The Messianic Hope & the Activity of the Spirit

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically today’s passage is found in verses thirty-nine through sixty-six of the first chapter of this New Testament book. “And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:39-45). “And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoice in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: For, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy: As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. And Mary abode with her about thee months, and returned to her own house” (Luke 1:46-56). “Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called bay this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marveled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him” (Luke 1:57-66). When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find Mary whom the angel Gabriel had just appeared to rising from her place having not only been told that she herself would conceive and bring forth a child but also that her cousin Elisabeth had conceived a child in her old age. It is actually quite remarkable when you read the words found in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the goodness and grace of the living God being manifested in the life of Elisabeth as He had already looked upon her and opened her womb that she might conceive and bear a son. What we find in this passage of Scripture is two distinct realities for on the one hand we find that which the living and eternal God had done in the past and we find that which the living God would do in the future tense. In this passage we encounter we find the angel Gabriel appearing unto Zacharias in the Temple as he was burning incense according to his appointed time. .What’s more is the angel Gabriel would speak unto Gabriel and would declare unto him that his wife Elisabeth would indeed conceive and bring forth a child in her old during those days. With this being said we must also recognize and understand that the same angel Gabriel would also appear unto Mary who was espoused to be married to Joseph and declare unto her that she would conceive a child of the Holy Ghost. The words which we find in this passage of Scripture are absolutely incredible when you take the time to think about them for not only do we find the power of that which has taken place in the past tense but we also find that which would take place in the future sense. There was in this passage of Scripture that which had already come to pass as the Lord opened the womb of Elisabeth and enabled her to conceive a child in her old age. What’s more is that the same angel Gabriel who would appear unto Zacharias in the Temple as he burned incense would be the same angel who would appear unto Mary and proclaim unto her the goodness and grace of the living God. It would be the angel Gabriel who would indeed speak directly unto Mary and would emphatically declare unto her that she would conceive a child of the Holy Ghost and not through natural means. This is something that is truly unique when you take the time to consider it for in both the case of Elisabeth as well as the case of Mary there is the manifestation of the goodness and grace of the living God. In the life of Elisabeth the living and eternal God would cause that which was barren to be opened and conceive despite the fact that she was advanced and stricken with years. The living and eternal God would indeed open the womb of Elisabeth and when speaking unto her husband Zacharias in the Temple would declare unto him that their prayers have been heard. As a direct result of their prayers being heard the Lord would open her womb and would allow her to conceive—and not only conceive but also conceive a child whose name would be John and would be the prophetic messenger and forerunner of the Messiah. It would be unto Zacharias who was present in the midst of the Temple the angel Gabriel would emphatically declare unto him that his wife Elisabeth would indeed conceive a child in her old age who would be a prophetic voice in the midst of that generation. The more I read the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke the more I am brought face to face with the presence of the person and power of the Holy Spirit. Oh there would be those who would like to point to the New Testament book of Acts and describe that book as being a book that is all about the activity of the Holy Spirit in the midst of the early Church after He was given according to the promise which the Lord Jesus had spoken. There would be and there are many men and women who would encounter the presence, the person and power of the Holy Spirit in the midst of the earth during those days and would completely miss and lose sight of the fact that the activity of the Holy Spirit would indeed be manifested long before the day of Pentecost. In fact you cannot read the first four chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke without encountering the direct manifestation and involvement of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who were present during those days. It is within these opening chapters we find the power and presence of the Holy Spirit from the time Mary conceived the child JESUS within her womb to the time Jesus returned from the wilderness in the power of the Holy Spirit and would declare unto all those in the synagogue in Nazareth that the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord was upon Him. Oh there is a great need for us to pay close attention to the words found within this passage of Scripture and within this gospel narrative for they bring us face to face with the truly astonishing and wonderful truth surrounding the activity of the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. In fact I would dare say that none of what had taken place during those days would have even taken place apart from the personal presence and power of the Holy Spirit. It is when you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you can and will be brought face to face with the absolutely wonderful and powerful truth concerning the activity of the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Spirit would indeed be manifested within the lives of those individuals who would play a part of the narrative of the births of John the Baptist and of Jesus of Nazareth. As you read the words present within these passages of Scripture you can and will be brought face to face with the activity and manifestation of the person and presence of the Holy Spirit as it would be the activity of the Holy Spirit that would indeed be manifested during