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One of the glories of life in
the coming millennial age in the Kingdom of our Lord, is that we will learn more
and more about Jesus the Christ. One
of the best things about reading and re-reading passages of Scripture is that
every time you read them, you may come across something new.
That’s one thing about Scripture; no matter how much you read it, every
time you open it, new truths will be brought to light.
Try and comprehend the impact
upon all of creation that was caused by the birth of Jesus the Christ.
Reading in [Luke 2:7], one of the simplest statements is full of meaning.
The word “inn” is a place where travelers could rest.
The word “manger” implies there wasn’t a building or anything.
It would have been in a corral or lot with a fence and maybe a lean-to
type of barn.
Why did Mary lay the child in a
manger? Because there was no room
in the inn. You can meditate and
study upon this for days and days and still not comprehend it entirely.
You also have to ask yourself if there is any more room for the Lord in
the world today than there was when he first came.
While people are celebrating, how much room is there?
You just need to be sure to make room yourself.
He came unto his own, his own
received him not, they crucified him, he arose from the dead, and he left.
He has little better treatment today in the world.
We’re told in this passage
that there were shepherds keeping watch over their flock. The early church fathers believed and taught that these
shepherds were associated with the temple.
The sheep they were keeping were sheep for sacrifice in the temple
services. These would have been men
who knew of the coming of the Messiah; they were men who were anxiously awaiting
his coming, and all of a sudden, an angel appeared.
The first reference we have to angels in the Bible is in the 18th
chapter of Genesis. [Genesis
18:1-8] This is a story
you are all probably familiar with. It’s
interesting that much is made of the three measures of meal, but Wiersbe points
out that this is simply what the recipe calls for if you’re making enough for
three. And as we find out if we go
on to read the entire story, Abraham discovers that these three were Jehovah
himself and two angels, and they inform him that he and Sarah will have a son.
Angels are real and angels have
bodies, but they’re not like the pictures we see depicting what someone
determines to be angels, such as creatures with wings, that there are females,
and children, and other misconceptions.
Though they do have bodies,
their bodies are not like ours. We
learn from reading the account of the angels that fell when they left their
first estate (when they left their home in the heavens and came down to earth),
that they married daughters of men because of their desire for a relationship
with flesh that was different to their flesh.
[1 Corinthians 15]
This is a chapter on the resurrection, and we can read here that there
are different kinds of flesh. [Verse
39] Interestingly, the KJV switches
the flesh of birds and fish, and if translated in the order that they are in the
Greek text, they are presented in the reverse order of creation:
Human, beast, fowl, then fish. These
are all different flesh. [Verse 40]
The Scriptures then describe the difference here between heavenly bodies
and celestial bodies; the flesh of angels.
Also, angels seem to have the
ability to hide themselves and reveal themselves at will; they can make
themselves invisible and then visible again.
They appear and then they are gone.
But, no matter what other abilities and properties they may have, they
are real, and as they are great in number.
They’re also ministering
spirits. They are sent to do
God’s will and bidding. They are
sent to care and watch over us. However,
we are not to look to them for guidance and leadership; God has given us his
Holy Spirit to do that. His Holy
Spirit is our teacher.
However, the shepherds are
watching their flock and this angel suddenly appears. The Bible doesn’t tell us what form the angel takes.
We are told in Hebrews that some of the OT saints entertained angels
unawares. Abraham did that; he did
not know at first that two of the three were angels and the other was God
almighty himself. This angel
appeared to the shepherds, and they were sore afraid.
Scripture records many instances in which any manifestation of the
Godhead, in whatever form, frightened the one or ones to whom he appeared.
I know I would be afraid should
one appear. As humans, we tend to
put thoughts of judgment far from us; we don’t want to think about the day
when we will stand before the Lord to render account of the deeds of the flesh.
The shepherds were frightened, but the angel spoke words of assurance.
“Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which
shall be to all people.”
