Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

Christmas Special – A Tale of Two Kings.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Tale of Two Kings. He’s the man history calls Herod the Great.
At 25 years old, he was named the governor of Galilee, a high position for such a young man.
In 40 B .C. the Roman Senate named him “King of the Jews.”

He exhibited 4 classic characteristics:
1. Preoccupation with Power.
MAT 28:18 “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
ACT 8:10 “This man is what is called the Great Power of God.”

Power is defined as the ability to control resources and assets in order to secure one’s own destiny, and Herod was the epitome of power. His life, and his use of power, can be summed up in three words — he was capable, crafty, and cruel.

Soon after becoming King, he wiped out several bands of guerrillas who were terrorizing the countryside and used subtle diplomacy to make peace accords with many competing factions.
In addition to being capable, Herod was also very crafty. Because he had a morbid distrust of anyone who might desire to take his throne, he was also known as a cruel man.

Over the years he killed many people: His brother-in-law, his mother-in-law, two of his sons, and even his wife. He murdered out of spite and he killed to stay in power. The great historian Josephus called him “barbaric,” another writer has describe him as “the venomous maniac.”

The intensity of Herod’s cruelty grew in direct proportion to the amount of power he possessed.

2. Preoccupation with Possessions. LUK 9:25 “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?

Herod built 7 palaces and 7 theaters, ­ one of which seated 9,500 people.
He even built stadiums for sporting events ­ the largest could seat 300,000 fans.

3. Preoccupation with Prestige. JOH 5:41 “I do not receive glory from men;”

He built entire cities with state of the art architecture and politeness and named them after his superiors.

Several of his 10 marriages were prestige-oriented and politically motivated. He once married the daughter of his leading rival in order to gain prestige and power.

4. Preoccupation with Paranoia.
JOH 8:32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. “**

When he became king, he commissioned tens of thousands of slaves to build over 10 emergency fortresses, all heavily armed and well provisioned.

Anyone with a plot to dethrone Herod was sniffed out and eliminated before he could eat breakfast. Those who opposed him would be invited to a midnight swim in the Jordan River with a cement bathrobe on.

He ruled for more than 40 years — until he clashed with another King — one who was also called, the King of the Jews.

His body racked with convulsions, his breath foul, his skin covered with open sores, he’s rapidly losing his mind.

The magi was an ancient fraternity which drew a lot of attention when they came into Jerusalem. The magi were well respected by all the nations in the ancient world and many individuals actually lived in fear of them.

DAN 2:48 tells us that Daniel belonged to the magi and he was a chief officer in this fraternity.

The magi were bascially all Gentiles. They were great teachers, physicians, chemists, astrologers, mathematicians. Somewhere between astronomy, mathematics, and astrology, they developed a system for predicting the lives of people.

They would read the stars from heaven and so these stargazers had an interview with Herod.

The word “disturbed” means to shake violently. He had killed all his enemies and was ready to die triumphantly.

No wonder the Bible says that all of Jerusalem was shaken — no one knew what this wacko would do next.

Now, even though Herod is old, remember the three words that define him — he was capable, crafty, and cruel.

MIC 5:2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”

This is a reference to our king who said in
ISA 41:4 “I am the etwrnal one Who has performed and accomplished {it,} Calling forth the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.’”
ISA 41:4 “I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.’”
ISA 48:12 “Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.

DAN 2:48 tells us that Daniel belonged to the magi and he was a chief officer in this fraternity. The magi were bascially all Gentiles. They were great teachers, physicians, chemists, astrologers, mathematicians.

Somewhere between astronomy, mathematics, and astrology, they developed a system for predicting the lives of people.

The word “disturbed” means to shake violently. He had killed all his enemies and was ready to die victoriously. Even though Herod is old, remember the three words that define him — he was capable, crafty, and cruel.

MIC 5:2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”

We now have the introduction of Dumb and Dumber.

Basically it is all summed up in that very popular verse JOH 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He “gave” His uniquely born Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

This is the principle of giving with no strings attached and the doctrine of the unlimited atonement, which means that TLJC died for “all”.

1JO 2:2 “And He is the propitiation for our sins, but not for our sins only, but also for the entire world.”
1TI 2:6 “He gave Himself a ransom a substitute for “every” one.”
1TI 4:10 says, We have confidence in the living God, who is the savior of all men, especially of believers.”

Now, for those who accept the free gift which God has given, there are also more gifts to follow.

JOH 3:34, for those who receive the gift of God’s Son, He gives the Spirit without measure. JOH 5:21, He gives us the privilege of being raised from the dead, “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom he wishes.
JOH 10:28, He gives us eternal life and eternal security, And I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.

JOH 14:27, He gives us His peace in the midst of a troubled world, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you [with strings attached]. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

JOH 16:23, He gives us answers to our prayers, If you shall ask the Father for anything, He will give it to you in My name.
JOH 17:8, He gives us the word of God, For the words which thou gavest Me I have given to them;

One of the prophecies concerning TLJC is the fact that He is called a star, NUM 24:17, says “I see Him, but not now, I behold Him, but not near. Behold, a star shall come forth from Jacob.
REV 22:16, I am the root and the descendent of David, the bright morning star.

“Saw his star” actually means we have calculated his star.

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