those days. There is something absolutely remarkable about the words and language found in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit—first within the life of Mary who would conceive and bring forth the child JESUS as well as in the lives of others such as Elisabeth, Zacharias, Anna, Simeon and even John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Himself. Oh I cam absolutely convinced that if you want to truly understand the opening chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke you must read it through the lens of the activity of the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. In fact I would dare say that you cannot read the words found in this passage of Scripture and not encounter and come face to face with the wonderful truth surrounding the activity of the person and presence of the Holy Spirit—not only to open barren wombs and allow virgin wombs to conceive but also in the hearts and lives of those who would be directly impacted by the births of these two children. Oh it is with this being said I invite you to consider the following words which are found within the first four chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke beginning with the angelic visitation of Gabriel unto Zacharias who would stand in the midst of the Temple according to his lot: “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Asia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine, nor strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men” (Luke 1:5-25). “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was mary. And the angel came in unto her and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her owl age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:26-38). “And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:39-45). “Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass, that on her eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, his name is John. And they marveled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied” (Luke 1:57-67). “And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord. Every male that opens the the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God” (Luke 2:22-28). “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased” (Luke 3:21-22). “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days temped of the devil” (Luke 4:1-2). “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:14-19). The words which we find in each of these passages of Scripture are absolutely necessary for us to recognize and pay close attention to for each of them bring us face to face with the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit during those days. In fact I would dare say that when we read the words presented in these passages of Scripture we encounter and come face to face with the tremendous reality of the activity of the Holy Spirit for those days would indeed be days of the Holy Spirit. What’s more is I would dare say that if we want to truly understand those days we must needs recognize that those were days which were marked by the Holy Ghost and His personal presence and power in the lives of those who were present. From Zacharias and Elisabeth who were each filled with the Holy Ghost, to John the Baptist himself who would be filled with the Holy Ghost from the womb, to the Holy Ghost being upon Simeon and leading him up into the Temple, to even the Holy Ghost descending upon the Lord Jesus at the Jordan River after he was baptized of John. There is truly something captivating and beautiful about the words we find here in these passages of Scripture for what we find here calls and draws our attention to the incredible reality of the activity of the person and presence of the Holy Spirit during those days. Oh I would dare say that we cannot speak of these days without and apart from truly recognizing and understanding the activity of the Holy Spirit which would be manifested in the lives of certain individuals whose lives would be interconnected by the births of two distinct children during those days. It would be the Holy Ghost who would be very much involved and active during those days beginning with allowing Mary the mother of JESUS to conceive within her womb that child which was born of the Highest. It was the angel Gabriel who would declare unto her that the power of the Highest would overshadow her and the Holy Ghost would come upon her. I absolutely love the words and language we find in these passages of Scripture for the days leading up to the conception and births of both John the Baptist and John the Baptist would not only be days of expectation but they would also be days of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. It would be the Holy Ghost who would allow Mary the mother of Jesus to conceive within her womb having not known or been with a man. It would be the Holy Ghost who would come upon Mary and would allow her to conceive within her that which was not conceived of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man but rather of the divine will, plan and counsel of the living God. What’s more is that it would be when Mary the mother of the Lord Jesus would enter into the house of Elisabeth and would greet her that the babe within her womb would leap for joy. Not only this but we find the beloved physician Luke writing how when the babe within her womb heard the sound of the voice of Mary he would leap within her womb. What’s more is that not only would the babe leap for joy within the womb but Elisabeth would also be filled with the Holy Ghost. Oh I would dare say that when I read these words it was at this particular moment when both Elisabeth and the child within her womb came in contact with Mary the mother of Jesus as well as the child which was growing within her womb they would each be filled with the Holy Ghost. In fact I would dare say that what we find here is a powerful picture of the first “baptism” of the Holy Ghost as the Holy Ghost would not only fill Elisabeth but would also fill John the Baptist who was still growing within her womb. I read the words which are found in the first four chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke and I am absolutely captivated with the powerful reality that the days leading up to the births of John the Baptist as well as the Lord Jesus were indeed days of the Holy Spirit’s presence. This is something we must needs recognize for it is true that Luke would also write the New Testament book of Acts which would describe the arrival of the person and presence of the Holy Spirit as an in dwelling factor within the hearts and lives of