Christmas Message from God – 2023

Christmas is our “most wonderful time of the year”. It is one of the modern Christian highest holy days. This year, I received an unexpected message from God starting Christmas Eve and concluding a few days after Christmas.

The reader should be warned from the beginning that when I say unexpected, I do not mean anything positive. This message from God may be the strongest message I have ever received. I do not share it with any trepidation. Each of you who read this needs to now about it. I encourage you to share it with others. It needs to be shared. It is not easy to read or to absorb, but sometimes it is necessary to hear bad or difficult news so that you can get better. We go to the doctor when we know something is wrong. We know the news may be a little bad or maybe very bad. We go anyway because we want to be well.

Christmas Eve – December 24th, 2023

For Christmas Eve, I visited a church where a friend of mine is the pastor. It is a little further away from where I live. I went and met a friend there who also wanted to go to the Christmas Eve service at this church. It was good. We enjoyed the singing and the message.

We left and as I drove home, I asked the Lord a question that is not typical for me. I asked Him, “What are you thinking… What is on your mind?” Many times, I always ask God what He has to share with me, but I don’t often ask the open question about what is on God’s mind.

He immediately replied.

He spoke “Isaiah 48:11” to my heart immediately. I looked it up.

“For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act;
For how can My Name be profaned?
And My glory I will not give to another.”

Isaiah 48:11

Honestly, I was stunned. I had the immediate response to tell the Lord that I was sorry that we had not represented Him properly to others. I included myself and all those who are part of the body of Christ who are responsible for presenting Jesus Christ to the world.

Other than responding to the Lord and being aware of what was on God’s mind I didn’t have anything else I could do. I drove home and went to bed.

Christmas Day – December 25th, 2023

I got up Christmas Day and prepared for the usual process of having breakfast, opening presents and helping to prepare part of our Christmas Day family meal. This Christmas we had two guests. An aunt and uncle of my wife’s were with us. This caused me to think a bit more about my wife’s extended family. As I thought about them, it was on my heart to take some extra time during our Christmas meal prayer and pray for each family unit in my wife’s family. I had a sense of “amen” from the Lord that this would be good.

We planned to eat mid-afternoon. The time approached and I began preparing my part of the Christmas Day meal. As I prepared, I realized that my part would be done right about the time we planned to eat. I also realized I hadn’t had time to pray about what I would pray for the Christmas Day meal and for the various family units in my wife’s family.

Without stopping the process of food preparation, I just asked the Lord if He had anything (like a verse or passage) that He could give me for my Christmas Day meal prayer.

He immediately replied.

He spoke “Psalm 78:62” to my heart immediately. I looked it up.

He also delivered His people to the sword,
And was filled with wrath at His inheritance.

Psalm 78:62

This time I was stunned and shocked. We were only minutes away from eating and God had given me a verse that was far from a Christmas blessing. It didn’t help at all. I told the Lord, “What are you doing? This isn’t a Christmas verse! What am I supposed to do with this?” He didn’t give me any alternative. I knew this verse was what He wanted to share. It was so strong, I had no idea what to do.

So, as we gathered at the table I made an announcement. I said that I was going to bless the food and then we could eat. I also told everyone that I had intended to pray for the various families in my wife’s family more specifically as part of my Christmas Day meal prayer. I let them know what I had asked the Lord and that He had given me a response that I was still trying to process. I told them I was in shock and didn’t know what to say.

So, I prayed a simple prayer blessing the food for us to eat.

As we ate, I continued to consider what God had spoken to me. I realized that there was no way to pray for my wife’s family the way I had originally thought, but I still felt we should pray for them.

Towards the end of everyone eating, I asked my wife’s aunt and uncle if they had ever asked God something and received an unexpected reply? They are both strong Christian’s. My wife’s aunt clearly shook her head indicating, YES. My wife’s uncle said he couldn’t think of a specific scenario, but he knew it had happened.

Then I shared the verse with them and I told them that I didn’t think I could pray for any kind of “blessing” for the various family units. Instead I felt I needed to pray for the families to:

  • Awaken / Wake Up
  • Prepare / Be Ready
  • Be Aware / Watchful

We agreed to have a time of prayer later to pray for the various family units of my wife. We ended up praying for them the next morning in line with the items listed above.

Boxing Day – December 26th, 2023

In America, Boxing Day, is not a well known or celebrated holiday. It is just the day after Christmas, but in other parts of the world it is celebrated. It was originally a day to donate gifts to those in need.

I woke up on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) and as I got out of bed, I asked the Lord if he had anything to share with me. This is my habit on many days to ask for whatever the Lord wants to share with me. In the Old Testament, it says the manna in the wilderness rains down from heaven and they were to go out each morning and collect the amount they needed for those who were in each tent. Essentially, this was a family by family activity. I understand my request from the Lord Jesus Christ to share something with me in the mornings to be the process of going out and gathering manna for that day. In truth, I don’t do this every day and I have large portions of my days where I have failed to ask for anything from the Lord but usually when I ask there is something. He will bring a passage to my mind and I will go read it prayerfully asking Him to show something to me from the passage.

So, when I asked this day, He answered with Isaiah 62:18. I went to look it up. It didn’t exist. The last verse in Isaiah 62 was verse 12. For the first time in my life, I had a verse reference that didn’t exist. I had asked for the Lord to share something with me many times and even when I received Biblical references that seemed implausible (the verse number was really high), it turned out that it was there. This time it wasn’t there. I was surprised and I wondered why the Lord would give me a verse reference that didn’t exist. For some, this would be understood to be a red flag that I might have received something from another spirit, not the Spirit of God. That is possible. I won’t try to counter that viewpoint, but I realized that the reference I had been given was 6 verses beyond the end of Isaiah 62. So, I looked at Isaiah 63:6. If the substance of Isaiah 63:6 had been some new idea or thought, I might have set aside the verse reference I believe the Lord shared with me that morning as possibly not being from Him. Here is the verse.

