COMMITTED to train men and women
to have minds for the Lord Jesus,
hearts for the truth, and
hands that are skilled to the task.

Sermons on Luke

IMMANUEL – GOD WITH US – AN IMPOSSIBLE SITUATION

Chuck Swindoll in his commentary on Luke writes:
“Soon they were replaced by lesser men, however, and these compromising leaders held onto the Land of Promise, not by trusting God to protect and provide for them, but through political maneuvering and backroom deals. They accepted the help of Rome to keep other invaders out. Unfortunately, their politicking left them with the mere illusion of autonomy.
LIKE ACCEPTING FAVORS FROM THE MAFIA, THE HELP OF ROME CAME WITH STRINGS ATTACHED. THOSE STRINGS BECAME ROPES, WHICH THE ROMANS REPLACED WITH CHAINS.
Rome had come to rule Jerusalem through a puppet leader, a descendant of Esau, who sat on the throne God had promised to the descendants of Jacob. This usurper, Herod, jealously guarded his ill-gotten title, ‘KING OF THE JEWS,” and killed anyone who threatened to take it away, including members of his own family. Meanwhile, the priesthood had become a corrupt crime syndicate and the temple a funnel for their money. Those who loved God and cherished His law lacked the power to change Israel’s future. The rich and powerful saw no reason to trust God for anything. Understandably, those who hoped for the coming of the Messiah and the restoration of Israel finally lost all hope. Theirs had become an impossible situation.”

Chuck Swindoll
“Herod was not of Jewish blood. He was a wealthy Idumean, according to Josephus. Idumeans descended from Esau, who “despised his birthright” (Genesis 25:33-34) and lost it to his scheming brother Jacob. Herod apparently decided to turn the tables on history and snatch back what his forebear had bargained away; the right to rule Israel. Political support from Rome and a strategic marriage to a Jewish royal gave him the crown around 40 BC, and he kept it through bloody intrigue for more than forty years.”

Julian Huxley called that ‘Religion without Revelation’
“It is obvious that any religion which lays primary emphasis on salvation in the next world will be something of an obstacle towards getting the best out of this world as speedily as possible.
Once we have rid ourselves of this doctrine of a Divine Power external to ourselves, we can get busy with the real task of dealing with our inner forces.”

Carl Teichrib “Games of Gods” writes:
“In the early 1960, Columbia University professor, Amitai Etzioni, remarked that ‘Modern society is to a large degree a bureaucratic society…The most powerful social units which make up modern society are bureaucracies.’
Certainly we must operate with law and order. I do not deny this, nor would I wish to live otherwise. But we have moved far from the transcendent nature of TRUE LAW, which supersedes class distinctions and generations, remaining anchored in a reality that surpasses politics. In the West this was the TEN COMMANDMENTS, which gave us LIBERTY WITH RESPONSIBILITY.
In the technically managed society, however, law is replaced with REGULATION. The result is a constant state of flux as new approaches are necessary to modify public and private behavior. ‘RULES’, therefore, change with cultural whims and lobbying pressures and the never ending demands of political bureaucracy. It is the soft-Modernist MACHINERY OF THE WEST. Everything needs to be ordered and categorized; everything must be numbered, even as the regulations themselves are counted in the tens of thousands.
For example, at the end of 2016 the US FEDERAL REGISTER – a listing of regulations and notices added or amended by the federal government – topped out at 97,110 pages for that year alone. This number does not include the mountain of state, city, municipal and county regulations, nor the multitude of other rules and codes we regularly bind ourselves with. And everywhere it is the same; the hall mark of Western civilization is micro-management.
We have become saturated in the numerical organization of life, from birth to school to profession to grave. But it makes sense. When naturalism is our basis for reality and scientific materialism our source of authority, when consumerism becomes our purpose and product of our identity, then what is MAN BUT A NUMBER?
HUMANITY SIMPLY TURNS INTO ANOTHER THING TO BE ENGINEERED, ANOTHER STATISTIC TO BE CATALOGUED. WE BECOME A HUMAN RESOURCE.”

