Zacharias to His Family and Friends

Luke 1:67 And his [John’s] father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,

68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,

71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;

74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,

75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

76 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;

77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins.

The Angels to the Shepherds

Luke 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

John the Baptist to the Multitudes

Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Jesus to the Multitudes

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the

kingdom of heaven is at hand.

23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

Matthew 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached unto them.

The Disciples to the Multitudes

Matthew 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Mark 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.


MEMORY VERSE: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. —Luke 24:47


CENTRAL THOUGHT: Fulfilling the vision of the prophets, announced by Zacharias and the angels, and heralded by John the Baptist, the gospel tidings of the kingdom—repentance and forgiveness of sins, deliverance from satan’s kingdom, and healing of all manner of diseases—began to be preached by Jesus and the disciples.




Luke 1:77 and 24:47 “Remission”: from a word meaning to send away; deliverance; complete forgiveness; liberty; pardon.

Luke 2:10 “Good tidings”: (Greek) euaggelizó: to announce good news; preach the gospel. Our English word is “evangelize.”” Same word as in Matthew 11:5 and the verb form of “gospel” in Matthew 4:23.

Matthew 10:7 “Preach” and Mark 16:20 “Preached”: to be a herald; proclaim.




Jesus was born during the violent and bloody era of King Herod. Paranoid and moody, suspicious of everyone, he had spies everywhere. He had many members of his own family put to death, including his wife. After his death there were conflicts among those who wanted to become king in his place.

The Jews were under oppressive Roman rule and heavy taxation. There were uprisings among the nationalistic Jews, would-be Messiahs, and revolutionaries whose surges would be crushed by the Romans. Robber bandits roamed the countryside.

Spiritually, it had been over 400 years since a prophet had spoken from God. The Jews were fragmented into four main factions: the Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots and Essenes. Despite the mighty Greek and Roman conquerors, poets, historians, architects, and philosophers, supposed to lift humanity to cultural refinement, the people were in the great darkness of idolatry and moral corruption, proving that the “world by wisdom knew not God.”

It was time for the Savior. The world was ripe for the Good News of salvation. The message for these times, according to the scriptures in our lesson, included these main themes: repentance, forgiveness and complete deliverance from sin, deliverance from demonic powers, and healing for diseases.

These were included in the inspired proclamation given by Zacharias at the circumcision of his son, John. Quoting from the prophesies given by Abraham and other prophets, he spoke of deliverance from their enemies, and his meaning was clear that he was speaking of the soul’s enemies, the deliverance being the way that people might serve God in holiness and righteousness.

The angels also announced the good news of a Savior, tidings of great joy and God’s peace and goodwill to all people.

John went about heralding the arrival of the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world. He preached repentance, or turning away from sin, as the way to be saved, announcing that the Messiah would baptize with the Holy Spirit and “throughly purge” the hearts of men and women.

Jesus and his disciples went among the people preaching the good news of the kingdom and working wonders and signs of God’s delivering power to the multitudes. All kinds of diseases were healed, devils were cast out, and the dead were raised to life again.

The world was dark indeed. But the darkness could not overcome the gospel Light that had now come.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




  1. The Abrahamic Covenant: What was the essence of it that was now going to be fulfilled by the Savior?
  2. The Herald: Who was to go before the Savior preaching repentance?
  3. The Angel Choir: What is the meaning of their song?
  4. The Signs Following: Name the things that were done by Jesus and the disciples as they preached to the multitude.




In these Scriptures we see the elements of the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. He didn’t come with a political or social message, although the message of deliverance from sin would greatly impact those areas. He came to take away sin. He came to rid the soul of satan’s possession and oppression. He came to bring a cure for the diseases, many of which were from the effects of sinful living.

Repentance is a vital part of the gospel message. Repentance makes the way for forgiveness and pardon. Without repentance there would be no deliverance. Today, we should beware of any “gospel” or “good news” in written, spoken or televised messages or songs, which does not include repentance, or turning away from sin.

We should also suspect any “gospel” that downplays godly living. According to Zacharias’s announcement, living in “holiness and righteousness, all the days of our life” was the purpose for which Jesus, the Redeemer, was sent.

Let us not leave out the good news that Jesus heals the body! There are opportunities all around us, with sin, sickness, devil possession, addiction, and the sorrows of depression on every hand, to proclaim this powerful truth: “Yes, He healed in Galilee, set the suffering captive free; And He’s just the same today!”

The gospel of the kingdom that we preach should always reflect the message that the good news is to every creature, people, and nation. It not only frees from sin and heals the body, but it makes us a member of God’s universal church. We are one body, with one Head, Jesus Christ; and one family, with one Father, God; and one kingdom, with one King.

The transcript for the gospel message we preach has already been written and is very clear. Let us be faithful to proclaim this very gospel until the end of time.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




When comparing the greatness of God’s kingdom, His Church, with the vast kingdoms created by men in ancient times, one is reminded of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in the second chapter of the book of Daniel, which God revealed to Daniel along with the dream’s interpretation.

The image in the king’s dream—the head of gold, the body and arms of silver, the midsection of brass, the legs of iron, and the feet of iron and clay—represented many of the great conquerors and kingdoms throughout history. However, none of these has been able to compete with the dominance of the kingdom of Heaven!

This kingdom, pictured as the stone cut out “without hands,” is a spiritual one, and one that shall never be destroyed (Daniel 2:44). That single stone, presented numerous times in scripture as none other but Jesus Christ, is the basis of God’s universal and timeless church, ever increasing just as the mountain in the king’s dream filled the entire earth. Jesus himself described this kingdom as a mustard tree (Matthew 13:31-32 and Luke 13:19), which starts out small, but grows into a great tree that brings health to the ecosystem around it.

There are many who have pressed into this kingdom; those who have forsaken sin and returned unto the Lord as ruler and controller of their lives. As His obedient subjects, each one receives the blessings of His reign through wholeness, righteousness, and peace here below, and eternal life when our time on earth is completed. The greatest news is that this kingdom shall continue long after time has ceased to exist, on and on throughout eternity!

“’Tis a kingdom of peace, it is reigning within,

It shall ever increase in my soul;

We possess it right here when He saves from all sin,

And ’twill last while the ages shall roll.”

—Bro. Fari Matthews