That expression, “all
people”, is interesting in light of the fact that there are people today that
teach that the good news, or the gospel of the salvation and grace of the Lord,
is for the elect only. At the time,
it was brought to Israel (the Greek text says “the
people”), but it was later brought to everyone; in several places, apostles
are sent unto saved Gentiles. Scripture
teaches that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world and that whosoever will
We read here this announcement.
These good tidings of great joy are for everyone; they are for all the
people. Whosoever will may come.
Now, here is the good news: [Luke
2:11] This is a very brief
announcement, but there are a few words that stand out and are emphasized in the
Greek: The words “Savior”,
“Christ”, and “Lord” all stand out.
“I bring you good tidings of
great joy; a Savior has been born…” The
major problem of the world today is sin, just as it was then.
Here, we have the announcement that one has been born that can deal with
that sin problem. A Savior has been
Another announcement was made.
We looked at that announcement last week.
“Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from
their sins.” You understand sin. You
know the pressure and guilt of unconfessed sin. You know the constant nagging of a guilty conscience because
of unconfessed sin. Many Christian
drag around a guilt complex around, even though they know (or should know) their
sins have been forgiven.
“There is born today a
Savior.” A salvation from sin is
three-fold, in one sense of the word. We’re
saved from the penalty of sin. The
first penalty for sin was announced to Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden:
“In the day you sin, you shall surely die.”
The primary meaning of death is separation from God.
In the day you sin, you shall be separated from God.
The creature will be separated from the creator.
Christ, in his death, died to bring us to God.
So, with the entrance of sin came the penalty of sin.
The first aspect of salvation is that Christ died to do away with the
penalty for sin.
This Savior of which the angel
made this announcement came with the words that we are told in John 10:10, “I
have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly (or
superabundantly)”. John 9:5 says,
“I am the light of the world.” John
3:35 says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that
believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on
Jesus the Christ died in my
place, and when the angel said unto the shepherds, “for unto you is born this
day in the city of David a Savior”, he was talking about one who will die in
your place. We’re always thinking
of the beautiful thoughts surrounding salvation that are surrounding the birth
of our Lord, but we sometimes forget that salvation is ours because he suffered,
he bled, and he died for us. Looking
at the cross upon which our Savior hung, his body distended, having no form or
comeliness whatever, his face covered in dust and spittle and caked in blood,
Isaiah says, “We turned our faces from him”.
It was in those moments when the
one who knew no sin was made sin for us that God drew the blinds or the shades
of darkness upon the scene and permitted no one to gaze upon him for three hours
while he was made sin. We need to
remember that the babe of Bethlehem was the one who died on the cross.
We need to be reminded again and again that the one on the cross was God
How pertinent in this passage that God purchased the church with his own
blood. In that one statement, you
have the significance of the birth and the death of our Lord, when you
comprehend even partly the fact that the one hanging on the cross and dying for
our sins was God almighty. God died
for my sins, and he died for your sins.
I’ve god good news or glad
tidings. Today, the Savior has been
born. What a day!
Not only is he the Savior, but
he’s also the Christ. The word
“Christ” means “anointed one”. The
one anointed to reign as king of kings and lord of lords.
This babe lying in the manger is the Christ. He’s the one who is going to set up a government, establish
a Kingdom, and bring order out of Chaos. The
world today has its eye and ear upon whoever is running the governments of the
world, and particularly of the US. They’re concerned with who is in the cabinet of the
president, but one thing you and I know; anything having to do with government
in human hands is doomed to failure. But,
the entire world is watching.
The angel announced to the
shepherds in the field that night that the Christ had been born; the one who
will establish a Kingdom and a government in which justice and righteousness
will prevail. He is the coming
king. Our concern should not be who
is going to be in the president’s cabinet, but who is going to be in the
Lord’s cabinet. We should all
desire to be there.
Here is an ambitious mother who saw in him the coming king of kings.
