fellowship venue when their taxi hit a median and flipped over. That type of taxi had a high center of gravity and often one would roll, catch fire and burn with no one escaping. However, the covering prayers of brothers and sisters saved all of them, even the driver. No one was injured! Other weird things happened, such as knocks at the door when nobody was there although footsteps could be heard running away down the hall.

This was a spirit of death though I didn’t know it at the time. When my mother came to visit me in the winter of 1995 the two of us went from door to door throughout the foreign student dormitory anointing the doors with oil and praying deliverance prayers.  The key to our safety was the stripping of ourselves in humility before each other to be clean so that the enemy couldn’t use our weaknesses against us. Later I learned that the foreign students’ dormitory was built over an ancient burial ground where the graves of the dead had been disturbed. But there was no more knocking and running footsteps after Mom and I prayed through the building.

CLEANING HOUSE

In another situation during this same period of time, a Taiwanese Christian lady really liked S and me, so she invited us to her house nearly every Sunday for fellowship. Her wealthy American husband had rented the whole courtyard complex in a historic area.  Their two little boys couldn’t sleep at night, and had terrible nightmares, awoke  screaming and refused to go back into the room they slept in. Finally, she asked S and me to “clean” the house. Never in my life could I have imagined what that would be like!  We chose to limit the “cleaning” to two hours each Sunday afternoon and bound other demons from further manifestation during the lapses.

We asked H to find out what she could about the house. Apparently generations of a high level official had lived in the house from the Ming Dynasty, the first owner being a close relative of the emperor, possibly 400 years ago. When S and I began to pray there was loud, desperate wailing in the spirit realm. I seemed to be the one to express the wailing and deep anguish. I could see beautiful young girls clutching and pulling at their clothes and bodies, weeping inconsolably. They were forcing themselves to vomit…. How is this possible, I wondered? But being Chinese, H understood immediately that the girls had been raped in the apartment and out on the unusually commodious balcony in full view of the gaping crowds of men standing below. The resulting babies were sacrificed to the gods. Her research had confirmed what I saw in the Spirit but had no prior knowledge of.

After praying through the house with binding and loosing, we went out to the balcony and washed it with soapy water and brooms. There were potted trees on the balcony forced into circles and I cut them all free after asking for permission since this is a Chinese custom related to the gathering of Qi (In Daoism, qi is “breath” or “air” and is very powerful). The Lord gave us the redemptive vision of a lighthouse on that spot. Now the little boys slept peacefully after those weeks of intense war.

 

Kohathites’ Service in the Temple

This is part II of IV of a lesson on the Kohathites’ service in the Tabernacle, and later the Temple, as the Lord used it to speak to me about my function in His plan for my life.

Division of Labor in the Temple

According to Ezra 2:40-43 and I Chronicles 6, there were divisions within the Levites.  The line of high priests would descend directly from Aaron. Keeping in mind that Moses and Aaron’s parents were Kohathites, other Kohathites were temple servants. The Nethinim were Kohathite servants which included singers called Korahites. (Asaph was David’s chief singer) and gatekeepers (Korahites and Merarites).

In Joshua 21 we read that Hebron in Judah went to Aaron’s descendants, the high priests;

Shechem in Ephraim went to other Kohathites;

Kadesh in Galilee (Naphtali) went to the Gershonites.

All these cities were located west of the Jordan.

Golan in Bashan (Manasseh) also went to the Gershonites;

Ramah in Gilead (Gad) went to the Merariites;

Bezar in Reuben also went to the Merariites.

These cities were located east of the Jordan.

Gershonites were in charge of the treasury, gifts, spoils (I Chron. 26:21-27).

Kohathites, other than the descendants of Aaron, were priests and temple servants  (Num. 4:37). During times of sojourning they were responsible for packing and carrying the most holy portion of the vessels and tabernacle furniture, including the ark itself, on their shoulders.

Merariites were over the service of song (I Chron. 6:31-33).

Warning

I believe we are gifted at conception with spiritual gifts just as we receive our unique DNA. What we do with what we are given is critical to our lives and the lives of those around us who could benefit from our giftings. One who has a strong gift in the area of perception (wisdom and knowledge) must submit the gifting to the Lord or be guilty of heresy. Having studied Hebron and having received a stern warning from the Lord about renouncing power not submitted to or disciplined by Him, I searched the Word for warnings about the occult. A Christian dare not exploit the power within. Instead, in the fear of the Lord I shake my hands free and avoid situations that might compromise me.