Chuck Swindoll
“Herod pretended to be ‘a good Jew’ by eliminating pork from his diet, but he indulged an insatiable appetite for murder – a heinous violation of the sixth commandment. He built a magnificent temple for the God of Israel – an architectural wonder in its day – yet appointed one corrupt high priest after another. He taxed Jews through the temple in keeping with Old Testament Law but then used the proceeds to break the first commandment, building cities and temples in honor of the Roman emperor and his pantheon of Roman deities. The ‘days of Herod, king of Judea’ were prosperous for the powerful, but horrific for everyone else.”

Gabriel reveals to Zechariah:
• His prayer has been heard
• Elizabeth with bear him a son
• His son’s name shall be called JOHN
• He must not drink wine or strong drinks
• He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb
• He will bring many Jews to the Lord
• He will go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah
• He will prepare the people for the Lord

THE THEOCRATIC ADMINISTRATOR

When Congressman from Florida criticized the EQUALITY ACT during the House debate saying:
“The gender confusion that exists in our culture today is a clear rejection of God’s good design. Whenever a nation’s law no longer reflects the standards of God, that nation is in rebellion against him and will inevitably bear the consequences.” (Rep Greg Steube (R-Florida)

Rep. Jerry Nadler pushed back:
“What any religious tradition describes as God’s will is no concern of this Congress!”
Theocracy is a form of government: It is a government by divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided.
Contemporary examples of theocracies include Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Vatican. (Britannica.com)

The problem with all those contemporary theocracies is that they are not administrators of the God who created everything.
When it comes to Biblical revelation the technical term for this hierarchy, where God rules over man who in turn governs creation on God’s behalf, is the office of THEOCRATIC ADMINISTRATOR. This term simply refers to someone who governs for God. In other words, God ruled the world indirectly through the first Adam.
Hebrew scholar Arnold Fruchtenbaum observes:
“The naming was the first exercise of man’s dominion: and whatsoever the man called every living creature, that was the name thereof. Man begins exercising his dominion over the animal kingdom with the act of naming the animals. The ability to name or rename is the exercise of dominion and authority. In Numbers 32:37-38, the Reubenites exercised lordship by naming and renaming cities in captured territories. In 2 King 23:34, Pharaoh-Neco used his dominion over Judah to change the name of King Eliakim to King Jehoiakim. In 2 King 24:17, the King of Babylon used his dominion over Judah to change the name of King Mattaniah to King Zedekiah. So Adam’s naming of the animals was the exercise of man’s authority over the animal kingdom, and so it was.” “The Book of Genesis; Exposition from a Messianic Jewish Perspective”

What was the result?
Satan’s success in inciting this rebellion effectively removed the office of Theocratic Administrator from the earth, as Satan at that point became the ruler of this world. (Luke 4:5-8; John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11, 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; 1 John 5:19)

Charles C. Ryrie in his book “Basic Theology” writes:
“Why is an earthly kingdom necessary? Did He not receive His inheritance when He was raised and exalted in heaven? Is not His present rule His inheritance? Why does there need to be an earthly kingdom? Because He must be triumphant IN THE SAME ARENA where He was seemingly defeated. His rejection by the rulers of this world was on this earth. His exaltation must also be on this earth. And so it shall be when He comes again to rule this world in righteousness. He has waited long for His inheritance; soon He shall receive it.”

After the fall in Eden, the theocratic kingdom left the earth. This departure left the world without the benefit of the office of Theocratic Administrator until the time of Moses.

The Mosaic Covenant introduced a new component to God’s covenantal dealings with Israel.
• The Abrahamic Covenant was an unconditional covenant.
• The Davidic Covenant was also an unconditional covenant.
In other words, they rest completely upon God rather than Israel’s performance for their eventual fulfillment.
• The Mosaic Covenant is a conditional covenant.
Exodus 19:5-6
“Now then, IF YOU will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, THEN YOU shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

Andrew Wood in his book “The Coming Kingdom” writes:
“Although the Abrahamic Covenantal promises and blessings are unconditionally guaranteed to come directly to Israel and indirectly to the entire world, these kingdom conditions will not manifest themselves until national Israel trusts Jesus Christ, her long-awaited King. Because there has never existed a Jewish generation that has complied with this condition, the messianic kingdom remains in a state of postponement up until the present hour. However, one day, a future generation of Jews will comply with this condition resulting in the establishment of the messianic kingdom of God on earth. As revealed in the pages of Bible prophecy, it will take the events of the future Tribulation period to bring such a generation to faith in Christ thereby leading to the manifestation of the earthly, theocratic, messianic kingdom.
Until this condition of Israel’s acceptance of her Messiah has been satisfied, the kingdom cannot come to the earth.

