The Birth of Jesus Foretold

Luke 1:26–38

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture. Memorize the memory verse.

  1. Six months before the announcement to Mary that she would have a child, an angel of God named Gabriel revealed to Elizabeth, a relative of Mary, that she would have a child. This child would be named John (later added the title “the Baptist”) who would prepare people for what would be revealed.
  2. Sixth months later the angel Gabriel was sent to the virgin, Mary, already engaged to be married to Joseph, who then proceeded to tell Mary who this child is and would be.
  3. How it is that Mary was “favored” above all women to bear the Messiah, the Christ, of whose kingdom would never end, is not revealed.
  4. Mary protests, and this word may not be the best word to be used, but she asks, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
  5. Now the angel responds with an explanation that is far beyond our ability to grasp, except that it is the result of something miraculous. The miracle is a son who is “holy” and only God is holy so this one will be the “son of God.”
  6. Briefly the angel says that the “Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” in an attempt to explain to Mary the unexplainable.
  7. Then the angel says her relative Elizabeth has already conceived a son, this six months earlier, someone Mary knew was too old to be able to give birth.
  8. Mary makes an incredible statement of faith and commits to what the angel has announced to her.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

  1. To grasp the historical background to the Day of Pentecost read Exodus 34:21–23, Leviticus 23:15–16, and Joel 2:42–47. Then go to Acts and read chapters 1 and 2.
  2. Pentecost is the fourth of the seven feasts of Israel, each of which is explained in Leviticus 23. Fifty days after the Feast of First Fruits, the day that Jesus was resurrected from the dead, came the celebration of the wheat harvest. Pentecost, the word, comes from the Greek language, ‘pente’ and the Hebrew word for it is Shauvot.
  3. In addition to celebrating the Fall harvest on Pentecost, the giving of the Law of Moses was also celebrated on that day. It was a “pilgrimage feast” when vast numbers would come into Jerusalem.
  4. The chosen Apostles had already received the indwelling Holy Spirit prior to Pentecost. This is evident from John 20:      19–23 where we read: “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”
  5. Now indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and we can look back at the prophecy of Joel 2:28–32 as being fulfilled here, but there was more to come. There would also be the Holy Spirit baptism of fire (see John 3:11),, which Jesus, just prior to His ascension, told His followers would take place. And it did on the Day of Pentecost.
  6. The term, baptism of the Holy Spirit, is variously understood, but most see it that it is separate, and comes later, or at the same time, as the initial indwelling of the Spirit at conversion. And we now desire to be filled with the empowering Holy Spirit in order that we may be effective evangelists.

Biblical Baptism

Baptism in Water: The Dunking

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

  1. Two words in our English New Testament have not been translated, rather they have been transliterated since those responsible for the King James version of the Bible insisted they could not be. These words are “baptizo“ and “ekklesia.” The first word means “dunk” or “immerse” and the second means “called out ones.”
  2. Problem was the church in control then did not immerse new believers in water but rather “baptized” infants by means of sprinkling “holy water” on the candidate’s head. And instead of “called out ones” the identity was “church.”
  3. Following the Reformation in the 16th century, Christians who wished to follow the Scripture, immersed or dunked in water those who were born again of the Spirit of God. These became known as “Anabaptists” and the “ana,” which means “re,” dropped off the word so that we have the designation “Baptist” like in Miller Avenue Baptist Church.
  4. By examining the passages here: Matthew 3:13–17; 28:18–20; Acts 2:37–41; 8:34–38; 10:44–48; 16:11–15; 16:25–34; Romans 6:3–4; 1 Corinthians 12:12–12-13, (and there are dozens of others passages that could be cited) it becomes clear that Jesus intended that new believers were to be dunked or immersed in water following their conversion.
  5. And why? When a person is immersed in water it pictures the dying to sin, and that sin being forgiven. This forgiveness has already happened. Then laid in the water, like in a grave, symbolizes that the sin is removed, gone forever. The coming out of the water symbolizes the resurrection that we have in Christ. Baptism then is a testimony, a sermon presented.
  6. Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and then is raised from the dead. This is the story of biblical baptism.

