The Glorious Incarnation

In a couple of weeks the world will celebrate Christmas. As the years march on, the controversy surrounding this day magnifies. The mainstream church seeks to defend its language, “Merry Christmas” from the Christ denying “Happy Holiday” or “Winter Solstice” substitutions. Some Christians view it as an unholy alliance between Christianity and paganism, which should be avoided like the plague. Of course, the same case is made for Holy Week and the celebration of our Lord’s resurrection. In typical fashion, the God-hating world consistently dishonors the significance of Christ by substituting His preeminence with pagan themes. The question then becomes, should we throw out the baby with the bath water? In other words, should we reject God’s original due to satanic counterfeits? I’ll leave these questions to each man’s conscience to consider.

The view of Christmas has other implications as well. Some Protestants cringe at the last three letters mas as it may be a reference to the Catholic Mass. Some point out that Christ was not born on December 25th, so why even bother. Others seek to avoid the commercialism surrounding the birth of Christ by concentrating on the “reason for the season.” Obviously, Christmas has become many things to many people.

But whether people honor or protest Christmas, its annual commemoration is certain. I suspect it will remain this way for the foreseeable future. Minimally, the merchants of the earth have a vested interest to secure the day if for no other reason than to boost their bottom line. The purpose for this article, however, is to understand the birth of Christ from a Biblical perspective. Does the Bible honor the day? If so, in what ways is the birth of Christ distinguished?

There is no doubt the God of the Bible viewed it as a major production. There were several hundred prophecies, types, and shadows that predicted, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given (Isaiah 9:6).” In fact, there are over three hundred prophecies concerning the Messiah interwoven throughout the Old Testament. Some of them are duplications of the same prophecy. For instance, the prophecy concerning Jesus being from the house of David is repeated about fourteen times. The prophecy that foretells the birth place of Messiah as the city of Bethlehem is repeated five times (Micah 5:2). The number of non-repeating distinct prophecies, however, comes in at about one hundred and ninety.

M.B. Bleecker, an engineer, took one hundred and fifty of these noteworthy prophecies that Jesus fulfilled and calculated the odds of His fulfilling them all. The odds of one man fulfilling one hundred and fifty prophecies in one lifetime are one in –

The odds of Jesus fulfilling just eight of them in His lifetime are one in –

100, 000, 000,000,000,000

Following up on this mathematical probability, consider Peter Stoner in (Science Speaks, Moody Press, 1963). Mr. Stoner demonstrates that coincidence is ruled out by the science of probability. Stoner suggests that by using the modern science of probability in reference to eight prophecies, “We find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th power.” That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. In order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates it by supposing that “We take 10 to the 17th power silver dollars and lay them over the face of Texas, so that they cover all of the state two feet deep.”

Mr. Stoner continues:

Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man.

In the realms of astronomy, the Star of Bethlehem has garnered for itself “the world’s most famous celestial event” in history. God rearranged the heavens as a sign that something of dramatic worth was transpiring upon the earth. Of course, it was never a common occurrence that the heavens would open and a choir of angelic hosts would appear to sing praise to God as they bring “good tidings of great joy.” What was the reason for such a bodacious display? They were carrying a divine message, which stated, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

The Bible records that there was no small stir to the holy announcement. The most famous response came from the woman who was chosen to conceive and give birth to the Son of God. Today, we recognize Mary’s prophetic reply as the Magnificat. Pay close attention to her declarations as it pertains to this poor fallen world. Mary cries out:

My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

Mary acknowledges the incredible favor that has been demonstrated to her personally. Beyond personal considerations, she proclaims there will be powerful ramifications that will greatly impact the world. Wrongs will be righted. Justice will eventually prevail. Oppression, in due course, will cease. Tyrants, dictators, the ruling elite, and the proud will be cast down. The hungry, poor, outcast, and disenfranchised will be helped. All this and more is guaranteed by the promise God spoke to Abraham and is now coming to pass with the birth of Christ. Is this something that should be ignored or should it be shouted from the rooftops now and forever more?

