I was in the bathroom and smelled a wonderful flowery scent, and I heard, “Angelic Activity Around the birth of Jesus!”
Then I went to the scriptures to see what God wanted to say through this. I felt He wants us to look at all this, because there is going to be an increase in Angelic Activity in our lives and if we are obedient like Mary and Joseph, we will be greatly blessed and protected.
For there is also one in this hour who seeks to destroy what God is birthing in us.
First is the story of John the Baptist and this is important because it was the angel Gabriel who appeared to Zachariah and to Mary the mother of Yeshua…
Birth of John the Baptist Foretold
5 In the days of Herod [the Great], king of Judea, there was a certain priest whose name was Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron [the first high priest of Israel], and her name was Elizabeth. 6 They both were righteous (approved) in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. 7 But they were childless, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both far advanced in years.
8 Now it happened while Zacharias was serving as priest before God in the appointed order of his priestly division, 9 as was the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter [the sanctuary of] the temple of the Lord and burn incense [on the altar of incense]. 10 And all the congregation was praying outside [in the court of the temple] at the hour of the incense offering. 11 And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 When Zacharias saw the angel, he was troubled and overcome with fear. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, because your petition [in prayer] was heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. 14 You will have great joy and delight, and many will rejoice over his birth, 15 for he will be great and distinguished in the sight of the Lord; and will never drink wine or liquor, and he will be filled with and empowered to act by the Holy Spirit while still in his mother’s womb. 16 He will turn many of the sons of Israel back [from sin] to [love and serve] the Lord their God. 17 It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous [which is to seek and submit to the will of God] — in order to make ready a people [perfectly] prepared [spiritually and morally] for the Lord.”
18 And Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I be certain of this? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in age.” 19 The angel replied and said to him, “I am Gabriel; I stand and minister in the [very] presence of God, and I have been sent [by Him] to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20Listen carefully, you will be continually silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe what I told you; but my words will be fulfilled at their proper time.”
21 The people [outside in the court] were waiting for Zacharias, and were wondering about his long delay in the temple. 22 But when he did come out, he was unable to speak to them. They realized that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he kept making signs to them, and remained mute. 23 When his time of priestly service was finished, he returned to his home.
24 Now after this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, and for five months she secluded herself completely, saying, 25 “This is how the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor on me, to take away my disgrace among men.”
Jesus’ Birth Foretold
26 Now in the sixth month [of Elizabeth’s pregnancy] the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming to her, the angel said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was greatly perplexed at what he said, and kept carefully considering what kind of greeting this was. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Listen carefully: you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and eminent and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob (Israel) forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin and have no intimacy with any man?” 35 Then the angel replied to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you [like a cloud]; for that reason the holy (pure, sinless) Child shall be called the Son of God. 36 And listen, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 For with God nothing [is or ever] shall be impossible.” 38 Then Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel left her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 Now at this time Mary arose and hurried to the hill country, to a city of Judah (Judea), 40 and she entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, her baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered by Him. 42 And she exclaimed loudly, “Blessed [worthy to be praised] are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed [spiritually fortunate and favored by God] is she who believed and confidently trusted that there would be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her [by the angel sent] from the Lord.”
46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies and exalts the Lord, 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 48 For He has looked [with loving care] on the humble state of His maidservant; for behold, from now on all generations will count me blessed and happy and favored by God!
49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me; and holy is His name [to be worshiped in His purity, majesty, and glory].
50 And His mercy is upon generation after generation toward those who [stand in great awe of God and] fear Him.
51 He has done mighty deeds with His [powerful] arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and exalted those who were humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things; and sent the rich away empty-handed.
54 He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, 55 Just as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
56 And Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months, and then returned to her home.
John Is Born
57 Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown His great mercy toward her, and they were rejoicing with her.
59 It happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child [as required by the Law], and they intended to name him Zacharias, after his father; 60 but his mother answered, “No indeed; instead he will be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by that name.” 62 Then they made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote as follows, “His name is John.” And they were all astonished. 64 At once Zacharias’ mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began speaking, praising and blessing and thanking God. 65 Then fear came on all their neighbors; and all these things were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard these things kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this little boy turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him [to bring about his birth].
67 Now Zacharias his father was filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered by Him, and he prophesied, saying, 68 “Blessed (praised, glorified) be the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited us and brought redemption to His people, 69 and He has raised up a [j]horn of salvation [a mighty and valiant Savior] for us
In the house of David His servant — 70 just as He promised by the mouth of His holy prophets from the most ancient times — 71 salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us; 72 to show mercy [as He promised] to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant [the promised blessing], 73 the oath which He swore to Abraham our father, 74 to grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear, 75 in holiness [being set apart] and righteousness [being upright] before Him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord (the Messiah) to prepare His ways; 77 to give His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise (the Messiah) from on high will dawn and visit us, 79 to shine upon those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet [in a straight line] into the way of peace and serenity.”
80 The child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel [as John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah]. Luke 1:5-80 AMP.
This is important to note that he was in the WILDERNESS [ HIDDEN ] until the day of his commissioning to the work of The LORD and being revealed to the nation.
This is evident in this hour as well. Many have been hidden until this time in relative obscurity compared to those on the front-lines until the time of their catapulting into ministry/fullness of what God has for them.
They will also now bring people out of the shadows of death.
