The Great Shining Light.
The Great Shining Light.
Read the full account in...
The Great Shining Light.
So as we, this time of the season, as we focus our thinking towards Christmas, it's too bad that we have to lot it to a myth called Santa Claus, in the stead of the real Christmas that it's supposed to be. Many little children in the land today know nothing more than Christmas means "a sleigh full of toys, and some mystic reindeers pouncing on the house," to only learn later of this myth; to even hurt their faith, when it comes to know the true Christmas story, that it had nothing to do with reindeers, or a man smoking a pipe, with fur around his coat.
It was the birth of our blessed Lord Jesus. And it's most unusual to see how God worked in this manner, because no other time would've ever worked in all the history of the world. It had to be just exactly at this time. And now, for a few moments let's just look right at the season.
It was a time that when Herod, the murderer, was king. It had to be; this heartless man had to be king at the time, for we're acquainted with the Scriptures that said he slew all the children from two-year-old down, trying to find the Christ. And it had to be just at that time.
And then there had to be, at the time, that there had to raise a taxation to cause Mary and Joseph to go back to their home town of Bethlehem where they were registered, and their births was on the record of the courts and in the temple, to be taxed. And Christ was to be born in Bethlehem, and they were many miles away when this took place.
And we've been noticed at the perils they had to go through in order to get there. Now, they didn't have a great, fine plush ambulance to take Mary up there. And they didn't have it as today, that we could've had some kind of an excuse. It was the king's order. No excuses are made. It must be fulfilled. "The king said so." No matter her conditions, or what, they must return to their homeland. No comfort for the little expecting mother, and no way of travel, only by foot, or on the back of a little donkey.
And we're told that Joseph taken Mary, this expected mother at any time, and setting her on the back of a little donkey. And if anyone ever road a donkey, knows what a rough ride that is. The little fellow, along a narrow trail that wind up over the mountains, coming to Bethlehem, from lower Judaea, very rough and rugged road. What if the little donkey would not have been sure-footed and would've fell with this little expecting mother?
Or, in the days when there was so much travel coming into their homelands, the whole country was working, alive with pilgrims and travelers, back to the homeland, a very good set-up for robbers in those days. When they seen the little caravans of small peoples, the riders, robbers could've rode right in and slew them, and took their goods, and went off. What a thing it was to this young married couple, that they had to face, and how it would've been.
Also what if some of the wild beasts, which there was lions and many destroying, wild animals that roamed in the deserts that they had to cross. What if a wild beast would've took towards the little party, what could Joseph have done with a stick in his hand, and a wife that could hardly move? They had that to face.
But it gives us consolation to know this: that we do not hold our destiny. God holds our destiny. And He has ordained it to be so, and there's nothing will ever interrupt the program of God. We are bound to arrive.
And there was to be no fear. And yet maybe Mary and Joseph, themselves just common people, not educated, and they didn't have the way of knowing these things that were taking place right at that time, was fulfilling the Scriptures.
And it's the same today. That things are taking place right in this day that we live in, and many of us know nothing about it, how God is moving.
And we can see as it was today, as the little donkey and the two travelers finally arrive, as they come by night, over the deserts, it was so hot. And then let's say they are setting just on the little mountain to the east of Bethlehem. Bethlehem sets in a valley, and there's a little mountain. And the road that comes into Bethlehem, curves east of Bethlehem, and goes down into the city. Near the corner, where you make the last curve to start down the hill, there's a great pile of jagged rocks lays there. And it's been thought by historians that perhaps Mary and Joseph stopped there for a little breath before they went down into the city that night.
Let's see Joseph in his tender handling, picks his little bride from the donkey, and helps her to the ground, takes her over and sets her down on the rock, and said, "Dear, there is the little city just below us, where perhaps our little newcomer will be born." I can imagine seeing the stars just twinkle a little and brighten up, as they set looking over Bethlehem, to their east of them. And as they set there, wondering as they gazed at the stars, way, hundreds of miles east of there, there was another scene developing.