The theological term for this glorious event is called the Incarnation. In general terms it means in the flesh or to become human. When it comes to the birth of Christ, however, who or what is becoming human or coming in the flesh? The Gospel according to John grants us the Biblical meaning, John 1:1 and 1:14 states:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Denial of the Incarnation is what actually constitutes the dreadful designation the Bible calls Anti-Christ. Any person, religion, or philosophy that denies Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is Anti-Christ (1 John 4:1-3). Perhaps, there is more to this Christmas business than meets the eye.

Remarkably, the same Word that spoke the heavens and the earth into existence, the same Word canonized in the Bible, the same Word that God sent to heal us, and deliver us from destruction became flesh and dwelt among us. One of the specific words is the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14 which states, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Matthew interprets the name Immanuel as God with us. C. S. Lewis defined the significance of the Incarnation as, “The Son of God became a man so that men could become the sons of God.”

The first mention of the promise of the Incarnation traces back to Genesis 3:15. God promised, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Normally, I present this passage of Scripture to teach on the battle that is raging for the souls of men, the lives of children, and the future of our planet. For this article, however, the emphasis will change. The spot light will focus on this passage as the first mention of the Gospel of the Kingdom and the glorious Incarnation as God’s remedy to correct the fall of man. To make this possible, God had to establish a seed line.

God tapped Abraham and said, “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.” Why did God choose Abraham? This might have something to do with it. Genesis 18:19 states, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.”

The promise of Messiah passed from Abraham to Isaac from Isaac to Jacob. Jacob had twelve sons, which became the twelve tribes of Israel. Out of the twelve tribes, the tribe of Judah was chosen. Genesis 49:10 promised, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” Out of the tribe of Judah, the House of David was chosen. 2 Samuel 7:12, 13 declares:

And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom forever.

Finally, the book of Galatians announces The Promise is born. Galatians 4:4, 5 records, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”

Having traced the seed line that brought about the Glorious Incarnation, it is time to explore its ramifications. There are many wonderful blessings associated with the Incarnation, but for our purposes, I’d like to concentrate on just two of them. One is corporate that concerns the world and the other is individual.

The corporate implications of the Incarnation are discovered in Isaiah 9:6, 7. God’s word states:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

When did the Kingdom of God come and the establishment of God’s government commence? When the Son was given and the Holy Child was born. What does this mean in the real world? “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever (Revelations 11:15).” How or when shall it completely take place? All we need to know is “the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform it.”

The Gospel according to Luke reveals how Christmas relates to us as individuals. God’s word states:

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:28-35).

Biblically, the same manner in which Mary conceived Christ physically is the same manner we receive Christ spiritually. Be it unto us according to thy word. 1 Peter 1:23 affirms this powerful truth, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” James concurs, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls (James 1:21).” The Apostle Paul agrees as well, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 3:15).”

The circumstances surrounding the birth of Christ into our poor fallen world are highly significant. There was no room for him in the inn. This world and each sinner in it have a natural repulsion towards Christ. We suppress the truth in unrighteousness. We reject the light and walk in darkness for fear our evil deeds will be exposed. We go astray from the womb because we are conceived in sin. We are born alienated from God and seek to be a law and god unto ourselves. Thus for many, there is to this day no room in our wicked hearts for Christ.

He was born in a stinky stable and laid in a manger. The manger was not a crib, but a feeding trough for animals. To think that the King of the universe chose this humble estate in which to become one of us is quite humbling. It is, as well, a powerful description of the state of our lives before the King of Glory by the power of the Holy Ghost takes up residence in our immoral lives. We suffer from stinking thinking and sinful actions. When Christ regenerates our lives, however, the sanctifying power of His precious blood goes to work to purify and cleanse our “smelly stables” or if you prefer, our darknened souls.

