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Christmas Message 96

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Today is what we call Christmas Sunday, it’s the Sunday before Christmas. December 25 is probably not the day that Jesus was born, but we have chosen this time to celebrate His birth. Celebration of December 25 as Christmas originated in the 4th century, probably as a Christian alternative to the pagan winter solstice festival (Saturnalia).[1]

Birth. According to Matthew 2:1 Jesus was born “in the days of Herod the king.” A 1st-century a.d. historian, Josephus, recorded that Herod died in the spring of the year we identify as 4 b.c. Hence Jesus was born sometime before that, but how much before is uncertain. Luke 2:1, 2 records that Jesus’ birth occurred when “Caesar Augustus,” the Roman emperor, decreed that a census, or enrollment, should be taken throughout the nation. “This was the first enrollment,

Census documents discovered in Egypt, together with earlier references, suggest that such enrollments were held every 14 years. That would put a census roughly in 8 or 9 b.c. In view of the time needed to carry out the census (which required a person to travel to his birthplace), the birth of Jesus may have been somewhat later than the actual year of the decree (perhaps 7 b.c.).[2]

But really we should celebrate every day as Christmas. Without Jesus birth we would be lost, without hope, not have salvation.

     I. Turn with me to MATT 1:1-11

              A. We see here the story of the WISE MEN.

                        1. We don’t know too much about the wise men, tradition has it that there were 3 wise men.

                                  a. These wise men were a fulfillment of prophesy. In (Ps. 68:18, 29; 72:10; Is. 60:3–6), are verses that state that men, gentiles would come bearing gifts.

                                  a. All we know is what the Word says and that is there were wise men. It’s in the plural meaning that there was more than 1.

                                           i. There could have been 2, 3, 4, 5, or even more, all we know is that there were 3 different gifts given.

                                  b. We also know that these wise men came from the East.

                                           i. But the word “WISE” in WISE MEN is the word “Magi.”

                                           ii. The Strong’s Concordance says that the MAGI were SORCERERS and ASTROLOGERS.

                                           iii. But 1 thing is for sure, that these Wise men came seeking Jesus, the King of the Jews.

                        2. They must have had some revelation from God to know that this star was a sign that the Messiah was born. (NUM 24:17)

                                  a. These same Wise Men had a revelation from God after they came to Jesus, That revelation was not to return to King Herod.

                                  b. So it’s not hard to believe that they had a Word from God about the birth of Jesus.

              B. There are some things that we can learn by these Wise men.

                        1. 1st they followed the light God gave them.

                                  a. They walked in all the light they had.

                                           i. It says in (1 John 1:7) “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” KJV

                        2. 2nd They fixed their steps by the Word of God.

                                  a. (Psalm 37:23) Says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.” KJV

                                           i. They are ordered by the Lord which is always in line with the Word of God.

                                           ii. The Palmist prayed to the Lord in (Psalm 119:133) “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” KJV

                                  b. Our steps should be ordered by the Lord and by His Word, that we will follow in His paths.

                        3. And the 3rd thing the Wise Men did was “To obeyed God without question and He led them each step of the way.

                                  a. Jesus said in (John 16:13) “When the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” KJV

                                           i. When we choose to follow God without question, He will lead us and guide us.

                                           ii. But where He leads us is to a place of total fulfillment, joy, peace, He leads to the STILL WATERS.

                                  b. Look with me to PSA 23:1-4

                                           i. In (V 2) it says, “He leadeth me beside the still waters.” KJV

                                           ii. The literal Hebrew says, “He leads me to the WATERS OF REST.”

                                           iii. Your total place of rest and restoration is found when you’re doing the things of God.

#4 MATT 2:2-11 Wise men worshipped

                        4. The 5th thing that the WISE MEN did was AFTER they found Jesus they went another way.

                                  a. MATT 2:12

                                           i. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. KJV

                                           ii. After you found Jesus you were a different person.

                                  b. (ROM 6:4) Says that because we are raised with Christ we should walk in newness of life.

     II. When the Wise men came to Jesus they brought Him 3 gifts, gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

              A. Gold represents Royalty and Purity.

                        1. Frankincense represents Jesus’ HIGH PRIESTLY ministry.

                                  a. The High priest would use Frankincense on the Alter of Incense.

                                           i. Jesus is our High Priest.

                        2. Myrrh was used to prepare someone for burial.

                                  a. Which showed that Jesus was going to die for the Sins of the world.

     III. But these things didn’t happen immediately.

              A. When Jesus was born, He SET ASIDE His DEITY, He hadn’t yet become our HIGH PRIEST, and It wasn’t time for Him to DIE FOR OUR SINS.

              B. Turn with me to LUKE 1:26-33

                        1. What I wanted you to see here is that Mary had a vision and a Word from God, but she did not see the full manifestation until some 33 years later.

                                  a. You may have had a vision from God or you’re standing on a promise from the Word of God, but you haven’t seen it yet.

                                           i. God will bring it to pass.

                                           ii. But you don’t want to tell everybody what God told you.

                                  b. When Mary had all these things happen to her (The angel appearing to her, her virgin birth, the star and the wise men, the shepherds) She didn’t go out and tell everybody what was going on.

                                           i. (Luke 2:19) Says, “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” KJV

                                           ii. Even when Jesus was 12 years old it says in (LUKE 2:51) that “Mary kept all these sayings in her heart.”

                                  c. Sometimes we want to tell everybody about our ministry, just keep it in your heart, let God bring it to pass. (When I was going to Rhema, I didn’t go around telling everybody that I was a Pastor. I wasn’t a pastor until I was in the Pulpit Pastoring.

                        2. Now if God has given you a Word, a Promise, or a Vision he may bring it to pass in stages.

                                  a. Mary had this Word from God that her son was going to be the Savior, But it had to come in stages.

                                           i. 1st Mary had to conceive and carry the baby 9 months, then Jesus had to be born, He had to grow, He had to fulfill all the prophecies about himself, He had to die, and then be raised from the dead.

                                           ii. There are some things that God wants us to have now, like Healing or Deliverance, but we still need patience while we’re waiting for the miracle.

                                           iii. (Hebrews 6:12) says, “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” KJV

                                  b. But there are times that God has given you a Word or a Vision, but the timing is not right yet.

                                           i. MATE

                                           ii. Better JOB

                                           iii. Or even Ministry.

                        3. Turn with me to GAL 4:4

                                  a. Hold on to the things that God has promised you, He will bring it to pass.

                                  b. When Mary had that visitation from the Angel Gabriel which revealed to her that she was going to have a baby, she said in (Luke 1:38) “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” KJV

                                           i. Mary was a woman of faith, we also need to have the same faith.

                                           ii. Lord so be it unto me According to thy Word.

WOLCC SUN AM 12/22/96 & 12/25/2005


[1]Elwell, W. A., & B. J. Beitzel. Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1988. Page 444.

[2]Elwell, W. A., & B. J. Beitzel. Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1988. Page 444.

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