FAULTY EXPECTATIONS

As Michael Heiser in ‘THE UNSEEN REALM’ explains:
God issues four commands. All four commands are grammatically plural in Hebrew. That means that Yahweh is commanding a GROUP. The group cannot be Israelites or a collective Israel, since it is Israel that Yahweh is commanding the group to comfort, speak to, and call. You should know the identity of the group by now: THE DIVINE COUNCIL.
The context of Isaiah 40 is a new beginning for Israel, Judah. The remaining two tribes had spent seventy years in captivity in Babylon. God brought them out of exile and back to the land. However – and this is frequently overlooked – the other ten tribes never emerged from exile. They were lost, scattered among the disinherited nations. But the coming of the messiah will result in redemption for ALL THE TRIBES. Yahweh will draw his children from EVERY TRIBE AND NATION, whether Abraham’s literal descendants or not.”
“With the arrival of the messiah, the apostle John casts John the Baptist in Isaiah’s role. Like the prophet of old, John the Baptist has “stood in the council and answered the call. To a Jew familiar with the Old Testament, the pattern would not be lost. The calling of John the Baptist tells the reader that Yahweh’s divine council is in session again, only this time the aim is TO LAUNCH THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITH THE SECOND YAHWEH, no incarnate, as its point man.”

Mark 1:9-11 And it happened that in those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. And immediately as he was coming up out of the water, he saw THE HEAVENS BEING SPLIT APART (schizo) and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.”
“schizo” is a verb used in Exodus 14:21 to describe the miraculous parting of the sea.

Exodus 15:11 (Moses asked the rhetorical question:
“WHO IS LIKE YAHWEH AMONG THE gods?”

Michael Heiser explains it this way:
“The New Testament story, then, begins with a dramatic revisitation of Yahweh’s call to the divine council to send someone to announce the appearance of Yahweh in the man Jesus of Nazareth. That much will become evident to friend and foe, human and divine. The strategy behind the appearance of the king, however, IS CLOAKED. It had been over 500 years since the return of Judah from exile. The emergence of Jesus, born and raised in obscurity, from the water launches a battle of wits that entangles both the divine and the human realms.”

Luke presents the Lord’s view of the kingdom of God in two parts:
In part 1 Jesus briefly answered the Pharisees’ question about the
Part One: THE TIMING OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
Part Two: NATURE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

First: The kingdom will not come right away.
Second: During the King’s absence, people will claim the Kingdom has come.
Third: Jesus reveals HOW the kingdom will be established on earth

WHAT IF?

Stuart Briscoe in his book titled: “Vital Truths to Shape Your Life”
“Freedom creates options. Political freedom allows me to vote for the politician whose platform most closely reflects my political opinions – or not to vote at all. Religious freedom allows me to worship at the church, synagogue, mosque, or temple that I believe teaches the truth. Or I am free not to believe anything. Economic freedom allows me to live where I wish, drive what I prefer, travel where I want, wear what I like, associate with whom I choose. BUT ALL THESE OPTIONS REQUIRE ME TO CHOOSE. “

Ian Thomas comments on this text: “Those who would have you reject the Virgin Birth of Christ, would have you believe that He was the illegitimate child of a woman who was both unfaithful and a liar! Others would have you believe that a matter of such gravity is of no particular consequence! Remember that every lie is a lie about the truth – and every lie comes from the same source, the big Lie, who is the father of lies.”

Ian Thomas: “By the Word of God, through the Holy Spirit, acting on the obedience of Faith. That is how the miracle took place, and Christ was born in Bethlehem. …By His incarnation the Lord Jesus Christ had established a precedent in procedure for spiritual regeneration.