Lastly, the ruling elite were clueless as the lowly shepherds saw and heard the glorious announcement:

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2:10-14).

So it is today, many glory in their riches, power, and wisdom, while those who are being saved boast in the Lord. In this way Christmas, among its many other accomplishments, also reveals our calling brethren:

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Just as in His resurrection, Christ refused to appear to Pilate, Caesar, and the High Priest, but rather visited His rough and unsophisticated disciples, so at His birth, the angels appear to lowly shepherds and bypass the rich and famous. As Jesus grew into an adult, His attitude towards the proud never changed. He prayed, “I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes (Matthew 11:25).” “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out (Romans 11:33)!”

Much more can be shared about the implications of the Incarnation, but this will have to suffice for now. With that said, I want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and most blessed New Year in God’s Kingdom!

The Military Didn’t Ask, But He Still Told

The Military Didn’t Ask, But He Still Told

“Behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame. And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock (Nahum 3:5, 6).

John Winthrop, the great Puritan leader who helped to lead 20,000 Puritans from England to migrate to the Massachusetts colony gave America this profound warning, “If we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world.” Of course, Mr. Winthrop was Biblical in his view and was merely paraphrasing a prophetic warning rooted in Scripture. Deuteronomy 28:37 states, “And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee.”

As you may recall, Deuteronomy 28 addresses God’s dealings with nations. Those that fear Him, keep His commandments, and obey His voice are blessed. Those nations who refuse fall under a profound curse. They end up becoming “an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword” amongst the nations of the earth.

The Hebrew word for astonishment carries various meanings. See if any of them describes the vexation of soul one feels as our beloved nation goes from being the envy of the world to a laughing stock or as Nahum states, “a gazingstock.” Though far from exhaustive, here is a brief list of terms that reveal the meaning of the word astonishment. They are as follows: ruination, consternation, stupefy, trembling, destitute, waste, and destroy. Probably the best term that describes my state of mind is stupefied. It is absolutely stunning watching the “inmates running the asylum” in the Obama administration, being used to promote moral rot from within and enabling our enemies from without. America is facing the “perfect storm” under his governance.

America is at war on many fronts. It is not a “war against terror.” Terror is a tactic. It is not a war being conducted against “man-caused disasters.” A cute phrase drummed up by Big Sis, Janet Napolitano, lest we offend “The Religion of Peace,” otherwise known as Islam. We are at war against a totalitarian ideology that is even more dangerous than what America faced in World War Two. The source of this conflict began in 622 AD with Muhammad and it has been raging through the pages of history ever since. Our war is against Islam, the Koran, Sira and the Hadith. If anyone in our nation says otherwise, they are a part of a national suicide pact.

What is America’s astonishing response to this clear and present danger? Draft more Muslims and place them in positions of authority in our government and military. Recruit more Imams and make them chaplains in our military. Get rid of the phrase “enemy combatants.” If Muslims from other nations are caught conspiring to kill us on the battle field, read them their Miranda rights and treat them as American citizens protected by the Constitution. Defy history, which called for military tribunals and grant them civilian trials instead. If this doesn’t work, tell the world that America’s greatest terroristic threat to Obama’s Marxist agenda is our returning vets who put themselves in harm’s way. Are you astonished yet?

What about the Marxist agenda disguised as junk science, which promotes the religion of environmentalism, otherwise known as “Global Warming?” Our Lord surely had a sense of humor as he lifted the world’s skirts to expose this folly. As an American contingency went to Copenhagen to defeat this environmental boogey-man, God sent a snow storm. Coincidence? It gets better or worse, depending if you are delusional or not. About the same time, the lid blew off the entire Global Warming scam. Classified emails revealed how the so-called climate experts manipulated evidence, fudged the data, and fabricated charts to further their religion of earth worship. Once again the conspiracies of men bow to the providence of God. Global warming is yet another idol fit for destruction.