those who have confessed with their mouth the Lord Jesus and have believed with their hearts the Father has raised Him from the dead. It would be very easy to read the New Testament book of Acts and think this particular book is the beginning of the Holy Spirit’s involvement during the days of the New Covenant, however, nothing could be further from the truth. The more you read the words presented in the opening chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke the more you can and will be brought face to face with the truth surrounding the activity of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the individuals who would play a part in the births of John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ. It would be the angel Gabriel who would emphatically declare unto Zacharias that the child that would be conceived within the womb of his wife Elisabeth would indeed be filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb. Scripture is entirely and altogether unclear at what point John became filled with the Holy Spirit—at least directly and implicitly stating it—however I am convinced that both John and Elisabeth were filled with the Holy Spirit at the same time. I firmly believe that when Elisabeth heard the salutation and greeting from Mary as she drew nigh unto her house—not only was she filled with the Holy Ghost but so also was the child growing inside her womb filled with the Holy Spirit. Scripture does not specifically describe how this was the exact moment when John was filled with the Holy Ghost in the womb of Elisabeth, however, I would dare say that this would have been the most opportune time for the Holy Ghost to fill both mother and child alike. If there is one thing I absolutely love about the words found in the opening chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke it’s how when Mary approached and drew nigh unto the house of Zacharias and Elisabeth and greeted her there was a transaction that took place in the spiritual realm as the Holy Ghost would not only fill Elisabeth and cause her to extol and praise the living God but would also cause her to be filled with the Holy Ghost. What makes this all the more intriguing when you take the time to think about it is when you consider how this could very well be considered the first baptism of the Holy Ghost recorded in the New Testament as Elisabeth herself would be filled with the Holy Ghost. We know from the words the angel Gabriel spoke that the child John which would grow within her womb would be filled with the Holy Ghost from the womb, however, as you go on to read the words presented in this chapter you will find that not only would John be filled with the Holy Ghost from the womb but so also would both of his parents be filled with the Holy Spirit. Elisabeth would be filled with the Holy Ghost before Zacharias was as she would be filled upon hearing the greeting of Mary who was to be the mother of her Lord. Her husband Zacharias on the other hand would not be filled until after he would proclaim the name of the child was to be John. It would be when Zacharias took hold of a writing table and wrote down the child’s name would be John that not only would his mouth be opened and his tongue loosed but he would also speak and praise the living God. What’s more is that it would be on this particular occasion Zacharias would be filled with the Holy Ghost and would prophesy before and unto all those who were present. This is something we must needs recognize and understand—particularly when you think about and consider the words which were found in the second chapter of the Old Testament book of Joel. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the second chapter of the prophetic book of Joel as we read of the activity of the Holy Spirit in the last days: “Therefore also now, saith the LORD, Turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: For he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repent etc him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: Let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give no thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should ruler over them: Wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people. Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: And I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen: But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the East Sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his I’ll Saviour shall come up, because he hath done great things. Fear not, O land: be glad and rejoice: For the LORD will do great things. Be not afraid, ye breasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree and the vine do yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: For he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locusts hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the Palmer worm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed” (Joel 2:1-28). “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the Handmaid’s in those days I will pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: For in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call” Joel 2:29-32). We must needs recognize and understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture—particularly with the language that surrounds the activity and manifestation of the Holy Spirit. The prophet Joel clearly declares that in the last days the living God would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh. What’s more is that not only would the living God pour out His Spirit upon all flesh but the prophet goes on to declare that sons and daughters would prophesy, the old men would dream dreams, and young men shall see visions. This is something we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found in the first chapter of the gospel narrative written by Luke. It is in the first chapter of the gospel written by Luke we find the Holy Spirit filling both Zacharias and Elisabeth and how the indwelling and infilling of the Holy Ghost would produce two different responses and actions.The Holy Spirit would fill Elisabeth when she heard the salutation of Mary and as the babe leaped within her womb and she would immediately begin blessing and praising the living God. Scripture reveals how when Elisabeth heard the salutation and greeting of Mary the mother of her Lord the babe leaped within her womb and she was filled with the Holy Ghost. Not only would she be filled with the Holy Ghost but she would begin to extol and magnify the living God, saying, “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blesses