BE A HONEY BADGER

Gad Saad wrote the book titled: “The Parasitic Mind” subtitled: “How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense”
“Many people living in the West tell me they want to defend our liberty but cannot do so publicly because they could suffer professional or social consequences. Therein lies the problem. Did the young, Allied soldiers landing on the shores of Normandy in World War II ask for a guarantee of their safety before charging German machine guns and mortars?”
Their selfless heroism granted me the freedom to type what you are currently reading. Millions of individuals have sacrificed their lives so that your children and mine could live in free societies. And yet, most people today are unwilling to speak their minds lest they be unfriended by an acquaintance on Facebook. Cowardice should be added to the list of seven deadly sins.
THERE IS NO WAY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE GRAND BATTLE OF IDEAS FOR THE SOUL OF THE WEST WITHOUT FACING ANY THREATS.”

Paul Joseph Watson wrote on article published under www.summit.news
“Senior U.S. Army Official Says There Will Never Be a Return to “Normal” Post-COVID”
“During a speech at the U.S. Army’s annual conference, Bruce Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, said that measure implemented across the country will remain in place across the defense industry to protect against the shutdown of production facilities.
He also suggested that the restrictions should remain in place for the general public.
“I would say we don’t back off of the COVID-19 standards because it will also reduce the impact of flu and other illnesses,” he added. “We think continuing to apply these same techniques would be further beneficial to the people and to the Army overall.”
Here is what he put up on Twitter:
“A vaccine on its own will not end the COVID-19 pandemic. We will still need to continue:
• Surveillance
• Testing, isolating & caring for cases
• Tracing & quarantining contacts
• Engaging communities
• Encouraging individuals to be careful.

Author Joseph Massey commented: “I’m not a conspiracy theorist, nor am I a COVID denier, but people like this make it difficult not to believe that lockdowns are more about social engineering than they are about stopping the virus. A vaccine is not a ‘COMPLEMENT” to being isolated and muzzled like an animal”.

How did the Nazi Government in Germany get away with all this? They called it “Enabling Act of 1933, which formally granted the government the authority to issue whatever edicts it wanted under the guise of remedying the distress of the people.”
Do you know that on November 18, 2020, the German parliament passed a law, the so-called ‘INFECTION PROTECTION ACT’ formally granting the government the authority to issue whatever edicts it wants under the guise of protecting the public health.

“Carl Teichrib “Game of Gods”: From politics to transhumanism to the interfaith movement, western culture is quickly turning away from a Biblical Worldview AND EMBRACING A False Gospel of ONENESS.”

GO TELL THAT FOX

King Herod was the tetrarch of Galilee meaning “ruler of a fourth,” for the kingdom was divided) He was King of Judea and he ruled the territory with Roman approval. While Judea as an independent kingdom it was under heavy Roman influence and HEROD came to power WITH ROMAN SUPPORT. It was in Herod’s territory where Jesus was ministering. We all know about Herod the Great, the one who was in power when Jesus was born and who slaughtered the innocent children after the Magi told him about the Christ child, but this is his son, Herod Antipas. What do we know about him? Well, when Jesus calls him “that fox,” he is not just saying that he is as sly as a fox but Jesus is actually insulting him, for a fox is an unclean animal in the Israelite holiness codes. Herod the Great (Herod Antipas’ father) was by descent an EDOMITE, whose ancestors had converted to Judaism. Herod was raised a Jew.

C.S. Lewis, “The Abolition of Man”
“Man’s conquest of Nature, if the dreams of some scientific planners are realized, means the rule of a few hundreds of men over billions upon billions of men.”

As John Whitehead wrote:
“Like it or not, the COVID-19 pandemic with its veiled threat of forced vaccinations, contact tracing, and genetically encoded vaccines is propelling humanity at warp speed into a whole new frontier – a surveillance matrix – the likes of which we’ve only previously encountered in science fiction. Those who eye these developments with lingering mistrust have good reason to be leery.
The government has long had a tendency to unleash untold horrors upon the world in the name of global conquest, the acquisition of greater wealth, scientific experimentation, and technological advances, all packaged in a guise of the greater good.
Indeed, “we the people” have been treated like lab rats by government agencies for decades now: caged, branded, experimented upon without knowledge of consent, and then conveniently discarded and left to suffer from the after-effects.
“There is a sinister world beyond that which we perceive, one in which power players jockey for control over the one commodity that is a necessary ingredient for total domination: YOU.
By you, I mean you the individual in all your SINGULAR HUMANNESS.”
“Remaining singularly human and retaining your individuality and dominion over yourself – mind, body, and soul – in the face of corporate and government technologies that aim to invade, intrude, monitor, manipulate and control us may be one of the greatest challenges before us.”
These COVID-19 vaccines, which rely on messenger RNA technology that influences everything from viruses to memory, are merely the tipping point.
The groundwork being laid with these vaccines is a prologue to what will become the police state’s conquest of a new, relatively unchartered, frontier; mental, emotional, of the human race.”
If you were unnerved by the rapid deterioration of privacy under the Surveillance State, prepare to be terrified by the surveillance matrix that will be ushered in on the heels of the governments, rollout of this COVID-19 vaccine.”