This brings us to the heart of the matter. America is embroiled in a moral civil war. The homosexual agenda has made great gains and stands poised to undermine and destroy every vestige of virtue left in America. Gay marriage, civil unions, gay adoptions, and other oxymoronic phraseology increases the delusion ill-affecting the American mind.

Since America removed the knowledge of God from the public life of our nation, we have gone from “slouching towards Gomorrah” to include sodomy as American as mom, Chevrolet, baseball and apple pie. Tragically, it is not just the evil leftist, progressives that embrace this phenomenon with demonic glee. Increasingly, conservative stars are beginning to bow to the idol of tolerance promoted by the sin and abominations associated with homosexuality. In their view, the economy is the most important issue facing the future of America. So, let us tone it down when it comes to the social issues like abortion and homosexuality. They are periphery issues that have no bearing upon America’s ability to prosper or protect ourselves. They are living in a fool’s paradise. There is a direct connection between our spiritual and moral state and the litany of woe harming America.

Another example of this tragic betrayal against our future, concerns the lame duck session in Congress. America sent a powerful rebuke to Washington DC in the recent election. Did the ruling elite get the memo? It appears they have not. Instead of changing course, the Democrats have decided to double down on their efforts to promote the gay agenda and every other leftist, utopian ideal. The next objective to be conquered by homosexuality is our military. Once again, they seek to repeal the infamous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” compromise formulated by the Clinton presidency.

Coincidentally, the timing of recent events displays God’s providence once again. As they are pushing their radical social engineering experiment with our military, we find to our chagrin a homosexual, Pfc. Bradley Manning, committed high treason. He was the one responsible for disclosing more than 90,000 intelligence reports and more than 150,000 diplomatic cables to the Wikileaks website. This constitutes the greatest security breech in US history and has reportedly endangered the lives of US personnel around the world. The poster child for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” publicly pulled down the pants of America and exposed us to the world. One paper declared, “Never before in history has a superpower lost control of such vast amounts of such sensitive information.”

How is our government and military handling this? Are they going to execute him or give him a medal? One never knows in the Alice in American Wonderland world we find ourselves in today. One can only hope that it does not follow the same politically correct response that came in the wake of the Ft. Hood tragedy. As you may recall, General Casey sent an e-mail to soldiers following Major Nidal Hassan’s jihadist massacre at Fort Hood last year. He said that he was “. . . concerned about the potential for this speculation to cause a backlash against our Muslim Soldiers and civilians. We need to be vigilant to ensure this does not occur.”

General Casey did not stop there. He went on Meet the Press and said of the massacre, “Our diversity not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.” American soldiers lay dead in garrison and what is the greater concern, DIVERSITY!!! A buzz word for America’s forced surrender to Islam, homosexuality and every other abomination intent on destroying us from the inside out.

The military didn’t ask about Manning’s sexual orientation, but he told the world in a massive way that he was a proud, angry, and tormented homosexual. Will this be the wakeup call our government and military needs to preserve moral sanity or will we continue to suffer astonishment as a people? C. S Lewis put America’s dilemma best, “We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and then bid the geldings to be fruitful.”

Our Colonial fathers took seriously the charge given by Mr. Winthrop. They desired to live truly unto God in the hopes that it would secure a future and a hope for their posterity. The result of this godly commitment created the most blessed nation on the face of the earth. John Quincy Adams commenting on this topic in his day stated, “Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.”

What have we done with this freedom? We turned it into licentiousness and Oh how the mighty have fallen! Our skirts have been lifted up over our heads and the world sees our illicit love affairs with every abomination under the sun. Do we renounce these things and turn back to the God of the Holy Bible for the healing of our land or are we determined to promote that which destroys us as a people?

Moses gave this admonishment to Israel in their time of apostasy. Perhaps, America needs to heed this message today.

Deuteronomy 4:25-31 declares:

When thou shalt beget children, and children’s children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the Lord thy God, to provoke him to anger:I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you.And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;(For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

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