Kirjath-arba was a Philistine city known for it’s magic (Josh. 14: 13-15). I took that to mean that I needed to search myself and get rid of all occult tendencies, personally and ancestrally, and surrender any power of my own to Him, even to the point of being powerless that He might be exalted.

To have any dealings with spiritism is to be defiled and therefore unfit to appear before God in worship.

Lev. 19:31 “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.”

Dabblers in any form of the occult were to be killed.  Leviticus 20:27 and Deuteronomy 18:9-12. “A man or also a woman that has a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall be put to death.…”

“….you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations.  There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, or who uses divination,

or who is a soothsayer,

or an augur,

or a sorcerer,

or a charmer,

or a medium,

or a wizard,

or a necromancer.

For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord: and it is because of these abominable practices that the Lord your God is driving them out from before you.”

To have any dealings with spiritism is to be defiled and therefore unfit to appear before God in worship.

Leviticus 19:31AMP “Turn not to those who have familiar spirits (mediums), neither seek after wizards; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.”

It is because of spiritism that the Canaanites were destroyed. Deut.18:12b (see above). The enormity of the sin of disobedience was compared to spiritism and/or witchcraft. I Sam. 15:23 “….for rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.”

When Saul was zealous for God he cleared the land of mediums (I Sam. 28:3). Only after his sins had made communication with God impossible did Saul consult a medium (I Sam. 28:7). Saul’s wretched death was partially caused by consulting a witch (I Chron. 10:13).  God was angered by other kings who dabbled in magic (II Chron. 33:6).

One of the reasons for Israel going into exile was their traffic in spiritism.

Isaiah 2:6 “Surely, [Lord] You have rejected and forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with the customs from the east and with soothsayers who foretell like the Philistines, also they strike hands and make pledges and agreements with the children of aliens.”

It is insulting to God for people to consult the dead when they can inquire of Him. In the New Testament the rich man could not communicate with his brothers after death, nor could Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). Also see Acts 8:6-24 and 13:6-12.

Isaiah 8:19AMP “And when the people [instead of putting their trust in God] shall say to you (Isaiah), Consult for direction mediums and wizards who chirp and mutter, should not a people seek and consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?”

Converts in the New Testament brought their books of curious arts and burned them before all men (Acts 19:19).

Spiritism is one of the works of the flesh.

Galatians 5:19-21AMP “Now the practices of the flesh are obvious: they are immorality, impurity, indecency; idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), factions, sects with peculiar opinions (heresies), envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand just as I did previously that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Revelation 21:8 AMP “But as for the cowards and the ignoble and the contemptible and the cravenly lacking in courage

and the cowardly submissive;

and as for the unbelieving and faithless;

and as for the depraved and the defiled with abominations;

and as for murderers and the lewd and adulterous

and the practicers of magic arts

and the idolaters [those who give supreme devotion to anyone or anything other                  than God]

and all liars [those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed,

all of these shall have] their part in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone. This is the second death.”

Revelation 22:14-15AMP (emphasis mine) Blessed are those who cleanse their garments that they may have the right to the tree of life and to enter in through the gates to the city.

For without are dogs and sorcerers

and whoremongers and murderers

and idolaters

and whoever loves and deals in falsehood –

untruth, error, deception, cheating.

 

One last observation: Renewed activity in spiritism and interest in its teaching is a sign of the last days.  

I Timothy 4:1-2AMP (emphasis mine) But the (Holy) Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in the latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared (cauterized)….

Temple Servants

Several years after the above Scriptures were given to me the Lord gave me more about who the Kohathites were. In I Chronicles 16:4 King David appointed some Levites to make petition before the Ark of the Covenant. Some of these same men were gatekeepers  (verse 38).

I Chronicles 16:4 “And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, and to record, and to thank and to praise the Lord God of Israel.”

Minister (#8334) to attend as a menial or worshipper; to contribute to: – serve, wait on.

Record (#2142) to mark so as to be recognized; to remember, by implication to mention: – to call to remembrance….

In Ezra 7:24 porters are mentioned. #8652/8651 calls them doorkeepers. I Chronicles 15:23-24 names several individuals who were doorkeepers for the Ark. The Hebrew definition of a door keeper is #7778/8179 a janitor: – doorkeeper, porter. To split or open; to act as a gatekeeper; keeper of a palace gate.

This definition has a lot of meaning for me because in Asian cultures specific individuals have the keys to all doors. The keeper of the keys may be a janitor, a lowly person, but with more power than the occupants of the building. I and my students have stood outside a classroom door waiting for the one with the key to unlock the padlock so we could have a lesson. In the spiritual sense, the gate keeper was a door guard with much power to present himself to the Lord on behalf of others.