The term “SINGULARITY” – that is, computers simulating human life itself – was coined years ago by mathematical geniuses Stanislaw Ulam and John von Neumann.

“The ever accelerating progress of technology gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue.
The plan is to develop a computer network that will exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to or indistinguishable from that of human beings by 2029. And this goal is to have computers that will be a billion times more powerful than all of the human brains on earth.”
John von Neumann

Science and Technology Journalist Marcelo Gleiser published an article under the title :”The Transhuman Future; BE More Than You Can Be”
“How is it that we define a human? Is it our body? Our genome? Our behaviors? Our self-awareness? Our compassion? Our minds? All of these and then something more? What now may be obvious to most people about being human will become less so as we become progressively more integrated with technology both inside and outside our bodies.”
“The future? Transhumanism will only grow. Technological devices will be implanted in our heads and bodies, our used peripherally, like Google Glass, extending our senses and cognitive abilities. Why see only in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum? Let’s go ultraviolet! Infrared! Let’s extend our hearing range, our memory capacity, our immune defenses, our life span, our brainpower.” Marcelo Gleiser

Ray Kurzweil is the brainchild behind what Google is doing. This is what he sees:
“Google will know all the answer to your question before you have asked it. It will have read every email you’ve ever written, every document, every idle thought you’ve ever tapped into a search-engine box. It will know you better than your intimate partner does. Better, perhaps, than even yourself.

Ray Kurzweil wrote in his book titled:
“SINGULARITY IS NEAR: When Humans transcend Biology”
“Artificial circuits replicating themselves at a molecular level will merge with the biological circuits that constitute our nervous systems, giving rise to an ENHANCED HUMAN SUPER INTELLIGENCE. Once this starts happening, what we now call the Internet will in effect become telepathic, giving these enhanced humans instantaneous access to all available knowledge and information as they fashion their brave new world. You see how explosive this gets? And its just the beginning.
Once the process gets underway, the evolving superintelligence keeps expanding until it permeates the entire planet and, still accelerating, eventually the universe.
That movement should one day facilitate rapid travel beyond our own galaxy, taking the process literally everywhere.”

THE GLORY OF GOD

we have four texts taken out of the Word of God, all dealing with God’s Glory, and yet they all seem to say something different.
• Is God’s Glory the shining clouds
• Is it something the clouds point to
• Is it God’s honor or reputation connected with what we eat or drink
• Is it some standard to which you and I did not live up to
What is it?
What is the Glory of God?
כָּבוֹד kavod (Hebrew)
Literal meaning of this word is HEAVINESS, WEIGHT

In English we use the word heavy also as a metaphor.
• My heart is heavy when I heard your story
• This is a heavy message
We use this metaphor to describe that this message was intense and difficult to absorb or understand. And
• Literal: heaviness, weight
• Metaphorical: importance, reputation, honor
• Physical manifestation of one’s importance
• A Personal KAVOD = wealth & possessions

Why is this all important to understand? Because what the Biblical writer wants you to know is that KAVOD describes the reality of the physical weight, the wealth, the possessions, the importance, the reputation, the honor of people on this earth and then go OUTSIDE OF THOSE MANMADE ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND LOOK UP TO HEAVEN at night, look at the towering mountains, the beauty and splendor of God’s creation. It’s all real, things you can see and experience, we see and experience. The entire creation IS A REFLECTION OF GOD’S GLORY.
The entire realty of God’s Creation is God’s KAVOD.