6 “I trod down the peoples in My anger And made them drunk in My wrath,
And I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”

Isaiah 63:6

The connection between this verse and the verse (Psalm 78:62) I received on Christmas Day was very strong. The only difference was that the verse in Psalms indicated the target was His own people. This verse in Isaiah 63:6 was targeted at everyone else (not Israel).

At this point, I did not know why God would give me a reference to Isaiah 62:18, but as I thought about it I realized that there might be something about Isaiah 62 that related to Isaiah 63:6. I did not have time to pursue this idea until the next day.

December 27-29th, 2023

The next morning I woke and, again, asked the Lord for what He wanted to share with me. He brought Isaiah 62 to my mind. In fact, He brought this passage to my mind three days in a row when I asked him for what He wanted to share with me in the morning. Here was what I understood from this passage. There was a general (higher level) understanding and a specific item that I feel is for each of us.

1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, And her salvation like a torch that is burning. 2 The nations will see your righteousness, And all kings your glory; And you will be called by a new name Which the mouth of the Lord will designate. 3 You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, And a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 4 It will no longer be said to you, “Forsaken,” Nor to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate”; But you will be called, “My delight is in her,” And your land, “Married”; For the Lord delights in you, And to Him your land will be married. 5 For as a young man marries a virgin, So your sons will marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So your God will rejoice over you. 6 On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves; 7 And give Him no rest until He establishes And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. 8 The Lord has sworn by His right hand and by His strong arm, “I will never again give your grain as food for your enemies; Nor will foreigners drink your new wine for which you have labored.” 9 But those who garner it will eat it and praise the Lord; And those who gather it will drink it in the courts of My sanctuary. 10 Go through, go through the gates, Clear the way for the people; Build up, build up the highway, Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples. 11 Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth, Say to the daughter of Zion, “Lo, your salvation comes; Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.” 12 And they will call them, “The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord”; And you will be called, “Sought out, a city not forsaken.”Isaiah 62

1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, And her salvation like a torch that is burning. 2 The nations will see your righteousness, And all kings your glory; And you will be called by a new name Which the mouth of the Lord will designate. 3 You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, And a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 4 It will no longer be said to you, “Forsaken,” Nor to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate”; But you will be called, “My delight is in her,” And your land, “Married”; For the Lord delights in you, And to Him your land will be married. 5 For as a young man marries a virgin, So your sons will marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So your God will rejoice over you. 6 On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves; 7 And give Him no rest until He establishes And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. 8 The Lord has sworn by His right hand and by His strong arm, “I will never again give your grain as food for your enemies; Nor will foreigners drink your new wine for which you have labored.” 9 But those who garner it will eat it and praise the Lord; And those who gather it will drink it in the courts of My sanctuary. 10 Go through, go through the gates, Clear the way for the people; Build up, build up the highway, Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples. 11 Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth, Say to the daughter of Zion, “Lo, your salvation comes; Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.” 12 And they will call them, “The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord”; And you will be called, “Sought out, a city not forsaken.”

Isaiah 62

General Understanding of Isaiah 62

Isaiah 62 shows a bright and hopeful future for Jerusalem and Zion. For me, this passage was a bright and hopeful future connected to the much more serious and ominous things God had shared over the previous three days (Isaiah 48:11, Psalms 78:62 and Isaiah 63:6). This is a strong pattern we see in God’s speaking through the prophets. He almost never shares something challenging or difficult without giving the reassurance of a bright and hopeful future. As I read Isaiah 62, I felt that the reason for the unusual reference to Isaiah 62:18 (i.e. Isaiah 63:6) was to connect the bright and hopeful aspects of Isaiah 62 to the very strong things God was sharing with me from Isaiah 48:11, Psalm 78:62 and Isaiah 62:18 (63:6).

Specific Item from Isaiah 62

Starting on the December 27th (the first day the Lord shared Isaiah 62 with me), I understood God was pairing his strong words from previous days with a message of a bright and hopeful future.

However, God continued to give me this same passage for several days in a row. So, I continued to read it prayerfully seeking to understand anything else the Lord wanted to bring to my attention. One portion of the passage stood out to me as instruction for believers.

6 On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves; 7 And give Him no rest until He establishes And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

Isaiah 62:6-7

The portion about those who “remind the Lord” stood out. In reviewing some Bible lexicons it becomes apparent that the word “remind” also means “to remember” or “bring to remembrance”. It is referring to those who keep the Lord on their mind and hearts. This passage is instructing those who “remember” or “keep Him in their mind” to start bothering Him. Pester Him and persist until Jerusalem is established as a praise in the earth. I believe this is an encouragement to pray throughout the End Times until Jesus’ second coming and to continue to remind the Lord to bring about His full plans.

Summary

So, over a period of about one week in total, God gave me a very strong word regarding upcoming judgment that seems to match passages where the same language pointed at war. I cannot tell the scope of the war, but it seems to me that it is not too far off. We already have growing conflict in the Middle East. Since God did not give me a specific sense of timing, I won’t speculate.

I am not going to add any further summary. I will leave it to the reader to consider the things shared here before the Lord and I pray the Lord will speak to your heart.

– A. Layman

Posted in A. Layman, Blog Entry, To The Church