is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:42-45). These words are incredibly important for what we also find within this passage is not only Elisabeth blessing the living God but we would also argue that she herself began prophesying. The Holy Spirit would indeed fill Elisabeth as the babe within her womb leapt for joy inside and as a direct result of this she would begin to prophesy and speak into the life of Mary. How absolutely wonderful and powerful it is that Mary would come unto Elisabeth after the angel Gabriel deliberately and specifically told her that her cousin had conceived a child in her old age. Mary—upon hearing the proclamation of Gabriel—would indeed depart from where she was and journey into the hill country of Judaea that she might visit with Elisabeth having heard and discovered that she was pregnant and with child. Oh this is something we must needs recognizer and pay close attention to for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of Elisabeth. The Holy Spirit would indeed fill Elisabeth when she heard them salutation and greeting from Mary the mother of her Lord and she would be filled with the Holy Ghost. What we must also recognize and understand when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture is that I would argue and contend that it wasn’t just Elisabeth who was filled with the Holy Spirit. I firmly believe that when Elisabeth herself was filled with the Holy Spirit so too would the child growing within her womb be filled with the Holy Spirit. It would be in this instance when the child growing within the womb of Elisabeth would hear the greeting of the mother of his Lord and would come in contact with the child within the womb of Mary that he would be filled with the Holy Spirit. Oh how absolutely tremendous and incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about it for it brings us face to face with the awesome reality of both mother and child being filled with the Holy Spirit. It would be very easy to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and think that it was just Elisabeth who was filled with the Holy Ghost, however, we must also recognize and understand that the child growing within her womb would also be filled with the Holy Spirit. We dare not and must not miss how incredibly important this truly is for it brings us face to face with the activity and presence of the Holy Spirit during those days. It would be the person and presence of the Holy Spirit that would fill Elisabeth and would enable her to prophesy unto and concerning Mary, and I would dare say that at that same time the child growing within her womb would also be filled with the Holy Ghost. It was the angel Gabriel who declared unto Zacharias that the child conceived within the womb of Elisabeth would be filled with the Holy Ghost from the womb and we have to conclude that it was at this particular point when the presence of the Lord Jesus growing within Mary would indeed bring about the infilling and indwelling of the Holy Ghost within the life of John the Baptist. The angel Gabriel would declare unto Zacharias that the child which would grow inside of Elisabeth’s womb would indeed be filled with the Holy Ghost from the womb and there is something to be said about Mary coming unto the house of Zacharias and Elisabeth. Moreover I would dare say that Mary had absolutely no clue or idea what her c coming unto the house of Zacharias and Elisabeth would do within the life of Elisabeth. I find it incredibly hard to believe that Mary had any clue that her showing up at the house of Zacharias and Elisabeth would indeed result in both mother and child being filled with the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. I sit here today and I have to ask myself why the angel Gabriel would declare unto Mary that her cousin Elisabeth had conceived a child in her old age. We know that the angel Gabriel would declare unto Mary that with God all things are possible, however, I have to believe there was something incredibly significant—not only about the words the angel Gabriel spoke unto Mary but also of Mary’s journey unto the hill country of Judaea. I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that the words which the angel Gabriel had spoken unto Mary were meant to serve as a catalyst that would spur her to make the journey unto the hill country of Judaea and unto the house of Zacharias and Elisabeth. I can’t help but think about the fact that the angel Gabriel deliberately and intentionally revealed unto Mary that her cousin Elisabeth had conceived a child in her old age—not only to encourage and strengthen the faith of Mary but also to bring her to the place where she would make the journey unto the home of Zacharias and Elisabeth. I would dare say the angel Gabriel deliberately and intentionally declared these words unto Mary knowing that she would make the journey unto the hill country of Judaea to see Elisabeth. I would imagine Mary wanted to hear all about what the living God was doing in the life of Elisabeth and Zacharias—and especially learning about the angelic encounter Zacharias had with the angel Gabriel. Although Zacharias could not speak when Mary came unto their home I can’t help but think about the fact that he would provide her through writing some type of explanation concerning the encounter he had with the angel Gabriel. I do not doubt for one minute that when Zacharias showed up at home after his course had finished Elisabeth herself would be astonished at the fact he was unable to speak. Imagine what it was like for Elisabeth to welcome her husband home and then learning that he was unable to speak. What’s more is I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like for Elisabeth to learn of the encounter Zacharias had in the Temple with the angel Gabriel. I would absolutely love to know what it was like for Elisabeth when she not only learned about the encounter her husband Zacharias had with the angel Gabriel in the Temple beside the altar—and not only this but when she perhaps learned of the encounter her cousin Mary would have with the same angel Gabriel. Imagine the stories Mary, Elisabeth and Zacharias would share with each other about the goodness and grace of the living God during those days toward them as the angel Gabriel would indeed appear unto both of them. There is something truly unique about this encounter which would take place between Zacharias, Elisabeth and Mary as they would all share of the great things the living God had done and was going to do in the midst of the land. How absolutely incredible it would be for these three individuals