THE GOD OF ORDER – Part II

Dr. Michael Heiser:
“A biblical writer would use “Elohim” to label any entity that is not embodied by nature and is a member of the spiritual realm. This “otherworldliness” is an attribute all residents of the spiritual world possess. Every member of the spiritual world can be thought of as “Elohim” since the term tells us where an entity belongs in terms of its nature.
The spiritual realm has rank and hierarchy; Yahweh is the Most High.”

“The New Testament marks the rebirth of a struggle thousands of years in the making. The people of God have been isolated and under foreign rule. The divine presence of the days of Moses, David, Solomon, and the prophets is nothing but memory. When angels visit Mary and Zechariah to announce the impending births of Jesus and John, centuries of divine silence are broken. Thirty years later Judea will explode. The unseen spiritual conflict is even more volatile.” Dr. Michael Heiser “The Unseen Realm”

THE GOD of ORDER

The church of today is bending under the weight of its own rationalism.
Today’s church tradition forces us to believe that God’s heavenly hosts is another term for angels.
The term that describes the NATURE of the heavenly host
The nature describes what the members of the heavenly host are or are like
The term that describes the STATUS of the heavenly host
The status describes the hierarchical rank of the members of the heavenly host with respect to God and each other
The term that describes the FUNCTION of the heavenly host.
The function describes what the members of the heavenly host do.

Francis Schaeffer in his book “True Spirituality” is talking about this very subject:
“The Mount of Transfiguration makes is very, very plain that the supernatural world is not a long way off. One does not have to take a spaceship and fly for two generations, producing the second generation in flight, in order to reach the supernatural world……
This is the emphasis of Scripture, that the supernatural world is not far-off, but very, very close indeed.
Speaking of Christ on the Emmaus road, Luke wrote: “And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight” (Luke 24:31)
It would in fact be better to translate: “He ceased to be seen of them.” Luke does not say that Christ was no longer there. In this particular place they simply did not see him any longer.”
Dr. Michael Heiser:
“A biblical writer would use “Elohim” to label any entity that is not embodied by nature and is a member of the spiritual realm. This “otherworldliness” is an attribute all residents of the spiritual world possess. Every member of the spiritual world can be thought of as “Elohim” since the term tells us where an entity belongs in terms of its nature. The spiritual realm has rank and hierarchy; Yahweh is the Most High.”

REJOICE

Luke 2:8-20 Romans 15:8-13 1. We rejoice, because the ROOT OF JESSE HAS COME Isaiah 11:10; Revelation 5:5 Micah 5:2; Genesis 35:16-20 Luke 3:23; Matthew 17:5 2. We rejoice, because THE MESSIAH OF ISRAEL HAS BECOME THE HOPE FOR THE GENTILES ALSO Romans 15:11 3. We rejoice, because JESUS HAS BECOME OUR REFUGE. Luke 2:8-11 Genesis 12:2-3 Romans…

THE COVENANT KEEPING GOD

Luke 1:72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember HIS HOLY COVENANT.
People did not believe God and wandered for 40 years in the wilderness. It looked like God is done with Israel. But He is 100% committed to His covenant and His covenant people.
Before God chose David to be the king of Israel, the nation was ruled by 15 judges over a period of about 450 years. Some of the most widely known names are Samson and Samuel.
During that time the enemies of Israel started to infiltrate God’s land over and over again despite the fact that under Joshua’s leadership they were defeated and chased out of the promised land.
The history of the rise and fall of the Hebrew nation are found in the history books (Genesis-Esther). The prophets appeared during the days of the fall of the Hebrew nation. At the moment of the apostasy of the 10 tribes at the close of Solomon’s reign and Israel’s golden age the ministry of the prophets began. The prophets gave a wake up call as soon as people began to forget God.
God warned Israel and Judah over and over again through the prophets. The people forsook God, worshiped idols, did injustice, and loved evil. But God was kind enough to forewarn them of coming judgments because of sin and apostasy, and he would do marvelous miracles through the prophets that would give them hope and encouragement. The prophets even revived their faith in the coming Messiah and His glorious Kingdom. Elijah and Elisha are some of the names that come to mind when talking about prophets.