It doesn’t really matter who is running things now, the anointed one
has already been born, and we know he’s coming one day and setting up his
Kingdom. He’s not waiting for a
majority of the votes; he is the Christ! He
is the anointed one; he’s the one who will rule and reign. He will come into this chaotic world and will establish order
But, this ambitious mother, who
was seeing him and listening to him and with an insight that was no doubt
granted her by God, said, “Lord, when you establish your Kingdom, and when you
elect your cabinet, I want one of my sons, either James or John, to be the first
VP, and the other to be the 2nd VP. One on the right hand and one on the left.
As interesting and important as
the governments of the world are today, you and I need to be more concerned with
the government our Lord is going to set up. But, the angel announces to the shepherds that the king of
kings and lord of lords has been born.
He also announced, “He is the
Lord”. Several times in the text,
the Greek word for “Lord” should be translated “despot”; one who would
exact his pound of flesh; justice is justice and right is right.
He said unto his disciples on day, “why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do
not the things that I say?” A lord is one who has control; he has authority and is one
before whom we should prostrate ourselves and humbly submit ourselves to his
will in obedience to his commandments.
He’s the Lord.
You might be concerned with pleasing this one and someone else is
concerned about pleasing someone else, but no one is concerned about pleasing
Him, and He is the Lord!
This angel appearing from
heaven; think about it! Can you
conceive what your reaction would be if an angel appeared before you?
I’d be scared silly and not know what to do.
But, this angel appeared and said, [Fear not-Verse 2:11 “Savior”]
He has saved me from the penalty of my sins.
He will save me from the power
of sin, if I let him, in what some call the present tense of salvation.
If I let him. [1 Corinthians 10:13] He
will not allow us to be tempted beyond that which we can endure, but he will
with that temptation provide us with a way of escape. “My grace is sufficient unto thee.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) His
strength is available unto us and he will give us victory over the power of sin
and deliverance from that power if we so desire it.
Not only that, but one day, this
savior will deliver us from the presence of sin. The unlimited wealth, time, and energy that man expends in
trying to do away with the presence and effects of sin is almost
incomprehensible. There are
conferences, councils, meetings held around the world, all trying to figure a
way to deal with the problem of sin. Think
about the groups that are trying to deal with the drug situation, the alcohol
situation, pornography, etc., and that doesn’t count the ones that are trying
to call sin “normal” and “alternative”. But, one day the Lord is coming (the Savior), and he’s
going to take us out of the presence of sin.
He will take us out of it!
Then, when we’re gone, he will
deal with this sin-cursed earth, which has been judged by God and will one day
feel the wrath of God. The elements
shall melt with a fervent heat and pass away with a great noise.
Then, he will bring in a new heavens and a new earth, in which
righteousness will dwell. All of
that and much more is in the simple announcement, “Fear not… [Luke 2:10-11].
There is coming a king who can and will rule in
absolute righteousness and justice.
We all know he’s going to manifest his lordship one
day, but today, you and I can acknowledge him as Lord. We can bow and yield to his will. With the power of the Holy Spirit, we can obey his
commandments. One day, every tongue
shall confess that Jesus is the Christ; that he’s the Lord.
Not just the saved. From the
pits of hell throughout the entire universe, every tongue
will confess that he is the lord!
Not only will every tongue
confess that he is the lord, but every knee shall bow to him.
By force, they will bow, and as they bow, they will acknowledge and
confess that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God.
But, if that confession is not
made in their lifetime here, and if that bowing is not done, later, although it
will be to the honor and glory of the Lord, it will not be done unto their
salvation. Today is the day of
salvation. He’s the Lord.
One day, he will manifest himself as Lord of all; today, he will be our
Lord, if we accept him. That’s the announcement.
They had been given the signs whereby they would know which babe was the
Savior; the Christ; the Lord: You
shall find the babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, there in
the city of David. Then, there
appeared a multitude of heavenly host with the angel, praising God.
These were poor shepherds in the
field; this angel appeared and having made this incomparable announcement; then
all of a sudden, the heavens opened and this great heavenly chorus appears!
I think of the saying, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Only God almighty knows the beauty and glory of the heavens that surround
us, and these shepherds saw a little part of it.