Psalm 95—Let Us Sing Songs of Praise

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

  1. No author is noted for this Psalm. It is called “A Thanksgiving Psalm.” It is also referred to as “A Liturgy of God’s Kingship.” It is said to be written by a priest who warns the “congregation” against disobeying God’s laws.”
  2. It is quoted in Hebrews chapters 3 and 4. Commentators also point to chapter 14 of Revelation, verses 6 to 13, as speaking to the same theme—rest.
  3. Reference is made in Psalm 95 of an event that occurred following the exodus from Egypt under the leadership of Moses. In the desert of Sinai, the people had no water and began rebelling against Moses, and of course, God.
  4. The response was then that the people would not enter God’s rest, that is, the Promised Land, the land of Canaan. That generation would die in the wilderness and would not enter across the Jordan River into the land what would be known as Israel.
  5. The Psalm begins with an invitation to “make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” The psalmist goes on to lift up the LORD, the great God. But then, at the ending of verse 7 comes a warning, “do not harden your hearts, as a Meribah.” This is where the people rebelled against God.
  6. Do we hear the Holy Spirit here looking forward to a time of “rest” that was to come, of which the Exodus from bondage in Egypt is a foretaste or prophecy of that “rest” that was to come?
  7. We remember to words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Jesus is our Sabbath rest, and the word “Sabbath” means rest.

Psalm 51 Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

  1. The background to this Psalm most expositors agree is found in 2 Samuel chapter 11, the account of King David’s adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah.
  2. This is a penitential song, a plea by David for forgiveness to God due to his sinful behavior. He is asking for mercy, and this based on the steadfast and sure love of God. He is convinced that God will “blot out my transgressions.”
  3. David is so very aware of his transgressions, in fact, his sin is on his mind and heart continually. He honestly acknowledges his sin and admits God is just in His judgment of him.
  4. He knows his sin must be cleansed, blotted out, forgiven. He pleads for God to “create in me a clean heart” and to “restore to me the joy of your salvation.”         
  5. We are drawn now to the finished work of Jesus on the cross, that sacrifice for sin, whereby our sin may be removed, forgiven, forever erased.
  6. We are like King David, the chosen one of God, the one from whom the Messiah would come. Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 5: 27-28, we are not unlike David and his sinning.
  7. Why is this story about the great King of Israel in the Scripture? Why was it not edited out? Because expositors point out that if this could happen to David it could happen to anyone. And we find in this story the consequences of sin and how it can bring chaos and misery into our lives.
  8. It is also a story of grace and mercy and love—all coming from our God. There is forgiveness and renewed joy and thanksgiving.
  9. Over the centuries great numbers of us Christians have found hope from this incredible Psalm.

Why Are You Cast Down, O My Soul?

Psalm 42 and 43

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

  1. This from a person, perhaps a Levite, living near Mt. Herman, who is prevented by illness from travelling to the Temple in Jerusalem that he might worship in God’s presence. It is probable that the two Psalms were one and we see that in the Hebrew Bible there is no title for Psalm 43. The present title was added at some point.
  2. The Oxford Annotated Bible states that the two Psalms are “a prayer for healing in preparation for a pilgrimage.”
  3. There are three stanzas (metrical units): Psalm 43:1–5, 42:6–11, and Psalm 43–1-5.
  4. The author is deeply distressed with the reality that he will not “appear before God.” Others chide him that his illness, that which prevents his attendance at the Temple, is his personal fault.
  5. He remembers former times when with great joy and praise he was in the great procession of pilgrims as they entered into the presence of God in the Temple.
  6. Thus, he is “cast down” yet he has hope that once again he will bring praise to God, whom he calls “my salvation and my God.”
  7. His lament and his hope are both present with him, but foremost is his “hope in God” that he shall again praise Him.
  8. Here we can identify with this pilgrim who presses on, not deterred by others nor his present circumstances. He knows there is salvation in no one or nothing else.


Psalm 32:1-11

Blessed are the Forgiven

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         This Psalm of David is the testimony of a forgiven sinner, one whose transgression is forgiven and whose sin is covered.

2.         Prior to the psalmist’s confession of sin, his life was miserable with groaning all the day long.

3.         Day after day, night after night, David cries as God’s hand was upon him. Then we find the musical note Selah, which may mean a choir or a musician is heard.

4.         But then, in deep despair, sin is confessed; the Psalmist now ceases to cover his sin but lays his life open.

5.         Upon confession, the Psalmist is forgiven of his sin. And the choir or a musician is heard, underscoring the mercy received, which results in praising God who is gracious and forgiving.

6.         The forgiven Psalmist now becomes a preacher and calls out to all to make prayers of confession so that they may be protected from the dangers of their sins.

7.         Indeed, God is a hiding place, One who brings deliverance. The Psalmist can hear that now God will teach and counsel those who have been forgiven of their sin.

8.         The Psalmist admonishes other to no longer be stubborn, like a horse or mule that knows not the grace of God.

9.         The Psalmist knows that great is the pain and suffering of those who rebel against their God. In great contrast is the steadfast love God gives to those who trust In Him.

