Sunday, January 22, 2017

1. The Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Israel

That I Have Visited
By: Elmer Towns

This church in Bethlehem, Israel, was commissioned in 327 A.D. by Helena, mother of Constantine the Great.  The site is considered the place where Jesus was born.  Entering the sanctuary, you go down a small passageway under the platform to a small cave where tradition says that Jesus was born. 

When I first entered the cave in 1972, I saw a large solid gold stone weighing over 450 pounds. Tradition said the stone was on the site where God became flesh, i.e., the exact spot where the Lord Jesus entered the physical world as a baby. 

Helena’s first church building was completed in 339 and destroyed 200 years later.  The new basilica was built in 565 by Justin the Byzantine Emperor.

There have been numerous additions to the building, and today, it is not in good repair.  Every time I have visited, it is dusty and ill kept.  It doesn’t appear to have regular worship services.  Currently the church is administered by four authorities: the Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Arminian Apostolic Church and the Syrian Orthodox Church. 

You enter the sanctuary through a small entry door, 2’ x 4,’ which is called the Door of Humanity.  It was constructed low to prevent horsemen from entering the basilica on horses during the Ottoman period.  Others say the tiny door causes all worshipers to bow and check their pride when they enter.  Whether or not it is the actual spot, I felt an atmospheric presence of Jesus in the place and it confirmed my belief in the virgin birth. 

Jesus established His Church and the gates of hell will not overcome it. PTL our hope in in Christ. See my PDF Book for how Christ keeps us healthy. The Healing Release of the Holy Spirit.

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