A GIGANTIC BATTLE

Most people in churches today are familiar with the story recorded in Genesis 1 -3 and some of them are going even further all the way to Genesis, chapter 12. But few understand that the recorded divine transgressions found in Genesis, chapter 3 and another described in Genesis, chapter 6 are part of a gigantic battle in the supernatural world that not only shapes human history, but has also been a major component of the ancient Israelites supernatural world view.
Without this supernatural world view, not much of the rest of the Bible makes sense. As a matter of fact, stripping the Bible of its supernatural world view leaves us to deal with spiritual bread crumbs. All we have left is a Bible from where we get some insight HOW TO LIVE A BETTER LIFE TODAY. HOW TO DEAL WITH THE PROBLEMS OF TODAY AND HOW NOT TO BE LIVING LIKE OTHERS AROUND US DO. Such teaching can do a lot of good in the here and now, but misses the more important truth with eternity in mind.
Did you notice that the Gentile nations are not called GOD’S PEOPLE? Israel is the only nation that God calls HIS PEOPLE. WE will look at that a little later. This is important to understand. Why? Because the birth of Jesus Christ, God coming to this earth in human form, as a human being, is not just good news to individual people but also good news for individual nations.
During those 339 years, the people started to reject the God who created them and longed to communicate with other gods, spiritual beings God also created. Under the leadership of Nimrod, the name means REBELLION, the people started building a tower in the midst of a great city called Babylon, in defiance of God’s command to populate the earth. A gigantic battle took place in the spiritual realm against God’s purpose for the Adamic race.
The Apostle Paul is summarizing this battle in Romans, chapter One.
It is difficult to understand this battle between God Almighty and some of his spiritual beings which rebelled against him, until we read God’s response to the rebellion at Babel in Deuteronomy 32:8-9 (ESV) When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. But the Lord’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.
Other translations say: When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel.
Remember, all the other nations have been given over by God to lower spiritual beings to rule over them. These lover spiritual beings will rule the nations of the world with a corrupt administration and will wage war against God’s only nation on earth, ISRAEL. God started new with Abram. From now on He is known as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jacob’s name will later the changed into ISRAEL.
The battle is intense, but the outcome is certain. Jesus came as a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel, was the great proclamation of Simeon as he was holding God’s son, Jesus Christ, in his arms.
The gigantic battle is still raging and will until Jesus will return the second time to this earth, this time not in the form of a Baby or a servant, but as the King of Kings and Lord or Lords to rule and reign in the spiritual as well as the physical world.

ANYTHING BUT IDEAL

Christmas cannot be understood apart from this simple truth revealed to us in Genesis 3:15
And I will put enmity between you and the women, and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.
The entire Old and New Testament was written so we can understand the spiritual struggle thousands of years in the making. Just think about the New Testament alone. Every chapter provides a glimpse into this spiritual conflict. Follow Jesus footsteps and you are confronted with the fact that wherever He goes, whatever He says, whatever He does, spiritual confrontation with the unseen powers are a daily occurrence. Eventually, the conflict pursues him unto death – it was just a matter of time; God’s time.
Today, the Christmas story has been so sanitized we miss the whole story altogether. It did not happen over night. This romanticizing has taken place over centuries and eventually was picked up by Hollywood, and commercialized by the merchants of this world. The church is not without fault in all of this. Throughout the western world, churches idealize the birth of Jesus Christ through songs, pageants, musicals and dazzling performances.
As we address the theme of this series: “It’s just a matter of time” in the next few weeks, we will pull back the curtain to see what is going on in the spiritual and physical world for thousands of years, eventually culminating when Christ returns the second time to this earth. It’s just a matter of time; God’s time when everything will come to a completion.
Remember, at that time political intrigue, racial tension, increased immorality and societal instability was the norm. This was a time of unprecedented economic and political success for the rich only. For the rest of the Roman empire it was a time of unprecedented economic and political oppression. In other words, for the Jewish people it was anything but ideal. They were hoping that their Messiah would show up and once again lead them out of bondage like Moses did when leading the Hebrews out of Egypt. It was such time as this that God the Father sent His son to this earth. It does not look good. The chances of success are slim from a human perspective.
The problem with the world at large is that people’s lives are dominated with the headlines of the day. God works behind the headlines to accomplish His will. In His word, He revealed to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear what He will do IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME. He tells us WHERE, WHAT, WHEN AND HOW.
Today’s time are no different when Jesus was born. Political corruption…religious compromise…economic crisis. These will always be headline news. Just remember, God uses desperate times, anything but ideal times, to accomplish His eternal purposes in our world and in our lives.