You know, God works in His universe. He makes things take place in one country, where He's making it shape up to meet it in another. There we see way in the east, as we're told by many historians, that these fellows, the Magis, as we know them to be...
Today they would be, more or less, called astronomers, not in the sense of fortunetellers; but there is a mock of astronomy, which is called fortunetellers. And people rush to those things, which are really a bogus conception of the real astronomer.
Wise men still seek Jesus.
Hampton told us, the great historian, that it was... They were Medes-o-Persians, these astronomers. Let's chase their life for a little bit. And we find that the Medes-o-Persians got acquainted with the Gospel of our Lord when down in Babylon. Years before, in the time of King Nebuchadnezzar, they had such people as astronomers who watched the stars and the bodies of heaven. And they could tell by signs and the moving of the stars, of certain events was to take place. And the kings of the early days consulted these such men to know of events and of things that were going to take place. God always declares it by His celestial bodies before He makes it known to the earth. God writes it in the heavens. And the star which we look at, and we think of them as little five-cornered parties in the heavens, but what they are, they are worlds far larger than this, reflecting the sunlight.
And these people certainly got acquainted with the Gospel in the years of Israel's captivity, of seventy years in the land of the Chaldeans, and, surely, Daniel being made the chief of the Magi... The prophet, by his great wisdom to know the end of things, and to know what God was going to do, and he was called the chief of the Magi. And the Magis had old manuscripts that they referred to, of their ancient fathers. And Daniel brings in the writings of the Lord.
And so we understand that during this time they had counseled much together, and they had seen the wisdom and the power that the one true God produced, that was far beyond any astronomer or Magi. It was proved it at the night of King Nebuchadnezzar's or Belteshazzar's dance, that, none of the Chaldeans or the astronomers could read the handwriting on the wall. But Daniel, through the Spirit and the power of the living God, could do it. And his writings were kept sacred, and are till this day.
Now we call them, in the east... I have had the privilege of speaking with them in India. And they are called now the Mohammedans. But they were really the Medes-o-Persians. Indians are called the... I believe they call them the unclean. And the Medes-o-Persians are really the Mohammedan. And they are the ones that were originally with King Nebuchadnezzar. And their great sages were scholars who studied the--the natural things, to declare spiritual things that was to happen.
So in this long hundreds of years, and the manuscript of Daniel's teachings, and so forth, they had kept them. And what they would do in the early times of the evening, they would go up into the...?... Mountains. And along up here they had a castle. And in this castle was the castle of the Magis. And they would have their...?... feast. And after the feast they would walk out on the canopies, or upon the terrace, and there to some observation tower after the sun had set. And as Mohammedans usually do, bow to the sun and holler, "Allah! Allah!" And many times bless themselves with the sacred waters, and so forth, even to this day. Mostly, of their most sacred thing, was fire. They believed that this one true God lived in fire. And how strange it is to know that the one true and living God does live in the Light, and He is a consuming Fire. How that they burnt the sacred fires, and they watched this fire, because they believed that the one true God lived in this fire, and He reflected Himself to them. And the fire burnt the brightest when the--the light of the sun went down.
And so they would go out on this observation tower and they would look up. And they were well-trained. And they knowed every move of the great heavenly body of stars. They watched diligently for any move. Oh, if Christians would only do that, not watch the stars, but watch God's Word as It's unfolding. If we would only notice it today, and see that how God has promised in this day the things that we so gallantly stand for. God has promised to do these things, such as healing the sick and doing the great miracles.
The same Daniel that taught them of the events, said, that, "In the last days the people that know their God shall do exploits." Those Scriptures must be fulfilled. If we would only search... And if you'll notice, God only reveals Himself to those who search and long to see Him. "Draw nigh unto Me, and I will draw nigh unto you," saith the Lord. And sometimes God let's things happen so that we will draw nigh unto Him. For God has surely ordained that certain events must take place, and they will unfold just as His great time clock ticks it off.
Read the full account in... The Great Shining Light.
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.