10.       Since these things are a clear reality, be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, even shout for joy.                                        

An invitation to a class on Exorcism (If you are interested, email me, and I will send you the link Sunday morning-kentphilpott@comcast.net

Hello Everyone, Starting this next Sunday, following the morning service, we will have our first class on exorcism, or as we like to refer to it, Deliverance Ministry.
It will be recorded, by Zoom, and anyone may join the Zoom meeting. Hoping that as many as possible will be with us in person.
This is a major effort on our part. It is so crucial to our ministry in this world today. For four decades I have avoided this area, but now no longer. Here is what the class is going to look like.
One, first, we are going over the book, Deliver us from Evil: How Jesus Casts Out Demons Today. There will be a copy for everyone who is present. For those living away from Marin, please go to Amazon.com, type in my name, and then you will find the book. It is inexpensive.
Two, we will be going over the redo of The Deliverance Book, Katie has it almost ready, It will be a “Little Book” and we will make it available to everyone at no cost.
Three, we will be going over my ThM thesis, published by Zonderva n in 1973, A Manual of Demonology and The Occult. Again, we will make this book available. During the 1970s it was printed in other languages, sold lots of copies, and is essential to an understanding of occultism through the ages and now.
Four, for those willing, we will learn to engage in deliverance ministry.
Five, we have two extra copies of Richard Gallagher’s book: Demonic Foes: My Twenty-Five Years As A Psychiatrist Investigating Possessions, Diabolic Attacks, and the Paranormal. It was published on October 6th. Katie and I are going through it now and the extra copies will be available starting this Sunday. He is an MD, specializing in psychiatry, a Roman Catholic, and does he tell the story.
What is this all about?
1. You will be getting an education in a wide variety of areas. This is my job to equip for ministry. And at this  point in our culture, nothing could be of greater significance.
2. If so desired, you will be equipped to do deliverance ministry. It will be of tremendous value to you.
Kent Philpott, Pastor, Miller Avenue Baptist Church, Mill Valley, CA

Psalm 23 The Lord is My Shepherd Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture. 1. This Psalm of David is the most well-known of them all. The “shepherd” in ancient near eastern usage meant lord, leader, or king. David knows who his king/lord/leader is so then he will never be in want for anything else. 2. David’s Lord meets his needs and brings him peace. 3. David’s soul, nephesh in Hebrew, his LORD continually restores his life and vitality, he does not lapse into fear and insecurity. 4. And for “his name’s sake” David is rightly directed. Thus, David lives to honor his holy God. 5. David knows he will “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” yet he will not walk alone. Yes, he will face death, that deep darkness, as we all will, but he knows he is safe in his LORD and so will not fear even that which is evil. 6. Like the shepherd David was, God protects and comforts him. 7. And like a gracious host, which is the second image employed in the Psalm, the first being that of a shepherd, David’s LORD even protects him with his enemies close at hand and present. This host lavishly anoints David’s head and provides more than all he needs. 8. Despite what trauma and drama David will see in his future, yet due to God’s everlasting covenant relationship with him, he will continue to know the deep grace and mercy, which will be his throughout his life. 9. And even more than God’s presence with him in this life, when life is over, he will yet dwell, and forever, in the place where his LORD eternally dwells.

Why Have You Forsaken Me?

                                      Psalm 22:1-18

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         This is one of the Psalms described as a lament, here David speaks of the treatment he received during his reign as king, with enemies coming at him from many sides.

2.         He begins by shouting out to God, wanting to know why he has been forsaken, even leaving him to the mercy of his enemies.

3.         At the same time David knows that his God is holy and has delivered His people before.

4.         Then David reverts to the distress he is under going. Even his own people attack him with words of mockery and contempt.

5.         Still, God is his God, and who has cared for him even from his birth. He pleads that God not leave him alone at the time of his trouble.

6.         Back again to those who would destroy him and he is under siege, suffering so incredibly that it seems as though his heart is being melted within him.

7.         The onslaught is so terrible it seems like he is dying, and only his fierce enemies are with him in his death throes.

8.         He is as good as dead as those who hate him are dividing up his clothes.

9.         The rest of the Psalm David speaks of vindication and victory, here the focus is on the suffering Messiah of Israel.

10.       The Gospel writers, in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19, all recognize that the sufferings of Jesus on the cross have been revealed a thousand years previously in this very Psalm. They are aware that so much of the Psalm applies not to King David but to Jesus and His crucifixion.