Asaph was a well-known Kohathite and a recorder in the temple during David’s time.  He also was a musician and his descendants were musicians. One of Asaph’s contemporaries was a gate keeper and musician: Jeduthan (#3038/3034). His very name means laudatory; open, extended hands as in reverence and worship; make confession, give thanks. What a beautiful name! Apparently this man also had prophetic abilities (II Chron. 35:15). Jeduthan wrote Psalms 39, 62, and 77.

Jeduthan’s sons were gate keepers. One of his sons was Obed-edom (#5654/5647) whose name meant to serve, till, enslave; bond servant, worshipper. Obed-edom’s house was where King David left the ark after the Lord struck down Uzzah for touching it to steady it during a rough cart ride while it was being moved to Jerusalem. You can read the story in II Samuel 6.

 

Kohathites 

part I of III

This study is how the Lord spoke over a period of years to me about how I was to be a servant to all those to whom I was sent. His admonitions and His desire for me/His servants to be holy and consecrated to Him is spelled out clearly in the following study.

While the Hebrews were still in Goshen in Egypt, the Lord was giving Moses instructions regarding the Passover when all the first-born would be killed, except where the blood of a lamb was placed on the door-posts and sides of the door of Hebrew dwellings.

“The Israelites were to redeem their first-born sons; they were never to slay them in human sacrifice. In this way the people were reminded emphatically of the extent to which the Lord had gone to free them from slavery. He had spared their first-born even as He slew the first-born of Egypt, human and animal, to buy their freedom. Later, the Lord claimed the Levites for Himself in exchange for the first-born sons of the people (Numbers 3:40-51).” (Ex. 13:13 comment in the Nelson Study Bible NJKV, 1997; p.121) Emphasis on the substitution of the Levites for the first-born reminds us of the substitution of Jesus for us when He died on the cross for our sins.

Numbers 1:12-13 “Now behold, I Myself have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of every first-born who opens the womb among the children of Israel. Therefore, the Levites shall be Mine because all the first-born are Mine. On the day that I struck all the first-born in the land of Egypt, I sanctified to Myself all the first-born in Israel, both man and beast. They shall be Mine. I am the Lord.”

Exodus 13:11-12 “And it shall be, when He brings you into the land of the Canaanites as He swore to you and your fathers, and gives it to you, that you set apart to the Lord all that open the womb, that is, every first-born that comes from an animal which you have, the males shall be the Lord’s.”

________________________________Levi_____________________________

Gershon                                       Kohath                                           Merari                                                                                                                                                      _________________________________|____________________________

Amram               Izhar                 Hebron              Uzziel

___|____________________________

Miriam          Aaron       Moses (Num. 26:57-61)

The Kohathites were the most important of three Levitical clans: Gershonites, Kohathites, and Merariites, sons of Levi (Gen. 46:11; Ex. 6:16; Nu 3:17; I Chron. 5:17). Kohath had four sons: Amram, Izhar, Hebron (not related to the biblical geographical location mentioned much later), and Uzziel (Ex. 6:18). The Kohathite participation weaves in and out of Israel’s biblical history in four periods;

  1. The wilderness wanderings;
  2. Exploration and settling of the Promised Land;
  3. The monarchy;
  4. The return of the captives to rebuild Zion.

During the wilderness wanderings the Kohathites camped on the south side of the Tent of Meeting. When they broke camp to move on, the Kohathites were charged with carrying on their shoulders the most sacred furniture and furnishings of the interior of the Tabernacle: The Ark, the table of showbread, the lamp-stand and altars, the utensils, and the heavy curtain which divided the out portion of the interior from the most Holy of Holies (Nu. 3:29, 31; 4:2; 7:8-9).

While the Gershonites and Merariites transported the outer portions of the Tabernacle on ox carts, the Kohathites carried the sacred inner furnishings on poles resting on their shoulders. Their responsibilities were greater, representing the burdens they carried for the people’s spiritual well-being.

Rebellion in the Desert

The institution of Aaronic priesthood and the Levitical service of the tabernacle was a thorough religious change. The former priesthood of heads of families was replaced. This gave rise to murmurings and discontent which erupted in open rebellion at Kadesh. Korah, the son of Izhar, brother to Amram who was father of Moses and Aaron (Ex. 6:21), joined by Dathan and Abiram, incited two hundred and fifty princes to demand that the old order of things should be restored. Moses and Aaron had taken too much upon themselves (Numbers 16: 1-3).

