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.

Immanuel - God With Us

NEVERTHELESS – THERE IS HOPE – Immanuel – God With Us

Timothy Keller “Hidden Christmas”
“What is going on (in Isaiah 8:22)? They are ‘looking toward the earth’ and to human resources to fix the world. They are looking to their experts, to the mystics, to the scholars, for solutions. Yes, they say, we are in darkness, but we can overcome it ourselves. People make the same claim today. Some look more to the state, some more to the market, and everyone looks to technology. Yet they share the identical assumption. Things are dark but we believe we can end that darkness with intellect and innovation.
Can we?
One of the most thoughtful world leaders of the late twentieth century was Vaclav Havel, the first president of the Czech Republic. He had a unique vantage point from which to peer deeply into both socialism and capitalism, and he was not optimistic that either would, by itself, solve the greatest human problems. He knew that science unguided by moral principles had given us the Holocaust. He concluded that neither technology nor the state nor the market alone could save us from nuclear conflict, ethnic violence, or environmental degradation. ‘Pursuit of the good life will not help humanity save itself, nor is democracy alone enough,’ Havel said. ‘A turning to and seeking of God, is needed.’
The human race constantly forgets, he added, that ‘he is not God.’”

THE PLAN – Immanuel – God With Us

Daniel Darling in his book “The Characters of Christmas”
“There is much to stop and commend, even in this seeming footnote to the Christmas story. Joseph didn’t make a decision out of immediate anger. He wasn’t irrational and unstable. For a young man who had just seen his life turn upside down, he demonstrated remarkable grace and poise. He took time and assessed the situation and, seeing the humanity of Mary, made the choice that would be best for her.”

Carl Gallup “Gods of the Final Kingdom”
“By the time several generations of humanity had begun to fruitfully populate the newly created planet., the flesh of both humans and animals had grown increasingly corrupt. Satan, and his allies from the rebellious angelic realm had seen to it. Gruesome aberrations among all living things had begun to manifest. The indescribable beauty the planet had once enjoyed rapidly degenerated. Satan attempted to recreate as much of the planet as possible, but this time, the design was in his own twisted image.
Violence now engulfed the debased animal kingdom, as well as the altered human realm. Terror and dread had become the defining characteristics of daily existence. Gigantic, vicious men with deepening allegiance to the evil one brought their unspeakable horrors to every human encampment. An unholy demonic realm, those fallen ones who were masquerading as messengers of light among the populace of earth.
But Yahweh also had a plan, a strategy that was UNKNOWN TO THE EVIL ONE.
The reset button would be pushed from heaven’s throne itself. However, this particular cosmic cleansing process had not been designed to immediately “correct” the situation. Rather, it would serve as a heavenly pattern of the ultimate judgment that was yet to come.”

Tom Horn in his book “Zeitgeist 2015”
“Imagine yourself as a space traveler who visits earth in a fictional, post-apocalyptic world. Digging through the rubble of the once-thriving planet, you come across a copy of a U.S. one-dollar bill with the two-sided Great Seal of the United States joined in the middle by the phrase, “IN GOD WE TRUST.” Upon consideration, you ask yourself, “What god did this refer to?” With no preconceptions, you allow the symbolism on the seal to speak for itself, from which you quickly determine that this had been a great culture who worshipped Egyptian and Greek deities, especially a particular solar one whose all-seeing eye glared from atop an unfinished Egyptian pyramid. Upon further investigation into the specific beliefs of the strange group whose members had influenced the Great Seal, you discover from their highest masters, including one “illustrious” Albert Pike, that the sun god they venerated so highly had been known to them at various times in history by the names APOLLO, OSIRIS, and NIMROD.
I made this argument because, unknown to most Americans and certainly to average Christians, the Great Seal’s mottoes and symbolism relate to both Osiris and Apollo specifically, yet as one. Osiris is the dominant theme of the Egyptian symbols, his resurrection and return, while the mottoes of the seal point directly to Apollo, and the eagle, a pagan emblem of Jupiter (Zeus), to Apollo’s father.
The phrase NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM (a new order of the ages) was adapted in 1782 from inspiration Charles Thompson (the designer of the Great Seal’s final version) found in a prophetic line from the Cumaean Sibyl (a pagan prophetess of Apollo, identified in the Bible as a demonic deceiver) and involves the future birth of a divine son, spawned of “a new breed of men sent down from heaven” when he receives “the life of gods, and sees Heroes with gods commingling.” According to the prophecy, this is Apollo, son of Jupiter (Zeus), who returns to earth through mystical “life” given to him from the gods when the deity Jupiter returns to reign over the earth in a a new pagan Golden Age.
This is when the “son” of promise arrives on earth – Apollo incarnate – a pagan savior born of a “new breed of men sent down from heaven” when “heroes and “gods” are blended together. This sound eerily similar to what the Watchers did during the creation of Genesis 6 giants, and why many believe Antichrist also represents the return of the Nephilim. But to understand why such a fanciful prophecy about Apollo, son of Jupiter, returning to earth should be important to you: In ancient literature, Jupiter was the Roman replacement of Yahweh as the greatest of the gods – a “counter Yahweh.” His son Apollo comes to rule the final New World Order, when “Justice returns, returns old Satan/Lucifer as the god of the air” reign.
The ancient goddess Justice, who returns Satan’s reign, was known to the Egyptians as Ma’at and to the Greeks as Themis, while to the Romans she was Lustitia. Statues of her adorn thousands of government buildings and courts around the world, especially in Washington DC, as familiar Lady Justice, blindfolded and holding scales and a sword. She represents the enforcement of secular law and is the authority that is going to require global compliance to the zenith of Satan’s dominion concurrent with the coming of Apollo. What’s more, the Bible’s accuracy concerning this subject is alarming, including the idea that “pagan justice” will require surrender to a satanic system in a final world order under the rule of Jupiter’s son.
In the New Testament, the identity of the god Apollo, repeat-coded in the Great Seal of the United States as the Masonic ‘messiah’ who returns to rule the earth, is the same spirit – verified by the same name – that will inhabit the political leader of the end-times New World Order. According to key Bible prophecies, the Antichrist will be the progeny or incarnation of the ancient spirit, APOLLO.”