They said, “Let’s go and see it!”
And, they go. Let’s look at the song of praise of this heavenly host; the
song of praise that has brought much chaos and confusion into the minds of many
people because of its mistranslation.
The KJV says in [Luke 2:14].
Because of that translation, the erroneous thought comes about that if we
can establish good will toward men, we can bring peace.
Philosophers, statesmen, educators, and many others are all trying to
establish good will between men so we can have peace.
But, the correct, or better translation should read, “Glory to God in
the highest, and on earth, peace among men of his good pleasure”, or “peace
among men with whom he is well pleased.”
Let’s think about another
passage. [Matthew 3:16-17]
At the baptism of our Lord and later, on the mount of transfiguration,
the heavens opened and through the opened heavens, God the father spoke and
said, “this (Jesus) is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”.
“The Lord Jesus, is my beloved son, and I’m well pleased in him.”
Glory to God
in the highest and peace among men in whom he is well pleased.
Who are the men in whom he is well pleased?
Those who are like his son.
48:22] The “wicked” here means
those who are not rightly related to God. No
peace to the lost, nor to the unfaithful Christian.
(Similarly in 57:21.)
Jesus is the
one who brings peace; he’s the one who gives peace. Glory to God in the highest and peace among men who are saved
and living faithful lives. There
can be no true peace between you and someone else until you’re at peace with
God. Until you’re at peace with
God, you can’t know the true meaning and significance of peace.
This is not
to denigrate or speak against peace conferences and this such as that,
(remember: lack of shooting is not
the same as true peace.), but there can be and will be no peace until Jesus
comes. Now, the way we can promote
peace is to be instrumental in guiding individuals to salvation and guide those
who are saved into a path of faithful living, and then, they are walking in the
way of peace. What we have today
are peace movements and billions of dollars spent trying to establish peace
among lost people or between lost and saved, when we know there is no peace to
the wicked. Think about the treaty
between the Catholic church and Islam, futilely trying to placate billions of
people into a false peace. There
can be no peace to the lost.
heavenly host said in praising God, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth,
peace among men in whom he is well pleased”.
He is pleased only in those who accept his son as their savior and live
their lives accordingly.
announcement! Look at the entire
scene briefly: The shepherds in the
field, keeping watch over their flock. They
could have been together, listening to movement among the flock; listening for
animals of prey; they could have been sitting around a fire talking, but they
were in a field and suddenly an angel appeared.
real. The shepherds were
frightened. The angel said, “Fear
not. God loves you; the Lord loves
you. Fear not, for I bring you good
tidings of great joy, for behold today in the city of David is born a savior.”
He’s my savior; I accepted him as my savior.
I trust that you have accepted him as your savior.
I accepted his death on the cross in lieu of me.
“The soul that sinneth shall die.”
He died for me!
I do not, I
cannot, and I will not die that death. He
died for me and I accepted that. He’s
my savoir. When I choose, he gives
me power over sin and temptation today. When I choose. One
day, he’s going to deliver us from temptation.
Satan is so
subtle in his temptations, but we have a savior. That scene described here in Bethlehem is not in vain, as far
as I’m concerned. He is the
Christ. He is the King. One day, he will set up a Kingdom, and that’s our great
hope: to rule and reign in that Kingdom with him.
Do you have
comprehension of that? What a
thought! One day, Jesus the Christ
is going to have authority over this earth and he will rule and reign in
righteousness. The Word of God says
so, and I believe it!
He is going
to have men and women associated with him in that reign; he is the Christ.
He will have a cabinet and I want to be part of it.
Man strives for the perfect government, and we will have it, but not
until Christ returns.
Not only is
he the Christ, but also he is the Lord. He
wants to take charge of your life and guide you moment-by-moment and day-by-day
in every aspect of your life. Will
you let him? One day, all will
proclaim him the king of kings and lord of lords.
Now, as we close, praise along with the heavenly host, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace among men in whom he is well pleased.” Strive to be counted among those in whom he is well pleased.