All these men put fire in their censers and laid incense on them. Immediately fire from the Lord burst forth and destroyed them all (Numbers 16:35)! The earth opened up and swallowed their whole families (because they were contaminated by the murmuring) and a plague raced through the camp among those who sympathized with the rebellion. Only Aaron’s quick action of making atonement for the people saved the camp.

Later, Korahites were porters (I Chronicles 9:17-19; 26:1; II Chronicles 31:14), over things that were made in pans (I Chronicles 9:31; Leviticus 2:5); and singers (II Chronicles 20:19). Eleven psalms are dedicated to the Korahites (Psalms 42-49, 84-85, 87-88).

******************************

While we were chatting, my friend looked askance when I said I preferred being “number two” during ministry. Actually, it isn’t a matter of being number one or number two. It is a matter of taking the place God made for me.  Only in people’s eyes is that first place, second place, or whatever. The Lord used the Bible study of the Kohathites to speak to my heart over a period of years, unfolding what He wanted me to understand in a gradual process.

Kohathites

Amram and Jochebed’s bold faith in God to see that baby Moses lived caught my attention. Later, in the plan of the tabernacle and division of menial labor for the worship of God, the Levites were given by God as a gift to the Israelites (Num. 18:6; Jer. 33:20- 22). The Levites, including all three families (Ex. 6:16), were to have no inheritance among their brethren. Instead, in the Promised Land they received a specific number of cities, some of them designated Cities of Refuge (Num. 18).

Both Jochebed and Amram were Kohathites. According to Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary the word Kohath (#6955) means to ally oneself. Jochebed (#3115) means blessed of Jehovah. She was rich in faith and honor. Amram (#6019) means a people set on high. Jochebed’s rich faith prompted her to put little Moses in a small basket in the reeds of the crocodile-infested Nile River, trusting God to take care of him.

Importance of Hebron

During the settlement phase of Israel’s growth there were six cities of refuge included in the forty-eight cities given to the Levites as their inheritance in the Promised Land (Num. 35:6-7; Josh. 20:7-8).

Josh. 14:13-14 “Then Joshua blessed him and gave to Caleb Hebron for an inheritance because he wholly followed the Lord. The name of Hebron was formerly Kirjath-arba, the greatest city of the Anakim.

Kirjath-arba was located in the hill country of the south. The Israelites under Joshua completely destroyed all the inhabitants of the hill country including Kirjath-arba (Josh. 10; 11:21).

According to Strong’s (#7153) Arba means “city of the four giants.”

Hebron (#2275, from #2267) means “seat of association.”

#2267, from #2266: “a society; also, a spell:- charmer(ing), company, enchantment, x wide.”

#2266: a primary root; to join (literally or figuratively); specifically (by means of spells) to fascinate:- charm(er), to be compact, couple (together), have fellowship with, heap up, join (self, together), league.

Before the city was Hebron it was Kirjath-arba, a Philistine settlement built seven years before Zoan in Egypt (Num. 13:22). It was one of Abraham’s dwelling places. In Gen.13:18 God told Abraham: “Arise; walk through the land, the length of it and the breadth of it, for I will give it to you. Then Abraham moved his tent, and came and dwelt among the oaks of Mamre which are at Hebron, and built there an altar to the Lord.

*Hebron is where God changed Abram’s name to Abraham (Gen. 17:5).

*Hebron is where Abraham had three visitors who promised him a son (Gen. 18:1-2).

*Hebron is where Sarah died and was buried (Gen. 23:1-20; 25:10). This field became the family burial plot for Isaac, Jacob and all his sons.

*Samson once removed the gates of the city (Judges 16:3).

*During the Israelite conquest Kirjath-arba was taken and renamed Hebron (Josh. 10:36-37; 20:7; 21:10-11).

*For his faithfulness in returning a good report when the ten spies returned from the land of milk and honey, Caleb was allowed to choose his inheritance forty years later during the conquest of Canaan and he chose Kirjath-arba (Josh. 14:13-15; 20:7; Judges 1:20).

*Hebron was located in Judah’s inheritance. Later, it was designated a City of Refuge (Josh. 21:10-13), and became the city of the high priests.

*David was crowned king in Hebron and ruled over Judah seven and a half years before being crowned by all Israel (II Sam. 2:1-4,11). He bore several sons while living in Hebron, also (II Sam. 3:2-5).

*Absalom proclaimed himself king in Hebron (II Sam. 15:7-12).