TEEN TREE OF LIFE

You’re A Mean One,

King Herod!

Part 2

December 18, 2016

BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31).

In last week’s Tree, we stopped at a very pivotal climax in the story of the mean one – King Herod. He is on his death bed, satisfied with his murderous and ultimately  successful reign, when out of nowhere, he is visited by the Magi who have an important and disturbing question for him: “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.” (MAT 2:2) The shock he experienced when asked this question was as a result of his being thought of as the king of the Jews. Now, remember, even though Herod is old, there are the three words we learned that define him — he was capable, crafty, and cruel. He was well aware of the fact that somewhere in the ancient oracles was a prediction of the exact place where the Messiah, or special one of God, was to be born.

So he called together all the ministers and religious leaders to find out if the Bible had anything to say about a coming King. Specifically, he wanted to know where He was supposed to be born. MAT 2:4-5 tells us about this meeting: And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he [began] to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born. And they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet…”  This is a reference to Our Lord who said in ISA 41:4, “I am the eternal 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.’” And there’s MAT 2:6, “And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; For out of you shall come forth a Ruler, Who will shepherd My people Israel.”

Of course, Herod cringes when he hears the word, “ruler.” Suddenly things are getting serious. Maybe these strangers are on to something. What if the boy they are looking for is the One the Bible predicted would come? He must take Him out now.

So Herod calls the stargazers secretly and finds out from them the exact time the star appeared.

Then Herod secretly called the Magi, and ascertained from them the time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, “Go and make careful search for the Child; and when you have found [Him], report to me, that I too may come and worship Him.” (MAT 2:7-8) And off the Magi went. The star led the Magi over 800 miles through the desert and miraculously led them to the exact location Jesus was in.

When they saw Jesus, they bowed down and worshipped him, offering him expensive gifts:  And having heard the king, they went their way; and lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned [by God] in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their own country by another way. (MAT 2:9)

The theological meaning of Christmas has to do with the Advent or the Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Basically it is all summed up in this simple verse: 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. (JOH 3:16) The greatest Christmas gift that God has ever given, of course, is His Son, Whom He Gave for the sins of the entire world. This is the principle of giving with no strings attached and the Doctrine of the Unlimited Atonement, which means that the Lord Jesus Christ died for all. God the Father did not just give to those who would appreciate His Gift, but He so loved the world that He gave His uniquely born Son for every member of the human race!! However, we are also reminded at Christmas time that even though God gave His Son to the entire human race, the majority of them have rejected God’s gift, REFUSING to accept it. Therefore, one of the principles behind the celebration of Christmas is giving with no strings attached because of the virtue and integrity in you.

Now, for those who accept the Free Gift which God has given, there are also more gifts to follow. For example, look at JOH 3:34: for those who receive the gift of God’s Son, He gives the Spirit without measure. This means you can have as much fellowship with and use of Divine Power through the Holy Spirit, as you desire.

One of the prophecies concerning the Lord Jesus Christ 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.” Also, in REV 22:16, we read His Words: “I am the root and the descendent of David, the bright Morning Star.” God the Father gave the Morning Star to the world at the First Advent, even though many rejected Him. And, as we will see, He will also give the Morning Star to believers who have accepted His Plan at the Second Advent or the Second coming.

In MAT 2:2, when we read “Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east,” the words “saw His star” actually means we have calculated his star. They have done a mathematical calculation and put the whole thing together with their knowledge of astronomy, mathematics, and astrology. The Messiah is now somewhere in the world and they’re looking for Him. They do not follow the Old Testament or the spiritual life of the Jews in the New Testament. They have calculated this thing through astronomy, mathematics, and astrology! Think about that? What does that say for the existence of God and His Son and The Holy Spirit??

So, one of the Titles for the Lord Jesus Christ is found in REV 22:16:I, Jesus, have sent my angel to declare these things to you for the churches; I am the root [Jesus Christ as eternal God], and the descendent of David [Jesus Christ in hypostatic union], the bright Morning Star [his title for the First and Second Advents].” Therefore, in MAT 2:2, the Star is a reference to the Morning Star related to the First Advent.

 

{to be continued}

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