Conception and Birth of Jesus
“18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by [the power of] the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her [promised] husband, being a just and righteous man and not wanting to expose her publicly to shame, planned to send her away and divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of The LORD appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus (The LORD is salvation), for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 All this happened in order to fulfill what The LORD had spoken through the prophet [Isaiah]: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel”—which, when translated, means, “God with us.” 24 Then Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of The LORD had commanded him, and he took Mary [to his home] as his wife, 25 but he kept her a virgin until she had given birth to a Son [her firstborn child]; and he named Him Jesus (The LORD is salvation).” Matthew 1:18-25 AMP.
“4 So Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register with Mary, who was betrothed to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there [in Bethlehem], the time came for her to give birth, 7 and she gave birth to her Son, her firstborn; and she wrapped Him in [swaddling] cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no [private] room for them in the inn.
8 In the same region there were shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of The LORD suddenly stood before them, and the glory of The LORD flashed and shone around them, and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people. 11 For this day in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ The LORD (the Messiah). 12 And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find a Baby wrapped in [swaddling] cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host (angelic army) praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased.”
15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying one to another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem, and see this [wonderful] thing that has happened which The LORD has made known to us.” 16 So they went in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the Baby as He lay in the manger. 17 And when they had seen this, they made known what had been told them about this Child, 18 and all who heard it were astounded and wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, giving careful thought to them and pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as it had been told them.
Jesus Presented at the Temple
21 At the end of eight days, when He was to be circumcised, He was named Jesus, the name given [to Him] by the angel [Gabriel] before He was conceived in the womb.
22 And when the time for their purification came [that is, the mother’s purification and the baby’s dedication] according to the Law of Moses, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to The LORD [set apart as the Firstborn] 23 (as it is written in the Law of The LORD, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy [set apart and dedicated] to The LORD)” 24 and [they came also] to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of The LORD [to be appropriate for a family of modest means], “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout [carefully observing the divine Law], and looking for the Consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen The LORD’s Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed). 27 Prompted by the Spirit, he came into the temple [enclosure]; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him the custom required by the Law, 28 Simeon took Him into his arms, and blessed and praised and thanked God, and said,
29 “Now, Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to leave [this world] in peace,
According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your Salvation, 31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 A Light for revelation to the Gentiles [to disclose what was previously unknown],
And [to bring] the praise and honor and glory of Your people Israel.”
33 And His [legal] father and His mother were amazed at what was said about Him. 34 Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Listen carefully: this Child is appointed and destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign that is to be opposed— 35 and a sword [of deep sorrow] will pierce through your own soul—so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
36 There was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old, and had lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She did not leave the [area of the] temple, but was serving and worshiping night and day with fastings and prayers. 38 She, too, came up at that very moment and began praising and giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all who were looking for the redemption and deliverance of Jerusalem.
Return to Nazareth
39 And when they had done everything [in connection with Jesus’ birth] according to the Law of The LORD, they went back to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.” Luke 2:4-39 AMP.
Here is a nobody by modern terms, an elderly woman prophetess, who also confirms the revelation of Jesus as Messiah.
She is living her life with fasting and prayer and not one recognized as important by the established Church, but well known to the people and God.
Isn’t it interesting that Mary and Joseph get their confirmation and encouragement and words from those thought to be less than in the eyes of the “established Church?” In hiddeness?
God protects in this manner those He is using in secret.
“1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men [astrologers] from the east came to Jerusalem, asking, 2 Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east at its rising and have come to worship Him.
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was disturbed and troubled, and the whole of Jerusalem with him.
4 So he called together all the chief priests and learned men (scribes) of the people and anxiously asked them where the Christ was to be born.
5 They replied to him, In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
6 And you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, you are not in any way least or insignificant among the chief cities of Judah; for from you shall come a Ruler (Leader) Who will govern and shepherd My people Israel.
7 Then Herod sent for the wise men [astrologers] secretly, and accurately to the last point ascertained from them the time of the appearing of the star [that is, how long the star had made itself visible since its rising in the east].
8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, Go and search for the Child carefully and diligently, and when you have found Him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship Him.
9 When they had listened to the king, they went their way, and behold, the star which had been seen in the east in its rising went before them until it came and stood over the place where the young Child was.” Matthew 2:1-9 AMPC.
Again Joseph is warned by an ANGEL in a dream to escape with Mary and Jesus because Herod wants to destroy Him.
16 Then Herod, when he realized that he had been misled by the wise men, was furiously enraged, and he sent and put to death all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that territory who were two years old and under, reckoning according to the date which he had investigated diligently and had learned exactly from the wise men.
17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
18 A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they were no more.
19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of The LORD appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt
20 And said, Rise, [tenderly] take unto you the Child and His mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.
21 Then he awoke and arose and [tenderly] took the Child and His mother and came into the land of Israel.
22 But because he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in the place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being divinely warned in a dream, he withdrew to the region of Galilee.
23 He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what was spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled: He shall be called a Nazarene [Branch, Separated One].” Matthew 2:16-23 AMPC.
~ Priscilla Van Sutphin
PRISCILLA VAN SUTPHIN is the founder of Upstream Ministries, California, online at www.upstreamca.org and blogtalkradio.com/ Upstream. Donate to Upstream: via secure Paypal by sending as gift to upstream.ca @me.com or send to: Upstream, PMB 545, 14311 Newport Blvd, Suite G, Tustin, CA 92780, USA.