to share the great news of what God had done for them and move in expectation and anticipation about what God was going to do. In fact this is what makes the declarations of Mary, Zacharias and Elisabeth so incredibly powerful because I would dare say they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and would prophesy and speak of the great things which the living God had done and was preparing to do. What a truly astonishing and powerful encounter would have been done during those days as Mary would spend three months with them. Imagine Mary being there up to the time Elisabeth delivered the child which was conceived within her womb and as the child would grow within her own womb. What an absolutely powerful thought it is to think about how these three would spend every day for three months basking in the goodness and grace of the living God. There is not a doubt in my mind that these three would have spent a considerable amount of time rehearsing the goodness and greatness of the living God. What’s more is Scripture also reveals how Zacharias would be filled with the Spirit after he would proclaim the name of the child was to be John. Oh consider if you will the following words which are found in the first chapter of this gospel concerning the words which Mary would speak in response to angelic visitation of Gabriel unto her as well as the words Zacharias himself would declare after his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed and he was able to speak for the first time in at least nine months: “And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: For, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is one them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his ears; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house” (Luke 1:46-56). “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Belssed be the Lord God of Israel; For he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and form the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; the oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shall be called the prophet of the Highest: For thou shalt go before the fact of the Lord to prepare his ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet in the way of peace” (Luke 1:67-79). I absolutely love the words which we find in these passages of Scripture for they bring us face to face with the awesome reality of that which Mary, Elisabeth and Zacharias shared. If you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find Luke describing how Mary abode with Zacharias and Elisabeth for the space of three months before she returned to her own house. Scripture isn’t entirely clear on when Mary left the house of Zacharias and Elisabeth—only that she remained for three months after the angel Gabriel had first appeared unto her. Scripture describes how the angel Gabriel declared unto Mary that Elisabeth had not only conceived a child in her old age but also how she was already six months along. This is actually quite astonishing when you take the time to think about it for it Mary showed up at Elisabeth’s house while she was in the sixth month—even if she was in the seventh month—she might very well have watched the final three months of the child’s growth within the womb of Elisabeth. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if Mary did not stay until the time of the child’s birth and was there when the child was born unto them. The normal time for carrying a child to term is nine months for if Elisabeth was already six months along at the time Gabriel appeared unto her and if she would abide there for three months then she would have most likely been there during those final three months of her pregnancy. Imagine the stories that were shared during those three months—and not only the stories that were shared but also the expectation of what was to come in the days ahead. Imagine Mary and Elisabeth preparing themselves for the birth of their children who would forever change the spiritual landscape in the days to come. OH I read the words which are found in these passages of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the tremendous expectation and anticipation that was found within the hearts of both mary and Elisabeth. What’s more is there was a profound expectation and understand that was found in the heart and soul of Zacharias he too would be filled with the Holy Spirit. There is something we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found within these passages and that is how it was foretold John the Baptist would be filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb of his mother, however, both his mother and father would themselves be filled with the Holy Spirit. Elisabeth his mother would be filled with the Holy Spirit upon hearing the greeting and salutation of Mary as she journeyed unto the hill country of Judaea and not only would the babe within her womb leap for joy but she would begin to extol the anticipation and expectation surrounding the birth of the Messiah and the Christ. Elisabeth understood that Mary was carrying the very nature of the living God within her womb and would prophetically speak unto Mary of the birth of the Messiah. In all reality there was a great expectation that was present within the heart and soul of Elisabeth as she would encounter the mother of her Lord approaching and coming unto her house. Elisabeth would pronounce Mary as being blessed among women and would pronounce the fruit of her womb being blessed. Moreover Elisabeth would also inquire as to what would cause the mother of her Lord to come unto her for as soon as the voice of her greeting filled and sounded within her ears the babe leaped for joy within her. As if this weren’t enough we also find Elisabeth going on to declare how there would indeed be a performance of those things which were told of the Lord and blessed was the one who believed. As you continue reading the words found in this passage of Scripture you will encounter the tremendous response Mary seemed to have to the words which Elisabeth would proclaim. Immediately after Elisabeth had finished speaking Mary would begin proclaiming how her soul did magnify the Lord and how her spirit rejoiced in God her Saviour. Mary would immediately begin extolling the living and eternal God who had regarded her lose estate and how He had showed her great compassion. What I so love about the song and words which Mary would speak is that she would speak of the strength of the living and eternal God. It is as you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find Mary going on to write how the living and eternal God is mighty and had done unto her great things and how holy was His name. Moreover Mary would also emphatically declare that His mercy was on those who feared Him from generation to generation. Immediately following this Mary would go on to speak of the might, the power, the strength and the greatness of the living God. Mary would proceed to describe how the LORD showed strength with His arm and how He had scatted the proud in the imagination of their hearts. Not only this but Mary would go on to declare how the living God had put down the mighty from their seats and exalted those of low degree. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to Mary seemingly following in the footsteps of David the psalmist in previous generations who would compose magnificent and wonderful songs of praise before and unto the living God. What a truly wonderful and incredible truth is found here in this passage of Scripture and how Mary would indeed give herself to worship of her King—the one who would regard and hard regarded her low estate. Having said this I invite you to consider if you will the following words which were prophesied by Zacharias the father of John the Baptist after his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed. Consider if you will the following prophetic declaration that was voiced by Zacharias when not only was his tongue loosed and his mouth opened but he was also filled with the Holy Ghost: “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; For he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raise up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hat us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; the oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: For thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:66-79). I absolutely love the result of the infilling of the Holy Spirit as it is found in this passage of Scripture for not only do we find Elisabeth being filled with the Holy Ghost at the coming of Mary unto the hill country of Judaea but we also have Zacharias himself being filled with the Holy Ghost. In the same chapter we find mother, father and child all being filled with the Holy Ghost and how the presence of the Holy Spirit within the lives of these two individuals would produce within them a powerful witness and testimony. It is absolutely remarkable and astounding reading the words found in this passage of Scripture for what we find within it is a strong and powerful picture of the activity of the Holy Spirit manifested within the lives of these individuals. Luke was the only one who chose to begin the lineage and narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as far back as the angelic visitation of Gabriel unto Zacharias. When Luke set forth to present this treatise unto those who would read it he chose to begin with the angelic visitation of Gabriel—not only unto Zacharias in the Temple of the living God but also unto Mary who was espoused to be the wife of Jospeh of Nazareth. While it is indeed true the apostle Matthew also began with the prophecy and foretelling of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ of a virgin we find the words which are contained in this first chapter describing in great detail how the angel Gabriel not only visited Zacharias in the Temple while he burned incense but also how the angel Gabriel visited Mary as well. It would be the angel Gabriel who would pronounce and proclaim the arrival and births of the Messiah and His messenger. That which we find in these verses is not only the proclamation of the birth of the Messiah but also the proclamation of the birth of the messenger of the Messiah. When writing this gospel narrative Luke would choose to begin with the angelic visitation of Gabriel—and not only the angelic visitation of Gabriel but also the activity of the Holy Spirit. If there is one thing I can’t help but think about when reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture I can’t help but think of it in light of what is found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew. It is in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we find the presence of dreams—and not only dreams but also of angelic visitation as well. It would be in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we find the presence of the prophetic word, dreams which were given unto Joseph and the wise men to not only help protect the Messiah but also to fulfill the prophetic word which had been spoken in generations past. Within the New Testament gospel narrative we find the presence of the prophetic word and it’s fulfillment, we find the presence of dreams as well as the angelic visitation which would help to bring forth the Messiah in the midst of the earth. What we find in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke is the angelic visitation of Gabriel and the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit. How absolutely incredible it is to read these two gospels and not only see the prophetic word and its fulfillment but also how the living and eternal God would use dreams and angelic visitations coupled together with the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. There is something truly astonishing about the words which are found in these two gospel narratives for within them we are brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the activity and movement of the living and eternal God through dreams, angelic visitations as well as the activity of the Holy Spirit. Oh there is truly something remarkable and captivating about the words and language found within each of these gospels—particularly the gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke—for within it we find the activity of the Holy Spirit which would indeed facilitate and bring about the manifestation of the Messiah and His messenger in the midst of the earth. It would be the Holy Ghost who would not only fill both Zacharias and Elisabeth but would also come upon Mary the mother of the Lord Jesus thus enabling her to conceive and bring forth the Messiah. If there is one thing I absolutely love about the words presented in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke it’s how he captures both the angelic presence of Gabriel on two separate occasions as well as the activity of the Holy Spirit. There is something truly unique and powerful about the words which we see in this passage of Scripture for it brings us face to face with the days leading up to the births of both the Messiah and His messenger. As you read the New Testament book of Acts you will find the tremendous presence