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 Christmas Message

HIS NAME IS JESUS

Dr. Michael Heiser (The Unseen Realm)
“The kingdom of God had failed in the Old Testament, but it would rise from the ashes when the divine king made his appearance. The messianic king would inaugurate a kingdom that would spread throughout the earth and eventually succeed in restoring Eden.
These ideas are familiar. Less apparent, however, is the way the Old Testament characterizes the launching of God’s kingdom as a war between gods and men.”

Michael Kibbe in his book “OUR FUTURE IN THE FACE OF JESUS”
“Through the incarnation, Yahweh has come to be with his people and save them. The name “Immanuel” implies not only that God’s presence is evident in the events surrounding Jesus’ birth, but that Jesus is Yahweh himself, come to be with his people.”

Carmen Joy Imes in her book “Bearing God’s Name”
“For Jesus, CALLING on God’s name is not enough, nor is prophecy, exorcism, or miracles done in his name. The key disposition of one who truly belongs to God is a commitment to action – doing his will rather than one’s own.
The name of God is not a charm to be used at will. It is not a magic amulet to guarantee protection. Those who fail to carry out God’s will bear his name in vain. Jesus had no patience for those whose verbal proclamations do not match their agenda.
He condemns the Pharisees and scribes for having lips and hearts that contradict each other, saying that they “worship God in vain.”
They walk around wearing official religious titles, but their hearts are haughty and self-reliant.”

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.

Keep On Believing

The birth of Jesus Christ was the beginning, not the end of God’s good news to all men. The Christian life begins with a new birth, which is great news and brings much joy. However, that is just the beginning.
Growing in grace and in faith is necessary to see the promises of God being fulfilled in our lives.
Today, we claim to believe in the saving Grace of God Almighty, but that’s about how far it goes. When confronted with biblical truth, we simply say: Well, I just have a hard time believing that God would do that for me. That’s what the Hebrew writer means when he says that God has no pleasure in those who draw back.
Spiritual strength has never come to us by OBEYING COMMANDMENTS. Those people who drop out of the race, AND who have no perseverance to the end have simply stopped trusting the promises of the living God. They are children of the living God, they have been protected by the blood of the lamb, but they are being robbed of all the promises God has given them for their future.
The Apostle Peter simply explains that it is these promises that draw the heart to God in faith. In fact, the great command of the New Covenant is TO BELIEVE. The Israelites did not have many words of God they could hang unto, but what they were given was enough to lead them out of bondage.
You and I have the written word of God, but without feeding on the promises of the Word, not faith life will be strong. Without the word we are not able to continue on and persevere.

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.