THE TASK OF REMAINING FREE

Was Jesus proclaiming that once someone is set free, they would be free forever? This question demands a Biblical answer because it does not just address the problem individual Christians in America and around the Word have to deal with, but also, in this crucial and sensitive time of our country, our nation, America as the beacon of Freedom in this world, has to find out.
Abraham Lincoln understood this challenge: “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all times, or die by suicide.”
“The problem is not wolves at the door but termites in the floor” says Os Guinness.
Listen free people have no one else to blame but themselves. That’s exactly what Jesus said to His own people, in His hometown of Nazareth. I came to set you at liberty, I give you freedom, I have come to purchase your freedom with my own life. But how did they appreciate that freedom? They were not willing to take it by faith and sustain it by faith.
Jesus, our foundation, won freedom for us on Calvary, and proved to be victorious when He rose from the dead 3 days later. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the cornerstone of our faith and our freedom.
Our forefathers not only won freedom for us, they also went on to provide a moral, cultural and above all, political framework in which freedom can flourish. People who would be free must be able to rule themselves, which is another way of saying that free people need saving from themselves as much as from an oppressive regime.
In other words, true freedom is far more difficult to sustain than most Americans realize. Spiritual freedom is no different. It is one thing to accept the Lord Jesus Christ and be set free from the power of sin. It is quite another thing to SUSTAIN THAT FREEDOM daily. We can claim freedom and liberty, but without being willing to sustain that liberty and freedom, we are only hearers of the word, NOT DOERS.
We replaced freedom with the word CHOICE without meaning and without value. Choice has become the heartbeat of freedom.
We have forgotten that spiritual freedom is the foundation of political freedom. And spiritual as well as political freedom has its requirements for self-control, self-restraint and self-government. You can easily conclude that Freedom is not free. It has its demands. The task of remaining free is ours and ours only.

They Recognized Him Instantly

In the Gospel of Matthew is recorded the itinerary of ONE BUSY DAY OF JESUS’ LIFE when he walked among the people called by God to be His own.
The answer Jesus gave them at the end of a very busy day is the answer you and I are in desperate need to understand.
Jesus came to this earth to do the Father’s will. What was the Father’s will? THAT JESUS WOULD COME TO THIS EARTH TO DIE.
Jesus is the only person ever born into the world for the sole purpose TO DIE.
Simeon was sensitive to the Holy Spirit. In order to be such a man, one has to be willing to forsake all that hinders him to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Jerusalem was a busy religious place, and certainly the Temple was filled with people every day.
He knew the Scriptures and believed that the Messiah would come to rescue Israel. HE OBEYED THE HOLY SPIRITS PROMPTING TO GO TO THE TEMPLE EXACTLY AT THE RIGHT TIME. Obedience to God is what makes you recognize Him instantly.

He Came To Earth

What we do know with absolute certainty is the well documented historical and biblical fact that Jesus Christ was born. God came to earth. By doing so, he fulfilled many Old Testament prophetic Scriptures which where uttered hundreds if not thousands of years earlier.
As birds were made for the air and fish were made for the water, so man was made for this planet Earth and he is not at home anywhere else. Micah prophesies the exact place where salvation began, where the Bread of Life was born and where the fruits of salvation started. That’s why Jesus came to Earth. That’s what Christmas is all about, Jesus coming to earth to save sinners.

How Is That Possible?

Jesus knew exactly what He was about to do and how the people would react. Jesus came to this earth for this very moment, to be revealed to the Jews as their Messiah. He also knew that He would be crucified by the Romans once His own nation would deliver Him to those who occupied their land.
How is it possible that the religious leaders of His day could not understand what was going on. How can we make sure we are not repeating the same devastating mistake? They were not interested to study the scriptures to find out God’s plan for them, but rather to justify their plans which God should approve.