of the activity and presence of the Holy Spirit as perhaps for the first time in more than four-hundred years the Holy Spirit would be manifested in the midst of the earth. We would like to focus our attention on the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist as the first voice which would emerge in the earth after four-hundred years of silence. It is indeed true that through the prophet Amos the living and eternal God declared that there were coming days when there would be a famine in the earth—and not a famine of bread nor of water but a famine for hearing the word of God. The prophet Amos would emphatically declare that men and women would go to and fro searching for the word of the Lord and yet how they would be unable to find it anywhere in the midst of the land. The prophetic voice of Malachi would indeed be the final prophetic voice during the days of the Old Covenant and even his voice would prophecy and proclaim the word of the Lord more than a century after the captives and exiles returned from the land of the Chaldeans. Oh this is something we must needs recognize and understand for when we consider the New Testament and how the silence would be broken we must recognize that it was not only broken by the angelic declaration of Gabriel who stood in the presence of the living God but also by the activity of the Holy Sprit. I sit here today thinking about the words and language found in this particular chapter found within the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke and I am brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the activity and presence of the Holy Spirit. In all reality I would dare say that those days would and could not have been made possible without and apart from the activity of the Holy Spirit as those days would have indeed been characterized by the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for if you want to truly understand the days which are presented in the gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke you must needs recognize that those days were indeed marked by the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. We would like to think that the Holy Spirit first began moving in the earth once more at the baptism of the Lord Jesus when He descended in the bodily form of a dove, however, the truth of the matter is that this simply is not the case. We dare not and must not lose sight of this for the Holy Spirit was active and present in the midst of the earth well before the baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even though the Holy Spirit would descend in bodily form as a dove upon the Lord Jesus Christ at His baptism it is important for us to recognize and understand that the Holy Spirit was active during those days before the Messiah and His messenger were even voices in the earth. I am absolutely convinced that it was the activity of the Holy Spirit working during those days which would not only make possible the birth of the Messiah but it would also make possible the birth of the Messiah’s messenger. We know from the words the angel Gabriel declared unto Zacharias in the temple that the child which would be conceived by Elisabeth and born unto them would indeed be filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb—something which would mean that his entire life would be marked by the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. The more I think about and consider the words which are found in this opening chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke the more I am captured with and by the incredible truth that these days were indeed marked by the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. It was the person and presence of the Holy Spirit which did indeed and did in fact enable Mary the mother of Jesus to conceive within her womb—not only not having known a man but conceiving the very Messiah Himself. Pause for a moment and consider how absolutely incredible this truly is for when you read the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke you will encounter the absolutely incredible truth surrounding Mary the mother of Jesus and how it would be through the Holy Spirit she would be able to conceive the life of the Messiah within her womb. That which had been prophesied of old by the Hebrew prophets as well as within the Law and the Psalms would be made possible during those days and within her own physical body as a direct result of the activity of the Holy Spirit. Oh I am absolutely and completely convinced that there is a great need for us to pay close attention to the days which are represented here for they call and draw our attention to the absolutely wonderful reality of the person and presence of the Holy Spirit and how it would be through the Holy Spirit the life of the Messiah would indeed be conceived within the womb of Mary. Moreover it would be through the Holy Spirit both Zacharias and Elisabeth would prophecy and proclaim the goodness and grace of the living God. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for it calls and draws our attention to the beautiful truth surrounding the activity of the Holy Spirit during those days. It would be during these days when the person and presence of the Holy Spirit would not only allow Mary to conceive the life of the Messiah within her womb but would also enable Elisabeth and Zacharias to prophecy of the goodness and greatness of the living God. As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for if you want to truly understand the days of the Messiah and the prophetic messenger you must needs recognize and acknowledge them as days which were marked by the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit didn’t first appear and arrive at the Jordan River when He descended in bodily form as He rested upon the Lord Jesus. The Holy Spirit didn’t arrive on the day of Pentecost when the sound like a mighty rushing wind filled the room where the one-hundred and twenty were gathered together in one accord in prayer before the throne of God. IN all reality the activity and presence of the Holy Spirit began moving in the earth thirty years before Jesus would ever be baptized in the waters of the Jordan River. Not only this but the word of the Lord would begin to be manifested in the earth thirty years before John the Baptist would ever emerge on to the scene. There is a great need to recognize and understand that it would be through Mary, through Elisabeth, through Zacharias and even through Simeon the word of the Lord would begin to be manifested once more. Not only this but it would be through Zacharias the father of