Craig Keener (IVP Bible Background Commentary)
“Joseph’s obedience to God cost him the right to value his own reputation. Many Christians today, probably much older than Joseph and claiming the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives, have yet to learn his lesson.
By saying yes to God, Joseph was saying no to everything he had worked for, his reputation in the community. It’s easy for us to glance over this and not give it another thought as we read this part of Matthew’s gospel this Christmas, but we should pause and consider how significant this decision was. Joseph would be a pariah among his people. He would bear the shame for sins he didn’t commit. And yet it only foreshadows the shame that this baby would one day bear on behalf of Joseph and Mary and all who know Jesus.”

THE ULTIMATE HOPE – Immanuel – God With Us

Biblical literacy produces biblical morality. Biblical illiteracy produces declining morals. With declining morals ULTIMATE HOPE IS FADING INTO DARKNESS.

Michael Heiser “The Unseen Realm”
“He could not depend on humans, though he had pledged himself to humanity’s preservation. He would no more forgo the role of his human imagers than he would destroy them. Because his original creation of humanity as his image had meant free-will agency, his kingdom must of necessity include humanity in its recovery and in rulership, else the Edenic vision would be undermined. There could be only one solution, though it would have two strategic deployments. God understood that only HE could be trusted with perfectly accomplishing his own will. He would therefore have to BECOME MAN AND, in addition, HE WOULD HAVE TO INHABIT THE HEARTS OF HIS CHILDREN. Residing in a tabernacle or temple was not enough. HE HAD TO INDWELL THOSE WHO CHOSE TO FOLLOW HIM.
Yahweh would send his Spirit to indwell his people. They could not be trusted with their freedom, but he would not eradicate it, nor would he leave them without enablement.
God’s plan to redeem humanity, reclaim the nations, and revive Eden depended on the INCARNATION OF THE SECOND YAHWEH figure and his subsequent death and resurrection. The story of the cross is the biblical-theological catalyst to God’s plan for regaining all that was lost in Eden. It couldn’t be emblazoned across the Old Testament in transparent statements.
It had to be expressed in sophisticated and cryptic ways to ensure that the powers of darkness would be misled. And it was. Even the angels did not know the plan.”

Mark Flynn “Forbidden Secrets of the Labyrinth” published 2014
“There is a religious institution wherein the members are the most devout and serious of any faith on Earth. Those who are a part of this institution unquestionably believe in a god that directs their activities and they look to this deity with the ultimate hope of gaining his favor.
They, unlike many of the people ascribed to the popular religions of today, have no doubt that their god lives and interacts with them. They see the favor their god bestows upon them. The riches and power gained through their piety actively demonstrates the reality of their god’s existence. The precepts of their secretive religion are contradictory to that of the Judeo-Christian religion (that values, above all, love for their fellow man). They consider the people outside of their group inferior creatures, unworthy of their god, but necessary for manipulation toward the completion of their final objective.
Through devotion, submission to the will of their god, and dedication to his secretive plan, they believe that they will achieve immortality and live in a coming golden age where their god will appear on Earth and rule them in a new paradise of his design.”

Chuck Swindoll
Any serious study of Jesus’ birth merits an accurate understanding of the one who bore Him. Unfortunately, more confusion surrounds the mother of the Christ child than the baby Himself! Thanks to the artist’ brush, the sculptor’s chisel and mallet, the author’s pen, and the well-meaning imagination of preachers, we know more about the Mary of dogma and legend than the real Mary of Scripture.
The Roman Catholic Church has not helped the situation by adding several unbiblical doctrines to its teaching on Mary. These include:
“Immaculate Conception,” the notion that Mary was born without a fallen sin nature, free from original sin.
“Perpetual Virginity,” which insists that Mary remained a virgin her entire life.
“Bodily Assumption,” the belief that Mary never succumbed to death but was taken directly into heaven in bodily form.
By adding one Mary-exalting dogma to another, the Roman Catholic Church now regards Mary as a co-mediator (or “mediatrix”) alongside her Son, Jesus Christ. In the words of Pope John Paul II, “In union with Christ and in submission to him, she collaborated in obtaining the grace of salvation for all humanity.”
Protestants during the Reformation and through the first several centuries afterward reacted sharply to Catholic errors, pushing the pendulum too far to the other side. Fearing excessive veneration for Mary, they virtually ignored her, leaving many of us today ignorant about this remarkable woman of God. Fortunately, Luke took great care to preserve her perspective regarding her role in the greatest event in history.”

AN IMPOSSIBLE SITUATION – Immanuel – God With Us

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