John the Baptist a powerful prophetic word would come forth in the midst of the earth. It’s actually truly astonishing when you read the words found in the first chapter of this gospel beginning with the sixty-seventh sixty-fourth verse for not only do we find the mouth of Zacharias being opened and his tongue being loosed but we also find him being filled with the Holy Ghost and beginning to prophesy. Oh imagine being Zacharias and being unable to speak for nine months and here for the first time during that time period your mouth is opened and your tongue is loosed. Imagine the first words which would come out of your mouth—particularly and especially as set against and compared to the words which you last spoke in the presence of the angel Gabriel when he appeared unto you in the Temple. I am absolutely blown away and captivated with the incredible truth that is found within this opening chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke—particularly and especially when you consider the fact that when Zacharias stood in the temple in the presence of the angel Gabriel he would ask a question concerning how his wife Elisabeth would conceive since she was stricken with years. It would be in direct response to this the angel Gabriel would declare that he stood in the presence of the living God and how from that time forward Zacharias would be unable to speak. For the next nine months Zacharias would be unable to speak and I have to admit there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder what those nine months were like. What would have gone through the mind of Zacharias during those nine months as he was prohibited from opening his mouth and speak unto his own wife and even to his friends and family members. What’s more is I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like as Zacharias journeyed home from Jerusalem and from the Temple unto the hill country of Judaea and to his wife Elisabeth. There is something truly interesting when you think about and consider this for it calls and draws our attention to the awesome and powerful truth surrounding how incredible important this moment was when Zacharias would declare in writing how the name of their child was going to be John. It would be as a direct result of this declaration that his mouth would be opened and his tongue would be loosed—and not only this but also how he was filled with the Holy Ghost and would begin prophesying. I have to admit there is something truly unique and powerful about the words and language which is presented in this passage of Scripture for it wasn’t merely that Zacharias prophesied but we also find the words which he prophesied at the time. Oh there is something absolutely remarkable about the words Zacharias would prophesy during those days for it would be at that time Zacharias would prophesy of the days which would be ahead—the days of the Messiah and his messenger. As Zacharias would begin opening up his mouth he would bless the Lord God of Israel for He had visited and redeemed his people. Moreover Zacharias would prophesy and proclaim how the Lord God of Israel had raised up a horn of salvation for them in the house of his servant David as he had spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets which were in the world since the beginning. What’s more is that Zacharias would go on to proclaim how the Lord God of Israel would save them from their enemies and from the hand of all that hate them to perform the mercy promised to their fathers to remember his holy covenant. That which Zacharias would prophesy would indeed look back to that which the Lord God of Israel had prophesied and spoken through His servants the prophets but it would also look ahead to that which the living and eternal God would do in the days ahead. Zacharias the father of John would speak of the great deliverance the living and eternal God would indeed perform during those days as He would deliver them from their enemies and from the hand of all those that hated them. What’s more is that if you continue reading you will find him speaking of the oath which was sworn unto their father Abraham that the Lord would grant unto them that they would be delivered out of the hand of their enemies and might serve Him without fear and in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of their lives. Oh how absolutely incredible the words which are found in this passage of Scripture truly are for they call and draw our attention to the absolutely wonderful truth of the deliverance and salvation of the Lord which would be manifested in the earth during those days. Zacharias would indeed prophesy of that which the living and eternal God would do in the coming days as He would grant a great deliverance and salvation If you want to truly understand the days which are presented in the first and opening chapter of the New Testament gospel written by the beloved physician Luke you must needs recognize how those days were indeed marked by the activity of the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. It would be the Holy Spirit who would fill the Messianic messenger from the womb and it would be the Holy Spirit who would enable Mary the mother of Jesus to conceive His life within her womb. Moreover it would be the person and presence of the Holy Spirit that would fill both Zacharias and Elisabeth and would allow Zacharias to prophesy concerning the days which were ahead for the people of Israel while allowing Elisabeth to extol that which the living God was doing through and within the life of Mary who would be the mother of her Lord. We must needs recognize and understand the words present in this passage of Scripture for the words we find here bring us face to face with the wonderful presence of the Holy Spirit during those days and how the Holy Spirit would be active within the lives of those who were indeed present in the land of Judaea and Galilee during those days. What a truly incredible thing it is to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for that which we see here is a powerful and beautiful picture of the activity of the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Spirit would not only allow the life of the Messiah to be conceived and brought forth but would also fill men and women enabling them to prophesy the word of the Lord and even extol the living and eternal God of Israel. Oh that we would indeed be men and women who are willing to open ourselves up to the activity of the person and presence of the Holy Spirit as He works within us throughout the course of our lives.

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